Good to be back!
I've certainly missed this place in the last week. I hope many of the regulars find their way back, too - a technical issue prevented me participating but it's now been sorted so I'd like to thank Will for his help.
It's only when you lose something that you realise how important it was. DS has almost become respectable these days, as I see and hear it being cited in other places as being an authoritative source of information.
Relieved to have 'come in from the cold', to misquote someone whose name I will not attempt to spell without a character map.
Problem is that commenting now costs £5pm. So much for 'free' speech...
I can understand Toby wanting to recoup at least some (ads will be on the way soon - hopefully they won't be either a corporatist sell-out [the very same firms and agendas most articles go after]) of the costs of running this website.
On the other hand, leaving the articles to be free and then seriously discouraging reader commentary (we don't have that much of a problem with trolls) on the articles by charging £5pm is, in my view, rather too high a price to pay for essentially 2-3 articles per day.
Bear in mind that readers are charged around £90pa for the basic web-only version of the Telegraph (which I unsubbed in 2020 in disgust after 20 years as a loyal subscriber), which equates to around £7.50pm. Yes, the number of decent articles is far less than it was 5 and especially 10+ years ago, but even so, there is still way more content worth reading.
I'd suggest Toby charges to access the full set of articles with the occasional 'freebie' (no access required) added, plus, for the moment, have a 'free 3 months' then £2.50 for the rest of the first year, then prices can rise gradually as more people subscribe and more articles are published per day.
Ironically this is what the Telegraph USED to do back in their early days of their website.
The problem for Toby is that the market is now growing quite a bit and are now offering a wider/more comprehensive news and commentary service for the same £5pm and often for nothing.
Unfortunately until the site is a more comprehensive news/comment outlet, charging this much may actually drive people away (especially at the moment), as shown by the far lower numbers of people commenting on articles per day.
To me, it didn't help when he seemingly censored Dr Sam Bailey by at the very least not allowing her to publish a redbuttal article here to Dr Roger Watson's (IMHO) hit piece article back in March.
Whilst he and the editorial team may not agree with Dr Bailey on her opinions on COVID (I was convinced by the quality of her reason arguments backed up by evidence), she certainly isn't a (IMHO) David Icke and should've been afforded the opportunity to respond with an article of her own here.
Either way, freedom of speech means just that. IMHO not three quarters free, and not costing £5pm.