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Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 45: Covid Confusion

BRITISH society is now split into two groups: In the one group are people who are behaving in a sensible, cautious and responsible way to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In the other group are people who, if they ever cared to begin with, no longer do so, and are behaving in any way that suits themselves.

Between 11-16 August, the United Kingdom recorded more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases every day, the first time it had broken the thousand barrier since 26 June, and the first time we had seen six days in a row of more than 1,000 new cases since June 16-21.

Marcus Stead
Marcus Stead

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the likelihood of the pandemic returning in a major way as we head into the autumn. What are we to make of the sharp rise in cases seen during the last week? Is it due to increased testing? Is it due to so many people not taking the danger seriously? And has people losing their inhibitions while under the influence of alcohol played its part?

What does having the virus actually mean? On the one hand, a very large number of those diagnosed aren’t actually unwell, and the biggest danger appears to be to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. On the other hand, Derek Draper, husband of TV presenter Kate Garraway, has been seriously ill with the effects of Covid-19 for many months at the age of just 53. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seriously ill with the virus at the age of just 55. And Charlton Athletic superfan Seb Lewis sadly died from the virus at only 38 years of age. So evidently, the risk to younger people shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Covid guidanceMarcus and Greg also assess the negative impact devolution is having on the management of the pandemic. The guidelines for the four constituent parts of the UK are muddled and confused. How many people really know who they can mix with outdoors, indoors, and how much distance they should keep? Devolution has led to mixed messages and confusion at a time when people require clarity and simplicity.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Episode 44: Greg’s Pet Hates Part 1

Greg Lance-Watkins
Greg Lance-Watkins

IT’S AUGUST, and perhaps it’s time for some ‘silly season’ light relief. In this edition, Marcus Stead interviews Greg Lance-Watkins about his pet hates.

There may well be further podcasts along these lines in the future, but in this edition, Greg picks music in movies, dramas and TV programmes, and so-called ‘experts’ on TV programmes who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Greg isn’t a fan of the Sound of Music, or an orchestra piping up in an open field. He doesn’t like dramatic music during car chases in action movies, nor does he like soft music in romantic scenes. Does Greg have a point, or is he a miserable git who struggles with the suspension of reality?

Marcus and Greg do agree that the music is often too loud in documentaries, to the point where we cannot hear what the narrator is saying.

The discussion then moves on to so-called ‘experts’ appearing on TV programmes who don’t know what they’re talking about. How often have you tuned in to the Sky News paper review to see that the guest is some 25-year-old middle class recent graduate working for an obscure think tank who is going to tell you all about the world?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Episode 43: The Covid Conundrum

Marcus Stead
Marcus Stead

AS WE come towards the end of July, how bad is the COVID-19 situation, in Britain and overseas? How much credibility should we place on official figures? And what about masks – their use wasn’t compulsory when the virus was at its most prevalent in Britain during March and April, but now it is. What are we to make of the Government’s U-turn?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the situation.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

In Focus with Marcus Stead

Episode 5: Graham Miller

Graham Miller
Graham Miller

In this edition, Marcus Stead is joined by Graham Miller, an experienced journalist and broadcaster, probably best known for his years as the face of Saturday teatime sports bulletins on the ITN news.

Graham began his career in hospital radio, but his big break came in 1973 when he joined BBC Radio Birmingham, where he worked on both news and sport. A year later, he moved to BBC Radio London, where he covered the Moorgate tube crash of 1975.

During his radio years, Graham worked alongside some of the giants of radio sports journalism, including Bryon Butler and Peter Jones.

Graham moved into television, where at Anglia he worked as an in-vision continuity announcer and newsreader/reporter on About Anglia. He then moved to HTV West, where he worked as a sports presenter and producer. Colleagues included legendary newsreader Bruce Hockin and long-serving sports broadcaster Roger Malone.

In 1983, Graham moved to Thames News, where he worked alongside veteran newscaster Andrew Gardner, and on 31 December 1992, Graham presented the last ever bulletin before Thames lost the ITV weekday franchise in London.

A move to ITN followed, and Graham quickly became associated with the Saturday teatime bulletin, where he fronted a comprehensive roundup of the day’s sports news and the classified football results. During his years with ITN, Graham reported from around the globe on top sporting events including World Cups and Olympic Games, and he twice won the Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year award.

After leaving ITN in late 2002, Graham set up public relations and media training company Media-Vu. Graham helps a variety of businesses, sports federations and individuals by advising on media strategy. His client list includes executives at Manchester United FC, the banking industry, and a range of individuals.

Graham continued to broadcast as a reporter for Gillette Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports, and he read news and sport for London Tonight and sports bulletins on Sky News.

In the latter part of the podcast, Marcus and Graham discuss modern trends in journalism, including the dangerous mixing up of ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ in mainstream news and current affairs programming. Graham and Marcus share concerns about the BBC’s move away from the emphasis on ‘facts and analysis’ towards more opinion-led campaigning journalism.

The podcast concludes by Graham and Marcus providing advice to young people starting out in journalism today. The industry is very different to when Graham took his first steps at hospital radio and at the BBC in Birmingham, so what can people entering the industry do to help themselves get on in these difficult times?

You can read more about Graham’s work with Media-Vu by visiting his website.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Episode 4: Graham Perry

Graham Perry
Graham Perry

In this edition, Marcus Stead talks to Graham Perry, a leading authority on China and Anti-Semitism, as well as a former radio presenter on LBC during the 1990s.

Is China’s economic development and growing political influence something that should be feared or embraced? What will the long-term implications be for the USA’s dominance as the world’s leading political and economic power? Is China creating a slave empire in Africa, or is Chinese investment crucial to the continent’s economic development?

The podcast was recorded at the time when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner have received the draft report into antisemitism from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Graham has extensive experience as a speaker and educator on the subject of Anti-Semitism, including to the Welsh Labour Party and Wales’s First Minister, Mark Drakeford, who wrote him a letter of appreciation for his work.

Graham graduated from Churchill College Cambridge with degrees in History and Economics in 1968.

He qualified as a Solicitor and became a Partner in Clinton-Davis & Co in Hackney, East London and focused on representing clients in the Magistrates Courts of North-East London.

He made a career switch in 1979 when he joined the family firm, London Export Corporation, set up in 1953 by Jack Perry to focus on Trade with China.

Graham made his final career change when he became an independent commercial arbitrator resolving disputes between companies involved in the trans-national shipment of food, feeding stuffs and oils – which work he continues to undertake.

Graham was a Justice of the Peace from 1986 to 2002 and an Immigration Judge from 2002 to 2015.

He has made 100+ visits to China on business, with political groups and most recently with former Lord Chief Justice Woolf whom Graham arranged to give Lectures in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the Rule of Law.

Graham writes and lectures on two main topics – China and Anti-Semitism and honed his presentational skills with LBC before focusing exclusively on his arbitration work.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 42: China Crisis

Marcus Stead July 2020
Marcus Stead

IN CHINA, at least one million Uighur Muslims have been taken from their homes and put in what the Chinese government calls ‘correction facilities’, which are in reality concentration camps, where brutal human rights abuses are taking place. Harrowing details of those human rights abuses are detailed during the podcast.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Chinese government has introduced harsh measures that severely erode free speech, freedom of expression and freedom of association.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins ask – where is Britain’s moral compass? Where is the West’s moral compass? Where is the world’s moral compass? What should be done, and perhaps more to the point, what can be done, to curtail China’s growing influence as a global superpower? And what will the long-term consequences be for ourselves, and for the generations that follow us, if we live in a world dominated by Chinese economic and political influence?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

In Focus with Marcus Stead

Episode 3: Geraint Powell

Principality Stadium May 3, 2016.jpg
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff

In this edition, Marcus Stead talks to Geraint Powell, one of Wales’s leading rugby union bloggers and writers, perhaps best known for his work on the Dai Sport website.

