Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Simon Moores Doctor Doctored?

Over the last few weeks there has been an ongoing campaign to discredit Cllr Simon Moores online, as another a local businessman I don’t like this very much, for one thing it could spread to other local businessmen including me.

Before I get going on this there are a few things that I should like to make clear so here goes:

1 I don’t agree with all of Simon’s views political or otherwise, in fact I can’t think of anyone whose views I agree with completely, on or of the internet.

2 Simon’s business activities that relate to IT bring a net benefit to Thanet, by this I mean that when he makes money for consultancy and media work outside of Thanet he is likely to spend that money in Thanet, in much the same way that when I post a book of to some other part of the world I am likely to spend the money I receive for it in Thanet.

3 I am likely to come to the defence of any prominent local, regardless of their political affinities, race, religion, etc.

Most of the online criticism here comes from fellow councillor Mark Nottingham’s Blog and anonymous comment on it, see:

I hasten to add here that I would come to Mark’s defence were the roles reversed.

At some point the political banter on the blogs between Mark and Simon that I was enjoying seemed to change to something much less pleasant.

Anyway questions have been raised both about the validity of Simon’s qualifications and credentials as an IT expert and about his Wikipedia entry, so I have done some research, concentrating on his doctorate and Wikipedia, here are the results.

First the doctorate.

It isn’t a bad rule of thumb to assume the higher the educational level attained the harder it is to quantify, (matters become more subjective and less objective) although this is easier in the sciences than the arts, as on the whole in the sciences the proof of the pudding is usually having something that works. With IT this is often easy for the end user to spot, by this I mean if you type Charles Dickens into a book search facility on your computer you don’t expect the Harry Potter books to come up, if they do regardless of the supposed qualifications of IT expert involved you don’t really need many qualifications to judge their worth.

Doctorates are generally awarded to those who have published academic works of some merit, with a fair amount of work it is possible to get an academic book published by a reputable publisher. Simon’s doctorate is mostly based on the following publications.

The Journal of The Institute of Information Scientists (IIS) journal Vol.2. No#2 ISSN 0969-9325 1994


Title details: Using Lotus 1-2-3 : Release 3.0 / Simon Moores.

Published: New York ; London : Prentice Hall, 1989.

Physical desc.: x,210p. : ill. ; 24cm. Identifier: ISBN: 0135405017 (pbk)

Subject: Lotus 1-2-3 (Computer program)
Microcomputer systems — Spreadsheet packages — Lotus 123

Copies held by: British Library.

For those of you unfamiliar with this world Simon was awarded a doctorate by Pacific Western University in 1994 based on his thesis about computing published in “The Journal of The Institute of Information Scientists” this work then progressed into a mainstream publishers book on the same subject.

As far as I can tell at this time there would have been no reason for Simon to assume this university was better or worse than any other, it offered a stage in Simon’s education in a way that fitted in with his life.

Pacific Western University was founded in 1977 it is still functioning as an accredited university under the name of California Miramar University, it had a bit of a bumpy ride between 2002 and 2005 when the authenticity of some of the qualifications it had provided was questioned.

This culminated in a newspaper article in The Irish Independent the following is from the Wikipedia article on the subject:

“It was reported in the Irish Independent on 9 October 2005 that the Chief Science Advisor to the government of Ireland, Barry McSweeney, had been found to have advanced his career using a degree obtained from Pacific Western University.

The newspaper report stated that McSweeney had obtained his Ph.D. in biotechnology and biochemistry from PWU in 1994 after just 12 months of study. The article went on to say "There is no question that Mr McSweeney has anything other than a distinguished track record in business. He has a degree in biochemistry from UCC and a Masters degree in clinical biochemistry from TCD. He was also in charge of the Marie Curie Fellowships, an EU-wide programme which has been credited with helping more than 35,000 scientists develop their careers. Mr McSweeney has been widely praised for his role in expanding this programme." It further described PWU as having "no merit or standing in the academic world" and having been "the subject of numerous official investigations, state bans and media exposés" during its 28 years of operation. McSweeney was forced to resign his position as a result although the article stated that McSweeney had made no attempt to conceal the details of his education and that he was "proud" of his doctorate and "stood over it" and that he considered PWU California to be a "respected" and recognized body." Mr McSweeny's spokesperson went on to add: "Barry stands over his doctorate.....He has a degree from UCC, significant life experience, and was the director-general of the Joint Research Institute. I can't believe you're writing this."”

