Some object to this entry test. I have changed server for a variety of good reasons. I was getting a large  number of computer inspired nonsense contributions and some advert contributions which I need to keep out, and am told this is the best way to do so. I will make enquiries to see if there is any other way to stop this material.

Some also query how I select which items to post. Let me repeat I delete

  1. Any unduly long post unless well written, relevant and easy to approve
  2. Any post with unproven allegations or prejudicial language about people or institutions, whilst allowing more latitude in criticisms of government
  3. Frequent posts from the same person on the same topic, unless they are easy to post
  4. Any post with a cited reference to other websites unless they are to official ones or ones I know. I am always happy to see a citation to the ONS or the Fed etc.

I do not delete posts that disagree with me or the Conservative government, and do delete posts that are personally disobliging about people in all  political parties whatever the merits of the case.



  1. Leslie Singleton
    March 10, 2017

    Dear John–New to me this but yesterday it seemed that you withdrew something from me after first posting it. It was there for hours but then disappeared??? On the NI increase of course.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      March 10, 2017

      Dear John–Presumably, given no comment from you, that is indeed what happened. It must be me but I wouldn’t have thought you would do that.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        March 10, 2017

        Dear John–Trouble was that I e-mailed a copy of my (published!) post to a friend but there it was gone from the site. Still very hard to believe, never mind understand.

        Reply I dont know what happened

        1. Leslie Singleton
          March 10, 2017

          Dear John–This what I am talking about–Best I know it has disappeared, viz

          Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
          Dear John–I deprecate your commenting in such relaxed fashion on the ginormous and apparently increasing level of debt–Halligan in the Torygraph makes much more sense to me. Mind you, I confess that I certainly do not know much because if I were asked to explain why our debt is increasing at all never mind so much when we are supposedly doing so well, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I do know Hammond has expended a ton of goodwill for very little indeed. I hate the idea of the IFS (meaning one or two bods therein) telling us their opinion (and that’s all it is) on whether NI should be the same for self employed as employed, just as if there were some principle involved, when for years the principle was I almost want to say universally thought to go 180 deg the other way. All very strange. Let’s hope he hasn’t gratuitously knocked the country off its upward curve. And that’s without mentioning the Manifesto commitment which to me should have been sacrosanct. Did he not notice the overnight destruction of the Liberals?

  2. Denis Cooper
    March 10, 2017

    I have seen some other Captcha tests which are easier to perform, like this one of the home page of their website which relies on recognition of words rather than pictorial images:

    I can normally pass that kind of test with one attempt rather than needing half a dozen!

    And after all your system does recognise me which should be a start.

  3. Jerry
    March 10, 2017

    No problems with the current Captcha system, so long as it doesn’t revert back to the earlier version with those distorted letters and numerals, that ever people with 20/20 vision and a 4k monitor have issues with at times!

    Perhaps you could clarify your last paragraph though? Can we be critical of past governments and if so how should they be refereed to; the party and dates between which they were in power, or refer to the government by way of who the PM was – the latter could fall foul of your no “personally disobliging” comments policy…

  4. alan jutson
    March 10, 2017

    Perfectly understand your problem and wish with wanting to keep out computer generated rubbish.
    If Captcha is the best way, then so be it.
    I have a 28 in screen at home (only ever post from home) and sometimes I am unclear on what the picture’s contain, thus on occasions I have failed a few times, on smaller screens it must be a nightmare to decipher.

    Very pleased we now have our name and e mail address restored automatically when we log in without the tiresome business of filling it in every time.

    I try not to be too rude about anyone, but occasionally I find brevity difficult, as comments do sometimes need rather fuller explanation.

  5. Caterpillar
    March 10, 2017
  6. Pc
    March 10, 2017

    No problem from my angle with Captcha. I have a large screen, maybe that’s why

  7. margaret
    March 10, 2017

    What you state is half true, however you frequently put posts in which are disparaging to the NHS, to the State , to the public sector ,to the BBC. These are allegations , not proven points. In fact they are opinion via allegations and unbalanced views.
    There is also much disrespect which could be construed as offensive and this includes making up and changing names of people to be derogatory . Also using surnames of people I’m authority without titles as though they were being shouted at in an old fashioned schooling situation .
    I see and make an opinion about people for the style of writing and what they say, but I keep it to myself and consider that many loud mouths should curtail their style and keep their writing mouths shut.

  8. formula57
    March 10, 2017

    Your liberal approach to post selection is commendable and enhances what is for this reader at least a very worthwhile blog.

  9. agricola
    March 10, 2017

    Well if I can cope, it is not too technically difficult. I cannot for the life of me understand why my ability to recognise what is a road sign makes my contribution legitimate, but then I have only recently acquired a smart phone.

    1. agricola
      March 10, 2017

      However your CAPTCHA insisted that I do it twice to get this one posted.

  10. Bert Young
    March 10, 2017

    The new system of clearance certainly confused me to begin with . At one point I e-mailed John’s office to query what was happening !. The method of selecting what is and what is not chosen for publication is straightforward and sensible ; I am most irritated when an individual sends a number of posts – many of them with nothing to do with the topic ; I don’t bother to read any of them now as the result .

  11. ChrisS
    March 10, 2017

    In the Budget topic I submitted two posts.

    The first was posted very early on – March 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm, and if it had been included, it would have been only the third one posted. Having been a self employed person for 30 years, it was highly relevant to the main issue in the budget.

    The second was some hours later at 10:55 pm on a different aspect of the debate.

    Both have failed to appear yet neither appears to have breached any of your guideline : At only 193 and 201 words they were shortish because, since your last plea, I have closely followed a self-imposed 200 word limit. ( as does this post at only 156 ).

    Despite the subject matter, both remained broadly supportive of your party.

    Did they arrive and if so, I am intrigued to know what was the reason for not including at least one of them ?

  12. David
    March 10, 2017

    “I do not delete posts that disagree with me or the Conservative government”
    Good for you, I wish all were like you.

  13. John E
    March 10, 2017

    There is a new captcha system on the way from Google that will do away with the current challenges.
    It may interest people to know that Google through the captcha system are using us to teach their artificial intelligence systems. For example the challenges to identify road signs or mountains in a picture are used to improve their image recognition capability.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 11, 2017

      Thanks, very interesting.

  14. Mike Wilson
    March 10, 2017

    The Captcha on here is daft. I have to select which pictures have road signs in TWICE!. And trying to do it on a phone screen is a drag. And the pictures are as clear as mud.

    I am a software developer. This stuff is not rocket science. You can very easily put two numbers on the screen and ask the user to select the sum from a dropdownlist. Can’t be done by a robot. Takes two seconds for a human.

    Good example again! Just been asked to identify which grainy pictures are showing a storefront. And one of them, on close inspection, is probably a hotel – it has a big canopy over what looks like a commercial building. Who knows if it is a shop or not. Absolutely barmy. I must have got lucky this time, only had to do it once.

  15. Narrow shoulders
    March 10, 2017

    I had assumed that captcha was introduced to reduce the spam you have to ignore. As a user it is tedious but better to use my time to pass captcha than your multiplied several times over to avoid spam.

    As to which posts pass moderation, your blog your rules. As someone posted above you allow plenty of latitude which makes it interesting. As your moderation is manual you could skip posters’ subsequent posts until later in the day to discourage the multiple repeated rants.

  16. Mark Watson
    March 10, 2017

    Hi Guys, just be grateful that we have an MP here who is willing to engage meaningfully with us, let’s not get too upset if the odd post or two doesn’t appear,it’s not the end of the world!

Comments are closed.