In another staggering breakthrough for left-wing coalition building, the politburo at the laughably misnamed “Socialist Unity Blog” appear to have issued a one month expulsion to SWP member (and occasional commenter here) John G for calling someone a “political nutter” – possibly on more than one occasion. Apparently this is simply “not acceptable on a socialist blog”, unlike, say, Ian “bites yer legs” Donovan’s civil and courteous vocabulary. The expulsion notice is repeated here for posterity. Hang your head in shame, G. There again, learn to act more like Donovan or “Gentleman” Ger Francis and you’ll soon be rehabilitated.
Given that SWP member John G has continued to use vocabulary related to mental distress as an insult in comments on this blog, and given that we have repeatedly asked him not to, then he is banned from commenting on this blog for a month.
Comments from John will be summarily deleted for a month.
This may seem excessive to some people, but we have a policy on this blog of treating the politics of mental distress seriously, and this is at least the second time, (and I think it is the third time) over the last few months that John G has been asked not to use this vocabulary. Each time he has responded with ill-grace. But this is our blog, and if we ask people not to use derogatory language related to mental distress, then we expect that policy to be respected. In our view these terms are no less offensive or divisive than sexist or racist abuse, even though they are regretably more socially accepted. We know that not everyone agrees, but that is our policy and we ask that it is respected.
This ban has nothing to do with the political content of John’s comments. It is simple bad manners that once John was asked not to use this vocabulary tonight, and after we warned him that he would be banned if he continued using it, then he repeated the use, and directed insults relating to mental distress towards me. That is not the behaviour we expect from someone commenting on a socialist blog.
In the last few weeks this blog has been systematically disrupted by trolling behaviour from many SWP members, regretably including John, but this is not the reason for the ban.
It is a shame because John often does seriously contribute to substantive debate, but that is all the more reason to expect better from him.
(Edit: Altered to remove our hero’s surname, given that the original post has been similarly altered.)