Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part CV: Charlotte Gore

Charlotte Gore: In the real world I'm a 32 year old web developer, living in West Yorkshire. I recently escaped from HBOS. In the fantasy world of politics, I've been blogging under a Lib Dem banner on and off for the last year and a bit, campaigning for 'proper' liberalism - "Free Trade, Free Minds" as I call it - and occasionally picking fights with Sunny Hundal of Liberal Conspiracy. Recently I've started including 'current affairs' in the topics I write about and have begun adding pictures to posts as a bit of 'mood music'. It seems to be working.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I'd been reading political blogs for a little while and, being an opinionated and shameless egomaniac, I thought I'd have a crack at it and discovered it's the perfect way to sort out all the thoughts and junk that otherwise clutters up my head.

I was also curious to see just how far I could take it, having started with the same tools as everyone else. I'm horrendously competitive really.

What is your best blogging experience?

Recently I got an email from an MP within the party in support of my blog, which was stunning. To know that there's senior people in our party who support a more economically liberal approach gives me a reason to keep going.

And your worst?

Constantly having to explain to people the difference between libertarians and conservatives. Oh, and getting involved with the Tim Ireland / Iain Dale Drama once. Never again.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

Hmmm... I don't like looking back, although I do remember a blog post I wrote entitled, "I Will Destroy Socialism" that still amuses me. Sometimes it's best to be straight with people about your ambitions. ;)

Favourite blogs?

My absolute favourites include the stupendously talented Alix Mortimer and up-and-comer Stuart Sharpe although sometimes it's hard to separate the blogger and the blogs. I also love Costigan Quist, Jennie Rigg and Devil's Kitchen, even though these blogs couldn't be any more different.

What inspired you to go into politics?

I've been obsessed ever since we had a mock General Election at school when I was 14. I think I have different reasons for staying in politics - at the moment it's about trying to get some momentum behind a proper liberal movement within the Lib Dems. It's slow progress.

You recently blogged about In The Loop and how horrible the Malcolm Tucker character is. Surely there are others just as bad, I mean Jamie is someone who seems to be practically unemployable outside of politics ?

Unemployable within politics too, thanks to Guido! But yes, off screen and unseen is the Prime Minister, who puts unelected spin doctors in charge of running Government, turning ministers into performing monkeys serving the ambition of us just one man at one desk.

Hmm that's the problem with The Thick of It and In The Loop - the lines between fact and fiction become very blurry indeed.

With regards to your recent post about how far from Labour should the Lib Dems move, surely the alternative, should a hung Parliament occur, be somewhat disturbing in itself?

Absolutely. One day it'll be nice to look forward to a particular Government coming into power, but I don't see that happening without major upheaval in the party system. We're all sick of hearing "They're all the same" but that's only because it's blindingly obvious to everyone outside the little political bubble world. Those inside take the tiny nuances of difference and blow them up into major ideological battles, but I think everyone else is left wondering what all the fuss is about.

We're talking about 3 parties that are quibbling over a couple of billion here and there out of a budget of over £650 billion a year - it's a farce.

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

I have a fondness for Japan that will only be resolved by visiting, I'm sure of it. But then, any country that's trying to build giant robots is okay in my book.

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

My favourite place on the planet so far is the Republic of Ireland and I visit it as often as I can. I'm always struck by how oppressive Britain feels by comparison - especially if you do the self-drive Ferry thing. What is it with the British and rules? We seem obsessed by them.

Who, excluding the present leader, do you regard as the best Liberal Democrat/Liberal/SDP Party leader, and if different, the best Prime Minister?

I'm going to say Gladstone, who may go down in history as the last ever Liberal Prime Minister before. He was as impressed by 'new liberalism' as I am - and I'm sure he'd have been just as appalled by Thatcher's 'neo-liberalism' too.

Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?

Pass. No idea.

Favourite Bond movie?

Oh I hate to admit it but Casino Royale struck me as being a genuinely fantastic film that stands out on many, many levels, while the rest are too bogged down by nostalgia to really judge properly. I sincerely adore the whole Bond franchise though - and have been known reel off the names of all the films as a party trick.

Favorite Doctor Who?

Pass... oh, okay, look, it's David Tennant. I'm not proud.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?


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

Some anonymous band that plays just one gig ever, with completely original songs, every single one feeling like the best song you've ever heard, that disappear without a trace and leave the audience feeling like they've had some sort of quasi-religious experience that provokes them to completely change their lives.

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

Oh dear. Cambridge

Favourite national newspaper?

I read the Independent, the Telegraph and the Times with equal bemusement. Won't touch the Guardian though.

What would you say your hobbies were?

I have a voracious appetite for learning new things and taking on new skills and challenges. I play all sorts of musical instruments, enjoy poker and solving puzzles, but my main hobby is the blogging - and all the reading and discussion and thinking that goes with it. That, holding down a 9-5 and running a social life stops me ever thinking about what the hell I'm actually doing. It's great.

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

Fortunate Son, Creedance; Extraordinary Machine, Fiona Apply; Sin Wagon, Dixie Chicks

The choice for books... make up three impressive sounding books to make myself look good or admit which stupid books I can't help loving.. or pass? ;)

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