Not an offer, alas, but a moral imperative. Long-term readers who recall the Kafkaesque nature of my own banning from Political Betting last year will probably not be surprised to learn that the Smithson regime has gone a step further, and is now seeking to moderate people for what they have allegedly said on other websites. It really is only a matter of time before the tiny remaining number of left-wing and/or pro-independence PB posters find themselves hauled before the OGH Committee on UnSmithsonian Activities (chair : Richard Dodd Esquire), and asked : "Are you now or have you ever been someone who makes insulting and inaccurate comments about Mike Smithson to your wife over the dinner table?"
Mind you, Smithson's cowardly Tory henchmen really ought to learn that "insulting" and "inaccurate" are not actually the same thing.
I'll largely let the following exchange from an earlier thread speak for itself, but just to set the scene, long-term pro-independence PB poster Mick Pork (who has been 'accidentally' banned by the moderators on literally dozens of previous occasions) found a few days ago that he was once again unable to post. He left a message on this blog asking fellow poster TheUnionDivvie to put in a word, which he did, and the highly plausible explanation came back that this was yet another technical fault, and that once an unblocking was "requested" the problem would be resolved within a few hours. On past form this wording was presumably chosen so that "PB Moderator", aka the serial fantasist, cheat and liar "The Screaming Eagles"/"TSE" could later pretend that no such request had ever been received.
Sure enough, several days later Mick was still unable to post, so TheUnionDivvie chased the matter up again. Apparently the situation had changed out of all recognition in the interim - the moderators had received disturbing reports that Mick may have made "insulting and inaccurate" comments about the saintly Mr Smithson somewhere else on the internet. This indeed would be a serious charge, because as every right-thinking person knows, the proprietor of Political Betting is beyond reasonable criticism (as curiously is Peter Kellner, even though Kellner amusingly banned Smithson from the YouGov panel for openly boasting he had lied in surveys to get more cash!).
So the moderators naturally took advantage of that astonishingly convenient 'accidental' banning of Mick, and simply left it in place as a punishment, pending further 'investigation'. (I cannot confirm the rumours that this will involve Mick's neighbours being waterboarded.) Well, how fortunate these moderators are - they don't even have to take positive action against the bastard SNP evildoers. All they have to do is just passively "delay the resolving of a technical fault". I don't know about you, but I can't see anything remotely fishy about that story.
By the way, when TheUnionDivvie first mentioned that Mick couldn't post, the hardcore anti-independence Tory troll "Carlotta Vance" was once again on hand to reinvent the story of my own banning, claiming that it only came about because I thought I was "bigger than Smithson's rules". Well, let's just remind ourselves of the priceless response that Smithson came out with when ex-MP Nick Palmer pointed out that nobody actually has a sodding clue what these supposed "rules" are -
"The basic rules Nick are not to do anything that could put the site in jeopardy - libel etc - and not to piss me off. The latter is quite hard to define."
* * *
Mick Pork : Sorry to bother Theuniondivvie again but if he has time could he please point out on that I am still being completely blocked from posting on PoliticalBetting. I would have asked him myself through PB long ago but completely blocked from posting means exactly that. The ability to use PB's messaging system has been blocked for me too. It won't work.
TheUnionDivvie : Hi Mick,
pm-ed the PB moderator with your situation this am, but no reply so far. I'll post here if I hear anything.
Mick Pork : Thanks TheUnionDivvie.
To be perfectly frank I'll be surprised if you do get a reply as the only reason Richard Tyndall was allowed to post again was because it was pointed out on the site repeatedly that he had been 'mysteriously' prevented from posting so the same will almost certainly apply for me.
We all know the Tory PB moderators are spineless cowards so if they can get away with banning those who disagree with them secretly and with nobody noticing then they will.
Mick Pork : Just saw your post on PB TheUnionDivvie. Thank you very much for making it and standing up for me on there mate. It takes a bit of guts considering how nasty the moderators can be.
One thing though, I can log in to Vanilla, I am just prevented from doing anything on PB while I am there which includes posting or messaging. A rather telling "YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO DO THAT" comes up whenever I try to post anything which obviously points to it being the Moderators who have sneakily and cowardly changed my access parameters since self-evidently nobody else can do that on PB.
Mick Pork : Thanks again for having the guts to stick up for me TheUnionDivvie as I just saw your post as well as AlanBrooke making a complete t*at of himself trying to excuse the pathetic PB mods.
Apparently it's my computer's fault the mods and Smithson are so pointedly ignoring you and this is a "consistent" 'fault' despite it never happening before and me posting for months without any such trouble.
Bit much to expect any of the right-wing cowards on PB to care about posters being blocked for no reason and with nothing even close to a plausible excuse.
The herd also don't seem to have noticed that BobaFette is also strangely absent from posting of late as well as compouter. Though that might just be because PB is such a far-right zoo at the mo to be fair.
Can you imagine the volume of the shrieking if it was one of the PB Tories being prevented from posting on PB?
