Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

About

Towards Better Democracy
Fine Art
Life So Far
Curriculum Vitae

  • Education
  • Professional
  • Vocational and Nonvocational Interests

Towards Better Democracy

Towards Better Democracy was established 7 years ago in the belief that Democracy as a way of life can be continual improved to the betterment of all its peoples who live in such a society. I think that that advancement is achieved by us not looking to our elected representatives for improvement of it, but in taking greater responsibility for ourselves and our lives. By this means we hold those representatives more and more to account. Governments are elected to work on our behalf not to decide for themselves what they think is good for us.

The situation in the Middle East at the time was characterised by the young people there making it clear that they wished to see Democracy established within each of their countries. Of course, as with the way of all powers that be, despotic governments, as has been the case throughout history, this is not achieved without violence.

The tragedy for the Middle East was that the middle classes and those older than the students and young people did not support these activities with the result that the movement was remorselessly crushed.  Every self appointed despot or junta ensures that it has at its desposal all the apparatus to ensure the continuance of its power and brooks no interference of that of any kind.

The voice of democracy is well expressed by particular newspapers throughout the world where they are allowed a voice; The Guardian in London, The New York Times and The Washington Post in the US, Le Clarin in Argentina, Le Pais in Spain, Le Monde in France, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany, The Times of India. There are others notably Al Abram was an outspoken voice during the Middle East Uprisings. It, as all good newspapers do, spoke truth to power for as long as it could before its survival was threatened.

The blog is also a medium through which I can give public voice to my many interest, principally music and poetry.

Fine Art

Beginning in December of 2016 I began to produce digital fine art works. In mid of February of this year I took what I had produced so far to my wife to show her what I had been doing. She studied them carefully.

“Malcolm,” she said, “You need to do something with these.”

Well, dear readers, if you wave a red flag in front of a bull, it knows where to run. The result was that I started putting the work on Saatchi Art and on ArtFinder. I don’t regard Towards Better Democracy as the right medium for displaying art work. Art work is visual and Towards Better Democracy supports a narrative form.

malcolmdbmunrofineart.com is that medium. Saatchi Art and ArtFinder will continue to be the sales outlet for the art work. malcolmdbmunrofineart, as yet to have a name, will be a medium to showcase the work to people I meet and serve to carry my thoughts and views on art which are quite out of place on a site like Saatchi Art.

I detest websites that have gone app friendly which does not suit the desktop and laptop form. The content and appearance is in bite sized form. Eugh. The new website will not take that form. Visual works deserve to be viewed fully not on a bite sized screen.

Life So Far

A wartime baby, I was born in my mother’s upstairs childhood bedroom in my maternal grandparents’ home at 101 Bebbington Road, Rockferry, in the County of Cheshire on the 10th of November, 1945 to Doris Edith (née Bellion) and Rolland John Bruce Munro. He was born in Newcastle and she in Hampshire but I know nothing of their lives prior to my birth.

Apparently the birth was difficult. My father had recently demobbed from the British Army having served in the Army Educational Corp. and met my mother in the town in which he had been demobbed, Liverpool.

We relocated to Aberdour, Fife, Scotland, and subsequently to Edinburgh. I was a little more than a year old when we moved to Scotland and I am told that I was given a wee dram of Scottish Whisky, it being New Year, as the train crossed the border.

I am one of three siblings, one deceased. My father was Professional Librarian for the Royal Society of Edinburgh. A lifelong avocational scholar he specialised and wrote papers on Scottish history and science, some of which are collected at the National Library of Scotland. In 1946-1947, at his suggestion and working with the City Fathers of the Edinburgh City Council to flesh out his ideas, together they founded the Edinburgh International Festival, the first of its kind in the world and the model for all others founded since. The Fathers wisely brought in a professional, albeit American, with a background suitable for a pioneering undertaking of a problematic nature, especially in city with such cautious Fathers. Their wisdom in bringing a safe pair of hands has ensured is fabulous success. It has put Edinburgh on the map as no other venture could.

In 1949 my father founded the Scottish Genealogy Society in 1949, which became a model for all such societies throughout the world. People from all over the world came to visit our house on Rothsay Terrace in Edinburgh.

In 1952 my parents separated and, for a while, my brothers and I were in my mother’s care. In 1954 she passed us over to the care of my father with whom I lived until I left home in 1964.

As a result of the breakdown of his marriage and his deeply felt disappointment at its failure, led my father to retire from the world and enter the world which he had always loved, that of the world of ideas and writing. The house became filled with boxes and boxes of his writings. They were everywhere. He also possessed a vast collection of books.

