Olly Onions was born near Stoke-on-Trent through no fault of his own. He took a degree in politics at the University of Leeds, where he briefly dabbled in increasingly absurd left-wingery. He lives and works in London and is married with two children. He blogs at Olly's Onions.
Why do you blog? > To amuse my friends. I still believe I can one day achieve this ambition.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Seeing the blog turned into a West End show.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > The show closing after one performance. Damn you, McKellen.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't do business with Lloyd Webber.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Christopher Hitchens, partly for intellectual, partly for homoerotic reasons.
What are you reading at the moment? > Exit Ghost by Philip Roth.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Coppola, Scorsese, Wodehouse.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Code of the Woosters. I love Roderick Spode - reminds me of George Galloway somehow.
What is your favourite poem? > Philip Larkin's 'For Sidney Bechet': it reminds me of what it was like listening to records as a kid and fantasizing about other worlds.
What is your favourite movie? > Mel Brooks's The Producers.
What is your favourite song? > 'Highway 61' - Bob Dylan.
Who is your favourite composer? > Lennon-McCartney.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I once loathed the Tories with unchecked enthusiasm; now they have reverted to putting up mediocre, over-privileged Etonites I despise them even more.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Singularity is Near, subtitled When Humans Transcend Biology, a book given to me by my co-blogger Renoir. I should mention that Renoir is a nine foot part-human, part-machine hybrid.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > A change in the education system: get rid of church schools, private schools and grammar schools.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Theism.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I think we are good at progressing: greater things lie ahead.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Act with integrity.
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? > The Onions household is far from ad idem on the question of the invasion of Iraq.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I often have little urges to discriminate against members of the SWP. They should be harassed, perhaps even deported.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > That Labour had an opportunity to win the argument on redistribution, but blew it.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > New York.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Anything involving lazing about and eating large portions of Italian food.
What is your most treasured possession? > A faded black and white photo of my first guitar.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Chet.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > New Orleans Jazzman.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Woody Allen (pre-dodgy era).
Who are your sporting heroes? > Kenny Dalglish, Ian Botham (mullet-era).
What animal would you most like to be? > Giant mutant leopard.
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