I have adopted a new comments policy for this blog. It is published here. It says:
Jane Austen did famously write in the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice that:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Some might dispute that, for a great many reasons. What appears to me, and those others who blog from within the mainstream social democratic tradition that is part of the core of the politics of most countries is a slightly different version of this sentence, that says:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a blogger not from the libertarian right of the political perspective in possession of a good argument, must be in want of a heavyweight comments moderation policy.
Those on the libertarian right will dispute that, of course, but it would seem they dispute everything. Everyone else knows it to be true.
I have struggled with this issue. I have been generous at allowing comments on this blog. I have occasionally been harsh and deleted a great many comments. The reality is it has made no difference: a small cohort of time-wasters who add, in my opinion and that of those whose opinions I respect, nothing to debate continue to post comments. Since I believe myself duty bound to read all these for legal due diligence purposes and rebut those I think wrong this has been taking up far too much of my time – and takes the debate no further forward.
It is increasingly, and unfortunately, clear that the vast majority of those who do seek to comment come from way beyond the fringes of political electoral credibility and seek only to harm and undermine society. It is not my duty or desire to assist them.
Interestingly, few from mainstream perspectives bother to comment: most have better things to do. To those who have, I offer my thanks.
Having reflected on this issue I have now decided that I do not have time to waste on this cohort of perpetual time wasters – many of whom are now offending those who offer reasonable, considered and moderate observation, who are also complaining as a result. This leaves me with just one option. I have for the time being decided to close the comments facility on this blog.
You are welcome to email me with comment if you so wish. Please note I will not feel obliged to reply.
You are also welcome to disagree with me, but if that is your wish please start your own blog. That is what freedom of speech requires. It does not require me to let you comment here.
I am looking forward to the consequent increase in my personal productivity.
Update: Thanks to those who have already emailed saying how much they approve of this change of policy