In his post #26 on the "alcohol industry" thread, Lbird used insulting language against another comrade (jk1921): indeed the insult was the entire content of the post. When taken up on this by LoneLondoner, Lbird merely claimed that others on the forum "don't take the trouble" to answer his questions with arguments.
As LoneLondoner says, this forum is not a gentleman's debating club. We welcome comrades putting their viewpoints forcefully and as directly as possible, and indeed with a degree of polemical bite where necessary.
This, however, can never excuse merely insulting behaviour which not only damages the argument in progress, but is more generally damaging to the reputation of communists - given that there is nothing more public than a discussion in an Internet forum. The rules of the forum are perfectly clear in this respect:
In our view, an apology from Lbird would be in order.
The incident, and our reaction to it (late though it is), raises the broader issue of what this forum is. We have already stated that we do not consider it to be a closed forum, limited only to ICC members and sympathisers. Members of the ICC will intervene to defend our positions in the discussions, when we feel this to be necessary, but we do not aim to intervene systematically in every discussion. Most important in our view is to create a climate in which mutual trust encourages thoughtful debate, committed to advancing the understanding of a communist (therefore necessarily internationalist) view of the world in the broadest possible sense. This demands a sense of responsibility from all who take part.
An attitude of provocation and insult is directly inimical to developing such a climate. In this it not only attacks those it is directed against, it attacks the whole communist project as we see it, by discrediting the very notion of open and committed political discussion.