Jake's Bones, Childtastic books, The adventures of Betsy Lou and Tolly dolly posh fashion. Jessica Salter, kindly, came to interview me and then Johnathon Williams photographed me for the magazine. I thank them for producing a lovely article which you can see online here. Here is what the article says:
On the night of the last general election, in May 2010, Maelo Manning’s house in south London was a local campaign base for the Liberal Democrats – her mother, Jane, a civil servant, is an active party supporter. At 3.30am, caught up in the excitement, Maelo, then 10, asked her mother if she could start a political blog. ‘There were young people in the living-room, leaflets piled up in my bedroom, and it was a really exciting time to be involved in politics,’ she says. She chose the name – Libdem Child – and created a profile. Her mother put her own email as the contact, to monitor incoming mail, but Maelo has free rein to blog whenever she wants, about whatever she wants, as long as it is political or in the news. Following the rape and murder of a woman on a bus in Delhi, she organised a vigil in London in January to remember the 23-year-old victim, to which 30 people came. She blogs weekly, spending about an hour on each post.
Since starting to blog, Maelo, now 13, has spoken five times at Lib Dem party conferences on subjects such as youth clubs, gendercide, youth justice and academies. The blog is somewhere she can formulate her ideas. ‘It’s the only place I can express my views freely without someone else censoring it,’ she says.
Her blog gets between 200 and 400 hits per day. She has had negative comments from one visitor, but is sanguine about them. ‘He’s a troll, he does it to everyone,’ she says. Her friends at St Dunstan’s College, a co-educational independent school in south London, don’t read her blog (‘we don’t talk about politics; they’re more into celebrities’), but she has found friends who share her views through blogging (and Twitter). While her classmates have One Direction posters on their walls, Maelo has a framed photograph of her with the Rev Jesse Jackson.
Maelo, an only child, says her parents (her father, Roger, a recruitment manager, also supports the Lib Dems) respect her views when they talk politics. ‘But I’m not always treated like an adult,’ she says. ‘My mum doesn’t like that I recently became a vegetarian, and I can’t blog until I’ve done my homework.’ libdemchild.blogspot.com