Some say it with flowers, or chocolates, or some other token of appreciation. But it takes real class, and an opportunity granted to only around 650 of our fellow citizens, to say sorry with a Commons adjournment debate.
One reason why former higher education minister George Walden arranged a brief session to discuss his former bailiwick last week was to again put on record, shortly before he leaves the Commons for good, his trenchant views on the need for tuition-fee based funding.
But the other was to apologise to the vice chancellors.
Having hammered into them for apparent inaction on the issue in his book We Should Know Better he was mortified when, on the very day of publication, the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals submitted their evidence to the Dearing committee calling for the very measures Mr Walden has been advocating.