David Malone has stood out for me as my favourite in the leader part of the leadership hustings. There was a great moment in the Manchester hustings when asked about diversity in the party and he spoke about judging people by their ideas, foremost. That’s absolutely right – though one wants to ensure that everybody’s views are at the table – and I found he helped open up debating space for me in the second part of the hustings for deputy candidates. When a diversity question was put, I then spoke about diversity of ideas.
He ended his comment with a wry remark, that maybe he’s not best qualified to be talking about it for being, “white, male ….and stale.” He was anything but stale and this got a great audience reaction.
I’ve read elsewhere, does he have what it takes though, whilst acknowledging his persuasiveness. That refrain gets things the wrong way. He clearly has what it takes because he *is* persuasive.
Check out his answer to a recent question put by the animals group of the party (I have taken liberty of introducing paragraph breaks since original formatting not clear and probably wasn’t preserved):
David Malone candidate for Leader
“I accept that there is a link between meat and dairy and climate change, I am not, however, a vegetarian. I eat meat. Just not much of it. Many of our family meals are vegetarian but not all. For me it is not a matter of conscience the way it is for many vegetarians. I am happy with the GP encouraging people to eat less meat and dairy and making the point that diet has global climate consequences. I am not happy with calls for forcing people or corralling them with laws.
Some people feel very strongly that we should change what people eat. Others that we should change how people travel. I agree with both. But I think if we draw up a list of everything it would be good for people to change, and then set about telling people that we as a party want to change these things about ‘their lives’ and perhaps use the law to do so, then we will find that we are a party telling people they have to become just like us. You, we would say to every voter, do not live, eat, travel, work, pray, holiday or live at home in the ‘correct’ way and we as a party are going to make sure you change.
This would be wrong and I feel arrogant. Not holier than thou but greener than thou. It’s not for me. Persuasion. Reasoned, respectful and open minded persuasion may be slow but it is what brings people with us rather than sets them against us. I feel we are approaching a true cultural crisis. One in which several hundred years of political progress is in danger of being given away. And if it is, our ability to tackle the problems of the global climate will be lost as well. These are, for me, the clear and present danger and therefore priority.
I have no wish to suggest that green concerns for animals, vegetarianism, veganism, concern for animal welfare, concern for the rate of extinctions, concern for the acidification of the seas or the destruction of the remaining forests and many others, are in any way not important or less important. Not at all. My goal, my reason for running, is to say there are very important concerns we have neglected and which should be added. I would also say given prominence, because without them being made clearly central to our objectives, we would not be able to run this country, were we elected, or actually do any of the things we have always known desperately need doing.
So my concern is to add not take away. Those are my thoughts. I hope I made some kind of sense. I am very happy to talk if it would help. I do not wish to denigrate anyone else’s dearly held concerns. I am happy to stand with them to the degree my views allow. But I also do not wish to dissemble or pretend my priorities are other than they are.”