Apologies to anyone who tried to post an OP or send a PM over night and couldn’t. Permissions are restored.
I was trying to set up a means for the admins to confer together on site rather than singly by PM or by email, as a result, set the cat among the pigeon (skua among the penguins?) by first of all making a “password protected” page for the admins, new comments to which appeared in the “new comments” list, arousing great alarm, and in any case turned out to be visible from the dashboard. So I tried another WP option which was to make it a “private” page, but people could still see it from the dashboard. So I switched off that. But then people couldn’r post OPs or receive PMs. So I’ve restored it again. We will keep the “private” admin page, but for those curious about it, you will find you can access its comments via the dashboard. Which is fine by me – it wasn’t like we wanted to plot anything anyway, just have a means of conferring about stuff (security issues, strategies, plug-ins, rules etc) between our selves. So this seems a good solution. Nobody need get paranoid because they can always check the record, but it won’t be a prominent feature of the site.