Geraint has a wide range of life experiences, having lived in South Africa and in various parts of England, and he has a good understanding of the problems facing rugby union at all levels.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Marcus and Geraint assess the problems facing the structure of club and regional rugby union in both Wales and England, which they trace back to mistakes that were made in the years before the game went professional in 1995. They lament key missed opportunities to restructure the game for the better in the early years of professionalism.

The ongoing pandemic has made the need to address the problems all the more urgent, with regional rugby in Wales and club rugby in England at crisis point, which has increased the likelihood of the Six Nations ending up on pay TV, as a means of bringing new money into the sport.

There is no ‘quick fix’ to the problems, but in Wales, rugby matches are attended by an ageing demographic, and TV viewing figures for the PRO14 are appallingly low. In England, the club game has been living beyond its means for a long time, and is now reaching crisis point.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

The Aftermath

Geraint Powell 1The podcast was recorded on the afternoon of Wednesday 1 July. On the Tuesday evening, Geraint retweeted a comment from actor and activist Laurence Fox, which attracted little comment, but several hours after the podcast was recorded, it attracted the attention of Ben Jeffreys, CEO of Pontypool RFC. Jeffreys then published a tweet making it clear that Geraint was no longer welcome at their matches, despite having supported the club through thick and thin since childhood.

Geraint Powell 2In his social media posts, Geraint has rightly pointed out that the Black Lives Matter UK movement has Marxist and anarchist objectives, including the ‘dismantling’ of capitalism and the ‘defunding’ of the police, and it has also expressed anti-Semitic sentiment.

Jeffreys received some support from the ‘woke mob’ on Twitter, but his actions were widely condemned in the ‘comments’ section of the Wales Online article, suggesting that out there in the ‘real world’, a very large number of people agree with Geraint’s stance and consider Jeffreys’s actions absurd.

Ben Jeffreys 1
A sample of the comments below the Wales Online article

Talk Podcasts prides itself on providing our listeners with a wide range of views and perspectives. We condemn racism and anti-Semitism and support the Kick It Out campaign against racism in football.

We also applaud the efforts of Geraint and our friend Jonny Gould, who in recent days have gone to great lengths to expose the toxic agenda of Black Lives Matter UK.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 41: Don’t Google It!

Image preview
Marcus Stead

HAVE YOU noticed the way in which online adverts are targeted at you based on private conversations you’ve had with other members of your family in your living room? Do your household smart devices know far more about you than you think?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the enormous influence a small number of technology companies now have over our lives, from what information we receive, and which consumer products we buy.

Journalist Peter Hitchens recently conducted an interview with a popular and widely-viewed YouTube channel. He discovered that while YouTube hadn’t taken down the video, somebody, somewhere had messed around with the algorithms to make it much more difficult to find.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has long held a policy of censoring pornography and extremist material, but in recent times, this has been extended to removing the content of people like documentary maker Michael Moore, who dared to challenge the orthodoxy on the man-made climate change agenda.

YouTube and Twitter censors have powers equivalent to, and arguably greater than the courts. Anybody can find themselves subject to a kangaroo court run by Twitter or YouTube staff, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Should we be concerned about the sheer level of influence these tech giants have, and should we be much more cautious as to what information we freely give them about our lives, or lifestyles and our shopping habits?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Episode 40: Rewriting History

Statue of Edward Colston - Wikipedia
The statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, now toppled

“THE PAST is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” So reads the opening line of L.P. Hartley’s novel ‘The Go-Between’, published in 1953.

Last weekend saw ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters in Bristol tear down a statue of Edward Colston, a philanthropist who supported and endowed schools, hospitals and churches, especially in Bristol and London, in an era when the state couldn’t be bothered with such things. However, much of his wealth was as a result of the slave trade, and protesters took the law into their own hands by toppling the statue and throwing it into the harbour.

Is it right to judge people’s actions in centuries past by the standards of today? Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the weekend’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests and the tearing down of statues.

Has mob rule and police inaction replaced law and order? Why were mass gatherings even tolerated at a time when we are under clear instructions to socially distance for the sake of not spreading the COVID-19 virus?

What does this all mean for the future of statues of other controversial figures, including Horatio Nelson, Sir Thomas Picton, Sir Cecil Rhodes and even Sir Winston Churchill?

While George Floyd’s funeral was taking place, ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters gathered around the statue of Nelson Mandela in London. But as Mandela himself openly admitted, his own track record was far from perfect. Should statues of Gandhi (a racist in earlier life), Desmond Tutu (an anti-Semite), and Muhammad Ali (who held unpleasant views until he embraced moderate Sunni Islam in the mid-late 1970s) be torn down?

Do the protesters have a point, or is this just the latest attempt by the woke brigade to posture and virtue signal, even if it means endangering public health by causing a second wave of COVID-19 infections?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Episode 39: The New Normal

Me June 2020
Marcus Stead

WHAT IS ‘the new normal’? It’s a phrase we hear a lot on TV news bulletins and read a lot in the papers, but what does it actually mean? As the lockdown begins to ease, and economic activity picks up, what restrictions on working life and on recreation are we going to have to learn to live with well into the future?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss whether restaurants, theatres and other places of recreation have a future, if social distancing means they will have to operate at massively reduced levels of capacity.

The discussion then turns to the wider issue of tax revenue. Around 60% of tax yield comes from VAT and National Insurance. With places of entertainment and recreation operating in a much-reduced way, this, in turn, means a much-reduced tax revenue. What does this mean for the future of public services and public sector workers?

Finally, the discussion turns to new ways of working. The pandemic has proven that it is possible for many office jobs to be done from home, most of the time. Businesses will increasingly question whether they need so much office space. But will the trend spread to other sectors?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and the TuneIn app.

Episode 38: The Devolution Disaster

The Welsh Parliament building

IN A SPECIAL ‘double dose’ edition of Twenty Minute Topic, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the impact of devolution in Wales 20 years after its inception, and at a time when the institution has recently changed its name to the ‘Welsh Parliament’.

Greg played an important role in the ‘No’ campaign leading up to the referendum of 1997, in which the ‘Yes’ side won by the narrowest of margins.

Greg makes some shocking allegations of foul play, both during the campaign of 1997 and at crucial counts on the night.

The term ‘crachach’ is discussed extensively during the podcast. It is a term that refers to the Welsh-speaking middle class elite, often sympathetic to Welsh nationalism, nepotistic in character, that has huge influence across the Welsh arts, media, civil service and higher education sectors.

Veteran left-leaning journalist Paul Starling observed in his Welsh Daily Mirror column on 26 April 2002 that ‘our country is run by no more than 50 extended families or individuals’.

Cropped image of Rhodri Morgan at The Celebration of the Mace 5840623762 b47ba98d73 o.jpg
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales, 2000-2009

Indeed, far from being a swivel-eyed conspiracy, the crachach was thought to be very real by former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who saw their elitist control of so many tenets of Welsh civic life as a real threat to the success of devolution. He said: ““As well as horizontal devolution – spreading power and responsibility more widely – we have to have vertical devolution as well. I have sometimes tried to sum up this dimension by describing our devolution settlement as a shift from crachach to gwerin, from government by a self-replicating élite to a new engagement with a far wider and more representative group of people, women and men, people from north and south Wales, Welsh speakers and not, black people as well as white, and so on.”

Marcus and Greg agree that Rhodri Morgan’s words were not heeded, and far from creating a more diverse and inclusive civic sector in Wales, devolution has led to a consolidation and intensification of crachach power and influence.

