John Brogden: A heartfelt apology

One saying that I’ve never really understood is this one. “To err is human. To forgive is divine”.

What I don’t understand about it is that I imagine that the forgiveness spoken about is forgiveness that is called for – and that is most typically where one understands the genuine contrition of the other person. I don’t know about you people, but, at least within the compass of my comfortable middle class life, I’ve always found that forgiveness comes as a flood in such circumstances.

This was in my mind recently when I posted on Colin Allan McAlister’s apology for his racist remarks.

I’m naive about such things, and the quick read I gave to Andrew Landeryou that alerted me to the story suggests that maybe lots more was going on.

But I was moved by the apparent genuineness of Brogden’s resignation. Would that a few more of our pollies who’s reaction to such an expos© would be to do a bit more talking under wet cement might act with such decisiveness and honour.

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2024 years ago

Nicholas, with regard to your earlier post, you would have had a lot more success if you had googled Allan McAlister rather than Colin McAlister. It’s still worth doing. There is a good story about ignorance, revelation, repentance and redemption for you to tell.

Nicholas Gruen
2024 years ago

Oops. Fixed.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago

could you explain how the remarks ,though in bad taste , were racist?

Last time I looked the were more estimated Russian mail order brides than than vfrom the philophines.

Alan Green
2024 years ago

Forgiveness can only be given by the wounded party, and the offence caused by this remark to “comfortable”, middle-class men (like me and thee) is only the secondary issue. Primarily, Brogden’s comment was hurtful to the Carrs, and asian woman/caucasian man couples in general, so they’re the groups that whose forgiveness is required.

On the other hand, if Gerard Henderson was apologising for labelling large segments of the Australian population as “Howard Haters”, or Kim Beazley was apologising for the limping state of the federal Labor party, then I would be needing to think about whether or not it’s easy to forgive. :)

For all that, this whole Brogden episode looks looks like Liberal party hatchet job to me, which is sad, because NSW desperately needs a credible opposition party.

Nicholas Gruen
2024 years ago


I didn’t say anything about racism.

I read Brogden’s comments as having racist over or undertones, but I can see that it is quite possible to argue that they’re not racist – or not intended as such. But the comments were so disgusting it seems like a poor choice of occasion to make your stand.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago

sorry nicholas it was my poor reading.

2024 years ago

Homer: The remarks were racist because Brogden is implying that all asian women are mail-order brides.

This is exactly the same as Tony Greig’s famous cricket call.

Whether or not there are more Mail-order brides from Russia or the Phillipines is completely irrelevant. The only reason Brogden could have to refer to Helena Carr as a “Mail-Order Bride” is her obvious Asian appearance.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago

Rubbish Yobbo.

you are making the politically correct assumption that mail order brides are bad or there is something wrong with them.
There isn’t.

as Andrew Norton perceptively pointed out the comment said more about Bob then Helena.

you really are a leftie at heart aren’t you.

Nicholas Gruen
2024 years ago

I don’t think there is anything ‘wrong’ with mail order brides. Yet I think Brogden’s comment was disgusting – indeed, I would have thought defamatory.

One can think that it is OK that the law permits one to claim defamation for accusations of being gay, without in the least believing that there’s anything wrong with being gay, though presumably as the stigma against homosexuality wanes there comes a point at which it should not be regarded as defamatory.

Likewise, Brogden was appealing to a stigma against mail order brides which, as Andrew Norton and others have pointed out has all sorts of components – racist, sexist, sexual, personal etc. If Brogden wasn’t appealing to at least some of these stigmas then Brogden’s comment makes no sense. He might as well have said “that Carr – he’s an arsehole, his wife has dark hair”.

Yobbo 1. Homer 0.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago


if you check out the press reports he said something to the effect
He can send his mail order bride home.

now I don’t know what he meant by that but it would seem to me he was referring to Bob post resignation and I am not defending his remarks however I think you have gone into hyperbole overdrive.

one minute you are saying there are no racist overtones and then there is.

It is hard to keep up.

I doubt if he was appealing to any overtones.
He was at a kneesup where he was enjoying himself and Carr had resigned a day previously.
He said it to journos.

Who knows.

Nicholas Gruen
2024 years ago

Sorry Homer I don’t get it,

Where did I say there were no racist overtones?

You accused me of alleging there were. I then said I had said no such thing – and went on immediately to point out that there are racist “under or overtones”.

It’s true that I conceded that one could argue that there were no racist overtones. When I was conceding that it was possible to accept your point I was acknowledging your point that mail order brides come in different races. I thought you were making a kind of debating point that had to be conceded as a matter of course, though commonsense told me there was something wrong with it.

But I was tricked by your point – perhaps you have been tricked by it too. Because the point is the race of Bob Carr’s wife and why ‘mail order’ was applied to her. Yobbo’s contribution made that obvious point clear.

It’s simply not credible to suggest that the comment didn’t relate to Helena Carr’s being Asian. Would Brogden have made the comment about Jeanette Howard or Tanya Costello?

You may want to be saying that Brogden doesn’t mean harm to Asians, and I expect that’s right. That he wasn’t ‘appealing’ to race – well he mightn’t have realised it, and I didn’t realise it clearly till this debate, but the comment doesn’t make any sense without Helena Carr being ‘different’.

I guess you can now say that that ‘difference’ might not be associated with race – as in genetic differences. Well funny that, turns out she was genetically different wasn’t she? But OK. If you want Brogden off on those grounds go right ahead – but he’s getting off on a tecnicality.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago

I confess to being confused by your stance.

it seems to me the colour of Carr’s wife is irrelevant here.
given what Broggers said it seems to me he is saying something about the marriage itself which is why I originally said it was in bad taste.
Perhaps there was bad blood between he and Carr I don’t know.

Fred Fash
Fred Fash
2024 years ago

Thank god John Brogden is no longer representing us.
He is nothing but a liar, a coward and a fraud.

He deliberately lied and denied about the allegations right till the end.

He only apologised because he was caught, not because he was really sorry.
The point is he has lied, forget about racism, sexism, or jingolism.
He’s picked on females who are not in the better
position as he to defend themselves, and he knows it.
He tried to pick on Bob Carr and loss.
That’s how good he is.
And to show off his bravery and smartness he then decided to pick on the minorities and the weaker sex.
He decided that the best victims and those that
has done him no harm in the past and make them a laughing stock, hah, hah.
He’s a real mancho and a tough guy this John Fraudgen.
If the media has not exposed him, he would have got away with the lies.
And because he was caught red handed, he behaved and sulked
like a spoilt brat.
To punish the world, including his family and friends for exposing the
real John Brogden, he took the cowardly way out of “attempted” suicide. (A real smart arse/)
“Attempted” because he didn’t even has the guts to kill himself.
Can anyone imagine John Brogden being the Premier of any state?

The true John Brogden is a fraud.

Power to the media.