So there you have it Simon did the work, thesis and book were published along the way a university handed him a doctorate, he went on to a career in IT advising governments appearing on the BBC and channel 4, from a more professional standpoint his work was held in high regard by companies like Lotus and IBM so more publications came along.

Looking on the web at Simon’s recent articles, something that you can all do if you want, he is obviously moving on from IT something he describes as no fun anymore and I am inclined to agree with him.

I have spoken to various people I know in the academic world about the legitimacy of doctorates issued by various universities, the consensus being that all is not well even in the most famous universities, my attention was drawn to a Euronews article at copied below in case they delete it:

“Germany’s famed reputation for educational excellence has been hit by a scandal over degrees for sale. Prosecutors are investigating up to one hundred professors suspected of taking bribes to help students get their doctorates. It’s claimed some students paid an intermediary up to 20,000 euros for their Ph.Ds.

“All disciplines are involved, including the so-called classics: law, medicine and philosophy, as well as technical faculties,” said prosecutor Gunther Feld.

A company near Cologne allegedly acted as a go-between. The impressive-sounding Institute for Scientific Consulting is said to have funnelled students’ cash to professors in exchange for degrees. Most of the professors under suspicion work under contract rather than as full-time teachers. Some are even accused of improving students’ work themselves if it was not up to scratch.

“For several years now we have proposed adding new rules obliging students to declare that they haven’t accepted outside help in writing their thesis,” said Bernhard Kempen from the German Universities’ Association.

The latest investigation was sparked by the jailing last year of a professor at Hannover University who took bribes worth 180,000 euros from the Cologne institute to organise degrees for allegedly unworthy students.”

Now we come to Wikipedia.

For their recently deleted article about Simon click on the link as far as I can see back in the early days of Wikipedia Simon like many other prominent characters put his potted biography on it and as this was early days when Wikipedia was looking for content the editors were quite happy about this.

Simon was quite transparent about this being autobiographical and I would imagine having added to Wikipedia both with the information about himself and various other subjects like the rest of us who add to the internet he forgot about it and got on with something else.

The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone could become an editor, by this I mean that I could for example sign on as editor "Mickey Mouse" and list Robbie Williams as “eating hamsters for a living in and around Stoke" or sign on as editor "Alan Titchmarsh", the green-fingered TV personality, write an update of the Kama Sutra.

I could also add that the teenage Tony Blair had posters of Hitler on his bedroom wall.

Not only people have been victims one editor of Wikipedia described the village of Denshaw in Greater Manchester as "the home to an obese population of sun-starved, sheep-hurling yokels with a brothel for a pub and a lingering tapeworm infection".

All of these hoaxes actually happened, I should like to point out that I wasn’t guilty and despite the temptation I haven’t edited any of the entries on any of the local towns or people.

The senior editors of Wikipedia have made efforts to make the whole thing more, dignified, accountable I don’t really know the right word here, things were not helped much when senior editor Ryan Jordan, who had edited more than 20,000 pages of information and had claimed to be a professor of theology was exposed as a 24-year-old college dropout from Kentucky.

What they did was try and make the whole thing link to provable facts, I think what they meant here was links to other internet pages that said the same thing, frankly it didn’t work that well.

Anyway the bottom line here is that anyone can quite legitimately go over almost any Wikipedia article flooding it with things like “citation required” and make a perfectly normal article look like a pack of lies.

This is what happened to Simon’s entry prior to its deletion something, which I would imagine, was a considerable relief to Simon


  1. Michael it would be nice to get away from all the bickering and nasty comments and in ECR's case foul language postings.

  2. Don,

    I haven't been following it, I can't be asked and I have more important things to think about.
    However, it does make me wonder how it is all going to end.

  3. What the feck do you mean by that Don, yer cock-faced, todger-cranking eejit?!!?

  4. Well said Michael. Some people seem to have crossed the line from disagreeing with opinions & policies to online bullying. Much worse to me though are those anonymous commentators who have nothing better to do than criticise & very often make up lies about those that are in the limelight.

