There are some decent folks on here and it's a shame people are being put off by a small minority. Sure they are allowed their point of view despite the fact those views are extreme, however their delivery is often crass, without wisdom and points seem to be 'won' by sniping.
I would say that there are lots of decent folk on here but I generally agree with your comments. I've nothing against political discussion but it needs to be conducted in a respectful, polite way. After all, what's the point of being rude to someone that you don't agree with - being rude is hardly going to persuade them of your views and it just demonstrates to everyone else that you have so little faith in your POV that it can't stand on the facts alone.
Of course, we all come across statements that we find so abhorrent that we feel we must challenge ....and every now and then something that seems so ridiculous to us is posted that it's understandable that we might have a strong reaction to it. But for healthy debate to continue we need to make sure that that reaction is not an invitation to lower the discussion to the level of a play ground spat. This isn't just a case of not being overtly rude, but also of going out of our ways not to be sarcastic or dismissing others' views out of hand without any kind of explanation, as either of these approaches just lead to the other person replying in kind and the debate spiralling down.
We also seem to be getting a lot of threads that have a Sun, Mail, <insert the rag of your choice> type shock headline title, a few semi-out of context quotes in the body and a link to another site. These threads do seem to be dividing opinion as to whether they are invitations for discussion on serious issues that concern us all, or are they are exercises in lighting the blue touch paper and retreating while the fireworks start. I'm perfectly willing to believe that these threads are started with the former intent, but the way that they present the question doesn't help them progress that much.
............ I have frequented the forum far less recently.
Yes, know the feeling.....some of us signed up to staff a cycling forum not to chair a particularly boisterous edition of Question Time. Goes without saying that there is always going to be the odd set-to regarding h*lm*ts, uni-pannierists, Alu vs steel, head phones, etc.......but when the moderation staff of a cycling forum spend most of their time moderating political threads you've got to wonder if something isn't right?
There was another well known forum that tried to solve the problem by creating a Room 101 section. Any heated thread was not moderated, it was just moved to this section where the combatants could continue to knock seven bells out of each other. Alas it failed as so many people posted with the intent of trying to get moved to 101. But at least if we did have a politics forum it would be less likely to lure in the passing trade! There do seem to be a number of people who don't realise that we have a Camping sub section, a h*lm*t subsection, etc.
If we had a politics section I would suggest that the rules state that any post, thread or poster may be removed at the moderator's discretion without any reason or warning and that there would be no recourse to complain about this. That way the moderators would have more time to concentrate on the cycle-related threads and pop in warnings before those get modded, to pull out individual offensive posts rather than binning whole threads, and to discuss with people why moderation has taken place, etc.....something we find we have less and less time and inclination to do now because of all the politics threads.