Here's the great truth from which all others flow: There is no inalienable, God-given right to post comments on this or any other blog.
So, here's the rules:
1) This is not a democracy. For the time being, if I choose to open comments on a post all comments will be moderated and are published entirely at my discretion. I am the sole arbiter of what is acceptable and what is not. There is no appeal. If you don't like it, don't post.
2) If I do publish a comment, I reserve the right to edit for length, clarity, sense, relevance to the thread or ongoing discussion, or legal reasons. (It is not one of my fantasies to be a footnote in defamation case law, or have contempt of court added to my many, many sins.)
I am the sole arbiter etc. As a courtesy, I will clearly mark an edited comment as such, but that is not an invitation to debate my call.
3) I don't want to exercise a heavy editorial hand, but here's a few guidelines about what is going to sharpen up the (virtual) blue pencil:
- If you want to vent your racist, queer-bating, anti-religious or hyper-partisan spleen you may want to find a more congenial corner of the world than the blog of a mixed-race, gay Catholic Tory. Just a thought.
- Pimp your wares someplace else.
- Please keep your comments approximately in the vicinity of the original post or the ongoing discussion. I know defining thread-jacking or flaming is pretty subjective, but it is my subjectivity that really counts.
- I'm very easily bored by little flame-feuds between two individuals, and when you've been asked to take it to private e-mail the next step is banning.