Friday, February 27, 2009

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part LVIII: Sadie Smith

Sadie blogs at Sadie's Tavern, and writes also for W4MP. She's thirty this year, and already planning her mid-life crisis

What made you decide to start blogging?

The same as everyone else I guess: narcissism. Also, I just really enjoy writing.

What is your best blogging experience?

It's not exactly a blogging experience, but I really enjoy meeting up with online people offline. I've been out with Sunny and the Liberal Conspiracy people on a few occasions which was great fun (even though we rarely agree, we all speak the international language of The Booze), and there are a more than couple of us Labour bloggers who get together for unfocussed rambles in licensed premises.

And your worst?

When anonymous commentators attempt to paint me as an airhead, the language tends to get a bit blue.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

The one I wrote on the vacuity of the St Damian Green of Magnercarter posturing. It started, as these things inevitably do, as a lament about the lack of pictures of naked men at Westminster Tube station and quickly spiralled off on a tangent.

Favourite blogs?

Olly's Onions, PooterGeek, Tom Harris, Photoshop Disasters, Never Trust A Hippy, spEak You're bRanes, and the Enemies of Reason.

What inspired you to go into politics?

A desire to irritate my parents.

What are the best taverns to visit in London?

Tough call. I quite like The Old Cheshire Cheese off Fleet Street, and I have a nostalgic love for The Speaker in Greycoat as I used to go there with my dad.

You seem to not fall into any neat boxes in terms of what you believe on your blog, for example you think secularism has triumphed and therefore think that Dawkins and co. are being somewhat smug and disengenuous. Am I correct and is this how you see yourself?

Sort of. I think atheism has triumphed as the dominant orthodoxy of the West, and the faux-courageous grandstanding of the likes of Dawkins et al irritates me. There was a time when questioning the Christian faith was a dangerous endeavour, but now you're more likely to be subject to condescending sneering if you do have religious belief. Where the militant atheist movement gets it wrong, in my opinion, is that they conflate "atheism" which is a belief system with "secularism" which is a political movement. Most moderate religious types, as well as atheists, could be said to be secularists - they think that all the stuff that Dicey came up with about parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, irrespective of faith, should come before consideration of religious sensibility. We can all sign up to and campaign for that. It's the demonisation of all those with faith, many of whom would not push it on others or patronise their beliefs, that I think disengenous: campaign by all means for secularism. But plastering slogans on buses to "educate" the ignorant, brainwashed masses, the perpetual hectoring one sees on Comment is Free and (largely) on the left-wing blogosphere is, to my mind, no different from the worst excesses that the militant athiests are fond of accusing the religious of indulging in. And, in the final analysis, what's that adding to the onward march of secularism and progress?

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

Egypt. I'd like to see the ancient world, but lack the readies.

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?

I'm going to be boring: Clement Attlee.

Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?

Actually it's a woman I met once when working for my former employer, John Mann. She is a tireless campaigner on behalf of her community and got elected councillor a few years ago, so she's now in a position to really do something about the issues she cares about. It's easy to get caught up with Parliamentary characters and celebrity PPCs, but I think it's people like her who are truly tremendous.

Favourite Bond movie?

As a general rule I dislike Bond films, although the first one with Daniel Craig in it was okay, I guess [comes over all unneccessary]

Favourite Doctor Who?

Not into Doctor Who, I'm afraid.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?

Mint. I like an ice cream that bites back.

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


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

Not Cambridge. Oxford probably. But out of term time.

Favourite national newspaper?

The Times.

What would you say your hobbies were?

Bird watching, reading, and terrible TV.

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

Favourite books:

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Favourite songs:
Do You Love Me? Blues Brothers
Glory Box - Portishead
[And, because bizarrely, this was "my song" at college] Eternal Flame - The Bangles. My mind still boggles at that one.

1 comment:

Simon Dyda said...

You know if it wasn't for your liking of Holyoaks (which you disclosed on Normblog), you'd be the perfect woman.