How to fast track moderation

Three things slow down moderation for any contribution.

1. Adding a link to a site I do not know.

Quite often the link does not work on my computer , so it takes time to find it and see what it says, or I may not be able to track it down. Whilst I cannot accept responsibility for other sites, I do not wish to advertise any site which may be putting out unsuitable material. Nor do I wish to put up something other readers cannot track down either. It is helpful to readers of this site to summarise briefly the point you have learnt from another site. If you are putting in Bank of England/government/leading newspaper reference as a source that’s fine.

2. Making personal remarks about people or institutions, or types of people.

These may be funny or appropriate, but they can also cause lots of trouble if the person or institution concerned objects and has not been shown the criticism first.

3. Going on at great length – if I am busy I just post the short ones to keep it ticking over. I do value thoughtful longer ones and get round to them as soon as I can.


  1. Brigham
    October 14, 2010

    Have a heart John. How can you not allow personal remarks about the awful people in the previous government!!

    1. rose
      October 14, 2010

      Brigham, did you hear Mrs Balls on Woman's Hour today? Was she was sending herself up?

  2. Alan Jutson
    October 14, 2010

    Many thanks for responding.
    Much appreciate your time, thoughts, and that of others.

  3. lottery balls
    October 14, 2010

    Sorry to break you guide but I see John Simpson claims the BBC has not been/is not left wing. Clearly this tells us more about him than the BBC.

    If pro ever bigger government, the EU, the "equality and rights" agenda, the new green, suedo science, religion, and every growing regulations on just about everything is not left wing what is?

  4. Michael Lewis
    October 14, 2010

    "Making personal remarks about people or institutions, or types of people. "

    With the BofE you can see how tempting it would be. And now we hear about the pension limit … we can all start making remarks about the government.

    Another raid on pensions … by a Tory lead government.

    What is wrong with encouraging prudence and people putting away money into a pension? Another attempt by another UK government to encourage 'house is pension' mentality.

    It won't work.

    1. Lottery Balls
      October 14, 2010

      Quite right and why should BBC staff and other state sector workers have pensions pots of £5-£10M plus when the people (and even pensioners) are forced to pay for them (perhaps 7M licence fees for one pension) are restricted to just £50K contributions per annum (And only in the years can can afford contribute too).

      This is particularly bad for business owners who have good and bad years and have often not been able to make contributions in bad years or as the business was build up. Another kick in the teeth for wealth creators so less wealth and tax all round.

      When will they announce the BBC etc. over large pension pot tax at least that would be popular?

  5. Stuart Fairney
    October 14, 2010


  6. forthurst
    October 14, 2010

    This is an issue of free speech and of course we have laws in this country specifically engineered to curtail free speech. Those who originated those laws have other techniques for ensuring that their perverted view of history and of the present political discourse is the only one that prevails; they do this by shrieking in concert against anyone who offers an opinion divergent from their own script. Having said that, first of all one has to declare that JR's site provides a unique political exposition for which I am sure we are all immensely grateful. Second, we must accept that at present, certain truths many of which people could deduce by simple logical analysis concerning history or science or politics are simply not mentioned in normal public discourse; as such, it would be unfair to expect JR to host such views as against someone who has no professional reputation to protect. There is however a problem for politicians in a democracy: they will not be able to provide the right answers unless they are able to ask and discuss the right questions.

    Finally, in respect of the administration of this site, would it not be better to allow positive voting only or display both positive and negative votes? Is it not interesting to be able to distinguish between a comment which genuinely arouses no response and one on which people have strongly differing views?

    Reply: I am all for this site challenging the current orthodoxy – as I do myself on several important issues. If we do it with facts, good arguments and moderate language we will make more impact than if we resort to abuse and extreme statements. The site shows the number of responses for each item, which gives a good indication of the topics that interest people. Scoring which side each is on is a judgement – feel free to do it yourself.

  7. Lola
    October 14, 2010

    1. Don't do links
    2. Shame, but understandable.
    3. OK.

  8. Paul B
    October 14, 2010

    Thanks John.

  9. Demetrius
    October 14, 2010


  10. Andrew Johnson
    October 14, 2010

    Thanks John for the best political blog in UK cyberspace and YOU fund it.
    That's what I call more for less!

  11. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    October 14, 2010

    Sometimes difficult to make a point in one or two sentances. Perhaps a Newspaper style of comment would work: 1. Headline , 2. Broad Detail then 3. Finer detail – perhaps?

  12. APL
    October 15, 2010

    JR: "2"

    Just have to be a little more innovative.

  13. Rob N
    October 15, 2010

    Excessive moderation leads to the conclusion that you are trying to control the debate and issues being discussed. Let the report button be used where needed and avoid the suspicion of censoring your blog to your own political agenda.

    Reply: I am not trying to control the debate – far from it I welcome the debate. Just conduct it without personal or group abuse.

    October 16, 2010

    Moderation works pretty well on this site. Fast, often with handy replies and not over-vigorous now we have learned the rules.

    We did have a smile though when, having had deleted the name of the ex-minister about whom we blogged recently in connection with our niggle about his travelling habits, he was subsequently named and shamed by the Parliamentary authorities for the world to see!

    Our colleagues The Essex Boys ran into the same blue pencil here with an early blog on a former Home Secretary whose misdeeds not long after made major headlines.

    At least our moderator had given them both the initial benefit of the doubt but we Essex folk like to peer into every dark corner to be a step ahead of the scandal!

    Reply: Thanks for the understanding. This site is not trying to be first to break stories of individual misjudgement or worse – as I do not have the investigatory resources to check the evidence and make sure it all stands up. The press are perfectly good at all that. This site is trying to explain what is really going on in public policy and government beneath the spin, which often gives such a misleading view of the reality. It is also there for all you to set out your thoughts on what is being done wrongly, and what should be done to build a better Britain. I hope all understand that I declined personal attacks on Labour Ministers, and so it is entirely fair to decline them on Coalition Ministers as well.

Comments are closed.