I hesitate to write anything at all in the light of Geoff Wallis' attack on
the adequacy of my communication style. But think that somebody has to take
the initiative. It appears, from the virtual silence on the list, that a number
of people are licking their wounds or considering their positions. Harry
Bradley and Anthony McCann, both of whom, in their different way, had a great
deal to offer, have decided to leave - and I have yet to make up my mind.
During the time that that I have been, mostly silently, on this list, a fair
number of very knowledgeable people have joined and for a short time, tried
to put their point of view and too often have been howled down and left.
Personal attacks have been too common. Looking at the list of subscribers, I can
see only nine or ten names of people from Ireland that I would regard as
particularly knowledgeable or influential, though that may reflect the narrowness
of my circle. Most of them do not participate apart from by observing. Those
who were attacked in recent posts were those who have contributed most
regularly. Two have now left, more may.
The recent spate of deceitful and spiteful posts have, I think, come close
to destroying this list. Several people have suggested that it be transformed
into a moderated list - which it was at its inception. I would support this. I
think that the main reason for the attack on me (apart from my daring to
refer to one of Geoff Wallis' reviews as 'destructive' - whereupon, by way of
denial, he responded by showing how destructive he could be) - but the main
reason for me being attacked was that I suggested, in my ponderous, old
fashioned way that good manners and honesty were necessary in discussion.
I hope this will be a subject on which we can agree. However, having been
injured in the latest battle, I am no longer prepared to risk myself; nor do I
think others should be put at risk. Discussion can be robust without being
nasty or personal. Positions can be defended without people pretending to be
someone else in their own defence and without grossly insulting their
opponents. However, I am no longer confident that other members of this list share
this view. There has been no direct comment on Geoff or Fred's parting shots
except for that made by Harry Bradley and by me. Perhaps that means that the
rest of the list believes that those (or some of those) who were attacked
deserved it. However, if it was deserved, then their behaviour too needs to be
So, as far as I'm concerned, the list should be moderated or I go and do
something else. Or is there some other way?