David Brown (a.k.a. Brownie) was born two years after victory for the Lisbon Lions heralded a sea-change in European footballing philosophy, the benefits of which are still enjoyed by fans today. The son of a serviceman, his early years were punctuated by short spells living everywhere, until in 1974 the family finally settled in semi-rural Cambridgeshire. Unbelievably, he works in IT and during a project in Sydney, he met his wife Judy. 'What are you doing here?' he asked, understandably, prompting a joint decision to swap the Opera House and Harbour Bridge for barn dances and b-roads. Seven years on, Judy's daughter has yet to forgive him. Brownie blogs at Harry's Place.
Why do you blog? > I like the sound of my own voice. Seriously, it's a vanity thing. That and because I've always had the ambition to write for a living and blogging means I'm only half a failure.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Passively, discovering Harry's Place in 2003. At the time, I was an occasional commenter on the old HitchensWeb forum. Most of the commenters there were from the US, but Harry's Place was proof there were real live human beings in the UK who shared my opinion on most things political. I didn't stop smiling for a week.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Involving myself in a protracted discussion about 9/11 conspiracy theories. When I'm lying on my deathbed, I'll regret that waste of 48 hours like no other.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Ignore the comments boxes. A blogger's role is to start discussions, not finish them. Get embroiled in comments box pissing contests, and you're probably betraying the reasons you started blogging in the first place. I know - I'm a fine one to talk.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens, John Maynard Keynes and my Dad. Mostly my Dad.
Who are your cultural heroes? > T.S. Eliot, Lennon and McCartney, Kenny Dalglish and Mr Brown, my old English teacher. Mr Brown directed our school plays as well as instilling a love for literature in every pupil who sat behind one of his desks. One scorching hot, early summer's day, he drove the class to Little Gidding to visit the church made famous by Eliot in the last of his Quartets. As I sat in the long grass of the tiny churchyard, I had what is, to this day, the one truly spiritual experience of my life. Even now, I occasionally pull off the A1 en route to where it is I'm supposed to be going and make the short detour to the church in hope of once again rekindling those emotions. And then my Blackberry will ring.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It’s a tie between about 27 books, but the one way I can separate them is to mention the book I have re-read most often: Darkness at Noon.
What is your favourite poem? > Oscar Wilde's 'Ballad of Reading Gaol' deserves a shout for its accessibility. But for sheer 'I wish I could write like that' wonderment, it has to be T.S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'.
What is your favourite movie? > Can I name 50? Okay, Annie Hall.
What is your favourite song? > Right now, 'Things We Said Today' by the Beatles. Most other days, REM's 'Nightswimming'. I'm also a sucker for 'Ave Maria'.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Abortion. All day, every day.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Sexual equality is a universal right, not a governmental or religious dispensation.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The suggestion that democratic values are cultural.
Who are your political heroes? > Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair. Kinnock's speech to conference in 1985 when he excoriated Militant is a seminal moment in British politics and still the most spectacular slice of political theatre I've witnessed. On the international scene, Vaclav Havel.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Edmund Burke: 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > The introduction of some form of proportional representation for general elections.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Tony Blair. Let me say that again. Tony Blair.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Western ambivalence in the matter of radical Islam.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > From Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken': 'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - / I took the one less travelled by.' As a philosophy for life, this is hard to beat.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > When my wife has finished getting ready for a night out and turns to me and asks: 'How do I look?' Fortunately, she always looks stunning, so I haven't had to.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Going to the gym. If you want to get fit/lose weight, play a sport.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s It. And death. I'm a fully-fledged necrophobe.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Number 17. They have a bigger garden. Failing that, Manchester-by-the-Sea in Massachusetts, or Avalon, NSW, Australia.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Walking the Appalachian Trail.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Pretending I'm writing a screenplay.
What talent would you most like to have? > To play the mandolin like Barney McKenna.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Travel writer.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > The easiest question to answer of the lot. Woody Allen. No one comes close.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and Ian Paisley.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]