Censored @libdemvoice Comment

I just posted the following on the Lib Dem voice thread that can be found here, and it was deleted by moderator Andy Boddington, who has also banned me from commenting on the site, because “there must be a bingo card for this somewhere, and I suspect you’d have got a full house by now” is “abusive and unacceptable”.

I disagree.

I quite agree. What size and shape anyone is is nobody’s business but their own.

I have never said that you have no right to voice your opinion. What I *have* said is that the opinion you have is over things that are none of your business, and that by stating your opinion you are causing real, actual harm to real, actual people. I have also, you will notice, actually taken the time and trouble to debate the few substantive points you have made, and provided citations for the more controversial claims I have made; a courtesy you have not bothered with yourself. You’ve instead chosen to interpret disagreement as an attempt to silence you, yet another in the wearying list of debating tactics used by those who wish to claim the moral high ground for themselves while continuing to spout harmful nonsense (there must be a bingo card for this somewhere, and I suspect you’d have got a full house by now).

As for the NHS “argument”, it is at best disingenuous. I engage in various horribly risky activities like drinking coffee, eating biscuits, crossing the road, and staying up past my bedtime. All of these activities have the potential to harm my health in some way, and yes, I hope that should they do so I will receive whatever treatment for them exists, even if it costs the NHS money.

But I also hope that those people who engage in a whole swathe of other horribly risky activities that I *don’t* do — like smoking, or drinking alcohol, or driving cars, or playing rugby, or drinking tea, or having sex with multiple partners, or owning a cat, all of which can *also* cause harm to people’s health — will receive medical treatment if and when those things cause them harm.

And unless you are the single most risk-averse person in the whole country, that applies to you as well. You do risky things that may harm your health, and if they do, you’ll be able to get treatment for them, partly paid for by people who *don’t* do those particular risky things.

I mean, you could, if you want, be consistent, and say all those things are also your business, but for myself I actually *like* the idea of people being able to take risks, without having their every deviation from a norm of expected bodily type (or indeed conformity to an expected body type in the case of the average-sized women who are apparently so concerning to you) or behaviour be considered wrong, but still having a publicly-funded safety net there to catch them. Call me a hopelessly naive utopian, if you will, but I think that sounds like a rather good idea myself…

ETA: If you want to know some of why I think this is important, see Jennie Rigg’s rather marvellous post here

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13 Responses to Censored @libdemvoice Comment

  1. Bob the anonymous troll says:

    Judging by that thread, it wasn’t really this particular comment so much as a mod giving you a perfectly clear warning and then taking action when you upped the ante and accused an apologetic bloke of being a compassionless hater who was helping to drive people to suicide.

    What did you want him to say, immediately agree that he was in the wrong and that you were right? How often do Internet debates work that way?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Well, while I definitely find the opinion of a drive-by troll who’s never commented on this blog before valuable, that is, of course, why I provided a link to the full context — so that people like yourself who think it more abusive to take someone’s arguments seriously than to attack a large group of innocent people while pretending to be “concerned” for them could make your own minds up.

  2. So, it wasn’t “censored” because you published here….

  3. Hywel says:

    The answer is for people to start ignoring Lib Dem Voice. Which is basically the pro-leadership views of a handful of people with a pretty selective range of stories.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I’m not so sure. There are some very good people writing for the site, as well as some… less good. And it’s the most visible Lib Dem site by quite some way.

  4. Iain Coleman says:

    Your substantive points are correct.

    That said, the thread was getting heated and personal. If the mods had told both you and Simon not to post again in that particular thread, that would have been a fair call. Basically, “Step back and cool down, guys”.

    But a ban from commenting on LDV as a whole? That’s unbelievably heavy-handed. Quite the opposite of intelligent moderation.

    I’m disappointed in this moderator, and sorry that you have borne the brunt of his thoughtlessness.

  5. LibDemVoice have every right to withold your comments if they feel the comments do not comply with their comments policy, which is very clear. It’s not really censorship because you can publish the comments, as you have done, somewhere else. They are simply exercising the right to decide what is on their web site. Their “bans” don’t last very long and don’t actually mean a “ban”. What it probably means is that all your comments will now automatically go into the moderation queue. If you post comments which the LDV team adjudge to be within their policy then the likelihood is that they will publish them. And once they think you have had time to cool down they may well take you off the auto-moderation list. You’re in good comany. A member of the House of Lords and the chair of a federal party commitee have both been on the auto-moderation list at some time! :-)

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Personally, I don’t think the comment doesn’t comply with their stated comments policy, and in particular I can’t imagine in what world the phrase singled out can be considered abusive, but I’ve never said they have no right to delete comments — I am absolutely in favour of sites deleting comments they’re not keen on for whatever reason, and banning whoever they like. Their site, their rules. This wasn’t posted as a criticism of the site, but because I believe what I had to say in the comment was worth saying.

  6. Agreed, Andrew. As usual the power of the headline..and the one word “censored” in particular….

  7. Debi Linton says:

    The good news is that you’ve managed to get me so angry I may have to post pictures of my overweight, inherently risky ‘not ok’ body in order to get it all out of my system. And if I do that, everybody wins.

    Tomorrow at the earliest, though.

  8. Pingback: Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #352

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