unsocial banking: what I say is what you get

How dare I question. What right do I have. If I know so much, I should start a bank! What had I done – collapsed the economy, started a bank run or something?

No. This stream of vitriol was for suggesting, “maybe people like bank branches.”

Earlier that day, MovenBank’s Brett King gave me his view about bank branches, having read my piece about the psychology of financial services buying.

We hadn’t agreed, but valuing his view, I printed it. People should have both sides. But by arguing, I’d upset someone. And the smelly stuff hit the proverbial…

Yes, but – maybe we should…?

No, we should not – not unless you work for or better still, own the bank, it seems. This was the view of one vocal and ironically, active social commentator.

He laid into me for daring to question the sovereign right of any banker to be right. Apparently, my comments as a perceived outsider where simply worth nothing.

Anyway, parking for a moment that I could hardly be considered an outsider, having worked in banking for ever and seen it from all angles, from standing in front of a counter as a customer, to presenting strategy in a bank board room.

Nowadays, I’m happy to pass on my experience and views to anyone who’ll listen, either via this social platform, Twitter or directly to those still engaged in banking.

But that, to my new Defender of the Banking Faith, is simply not good enough. What absolutely staggered me was his dismissal of any social comment.

He stated clearly that any social comment was in his words, worthless, unworthy.

Now, I’ve nothing against this guy. We’ve never met, but he’s clearly intelligent and well connected. But I really feel he has one trait which to me, is a red rag to a bull. He doesn’t provide opinions. He issues proclamations. His position is the truth, differing views all false. Or you’re just plain stupid – and arrogant to disagree.

Stoning the philosopher

The guy epitomises what Socrates often used to stand up against, the Sophists. Sophists peddled their opinions as fact, often for money. Much of it was rubbish. Socrates used to go for them like a dog at a juicy bone.

I’m sorry, but proclaiming a point with no opportunity for discussion winds me up. While I’m no Socrates, I can’t help but question when I sense that whiff of bullshit.

Up until this point, its fair to say our exchanges had been civilized, by and large. The Sophist would made his point, I’d disagree, he’d dismiss me out of hand.

We’d extend the exchanges to Twitter. Just like cowboys falling out of the saloon. Twitter’s less urbane. You can swear and stuff. Even joke. But not with him.

His expressed views are contradictory. He doesn’t believe in the platform he uses. Maybe he feels social expression should be one way only – his way.

Or perhaps he’s trying to position himself to land a role working for MovenBank. Maybe he thinks ingratiating himself like this is a great way to get noticed.

I guess only time will tell. But meantime, I’ll still go on preaching my social gospel. All my critic’s done is damage his own integrity. And that’s the undeniable truth.

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