When it comes to cooking, I consider myself a ‘Good Luck Chef’. Any meal I might prepare is brought to table, then unceremoniously put before those banging their cutlery in wild anticipation as I say, ‘Good luck!’. No, I’m not a good cook. I stand up and admit any accusation condemning me for my culinary skills. But false or unsubstantiated accusation is a different kettle of fish. And we seem to have a lot of it nowadays, be that by way of slander or libel.

Yes, if there is one thing that really gets my goat, it’s false accusation, defamation of character particularly when it’s cowardly, behind your back ... especially from anyone wielding an ounce of power. That’s when things can get dangerous.

I suppose we have all been victims of calumny at some point in our lives when, defenceless, we are subjected to slander or libel by those wishing to besmirch our character, damage our reputation. Those launching the attack often do so in their own self-defence. Being too mindful of their own shortcomings or misdemeanours, they try to avoid what otherwise might be unwelcome focus of attention on themselves.

But we take our example from the innocence and good will exemplified by the Christ child, so sorely defamed once grown into a man among us.

When people learn you’re Christian, you could well be attacked. There’s little or no defence for attack against our theocracy. We might be condemned as mealy-mouthed dinosaurs, naïve dogooders, and then ostracised by our peer groups in an increasingly secular society which is often too unmindful of being born of and borne by Christian ideals

Perhaps ‘Silence is the ultimate weapon of power’, as Charles de Gaulle once voiced. Or is it?

Jay Kettle-Williams