Saturday 25 October 2014

Saturday Interview: Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown is a trade unionist and Liberal Democrat activist from Kimberley, near Nottingham. Formerly a parish councillor, blogger and active Labour Party member, she left and joined the LibDems 18 months ago. You can follow Sarah on Twitter here

Why did you start blogging?

Well around 2010, I now post occasionally on anything from politics to makeup.

What was your best blogging experience?

I posted about being a curvy lady and not being ashamed of my body. Funnily enough my boobs got more attention than the post where I announced I had defected from Labour to the Lib Dems!

Have you any blogging advice for new starters?

Ask a real blogger!

And why did you stop blogging?

Time and inspiration lacking!

Do you find social media useful for activist-y things?

Yes to an extent, it's good for mobilising, but I think direct action is more effective.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Hunger Games - it's a kids book but very well written.

What was the last film you saw?

I'm watching The Magicians right now. Although Made in Dagenham is my favourite film :)

Do you have a favourite novel?

Will you judge me if I say Bridget Jones's Diary? No? Well it's that.

Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major influence on how you think about the world?


How many political organisations have you been a member of?

The Labour Party, Unison and the Lib Dems. I'm still a Lib Dem and a member of Unison.

Can you name an idea or an issue on which you've changed your mind?

Ha! My political viewpoint. I used to be a Labour member and very active with it, but yeah, I was becoming more and more disillusioned with the party. I felt like there was a clique and an "in crowd" I would never be a part of. I was starting to despair of the influence of Progress and felt the party had lost its way. I joined the Lib Dems as I felt the party more matched my views and I wanted to be part of a truly democratic pArty.

What set of ideas do you think it most important to disseminate?

That everyone has a right to live life free from excessive intervention from the state.

What set of ideas do you think it most important to combat?

The idea that immigration is a bad thing and all immigrants are scum. Seriously if you took everything that wasn't British out of your house there would be very little left! I'm a big fan of open borders and I hope UKIP stop winning parliamentary seats

Who are your political heroes?

Heroes? Hmm, can I bring myself to describe a politician as a hero? I'm sorry no, I do like a lot of political people on a personal level but I wouldn't call them heroes.

How about political villains?

Farage (ewwwww)

What do you think is the most pressing political task of the day?

I think that's a tricky one, but I would love to see a more gender balanced parliament.

What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world?


What would be your most important piece of advice about life?

Live the life you want not the one you think others expect.

What is your favourite song?

I don't have one.

Do you have a favourite video game?

Pokemon ...

What do you consider the most important personal quality in others?


What personal fault in others do you most dislike?

People who talk too much.

What, if anything, do you worry about?

Nothing much.

And any pet peeves?

People who eat with their mouths open.

What piece of advice would you give to your much younger self?

Wear clothes that make you happy, don't hide yourself away and don't care what other people think of you.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

Singing, knitting, crochet and being outside.

What is your most treasured possession?

My clarinet

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Profiteroles and S Club 7's music.

What talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be able to dance!

If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true - apart from getting loads of money - what would you wish for?

A cure for depression. It holds me back.

Speaking of cash, how, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money?

I would have a nice house to live in and not have to work. I would bake a lot and make lots of pretty things :)

If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be?

Hmm, William Shakespeare, Richard from Pointless and Dawn French

How are trade unionists typically perceived in the LibDems? Do LD trade unionists work together as a group?

The Lib Dems have a group called the association of Lib Dem Trade Unionists. There are lots of trade unionists in the Lib Dems, branch secretaries, activists, reps and members. I guess trade unionists are perceived as the loveable lefties. In fact I had more grief in the Labour Party for being a trade unionist!

And has joining the LibDems affected your relationship with other labour movement activists?

Yes. Some no longer feel they can associate with me, others have had it confirmed just how "right wing" I really am. But in the most part not really. When I was still a rep not one person asked my political persuasion before I represented them. They just wanted to know I was on their side, which I was. It's heart warming that now after a year of not being a rep I still have members call and ask me to represent them.

Next year, do you think the LibDems will be part of a new/renewed coalition?

I think so yes. No one believes Ed Miliband has what it takes to become Prime Minister and the Tories? Well I think the UKIP effect will stop them forming a majority government. The Lib Dems have learned a lot in this Parliament and are growing into an effective government party.