Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part XV: Andrew Regan
Andrew Regan is a software developer in the City. He studied at Warwick and Kent respectively. Andrew runs the site Bloggers4Labour
What made you decide to start blogging?
Once upon a time, I had designs (not yet extinguished) upon entering the music industry. My friend Jonathan had been running a blog since 2002, covering the usual blog things, observations of Brighton life, and - among his musical coverage - publicity for his own band, Assistant. So at the start of 2004, after some discussion, I was tempted to join the fray - initially to plug my own music, but, in time, more political posts appeared. I couldn't, though, describe myself as a good blogger - I was generally reluctant to even read other blogs, and it wasn't until I began to scour the 'net for Bloggers4Labour participants that I actually made that commitment. I still don't find it easy to confidently thrust my opinions on the general public.
What is your best blogging experience?
There have been a few occasions where my posts have been cited by bloggers I genuinely respect. Also, the feeling that I've contributed to the establishment of an online community that might very well not have coalesced, bringing together people who might otherwise have felt isolated (Euston signers, in particular, mention this), is a pleasing one. Plus I've met lots of nice people.
And your worst?
I have regretted being responsible for a few posts I've felt were curmudgeonly or needlessly antagonistic - hopefully not too many. Other less than pleasant blogging moments have generally come from run-ins with a certain site I shan't mention, whose legitimate concerns over "New Labour" are submerged in a sea of conspiracy, contempt, and bile.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
Looking back, there have been a few long, hard-boiled pieces about economics and politics that I feel quite proud of. "Firefighting" was one I felt needed writing, so I'll go for that one for now.
Just a selected few, in alphabetical order:
* Assistant -
* Dave's Part
* Let's be sensible
* Owen Barder
* Stumbling and Mumbling
What inspired you to go into politics?
I covered much of this here - http://www.bloggers4labour.org/2006/10/local-political-parties-why-i-joined.jsp - though, essentially, it was the development of a social conscience, and a feeling that the political process might be able to bring about a more just society. Not that I'm exactly "in politics", and not that politics is the only way society can be improved...
Have you ever had to ban any bloggers at all?
Not ban, no. My remit (as curator of Bloggers4Labour) doesn't really allow me to banish bloggers - unless they've decisively turned away from Labour. There has been content I've strongly disagreed with, but I let it pass, and there've been no complaints.
What further ambitions do you have for B4L?
We should be the gateway to the blogosphere for thousands of Labour members, activists, and representatives; and the platform that allows them to do cool and useful things easily, without technical knowledge. Well, there's a huge amount we could do, but only a limited amount I can do unaided.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
I'm not very good at holidays, but "anywhere but Dubai" would be my starting point; New York or Moscow would be nice.
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
At the moment, pretty much anywhere, but Malta, Rhodes, Cyprus, and Edinburgh are all tempting.
Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?
This is really one for the political tome-readers, but I'll have a go. I'm taking 'best' to mean the individual who made the best of the situation they found themselves in, the constraints they faced, and the tools at their disposal. That being the case I'd have to plump for Callaghan (perhaps Churchill in second), though a second term would make or break that reputation.
Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?
I think I do respond to inspiration, though in too many cases - and for too short a period - for me to single out one person.
Favourite Bond movie?
Dr. No, from the days when Bond films were proper films in their own right, that normal people could watch. I've seen pretty well all of them, but the glitzy, hi-tec Pierce Brosnan ones leave me feeling that perhaps the world would be better with Michael Meacher or Tony Benn as Moderator.
Favorite Doctor Who?
I don't really mind. As for the older ones, I find the retro appeal more interesting than the actual characters.
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
The "better" the ice cream, the more I'd go for vanilla, but in general it would have to be chocolate.
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
The Orb, "live" in a field, would be a great way to spend a summer evening. Early New Order would be fascinating.
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
My only experience in Cambridgeshire was a fruitless interview on a new-technology business park in 1998, while my one visit to Oxford consisted of a horrible university interview. So Leicestershire must stand a chance, and Barsby may be just the place to kick-start my love affair with the East Midlands (I've been to Derby).
Favourite national newspaper?
I don't read one, and if I did it would just be for the crossword. I don't think I'm missing much.
What would you say your hobbies were?
Music; blogging (reading and writing); social software, and any excuse to use Java and AJAX in anger; cricket watching and listening (to); cooking; the whole darts, pub quiz, and real ale lifestyle.
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three
favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
For today at least, my favourites would have to be:
* Coach Me (Black Devil Disco Club - "28 After")
* Journey Home (Drexciya - "The Journey Home")
* Every Day (AFX - "Hangable Auto Bulb")
* The largest P.G. Wodehouse compendium available.
* Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis)
* The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury)