James Bloodworth was born in Bridgwater, Somerset, in 1982 and went to school at the Kings of Wessex in Cheddar. He studied politics At Nottingham Trent University and completed a Masters in political journalism at City University in London, where he has lived since 2010. He currently works as a reporter for UBM Medica. James blogs for The Independent and at Obliged to Offend.
Why do you blog? > It gives me an outlet for my writing without someone having the right to veto publication because they disagree with the political content.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Meeting bloggers in the flesh and hitting it off.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't give up because you are not getting the number of visitors you think you should be. If what you are writing is any good, eventually you will get more hits. If it's not, then eventually it will become good from all the practice you are getting.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens, Max Shachtman, Karl Marx, Victor Serge.
What are you reading at the moment? > Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I'm quite embarrassed that I haven't read this already.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Multiculturalism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Freedom of speech.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Utopian ideas which seek to radically overhaul human nature and create a 'new man'. When their ideas bump up against reality, as they inevitably do, the people espousing them don't usually drop the theory, but rather burn a large proportion of those they are experimenting on.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Dark Heart by Nick Davies. This book brought home to me the brutalizing effect poverty has on people. It offers a glimpse of a world that still exists in our cities amidst the advertising billboards and high-rise apartment blocks.
Who are your political heroes? > Aneurin Bevan and George Orwell.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it.' (Vaclav Havel)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I would close all faith schools.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Nuclear war.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Laziness is your enemy.
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? > It depends on the individual. A difference of opinion is only a big problem, I think, for an insecure person. That being said, I couldn't have a relationship with a fascist or a Stalinist.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Greed.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Doubt is the beginning not the end of wisdom.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching reality television, playing computer games, cleaning my flat, talking on a mobile phone.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Not writing enough.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would work harder in school.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, lifting weights, spending time with my girlfriend, talking with friends, drinking, watching football.
What is your most treasured possession? > My books.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to sing.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Liverpool.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To have more time to read and write.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would no longer need to produce hackwork for corporations and could spend more time writing about the ideas and the people I care about.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Christopher Hitchens, Che Guevara, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
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