When someone expresses remorse or contrition for past transgressions, the usual response is to accept it & move on with scarcely a second thought.
That's the usual response.
However, when a senior Tory figure from Thatcher's government fesses up, my reaction is one of contempt & loathing.
Norman Tebbit, the man who infamously told the unemployed to get on their bikes & look for work, now, it would seem, has qualms about the destruction of the coal industry (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/mar/09/tebbit-mining-communities ).
In a post on the Guardian politics blog, Andrew Sparrow writes of a review in Tribune for a book about the miners' strike to be published this week. "Marching to the Fault Line", by David Hencke, of the Guardian, & Francis Beckett, quotes Tebbit:
"Many of these [mining] communities were completely devastated with people out of work turning to drugs and no real man's work because all the jobs had gone. There is no doubt that this led to a breakdown in these communities with families breaking up and youths going out of control. The scale of the closures went too far. The damage done to those communities was enormous as a result of the strike."
Only now, a quarter of a century on, can a creature like Tebbit finally own up to the long-term cost of Tory policies on miners, their families & communities. It's a clear admission from the enemy within (to borrow a phrase from Thatcher) that the current underclass was created as a direct result of the mass unemployment which was the hallmark of their regime. In addition, to pathetically bleat that the pit closure programme "went too far" will be met with the contempt it warrants by those who suffered. It's noticeable that Tebbit still tries to pin the blame on the NUM in the final sentence of his quote. It won't wash. Tebbit's admission merely confirms what has long been common knowledge.