Talk of the devil. I wrote yesterday at a length that will have tested your patience - but there is a lot to say on the subject - of the idiosyncrasies of the hapless pro-Milosevic blogger Neil Clark. Mr Clark is a fanatic and an ignoramus, but (as you will now be aware) more distinctive even than the extent to which he exemplifies those qualities, he's a vulgar fraud.
It is, however, difficult to regard him with disquiet when he writes blog posts on the "Comment is Free" site maintaining, with reference to criticism that he has received from bloggers for his political opinions: "Anyone who deviated from the official party line - as laid down by a self-appointed uber elite of British bloggers - faced a cyberspace lynch mob, more in keeping with Nazi Germany than a country which is supposed to pride itself on its support for free speech." (Note that - as if to demonstrate by suggestion that he, at least, is uncontaminated by Nazi-like influences - the wily Mr Clark invents a word that doesn't exist in German. It should be ueber or über .)
In these circumstances, I ought perhaps to explain to my readers how "Comment is Free" works. I occasionally contribute to the site, but only (excepting one article, which I suggested to the editors) when I've been invited to do so - and I've been glad to contribute to its debates. CiF is not The Guardian, though all comment pieces that appear in The Guardian are published on CiF. Not all CiF articles are commissioned. Some contributors have posting rights; others do not.
I am certain that Mr Clark's account of how he has suffered in the manner of political dissidents in Nazi Germany was not commissioned, and thus will not receive the nominal payment that accompanies commissioned pieces. I'm also certain that the same was true of his article gleefully anticipating (read the piece and see if I have not characterised it correctly) the murder of Iraqi interpreters who have assisted British forces operating under a UN mandate. In short, do not mistake Mr Clark's animadversions for an editorial contribution to, still less an editorial stance by, The Guardian newspaper. Or to put it another way, don't take it out on CiF's editors that this sort of delusional grandiloquence has space and requires moderation. It's just the way it works, and the only real victim of Mr Clark's self-published contributions on CiF is Mr Clark.
I must get on to other subjects now, permanently; and I promise that I will.