Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part X: Alex Hilton

(Alex Hilton)
Alex Hilton was born in Ilford in 1976 and is a journalist and internet entrepreneur.
He stood for Parliament as the Labour Candidate for Canterbury in the 2005 General Election and until this year's May Council elections, was Labour Councillor for the Newbury ward in the London Borough of Redbridge.
Alex runs two blogs. Labourhome (a community blog for Labour members and supporters), and Recess Monkey (a blog primarily known for political gossip)

What made you decide to start blogging?

I used to be the Deputy Editor of - We were thinking of ways to make the site generally more attractive and hit upon the idea of a gossip column, and Recess Monkey was born. However, it soon became apparent that it remaining on W4MP was going to become the source of tension with the Palace authorities, so we spun it off to an independent site. No-one told me for at least three months that Recess Monkey was a blog and that I was a blogger. It took another two years for me to describe myself as such without embarrassment.

What is your best blogging experience?

I'm not wholly convinced that you can have a blogging experience - surely blogging is what we do in lieu of having experiences? I suppose my best blog-related experience was when I attended an Adam Smith Institute event on how blogging was going to change the world - lots of pompous people puffing themselves up really - and when I had an opportunity to speak I said, "I don't think blogging will change the world, I'm just here to meet girls" - which I think illicited the event's one and only laugh. As you can imagine, the room was mostly pasty boys who ought to get out more.

And your worst?

The accusations of homophobia after mocking Mark Oaten were a bit hurtful. It was the poo that made it funny, not the gayness. As far as I know, there isn't an active Poo-lovers' civil rights movement preaching equality and tolerance. I suspect they prefer it to be kept underground, a (dirty) secret.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

There are so many - but i think this effort still makes me chuckle -

Favourite blogs?

I cannot survive without Barry's Beef - for it is that single source which provides me with my entire understanding of popular culture. If a strange person in a bar starts talking to me - I just have to remember a Beef story and I know I'll not be laughed out of the pub.

What inspired you to go into politics?

Indoctrinated by my parents and the church. If I gave up on politics, I'd maybe take cloth.

You run two blogs and Recess Monkey tends to be about political gossip. Are there times you feel that you may have gone a bit far, such as publishing Rehman Chishti's phone number?

To be fair, Chishti is a treacherous dangleberry and does deserve to be outed as such. He chose a high profile path for himself and I think both he and the Labour Party are better off because of it. However, I take such betrayals very personally and I think the many Labour Party members who directly and indirectly had faith in him should have had the opportunity to phone him and ask him why that comradeship was so cheap to him. He's on the Tory A List now. I sincerely hope he gets a safe seat because the public deserves a laugh from time to time - and he could be a running joke for 30 years. The first draft of this answer included the term scum-sucking nob, but I can't remember where so will have to leave it there.

What advantages would you say Labourhome has over Conservativehome and how do you see it progressing over the next twelve months?

The primary advantage of Labourhome over ConservativeHome is that LH is not dedicated to lining up the entire British working class and buggering them one by one. That said, blogging per se is more challenging from the standpoint of supoprting the party in Government - you must know this yourself. Labourhome has some innovations in the works - we've had feedback on look and feel that we will work on after the conferences - but the rest I'll have to keep a surprise.

Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?

Everywhere - though I do have a long-standing fantasy involving Havana, three litres of Rum Punch and a complicit young lady.

Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?


Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?

Does anyone ever say anything other than Attlee? Has any other government since the abolition of slavery truly had such a profound and persistent effect on the welfare of the most needy in our society?

Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?

It's quite sad but I don't think I'm particularly inspired. Lots of politicians in small ways have had an impact on me. My parents, my old boss, Linda Perham, Tony Banks and Bob Littlewood, the Deputy Leader of Redbridge Labour Group to name a few.

Favourite Bond movie?

Have never particularly liked a bond movie - don't really empathise with the main character.

Favorite Doctor Who?

After what must be decades of saying Tom Baker, I think I would have to say Tennant now - I'm still coming to terms with this.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?

That's not a question, it's three words with punctuation. It's like saying "Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry?" - you have to infer a question yourself for it to make sense. If I do so, it's another tough call but probably Angelina Jolie... or Halle.... - buggerit, I'll have vanilla.

Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?

Kinks - bit like the beatles with a sense of humour.

In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?

This is sounding like a very white, home counties questionnaire. Are you sure you're not a liberal?

Favourite national newspaper?

Used to read the Indy until they banned news from the front page. Now I read the Times as a staple but pick up any proper paper that has a scoop instead if it's good enough. Have found I can't read the Guardian every day because it reads like it has been written by teachers.

