Why You Should Vote For David Malone

Scarborough. February 2015. Me (far left), David (third from left).

Why Vote for David Malone

As the first day of voting draws to a close, a number of people will have already cast their ballots in the leadership election. However, voting does remain open until 25 August, and so I have decided to set out, in writing, why I am backing David Malone for Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and why you should vote for him too.

Background

I became interested in politics around the time of the Scottish independence referendum, in late 2014. I began reading blogs, I became active on political Twitter, I read newspapers and also books. And I began looking into next year’s general election, looming as it was. Until summer 2015, I lived just outside of Scarborough, and so was in the Scarborough and Whitby constituency. I investigated the candidates standing in my area, and found, to my surprise, that the Green Party’s candidates — one David Malone — not only was a noted documentary maker, but he also ran a noted blog, had published a book, and had a plethora of interesting YouTube videos. I quickly became hooked on what he had to say.

I also lent a hand, where I could. I was not a member of any political party, but I went to the initial campaign launch meeting in December, and turned up for a photoshoot in February. I also helped to launch the Scarborough and Whitby Young Greens, all the while keeping one eye on the election campaign. I helped a friend of mine run a hustings, and got to see David speak live there. When the exit poll came in nationally, I was shocked, as almost everyone else in the country was, that the Tories had almost reached a majority. As the results trickled in, it became apparent that they had reached a majority. When I came to my senses the next morning, I checked the result in Scarborough and Whitby, and, to my delight, David had come 4th, beating the Liberal Democrat candidate by a whisker. Scarborough and Whitby was a small-c conservative constituency, and for almost its entire existence been the seat of a Conservative MP. To make inroads in such a place was a demonstration of not only David’s appeal, but also the Greens’ improvement nationally.

I met up with David only once after that, in June, where I lamented to him about the state of the world and our gloomy future. It was at that meeting he told me about his intentions to run in the Green Party leadership election this year. I moved to Cheshire at the end of the summer, but have stayed in contact with David intermittently since, and have helped him to set up his leadership bid, as well as encouraging him to follow it through. I currently run the @Malone4Leader Twitter account that backs his candidacy.

His Experience

David Malone’s talk in Whitby about the TTIP, titled ‘The Death of Democracy’.

Compared to Caroline Lucas, or even David Williams, David does not lead in electoral experience. He has never been elected to a position as a Green Party candidate. However, neither had Natalie Bennett. David has stood four times for the council — twice for Scarborough Borough Council and twice for North Yorkshire County Council — and in 2015 stood for Parliament for the first time. He has been through the rigours of elections, he knows about the time management, the demands of attending hustings, and that getting paperwork in on time is a necessity (I’m looking at Hull Green Party). But beyond elections, David’s experience is vast.

He comes from a science background, and so is more than qualified, and well experienced, in talking about the environmental challenges that face us. He is the son of Adrian Malone, who created Cosmos with Carl Sagan, The Ascent of Man with Jacob Bronowski, and The Age of Uncertainty with Kenneth Galbraith. David himself studied Bioanthropology at Swarthmore College in the US before returning to the UK and working for the BBC’s Science Department for nine years. Since then, he has been an independent filmmaker, continuing to produce documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. In 2003, one of his documentaries was shortlisted for ‘Best Documentary Series’ by the Royal Television Society, and in 2008, he produced one of the first documentaries addressing the financial crisis, High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos. He currently sits on the University of Bradford’s Film and Media Professional Advisory Board.

In terms of finance and economics, David is happy to say he has never had academic training in this field. He began writing ‘furious’ comments on the financial pages of The Guardian’s website back in 2007, writing so many that in 2010, a friend of his suggested they turn his comments into a book. The result, The Debt Generation, is a diary-like account of the financial crisis, with David’s critiques of government and finance present all the way through. Around this time, David also started a blog, www.golemxiv.co.uk, which became one of the most popular economics blogs in the UK, and was read by a number of other influential people in the kind of ‘heterodox’ strand of economic thinking. David not only blogs, but he also gives talks. The first print run of The Debt Generation sold out, and David used this extra cash to finance a tour of the country, speaking about the financial crisis and the bank bailouts. He has also spoken very strongly against the TTIP and other trade agreements, including at a number of local Green Parties, and at the Association of Green Councillors in 2015. David has also spoken about and debated fracking and the impact it could have on the local area of Scarborough.

What He Can Offer

David Malone explaining his bid for Leader of the Green Party.

Unlike the other major political parties, the Leader of the Green Party does not really influence policy, something the media can have a hard time getting their heads around. The principle role of the Leader is to act as a spokesperson — they must understand Green Party policy and the ideology behind it, and they must convey this to the population, particularly through giving interviews and interacting with the media. I would argue that no other candidate, besides Caroline Lucas, can do this as well as David. In his documentaries, David spends as much time in front of the camera as behind it. Besides this, he has appeared in interviews on RT and Irish television as a finance expert. He performs very well in front of the camera, and is a charismatic and engaging speaker, as can be seen from any of the hustings footage taken in this leadership election.

The point David often emphasises, because of its importance, is that the Green Party needs a Leader who can talk about finance and economics, and actually understand what they are saying. Because, as he rightly points out, if we can’t answer the question ‘And how will you pay for that?’, people will look at us and think we aren’t serious about winning, and so will not vote for us. If we can’t understand how we will fund our other ideas, then they will just come across as fanciful or obscene. David does understand finance and economics, probably better than any other leadership candidate, and so he is best placed of all the candidates to go on Question Time or the Daily Politics, and defend, or advocate for, the Green Party’s policies. Of all the candidates, I strongly believe he is the best to lead the party as he can, and will, inspire the public’s confidence in us.

David has said it before — Caroline and Jonathan are far more likely than him to win. They have the appeal of being slick performers, and Caroline is by the far the most well known of all the candidates — in fact, in the public’s eye, she is probably the most well known Green too. But the concern I have, and the concern David may share, is whether they will be able to go into a one-on-one interview with Andrew Neil and defend the details of the Green Party’s housing policy, or whether they will be able to debunk the arguments of other party leaders during the general election debates. Because, if not, we will not be a credible party. We will not be the public’s first choice. Unless we take a leap, and choose someone who, despite being less well known, might be a better spokesperson, we will never achieve our goal of winning the next election, or the election after it, installing a Green Party government, and cutting through the tripe to enact what needs to be done — most importantly, taking action on the seismic issue of climate change.

Links

Read/watch for yourself why David Malone is a great choice for Leader:

David Malone’s interview with Max Keiser on RT — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkM8Q1n66T8

David Malone’s interview with the Renegade Economist — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE-84S7Xyac

David’s book — http://www.debtgeneration.org/index.php

David’s blog — http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/

David’s Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/david.malone.greenparty/

Thanks

Thanks for reading,

Andrew Williams

Internal Communications Coordinator, North West Green Party