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By ATWadmin On September 22nd, 2007

Looks like a little clarity on acceptable forms of behaviour on ATW is required so let me spell it out.

1. This site, to borrow a phrase from former PM Blair, has no reverse gear and so it will not be deflected, impaired or in any way held back from going forward. It’s here to stay or at least whilst I still draw breath.

2. The posts from my fellow writers are always interesting and enjoyable to read, I have no problem with them in any way. I love the way they challenge opinion and THAT is why ATW exists, we dissent from many conventional political views. I would howevee prefer they did not publicly attack each other as that sets the wrong tone and I would ask for their support in this regard. Attacking their opinions is fine, however. Ball, not man.

3. The personal attacks on the threads in recent days are de-stabilising and are stopping now. If I see any more ad hominem comments, from anyone, I will soon remove them.  You can attack the arguments by all means but stay away from the person making them. It is childish, and this is a grown-up site. Because I have to sleep, and because debate happens long after I am gone to repose, I need you to act responsibly during these hours. If I see any more crap when I come back to the blog, I will again remove it, I will warn whoever has been involved in leaving it, and if repeated I will ban them. NO MORE IN-FIGHTING.

Now that’s it. I have spent too long on this site to have it ruined for the vast majority of readers by pointless puerile name-calling and nastiness. My patience is not limitless and I would respectfully suggest that no-one tries it any more. Look on this as friendly advice – but I’m not going to repeat it. Behave.


  1. Re your number one comment. Firstly let me state, and you said so yourself, but at the risk of being repetitive, I was not in any way trying to bring down ATW when the site went. Nor by any contributions I made here.

    On a more general basis and on the man not ball rule. I’m glad you’re doing that, but I would like some clarification.

    On your general readership,while not liking peurile childish attacks, I need to hold my hand up and say, I certainly do not like to read when threads degenerate in to sexual connotations and ineunendo. I do come to talk politics, current affairs, FULL STOP. I find it, (and I don’t know how many others do) general disappointment when threads degenerate into sexual conversations. For example how many threads were ruined by the interpetation of ‘fanny’, and the american politician found stalking mens toilets.

    Is there to be some interpetation of man not ball rule to take on board general acceptable standards, for if not, I’m afraid its either beat ’em or join ’em. Both of which I find distressful.

  2. Ad homimen is the issue here – the rest I will decide as I see fit. It’s a site for grown-ups, the rest is for grown ups to figure out.

  3. Thats fine. I only wanted clarification on the issue. So as when the thing happens, if it does, ie bad language and threads going off on another route I don’t get lambasted or banned for joining in or accused of bringing disrepute or trying to bring anything down.

    I only wanted to be sure of my footing.

    As I said, I only wanted clarification. Thankyou.

  4. I hope ATW can get back to being what it always was. A freewheeling politically inspired blog where regulars can debate resepctfully until the cows come home but also have jokey and yes sometimes " flirty" – conversations about anything and everything. Let’s all leave the bitterness and name calling aside.

  5. I do agree Colm. Regulars and new comers and anyone who would want to drop by. But I was looking for clarification. A lot of blogs, (most) will delete or ban if a decency or good taste policy is infringed.

    I was only asking if there was one here and if so would it be enforced. Alway best to be sure of these things and clarify them when it comes up, it avoids problems in the future.

    Could be these problems are arising now due to growth and regulars in that case would feel things are different, but if a site didn’t grow it would be stagnant.

  6. Colm,

    That’s EXACTLY what I want. Good will to all and good manners to all also.

  7. Thats fair enough. Good will, good manners and no personal attacks.

    Sounds good to me.

  8. David,

    Thanks for opening this thread and for everything else you have done at ATW. I come here as an American with a slavish devotion to our first amendment freedom of speech. I also come as my mother’s son, and she taught me the value of politeness long before anyone thought up "political correctness."

    Where I work, I happen to be setting up an internal corporate WIKI to contain all company knowledge derived through collaboration. One of the first things my design team has to tackle is Usage Guidelines. If we come up with any good ideas on encouraging participation while discouraging flame wars, I’ll pass it along.

    Once again, hurray for ATW, long may she waive.

    P.S. I admit to enjoying the naughty bits, but don’t tell my mother.

  9. I would like to apologise to you all for the disruption that a post of mine caused , can I say that at no time was I offended by any ones comments .

  10. Your post didn’t cause offence Doctor, I took out the reply because it was a personal attack on you and it was unwarranted. Someone also attacked Bernard in the GM crop thread, twice, again a good regular, and I removed two 9I think ) unwarranted attacks of a personal nature. That is what David asked me to do, that is what I did. It was up to David to stand over his arrangements and not shift about in the wind, when a bit of flak came his way.

    Also to Alan, I offered my services as you offer yours now, I do hope you have a more pleasant experience of helping out.

    I shan’t offer again. Why would I?

  11. The Doctor,

    I’ve tried and tried but I just can’t find it in my heart to forgive you.

  12. It was up to David to stand over his arrangements and not shift about in the wind, when a bit of flak came his way.

    I shan’t offer again. Why would I?

    Ohhhhhh…. a bit of a personal attack on David there! Saucer of milk, lads? LOL!

  13. JG I’m so sorry you’re hurt. Perhaps we should all take a step back and reflect in a quiet moment. I have never experienced such anger, or upset over helping out another.

  14. u see there you go again, it wasn’t a personal attack,it was a statement of how I see it,

  15. Ok everyone, calm down and don’t let this thread go the way some others have done recently. All the recriminations and blame games are over. Let’s move onto other threads and talk about the topics.

  16. Amen, Brother Colm.

  17. Well done Brother Colm!


    I’m just taking the mickey…

  18. ATW: Long may she wave…..(keyword: grown-up)

  19. Thanks Colm, appreciate your comment.

    I’m not interested in regurgitation of previous threads, that’s history… all move on.

  20. ok time to move on right enuf.

  21. David – i openly apologise to you for the angry exchange with Mr Smith on the other post. Having had Typhoogate explained ad nauseum and the line drawn under that confusion I failed to see how pushing her off the site was in anyones interests or pleasant frankly, certainly not in the spirit of ATW – and the issue of ‘take the brick out of your own eye’ arose for me which is why the comments became..inflamed from my pov towards a fellow poster. I dislike witch hunts. But I do apologise to you. It was wrong.

  22. Frank, what do you think about a policy of no ad hominems?

  23. "Frank, what do you think about a policy of no ad hominems?"

    Allan, I for one am willing to overlook the many, many previous ad hominems of yourself and others and allow you all to start again.

    Let’s see if you can manage it.