What would you say your hobbies were?

Blogging has made them atrophy and die.

And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?

Songs (though ask me on a different day and I might answer differently)
1. The In Paradisum from Gabriel Faure's Requiem
2. Willard Robinson's Don't Smoke in Bed sung by Nina Simone
3. Al Green's I'm Still in Love With You

1. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera (though sometimes i think Unbearable Lightness is more important to me)
2. Homo Faber, Max Frisch
3. Atomised, Michel HouellbecqI suspect this choice of books can be analysed to tell you far more about me than I would otherwise volunteer.


Anonymous said...

Favourite TV Show: Westminster Wannabes

iamacat said...

"The primary advantage of Labourhome over ConservativeHome is that LH is not dedicated to lining up the entire British working class and buggering them one by one." self-righteous paranoids sure know how to make me laugh.

C4' said...

"The primary advantage of Labourhome over ConservativeHome is that LH is not dedicated to lining up the entire British working class and buggering them one by one." self-righteous paranoids sure know how to make me laugh.

It's True! It's Damm True, or as they say in Labour's heartlands "I'm poor, lazy and unemployed, so gimme a beer!"

Recess Monkey said...

It's a serious point. What else do the Tories stand for?

Barry Beef said...

thanks for the kind words Monkey. Tories stand for running over Indians. It's their 21st century variant of sex tourism.

iamacat said...

"It's a serious point."

Don't make me laugh

C4' said...

What else do the Tories stand for?

Thinking over feeling!

Kerron said...

Is Wales really "abroad"?

Anonymous said...

Yes, The Welsh are very broad.

Recess Monkey said...

They speak another language and everything Kerron

Anonymous said...

Yow pellen De honan

Samuel Coates said...

The primary advantage of Labourhome over ConservativeHome is that LH is not dedicated to lining up the entire British working class and buggering them one by one.

How can you be taken seriously when you say things like that.. or don't you want to be?

I was brought up within a mile of the Liverpool docks, what about you?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Alex - what grandiose views we do have of ourselves, don't we?
As a long time afficionado and activist for Labour in Kent and in five other parts of the country, I have it on written, phone and verbal record that you were the worst candidate Labour has ever fielded at a General Election for your particular seat. Apparently, you fought no dynamic or engaging campaign and your media skills were zilch - relying mainly on re-hashed hand-outs from Queen Anne's Gate. Doesn't work, kiddo. I never did it.
In 19993, Labour took control of the County for the first time in 100 years. With candidates like you representing the Party, it will be another 100 until it even creeps on to the ballot paper.
People like you have given supremacy to the wretched Sandy Bruce Lockhart. Can you even remember his name, kiddo? The poor voters of Kent who have been let down by you and your like can.

Grow up, kiddo - dry behind your ears - and , always remember, that you have to get your facts right in print journalism if not on a crappy blog.

One for the memory?

Now toilet train,read some politics ( I bet Daddy and Mummy were Tories and you 'rebelled at Uni?')

Diddums.Glad to say that none of my family, to include me - have been a member of any other political party than Labour. How does your Aunty vote, kiddo?

What Labour needs is a 1983 repeat to flush out all the acolytes with cloth between their ears ( like you) and then people like me who have 100 year roots in the party can help it again.When all the shit has been voted away.As it was in 1983.....

Right now, we have no party whatsoever, so 'Labour at large' feels pissed off with brain-lite policy pollyannas like you presuming to speak for working people.Have you read 'Pollyanna' - the film starred a young Hayely Mills and it was all about playing your type of sick, saccharine politics. Whenever anything goes wrong, Pollyanna encourages people to put on a smile and suggest that they play the 'glad game'.Good answer, Kiddo, isn't it,to top up fees, Iraq ( and, no, I wasn't in the Campaign Group ), domestic violence against women, youth disaffection and crime and homelessness. I expect you thought the recent re-showing of 'Cathy Come Home' was 'dead quaint' didn't you - and immediately logged onto a crappy press release from Cooper Balls on'key worker homes'. Grow up.
Join Dave's Tories -- ( you did go to public school and get a poor 2/2 didn't you?)

Go away .... politcs is not for you. Try pooh sticks.
Return to train spotting .

Anonymous said...

I hope Rehman Chisti will get a safe seat and end up on the front bench. Rather him than you. Remember, 'those who can do' those who can't write blogs instead of writing for proper papers and slag off poeple who get elected to Parliament whilst wanking away at no-hope seats temselves.

Sound familiar, puss cat?

Neil Harding said...

Alex, I don't think anon likes you.