Barry Beef is the genius behind Barry's Beef, the first and only Bovine Blog. He started work at Parliament many moons ago on April Fools' Day. His blog focus primarily on issues of national importance: football; cricket; Eastenders and the like but despite this it has been categorised as a Labour Party blog. A modest Bull by nature Barry refuses to take money for these questions and is amazed that 20 Questions now requires more than 20 'yes' or 'no' answers
What made you decide to start blogging?
God told me to. No seriously, I got into reading blogs like Recess Monkey and thought the whole concept of blogging was pretty good, in that you can vent your spleen, try and be funny, push your own agenda and slag off whoever you want.
What is your best blogging experience?
Well being named #23rd best Labour blogger by a bloke I have never met must be pretty high up there. Outside of that, of course, there were the women, the fast cars, the drink, the drugs...you know. Let me put it this way, blogging is something I enjoy doing, not something that has given me great experiences. Yet.
And your worst?
Although I can't say it truly affected my mood not receiving a response to an email I sent to Winston Bogarde would stick out, so would the apparent lack of interest the bigwigs at Channel 4 seem to show for the resuscitation of Fifteen-2-One. Rest assured the campaign is ongoing.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
How long you got? Seriously. I always liked this one, this one , this one - I also find it cathartic to blog about my feelings on nuclear weapons, racism, bigotry, Sion Simon, the Labour right (can't be bothered to find links) and Dianne Abbott pushing in on me in the lunch queue
Recess Monkey is the best blogger around. Kerron's very good too. Outside of these I'd say have a look at the links bit on my homepage where they are listed. If I had to stick my neck out and pick a favourite it'd probably be Barry's Beef.
What inspired you to go into politics?
I never was particularly inspired and only flirted with inspiration, together with aspiration, briefly before the Local Elections. I think seeing the Brixton riots and the Miners' Strike in formative years must have contributed, especially the latter seeing crying, protesting and later broken people sticks in a kids memory and being born on the same day as Margaret Thatcher was elected PM serves as a mark more pronounced than that stain Gorby has on his head. At university I took to the readings of Marx, Robert Owen, Noam Chomsky, Eduard Bernstein and Tony Benn. Bernstein was the man. And my politics lecturer at university, Dr Whitemore, a true Labour man.
Football and cricket. If you could only play one of those, what would you choose?
Paul, it would be my dream come true to play for Sheffield Wednesday and England or Essex CCC and England. Whilst I love football and know more about it, I am a cricket obsessive; so cricket would snatch it. Although, knocking in the winning putt in the Ryder Cup would just about top the lot. Outside of cloud cuckoo land, it's all about darts and I'd love to play more (and better).
And are things getting better with the IT lot at the Commons?
Yeh loads better, I have spoken to them for a week now.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
No Paul, I'm not much of a traveller. One of my bovine ancestor's once got into Noah's ark, so Mount Ararat for old times' sake.
Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?
What on earth makes you think you need to exclude Tony Blair? I do not regard him as the best British PM, but to be honest we are hardly spoiled for choice. I guess I'd say Attlee by default and hope Blair's successor will be the best. Otherwise you got to look at Churchill. Regardless of policy his war-time leadership marks him apart from others.
Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?
Mohammed Ali closely followed by Marcus Tudgay in the last month and a bit and Hawksbee and Jacobs as heard on Talksport 1-4 every weekday.
Favourite Bond movie?
From Russia with Love followed by Live and Let Die and the Living Daylights. The new ones's (since Goldeneye) have all been crap. I mean they're all right but they're not Bond, they're just gadgetry and running around.
Favorite Doctor Who?
Always thought Dr. Who was for fags and saddos
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
Depends for what? For toothpaste I'd always go for mint.
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
Now you're talking. The Small Faces; 10cc; New Order; Joy Division; the Clash; the Jam; INXS; Bob Marley and the Happy Mondays
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
Never heard of Barsby, sounds shit. Guess Cambridge. Second hand book shops are good.
Favourite national newspaper?
All crap. Actually, the Daily Express has a wonderful daily sports quiz.
What would you say your hobbies were?
proper sport, reading, seeing the girlfriend, movies, going pub, Eastenders, the War on Terror, taking the piss...
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
Even if you permitted the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare I wouldn't take them. Shakespeare needs to be more urban and the Bible? Well I won't offend Paul, suffice to say I am neither a Believer nor a great fan of fiction.
Songs:Blue Monday - New OrderLove will Tear Us Apart - Joy DivisionLondon Calling - The Clash
Books:The Benn Diaries, I Married a Communist - Philip RothSharpe's Escape (perhaps the best Sharpe book of them all)