I didn’t do particularly well at school, always staying in the top ten of the class but carefully avoiding first place. Outside school I didn’t do very much other than read which passion I have followed all my life. I have read daily, for a long time until 4 o’clock in the morning, ever since.

A formative influence in my life as a child was the time I spent with my mother’s brothers and her parents in England. Fondness would be too light a word for how I feel about the time spent with them.

Since my father never worked but pursued his work as a scholar avocationally after the breakup of his marriage, at fourteen I decided to become an engineer, like my maternal uncles, despite my clear artistic nature. In this I follow my mother who dripped artistic abilities. Her genes, I suppose.

Life with my mother was bliss, that with my father grim. I was glad to leave the parental home and lead my own life. At some psychological cost. But let that be the stuff of my fiction or biography should such a bloody thing be ever written.

There are many  serious writers in English, there are some funny writers, but few are both serious and funny. I was recently in the company of a very animated 12 year old boy, son of an associate, who was engaging me in conversation. At one point he said, “It is very hard to make you laugh.” I roared with laughter at that.

In February 2015 I completed my career of 47 years in Engineering, not including the 10 years during which I completed my Masters and taught.

As an fine artist I draw upon my visual nature and bring to my art my years art training and background in reading fiction and my studies of history. I have a good eye which is crucial in the graphic fine art which, at least for the time being, I am strong in. At this stage it would appear that I am finding my voice as an artist and am exploring various mediums and means of expression to discover how best I can invest the works with commitment and passion. In my view, really good art has to contain within it deeply felt emotions. Should this not be true, one cannot hope for viewers to draw significance from the works and to be deeply affected by them. Furthermore, still in my view, the artist’s work must have an integrity and authenticity to be considered worthwhile at all.

Curriculum Vitae

Brief Timeline

September 1950 – September 1964, Edinburgh, Scotland
Attended Primary School, Middle School and High School

June 1970, Wharton, Lancashire, England
Completed Graduate Apprenticeship, completed University Engineering degree
Began working as an Engineer

January 1972, Johannesburg, South Africa
Relocated to South Africa

June 1984, Houston, Texas, USA
Relocated to the USA

Education

September, 1958 – June, 1964, Boroughmuir Senior Secondary School
Graduated with A Levels in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
History, French, English and Engineering Drawing

September, 1966 – June, 1970, University of Central Lancashire, University of Loughborough
BSc in Mechanical Engineering

June 1972 – 1984, UNISA, University of Witwatersrand, University of Cape Town, South Africa The McNay, San Antonio, USA
Completed BA courses in English Literature, American Literature, Journalism, Theory of
Music, History of Music, 20th Century Music, Art History, Painting, Life Drawing,
Psychobiology. Studies Piano and Voice

September, 1984 – June, 1988; University of Houston, USA
Masters in Fine Arts, English Literature and Drama

Professional

December 2016 to Present

Fine Artist
The work can be seen at Saatchi Art

  • Invited by Saatchi Art to submit to the jury selecting for the Other Art Fair to be held Bristol, September 1 through 3, 2017
  • Member of Houston Centre for Photography
  • Member of the Royal Society of British Artists

August 2015 to December 2016s, Entrepreneur 

Planned launch of The Munro Partnership, Pathfinders in Advanced Technology. Secured services of four partners, two seasoned business executives, a supply chain specialist, and a medical researcher. the latter two with Doctorates.

Purpose: Take ideas and concepts and develop them to the point where they are ready
for Market Launch. Accelerating to market startup companies and either
selling them off, or setting them up as separate companies. Develop a
portfolio of ideas, concepts and established products across a range of
industries and sectors.

Proposed Portfolio: Medical; Optoacoustic 3D Imaging Device to Detect and Monitor
Cancer in Women, Predictive Computer Learning Device to Assist in Reducing
Infant Mortality in Critical Congenital Heart Defects in Neonate Undergoing the
Norwood Procure, Rail; Enhance Railway Crossing System, SafeWork, Improved
Rail Bogies; Power, Emission Free Coal Fired Power Generation

Business Plan: Medical; Working with Principals who have market ready high value, technologically advanced hard and soft products with cutting edge technologies, fully intellectual property protected, and with high market demand, to develop:

i) complete and detailed technical, business and financial packages\
ii) customer base to ensure substantial market penetration of International markets
iii) complete range of commercialization components by:
a) building lifelong partnerships with customers
b) completing compliance and regulatory approval, where required
c) implementing marketing strategies
d) establishing secure supply chains and quality management systems
e) putting into place financial controls
f) customer support
iv) management teams to ensure complete and successful commercialization
v) pools of individual investors and venture capitals
vi) the matching appropriate investor to company needs and ensuring investor needs are secured.
vii) network of clinicians and practitioners
viii) contacts with industry leaders and appropriate experts

Business Strategy: Working with International pharmaceutical companies to identify likely candidates for buyout, and with major Foundations and Government entities to make available, where required, research and development funding of future products for the individual companies, including The Munro Partnership.

