By Tim Montgomerie
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From next Tuesday you will only be able to comment on ConservativeHome if you are a registered user. If you are already registered with Facebook or Twitter then you can choose to login to ConHome threads via those accounts. Alternatively you can set up an OpenID, WordPress or IntenseDebate account; via this link for example.
We are making this change because some people are ruining threads by making personal attacks or constantly dragging every thread on to their pet topics. The new system will give us greater ability to ban people who abuse our comments policy and/ or ignore duty editors' warnings.
Some will accuse us of censorship. One visitor without much grasp of history suggested I resembled the "Gestapo" for asking them not to endlessly write about UKIP. This isn't censorship. People who want to talk about other topics, indulge in personal attacks or use foul language can set up their own blogs or populate fora that allow such things. What people will not be able to do from Tuesday is come on to ConservativeHome and persist in shouting down or abusing people with different opinions, or endlessly to try to take the discussion off topic.
My English teacher used to say she'd rather have a polished diamond than a wheelbarrow full of cobbles. We'd rather have ten or twenty glittering comments on a thread than 200 cobbles and from Tuesday we'll be cobble-intolerant.