Bernard Slattery was born in rural Victoria, Australia and moved to Melbourne as a teenager in the late 1960s to work in newspapers, print shops and for a while in the staging department of a TV studio. Along the way he studied for a Diploma in Journalism and in the 1970s landed a job as a sports reporter on a Queensland regional daily. He has since worked in all facets of regional journalism in four states and has for the past 20 years been a reporter, columnist, feature writer and sub-editor with the Geelong Advertiser. He has just accepted a position as an online sub-editor with Melbourne's Herald Sun. Bernie is married to the beautiful Anne and has two young adult children, Erin and Tim. He blogs at Slattsnews.
Why do you blog? > Initially, to fight the disease of political correctness and faux socialism that was saturating western media comment. Later, when employed as a copy editor, to keep my hand in at written commentary.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Getting to know bloggers whose writing I greatly admired, such as Tim Blair and James Morrow.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Getting harrassed and libelled by a nasty anonymous troll.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Keep it short and interesting.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Melanie Phillips - incisive and brave.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Fabulist, by Rod Howard: the story of Australia's first great bullshit artist.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Bill Whittle, Warren Zevon, Camille Paglia, P.J. O'Rourke, Jack Nicholson.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
What is your favourite poem? > 'General Consensus in Jerilderie' from AnniVersaries by little-known Australian poet Timoshenko Aslanides. This volume contains a poem about a facet of Australian historical life for every day of the year. The one I've selected is about General Sir John Monash as a boy, given a shilling by legendary bushranger Ned Kelly, to mind his horse while he 'attends to letter, bank and myth'.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > All the articles of faith adopted by the broad left.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Responsible libertarianism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Socialism.
Who are your political heroes? > John Howard, Winston Churchill, John Curtin.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > If you're not a socialist at 20, you have no heart, if you're still one at 40 you have no brain.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Make literacy, numeracy and testing paramount in public education.
What would you do with the UN? > Replace it with an international forum consisting of true representative democracies.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Radical Islam aided and abetted by the West's stupid left.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > You ain't seen nothing yet. Planetary colonization, replaceable body parts.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Learn, laugh and love.
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? > No.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Envy.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To protect my family from suffering.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I assume the worst about arts academics.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Sydney.
What would your ideal holiday be? > US road trip.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Cycling.
What is your most treasured possession? > My 10-year-old, never-misses-a-beat computer.
What talent would you most like to have? > Musical ability.
[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.]