Leighton Andrews, a former Education Minister in Wales, also spoke out against Crachach influence in the Welsh higher education sector.

The podcast begins with a brief history of devolution, beginning with the referendum of 1979, in which the Welsh electorate categorically rejected the proposal for an Assembly. The discussion moves on to the ‘quango culture’ of the 1980s and 90s, the impact of the Welsh Language Act of 1993, through to the referendum on giving the Assembly primary law-making powers in 2011.

There is discussion on the broken promises of 2011. The people of Wales were told it was a ‘tidying up exercise’ and the ‘end game’ for devolution, but in the years since, income tax powers have been devolved, and the institution’s name has been changed to the ‘Welsh Parliament’.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 13 May 2020

CoronavirusTHE UK Government’s slogan ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ has been replaced by the altogether more woolly, ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.

In this week’s Coronavirus Update podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the Government’s strategy, as we enter a new phase of the pandemic.

Marcus and Greg also look into the problems devolution is causing in preventing a UK-wide, co-ordinated response to the crisis.

Later in the podcast, they discuss whether Germany’s part-relaxation of lockdown rules is likely to lead to a second spike in COVID-19 cases, and whether the planned resumption of Bundesliga football this weekend is wise.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 07 May 2020

CoronavirusMUCH HAS been made of the news that the UK death toll from COVID-19 is now higher than that of Italy. But is that a fair comparison because the figures were collated in very different ways?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss how much emphasis should be put on the statistics. They also explore what the ‘easing’ of restrictions in Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria really means and how their lockdown measures compare to those in the UK.

Germany has announced plans to resume the Bundesliga football, a decision which Marcus and Greg utterly condemn.

They go on to explore what the ‘new reality’ will be for restaurants, pubs, cafes and the rail industry, all of which will be operating on much reduced capacity well after lockdown restrictions begin to be eased.

They assess the situation in the United States, where different states are handling the lockdown in widely contrasting ways.

Me April 2020
Marcus Stead

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation and announce his plans for handling the next phase of the pandemic. Marcus and Greg discuss what this is likely to entail.

In a broad context, they ponder what life in Britain will look like in six months’ time.

Finally, they look into whether the changes we’re seeing with more people working from home will become a more permanent fixture – will companies need as much office space in the future?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 29 April 2020

CoronavirusPRIME Minister Boris Johnson is back in Downing Street and has returned to work, but he’s warning against complacency and is saying that the lockdown must remain in force for the time being.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation warns that having the virus once doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get it again. And there is a rare but serious new syndrome in children that could be linked to COVID-19.

Marcus Stead is joined by veteran campaigner and blogger Greg Lance-Watkins  to try and make sense of this deeply concerning global situation.

The podcast is available via the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coffee Break with Marcus and James: April 2020

Coffee Break Poster April 2020MARCUS Stead and James Easton return with another Coffee Break podcast, taking a look at the lighter side of life.

Topics discussed include rude website URL names past and present, Brian Clough’s 44 days at Leeds United, Admiral retro football shirts, things you notice when watching old episodes of The Bill, home cooking experiments, darts gamesmanship, how much money you can save by taking a packed lunch and a flask of coffee to work, and the appalling way the FA has handled the pandemic situation.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 22 April 2020

CoronavirusTHE LOCKDOWN in the United Kingdom is set to continue for the next three weeks. Schools will not be reopening any time soon, and there is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals.

In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the situation in Britain and around the world, and also look into the effect the lockdown is having on people’s personal relationships and social lives.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 14 April 2020

Me April 2020 2
Marcus Stead

AS THE number of global COVID-19 cases passes the two million barrier, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the situation and conclude it is highly unlikely that life will return to normal any time soon.

The figures from Spain, Italy and France suggest the threat to life posed by the virus remains very real, and that the scientific community knows very little about how COVID-19 actually works.

After you have had the virus, do you have immunity for one month, three months, six months, twelve months, a lifetime, or not at all? We simply do not know.

Later in the podcast, Marcus and Greg deliver a scathing verdict on the Welsh Government’s attempts to bully and silence journalists and NHS staff, as was revealed on David Morris Jones’s excellent Penarth News hyperlocal site, which has recently been revived following a sabbatical.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 06 April 2020

CoronavirusON THE EVENING of Sunday 05 April, Her Majesty the Queen gave a very rare address to the nation, and just over one hour later, it was announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been admitted to hospital for tests after suffering from the coronavirus for more than a week.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins reflect on a dramatic evening. They also assess the latest statistics, which make very grim reading, and debunk some of the more absurd conspiracy theories about the virus.

Marcus and Greg both think the value of the antibody test has been massively overstated, and with specific reference to Singapore, they discuss just how difficult it will be to get out of the lockdown situation.

Singapore briefly came out of lockdown, and there was an almost immediate surge in cases, and on Saturday, new cases in the city state reached a record high.

Me April 2020 2
Marcus Stead

The podcast concludes on a lighter note as Marcus and Greg discuss how they’ve been keeping themselves occupied during the lockdown.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

 

 

In Focus with Marcus Stead Episode 2: Jeremy Jacobs

Jeremy Jacobs
Jeremy Jacobs

In this edition, Marcus Stead talks to Jeremy Jacobs, a familiar voice to radio listeners in southern England, who has worked as a football reporter for Capital Gold Sportstime, BBC London and BBC Kent, as well as having read sports bulletins on a range of commercial radio stations.

Jeremy is also a widely-respected conference and events host. Sales is another of his passions, and he now can teaches others what works in today’s world and shares insights about the future of sales. His methods work and are constantly evolving. For more information about his work, visit: thesalesrainmaker.co.uk 

In this wide-ranging discussion, Marcus and Jeremy look at the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the NHS and the economy, particularly within the M25.

They assess the effect it is having on small and medium-sized businesses, and ask whether enough is being done by the Government to help business owners and the self-employed.

Me April 2020 2
Marcus Stead

Later on, they discuss the Football Association’s decision to suspend leagues at semi-professional level. Jeremy, a passionate Margate fan, is far from happy with the way the FA has handled the situation.

Towards the end of the podcast, the conversation turns to the way in which the pandemic has forced individuals and businesses to explore new ways of working, and they look into the ever-changing world of sales, and talk about how Jeremy is adapting to a rapidly-evolving environment.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 28 March 2020

CoronavirusMARCUS Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins return with another Coronavirus Update. 

In this week’s podcast, they reflect on the death of Seb Lewis, a 38-year-old Charlton Athletic super-fan who died from Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Other topics of discussion include the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s proposals for helping the self-employed, which Marcus says are too complex and don’t go nearly far enough.

The area around Newport/Blaenau Gwent has the highest number of cases in the UK outside London. Marcus and Greg discuss how devolution is hampering a UK-wide, co-ordinated approach to tackling the pandemic.

Towards the end of the podcast, they discuss the testing of NHS workers, to establish whether they’ve already had the virus. How useful is it? Nobody knows whether a person can get the virus more than once, or whether having it once buys you immunity for a set period of time.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 21 March 2020

CoronavirusLIFE IN Britain has changed dramatically in the last seven days. At the start of the week, the Government encouraged people to work from home where possible. By midweek, it was announced that schools were to close indefinitely from this Friday onwards.

And on Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all cafes, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and leisure centres were to close at the end of the days training, or sooner, if practical to do so. The public were were strongly discouraged from socialising on Friday evening.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take stock of the situation, and assess the extent of the crisis, in terms of public health, and in terms of the enormous damage it is doing to the economy.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website,  iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 11 March 2020

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

THE SITUATION here in Britain is becoming more and more serious by the day. At the time of recording, it’s just been announced that Health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for coronavirus. 

