Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Caron Lindsay

Welcome to the first in a new series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Caron Lindsay, who blogs at Caron’s Musings.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Watching Roots when I was nine. I was shocked to the core by the cruelty towards the slaves, the very idea that people could be bought and sold and, I think crucially, by the fact that such abuse can be stopped if good people take action.

2. When did you start blogging?
September 9th 2006.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I never wanted to just write about politics, but I thought I could help the Lib Dem cause during the hours when it would have been rude to deliver leaflets. I felt that there was a need for something which could simply explain liberal ideas to people who had no interest in politics and to be a bit of an antidote to the bile from the right wing tabloid press.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Random, liberal, eclectic (and this one has been used by Malcolm Harvey in the 2010 Total Politics Guide to Political Blogging), fair and unpredictable.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Leftie, liberal, peace loving hippy.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
2010 was the most emotionally and politically intense year I’ve ever experienced. The potent cocktail of emotions and adrenaline during the General Election and the formation of the Coalition (and since) fuelled some posts I’m quite proud of. I can’t say I really enjoyed writing them, though.

I’m going to pick is the interview I did with Jo Swinson on the day Lib Dem Voice let me loose as guest editor. Rather than have me frantically scribble notes, my daughter had set things up so I could record the conversation. We ended up having a 20 minute chat on a huge range of topics from how the coalition was going down on the streets of East Dunbartonshire to her recent visit to Nigeria, to her work on allergies, to sport and gender stereotyping. We were both pretty relaxed and it felt like a proper, illuminating, grown up conversation which I wanted to report in pretty much that style.

I spent the rest of the night frenetically writing it up in 3 parts: one, two and three.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
My shortlist for this had a fair few Elephant posts on it, but the one I’ve chosen is one where he describes the workings of the economic cycle. The fluffy one at his educational best.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
It has to be Dan and Dan’s Daily Mail Song. I never get tired of listening to it. A brilliant satire on the British right wing tabloid press in general.

9. Which bloggers, writers or thinkers inspire you?

There are a few people whose every word I have to read because even though I may disagree, they present their arguments in a compelling and persuasive way. They’re all very different in approach.  Lib Dem bloggers who are for me unmissable are:

  • Jennie Rigg, for irreverence, originality, feminism and never holding back
  • Sara Bedford, for the feisty and passionate way she pulls apart illiberal ideas
  • Millennium Elephant, who is never brief, but who brilliantly explains complex ideas, particularly to do with the economy
  • Lynne Featherstone, continuing to blog and speak out as she has done for years even though she’s a minister
  • Cicero, even though his often prescient analysis of foreign and financial events scare the life out of me
  • Mark Thompson for his interest in evidence-based policy making, particularly where drugs are concerned

In the wider blogosphere, I can’t miss:

  • The Better Nation boys – they’ve done well with their thought provoking, intelligent and generally positive approach, even if they once cast me as the poster girl of the illiberal left
  • Brian Taylor is the fairest and most intelligent political journalist I can think of
  • The Burd is a relatively recent relevant and readable addition to the Scottish blogosphere
  • Jack of Kent for explaining the intricacies of the legal system (with Lallands Peat Worrier and Love and Garbage doing the same job in Scotland)

My biggest political inspiration is Shirley Williams for the practical way she’s applied her liberal instincts in many ways through her career.

For campaigning influences, you don’t get much better than James Carville and Paul Begala who helped Bill Clinton win the White House in 92 and 96.  I’ve recently re-read their Buck up, Suck up … And Come Back When You Foul Up, which has lessons for all of us. And it shows that being a maverick is no barrier to professional success.

10. Give us a surprising fact about yourself:
I have climbed proper hills in the past – real Munros. Only three of them, but it just goes to show that I can do the outdoors, even if I don’t like it.

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