I am not the government. I cannot fine you, throw you in jail, or stop you saying whatever you like in any forum that is prepared to publish your thoughts. I can, however, delete any comments that you make on my own blog if they are defamatory, destructive, or just plain tedious ... or even at my whim. This blog is my private domain, and when you publish here it is a privilege, not a right.
I am not moderating the blog at this stage. I will continue to accept a wide range of comments, including comments that take a different view from mine on the issue of the day. I'm happy to engage in debate if the tone is rational, respectful, and constructive.
But my patience has been tested of late by some comments that have combined tedious spamming with blatantly defamatory accusations. As a result, I've already deleted a couple of comments, and I'll delete more as and when needed. If absolutely needed, in fact, I'll introduce comment moderation, but I'd rather not go to that extreme since it's cumbersome for everybody including me.
Use a bit of common sense when you comment here. If you write something on my blog that you wouldn't say in my home (without expecting that I might turf you out), then don't be surprised if it disappears.
And don't come whining to me about free speech ... or accusing me of hypocrisy (since I'm a free speech advocate). I don't exercise the coercive power of the state. But I do exercise a right to decide what sort of language I welcome on my own blog, just as I exercise a right to decide what language is welcome in my own house. You are my guest here, so please conduct yourself like one.