Political and Social Blog. A Magazine Forum on public and private thoughts, meanderings, and odds and ends. (Disclaimer: The views held on this blog are our views, and not necessarily the views of any organisation we are involved with or represent)
Friday, October 29, 2010
Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part CXLVIII: Guido Fawkes Aka Paul Staines
What made you decide to start blogging? A whim! Actually it was Perry De Havilland who suggested it to me after my drunken rantings for his Samizdata blog became too much.
What is your best blogging experience?
In terms of headings, my favourite of all time was about Michael Foot's three mistresses. We put in "Foot: Loose and Fancied Three!"
And your worst?
I resent being accused of being a "Baby Eating Nazi Mossad Stooge" stuff like that, hey it is the internet. People take things way too seriously and lose all sense of proportion.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
The ones that damage wrong 'uns like Damian McBride I cherish. There have been a lot of fun times, I particularly enjoyed the revelation in Deborah Mattinson's book that Gordon Brown harangued her in Downing Street brandishing a print out of a blog entry I had made. It showed that Gordon Brown read, and was driven madder by the blog. Mission accomplished.
I read most of them. Some I've liked and then had enough of, it isn't their political take, it is the style. I don't like ranty polemic stuff that is comment on commentary, that is a big turn off. I am a closet tech blogs reader and a big fan of FT Alphaville.
What helped develop your interest in politics?
When I read Karl Popper's "The Open Society and its Enemies" as a teenager, but even when I was a child I tended to equate equality with conformity in an extremely negative way. Conformity is a form of brain death. The tyranny of human monotony is to be fought at all costs, this I knew from a young age. My interest ideologically is in anti-politics incidentally, I want to see an increase in the de-politicised space for human action.
You recently ran a story on William Hague sharing a hotel room with an aide. Given the furore it caused, do you ever fear a rebound on any of your stories?
I stand by the story. I think the cartoon that went with it was funny, but risky. I was worried Hague might come up with a second invoice that would prove me wrong. As it was I was right and the risk was worth taking.
You have mentioned Matt Drudge and The Sun newspaper, as edited by Kelvin Mackenzie in the 1980s as heroes and an inspiration to you. As you know Kelvin Mackenzie got into hot water several times concerning accuracy, Hillsborough being an example. Do you ever worry about your appreciation of sensationalism overtaking factual journalism?
No, never worry about that. Don't accept the premise of the question. Sensationalism doesn't require a departure from the facts.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
South America. Have been to Central America a few times, but not South America. I'd like to see the Rio Carnival
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
I go back to India all the time. Loads of places I want to revisit, places I don't want other tourists to go to and ruin, like... oh, never mind.
Who, excluding the present leader, do you regard as the best Conservative Party leader, and if different, the best Prime Minister?
I'll go for an up-and-coming newbie MP, Karl McCartney would make a good PM in the future, I'd give him the Chancellorship tomorrow.*
Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?
You clearly haven't been doing your research. Guido Fawkes of course.
Favourite Bond movie? I like the early Connery films. The one with the rockets is good, You Only Live Twice
Favorite Doctor Who?
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
I'm a vanilla person, meaning flavours.
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..?
I like Oxfordshire.
Favourite national newspaper?
The Washington Times, for entertainment reasons.
What would you say your hobbies were?
Wine and young women.
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?