It seems my departure from politicalbetting.com has attracted a ripple of interest and debate. A number of the points raised have been constructive and I warmly welcome these. Let me stress I have absolutely no problem with Mike Smithson and ultimately it's his site and he can run it as he sees fit.
I told him of my decision to leave and the reasons behind it by email before I posted yesterday's contribution. I'm gratified by the support and understanding I've received from the majority and should that spirit of goodwill become pre-eminent once again on the site, I'm sure I would return.
Some have said that I have left because the Conservatives are in the ascendant. I think that has been the case for a large part of pb.com's existence and certainly since the election of David Cameron as Tory leader. There are a number of thoughtful Conservatives (Sean Fear, David Herdson, Marcus Wood and James Burdett to name but four) with whom I have joined in excellent and constructive debate in an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill.
However, within the last 12 months we have seen more and more posters emerge whose agenda is simply to bash all forms of anti-Conservative opinion. Some are relentlessly anti-Labour and anti-Brown, others relentlessly anti-Liberal Democrat. Again, that's fair enough but the trend in recent times has been to attack the messengers rather than the message. Anyone expressing a view critical of the Conservative Party or supportive of either Labour or the Liberal Democrats is hounded by this cadre of posters who abuse, insult and harrass the poster into silence.
That's not welcome though I recognise it's part of the political rough house.
Ultimately, it's my choice not to put up with it and I have nothing but admiration for those, including Nick Palmer MP, who stay and take it.
Of course, the day will come when the Conservatives will be on the defensive and I certainly intend to hold the next Government (whatever its stripe) to account. I would like to think and hope that while savaging the message I would have some respect for the messenger. I hope that will be the case for others too.