I told you - there are no space hoppers in football

As if to prove the thrust of yesterday's post, Chris Grayling apparently popped up on Radio 4 this morning to claim that campaigners against Workfare were part of a front for Socialist Worker, and pretend mistakenly assert that they'd hacked his email.

This comes, of course, after Michael Gove attacked opponents of Academies for being 'Trots' and both David Cameron and Chris Grayling apparently independently came up with the idea of calling opponents to Workfare 'snobs'.

So Tory focus groups have shown potential voters don't like the far left or snobs then. Presumably, being thought of as snobs was damaging the Tory brand, so what better way of fixing it than making the opponents look like the snobs? Clever, eh? Yeah - if you're five.

This technique of attacking an opponent rather than tackling their argument is a fallacy of logic. If you do this sort of thing in an argument, you've lost - but an audience who doesn't know about it might be tricked into thinking you won. Which is why people who know it's a fallacy still do it.

It's called an argumentum ad hominem, which means 'argument against the person'. It's got a Latin name because we've known it's bullshit for thousands of fucking years.


Philip said...

Chris Grayling probably thinks argumentum ad hominem means a gay couple having a fight in a B&B.

Ernie Goggins said...

"Argumentum ad hominem"? Oo-er! Listen to you, posh-boy!

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh - this seems to confirm the suspicions that I have about how the Conservatives were going to conduct themselves during this term. They have obviously been watching the Republicans poisonous modus operandi in the US and feel that it will work for them. So, they have become more nakedly on the side of big business and their rich friends; and have taken to calling all those who dissent "left-wing" and "socialist".

This may not seem like a problem now, but with they will repeat these as insults until they become as dirty words as they are in the US. Alongside this, they are attempting to dismantle the BBC and the NHS in order for their friends to come in and sell of he profitable bits. Their friends in the press (the Murdoch press especially) will back them up and before you know it, we will be living in the awful, poisonous, divided and polarised atmosphere that the US currently lives under.

And unfortunately, because a lot of people are... let's say "naive", they will get a way with it. The US is now so far to the right, that it was easy to get citizens to vote against their own interests to kill initiatives that would give everybody access to proper healthcare that we currently take for granted. And look at the direction that they are going with abortion.

I despair. I think that I may move to France when I grow up.

Anonymous said...

* get away with it.

There are probably other typos in their, but I can't be bothered to go back and correct them. Sorry.

Richard said...

It's also backfired quite spectacularly. The SWP has experienced a welcome surge in popularity, and is making the most of our temporary notoriety.

Look out for our "Party the Tories hate" posters.