Anyone else think the comments section here gets more like Private Eye's "From the Message Boards" item by the day?
On reflection, I think that he may well be right, as a number of recent topics have descended into personal wrangling, or have drifted way off-topic. Worse, they have become boring. Hitherto I have only deleted very few comments, nearly all of which broke my rule that you can be as rude as you like about me but not about each other.
I think that the comments are a great asset to the blog; we hear from magistrates, solicitors and barristers, court clerks, the occasional judge (who calls himself anon) and even an MP, as well as a cross-section of the greater Web population. I am a veteran of Usenet and a moderator of one group, and I don't want this place to descend into the kind of unruly squabbling shop that exists over there.
So I am going to tighten up the comments. Reasoned argument, jokes, and questions are all fine, but the care-in-the-community type rants will be deleted, and repeat offenders will find their IP address blocked. I shall try to do it with a light touch, and if you think I have been unfair, please send me an email and I will have another look at it.
That's it - retournons a nos moutons.