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins aim to strike a balance between making listeners aware of the sheer seriousness of the situation, while remaining calm and avoiding hysteria. They also aim to give sensible advice as to what we, as individuals can do to minimise the risks to ourselves, or families, and to wider society.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coffee Break with Marcus and James

March 2020

Coffee Break Poster March 2020MARCUS Stead and James Easton return with an hour-long Coffee Break. Topics discussed in this month’s edition include:

  • Products that used to be commonplace, but you can still buy if you know where to look.
  • What obsolete technology are you still using?
  • What technology do we use that will be obsolete in ten years’ time?
  • Memories of the ‘good old days’ of independent local radio.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, TuneIn and Stitcher.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 37: Coronavirus – How Worried Should We Be?

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

AS OF 2 March 2020, more than 3,000 people have been killed by the coronavirus, including 50 in Iran and more than 30 in Italy.

Globally, there have been almost 90,000 confirmed cases, with the numbers outside China now growing faster than inside China.

In this podcast, journalist Marcus Stead and veteran campaigner and blogger Greg Lance-Watkins tackle some key questions:

  • How concerned should we be?
  • Why is the coronavirus more serious than conventional strains of flu?
  • Is it time to follow the example of other countries by closing schools and banning mass gatherings at sporting events and theatres etc?
  • What can we all do to minimise the risk?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 36: Flooding Fiasco

Taffs Well Flood
Flooding in Taffs Well, February 2020

DURING RECENT weeks, large areas of Britain have experienced flooding, resulting in millions of pounds in damage to homes and businesses.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the causes of the flooding – they dismiss claims it a consequence of man-made climate change, and condemn the lazy narrative being peddled by the mainstream media.

As former TV weatherman John Kettley said on LBC radio last week, the heavy rain that led to the floods was a result of ‘weather’ not ‘climate’ and was comparable to the rainfall he experienced growing up in Yorkshire more than 60 years ago.

Instead, Marcus and Greg pin the blame for the flooding on absurd planning applications that have seen housing estates built on flood-planes, and EU regulations that prevented the dredging of rivers.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 35: Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack

ON SATURDAY evening, we learnt that television presenter Caroline Flack had taken her own life at the age of just 40. Caroline was a popular and talented entertainer, yet she had a deeply troubled personal life.

In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the sort of society we live in, and to what extent the media, and indeed social media, is to blame for Caroline’s death.

At the start of the podcast, we take a few minutes to listen to some words by broadcaster Alex Belfield, which he recorded very shortly after Caroline’s death was announced on Saturday, for which he received a great deal of criticism on social media, but which Marcus found fitting and poignant.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 34: Streatham Terror Attack

Marcus Stead
Marcus Stead

ON SUNDAY 2 February, Sudesh Amman injured three people in a terror attack on the Streatham High Road, less than two weeks after being released from prison for possessing and distributing terrorist material.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss what can be done to minimise the threat from Islamic terrorists living in Britain.

The evidence clearly points to ‘lone wolf’ attackers usually being radicalised by viewing extremist material on the internet, rather than in the mosques. A very large number appear to be heavy users of cannabis, a mind-altering drug that has dangerous, unpredictable and often-permanent effects on the brains of some who use it.

The Muslim population of Britain has more than trebled since 1990. Marcus and Greg ask whether the Islamic community is doing enough to deal with extremism.

We read stories from prisons of people converting to Islam and joining Muslim extremist gangs for their own protection. What can be done about that? And should those who pose a threat ever be released from prison?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Coffee Break with Marcus and James

2020 Episode 2

Coffee Break Episode 3 PosterMarcus Stead and James Easton return with the second Coffee Break podcast of 2020.

Topics discussed include:

 

  • Memories of Blockbuster video stores
  • The future of the TV licence fee
  • Other great podcasts, including the return of Danny Baker
  • The importance of a good pillow

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 33: UK Independence Day

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 33 PosterTO CELEBRATE the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins bring you a ‘triple dose’ of Twenty Minute Topic.

Marcus and Greg reflect on the moment last Friday night at 11pm when the UK left the EU and became an independent country again after 47 years.

They assess what this means for the UK, what happens next, and what being free from the shackles of the EU will mean for the country.

Later in the podcast, they discuss the latest developments with the coronavirus outbreak, as a follow-up to the special podcast recorded in the middle of last week.

Finally, they discuss the absurd sacking of veteran newscaster Alastair Stewart for quoting Shakespeare, and why this, along with Katie Hopkins’s censorship by Twitter, are extremely disturbing developments for lovers of free speech.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Special

Wuhan
Wuhan in Eastern China

In this special podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the rapidly-developing situation with the coronavirus outbreak:

  • What is the coronavirus?
  • Has the Chinese government reacted appropriately?
  • In western countries, what can citizens and governments do?
  • How serious could this potentially become?
  • And at some point, probably not this time, is a serious pandemic inevitable?

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 32: The Great Brexiteers

The Great Brexiteers posterTHE UNITED Kingdom will finally leave the European Union this coming Friday at 11pm, and in this special edition of Twenty Minute Topic, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins pay tribute to those eurosceptics who campaigned for Brexit, but sadly did not live long enough to see it delivered.

Among those Marcus and Greg pay tribute to are Norris McWhirter, perhaps best known for his role on long-running children’s TV programme Record Breakers, Labour politicians Peter Shore and Tony Benn, as well as Greg’s friend Christopher Booker, the campaigning journalist who died last year.

Marcus Stead 2020
Marcus Stead

Marcus and Greg could not possibly pay tribute to everyone who did their bit, but this podcast gives a brief insight into just some of the great characters who helped make Brexit happen.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and via the TuneIn app.

 

 

Episode 31: Tackling Homelessness

Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

IN THIS week’s edition, Marcus Stead talks to Greg Lance-Watkins about an idea Greg has for tackling homelessness.

Greg’s idea is a remarkably simple, yet effective way of bringing dignity and safety to the homeless.

Marcus asks Greg a series of questions about potential problems and pitfalls, all of which Greg addresses convincingly.

There doesn’t appear to be any obvious downside to Greg’s proposals, so why won’t local councils go ahead and implement it?

 

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 30: Harry and Meghan

Harry and MeghanTHE DUKE and Duchess of Sussex, or ‘Harry and Meghan’ as they are more commonly known, released a bombshell statement in which they announced they were stepping back from Royal duties to pursue their own paths.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins reflect on the appalling way in which they went about announcing this, without consulting the Queen or senior members of the Royal Family.

With ‘crisis talks’ set to take place during the next few days, they also assess what could and should happen from here.

Was Meghan Markle naive about what a life of Royal duty and service would mean, or is she calculating and scheming?

And how do Harry and Meghan’s ‘woke’ credentials contrast with the example set by the Queen over more than 60 years?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Coffee Break with Marcus and James

2020 Episode 1

Coffee Break Poster 2020 1Marcus Stead and James Easton return with the first Coffee Break podcast of 2020. Topics discussed include:

  • Christmas shopping in January
  • Do other countries ‘do Christmas’ better?
  • Good manners/etiquette in Japan and South Korea
  • 2020 in sport

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 29: Iran – Are We Heading For War?

Qasem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani

THE ASSASSINATION of major general Qasam Soleimani marked a major escalation of tensions with Iran, and what happens next is highly unpredictable.

In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins put the events of early 2020 into a wider historical context, and assess what may happen in the days and weeks ahead.

What motivated President Trump to carry out this reckless action? Are we heading for a major conflict for Iran, and could this turn into a much larger war?

 

 

Episode 28: Review of 2019

Boris Johnson Jeremy Corbyn
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

AS 2019 draws to a close, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins reflect on how the year will be remembered in the history books.

They also debate whether the Labour Party can recover from its current dire state, and assess whether the time has come for decent, patriotic Labour supporters to break away from the party and set up an alternative opposition movement.

