Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rules of Engagement


I welcome a healthy debate on this blog. It's what blogging is all about. Strongly worded comments are acceptable, but libellous ones are not. It is commonly thought that somehow bloggers operate outside the law of libel. This is an incorrect assumption. If I feel that any comment could be construed as libellous I will not allow it through comment moderation or retrospectively delete it.

Swearing is banned on this blog. If you use a swear word in your comment, again, it is liable to be deleted without explanation.

Anonymous posting is no longer allowed, although you are able to post under a pseudonym if you have first registered a Google or Blogger account. If your post is insulting to me or other people posting in the thread I reserve the right not to allow it through. Persistent abuse of me, the host of this blog by way of spurious allegations or name-calling is liable to result in a ban, either for a period of time or permanently. You may disagree with me, but there is a limit to my patience if my hospitality is abused.

Please try to be as polite as possible. People seem to think that the internet can be used to say things to people which you would never dream of saying to their face. Strong argument is welcomed, but please try to steer clear of personal insults where possible.

If any of these rules are continually transgressed I reserve the right to ban an individual from posting further comments.

In short, I reserve the right to delete any comment made on this blog with no explanation. This is a debating forum which I have created and if people do not like my rules they should feel free not to participate.

If you have suggestions for further rules of engagement, please feel free to leave them in the comments on this thread.




Tim Ireland (from 29 March)

These rules were created on 20 January 2008 and amended in mid 2008 in order to provide greater clarity. They were further updated on 24 November to reflect the fact that comment registration was introduced on 22 November.


Anonymous said...

I take it the new rule means you won't be telling me to "piss off" again if I have a gentle poke at you then?

Oh. Lovely.

Carl Eve (no blogger site, but didn't want to be an "anonymous")

Ted Foan said...

Oh. you brutal gay queen!

(Just testing to see if you'll let this through!)

Larry Teabag said...

Dear Iain, please could you put me on a red card too? This is my first comment on your site, and I hope and expect that it will be my last. However it is just possible that at some point in the in future I will be tempted to leave another, and if so I expect that you will construe it as personally insulting to you. So I think it would be easier for both of us if you simply banned me now, thus removing any temptation for me, and potentially saving us both some trouble. Hope that you understand, - Larry

Anonymous said...

Have you awarded yourself a yellow card for using the word "piss" in your posting at ? :¬)

Anonymous said...

Bravo - I have had a problem with this myself. If you don't mind, I have stolen your "Red" and "Yellow" card idea.


Scary Biscuits said...


I'm not sure that undertaking to remove libelous comments is a wise idea. It means that you are taking responsibility for what commenters say.

So if somebody makes a comment that you don't think is libelous but subsequently turns out to be, the offended party can come after you too.

On the other hand, if you say, 'I take no responsibility for what commenters say, to police their thoughts or to fact check their observations but will nonetheless endeavour to keep comments within reasonable bounds of politeness and to remove things that I know to be libelous' you make yourself a much harder target for over-zealous libel lawyers.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure that undertaking to remove libelous comments is a wise idea. It means that you are taking responsibility for what commenters say."

the BBC do it on their message boards.

Admitedly only when it suits their political bias ... oops have I broken the rules there?

Anyway I hope it will not stop us laughing at the thought of Brown walking round Watford with an orange blob of makup on his forehead. That would be as funny as Harriet Harperson walking round her constituency with her skirt tucked into her knickers.

I kid you not my 'word verification' is 'ujeufucv'

Oh ... good blog by the way and agree with the sentiments

Banksy said...

"you make yourself a much harder target for over-zealous libel lawyers"


Well if it was that easy don't you think that newspapers would have put such disclaimers on their letters pages a long, long time ago, preventing them from becoming such rich pickings for m'learned friends.

If you moderste in any way, respond, show you are aware of a comment being made, which you then leave up, you're fair game.

The only ones who might get away with a 'three wise monkeys' defence are ISPs. Not bloggers who encourage such comments.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for pointing out a small typo in para 3 of the rules of engagement. Perfectly understandable given the given the mind-boggling length of your working day. Truly remarkable. Oh, and you'd be a mug to red card "larry teabag" ; he sounds potentially as entertaining as your good self. And that takes some beating.

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon, that should've read para 4 !

Anonymous said...

