I was always shocked by the level of vitriol among New Statesman and Guardian readers when a writer stepped away from the comfort zone of received wisdom and cuddly "I'm a nice person too" leftie-ness. Suggest that perhaps Hamas is anything other than a resistance movement or that people who vote Conservative might be people too and the sky falls in.
Where the stock term of self-righteous abuse used to be "fascist" - remember Rick from the Young Ones? - it is now "neo-con", which consigns the target to the same ideological hell as George W. Bush.
Since I've started this new blog I have not been called a neo-con. Instead, the insult of choice is "socialist". There is, I have noticed, a different tone to critics of my posts here: more patronising and dismissive, less fired up with charges of treachery and, from time to time, actually quite funny.
"Fulcanelli" told it to me straight on my recent post about the Liberal Democrats: "You really are a tiresome individual. 'The Irresistible rise..', don't make me laugh. They're almost as worthless as the current Labour party."
"Mac" found my thoughts on a Balls/Cooper dream ticket fanciful: "'Ed looking after the money'. Yvette a 'formidable television performer'. This blog's zanier than Draper's."
"Fulcanelli" had his/her views on this matter too: "I know you're here to try and stir things up, present a different perspective on matters, but if you can't see what a complete disaster this government has been then you have simply lost the plot. Socialism does not work, no matter what garb it may wear."
Possibly my favourite comment so far, though, comes from "gapster": "A bit light weight but I suspend judgement on this new blog for the time being. Could the Editor instruct all contributors to avoid American platitudes such as 'Step up to the plate' and 'meet with' rather than 'meet'.This terminology is a basic misfit in British English and needs to be stamped out now."
Couldn't agree more. Must "pull my socks up". Is that better?
Joking apart, I have been impressed by the level of debate here. Most of the comments on my post about the Lib Dems are challenging and seriously engage with the issue. I urge you to go back and read them.