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Episode 27: Brexit is Happening!

Brexit mapMarcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins reflect on a week that saw the EU Withdrawal Bill pass through the House of Commons with ease.

They discuss what’ll happen next, how the EU is likely to react, and the challenges Boris Johnson’s Government will face in handling the next phase of negotiations during the early months of 2020.

Marcus and Greg also discuss the serious problems facing the Labour Party, and a lack of a credible opposition in Britain at the moment.

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Coffee Break with Marcus and James

2019 Christmas Special

Coffee Break Poster Christmas 2019AFTER A GAP of more than two years (nearly three years, actually) the Coffee Break podcast returns in its new home on Talk Podcasts with Marcus Stead and new regular presenter James Easton.

Christmas isn’t far away and that’s the basis of our first podcast back. Topics covered include:

 

  • Classic Christmas telly
  • Advent calendars
  • Crap Christmas decorations
  • Retro toys
  • Christmas dinners for pescatarians, vegans and vegetarians
  • Hovercrafts (erm, very festive, we know…)

So pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and relax. Oh and don’t forget to send us your feedback!

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 26: The Boris Breakthrough

General Election 2019The election is over, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won with a majority of 80, exactly as Marcus Stead has been predicting on Twenty Minute Topic for many weeks!

In this week’s podcast, Marcus and Greg Lance-Watkins assess how quickly Brexit can now be implemented, now that the United Kingdom has a stable Government with a large majority.

They also discuss what went wrong for Labour, and conclude that the party’s sneering contempt for its heartlands is what led to the catastrophic defeat. Labour has spent the last few years telling them they were wrong about Brexit and didn’t know what they were doing when they voted Leave. They have patronised their voters, ignored their concerns and obsessed about niche ‘woke’ issues that only really resonate with the London bubble and middle class students.

The election result is a clear rejection of Jeremy Corbyn’s Marxist or close-to-Marxist agenda, and a rejection of the stench of toxic anti-Semitism that surrounds the Labour Party.

They discuss the extraordinary arrogance of Corbyn-supporting media pundits, who as the results came in decided NOT to reflect on where Labour went wrong, but chose to attack Labour heartland voters and give them a telling off for daring to vote for another party!

Is the Labour Party beyond saving? Is it now a party made up of hardline Marxists, and middle class students and academics, totally out of touch with working people? Does the country have a credible opposition that looks like a government in waiting? If not, where do we go from here, in the interests of democracy?

Have Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party done damage in this election by denying the Conservatives seats in constituencies where they split the anti-EU vote? The presence of a Brexit Party candidate also almost certainly cost honourable Labour MP Caroline Flint her seat.

And what about social media’s role in this election? It’s now beyond doubt that the Twitter mobs and the echo chambers bear absolutely no resemblance to how most people think and behave.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 25: Decision Time

Boris Johnson Jeremy Corbyn
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

With less than a week to go until polling day, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take stock of the situation.

The polls consistently show a consistent and substantial lead for the Conservative Party, but Marcus and Greg interpret the data in slightly different ways, and have reached different conclusions as to how the votes will translate into seats.

Is it the case that people are massively unimpressed with the entire election campaign, and that faced with the inevitability that either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister, people will vote for the ‘least worst’ option?

What should habitual Labour voters who feel uncomfortable with the direction in which Jeremy Corbyn has taken the party do on Thursday, especially those who can’t bring themselves to vote Conservative?

Marcus and Greg reflect on the appalling slurs from the once-respectable Channel 4 News during the election campaign, and the decline in trust in other media outlets, including the BBC.

They also discuss the gradual decline of proper investigative journalism in both the print and broadcast media over the course of the last 25 years.

Episode 24: London Bridge terror attack – How should we respond?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Friday, Usman Khan, an already-convicted terrorist out on licence, killed two innocent people on London Bridge.

In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins pay tribute to the extraordinarily brave people who helped disarm the terrorist, and discuss what steps can be taken to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Marcus and Greg also assess what effect the terror attack has had on the election, which is now less than two weeks away.

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Talk Podcasts Pubcast

Episode 2

Talk Podcasts Pubcast logoMarcus Stead and James Easton return with the final pubcast of 2019, recorded at the Mount Stuart in Cardiff Bay.

There was a ‘no politics’ rule in place, which was only loosely enforced. Topics covered in this edition include:

 

  • Tattoos – tasteful or tacky? Are they OK provided they’re well-hidden? And are heavily-tattooed people doing it for attention?
  • Cymru Premier football – differences and similarities with the English semi-professional ranks.
  • Defunct beers and lagers. By the way, Hofmeister is back!
  • Brian Clough’s legacy.
  • Wrestling – British and American, past and present.
  • The rise of Black Friday and Halloween, and the decline of Guy Fawkes Night.
  • Proper Saturday morning telly – Ghost Train, Gimme 5, Going Live!, Live & Kicking.
  • Fred Dinenage and the Krays.

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Pubcast Poster 2

Twenty Minute Topic 

Episode 23: What’s in the manifestos?

Boris Johnson Jeremy Corbyn
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

In the week the Conservative and Labour parties launched their manifestos, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take a look at what’s inside them.

Are Boris Johnson’s plans for a huge wave of investment in infrastructure, apprenticeships and nursing realistic?

As for Labour, there are big elements of it that have not been widely reported in the mainstream media. There are lots of things in there that will appeal to the politically correct, virtue signalling ‘woke’ agenda, including ‘putting LGBT+ equality at the heart of government, ensuring our public services are LGBT+ inclusive and delivering on the national LGBT Action Plan’ along with a pledge to ‘conduct an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy to understand our contribution to the dynamics of violence and insecurity across regions previously under British colonial rule.’

Marcus and Greg ask: Is this REALLY a vote winner in Labour’s heartlands?

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and the TuneIn app.

Episode 22: Election 2019 – One Month To Go

Boris Johnson Jeremy Corbyn
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

Events have taken over the election campaign in the last week, with Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn responding in very different ways to the terrible floods in Yorkshire.

With less than a month to go until polling day, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins ask: How could Boris Johnson have handled the terrible situation with the floods in Yorkshire without attracting criticism?

Something profound is happening in Labour’s heartlands. Support for the party has halved in 2019 alone, but polls show that no single party is benefiting from the collapse. The percentage points that Labour has lost are fragmented among several parties. That makes predicting the outcome of the election extremely difficult. Could it be that under the ‘first past the post’ electoral system, Conservative candidates may ‘come through the middle’ in some of the Labour heartlands.

And it’s nearly the time of year when an old man with a white beard hands out free gifts – no, we’re not talking about Father Christmas, but Jeremy Corbyn, whose manifesto pledges sound incredibly far-fetched. We ask how is it all going to be paid for, or more specifically, who is going to pay for it?

Episode 21: Poll Position

Screenshot_20191110-010623Something extraordinary is happening with the opinion polls. They are consistently showing that in the Labour heartlands, support for the party has halved in 2019 alone.

Across the country, support for the Conservatives has fallen a little, but not to anything like the extent as Labour.

Screenshot_20191110-010705There is no single beneficiary of the collapse in support for Labour. Some of those percentage points have gone to the Brexit Party, others to the Liberal Democrats, and the smaller parties have benefited to an extent as well.

Under the ‘first past the post’ system, this makes the outcome very difficult to predict in many seats.

Screenshot_20191110-010541In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins try to make sense of the polls.

 

 

 

Episode 20: Nigel Farage – Asset or Liability?

