Harry Langford is a 20-year-old blogger who comes from Birmingham. He is currently reading law at undergraduate level and has a particular interest in human rights, public law and aspects of international law. Harry has aspirations to become a barrister. He is a Labour Party activist and has worked as a Parliamentary Intern to a Labour MP. He blogs at What's Next?
Why do you blog? > I tweet quite a lot (@harrylangford), but there came a point where I realized that I was going to need more than 140 characters to offer anything other than a very simplistic opinion. It gives me an outlet to speak directly to people who are interested in the same issues as I am and have discussions on those topics, which I enjoy.
What has been your best blogging experience? > So far? Setting up my new blog and getting a good reaction to it – particularly when I posted something that really sparked debate.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Writing a blog post of thousands of words which I then read back to myself; it didn't flow logically and I had to scrap it. That was quite disheartening.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Keep at it. Your writing will improve and it will become more worthwhile.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Anthony Crosland, Tony Blair, Anthony Giddens and Peter Gould.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Aaron Sorkin. The West Wing and Studio 60 are sublime examples of what TV drama should be.
What is your favourite poem? > 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' by William Wordsworth.
What is your favourite song? > 'Viva la Vida' by Coldplay.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The whole issue of human rights when I discovered the principle of positive liberty.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Social democracy.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Religious fundamentalism of all varieties.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Marx's Capital. The first book to really get me thinking.
Who are your political heroes? > Winston Churchill and Tony Blair.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Complete the New Labour project. Truly devolve power and responsibility into the hands of normal people, thus protecting public services from the hands of central government.
What would you do with the UN? > Substantially reform it, particularly the veto system (which I would scrap in its current form). Change the voting to a qualified majority system.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Right now, the financial crisis. How it will be resolved is yet to be determined, and I think that it will radically alter the power balance in the world away from the traditional global powers.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > When you study history, it seems that mankind almost always thinks the best is in the past. History shows us that that is never true and that human civilization has the ability to find and achieve a new pinnacle of development.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Have no regrets, and do everything that you want to do.
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? > Possibly, but there would probably be an awful lot of argument.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Politeness. If people are polite to each other then it makes life much easier.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > People who have an unduly high opinion of themselves.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Practice makes perfect'.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The future. As I have grown older it seems to become more uncertain.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > San Francisco.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, watching ice hockey, and listening to music.
What is your most treasured possession? > A collection of leather-bound books that I have inherited.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Jonathan Lynn and Anthony Jay for writing Yes, Minister.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Aston Villa.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I probably wouldn't radically change my life. I would still want to work, and I would like to think that I would use the money to make a positive difference in the world.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Blair, Thatcher and Churchill.
[A list of all the normblog profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]