20 March 2023 – some reflections at the end of the day…

Firstly, an apology to those of you who’ve been waiting for comment moderation this evening – my duty as Chair of my small, but perfectly formed, Parish Council took me away from my desk.

But there will be those of you who will be disappointed with my decisions today. William Byrd might well fairly reflect my thoughts on that:

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
And conscience clear my chief defence
I never seek by bribes to please
Nor by desert to give offence
Thus do I live. Thus will I die
Would all did so, as well as I

We have had a number of what I would describe as the online equivalent of “drive-by shootings”, which in truth were pretty easy to decide upon, and then there are those who use absurd arguments, or obviously false names or e-mail addresses, or who deliberately misrepresent the views of others. There are also more “shades of grey” comments where, if I’m honest, I may have erred on the side of caution – I am a bureaucrat, after all. But, for the benefit of the unhappier of you, I courteously point you towards our comments policy, a document which some people might benefit from reading. We retain the right to publish comments (or not) as we see fit.

Moderation is, by its very nature, art not science. Balancing freedom of expression against protection for the vulnerable is, I feel, a mark of one’s liberalism, weighing the rights of the individual against the interests of the wider community. It does mean entertaining the notion of honest doubt and responding accordingly, something that isn’t without its risks.

And, with that final thought, I bring today to a close. But, as I pass over the editorial baton, I leave you with William Byrd’s “My Mind to me a Kingdom is”, and hope that it brings you, as it does me, some joy and just a little peace.

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4 Comments

  • Yeovil Yokel 21st Mar '23 - 7:45am

    This elegant piece warrants a thumbs-up of its own, Mark – and no, I’m not proffering a bribe to a moderator.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Mar '23 - 10:04am

    And this shows why Mark is one of the wisest people I know.

  • Thanks to Mark and all of the LDV team for your efforts. They are much appreciated, and I can imagine that things are somewhat Interesting at the moment, all things considered!

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