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage launched the Brexit Party’s election campaign on Friday of last week. He stated that if Boris Johnson didn’t ditch the deal he negotiated with the EU, the Brexit Party could stand in every seat in the country.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins both had dealings with Nigel Farage during his days as a senior figure in UKIP. Marcus and Greg explain why Mr Farage’s actions last week risk splitting the pro-Brexit vote, thereby allowing anti-Brexit candidates to win seats, and they also explain how this is by no means the first time Mr Farage has put his own ego before the national interest.

The podcast is also available on iTunes, Spotify, the TuneIn app and Google Podcasts.

Episode 19: Brexit – The Farce Continues

Brexit mapBoris Johnson has been granted the Brexit extension he didn’t want, and Jeremy Corbyn turned down the chance to trigger the general election he’s been calling for all year. But come Tuesday evening, we could be in election mode!

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins try to make sense of it all, and address issues that were raised during Monday’s debate in Parliament: Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? Should university students be allowed to vote in the city where they’re studying, even though they only live in the area part-time and are likely to leave once they graduate? And should the Brexit Party enter into electoral pacts with pro-Brexit candidates in an upcoming election?

All our podcasts are available via the Talk Podcasts website, on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn App.

Episode 18: The Brexit Betrayal

Brexit mapThe Brexit 17.4 million people voted for in June 2016 has still not been delivered. On Saturday, the House of Commons put yet more obstacles in the way of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take stock of the situation. Have we now reached the stage where it’s ‘Parliament versus the people’?

 

Episode 17: Brexit- Are we nearly there yet?

Brexit mapAt the start of what is certain to be one of the most dramatic weeks in British political history, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take stock of the situation as it currently stands.

Marcus and Greg both believe that it is likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union at the end of October.

They argue that an extension to Article 50 will force Labour to back a general election, which would be fraught with risk, and could well result in a sizeable majority for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, which would in turn give him a strong mandate to pull the UK out of the EU, with or without a deal.

Episode 16: The Royal Family

Queen 2
Queen Elizabeth II

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the future of the Royal Family.

Will Britain still have a Royal Family in 20 years’ time? How has the recent behaviour of Harry and Meghan undermined the institution? And what do we make of the Queen being dragged into the Brexit process?

All podcasts are also available via iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

 

 

Episode 15: The Supreme Court – A Dangerous Precedent?

Me September 2019
Marcus Stead

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling has set a dangerous precedent that gravely undermines British Parliamentary democracy.

All our podcasts are now also available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the TuneIn app.

 

 

Episode 14: Bias in the Classroom

Me September 2019
Marcus Stead

Rising numbers of children are being treated for ‘eco anxiety’ because they’re being fed terrifying propaganda by their schoolteachers on the theory of man-made climate change.

Before and since the EU referendum of 2016, there were media reports of teachers indoctrinating children with pro-EU propaganda, and telling them that Brexiteers were bad, nasty people.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess bias within the teaching profession, and deliver a scathing verdict on teachers who are brainwashing and frightening innocent children.

Marcus and Greg also discuss what can be done to redress the balance and bring integrity back into the teaching profession.

Episode 13: Why do you support Brexit?

Me September 2019
Marcus Stead

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins are committed Brexiteers, but how did their journeys begin?

Marcus, 35, became a eurosceptic while at secondary school in the mid-late 1990s, partly inspired by the late Sir James Goldsmith and the Referendum Party he led into the 1997 general election.

Greg, who is in his 70s, has been opposed to the entire EU project since the 1960s, when it was known as the European Economic Community (EEC).

In this podcast, Marcus and Greg tell their stories about how they became eurosceptics, and why they believe the United Kingdom would be better off leaving the European Union.

 

Episode 12: Bercow, Boris and Brexit

John Bercow
House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, there were hugely controversial scenes in the House of Commons as the prorogation ceremony got underway, with Speaker John Bercow becoming the centre of attention.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins give a damning verdict to Speaker Bercow’s behaviour, and assess where the Brexit process goes from here.

 

 

 

 

Episode 11: The Decline of the Mainstream Media

BBC News has seen a 56% decline in viewing figures since 2014 and a 19% drop in the last year alone.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the decline in quality and trust of traditional news outlets and look into how more and more people are getting their news from alternative sources.

Episode 10: Man-Made Climate Change Debunked

Marcus Stead 2019
Marcus Stead

This week, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins debunk the theory of man-made climate change.

Climate change in itself is undeniable, it’s been going on for as long as the earth has existed, but to say mankind is responsible is to rely on VERY wobbly science. The reality is that the green lobby and the oil giants are on the same side – this is a multi-billion dollar industry!

Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

They also discuss how vulnerable teenager Greta Thunberg is being exploited and manipulated by people to further this toxic agenda.

Darts Special: Shayne Burgess

Shayne Burgess Book CoverShayne ‘Bulldog’ Burgess is one of darts’s most colourful characters, and he’s a man with a story to tell.

To mark the publication of his autobiography, ‘Everybody Gets Fifteen Quid’, Shayne, from Hastings in Sussex, gave an in-depth interview to Marcus Stead where he discussed his life on and away from the oche.

Shayne, 55, was at his peak in the 1990s and early 2000s. Darts was in a very different place back then.

The early-mid 1990s were tumultuous years for darts. TV broadcasters had scaled back their coverage, and players found it impossible to make a living from the game. Something had to be done.

Most of the world’s best players broke away from the sport’s governing body to form the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), and the foundations were laid for the multi-million pound sport darts is today. Shayne made the switch to the PDC not long after it was formed.

Shayne Burgess 1
Shayne Burgess

Shayne’s story is full of ups and downs. He reached three major PDC finals, but in each of them he came up against Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, the greatest player of all time. By the time big money arrived in the mid-2000s, Shayne’s game was in decline.

But Shayne’s book is no sob story. It’s packed with hilarious anecdotes from the local darts scene in Sussex and Kent, and the professional darts tour of the 1990s and early 2000s.

There are also laugh out loud tales of adventures in his campervan and brushes with the law.

‘Everybody Gets Fifteen Quid’, ghost written by Tony Horne, is available on Amazon, and is published by Wild Wolf Publishing.

The podcast can be heard by clicking on the audio link above, and can also be heard on iTunes.

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 9: Groupthink

The term ‘Groupthink’ has its origins in George Orwell’s 1984, but it has gained new prominence with the advent of social media.

Marcus Stead 2019
Marcus Stead

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss ‘groupthink’ and the impact of social media. Far from encouraging healthy debate and exposing people to new ideas, social media appears to be encouraging people to engage with echo chambers, namely people who share the same views as them.

This, in turn, insulates people from hearing viewpoints that go against theirs, and leaves them dangerously unaware of the views of wider society.

 

Episode 8: Neville Chamberlain – National Hero?

Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain

Few moments in British history have been looked back on as more humiliating than when, in September 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back from Munich having supposedly been duped by Hitler into thinking that he had secured ‘peace for our time’.

Conventional wisdom has regarded Chamberlain’s act as one of foolish appeasement. But we should look again.

Marcus Stead is joined by Greg Lance-Watkins, who tells a story about how, as a 19-year-old soldier, he had a chance meeting with former Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas Home on a train.

They discussed Chamberlain and the Munich Agreement. Sir Alec revealed to Greg that far from being an act of appeasement, Chamberlain knew war was coming. However, by pretending to have been duped by Hitler, he had bought Britain vital time to rearm and prepare for war.

Sir Alec left Greg in no doubt that Chamberlain had handled the situation brilliantly, and that history has judged him harshly.

Episode 7: Personal Responsibility (Part 2)

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins address some tough issues with regards to personal responsibility and welfare dependency. Is the welfare state in its current form sustainable? Will people have to make their own provisions for old age? Are those who cover their bodies in hideous tattoos to blame for making themselves unemployable? And do we need to ‘press the reset button’ to redefine where the state’s role ends and the individual/family’s role begins?