I also don't see the mockney sex tourist SeanT being prevented from posting despite his death threats on PB and posting of Tim's family's personal details, tellingly enough.
TheUnionDivvie : Mick, I finally got a response from the mods last night. Apparently some kind soul has been trawling the internet looking for comments from you re. PB & OGH, and has scampered back to PB to grass you up (I'm sure we could both make a list of likely candidates):
'We haven't fixed Mick's problem yet, it was brought to our attention Mick's been saying some inaccurate and insulting comments about Mike Smithson elsewhere.
So we're looking into that before we restore his posting privileges.'
Still, it indicates that the PB Tories are monitoring James's site on a regular basis, if there was any doubt!
Mick Pork : Sorry?? So the tory moderators on PB are now SERIOUSLY claiming that they are in charge of moderating OTHER internet sites to see if the comments there meet with their approval as well?? That's absolutely f***ing incredible!!
I notice this supposed mod didn't even have the balls to say what comments and on where lest they look even more ridiculous.
If I actually wanted to spread stuff about Smithson or the PB moderators elsewhere then I could do it on the biggest Scottish political sites like Newsnet or Wings but I could go wall to wall on the Telegraph, Mail and plenty of other media outlets. For that matter I could do it on ANY of those websites and change my name or go anonymously just as I could easily have gone anonymously on James' site.
The reason I didn't is not only that I couldn't care less about the fragile ego of PB's mods and I wouldn't waste my f***ing time, but that only a deranged power mad lunatic would think they can police the ENTIRE internet for comments from everyone as they moderate one particular site as this mod on PB jaw-droppingly thinks.
What's to stop someone posting under the name of anyone else on PB and using that as cover while they smear other posters elsewhere? Didn't that occur to the mod who you were talking to?
Are you certain it was a mod posting to you TheUnionDivvie? As what you've told us sounds about as reasonable and sane as SeanT posting on PB when he's pissed.
You've not only had it confirmed that you and the site were lied to with "the few hours to fix the problem" bulls**t but you've also had it confirmed that somebody posting to you as a moderator on PB now wants to police the entire internet just in case someone who posts on PB also posts something they don't like on any other site.
And they ACTUALLY GENUINELY want those who post on PB to know that is their new moderating stance and that mod told you that?? Whoever wrote that to you has flipped their lid TUD. It's the only possible explanation.
If they keep trying to ban me for no reason (because this new insanity isn't even f***ing CLOSE to being one) then by all means feel free to point that staggering fact out. Even the herd and the PB Tories would be hard pushed to justify that lunacy considering how many of them post elsewhere and with even less inhibition than they do on PB.
The fact is I was prevented from posting on PB long BEFORE this moderator started to desperately look for other (frankly crazy) reasons to justify it. You know it, I know it and he knows it.
Mick Pork - or is AlanBrooke or Carlotta in disguise? LOL : It gets even better!
So you DID point out that was the reason this supposed mod gave you and the PB Tories apparently couldn't care less that anything they say on another site can be taken down and used against them by this eccentric mod.
Even Shadsy joined in with the hilarity.
Do the mods even realise how utterly insane this new moderating policy makes them look??
You now have the PERFECT comeback to any PB Tory by simply asking if they have said anything more unpleasant on another site and whether that meets with PB's mods approval.
You can even turn up the laughter by positing if Carlotta (or anyone else) was posting as someone on Paul Staines (or any other) site and whether that meets with PoliticalBetting's new moderating rules.
Imagine the fun as everyone starts to look for aliases for everyone else on other sites and whether what is said elsewhere meets with this mods approval. Pure Comedy Gold.
It's not even as if this mod has left any wiggle room as he has told you I'm not allowed to post, not because not because of what *I* said, but because of what someone ELSE has told him I supposedly said on another site. Completely and utterly bonkers.
Thank god the mod didn't just allow me back on like he did with Richard Tyndall or PoliticalBetting and TSE could have ended up a complete laughing stock by now.
Hugh : Mick,
Interesting to read of your PB experiences. A similar thing happened to me.
I was banned without warning or explanation. Needless to say, attempts to find out what the heck happened have met with silence, so I remain genuinely mystified as to what exactly my "offence" was.
This happened during a period when TSE was "guest editing" in Mike Smithson's absence.
I know for a fact similar has happened to many other non-Rightwing posters. Bannings and moderation for minor breaches of the (increasingly bizarre) "Site rules". Or in my case no breach of any rule.
Meanwhile, Rightwing posters get away with serious and repeated breaches of those same rules. I have even seen clear libels go unmoderated and unpunished.
I don't know if Mike Smithson is aware of what some of his Moderators are up to. Or whether it's deliberate on the part of mods, or they're simply unable to put their political biases to one side.
Either way, it's clear that PB's Rightwing moderators are discouraging or (in my case) actively preventing left of centre / non-Tory posters.
As a result PB is now nothing more than a sterile Rightwing talking shop.