The anti-Brexit campaigner answers ten of Prospect’s questionsby Gina Miller / March 8, 2019 / Leave a comment
Published in April 2019 issue of Prospect Magazine
Illustration by Nick Taylor What is the first news event you can recall? The mass suicide and murder of cult followers of the devilish leader Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. The death toll exceeded 900. Those who would not drink the poisoned Kool-Aid were shot by Jones’s guards. My father took me to the site (I was born in British Guiana, which became Guyana after independence) and it haunts me still. It is a warning of what can happen when an individual is both charismatic and evil. The book you are most embarrassed you never yet read? The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde by Peter Ackroyd as I’m a huge Wilde fan. I will get around to it someday. If you could spend a day in one place at one moment in history, what would that be? The day the Representation of the People Act 1918—which enfranchised women over 30—was passed in parliament. An example of how the power and bravery of civic voices can effect change for the benefit of the masses. If you were given £1m to spend on other people, what would you spend it on and why? I am a campaigner for eliminating modern-day slavery and trafficking. As much of this activity makes use of the “dark web,” I would spend the money trying to close that hidden corner of the online world. What’s the most embarrassed you’ve ever been? I don’t get embarrassed easily but trusting someone—and believing in them—and having that trust abused I always find embarrassing and angering. I try to be above all things a good judge of character. What would people be surprised to know about you? I have free-climbed across the world—Gozo, Namibia, Wattenberg, the Amazon. Climbing is a physical and mental challenge that requires all my focus and allows my overactive brain to switch off from everything else. The rock presents you with a puzzle that you solve through body movements aligned with mental discipline. It’s a neuromuscular activity and when I reach the top the vista always takes my breath away and makes me feel humble. Are things getting better or worse? Worse, but I suspect they have to get even worse before they get better. What frightens you most? The rise of the right. Which of your ancestors or relatives are you most proud of? My father—when he was 14 he worked at a petrol station and couldn’t read or write. He became a QC and eventually Attorney General of Guyana. Are you proud of your country? Absolutely—not just proud but passionate about it. I have always seen Britain as a shining symbol of compassion, freedom and hope, especially when all three of these qualities are in shorter supply around the world.