The Jack of Kent blog is written by David Allen Green. It deals primarily with the misuse and misrepresentations of legal matters, especially libel. The blog is best known for its coverage of the Simon Singh libel case, the Paul Clarke shotgun case, and the Paul Chambers Twitter 'bomb-hoax' case. Allen was educated at comprehensive school, his local sixth form college, and at the universities of Oxford and Birmingham. The Jack of Kent blog was recently shortlisted for the 2010 Orwell Prize for blogging.
Why do you blog? > I blog to publish things I have not seen elsewhere and which I think may be interesting or informative for others.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being the main source of information for the international interest in Simon Singh's libel case; and writing the blogpost which led to Paul Chambers vacating his guilty plea.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Waiting for a couple of weeks before I could confirm I had summarized Mr Justice Eady's preliminary ruling correctly whilst outrage spread around the world at what I had blogged.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't be afraid to fail.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > David Hume and George Orwell.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Darkling Thrush' by Thomas Hardy.
What is your favourite movie? > Withnail and I.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > That the free market tends towards equilibrium: it does not, and we came very close to self-created implosion during the Credit Crunch.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Liberalism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Totalitarianism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Fly and The Fly Bottle by Ved Mehta. Although I had scraped into A-Levels, my sixth-form history tutor handed to me this book of interviews with historians and philosophers and it made me determined to go to Oxford and discuss ideas and explore controversies.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > That there are not necessarily solutions to political problems.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Introduce the First Amendment into UK law.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > On one hand, sentimentality about people who want to kill us; on the other, lack of restraint by the terrorism-security vested interests.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Potentially still to come.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I am anti-clerical, and I also have a residual working-class Tory distrust of middle-class socialists.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Golf. Every golf course should be turned over to social housing or just let back into nature. It is beyond the limit of my liberalism!
What would you call your autobiography? > Public Ordinary (from a line in Tom Jones).
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Timothy Spall.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading comics and graphic novels.
What talent would you most like to have? > To write well to a deadline.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Journalist.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Peter Cook.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Peter Withe and the rest of Aston Villa's 1982 European Cup winning side.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To become a full-time writer.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Samuel Johnson, David Hume and Edmund Burke.
What animal would you most like to be? > A tortoise with a succession of caring owners.
[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.]