The Gates Re-open…

…and you’ve all been issued with a golden ticket.

The few weeks’ closure I announced last November have turned into a few months. Sorry about that. But the break, apart from allowing me to clear a very large backlog of work, has enabled me to have a think about the direction LibertyGibbert should take from here on in.

Having become something of a lightning rod for the disaffections of a small group of posters, and subsequently becoming the recipient of abuse, slander, public exposure of my identity, and even—ultimately—death threats; and having scratched my head in vain wondering what I’d done to deserve all this, I had determined (with some justification, I think you’ll agree) to give blogging away for good. As I wrote to many of you at the time. I certainly have had plenty of alternative and productive ways of spending my time here on the farm; I decided to put LibertyGibbert behind me, and over the past Australian summer I worked out my rage hewing large tree trunks and disembowelling feral pests of the hopping and slithering varieties. Very cathartic, I must say.

Chopped into little bits

I have to tell you however, over the past three months, I have been simply overwhelmed by your requests for me to reconsider my decision, and re-open LibertyGibbert. I had not realised the place had come to mean something for so many of you. More to the point, I’ve been truly humbled by the personal messages of support and goodwill I’ve received from posters and lurkers right round the world. I’ve tried to respond individually to each one of you, but please accept my apologies if I’ve missed anyone; rest assured that I have read them all. Coming at a time when I was rather down about it all, you’ve shown me that the good people in this world truly outnumber the rest, and by a long way. You’ve given me the encouragement I needed to reverse my decision and continue this project in 2011. My sincere thanks to you one and all. Particular thanks to Dr Dave, Crownarmourer, Amanda, Msher and Izen, whose advice and suggestions have been taken on board. I hope you enjoy the new format.

That said, there are going to be a few changes to the setup here; I’ll summarize them one by one:

Back to Basics

As you may recall, the blogging software problems experienced over at the UK Telegraph in June last year led me to invite the crew from James Delingpole’s blog over here to commiserate. I wanted everyone to feel at home, so I changed the blog’s focus from Libertarianism to Global Warming. At the time, I imagined  that the problems at the Tele would be resolved in short order, and those mainly interested in AGW would then drift back over there, which did not prove to be the case. While it certainly increased the traffic round here, it did tend to paint LibertyGibbert into a bit of a thematic corner.

A hotter and drier Australia?

The warmistas are right about one thing: the AGW debate is OVER

As some of you have noted, there are already many excellent blogs out there dedicated solely to AGW. And while we have held many worthwhile discussions on the subject, I don’t think LibertyGibbert added much to the debate that was particularly new, with the two notable exceptions of Locust’s revelations regarding the views of the Chinese Government, and of course Fenbeagle’s masterly artwork. Both Locusts and Fen now have their own blogs, and given that posters at the Tele appear to have come to terms with the shortcomings of the new Disqus blogging software, I think it’s now high time for me to concentrate on the purpose for which I originally created LibertyGibbert.

On that note, I should also point out that I’ll no longer be promoting this blog at the Telegraph, or even posting there (not as Ozboy, at any rate). I’d appreciate it if you also don’t make a big deal of my re-opening over there. This is meant as no disrespect to, or difference with, James Delingpole; quite the opposite, in fact. He’s still the God-Emperor, (and now with a Bastiat Prize to prove it) and in the broad scheme of all things bloggish, his place is where the real fight is being waged; LibertyGibbert, by comparison, was never more than a minor side-show. I was horrified when the blow-up down here spilled over onto his blog; the last thing he needs over there is the public spectacle of his own supporters fighting amongst themselves, and I for one am not going to precipitate a re-occurrence. (Update: following much encouragement from you, I’ve relented and am now posting occasionally at the Tele. Once again, many thanks for your support)

Too Many Cooks…

You’ll notice the Rare Scribbling section has disappeared. I’m sorry about this, but you all saw what ensued when I started offering a platform here for other people’s literary endeavours. While from a blogging point of view it was an abject failure (the combined lifetime total of page hits for the entire section barely topped one hundred), its purpose was no more or less than me trying to extend a friendly hand to those who appeared to spend a great deal of time down here. But given that hand is today still swathed in bandages, I’m making it very clear this time round that LibertyGibbert has only one proprietor, and that’s me.

