Comments, especially on older posts, may be subject to prior approval. Bear with me – I may be in the pub.
The ability to comment on blogs is a privilege, not a right. Think of it in terms of writing an entry in the visitors’ book in someone’s home. If you wouldn’t say it directly to my face, then you shouldn’t put it in a comment.
The purpose of comments is to further develop the discussion in a post, provide additional information or ask questions. You are welcome to debate the issues raised on the blog, provided it is done in a reasonably polite and cogent manner. But if you think I’m an arsehole, or my argument is a load of garbage, or want to use the comments as a soapbox to hold forth on something entirely different, then you need to do it elsewhere. It is not a violation of free speech as there are plenty of other places to say it. The comments are also not the place for a protracted argument.
Also bear in mind that this is an opinionated blog, not a forum of which I am a neutral moderator. If you make a strident, borderline inflammatory comment in support of my viewpoint, then I’ll probably let it pass unless it’s obscene or defamatory. If you do the same in opposition, it’s deliberately picking a fight.
The comment facility is not provided as a platform for totalitarian opinions, whether Communist or Fascist.
Please address the subject at hand rather than making ad hominem remarks directed at either the blog author or other commenters. However, I am the judge of what is acceptable - do not make complaints to me that “Freddy said a bad word”. Any issues relating to the application of the moderation policy should be raised privately with me rather than in the comments themselves.
Obvious trolling, offensive or blatantly off-topic comments are not acceptable and will be deleted.
Do not badger other contributors for a response, or repeat the same point over and over again. Also please do not adopt a personally antagonistic tone. Addressing me by my real name comes across as ill-mannered.
Arguments along the lines of “a no-smoking section in a pub is like a no-pissing section in a swimming pool” or “smokers are smelly scum” are vanishingly unlikely to pass muster.
While anonymous comments are accepted, it is preferable if you can leave a name so your comments can be attributed to a specific individual. If you don’t have a Blogger account, this can be done using the “Name/URL” option. However, if you intend to make more than the occasional comment using an unregistered ID, you will need to tell me something about yourself.