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Monday, July 27, 2009
Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part CXXXV: Tristan Osborne
By day Tristan Osborne works in the City, but in his spare time he is a Labour Party activist within the Medway Unitary Authority. His blog is called Musings From Medway
What made you decide to start blogging?
Several reasons. Firstly, it was born out of frustration that Medway has a number of right-of-centre commentators and I felt their was a gap for a centre-left approach and opinion. In addition, it was established to highlight local Tory opinions which diverge far to the right of the leadership; the real membership and its opinions. It is also a way of supporting local campaigns that challenge and oppose appalling judgements made by our current Conservative Council.
What is your best blogging experience?
Probably the numerous emails of support from school parents on my blog articles supporting the campaigns to save local primary schools. One parent from St Peter's Primary school in Medway highlighted that my blog was always a useful point of call for information and updates.
And your worst?
When I started blogging it attracted the attention of a lunatic right wing blogger in my local area who decided to make extremely low personal attacks. It is always a fine line but sometimes people cross it. We all have our fans!
Equality - I joined because I opposed the homophobic campaign that the Tories ran in 1997 and 2001 and their failure to apologise for section 28 and the utter contempt they have showed, until relatively recently for anyone outside the traditional box.
How do you see the future ideological direction of the Labour Party with regards to recent events and in light of James Purnell's appearance on Newsnight, which you blogged on?
I am more pragmatic then ideological - [cue hisses]. I share some of the major concerns and worries on our current level of public support and the public perception of the leadership which I get whilst canvassing. If Labour looses the next election it will need to return to its base before moving into the centre ground. You need firm foundations before you can build a house and foundations take time to set. The New Labour 'type' coalition can be rebuilt because investment in public services, social justice and helping the poorest are Labour values and not Tory ones. Make no mistake though - you win by appealing to the centre ground.
Will you stand for Strood North again?
I loved campaigning in Strood North in 2007. I learnt a lot from more seasoned campaigners and it was one of the only seats in Kent where we took a Tory Council seat. I would love to honour of standing in Strood again as its an area of Medway which is currently being ignored by Medway Conservatives and people living here deserve better.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
Keeping it close to home - Rome
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
New York and Hong Kong - fantastically vibrant places
Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?
Labour Leader - Ed Miliband / Ben Bradshaw / Harriet Harman
Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?
Tony Blair - he made the Labour Party electable. Simple
Favourite Bond movie?
Tommorrow Never Dies
Favourite Doctor Who?
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
Kings of Leon - contemporary!
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
Favourite national newspaper?
What would you say your hobbies were?
Blogging, gym, campaigning, theatre, cricket, Sci fi, cinema and shopping!
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
Nudge - Thaler & Sunstein The State We're In - Will Hutton No Logo - Naomi Klein
When you say nothing at all - R Keating Turn back the hands of time - R Kelly Wonderful Life - Black