Roger Lewis and David Malone: One Interview To Unite Them All.
First of all, I’d like to introduce the interviewer Roger Lewis (left) who was, to me, most unexpected in his approach, the interview was no love in and he was not afraid to challenge David on the basis of his own views and outlook, for example on Brexit. I only know Roger through the blogosphere and the first surprise to me was his appearance. I’d imagined him as the type who went to bed in a suit and tie and only slightly loosened his collar when the temperature exceeded 35 degrees celsius. Instead I was confronted by a sanitised version of Catweasle! Long flowing locks and moustache, I hope he’ll forgive the Catweasle reference, casual clothes but a razor-sharp mind. There was an obvious chemistry between the two so even in times of disagreement there was no shouting across each other, both were able to make their points informatively.
So to the introduction of David and how he got here. Born in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, he went to Grammar school, grew up in 1970’s London with a spell in America where he went to Swarthmore College which was, allegedly, the most left wing in America, he thinks they need help! His degree was in Biological Anthropology which I have never heard of but that because he made it up. He had no desire to tread already well trodden paths and so he pushed to find out what he wanted to know. Perhaps somewhat to his regret he did no further studies but did spend a year teaching, his class were nicknamed “The Animals”. He taught at a time (1985/86) when a crack epidemic hit the town, East Orange just outside Newark, and speaks movingly of several kids he lost to drugs. He was untrained as a teacher and describes it as the hardest experience of his life.
After a stint of drifting he found a job in France blasting a tunnel through the Alps, as you do, then returned to London and the BBC. His father Adrian had made films for the BBC but he joined by coincidence as a researcher. This was an excellent role for a future blogger as the job is basically finding stuff out. There were things he refused to do, like making a film about climate change being false, and things he couldn’t do such as make about a film about the Great Financial Crash (GFC) because that was for the “big boys” at current affairs. It was then he started commenting below the line (BTL) at the Guardian, as I did, complaining about all the things that were being left out and the false narrative in the mainstream news.
And it so was that the blog GolemXIV came to be born. Now the blog was named after a military super computer in a novel, so not only does Catweasel have nothing to do with Roger Lewis, Golem, from Lord of the Rings is also incorrect. As a result of this I have fired my entire graphics team (or would have done had I had one). It was especially true of CIF at the Guardian that those writing BTL were better than those above none more so than David, I can even remember bypassing articles completely just to find his comments. I was hooked on the blog from day one and it wasn’t just the blog, the comments BTL were an education in themselves, full of brilliant links and the threads, whilst being passionate rarely spilled over into abuse. Will the blog ever return…? All will be revealed.
These days David lives in Scarborough and his other big passion, apart from family of course, is the Green Party. He has stood several times as an MP and also stood for leader last time round coming second to the joint bid of Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley. So, if either of you are reading, you need someone as your Finance and Business spokesperson (how did I get bullied into using that word?) and that should be David Malone. He’s media savvy, knows finance inside out and above all put the case for a Green Economy. Hell, we may even end up with somebody talking sense on Question Time, that’d be a pleasant change. Now I haven’t asked David if he even wants such a role but I think one of you two should. Another plus is that he isn’t in your London club and The North needs all the representation it can get. He would give the party some… err.. Progressive Momentum if I may borrow a phrase.
My main focus in this piece though is the blog, because when this blog grows up it’s going to be just like GolemXIV, indeed my main hope is to get all the old BTL commenters there over here on a daily basis. that’ll keep the Newsfeed topped up nicely thank you very much! So will David come back to blogging? For him it’s more about the emotional impact of blogging than material. I know exactly how he feels because if I should blog about anything it should be China but I can’t. The people I know in China are still there and loose political words can literally cost lives, I’m not going there. GolemXIV captured the mood of the times, the anger and bewilderment, that the bankers could just get clean away with it. David wonders if he can do that again because he’d just be repeating the same things because so little has changed. How can the same crisis blow up again in Spain and Italy when 10 years have passed? It’s still the same loans causing all the problems all over again they were never purged. I can see how that’d be exhausting.
So, now to the good news, he has a brief new post up about Saudi Arabia but I have no idea if this is a prelude to more regular writing. I for one certainly hope so.
Plenty more to read on my Newsfeed, just click.