Following the Nigel Farage and Coutts case, the Brexit leader being debanked for his political views, certain analysts have mentioned the concept of decoupling: the ability to separate an idea from its context. For example, there is a difference between ‘immigration depresses the wages of certain occupations’ and ‘immigration is bad’, low decouplers being unable to appreciate this.
Great writing, very helpful. I've not actually come across the term "decoupling" before, but it seems familiar to me in the form of two concepts:
1. Being ethically consistent and fair is desirable even when it's personally unpalatable
2. You can separate the "art" from the "artist".
I've noticed the second one in particular has become not just passé, but used as evidence of normal failing in recent years. "You can't like that song, the singer did/said/thought X". It's all very worrying, to put it mildly.
With the Farage/Coutts story I was always willing to exercise caution before taking "sides", not because I disbelieved Farage but because I've acted for PEPs and the AML checks are INSANE. And remember I retired from full-time practice in 2016--it's only become worse since then.
But as soon as Farage disclosed the results of his Subject Access Request & it became clear he'd been debanked for his political views (and that the Coutts dossier on him had been compiled by a bunch of diversity hires who would misspell "cat"), I started to get properly annoyed.
This was made worse when--in the SAME WEEK--my partner & I were shunted into "premier banking" ourselves without being asked--on the strength of holding a single NatWest product!
I note Starmer's reaction was exactly right--but then, he's a lawyer. We have to "high decouple" every day.
Great article, just subscribed!
The ability of a business to exclude anyone from crossing the ‘threshold to the shop’ for any reason together with the freedom to discuss customers internally in a frank and open manner (say in internal reports) is one obvious benefit to the business (e.g. any particular customer may be more trouble than they are worth and that is stated openly in the internal reports of the business) but it must be balanced with any customer’s civic rights to shop or use a service. . . In the United States it was found that a religious group were not prevented from going door to door in a company’s private town on the company’s private land (to tell the residents all about Jesus and his love for them) as the right to religious freedom to talk about Christ is more important than the company’s rights in private property . . So there must be a balance struck between the right of Farage to exercise his political beliefs (out of his mouth on television and radio and out of his pen in the newspapers) and the right of a private company to control access to its prestigious banking services and the right of the same company to discuss the customers in a frank manner
The “liberal” elites are leftists, not liberals.
Thanks for introducing this concept. I'll add it to the list of things that make me despair of post-Twitter civic society.