While I will be focussing on Libertarian issues, I reserve the right to digress through my own idiosyncratic highways and byways; if that means reduced patronage, so be it. But in my world view, taking responsibility for your own life is a very broad subject indeed, and a rich and deep vein to mine; you may have got some sense of this in LibertyGibbert’s non-AGW posts last year. Expect to see sections on permaculture and organic gardening, home brewing, cooking and other aspects of self-sufficient living.

I’ll still be inviting guest posts from time to time, but anyone wishing to contribute to LibertyGibbert this time round will need to understand they are doing so with no strings attached; I won’t again hold hostage to fortune that a contributor at some later date finds something on this site objectionable, and demands their earlier work removed.

Safety First

Like any other blog, all comments here will now be pre-moderated. I know several of you thought I was crazy allowing an unmoderated forum on such a contentious subject as AGW, let alone drug prohibition, and told me so in no uncertain terms. In hindsight, you couldn’t have been more right. Given that LibertyGibbert this year will be exploring subjects even more highly-charged—gun control, abortion and voluntary euthanasia to name just three—maintaining a safe blogging environment becomes an imperative. Don’t I know it.

Now, I don’t wish to detract from the spontaneity of the old “Ozboy’s Bar-and-Grill”, but neither do I want a repeat of last year’s headaches. I will generally be around in Australian daylight hours, which translate to late afternoon-evening in the USA, and late evening-early hours in the UK. Comments in these hours should get through pretty quickly. I will also play around with the WordPress moderation settings as we go, to try and find a happy medium.

I want to encourage a friendly atmosphere, but while I am happy to host robust debate (indeed, I will again be inviting contrarians round to participate in debates on specific issues) I intend to head off needless ad hominem abuse and won’t hesitate this time to kick out the offenders. It’s no betrayal of Libertarianism’s principles to do so; indeed, as I have since learned, for me to fail to do so is to trample on the liberty of everyone else present. Anyone wishing to brawl is welcome to leave: the cyber-parking lot outside is very, very large. We’re once again a family establishment.


So there it is: LibertyGibbert is back in business, this time as a smaller, quieter and somewhat less raucous hole-in-the-wall corner of the blogosphere. I’ve got my first thread lined up for a couple of days’ time. It’s an important one, in the context of this site, as it examines in detail one of the fundamental principles of Libertarianism; many of the articles I’ll be writing over the next year will refer back to it.

See you all then!


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19 Responses to The Gates Re-open…

  1. realityreturns says:

    Hi Oz

    I just had to stop by and say hello. I am glad you have set up shop again. I’ll drop by from time to time.


  2. Kitler says:

    Welcome back Oz and good for you. I will certainly stop by and discuss issues in a sensible manner some interesting topics lined up.

  3. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy, my friend, I feel like a kid who just learned it’s a snow day. This is great news! I’ve sorely missed this site…and the “family”. One of the distinguishing characteristics that set the “Bar & Grill” apart is the warm welcome I received as a new poster. Who knew there would be ugly bar fights in the future? The bad actors all have new “homes”. May they blog in peace.

    I became acquainted with a lot of truly wonderful folks on this site and I sincerely hope to re-establish those relationships. I think the new moderation policy is a stoke of genius. I’ve been crafting libertarian articles so expect to see some showing up in your inbox.

    Again, BRAVO my friend…and many thanks.


  4. Amanda says:

    Hello Oz and hello again Dr Dave and whoever will subsequently be posting (RR and Crown ‘see’ me all the time at James’s).

    As always, Oz, you come across as immensely mature, thoughtful, fair-minded, and generous. I like Oz’s place: there’s always a nice warm fire in the snug, and no one spoils the fun with a cry of ‘Last call!’

    And thank you very much for your kind naming of me among others as being helpful to you. A badge of pride, as my hubby was happy to point out.

    Looking forward to seeing what’s on offer, who turns up, and what people have to say about the thorny questions of the world. It stretches the mind!

    Cheers, Amanda

  5. meltemian says:

    Oz’ Like everyone else I am truly delighted you are re-opening. Your warm and friendly place has been sadly missed, and apparently not just by me.
    Mr.M. was startled when I let out a whoop having received your news and spilled his morning tea all over himself – washing machine on now!
    Looking forward to your first post and glad to hear that you have decided to keep us all in order, remember YOU have the whip-hand.

