Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back To Moderation

Part of the problem with getting anything done in politics is that often it is the few that shout loudest that attract the attention to the exclusion of everyone else. This blog, the first in Sutton, is an attempt to exchange views with people who are interested in Carshalton and the Borough of Sutton but don't normally get involved.

I usually respond to comments quite quickly as it is important to have a dialogue rather than a polemic blinkered approach. Unfortunately one regular correspondent does not take this approach instead spending an inordinate and quite frankly unhealthy amount of time on waging a personal vendetta. This is not the place for it. I don't want to put off people that want to debate issues that affect our everyday lives but this is not a club for disaffected politicians. One of those has been set up elsewhere to continue the one-sided discussion.

Some may consider this censorship, some may wonder why I didn't do it earlier. I'm only too aware that most people in the Borough would shrug their shoulders and not care. Either way, I haven't got time to concern myself with people who are what civil servants call a vexatious persistent correspondent. I'll concentrate on trying to change Sutton for the better for the rest.


cllr david pickles said...

Paul, this is rather a sad state of affairs. I'm sure you are referring to somebody called Scullduggery Watch, but at least that blog is open to all, without any moderation, as far as I can see.

Perhaps it's not a good idea to moderate or try to ban certain posters as it gives the impression of being one-sided and attempting to stifle any opposing views.

Scully said...


I have spent two years offering the only truly open political exchange in the Borough. It frustrates me as much as I am sure it does you that one individual can try to demand time like a needy child.

Moderation will stay for a while, hopefully not permanently but rest assured, I will allow a free exchange of views. However I won't allow personal attacks, half truths and unhealthy fixations.

This blog exists to inform and discuss. However, I am ultimately responsible for the content and tone. We also need live in the real world. I am not the BBC with a legal requirement to let any whackjob spout forth but a politician who requires a continuing mandate from residents to keep doing what I am doing. People are free to set up their own vehicle to get their own thoughts across. I didn't set this up to be a vanity project but about issues that matter to people other than political anoraks.

scotty nugent said...

Paul, i for one find your blog informative on local politics issues and an open discussion. Your right to stop people from abusing it.


Timmo said...

I think you will find that even Scullduggery watch has taken to censorship when he/she feels the need so lets not hear any griping from them.
I am sorry this has happened Paul but you have tried your best.
Colin Halls blog is so censored that when i have tried to post it sends back an email to verify who you are.
The last time this happened it contained a virus which i then had to spend around 8 hours trying to get rid of.

Hand of History said...

Yes, this blog will be better without the pathetic bickering (I hope).

RFK said...


As a local resident, who regularly visits this blog and enjoys the constructive debate that takes place, I am delighted that moderation will occur with regard to the hideous smear attacks Paul has suffered. If the points were constructive I would have disagreed with moderation, but truth is they are not. Writing on here under a range of pseudonyms making scurrilous allegations whilst hiding behing anonymity is pathetic and quite simply unacceptable.

You are right to indicate a whole other blog has been set up by this malicious person. Which interestingly has itself been moderated repeatedly. As Barry said, that is the place for half-truths and untruths, not a blog designed to benefit local people.

Well done Paul, lets focus on what matters, making Sutton even better.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Mont said...

scullduggery moderates heavily and he also has whole conversations with himself under different pseudonyms to make it look like his blog is read - there are a few on there where he has pretended to be someone else and mistakenly posted as 'Scullduggery watch'

all bbc comments are moderated 2 by the way to avoid any unsubstantiated personal abuse being thrown about.

michael said...

It's often true that the transgressions of the few negatively impact on the many and this is true on this blog. I'm a resident who finds this blog informative, while not always agreeing with some of its views, but still a worthwhile source of political information.

I'd rather debate the issues than endure the political pointscoring which is pretty desperate at times.

Back to the issues, Councillor Scully.

Cllr Barry Russell said...


I am really surprised by what you say about the level of caution Colin Hall applies to potential posters on his Blog. I would find it easier to believe of other LibDems, as they do strike me as a very paranoid bunch, however in Colin's defence he does not come across as 'slippery' like certain of his colleagues.

