My last comment on the FT website was on Monday in response to an article about Abenomics. On Wednesday I got a response from reader 'J' who asked me a question. It was a good question, so here it is, along with my answer:
"You were such a vocal supporter of Vote Leave in the run up to Brexit. But I'm surprised how you have left the comment sections of recent articles discussing the state of the British economy. You are eerily silent..."
I think the level of the debate is in the sewer. When it gets to the point where someone is told they will be responsible for the upcoming rape of Polish women because they voted for Leave...and upon rebuttal with sincerity and logic, are met with more bile...it's time to take pause.
I am not a sensitive soul. I have lived in ghettos and 'palaces', worked on five continents and in over 20 countries, and I can tell you that bigotry is made of the same stuff everywhere - self-righteous generalization fuelled by the 'courage' of a crowd.
I have been spat at by BNP people at anti-Nazi rallies and had to deal with racism up close and personal on a number of occasions. But this is a forum for supposedly intelligent people to explore ideas. If I wanted to indulge in 'spew' I could go on Facebook, where apparently the degree of bile is in a much higher league.
Ironically much of the bigotry is being indulged in by people claiming to be 'liberals'. I have been a 'classical liberal' for decades, and I can vouch for the fact that it is about small government, individual liberty, and respect for the equality of all people within the rule of law. It is about 'principle', not about changing the rules because you didn't get the result you want. If the vote had been 52-48 the other way round, the people challenging it right now would not be challenging it. That's not principle, it's hypocrisy.
The conversations about the markets and the economics are being twisted to suit a narrative in the same fashion. Right now, I prefer not to engage with it.
Anyway, thanks for asking, I will definitely re-engage here when there's less vitriol and more listening.