Tony Blair began the propensity for saying sorry for things he couldn't possibly have had anything to do with (the Holocaust, for example, or slavery) but steering clear of such expressions of sorrow for more recent disasters (the Iraq war, say). Gordon Brown seems to be following the same path, with his apology for the persecution of gay Bletchley code breaker Alan Turing - who died in 1954. Janet Street-Porter in the Independent on Sunday sums it up excellently:
It's become fashionable for politicians to say sorry – generally for events they have no control over. It's easier to demonstrate humility for a social injustice that happened more than half a century ago than to admit responsibility for handing Rover cars to a bunch of avaricious buffoons who presided over its demise, resulting in thousands of workers losing their jobs.