The Surrey Advertiser recently asked all the candidates to be the next MP for Guildford a number of questions about sport and culture. Here are the questions and my answers…
What sports do you follow and what teams do you support? Would you support Guildford City FC’s bid to secure their own grounds?
What is your favourite book, album, film and play? What does the constituency need to do to improve the arts culture it offers?
What is your idea of the perfect night out? How does the constituency’s night life need to be improved?
I follow lots of sports but particularly football and cricket. I still support the football team from the town I grew up in, Hamilton Accies, but since I moved away 27 years ago I haven’t been to see them live for a long time. Being an airline pilot gives me the chance to go to matches abroad. I really like going to German Bundesliga matches on nightstops. It is cheap to get in, there is always a great atmosphere and the football is pretty good too. The clubs are owned by the fans, which makes a big difference.
Nowadays, I support Guildford City but the last time I had a chance to go to a match was last season. They were having a tough season on the pitch but it was great to be there to support our local team. I would like to see even more supporters in the stands and, preferably, the club owning their own ground.
I am looking forward to seeing Kevin Pietersen play cricket for Surrey this summer. I hope he comes to Guildford.
My favourite book of all time is probably Great Expectations. In recent fiction, I loved reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen because I lived in the mid-west of America at the time the novel is set. In non-fiction, I can recommend A View From The Foothills by Chris Mullin. It is a funny and irreverent diary of Mullin’s time as a Labour MP. I am currently reading The Martian by Andy Weir which is great fun. It is about a manned mission to Mars which doesn’t go to plan.
I used to work in a bookshop at weekends when I was at university and my mother was an English teacher so I still spend time with my nose in a good book when I can.
My musical tastes are half-6 Music and half-Radio 3. I have Dvorzak’s New World Symphonies on in my car and The Marmozets album The Weird and Wonderful on at home at the moment. I was very glad to speak in favour of The Boileroom music venue staying open at the council’s Licensing Committee last September. I think it is a cultural gem for Guildford.
My favourite film is Where Eagles Dare, the Second World War film starring Richard Burton. I have a sneaking suspicion that my parents named me after him. “Broadsword calling Danny Boy, over!”
If I had to choose a favourite play, it would probably be Macbeth, such a grotesque story due to the common human weakness of ambition.
A perfect night out for me is a good meal with fascinating company. After the election, I would like to dine with some of the most interesting politicians I have met during the campaign: Andy Burnham, Caroline Flint, Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna, Stella Creasy and Ed Miliband. I expect they will all be too busy for the next five years however!