I have just read your '20 things I have learned fromn visiting Israel and never have I seen such a naive lot of old cobblers on that subject.
Here are my comments on the things that you ahve learned.

1. Nothing meaningful can happen in the peace process until after the Israeli election.

And not then either. The Israelis are not interested in the peace process at this time. They have put Hamas in place and are happy with that for the time being.

2. A Kadima led coalition offers the best hope for a settlement.

No it does not. Only a radical re-alignment of israel politics, and more important US politics will lead to a settlement,

3. Domestic policies are of secondary importance in elections - defence and security matter most.
4. A three state solution may be a more realistic long term solution than a two state one.

What in earth is a 3-State solution and who has suggested it and do the Arab countries agree?

5. Religious tolerance is much more entrenched than we in Europe are led to believe - especially in Jerusalem

Hahahaha![ Do you mean intolerance?

6. No peace settlement can be reached without an agreement on the future of Jerusalem

My God, talk of the bleeding obvious! I don't supose a peace settlement can be reached without agreement on other things either! What an absurd comment!

7. The Israeli electoral system guarantees political instability.

8. If the Israelis relaxed travel restrictions from the West Bank it would be a tremendously symbolic move.
Hahaha! Do you mean make it easier for settlers to move around? More symbolic perhaps than uprooting Palestinian olive groves, bulldozing their houses, illegaly deporting them from the West Bank, restricting their water supplies, building illegal settlements on their land?

9. A major challenge to the Israelis is to do something about the 70% of men who are not in employment - they're not unemployed, just not economically active.
Hahahah! Could it be that Israel wants unemployed Palestinians in order to 'persuade' them to go elsewhere (outside the West bank) for work?

10. If Hamas makes progress in any future Palestinian Authority elections the peace process will be doomed.
Just what the Israelis have engineered! For years the PLO wanted a peace traety based on the 1967 borders and guaranteeing Israels security. Israel ignored and humiliated them. That is one of the contributory factors in Hmas being elected. Could it perhaps be that Israel wants Hamas to impede a peace treaty whilst it establishes new settlements in the West Bank and reduces the popukation by deportations?

11. The Palestinian Authority and its President are seen as weak and not capable of delivering an agreement. Their challenge is to counter that perception.

Hahaha! Guess who keeps it weak! Guess whowas instrumental in getting Hamas elected!

12. The Palestinian Authority has been effective in policing the streets of the West Bank in the last twelve months and been able to impose law and order in a way it had failed to do before.

13. Many Arab governments are supportive of Israel behind the scenes.

All Arab governemts without exception support the idea of a settlement based on secure borders for Israel and a Palestinian State.

14. There are far more informal backchannels between Arab states and Israel than most people know about.

15. Iran is the biggest hurdle to peace. Most Israelis would be supportive of a military strike against Iranian nuclear installations.

Hahahah!Israel is the barrier to peace!

16. Egypt and Jordan are of decreasing importance in the politics of the region.

Oh my God! The only important players have always been the US and Israel!

17. West Bank refugees are not interested in financial support. Everything comes back to the fact that they feel wronged.

Well, well. Surprise, surprise! Now why would that be the case?

18. The USA is seen as vital to the future of the region by both the Israelis and Palestinians. Israelis feel that only the US has the power to deal with Iran. Israelis are quite happy to talks to take place but feel the military threat needs to be available too.

Apart from the importance of the US what absolute cobblers!

19. If Israel didn't have to spend 17% of its public spending and 8% of its GDP on defence and security it would be among the most prosperous nations in the world.

No it wouldn't. Nearly all of its funding comes from the US, If the US did not want a ME policeman it would not fund Israel and then it would have a very low income.

20. Israeli food is some of the best I have ever eaten, and the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv is highly

At last you speak of something you know!

Edward Morgan said...

How do I follow you?

scotch said...

The word "shitstirring" is allowed from May 14 2010, as used by Iain.
I'm going to assume this applies to variants, derivatives and source material.

HillBilly said...

"America is a very important ally to this country."

I think works equally the other way round. They look a bit light on quality friends around the globe, don'tcha feel.

To slow down the spill perhaps Barack should swim down and put his mouth round it.

Anyway, I'm skipping the MacDonald's for the time being.

Landroverwolf said...