Apologies to the regular visitors to this site (both of you), for the abrupt termination of posts, and then the more recent disappearance altogether (a technical hitch that went uncorrected because I wasn't paying attention).
A combination of factors led me to give up on the site.
- It was taking up too much of my time.
- I was increasingly aware that I was either preaching to the converted or trying to convert people whose minds were as made up as my own.
- Most political debate nowadays has nothing to do with philosophy or even reason, and everything to do with vested and selfish interests, or maintaining whatever fiction is necessary to avoid losing face or having to rethink one's prejudices.
- I still accept Hayek's arguments that it is necessary to change the intellectual climate before any change in the political landscape is possible, but it is clear that the blogosphere does not provide as useful a way of circumventing the control of most avenues of public communication by the New Elites (as accurately described by George Walden) as I thought it might.
- Recent examples of being ignored, circumvented and sometimes shafted in the policy debates in the field in which our company were pioneers and major investors have come so thick and fast that the latest example broke the camel's back - I now believe that our political system is so corrupt in its corporatism that it is beyond redemption. We can only wait for our 1979, and I fear, even though the consequences are already apparent of the complete intellectual bankruptcy and failure of the wet, interventionist approach that has been the hallmark of British (and indeed, most Western) government since 1992, that we have at least a decade to go before people realise how many wrong turns have been taken. It is better to wait until people are ready to hear the message than try to force it down their throats ahead of time.
- At the same time as I despaired of the British economy and polity, an opportunity came up to develop a new aspect of our business in Switzerland. PL was the outlet of frustration at trying to operate in the British political and economic environment. When the latest incident destroyed any illusion I had that things might change in the near future, or that reason might prevail, I experienced a Lao Tzu-style awakening that greater peace and happiness could be found in resignation than in continuous hopeless struggle. Switzerland has shown both how bad Britain is, and how much more pleasant and useful it is to work on something practical that is not so dependent on political initiative.
It may yet happen that I am forced back in to working full-time in the British economy (which naturally means the British political sphere, as there is barely anything left of our economy that is not heavily influenced by government policy), in which case PL will probably be revived as an outlet for my frustrations. But I hope to God not. I am so repulsed by the shallow, self-deluding, self-serving and yet naive (in their failure to understand the bigger picture) machinations of most of the figures who are put forward as being worth listening to (whether politicians, civil servants, academics, journalists, lobbyists or "captains of industry") that I have developed an aversion verging on allergy to all topical "debate" in the media. It usually only takes a sentence or two before my head feels like it will explode and I am wanting to throw the TV, radio, or paper out of the window. Life is too short to waste on continuous uphill struggles, and likely to be all the shorter if I do. So for now, I am signing off, and if I never sign on again, you will know it is for the best.