Financial: Secure Startup Capital to launch  The Munro Partnership. Secure Long Term Capital to support path to Market Launch of product or device. Work with Foundations and Government bodies to secure Research and Development Funding.

1995 – 2015, Compliance Associates, Friendswood, Zak Compliance, Alvin, Zaetric Solutions, FMC Technologies, Xodus, Worley Parsons, Dril-Quip all in Houston, Texas

Senior Engineer, Systems Engineer, Consultant, Technical Manager, Executive Consultant.
Oil and Gas BODs, P&IDs, Safety, design, operations and maintenance documentation,
FEED and PreFEED studies, Systems Engineering for Texaco, BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, Anadarko, Premier Oil, Tully, Saudi Aramco and independents.
Led teams of up to 200 engineers and specialists, including designers and specialist
engineers, safety and quality experts, project management and scheduling teams, drilling,
completions, startup and production specialists, geologists, metallurgists, and manufactures and suppliers. Principal face to the Client.

1984 – 1994 Houston Community College, full time; University of Houston; part time, Spring Branch Independent School District, part time; while attending University of Houston
Engineering Calculus and Mathematics, English and American Literature, various high
school subjects. 1994, awarded One of 100 Best Teachers in America.

1972 – 1984 Blue CircleABB, Babcock International South Africa
Mechanical Engineer, Contracts Engineer, Projects Manager, Senior Projects Manager:
Mechanical Handling Equipment, Waste Water Treatment Plant; Oil, Bagasse and Coal Fired.
Industrial and Power Station Boilers and related equipment for AECI, Highveld Steel,
Municipalities throughout South Africa, Botswana, Qua Zulu and Swaziland; Umfulozi Sugar Mill, Botswana Power Corporation, Eskom Matla and Duhva Power Stations.
Led teams of up to 100 engineers and specialists, and construction and commissioning
engineers. Responsible for all commercial aspects, schedules and targets, profits and timely completion bonuses. Principal face to the Client.

1970-1972, BAE Systems, Defence Group, Commercial Division, Warton, Lancashire, England
Contracts Commercial Negotiator to Governments of Britain and France for the SEPECAT
Jaguar Attack Aircraft.

Vocational and Avocational Interests

  • Maintaining the blog https://malcolmdbmunro.org/
  • Writer of poetry, fiction, play scrips, and social and political essays
  • Reader of translated fiction, principally Eastern European and countries of the former Soviet Union, social and military history, principally WW1 and WW2, language theory and origins, writing systems, archeology and ancient civilizations.
  • Theatre:
    • Worked with Dr Johannes Birringer, AlienNation, http://www.aliennationcompany.com/, 1987, in his productions of “Invisible Cities” and “Parachute” at Mercado, Houston.
    • Formed Penny Productions, Houston, 1985, to produce Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s “The Physicists” directed Dr Sam Marinov at Duchesne Theatre, with funding from Swiss Consul in Houston, and the Houston Chapter of the Swiss American Swiss Chamber of Commerce.
    • Formed 501(c)(3) for other theatre producers and worked with them to secure funding from Houston based Foundations
    • Co-lead in Edward Albee’s “Finding the Sun” directed by him, University of Houston.
    • Wrote “House of Atreus” with the section Greek Women’s Chorus from the play choreographed by Farrel Dyde for the Farrel Dyde Dance Company
    • Assisted Lindsay Reardon with his production, at his TheatreLab, Hillcroft, Johannesburgh, of “Blood Wedding” by Frederico Garcia Lorca
    • Acted in “Rose Tattoo” by Tennessee Williams at University of Witwatersrand Theatre, Cape Town
    • Played Richard the Lionheart in “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman at the Library Theatre in Johannesburg
    • Ship’s Doctor in “Female Transport” by Steeve Gooch, directed by Mavis Taylor at the Space Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa
    • Produced “Pygmalion” by Bernard Shaw, directed by Carol Bower, at what was then a High School for Coloured, Cape Flats, South Africa
    • Acted in community theatre produced plays in Parrow and Deauville, South Africa; “Hello Out There” by William Saroyan, “Dead on Nine” by Jack Popplewell
    • Played the Corporal in “The Long, the Short and the Tall” by Willis Hall at University of Central Lancashire
    • Lead in “A Gentleman Caller” directed by William Patterson at the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Musical

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