I have become embroiled in a debate with someone who calls himself ‘James’, on the SomebodyThinkoftheChildren website.

James Who?That excellent site is at the forefront of the No Clean Feed campaign. Run by Brisbane-based IT expert Michael Meloni, it mounts a powerful anti-censorship case on various fronts, focusing on Australia. Right now, the hottest topic is the Rudd Government’s plan to introduce compulsory Internet censorship.

SomebodyThinkoftheChildren, in my opinion, is an essential daily visit for Australians at this time.

James has raised concerns that I should not be ‘exalted’ and he says he’s worried the campaign will be tarnished by the involvment of someone with such “incredibly fringe opinions”.

I’ve responded a couple of times.

Here’s my latest response on the thread over there (corrected for typos and mis-spellings):

OK James. This is positively my last comment on this thread, as I don’t want to impose on Mike’s blog, which is focused on censorship issues and doesn’t need to become cluttered with extraneous debates.

Actually, I agree with you in one sense. If it became easy for the Government to portray members of the anti-clean feed campaign as people who hold non-mainstream views on other topics, that would be a problem.

But is it likely? My minor contributions to the campaign are eclipsed by the long-standing contributions of people like Mike Meloni and Dale Clapperton – and many, many others more technologically knowledgable than I am.

I seek no media attention. If film crews ever turn up at my gate, God forbid, I may unleash my pet pythons (only joking).

The only person who uses the strange term ‘exalt’, James, is you. If linking to my website is ‘exaltation’, even though it contains some material that’s clearly relevant to topics dicussed here, then presumably the same applies to every link. Does this website exalt Rupert Murdoch every time it includes a link to a News Ltd report? I don’t think so.

You accuse me of having a ‘hidden agenda’. Actiually, what you see is what you get. I write what I believe is true and defensible. I’m not playing games.

One might almost infer you have a ‘hidden agenda’, in that you wish to censor contributions you don’t like. But that can’t be true – after all, you’re an opponent of internet censorship!

If you wish to debate this further, I re-iterate my offer to move the discussion elsewhere. I shall not reply again here without the explicit agreement of our host.

James, you may like to continue our discussion here?

End the Israeli siege of Gaza Now!If you do, I’d like to ask what you think about Gaza?

Is it “incredibly fringe” to consider the slow starvation of Gaza a war crime, perpetrated right now? (unlike the events of World War Two – however contentious they may be)

If not, why do you obsess about excluding me from mainstream discussion, James?

Why get on my case, when I’m blogging away about Gaza?

Why not get up Rupert Murdoch or the management of the ABC, who seem comfortable downplaying this ongoing horror?

If the strangulation of Gaza isn’t a war crime in our times James, what is?

Your turn…