Friday, 29 October 2010

Touching a raw nerve

,Have you ever innocently made a comment only to see someone flip and go totally bonkers. You then review your comments and think "Oh dear, I wonder why that caused such a reaction". Only later in the cold light of day, you realise that maybe you've touched a raw nerve, quite by chance. When you write a blog, you never know who might read it, what psychological state they are in or what nasty skeletons rattle around in their closets. When I was studying psychology, one thing I learned was that when people are on the defensive about an issue, they are most likely to lash out and behave irrationally.

This blog is all about the London Borough of Barnet. We write about all sorts of issues. I make no bones that I have strong views. People are always welcome to leave comments. If I disagree I say so. I don't really mind people leaving comments I fundamentally disagree with. Sometimes you learn something. Sometimes you don't. Despite the fact that I criticise many Tory Councillors in most strident terms, most (with a few notable exceptions) are polite and friendly on a personal level. During the election, whenever I ran into John Hart and Brian Schama, we had a laugh and a joke, despite the political divide between us. It's what normal people do.

So what am I on about. Well eagle eyed readers will have spotted the fact that I turned comments on this blog off for a  period. They are now back on, albiet with moderation. You may ask why? Well I thought I'd give someone, who clearly doesn't know how to behave themselves a chance to cool down and get their head together, before they drove the bus over the cliff as it were. Now I rather hope he'll use this period of reflection to have a cup of tea, calm down and reflect on his behaviour. He knows what needs to be done to be able to start posting comments here again. Something which if he had a shred of decency, he'd have done two weeks ago. Personally I rather hope he doesn't as I don't really want his blatherings here, but I do believe that free speech means free speech  for people you disagree with as well. There are limits and when someone oversteps the mark, they have a duty to make amends. With freedom comes responsibility and where there is no responsibility there can be no freedom.

So cutting to the chase. As ever comments are welcome, but must be vaguely related to the topic and if they slander WWII veterans, then all future comments from the people who post them will sit there forever unpublished. One little thing I must ask. What sort of person would click the "Rubbish" box on a post urging people to donate to the British Legion. I can see, because I have my stats. You may be rather shocked to find out where that little act of spite came from (or maybe you won't).

Anyway, I rather hope that clears up any mystery.


baarnett said...

Well, that's a relief - I thought it was because I critised the excessive size of Theresa Villiers's poppy in the House of Commons, during "Transport Questions" (see another post).

Actually, I saw the offending comment, now removed. It could not have been written spontaneously, since it was a calendar of (alleged) event (not involving Roger). Let us hope that particular moth isn't attracted to the 'Barnet Eye' light bulb again.

ainelivia said...

yes I had noticed and assumed as was the case that youd been the recipient of comment spamming. Moderation is a good idea for comments, in fact as my Mammy used to say, moderation in all things, is a very good idea.