Steve Kingston has been aimlessly drifting and underachieving for 31 years. He was born and brought up in the Midlands. After the usual comprehensive mill he completed an MA in History at Manchester, lived in Rome where he taught English, then returned for further studies at Birmingham. He now lives and works in London. Steve likes trees and belongs to several sinister cults. He blogs at God Save the Queen.
Why do you blog? > I would like to dedicate my life to the arts but contemporary events force me to get politically engaged.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being favourably compared to Oliver Kamm.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Edmund Burke, Karl Popper, George Orwell, Isaiah Berlin.
What are you reading at the moment? > Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective by C.R. Dodwell.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Shakespeare, Raphael.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Pride and Prejudice.
What is your favourite poem? > Cheating I know: Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot.
What is your favourite movie? > Twelve Angry Men.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > In the 1990s I was a big fan of the Liberal Democrats because of Paddy Ashdown's stand on Bosnia. As a result I favoured electoral reform. Recent events changed my mind.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Political pluralism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Postmodernism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Michel de Montaigne's Essays made me re-evaluate the shallow empiricism/ rationalism I'd previously held. He showed me how to be sceptical without being cynical.
Who are your political heroes? > Alfred the Great, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > The personal is not political.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Reduce the numbers going to university.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Right now, there is no one better than the incumbent.
What would you do with the UN? > Change its name to United Regimes.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Nationalism. No change there.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honour/honesty.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Self-indulgence.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Women who swim with their heads out of the water.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Disco/rave type dancing (i.e. without partners).
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My health, my family and the possibility that I might be wrong.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Rome.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Sailing with two or three carefully selected friends in the Mediterranean, visiting ruins.
What talent would you most like to have? > Ability to play the piano or violin.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Jason Robinson (slight theme there); and Steve Redgrave.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Democracy in China.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of previous profiles, and the links to them, can be found here.]