Hello from Witney

 

It is always as well to introduce oneself, besides being courteous, so:

My name is David Phipps and I blog as witteringsfromwitney and appear on Twitter as @WitteringWitney. As the blog name intimates, I live in David Cameron’s parliamentary constituency, in a small village approximately 5 miles south of Witney.  I was, until May last year, Chairman of the Witney branch of the UK Independence Party. The strap-line to my blog – “The musings of a freeborn Englishman who is totally disenchanted with the dictatorial attitude that poses as democracy” – encapsulates my political views.

Anyway, in view of the Administrator’s request to post something, I thought I would briefly write about the Adam Smith Institute’s “Bloggers Bash” that took place last Thursday. The speakers were Douglas Carswell MP, Tim Montgomerie (Conservative Home) and Harry Cole (News Editor, Guido Fawkes). The speakers were – and it is only my opinion – disappointing and appeared to be determined to do nothing but congratulate each other on seemingly having changed politics. Tim Montgomerie and Harry Cole tried to be witty and failed miserably and nothing of any importance was mentioned, ie the EU, political standards, etc. Approximately 5 minute speeches from each speaker were followed by a Q & A session and the one question about political principles in blogging was studiously ignored by the Chairman and Panel.

However, whilst the speeches were disappointing, prior to and afterwards great fun and good conversation was had. It was a pleasure to meet up with Mark Wadsworth and Dick Puddlecote (again) and to meet for the first time Misanthrope Girl, Katabasis and Trooper Thompson, amongst others. It should also be said that, at the Bar to which we adjourned, great hilarity was caused by my repeated attempts to sit down on a raised flower bed – but that is another story!

In conclusion, it must be acknowledged that it is a great pleasure and privilege to have been asked to contribute to this site by the Administrators and I join exalted blogging company.

17 comments for “Hello from Witney

  1. April 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    A raised flower bed? The mind boggles…

    • WitteringWitney
      April 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      You know, a low brick wall incorporating a flower bed. OK, by way of explanation we were outside ’cause of the smoking ban and the bed was behind me. Forgetting it was there, more than once I stepped back with the obvious result. Those with me immediately began to question my intake which was completely within acceptable limits – well acceptable to me, anyway!

      • April 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

        So you say :mrgreen:

  2. April 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Any rumours of David’s sobriety on Thursday are completely exaggerated. 🙂

    • WitteringWitney
      April 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you Clarissa for your endorsement – it is greatly appreciated and will, I am sure, increase my readership!

  3. April 25, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Lovely story:-)

  4. April 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Ahem – may I ask why, if this is a free-thinking blog – there is comment moderation?

    • April 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      The default setting in WordPress is to have moderation for all new commenters. This is a defence against drive-by spammers. Once the first comment has been released into the wild, that should be that – no more moderation.

      Also, if there are more than two links in the comment, it will go into moderation for the same reason.

      However, we are still getting some problems with false positives. And I don’t know why that is.

      • April 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

        May I add to that that there appears to be a problem with WordPress in this respect. GV, we would have no actual moderation but WP tends to act conservatively if it is unsure. Now, as we need to fish those comments out [false positives, as LR said], it is extremely wearing. It is even wearing on my site where the traffic is far less.

        We would not wish that upon ourselves. To say “if this is a free blog” is to misunderstand the nature of both this and of those who are visiting. Not all who visit are friendly and as we’re political and as we’re placed in a particular part of the sphere and saying certain things, then we will obviously be opposed.

        If I have to contend with this on my personal blog, imagine what this new blog is going to have to contend with. We ask for understanding from those of like mind to us until we can get the technical side running smoothly.

        In the meantime, there are two of us checking the whole time.

        • April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

          Forgive me if I’m teaching you how to suck eggs but have you got Akismet installed? I’m running it on mine and can recall one, may two sneaking through the net out of the 1200 plus that have been caught.

          • April 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm

            Clarissa, the problem is not the spam. The spam is caught. It is the false positives, i.e. it is putting legit people in spam. Now as this happened at my site and as I didn’t put WP up at this site, then I have to conclude it is a WP problem.

            This is what we’re looking at. We have a different anti-spam active now and Akismet deactivated. You can’t run both. We’re monitoring it.

          • April 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

            We’re using BC Spamblock as it appeared that Akismet was being a little too vigorous. However, it is still happening with legitimate comments going into the Spam queue. If you were blocked by BC Spamblock, your comment would be rejected and you would see an error message.

            It looks, therefore, to be a WordPress thing.

  5. April 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    What? … no Simon Clark at Adam Smith Institute’s “Bloggers Bash”?

    l’m shocked!

  6. April 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you, Longrider. It struck me as rather strange but, as you say, these are early days. I’m just glad it’s down to WP and not the blog’s admin 🙂

  7. Paul
    April 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    This is the first post I’ve seen anywhere on the bloggers bash, well done and thanks
    Good luck with the new blog

  8. April 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I will echo WfW’s comments about the ASI bash. I will also echo Clarissa’s!

    • WitteringWitney
      April 26, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Thank you Trooper – so nice to know that I was amongst friends! Next time you want a character reference…………

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