Of chalk and cheese

People often look to make comparisons to make a point and often choose the most ludicrous examples, the classic amongst which is comparing the Palestinian treatment by Israel to the holocaust or apartheid, when a quick examination proves that they are no such thing which is not to minimise the issues, but simply make the point that exaggeration does nothing for your cause except make you look silly to an outside observer.


Church leaders renewed their stand-off with the Coalition over hunger in Britain using Easter sermons to speak of poverty and destitution, as one bishop claimed Government cuts were having “sinful consequences”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby singled out the experiences of people turning to food banks in the UK as an example of suffering in the world, alongside the crises in Syria and Ukraine.
He also said those who quietly man food banks were making a more powerful statement of the Christian message than figures such as himself who “shout” about religion on a national stage.
In his sermon, he spoke about sorrow and listed examples of people around the world shedding tears including bereaved mothers in Syria and people in Ukraine and Rwanda. He added: “In this country, even as the economy improves there is weeping in broken families, in people ashamed to seek help from food banks, or frightened by debt.
“Asylum seekers weep with loneliness and missing far away families.”

I’m sorry, but telling us the tears of families seeking help from foodbanks pale into comparison with what happened in Rwanda and what’s happening in Syria. I’m also pretty sure that what’s going on in the Ukraine doesn’t really compare either.

The real trick about using comparison for effect is that you do not try and make yourself sound utterly ridiculous when you do it. The end result is to water down your point in a similar way the left watered down the terms fascist and racist to accuse anyone who didn’t think like they did. By shutting down debate, they ensured that the problems got worse and people started to think about more extreme solutions.

Not that I think the Arch-Druid will shut down debate, just that he minimises the impact of his sermon by comparing chalk with cheese, I rather doubt anyone whose hobbyhorse isn’t opposing benefits reform will take what he has to say seriously… assuming they even notice what he says anyway.

Telling us that those who shed tears of pride for using foodbanks in comparison to those who are losing or have lost their lives in Syria and Rwanda does himself and his cause no favours whatsoever…


7 comments for “Of chalk and cheese

  1. April 21, 2014 at 9:05 am

    This one has always been a syndrome. A says he’s lost his mother and B says, in response, “Oh, plenty of people have lost their mothers – I’ve lost my mother and father,” as if this somehow negates or diminishes the first statement.

    It’s intensely annoying as the very first step is to diminish, not to take on board, sympathize and then to add to.

  2. Viscount Rectum
    April 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Investigate the food bank organisation and you find its a propaganda scam by a Trust connected with (no not Al-Quieda, that favourite link), but the “Lifestart Connections” organisation connected to Common Purpose? connected to Soros? connected to EU? etc, etc, etc.

  3. Radical Rodent
    April 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Welby – or was it his RC counterpart? – also said that the poor were Jesus’ first priority…

    How wrong can a church leader be? Jesus was more concerned about a person’s spiritual health than fiscal wealth; indeed, I would argue that Jesus did not give two hoots about fiscal poverty. I know of no passage in the Bible where Jesus expressed any concern at all about whether or not a person could feed or clothe themselves; where there might have been a problem, he merely resolved it.

  4. Bunny
    April 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    As I have said before the definition of poverty in the UK is about not owning a basket of consumer goods and not actual poor sanitation, having a roof or education. This is pure economics, why spend money on food when some bloody idiot will give it to you instead. Then the money is freed up for other uses, such as alcohol or drugs or Sky TV.

  5. April 22, 2014 at 2:38 am

    My next door neighbour regularly visits the Sally Army and returns with a box of food. He has to go through the gruelling task of sobering up for whole day first just to be coherent when he goes. I can be assured that at least one day a week he is in his (housing commission) house sleeping instead of drinking outside. It is the lefty way of treating alcoholics.

  6. Furor Teutonicus
    April 22, 2014 at 8:51 am

    xX I’m sorry, but telling us the tears of families seeking help from foodbanks pale into comparison with what happened in Rwanda and what’s happening in Syria. I’m also pretty sure that what’s going on in the Ukraine doesn’t really compare either. XX

    The problem is, their statements go unquestioned.

    Where are the Media telling them they are talking bollox? Where are the politicians?

    Whilst both are only playing around the edges themslves, I am pretty sure the type of imbicile that makes statements as above, could EASILY be blown out of the water by people who, however fleetingly, HAVE actuialy HAD something to do with these situations, and, in some cases , have even BEEN there.

    Where has the publics ability to QUESTION gone to? That “Aye RIGHT laddie! PROVE IT!” moment?

    Idiots are getting away with it, and are managing, in the back ground, to dictate what Governments do, merely because every one appears to embarressed to point out the inherent imbicility in their statements.

    • Ed P
      April 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

      The Archbish is a “useful idiot” – he saves having yet another fake charity promoting control bullshit from this underhand government.

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