Hatfield Girl: Born and brought up in Hatfield. Graduated in political science, then in social anthropolgy in another place. Married. Brought up family in two cultural inheritances. Fled the New Dawn in 1997 with books and furniture. Lived in ancient ruin while it was restored; then recovered marginal-land farm and reconstructed the buildings as ecohouse. Spent all the money (but better than it was being spent by New Labour) and got most of what was left of it out of England before collapse of sterling. Live in Bloomsbury when in London
Mostly work at whatever needs doing and other people's writing.
What made you decide to start blogging?
Rage. And the feeling I couldn't keep saying things on other's blogs without providing some space myself.
What is your best blogging experience?
All the bloggers who came to say hello when Angels in Marble appeared.
And your worst?
Opening the mail in the morning to find spam from mannerless and incoherent New Labour apparatchiks.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
Horses for Courses, Saturday 28 April 2007 and Democracy and Its Fragility, Thursday 19 April 2007.
(but I'm very fond of most of my blog entries)
Lilith for laughing at New Labour; Willem Buiter for understanding how epically wrong their economics is and with occasional starbursts against their immorality; Newmania (but he's so pressed for time his very clever posts are sometimes hard for me to follow without knowing where he wants to get to), Bearwatch (if you follow all his links); Nick Drew for being right all the time.
What inspired you to go into politics?
I'm not in politics except for being interested and writing Angels in Marble. The threats to the community in east Bloomsbury and the demolition of much of the remaining Georgian heritage would send me in if I were there all the time.
You have recently blogged about how the Italian Earthquake has meant to you, i.e. you have a home in Italy. What sparked your interest in the country?
Marriage. My family has lived between Florence and Arezzo for hundreds of years. Also, when the New Dawn broke in 1997 I thought we would be in for a bout of authoritarianism. Never even in nightmares did I think we would end where we are now but I thought it time to elaborate an alternative to New Labour England. I am very fortunate; most cannot take up another life and culture because most cultures are very rejecting of outsiders, and most people are very fond of their own world and backgrounds.
David Cameron recently talked about the need for morality in the markets. A sentiment politicans of all parties can agree on! Surely any form of regulation will upset those on the right, plus what sort of regulation, and in what areas, does Cameron have in mind?
Capitalism is not a moral system. It's a market system where the allocation of resources is determined by market clearing. The moral system is a political system concerned with the use of power and its allocation by consent. Which is why although there is economics, quite good economics, on Angels in Marble, the blog is concerned principally with politics and moral choices. You might ask Mr Cameron what he has in mind - he's been rather reticent, disappointingly so, as time goes by.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
I have travelled very little; usually I remain within Europe, within Schengen even. If you have a time machine there are a number of places set out in novels I would like to visit visit. Black Sea resorts and other sad summer retreats where there is little to do but think on the human condition. Otherwise I'd like to go to India. (terrible weakness for the music)
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
Germany, always. More specifically, a German Grand Tour. That should take about a couple of years. Then I'd like to work in the Bauhaus Archives on the Neues Typographie. Looks as if I'd better move to Germany for a bit.
Who, excluding the present leader, do you regard as the best Conservative Party leader, and if different, the best Prime Minister?
That's a very interesting question. I exclude the pre second War world because of the 1945 sea change. In the modern Conservative Party the greatest Prime Minister of course was Harold MacMillan. He is the epitome of one nation conservatism.Only William Hague and Michael Howard were Leaders without being PM. I'm not suggesting Winston Churchill because he was a national leader not just a Conservative Prime Minister. I quite admire Harold Wilson.
Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?
As far as the blog is concerned it is the Earl of Onslow. It was his letter to Mr Cameron that (see Angels in Marble post The State of Denmark 18 April 2007) made me realise that something was going very badly wrong. Of the current Lower House, Frank Field.
Favourite Bond movie?
Really dull, all of them.
Favourite Doctor Who?
Buffy has no equal, but the new Doctor Who is much better than the old. David Tennant. And it still can't compare with Quatermass and Quatermass and the Pit.
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
It's got to be vanilla, but it's got to be from Vivoli.
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
The Sun King's court orchestra. Or Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
None of the above. Can I opt for Machynlleth
and the coast?
Favourite national newspaper?
The Financial Times
What would you say your hobbies were?
Disliking Gordon Brown
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
Lucio Battisti Si Viaggiare
Buddy Holly and the Crickets Not Fade Away
All the others are lieder
Books Currently my three favourite books are -
Well, these are the ones on my bedside table:
Steve Waugh, 'Out of my comfort zone: the autobiography'
Studs Terkel, 'Hope dies last: keeping the faith in troubled times'
Orwell's 'Keeping our little corner clean'
Favourite books of all time - it's your Austens, has to be for native English speakers.
(Plus an addition, due to special request)
Thank you for adding the paintings. Choices of painting are often more telling than books - it's all there in just one look I suppose, even if a long and repeated look.
The paintings are:
Giorgione - La Tempesta,
Kandinsky - Der blaue Reiter,
Uccello - la Battaglia di San Romano.