Harry Barnes is 72. He was born at Easington Colliery in County Durham and initially worked as a railway clerk. During his National Service he was in an RAF Movements Unit and worked with the local railway company - Iraqi State Railways. He was later a full-time adult student at Ruskin College and Hull University. He then spent 21 years as a lecturer at the Sheffield University Extramural Department before becoming the Labour MP for N.E. Derbyshire from 1987 until his retirement in 2005. Since the day of his 70th birthday he has blogged as Three Score Years and Ten.
Why do you blog? > I have always been a bits and pieces person, which fitted in with my work in an Extramural Department and as an M.P. Blogging gives me an outlet for this in my old-age.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Following the 60th anniversary of my father first taking me to see Sunderland play football. The local fanzine reproduced an item I had posted called 'From Beano to Keano'.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Mucking up my template. It is still defective.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Have grandchildren to help you with the technical problems. Unfortunately, mine live about 150 miles away. Furthermore, the oldest is only three, so I might have to wait as long as a couple of years for him to sort out something as complicated as my template.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein.
What are you reading at the moment? > History of a Village: Sunniside, edited by Julie Ward.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
What is your favourite movie? > Kind Hearts and Coronets.
What is your favourite song? > 'This Land Is Your Land' by Woody Guthrie.
Who is your favourite composer? > Via Smetana to Wagner and now Beethoven.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > A former belief in God.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > 'No man is an island.' When this was first used by John Donne (1572-1631) he was dealing with mankind which to him included women.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Plato's ideal of the Philosopher King.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > George Orwell's Homage To Catalonia, as it reveals the need to tackle imperialism and totalitarianism in whichever forms they appear.
Who are your political heroes? > Nye Bevan, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi (plus the dialectic of the differences between certain of their views).
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Democratic Socialism... is based on the conviction that free men can use free institutions to solve the social and economic problems of the day, if they are given a chance to do so.' From Nye Bevan's In Place Of Fear. His terminology was also meant to cover women.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > To limit the use of private transport to emergency services, with public transport being publicly owned and freely available, whilst planning for the huge economic and social consequences which would follow.
What would you do with the UN? > Restructure it to run world-wide military and financial controls.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > A wide range of totalitarian dogmas.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > A concern for the well-being of others.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To create a good impression when I am answering a questionnaire.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > My wife says that on the issue of women's rights I get 10 out of 10 for theory, but I don't get off the starting blocks when it comes to practice.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would keep a diary.
What would you call your autobiography? > I have started one. I have no idea what to call it, but I assume this will finally emerge when I write the final piece, which will be the preface.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Woody Allen.
What talent would you most like to have? > The ability to get beyond being a bits and pieces person so that I can complete my autobiography (which will tell about all the bits and pieces).
Who are your sporting heroes? > Football - Len Shackleton. Cricket - Denis Compton. Football and Cricket - Willie Watson.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Sunderland, but I hold a concessionary season ticket for non-league Sheffield FC.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Richard Wagner, Arthur Schopenhauer and Bryan Magee.
[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.]