  6. Amanda says:

    Meltemian: ‘Remember YOU have the whip-hand’. Dangerous thing to say when you’re a horse! 🙂

  7. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    So good to have you back! Count me in to be a frequent patron. I look forward to rational debate on contentious subjects. Hopefully, at the end of the evening, all heated discussions will end with the involved parties buying each other a beer and parting on good terms in the true Aussie tradition. (Or have I seen too many Crocodile Dundee movies?)

    G’day SGDN (and all of you who’ve posted or lurked today) – it’s wonderful to see you all here again. I’m still drowning in work just at the moment, but pull up a chair by the fire and make yourselves at home. Next post should be in a couple of days – Oz

  8. meltemian says:

    Amanda, You’re right – perhaps I should have thought before suggesting whips to Oz’. I’m sure he’ll be careful where he applies it though.
    Take your time Oz’ – we’ll sit by the fire and have a ‘chin-wag’ while waiting for you.

  9. msher says:

    Welcome back. I’m glad you didn’t let the bad guys win.

    I hope one subject this blog can work with is sorting out the difference between libertarian and conservative.

    G’day Msher,

    I did cover the difference way back here, but a lot of people besides yourself are posing the same question at the moment. Clearly it’s an issue that requires further attention. So consider it in the pipeline – Oz

  10. msher says:


    Here is the really hard to understand part of libertarianism for me. What about libertarianism from the left? Or is there such a thing? I know that the men who belong to to the groups who practice homosexual sex with teenage boys claim they are libertarian. Are they really or are they just pedophiles? Same with those who adovcate free use of drugs. Yes, they are libertarians. But are they from the right or from the left? I think that is the question that really interests me: Do conservative libertarians line up with conservative values – or can their values come from the left? Or is it misleading to assign right or left to values at all?

    Msher, all valid questions. And for what it’s worth, I have some opinions. All in good time – Oz

  11. fenbeagle says:

    Good to see you back Oz.

    And this blog remains your blog’s biggest fan – Oz

  12. toad says:

    Welcome back !

    Mucho graçias, bufo mio. I’ve been open a couple of weeks so far but have been keeping it quiet. I hope GE understands my absence at DT has nothing to do with him. Or perhaps, everything to do with him – Oz

  13. scientificanomaly says:

    Hi Oz

    Good to see you back mate. I am glad to hear that you are drifting away from the AGW debate; I reckon the beast has been fatally wounded now anyway and although as sceptics we should remain vigilant, I don’t think it’s as much of as issue in the minds of the general population as it once was.

    These days most people are too busy struggling to make ends meet and don’t have the time or leisure to ponder such nebulous flapdoodle. So, on that note I am looking forward to reading your pieces on self sufficiency. I run a few acres here in Blighty and have started growing a fair amount of food (nosh is getting expensive). Any tips on how to do it better will be welcome.

    All the best


    Thanks mate; I’m flooded with work right now but I hope to start those sections sometime in April; watch this space – Oz

  14. fenbeagle says:

    planting……green side up

  15. fenbeagle says:

    Advice two…..Make sure everyone in the family will actually eat what you’ve spent so much time, effort and resources in growing. Especially as they will get an awful lot of it, all at the same time.

    ….Learn to trade with neighbors that do actually have something worth having, and don’t realise they’re getting the worst of the deal (or are too polite to mention it)

  16. fenbeagle says:

    Advice 3….Things that grow straight up, are easier to harvest, and use a lot less ground than things that grow horizontally……. So grow runner beans.
    …..Everything else is optional.

  17. scientificanomaly says:

    Aye fen, we grow:

    Runner beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, lettuce, courgettes, peas, onions, potatoes, cabbages, curly kale, garlic and mushrooms.

    Also, apples, pears, plums and damsons (our house had an established orchard when we bought it)

    Not to mention rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, black currents, red currents, melons and lots of different herbs.

    We tend to eat what’s in season and process the surplus as ‘ready meals’ which I freeze. We try not to waste anything; half of our yearly ‘apple mountain’ gets turned into juice which is also frozen (we use some of the pulp as pectin for the jams and compost the rest). A bottle of pure Cox’s juice at Christmas is hard to beat; a real taste of sunshine. 😉

    Another fan of kale! We have much to explore – Oz

  18. Catweazle says:

    Hi Ozboy.

    Nice to see you back!

    Likewise cat. I won’t be doing as much science this time around, but I’ll alert you when I am; your input is valued as always – Oz

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