Jonny Mac (nearly his real name) was born in the wilds of Essex in 1971. He overcame that early disadvantage to study history at Oxford and go into a career in Government law. He now lives and works outside the UK. He has been politically engaged since 1979, when he wrote to Jim Callaghan to complain about the number of strikes (and received a very nice letter back); today he has arrived at a green-tinged libertarianism, and while now a non-smoker is particularly enraged by the UK's smoking ban. Jonny blogs at Jonny Mac's Place.
Why do you blog? > Because I enjoy it. As soon as that changes, I'll stop.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The first time that someone I didn't know commented on a post.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell; Charles Darwin.
What are you reading at the moment? > Volume 2 of the collected Monty Python TV scripts. (Surprisingly unfunny, actually.)
Who are your cultural heroes? > John Lennon, Iris Murdoch, P.G. Wodehouse.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Moby Dick.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Aubade' by Philip Larkin.
What is your favourite movie? > The Godfather.
What is your favourite song? > 'Reckoner' by Radiohead.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Israel, and the wider importance of its right to exist and defend itself.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That doing good is its own reward.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > That a belief in God can justify that which would otherwise be unjustifiable.
Who are your political heroes? > Nelson Mandela, Peter Tatchell.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'All political careers end in failure.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Renationalization of, combined with massive investment in, the railway network.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Either someone from the population at large entirely at random, or Stephen Fry.
What would you do with the UN? > Try to reform it. It's broken but has too much potential to scrap.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Environmental degradation and climate change.
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? > Cherish your friends. And learn early on how to do practical stuff, so you don't have to spend half your salary paying other people to do embarrassingly simple things around your house.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Arrogance.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Women clergy. I don't have any theological difficulty with the idea; it's just that, in practice, they always seem to me to sound either shrill or patronizing. Utterly indefensible I know.
What is your favourite proverb? > Do as you would be done by.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching football. Except during the World Cup, when I get caught up in it, and watch all the games and shout at the television, much to the annoyance of those watching with me who actually know something about the game.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Not much. Except I am often worried in my dreams that I haven't done any revision and my A-levels are tomorrow. Will I still be having that dream when I'm sixty? [Yes – NG.]
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Sarah Palin.
What animal would you most like to be? > One of a pair of well-loved cats in a house with a cat flap. Love, companionship and independence. Bliss.
[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.]