Jane Griffiths was born in London and grew up mostly in Bedfordshire. She went to Durham University, where she took a degree in Russian, and she has worked as a linguist for GCHQ, an editor at the BBC and an English teacher. She lived for over 20 years in Reading; she was a Labour councillor there for 10 years and Labour MP for Reading East from 1997 to 2005. Jane has lived in south London since 2005 and is currently a languages teacher. She is married to Andrew and has two children, Martha and Toby, from her first marriage. She blogs at Jane's The One.
Why do you blog? > Because it amuses me.
What has been your best blogging experience? > A newspaper publishing a lengthy statement attempting to refute something which I had said on my blog - without ever mentioning either me or the blog.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Post every day, keep at it.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Oliver Kamm.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood, in French translation - La voleuse d'hommes.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Vinnie Jones and Eminem.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > To Kill A Mockingbird.
What is your favourite movie? > Duck Soup.
What is your favourite song? > 'Anthem' by Leonard Cohen.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Nuclear weapons. After the end of the Cold War I came to the conclusion that it was nuclear deterrence which had probably kept the east and west blocs at standoff rather than war, and I now believe the UK should continue to have its own nuclear weapons.
Who are your political heroes? > Harold Wilson.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Never let the bastards meet without you.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Don't let ministers be MPs.
What would you do with the UN? > Close it down.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Corruption.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Yet to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
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? > Probably.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Good faith.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Dishonesty.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To protect my children.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Against the French.
What is your favourite proverb? > You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching TV.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Sigourney Weaver.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Mozambique.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Spending time with rats.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to sing.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill.
What animal would you most like to be? > A horse.
[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.]