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Is it correct to view these as referring to the past actions of the speakers?

So, for example, the speaker makes a blunder and then realises this and says/thinks 「これはしまった」(Which I think is short for これはしまったことをした) Or someone does something rude then says これは失礼しました In both of these cases does the これ refer to the past actions of the speaker?

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No, not exactly.

In those phrases, 「これ」 refers to the occasion in which a non-positive action took place, not the action itself.

This is why we say 「この[度]{たび}は」= "(on) this occasion" instead of 「これは」 in formal speech.

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