Episode 6: Will Boris Johnson Deliver Brexit?

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is the UK’s new Prime Minister. Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the likelihood of Brexit being delivered by the October 31 deadline. Can a new deal be negotiated with the EU? Can Parliament block a ‘no deal’ Brexit? And how likely is a General Election before the Brexit deadline?

 

 

Episode 5: Personal Responsibility

Me 2018
Marcus Stead

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the subject of personal responsibility. At what point does it become the responsibility of the individual and the family, rather than the welfare state, to provide for our needs? The discussion then turns to the subject of gambling, both in the high street and online, which often has a devastating impact on people living in socially deprived areas.

A second podcast on personal responsibility will be released in two weeks’ time, where Marcus and Greg will look into how the welfare state in its current form is unsustainable.

Episode 4: Can the NHS Survive?

Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

Marcus Stead is joined by veteran campaigner and blogger Greg Lance-Watkins as they debate whether the NHS has a future. If so, what form it will take? What changes need to be made if it is to survive and provide world-class healthcare in the decades ahead?

 

 

 

 

Episode 3: Remembering Christopher Booker

Christopher Booker
Christopher Booker

On Wednesday 3 July 2019, Christopher Booker, one of Britain’s very best journalists, died at the age of 81.

Greg Lance-Watkins knew Christopher for more than 50 years. He reflects on Christopher’s remarkable life with Marcus Stead.

Christopher led an extraordinary life – he was an integral part of the satire boom of the 1960s, as part of David Frost’s team on That Was The Week That Was, and he was the first editor of the magazine Private Eye. Christopher wrote about a broad range of topics, from jazz to cricket, but he was perhaps best-known for his investigative work, and for his deep understanding of the inner-workings of the European Union.

Christopher’s final column in the Sunday Telegraph on 29 March was a masterpiece, where he reflected on his eventful life and provided a sad, but all-too-accurate analysis of the state Britain is currently in. It was republished with permission on Greg’s blog here.

Episode 2: Shaping the economy and equipping young people for the future

Me 2018
Marcus Stead
Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins address some big, often uncomfortable questions about the future of the British economy and workplace. Does the minimum wage have a future? Do we live in a corporatist, rather than a capitalist society? The ‘elephant in the room’ – why has Britain got such a large productivity problem? Is it time to industrialise? Is the long period of uncertainty over Brexit doing more harm than anything else to British business? Is it time to de-industrialise? Is a ‘climate change’ policy based on wobbly science doing immense, unnecessary damage to the economy? And how can young people build a career in the modern world?

Twenty Minute Topic

Episode 1: The Modern Workplace

Me 2018
Marcus Stead
Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

A brand new series in which journalist Marcus Stead and veteran campaigner and blogger Greg Lance-Watkins discuss big issues affecting all our lives over a twenty minute period.

 

 

In the first episode, Marcus and Greg discuss how workplaces will be transformed by technology in the next five to ten years. Issued raised include: Are university degrees still worth it? Are the millennial generation equipped for the workplace? Is the UK education system fit for purpose? Does manufacturing in the UK have a future? How will 5G technology transform all our lives?

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State – Lance Forman

Jonny Gould 1
Jonny Gould

Jonny’s guest is a fourth generation smoked salmon purveyor and a wannabe European politician (but not wannabe European Union member).

Lance Forman’s standing for the Brexit Party in a European election he says shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

In our conversation, he accuses the political class of being fast and loose with extremist rhetoric, while being cowardly in making the big decisions lest they lose votes.

He pots a 115-year history of H Forman & Son and describes the challenges of succession, planning and adaptation to modern times.

He harks for a return to the days of Thatcher, says Nigel Farage is “Maggie in men’s clothing” and says “antisemite” Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of “Britain as Venezuela” needs to be stopped.

He’s proud to be a Jewish member of the party, shrugging off the unpleasant daubing of a swastika on his factory in recent weeks.

Me 2018
Marcus Stead

Journalist Marcus Stead responds to the issues Lance Forman raised in the latest edition of Jonny Gould’s Jewish State. Marcus offers broad praise for Forman, but presents a more optimistic vision for post-industrial satellite towns, and explains the economic opportunities Brexit can bring to these areas. Marcus also describes how antisemitism is by no means confined to the Labour Party, and that Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru has a long and shameful history of antisemitism and Nazi appeasement.

 

Brexit Briefing Special with Marcus Stead 20/05/2019

Greg Lance-Watkins 1
Greg Lance-Watkins

Marcus Stead returns with a Brexit Briefing special in the week the United Kingdom goes to the polls in European Parliamentary elections that weren’t supposed to happen. Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party is polling nearly twice as many votes as their nearest rival. If the polls are correct, British politics is about to experience a massive earthquake.

Marcus’s guest is businessman, blogger and veteran anti-EU campaigner Greg Lance-Watkins, who has been an active eurosceptic for nearly SIXTY years.

In a wide-ranging discussion, they look at the history of euroscepticism in the UK, the rapidly declining influence of the traditional media, the rise of the Brexit Party, what this all means for the future of British politics, and Greg makes some grim predictions as to where Britain will be in ten years’ time, Brexit or no Brexit.

 

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State: Trevor Horn, legendary music and Jewish beliefs

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Jonny Gould

“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city of your exile, pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper”, Jeremiah 29:7 and repeated to me by this remarkable of men, Trevor Horn.

The Grammy Award, Brit Award, Ivor Novello Award winning record producer, coined “the man who invented the 80s”, gave me a fantastic interview about his current projects, (touring and a new album) plus a rundown of his musical career and influences plus his journey into Judaism, something he says he “believes in more than anything else”.

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State: Ivor Baddiel and the “Y Word”: Shouting “Yid” on football’s terraces

Jonny Gould 1If you’ve been to Wembley or White Hart Lane, you’ll have almost certainly heard the word, “Yid” chanted in support of Tottenham.

You may have even chanted it yourself as a Spurs fan. But what does it mean exactly? Do you think it still has a place on football’s terraces?

Campaigner Ivor Baddiel and his brother David began a campaign seven years ago with a short film, “!The Y Word” which explained that it’s a derogatory word for Jewish people – similar to using the P Word or N Word.

The Baddiel brothers wanted to start a debate and Jonny caught up with Ivor.

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State: Jassem Tamim and Richard Millett

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Jonny Gould

Jonny’s two guests are from very different parts of British society – but are united in voice in opposing Jeremy Corbyn and the antisemitism scandal sweeping the Labour Party.

Jassem Tamim is a Sufi Muslim originally from Morocco, who considers it payback to Britain’s acceptance of him to oppose antisemitism. He also believes it’s his Islamic duty to defend Israel and Jews.

And Richard Millett is the longtime activist who the Labour leader famously called lacking English irony.

To become a patron of Jonny’s project, please click here.

Talk Podcasts Pubcast Episode 1

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James Easton

Marcus Stead and his friend James Easton (Charlton Athletic fan, real ale aficionado and Brexiteer) went to the Mount Stuart pub in Cardiff Bay and recorded their conversation for Talk Podcasts listeners.

The chat began on a sombre note as they reflected on their visit to the memorial to Emiliano Sala at the Cardiff City Stadium earlier in the day. They then moved on to discuss the disconnect between professional football clubs and the fans, the delights of non-league football, the rise and rise of PDC darts, and where the JD Wetherspoon name really came from.

Snooker Special

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Gareth Allen

Gareth Allen played on the professional snooker tour between 2015-2017, and he had a lengthy career among the amateur ranks before earning his pro tour card. His snooker journey began at the age of three, when he would watch the game on TV with his grandmother and imitate the players while sitting on the floor with a pencil and some marbles.