  5. "I have spoken to various people I know in the academic world about the legitimacy of doctorates issued by various universities, the consensus being that all is not well even in the most famous universities"

    From my experience a doctorate is awarded following two or three years of intense research. This is usually a weighty tome, not a small 'publication' or series of publications, and follows a postgraduate placement as a research fellow by the university concerned. To those I know, both colleagues and members of my family who worked extremely hard for their doctorates, the aspersions caste are in poor taste.

  6. It has always been open to Simon to cite his qualification and Royal Marines Reserve service.

    Isn't it a fact that in Australia an academic was refused permission to use the title "Doctor" because the doctorate came from the same "Diploma mill" in USA ?

    You also fail to weigh prior qualification.

    If I could have afforded to continue to work for NHS in the 80s they were agreedto pay for my one day per week study to gain some additional level 5 (degree level) HNC modules.

    After that the NHS would have put me on a specialist Masters degree course within the hospital.

    But what they would not have done is say to me "Just do a year part time study at the hospital and you can get a doctorate in medical physics."

    As regards gaining credentials through publishing. Look up James Shortt in the Men at Arms series books (History of SAS etc) his articles in Combat and Survival Magazine and so forth.

    A long career until finally exposed as bogus former SAS earlier this year in the Cabinet bunker security fiasco.

    I think I sent you a copy of his 13 page CV Michael ? For example Teaching defensive skills driving at Kent Police HQ. Teaching the firearms instructors of the police. Consultant on emergency planning for areas like Crewe.

    It has to be legitimate to question qualifications.

    When Margaret Mortlock successfully sued Chair of North Thanet tories George Maison in 98 selection questions arose.

    Had a criminal record and arrest record been declared to the tory selectors of prospective cllrs ?

    North Thanet tories, as I understand it, said the record had been declared.

    Only thing is the electorate did not know.

    We are a democracy. Where there is a criminal record or a qualification or military service questions surely the electorate have a right to expect the cllr to make a full public explanation before, for example, standing for office again.

    What is happening here Michael is that you are attempting to publish what Simon should have published.

    What prior qualifications did the Doctorate course require for entry ?

    Why does Australia forbid the title Doctor for people with doctorates from that diploma mill university.

    Will Simon publicly verify his Royal Marines Reserve service.

    THis is a country that tries to tell me that if they take DNA then if I have nothing to hide I have nothing to fear.

    And as is emerging the elected bods who come up with these ideas have plenty to hide themselves (like expenses claims)

    If Simon hasnothing to hide then he hasnothing to fear from estabblishing his record with the electorate whose votes he sought and accepted to hold public office.

  7. If 'Dr' Moores wished to quash the rumours that abound surely it would be fairly easy to reference his qualifications. Strange that he hasn't done so. It leaves people to draw their own conclusions and for the rumour mill to keep churning away.

    I foresee further trouble ahead.

  8. Personally I'm far more interested in what a person says & does than what their title is & where they got it from.

  9. I don't know Cllr Moores, and I consider myself to be a socialist. But I think the way the Labour councillor Mark Nottingham has been behaving is a total disgrace.

    Like you Mike, I am in business. Mr Nottingham works for an MP I hear and seems to have no respect for self employed people like Cllr Moores who has to make their own way in the world.

    Mr Nottingham is totally out of order trying to do this to someone's private life.

    He has gone too far with his DARK ARTS, and as a local blog community we need to speak against his actions with one voice.

    When good men (and woman) say nothing - evil triumphs.

    I might not like the Tories but I am not going to make excuses for Mr Notttingham.

  10. I think Michael's reasearch says it all really, nuff said.

    Nottingham needs to grow up, stop clutching at straws and being so petty with personal attacks.

    It's like being in a playground!

  11. Stomin Norm

    I agree with you. But Mr Nottingham is playing with real people - he makes things up about people all the time.

    I hear that wants to lead Thanet Labour, thats his own selfish agenda - and it seems that he will walk on anyone that will give him headlines.

    Mark Nottingham takes us all for a bunch of fools - his agenda is more important than the truth - he only cares about number one..

    I wonder who will be his next victim ?

