I can fully understand your frustration.
Indulge me further to just the extent of this particular posting. I apologise, both to you, personally, and to the forum's public in general, for my contribution to this embarrassing donnybrook, whose point has now long been forgotten in the general atmosphere of ill feeling that it has engendered. I feel the point of principle that one shouldn't participate in a discussion on this forum, then hurl ugly epithets from the sidelines, only to continue the discussion on this forum as if nothing happened, is an important one. After this particular posting I can assure you that I shall refrain from any further comment on "The Rancorous Thread" and on this point of order, too.
I believe that Justin's behaviour towards Alex has been unacceptable. I'm not sure why he has singled out Alex, in particular, for his invective, perhaps because Alex is younger, and presumably less ugly. But continually hurling labels such as "idiot" at Alex, has diminished Justin in my eyes, something he can only address with a gentlemanly and sincere apology.
What has happened here cannot correctly be typified as fair comment. Fair comment is something that an only a detached observer can do, from the sidelines. Dealing insults from one's privately owned but publically displayed journal, whilst simultaneously taking part in a contentious discussion with those whom you have dealt those insults is an abuse of the principles of free speech. An insult dealt on the Streatham blog to a member of this forum, is an insult to this forum, in itself.
I would suggest that the structure of this discussion is that of ONE thread, SEVERAL participants, TWO physical locations and ONE participant who has priviliged access to one of those physical locations.
I believe that the priniciple of solidarity ought to apply to insults directed against contributors to this forum. An insult to one is an insult to all. If this principle is not understood, then this forum's standing is permanently undermined.
I would ask you to consider refraining in future from simultaneously posting on your private blog whilst participating in a divisive debate here. You must understand that others might view that as a tactic that would have shamed a student Trotskyite splinter group during the days of Militant Tendency. It is hardly a transparently democratic means of discourse and your arguments lose any weight they may have had because of it. If you had seen fit to post The Screed here, whilst it might still have been impossibly long and dull, it would, at least, have been subjected to proper discussion - which I sincerely hope was your intent - rather than cries of, "Foul". You claim that all have a fair right to reply on your blog. That claim has been contested in the past. No one taken to task by you in The Screed would therefore rightly consider bothering.
Code: Select all
Said the Shark to the Flying Fish over the phone
"will you join me tonight? I am dining alone.
Let me order a nice little dinner for two.
And come as you are in your shimmering blue."
Said the Flying Fish, "fancy remembering me,
and the dress that I wore to the porpoise's tea".
"How could I forget" said the Shark in his guile.
"I'll expect you at eight", and rang off with a smile.
She has powdered her nose,
she has put on her things,
she is off with one flap of her luminous wings.
Oh little one, lovely,
light hearted and vain,
the moon will not shine on your beauty again.
Above all, however, I appeal to you to do the decent thing and apologise to Alex. Your behaviour has been unworthy of the standards we know you strive to maintain.