Mike Ion is a former teacher who now works nationally with schools in challenging circumstances. He studied at Liverpool and Birmingham universities, as well as spending time as a student studying and working in Zimbabwe. Mike was Labour's PPC for Shrewsbury in 2005 and writes regularly for The Times Educational Supplement, Progress, The Fabian Review and The Guardian's Comment is Free website. Mike blogs at Mike Ion.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Using a fellow blogger's story and not giving him (Recess Monkey) due credit.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Blog every day if you can and try not to engage in personal abuse.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Aristotle, Immanuel Kant and Jürgen Moltmann.
What are you reading at the moment? > Imperium by Robert Harris.
What is your favourite poem? > 'I Remember, I Remember' by Thomas Hood.
What is your favourite movie? > Life is Beautiful.
Who is your favourite composer? > Mozart.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Academies: having been against their creation at the start, I am now in favour of existing Academies being given a chance to succeed.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The utilitarian principle.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Theology of Hope by Jürgen Moltmann is a reminder that we are tasked with helping to improve the life of others as well as ourselves.
Who are your political heroes? > Tony Blair, Tony Benn and Oscar Romero.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > You can't govern if you don't win.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > End selection in schools in England by aptitude and ability.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The West's need for bountiful supplies of energy.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > 'Aspire not to have more but to be more.' (Oscar Romero)
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Forgiveness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Lack of humility.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Happiness is not a station you arrive at, it is more a means of travelling.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Shopping.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My daughters and their future happiness.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would have made more of the opportunities I was given.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Almost anywhere in France.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Touring North America in a mobile home.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Hill walking and cycling.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Sean or Ged.
What talent would you most like to have? > Music - to play the piano.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Dylan Moran.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Manchester United.
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