In conversation with Marcus Stead, Gareth discusses his life in snooker, before the conversation turns to the realities of life for a modern professional snooker player.

The game has been utterly transformed since Barry Hearn took charge of the governing body in late 2009. In that time, prize money has increased from £3.5 million to an astonishing £14 million. There are more tournaments than ever before, but this means more travel, and inevitably far more expenses, which hits the lower ranked players hard. Is the game’s governing body doing enough to help the lower ranked players?

 

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State – Holocaust Memorial Day: Grandma’s Escape from Hitler’s Vienna to Birmingham’s Freedom

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Jonny Gould

This is a very special podcast. To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, Jonny Gould located an old cassette of an interview he recorded with his late Grandma in 1984, when she was 77 – and he was 17. She narrates her own escape from Hitler’s Vienna in 1938 and arrival in Birmingham.

You can support Jonny’s work by visiting Patreon.com/Jonny Gould

 

 

 

In Focus with Marcus Stead Episode 1: Karen Harradine

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Karen Harradine

In the first of an occasional series of long-form interviews, Marcus Stead meets writer Karen Harradine, where they discuss the issues raised in this article she wrote for the Conservative Woman website.

Karen calls for the creation of a Christian equivalent of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and explains that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today, especially in the Middle East and parts of Africa.

A wide range of related subjects are debated during the hour-long interview, including the wilful decline of the United Kingdom’s Judaeo-Christian heritage, and the dangers of ‘identity politics’, narcissism, and fashionable virtue-signalling.

The discussion turns to the Orwellian control of language and how accusations of ‘hate speech’ are a serious threat to freedom of expression, and of how the brainwashing of innocent children on transgenderism is nothing more than child abuse which will have serious repercussions in years to come.

On Brexit, they discuss the difficulties Leave supporting students face on university campuses, and ask whether British universities are places for rigorous debate and an exchange of ideas, or whether they are indoctrinating young people.

In the latter part of the podcast, the discussion turns to the Israel, Palestine, antisemitism and whether Christian organisations are harming followers of their own faith by backing Palestinian militants and organisations with links to terror.

The discussion concludes with Karen’s thoughts on how to tackle Islamic extremism and the importance of creating a single, united British identity.

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State Episode 1

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Jonny Gould

“We ought not deal in the soft bigotry of low expectations of the Palestinians” – Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, Our Soldiers Speak.

The first in a series of podcasts in which Jonny Gould discusses the biggest Jewish and Israeli issues with the most fascinating guests.

Today Jonny discusses securing peace in the Middle East with Brigadier General Amir Avivi (ret.) and Sergeant Benjamin Anthony of Our Soldiers Speak.

In response to the impasse of the Oslo Accords, they’re devising a win-win peace deal for Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Gazans, Muslims and Christians called the New State Solution.

They met in Central London as these impressive soldiers turned diplomats continued their discussions.

Brexit Briefing 28/11/2018

Me 2018

Marcus Stead returns with another Brexit Briefing, where he exposes some of the shocking details of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, largely unreported by the mainstream media. Marcus also explains what the ‘Northern Ireland Backstop’ actually means and why there’s no way the DUP can support it. There’s also analysis on the Parliamentary arithmetic of getting the proposed deal through the House of Commons, and with the deal as good as dead on arrival, Marcus explores the viable alternatives as the Brexit date of 29 March 2019 draws nearer.

 

Brexit Briefing 24/09/2018

Me 2018

Marcus Stead returns with another Brexit Briefing following a week that saw Prime Minister Theresa May ‘talk tough’ to the EU. Marcus asks: Where do we go from here? What’s likely to happen? What are the realistic options? Is there likely to be a second referendum? And are we heading for a General Election in November?

 

Brexit Briefing 12/09/2018

Me 2018

In this week’s Brexit Briefing, Marcus Stead reports on the developing situation as Theresa May’s position looks increasingly precarious. He also looks into the consequences of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit for the aviation industry, and gives a damning assessment of Boris Johnson’s suitability to be Prime Minister.

 

 

 

Brexit Briefing 03/09/2018

Me 2018

Marcus Stead returns with another Brexit Briefing. Following comments from Boris Johnson, David Davis, and then Michel Barnier, are the Chequers proposals dead? Why did Frank Field resign the Labour whip? And how likely is a so-called ‘People’s Vote’?

 

 

Brexit Briefing 27/08/2018

Me 2018Marcus Stead presents the first in a new series of Brexit Briefing podcasts. In this week’s edition, Marcus asks: Could the civil service be about to betray Brexit? As Brexit day gets nearer, is Philip Hammond fit to be Chancellor? Dominic Raab outlines what he believes a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would look like – is there any cause for alarm?

 

Brexit Briefing 15/07/2018

Me 2018Marcus Stead tries to make sense of a dramatic and tumultuous week in the Brexit process. What is actually in the Chequers White Paper? What does it mean for the country, and for Theresa May’s chances of clinging to office? And how will the EU react to the proposals?

Douma Chemical Attack – The Truth Uncovered with Marcus Stead

Douma MapMarcus Stead investigates the alleged chemical attack by President Assad’s forces in the Syrian city of Douma on 7 April 2018. Did the attack take place at all? Who was responsible? Why did the USA, the UK and France carry out air strikes on specific targets? How much do we ACTUALLY know, and how much of what we’re being told by the mainstream media is merely speculation?

 

 

Siwan Reynolds 1Meditation and Mindfulness with Siwan Reynolds 05/06/2018

Siwan Reynolds was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 14, and spent years trying to reduce her seizures before her life was transformed with the help of meditation and mindfulness.

In this podcast, Siwan tells her story to Marcus Stead, and explains how her techniques can be implemented by anyone, anywhere.

Siwan now helps schoolchildren, businesses and individuals transform their lives. You can visit her website by clicking here or you can email her at: siwan@cardiffmeditation.com

Brexit Briefing 05/03/2018

Me 2018Marcus Stead looks back on recent Brexit-related speeches by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, former Prime Minister Sir John Major and current Prime Minister Theresa May.

Jonny Gould – Mistaken Identity 14/02/2018

Jonny Gould 1Jonny Gould is a sports broadcaster, radio host, TV pundit and businessman. During the recent fallout from the Presidents Club dinner fiasco, Jonny was incorrectly identified in a number of publications as the host of the event’s charity auction.

In conversation with Marcus Stead, he discusses how the story developed, the fallout from it, and the steps he took to gain corrections, apologies and compensation from the publications who wrongly identified him.

Jonny is a supporter of mental health charity Mind, and he tells us about his current project, Striker Boy.

Jonny also talks about his long career as CEO of Sportsmedia, who provided sponsored sports bulletins to independent radio stations around the UK, and why he had to close the business several years ago.

There’s also a chat between Marcus and Jonny about the overall state of radio, journalism and hyperlocal news in the UK today.

Brexit Briefing 22/01/2018

Marcus Stead looks back on a week when the EU Withdrawal Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons, and explains in some depth what is likely to happen in the tumultuous months ahead.

Marcus also assesses the situation in Calais, and asks some important questions about the refugee crisis.

Don’t Forget To Check Out……

Talk Motoring with Elliott Spiteri

Episode 1:    13/12/2017 Elliott previews the 2021 baby MINI SUV, McLaren’s $1 million Senna hypercar, the Porsche 911 next generation, and the Lamborghini Urus.

He also looks at the legal implications of contradictory government advice and subsequent tax policy on diesel cars.

An Introduction to Talk Podcasts…..

A brand new service bringing you original, innovative speech-based content. Listen here for a welcome message from Talk Podcasts founder, Marcus Stead.
You can start enjoying Talk Podcasts straight away. Click here to listen to our launch show with Marcus Stead and James Easton.

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