Now that this blog is back talking about sensible issues there is a topic which I think is worth exploring. Recently there has been a lot of discussion regarding the supply of laptop computers to Councillors at a substantial and recurring cost. Conservatives and David Pickles have very firmly condemned this suggestion and stated that they will not be partaking of this real abuse of power. The LibDems have put forward the very spurious argument that it would make Councillors more accessible to residents. Elsewhere I have listed many of the reasons this contention is flawed and so will not repeat them here. However, I was asked to send all of the LibDem Councillors a slightly caustic e-mail asking them to join the Conservatives in supporting their Mayor's charity (one of the decent LDs who will remain anonymous here, said to me "it is embarrassing how you and your supporters so heavily outnumber us at the Mayor's functions, it would probably be different if the press were there!"

So on Monday I dutifully set about setting up an e-mail recipient group of all the LibDems who are so desperate to spend resident's money making themselves so accessible. Then the penny dropped, only 20 out of 31 of them even show an e-mail address on the Council's website!! Most of those who do care enough to actually show an address use the free one provided by the council, their desire to be so accessible clearly does not stretch too far!! The hypocrisy is almost unbelievable.
Is it any wonder that the public have such a poor view of politicians and expressions like 'snouts in the trough' are bandied about so often?

cllr david pickles said...

I have just visited the "other blog", and am quite frankly astounded by the latest thread. Here, "Scullduggery watch" is accusing certain members of the Tory party of "dirty tricks" in that he/she is barred from entering this blog by some electronic method and is redirected to a site entitled "cyberstalking"!

Surely this is a flagrant abuse of blogging democracy? Paul if this character bothers you that much, why don't you let him/her back in to this blog and have a sensible debate on the things that you are accused of. They may not be overtly political but at least we could all get to the bottom of this.

Scully said...


There are no dirty tricks. I've found a way of getting rid of a vexatious correspondent for the time being and it's saved me a bit of time today. This isn't some sort of hippy collective, just another way of communicating with constituents. You've posted under several different names in the past including as a Slovakian woman if memory serves, so you will understand that blogs can be a free for all creating more smoke.

Scullduggery Watch has shown no inclination towards sensible debate instead relying on personal attacks which he knows often diverts from the facts and the physically possible. I've answered all of the questions on immigration, councillor allowances and Eleanor Pinfold as best as I can but this is not enough for some as it is not what they want to hear. Scullduggery Watch has come on to my blog 101 times in the last four days leaving posts as London Calling and other pseudonyms. Quite frankly I haven't got time for that. I'm sure anybody with a healthy approach to life, computers and politics would think that this might be just a tad fixated. I cannot see that the Watchman wants to get to the bottom of anything so I have given up and moved on. I hope that you do too and I look forward to continuing debating and discussing the issues with you.

RFK said...


Again I agree entirely with your response to Cllr Pickles.

I would like to add that I have been put off visiting this blog by the belligerent presence of Scullduggery. His comments and insane spin tactics deviate from the topic and are generally very offensive. It is probably great fun for UKIP to have this blog hijacked and forced to deviate from the point by Scullguggery, so there is an obvious political motivation from Cllr Pickles. Unfortunately, this motivation is a slefish one. Rather than discuss what actually matters in Sutton, Scullduggery wastes everyones time with his personal vendetta aimed at discrediting honest, good, hard-working people.

The visitors to this blog are solely concerned with discussing Sutton and ideas with Paul, not having to watch a soap opera with an antagonist that everyone is incredibly bored with. This blog should be a way of the Conservatives having a conversation with the people they seek to represent.

I am also certain that the general consensus on this blog is that no one wants to hear any more of Scullduggerys rubbish. The only person that seems to want him posting is David Pickles. Therefore, democracy would suggest that moderation is the peoples choice!

scott nugent said...

Paul you have been more than accomodating with some of the crap on this blog and as i've said before your right to safe guard serious debate on here

I like your blog and like to hear whats going on in our local politics but allthe silly comments are a turn off like the guy above &says, keep it clean and flowing, i appreciate your work on nice one!

cllr david pickles said...

rfk - I cannot understand your linkage between UKIP and "Scullduggery watch". From what I can gather he/she is currently a tory member, possibly a councillor I do not know, but certainly nothing to do with UKIP as far as I am aware.

My call to Paul was just to let him/her have his say, nothing wrong with that, and no it doesn't do UKIP any favours if this blog is "hijacked" at all, that's rather a pathetic response.

I presume one day that "scullduggery watch" will reveal his/her true identity and I am as intrigued as the next man.