Saturday, August 15, 2009

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part CXLII: David Raybould

(David Raybould)
David Raybould was born in 1976 in London and is now a father, cat owner and blogger who lives just outside Newport, South Wales. He works for a large media company in Cardiff and blogs on issues close to his heart, namely Welsh nationalism, Welsh politics and politics in general. Despite these pretty large topics he sometimes dabbles in music and sport. His blog can be found here

What made you decide to start blogging?

I started blogging really to express myself. I’m not one of these bloggers who see it as an entry to journalism or a way of defeating the evil ‘MSM’. My blog, even though it covers quite a range of subjects, is still a personal one. It’s a blog where I exorcise my ranting and frustrations and take on the world before tea time.

What is your best blogging experience?

My best blogging experience was the Welsh Bloggers in the Pub 09 event. After some pretty nasty stuff directed at a fellow blogger I felt that the Welsh Blogosphere needed a more social angle. I organised the event in Cardiff and a good number of bloggers showed up, chatted and generally got on together. So I consider that as my best blogging experience even though it wasn’t strictly and ‘online’ event.

And your worst?

I’ve had a couple of negative things happen since I’ve been blogging but none have been significant. The odd piece of hate mail when I was supportive of the Israeli defensive actions in Gaza were a low point but I realised that when you shine a light on people’s deeply held bigotry you should expect them to lash out.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

I always liked my Paul Flynn MP Is a Cock series although the one’s I feel more proud of are the ones that I’ve sat down and written in full ranting style. These are the ones that fairly reflect my frustrations and feelings at any one time. A recent post on the topic of Afghanistan has to go into that category.

Favourite blogs?

Harry’s Place is a fantastic blog that I’ve been reading for years so it deserves a mention. I also like Devil’s Kitchen and Iain Dale’s is always a regular read. Within the Welsh blogging community I tend to visit Miserable Old Fart, Sweet & Tender Hooligan and Guerrilla Welsh Fare the most although Valleys Mam deserves a special mention also.

Taking the view that human stupidity causes the ills in our society, how do we challenge that and what sort of politics do we need in response?

If we take the view that human stupidity causes the ills in society I guess that we should have a smaller government. If you’re going to have idiots in charge then you may as well have less of them screwing things up. I don’t believe that human stupidity causes the ills in society; I think the causes of the ‘stupidity’ are the true ills. One of the main problems is the over-reliance of large swathes of the population on the state and the state’s overbearing control over so much of our lives.

How would you define the Welsh blogosphere?

The Welsh blogosphere is a small, reasonably friendly, sometimes hilarious, slightly odd corner of the blogosphere. I guess if the blogosphere was an atlas we’d be Belgium.

You have blogged a no of times on Afghanistan. There are strong arguments for staying in and I for one agree with most of them, but is it worth looking at other ways to smash Al Qaeda and the Taliban?

I think the other ways are valid but only in conjunction with military operations. Not just in Afghanistan but in other hotspots. This is an enemy that needs to be beaten and beaten comprehensively. We cannot afford to just pulling out and abandoning the people of Afghanistan to the whims of psychopathic nutcases.

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

I would love to visit the Far East, especially Japan. I’ve always had a fascination with the language and culture of the nations in that area.

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

I’d love to revisit Los Angeles; I spent just under a week there a couple of years ago. It was nowhere near enough time in such sprawling city.

Do you have a favourite political figure in history?

I have three actually. The first is David Lloyd George, the second is Mikhail Gorbachev and the third is Nelson Mandela.

Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?

This is tricky question. I’ve had many ‘figures’ that have inspired me in many different fields. My heroes have given me different things at different times in my life. Reading Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ was a political inspiration. Listening to Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ album was a revelation to ‘rocker’ and opened my eyes to a far wider musical spectrum. My sporting hero was, is and will always be Paul Gascoigne, no matter his personal failing he was a genius with a ball at his feet.

Favourite Bond movie?

I love the really early bond films and the latest ones. It would be a tossup between Doctor No and Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale.

Favourite Doctor Who?

Peter Davison. Not a popular choice amongst hardcore fans but he’s the one I remember growing up with so I guess he’s always the one I think of when someone mentions Doctor Who.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?


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

I would’ve loved to have seen The Doors at their peak.

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

Oxford, only because it’s the only one of the three I’ve visited before.

Favourite national newspaper?

Difficult one, I read so many, if I’m honest though the easiest read is the Guardian. A special mention for the Daily Mail though, a paper which I love and hate in equal measures.

What would you say your hobbies were?

Blogging, football, blogging, music, blogging, politics, blogging.....and err....blogging.

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

Vancouver – Jeff Buckley
The End – The Doors
Rain – The Cult
God Is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens
Girlfriend In A Coma – Douglas Coupland
The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale – Art Spiegelman

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