Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.
Today it is Nick Thornsby who blogs at http://nickthornsby.wordpress.com.
1. What’s your formative political memory?
The 2005 election was the one I was probably first properly aware of as a 15/16 year-old. I remember reading the Liberal Democrat manifesto and seeing posters up in my area (mainly Labour, though I’m pleased to say that’s no longer true, and orange diamonds are now far more pervasive during election campaigns).
2. When did you start blogging?
3. Why did you start blogging?
I’d been reading various blogs for a while, and had previously thought about starting my own, but the catalyst was probably chatting to a number of bloggers at Lib Dem Voice’s BOTY awards at the 2009 conference.
4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Straightforward, rational and occasionally random.
5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
In every possible way: liberal.
6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Attending and blogging about the court case which ultimately led to Phil Woolas being kicked out of Parliament was obviously quite an experience, and I also particularly liked writing this post on a rather daft claim by Ed Balls, which was very short and simple but which, I think, demonstrates the value of blogging as a medium.
7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I hope the rules can be bent, as this was just over a year ago, but I found this post by Stephen here on Lib Dem Voice on why Clegg should rule out a coalition (!) extremely compelling. It was faultless in its logic, and I agreed with Stephen at the time, but its arguments were based on a number of assumptions which we all made but which ultimately proved to be false (particularly that the Conservatives would never give enough ground, including on electoral reform, to ever make a coalition even remotely possible). Speculating on what might have been had the Lib Dem leadership followed Stephen’s advice is an interesting game, and I can’t help coming to the conclusion that we would now be in a (perhaps significantly) worse position than that which we are currently in.
8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
My Twitter followers won’t be surprised that I’ve picked this clip from the magnificent West Wing, the script-writing and acting in which demonstrate just why the show is so brilliant.
9. Which bloggers, writers or thinkers inspire you?
Paddy Ashdown’s autobiography was not only one of the best political biographies I’ve read, but also one of the best things I’ve ever read that was written by a Liberal Democrat. As an ancient history graduate it would seem remiss not to mention an ancient writer or two, and Cicero is a constantly surprising source of wisdom, while the Greek speechwriter Lysias’s works are compelling in a different way. There are simply too many excellent blogs to choose a favourite, but as a perhaps slightly surprising choice, I find much on the Spectator’s CoffeeHouse blog quite unmissable, even if I often don’t share its ideological outlook.
10. Give us a surprising fact about yourself:
I hesitate to write this, and don’t tell anyone, but I was once – very briefly – a Conservative ‘supporter’ when I was in sixth-form. I was never a party member, and I think my affiliation was more for dramatic effect in my politics classes than for any deeper reason, though I was quite a fan of David Davis – before I knew about some of his more illiberal viewpoints. I soon realised the error of my ways, though, and have been a happy Liberal Democrat member since I was 17.