Martin Morgan was born in 1964 and brought up in the town of Dolgellau in North Wales. He studied history and Russian at Swansea University, and later loitered without intent over a doctoral thesis at London University. After foolish adventures in university teaching, ballet management and business consultancy, he settled down as a translator and journalist. Martin has lived in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, but is now confined to Berkshire by his partner and two-year-old daughter. He blogs at No Good Boyo.
Why do you blog? > To allay worries about the growing power of the Welsh lobby.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I summed up saloon-bar wisdom on the Welsh language in a post that still brings in hits to this day.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Avoid being an echo chamber for others' views, keep your cool and only insult the living.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Marc Bloch, Rabbi Louis Jacobs.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill and Selling Hitler by Robert Harris.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Czeslaw Milosz, Mikhail Bulgakov.
What is your favourite poem? > 'L'Invitation au Voyage' by Charles Baudelaire.
What is your favourite movie? > Dead of Night (Ealing Studios 1945).
What is your favourite song? > 'What a Wonderful World', as performed by Nick Cave and Shane MacGowan
Who is your favourite composer? > Mahler.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Universal rights are universal, and they are rights.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The root-causes fallacy. Poverty and oppression cannot explain and inevitably justify barbaric behaviour for some but not others.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch. More than an account of the fall of France in 1940, it shows the Left that patriotism means something and the Right that patriotism is still not enough.
Who are your political heroes? > Vaclav Havel, Konrad Adenauer, both Presidents Roosevelt (put the two together and you have The Compleat Statesman).
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.' (Nietzsche)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I would introduce proportional representation for the House of Commons. I'd keep the House of Lords, though; there's something about it.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Prince Andrew as king, Beryl Reid as patron saint, Oliver Kamm as prime minister. Let the good times roll.
What would you do with the UN? > I can't see what can be done realistically. Democracies have to keep paying it lip-service for the good name of international cooperation while doing all the thankless work themselves.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Appeasement of states and groups that threaten liberty.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > We have the surprising ability to surpass ourselves, so I live in hope.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Find someone you love, settle down with them and have children if you can. The rest is window-dressing.
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. I once dated a woman from the Communist Party's 'tankie' faction. It eats the soul.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To spare good sorts and my own yeller hide.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I am wary of unpaid newspaper-sellers and drivers who wear hats.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > All of the McGann brothers, to reflect my changing moods.
What is your most treasured possession? > An Iranian seder plate that shows men and women praying together at the Western Wall.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Ilf and Petrov.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd stop working and buy a Jag. Then set up a religious denomination of my own and demand some respect.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Dylan Thomas, Peter O'Toole, Edward I.
What animal would you most like to be? > A mating pair of Tasmanian Tigers.
[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.]