  12. There is an agenda at work here. If you look back a year on Simon's other Zentelligence weblog then you can see that when this first came up, he referenced all this stuff. Why should he keep putting more and more of his personal information on line to satisfy the curiousity of a handful of nuts like Rick Card? Would any other councillor in Thanet do it? Would Mark Nottingham?

    In his CV he has said he was once in the Royal marines reserve. Is that now a crime? Why on earth should he publish the evidence on the internet so that Rick can then blather on about some sinister connection with the IRA?

    So give it a rest and give the bloke some peace. He's done nothing wrong and as long as he does his job as a councillor who gives a toss!

  13. Personally I think Moores is an oily snake charmer and has put you up to this Michael. I do not mean to cast aspersions on your undoubted ability as a researcher but the way he is gloating over this post on Thanet Life makes me smell a rat.

    Before anyone accuses me of being Nottingham posting anonymously I will add that I think he is an even oilier snake charmer but at least he doesn't pretend to be anything other than what he is.

    Both Moores and Nottingham have useful contributions to make to Thanet if they would only stop playing with their rattles and concentrate on the business in hand.

  14. Its not only Moores that Nottingham appears to be trying to politically destroy, he has made things up and told half truths about a number of people.

    I am a UKIP supporter and I have many Tory and LABOUR friends. I am told that most councillors respect each others private lifes, after all it is not big time government.

    They are local people doing their best.

    Maybe Cllr Mark Nottingham, who works for a big time labour politician thinks that the nasty business should be brought home to Thanet!

    As for him wanting to be Labour Leader; I think he will have a fight on his hands, as Clive Hart is no fool and probably knows why Nottingham is doing what he is doing!

  15. 27 August 2009 12:45

    You are attacking the messenger because you don't like the (truth) message.

    I take my hat off to Mr Childs, he trusts people to make there own minds up.

    Anyway, its not really about Moores, he is just Nottinghams latest victim, its about Nottinham's agenda to LEAD Thanet Labour and he is doing a very good job getting his local profile known. Maybe he wants politicians to fear him?

  16. On Thanet life Moores writes the what I have copied below. It's hardly gloating particulalry as he pokes fun at himself too with a Kenneth Williams Carry On Cleo sketch!

    "It's encouraging to see that someone with a sense of fair play, a forensic passion for detail and no political axe to grind has decided to take his own look at a number of allegations that have popped-up recently on two of the the more 'left-leaning' local weblogs.

    Michael Child has done a little sleuthing of his own and you can find the results on his ThanetOnline weblog. I'm sure that astute readers will draw their own conclusions over the motives behind several weeks of unrelenting mud-slinging and perhaps now it will come to an embarrassed halt.

    Back to news of the economy then and a report from The Times that millions of public sector workers will have their pensions slashed under plans to deal with a massive shortfall in the value of government pension funds."

  17. Cllr Nottingham won't make anyone else his next victim as he is already starting to find that his 'Dark Arts' are starting to back fire!

  18. Considering that Moores has carried on as if he hadn't even noticed all the fuss about his doctorate over the past few weeks, do you not think it is odd that he now happens to notice a favourable article? As for poking fun at himself, have you never heard of 'false modesty'? Admittedly a new departure for Moores and a technique he must be using through gritted teeth no doubt.

    Michael is indeed an honourable man and a dogged researcher, but he is also known for his abilities to mediate when local egos - usually Moores with some other detractor - clash so I imagine this post has been put up with Moores' consent.

    Moores has just as much a history of hypocrisy and 'dark arts' as Nottingham. It is a shame that these two walruses cannot stop posturing on the beach and get on with serving the people who elected them.


  19. There's no comparison between the weblogs of Moores and Nottingham. Even a retarded child could recognise the venom spewing out of Nottingham as he steadily worked his way through the Conservative group before Moores told him that people living in glass houses shouldnt throw stones!.

    Moores has remained sensibly above all the nasty crap that's been thrown at him and if he should see something sensible and impartial for once why not point at it?

  20. You don't have to be clever to guess that with 'slippery' Simons' fast progress up the political ladder he's either going to end-up replacing Roger Gale or Sandy Ezekiel

    More reason for Hart and friends to try and stop him now by slinging mud and hoping that some of it sticks!

