Jo Salmon grew up near the small market town of Lampeter in West Wales after her parents decided to move from Newmarket to run a farm in the Welsh hills. She didn't venture far from home when she finished her A-Levels, reading English at the University of Wales Lampeter. She graduated in 2000 and has been working in the student movement ever since. Currently the National Women's Officer for NUS, Jo lives in Oxford with her partner Antonia. She blogs at Jo's Journal.
Why do you blog? > To rant, to shout, to stand on a soap box without getting wet when it rains.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Finding out that my posts were suddenly being picked up and talked about by other bloggers.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Reading what some of the above had to say.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write what you want and don't let anonymous trolls (in every sense of the word) put you off.
What are you reading at the moment? > I'm currently hooked on my partner's collection of detective novels set in the days of the Roman Empire. If you haven't yet encountered Falco, then I highly recommend a visit to Lindsey Davis's website
What is the best novel you've ever read? > They might not be the best written or the most academically approved, but Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Trilogy inspired me while I was at university to read between the lines of myth and legend, to look at how and why history gets re-written to suit contemporary politics and thinking.
What is your favourite movie? > It's not a movie, but it would have to be seasons 1 to 4 of The West Wing.
What is your favourite song? > 'I am what I am' (and what I am needs no excuses) - not the version that gets sung to advertise shower gel.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Stop pandering to Middle England.
What would you do with the UN? > Stop bugging it.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Knee-jerk reactions and a lack of willingness to stop and consider the long-term consequences.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Is the glass half full or half empty? I like to think that (in general) each generation creates the best period in history - and it's up to the following generation to go one better.
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 live with my partner, and our politics aren't that different, and I can't imagine living any other way. How would you get through an election campaign? Or even just the 'Today' programme?
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty and integrity.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Someone who changes what they say according to the views of the person they are talking to.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Every cloud has a silver lining.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Golf.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Money.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > At school, we were offered optional computer studies classes. I wish I'd taken them instead of having to rely on guesswork when anything goes wrong.
What would you call your autobiography? > Swimming Against the Tide.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > New Zealand - and no, that's not because of the Lord of the Rings.
What would your ideal holiday be? > I hate the thought of sitting at the beach or by a pool all day, every day, so my ideal holiday would have to involve something historical or political, something active, more green than granite, but not too hot.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Blogging, reading, watching TV and DVDs, going to the pub or out to dinner with friends.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > I'd ditch my full name in favour of Jo.
What talent would you most like to have? > I'd like to be able to sing, or at least hold a tune for a few seconds. That I can't makes birthday parties an absolute trial.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > I'd quite like to work for an MP whose politics and voting record I supported. As a kid I always wanted to be a vet, but then I found out this involved not only studying sciences and maths, but also understanding them.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd pay off our debts for starters. And I would buy a house, if only to avoid having to pay rip-off agency fees on top of the over-inflated deposit and rent.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Nelson Mandela, Sylvia Pankhurst and Nye Bevan.
What animal would you most like to be? > Right up until I read Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials, I always thought I'd like to be a dog of some description (something small and scruffy). Now I'm not so sure, as all the servants' daemons are dogs, as befits their submissive nature; but I like to think I've got a mind of my own. I've answered this question in some election hustings by saying I'd be the fish that swims against the tide... boom boom.