Much has been raked over amongst the various media in the last few days regarding whether John Howard's saying "I am sorry that interest rates have gone up. I recognise the extra burden this places on families" (or words to that effect) actually constitutes an apology for said interest rate rise.
He later said that saying he was sorry that this had happened was not the same as him apologising for the rate rise.
The Opposition has quibbled that when Mr Howard said that his words above he was actually apologising for the rise in rates, and that for him to say he was not, is simply playing with semantics.
What do you think?
I don't think saying he is sorry something has happened is at all the same as apologising - and therefore taking responsibility - for that happening.
e.g. if your mother has died, I will quite reasonably say "I am sorry to know that your mother has died". That is entirely different from my saying "I apologise for your mother dying".