Comment on Commenting Policy by David.

You’ve made a few assumptions that have a big impact on your arguments.

I own and run this site alone, so there’s no WE support/don’t support (important to my next point), it’s just me.

As I’ve said many times, though I’m trying to be fair, I’m an individual British voter with an opinion and I don’t pretend to be objective/unbiased, I want to change opinions: my original plan was to have some interesting political discussions that I’d learn more about politics from (this is my first step into the political arena, always been too busy working to discuss politics at length) and hopefully persuade Labour voters not to vote Conservative.

I did not make this site to be objective, this is not an online version of Question Time where I have an opinion, but sit on the fence and don’t get involved and let others debate (I enjoy debating and want to get involved).

I vote Labour (though not happy with them by a long shot and have considered voting for another party), I have a strong mistrust of the Conservatives (won’t vote Tory) and I’d be quite happy to never have another BNP discussion on my site.

Some have argued I shouldn’t allow so many pro BNP comments (some have argued I should delete them all). The BNP gained 0.7% of the popular vote in the 2005 general election. In the EU elections last year they polled 6.2% of the popular vote, but EU elections always have a low turn out (40% EU elections, 60% for general elections: used to be over 70% and even 80%!) and voters have a tendency to protest vote during EU elections (British people think they are irrelevant to their daily lives, not true BTW!).

I expect the BNP will improve on their 2005 percentage of the popular vote, but suspect it will be below what they polled in the EU elections and even if they do match or increase the percentage of votes (lets say 10% of the popular vote) they’ll gain at best a few MPs.

Currently the British National Party despite being quite vocal are not an important force in British politics, they are a fringe party with no power and by June that won’t change. So it can be argued should not be the only topic on a website like this (almost every discussion turns to the BNP).

Based on the number of votes in the poll looks like about 18% of visitors to my site will vote BNP, but 18% of eligible British voters won’t vote BNP, so we currently don’t have a fair cross section of eligible voters right now. Based on recent by-election results we’d expect to see a 5% (no higher than 10%) polling for the BNP if we had a fair cross section of eligible British voters visiting my site.

What I can’t deny is their supporters, though few in number relative to the main parties are so much more vocal: they must be 10-20x more politically active than an average voter and I’ve said before it’s impressive, though as time has passed on they aren’t willing to really debate, which is a shame.

On my site as I’ve tried to be fair and not moderate pro BNP comments just because they are pro BNP (I could have deleted them all easily like many sites do) it’s resulted in the false impression this is a pro BNP site, and it’s NOT, I’m very anti BNP, if they ever gained government they’d destroy my country!

I added the tagline “The UK General Election 2010 website is NOT pro BNP…” last month, so it didn’t start this way. I would rather it be a more general tagline, but I’ve not come up with one that immediately tells a new visitor this is not a pro BNP site.

I’m quite happy to consider an alternative way to indicate to new visitors this is not a pro BNP website, but it has to be clear since there’s a strong perception that on pro BNP websites anti BNP comments are NOT welcome. The main BNP site for example deletes anti BNP comments, so I’m more democratic than Nick Griffin by not deleting pro BNP comments on my site!

I’ve had emails from visitors before adding the tagline that they thought it’s unfair all comments are pro BNP! Not true, but that’s an initial perception new visitors were getting when they first entered the site.

So unfortunately a tagline like what you’ve suggested wouldn’t work.

I considered putting I’m a Labour voter, but then that might suggest only pro Labour commenter’s are welcome and I was looking for supporters of the main three parties to discuss politics, not just Labour voters!

With any suggestions take into account there’s a limited amount of space for a tagline, can use about double the current text.

Suggestions welcome?


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