British Spin is a nom de plume. He, she or it was born in the early 1970s and has aged at the same rate ever since. Known for his [oops – Ed.] flamboyant dress sense, ravishing good looks and sheer sexual magnetism, Spin led a sybaritic lifestyle until late last year when he retreated from public view in order to find his muse and give it a good beating. He blogs at British Politics.
Why do you blog? > Because it means never having to shut up.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Realising that someone had read what I wrote and returned the next day of their own free will.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > The persistent failure of anyone to offer me money.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Fight prolixity. It's a fight I've lost, but it needs to be fought.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Giambattista Vico; Ovid.
What are you reading at the moment? > Beschloss, Reaching for Glory (the LBJ tapes); Sebag-Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar; McManus, Positively Fifth Street; a book about poker.
What is your favourite poem? > Homer's Iliad, and Paradise Lost - tied.
What is your favourite movie? > At the moment, City of God, but it changes.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Unilateral nuclear disarmament.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > 'All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.' Does that count?
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Pretty much everything in Plato's Republic, but especially the concept of the disinterested ruler solely interested in the common good.
Who are your political heroes? > Lyndon Johnson and Nye Bevan.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Poverty is bitter, but it has no harder pang than that it makes men ridiculous' (Juvenal). Some things don't change in two millennia.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister who would you choose? > Me. Obviously. I might let Warren Buffett be Chancellor.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Failure to deal intelligently with wide gaps in wealth, education, literacy, mobility and power in a global society. I put it this way because something can be done about it from our end, whereas we can do very little about the consequences of the resentment these gaps create.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is definitely yet to come. Might take a while.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I hope so, otherwise I'm in real trouble with my girlfriend.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Humility.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > On principle, intolerance and bigotry. On a day to day basis, boorishness.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Money, when I don't have any.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > South Africa, the Maldives or India.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading and writing. Strangely, not arithmetic.
What talent would you most like to have? > A singing voice.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Robert Benchley. Incomparable.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Stuart Pearce is the one that stands out.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Less realistic, I'm afraid. An end to famine.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Well, I'd like them to be able to laugh, drink and debate. So Robert Benchley, Dylan Thomas and Nye Bevan. That'd be a fun night - if a little Welsh.
What animal would you most like to be? > A horse. More precisely, a Houyhnhnm.
[Previous profiles: Ophelia Benson (Nov 7); Chris Bertram (Sep 26); Alan Brain (Oct 10); Chris Brooke (Jan 2); Francois Brutsch (Dec 5); Michele Catalano (Feb 13); Anne Cunningham (Jan 23); Jackie D (Oct 17); Brad DeLong (Jan 16); Hak Mao (Mar 5); Harry Hatchet (Oct 24); Saddam Hussein (Nov 14); Jeff Jarvis (Dec 26); James Joyner (Feb 27); Oliver Kamm (Nov 21); Ken MacLeod (Jan 30); Sheila O'Malley (Dec 19); Stephen Pollard (Feb 6); Glenn Reynolds (Jan 9); Natalie Solent (Nov 28); Roger L. Simon (Oct 31); Michael J. Totten (Oct 3); Bill Wallo (Feb 20); Brian Weatherson (Dec 12). The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature.]