    Father Ted

  21. Michael, the PWU is not quite as clean as you claim having been suspect since its founding in 1977 until it was finally given accreditation in 2007 so the relevant period that covers Councillor moores' thesis is during the 'diploma mill' times.

    Those of us with HE qualifications are happy to submit them to scrutiny by anyone so why doesn't the 'good doctor'?

    His pamphlet on the Lotus computer system is dated 1989, prehistoric in computer terms so not exactly 'cutting edge'.

    I've been told that TDC's computer systems are often down when needed so why can't TDC's computer expert sort it all out and save us taxpayers money?

  22. Of course Michael you are right. Simon has earned his Doctorate, much like Steve Ladyman. I cannot claim anything like that, but i did once purchase a 'Title'. Still have it for that matter.

  23. you'll be wanting a DNA test next!!!!

    It's over, nobody cares other than you and rambling Rick, so give it a rest and find something really useful to worry about in Thanet

    Father Ted

  24. I have no interest in the academic achievements of local politicians or business people. I do think, though, that you are underplaying the scandal that attached to the Pacific Western University, Michael.

    It was a diploma mill. The United States Government said so:

    There are many people around the world who suffered as a result of its actions and behaviour.

  25. for anyone that has an interest in a discredited university.

  26. Anon 1732 You won't even show your name let alone your qualifications. What amazing things have you ever achieved. I want to know so we can analyse, take the piss and then call you a liar whatever you say. Go on, name just one thing.
    PS would anyone even notice if you disappeared!!!!

  27. Is it just me or can anyone else smell the anonymous dead hand of Moores all over these comments?


  28. Moreover, diploma mills and other unaccredited schools modify their billing practices so students can obtain payments for degrees by the federal government. Purporting to be a prospective student, our investigator placed telephone calls to three schools that award academic credits based on life experience and require no classroom instruction: Barrington University (Mobile, Alabama); Lacrosse University (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi); and Pacific Western University (Los Angeles, California). These schools each charge a flat fee for a degree. For example, fees for

    25 U.S.C. 4107(a) and (b). 3U.S. General Accounting Office, Purchases of Degrees from Diploma Mills, GAO-03-269R (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 21, 2002).Page 4 GAO-04-771T degrees for domestic students at Pacific Western University are as follows: Bachelor of Science ($2,295); Master’s Degree in Business Administration ($2,395); and PhD ($2,595). School representatives emphasized to our undercover investigator that they are not in the business of providing, and do not permit students to enroll for, individual courses or training. Instead, the schools market and require payment for degrees on a flat-fee basis.However, representatives of each school told our undercover investigator that they would structure their charges in order to facilitate payment by the federal government. Each agreed to divide the degree fee by the number of courses a student was required to take, thereby creating a series of payments as if a per course fee were charged. All of the school representatives stated that students at their respective schools had secured payment for their degrees by the federal government.

  29. And you're all missing the point.
    Nottingham has been caught out not doing his Paid Council job.
    As he's on the Taxpayer funded Labour gravy train he's not used to working for a living so having to actually do something must be a bit of a shock to his delicate system.
    When he's not turning up at the Council he spends his time doing and writing exactly what Matt B tells him to.
    The Northwood folks voted Nottingham and got Matt B!
    All this crap flying around is a distraction.
    Thanet deserves better.

  30. If the GAO of the USA reports to the US Senate that Pacific Western University was, at the time that Moores got his Doctorate from it, a 'degree mill',where a few dollars bought a degree scroll, what credibility does that Ph.D have in academic circles?
    Other 'Docs' in TDC and in Thanet South might have better credentials in regard to their titles?

  31. To those who question why Moores should have his record challenged, I entirely agree that unfounded, or unsupportable allegations should NEVER be made. It is unfair, and potentially defamatory. Some of what has happened recently has nudged in that direction.

    That said, anyone, business-person, politician or whoever, who constantly braggs about their achievements will inevitably, and fairly, be challenged and called upon to back up and evidence their boasts and claims. This is especially true when they have gained public office or profit (at least in part) on the basis of those claims.

    If someone has firm evidence on which to base a challenge to them...go for it!

  32. This thread is getting a little long and hard to follow!

    Looking it up it says..

    "Controversy and Criticism..
    Pacific Western University has received much criticism over the past decade. During the late 1970s and into the 1980s, as nontraditional universities were beginning to be embraced, PWU was not so harshly criticized, however. In fact, John Bear, one of the worlds's leading authorities on nontraditional education, in the 1986 edition of his book, Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning, stated, "Pacific Western University is one of the best sources for nontraditional academic education."

    It's all very confusing but as Michael tells us if he's done the work and had it published then arguing about when and where he got it from is a waste of time.

    I've had enough of this now!

    Father Ted

  33. I have just got back to work after my day off and therefore have time to devote to the internet I will do my best to respond to some of the comments.

    It is market day in Ramsgate and the bookshop is very busy so it is difficult to concentrate please forgive minor errors.

    Before I start I should say my primary intention is to try and put an end to rather an unsavoury chapter on the local blogs.

    Peter as far as anonymous comment goes my attitude is to give it much less credence than comment that people put their identity to and I suppose most readers would do the same. Having said that I believe a lot people that comment anonymously do so that way because they lack confidence and internet skills, anonymous comment is very easy to make. If you look at the anonymous comment on this post you will see that anonymous commentators don’t even seem to be capable of putting functioning links in their comments.

    8.14 Did you read the article ? The point here is that at this level of qualification universities make the rules, set the standards and there is no international body producing some sort of recognised level. Not only are they judge and jury but they have also written the law in the first place. Much of this argument relates to what constitutes an acceptable doctorate and an acceptable university. What of those who have recently purchased qualifications from famous German universities including Frankfurt, Berlin, Tübingen, Hamburg and Leipzig see how do their qualifications compare with those of say Paul McKenna see it is I believe a minefield.

    Richard you have to appreciate that this has been just the result of a small piece of research by myself so my job here isn’t to justify Simon’s past, just really to look at two aspects of comment that seem to me to be unreasonable.

    11.25 et al. I have been trying to work out the other side of this i.e. Mark obviously feels aggrieved in some way and I have been trying to get to the crux of this, I thought perhaps there were political nuances that I didn’t understand, however I believe something would have come up in the comments by now if this were the case.

    17.32 Greg 20.48 21.14 Bit of a mix of fors and againsts here I know but a thought here is that one has to consider these points. A diploma mill suggests paying for a qualification, as far as I can work out Simon paid for a course and did the work this is evidenced by its publication. Back in about 1993 when Simon would have started the course there was no internet or any other way I can see that one could have checked the credentials of an American university. It would appear that the first mention that there could be anything wrong with PWU was some time about 2004 when this information appeared on the internet by which time Simon was trading as an IT doc.

    Finally there has been some suggestion that Simon put me up to this, this is not the case, although I sent him details of what I was going to publish about him in case I had made any errors and he replied that there weren’t any as far as he could see. I have also been in communication with Mark and hopefully this will eventually result in my coming to some understanding of his point of view and being able to post something about it.

    No one seems to have touched on Wikipedia and the way it can be manipulated so I can only assume that you are all roughly in agreement on this one.

    Once again sorry that this was put together in the very few gaps in rather a busy day an apologies to anyone that I haven’t replied to properly.

  34. Anon 17:32 your comment makes no sense a degree is still a degree 30 years after being awarded .My Doctor was a surgeon before taking up general practice is he still a surgeon ? as for Mark and Simon shut up and get on together and find out who signed Pannama Joe in as present so he got his five grand

  35. Don

    The problem is, Simon has shut up. Mark will just move on to his next victim. I can count 5 councillors that Mark has already tried to destroy for standing up to him.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Time to move on you lot in Thanet? Weather not too good in Ibiza today. There is a load of snobbery in academic quals. A Ph D from a University is judged on the standing of that uni as are other levels of degrees. It doesn't stop it being a Ph D awarded by that University. If Simon Moores is happy with his Doctorate that is all that matters.
    Mrs B dragging me away.

  38. Bertie Biggles, I am told that Paul Wells is a Doctor, do you know if he is?

  39. Don, (Tory) Councillor Chris Wells undertook - on Big News Margate - to get to the bottom of the Broadhurst "signing-in" business. I think that he has, as ever, now walked away from this in the hope the noise will die down. I would suggest you tackle him directly.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.