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.

 

 

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.

Episode 1: Karen Harradine

karen harradine 1.jpg_large
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.

About Karen Harradine

karen harradine 2.jpg_large
Karen Harradine

Karen was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in a traditional Jewish home. Her parents placed great emphasis on education and her father passed on his fascination with politics to her.

She obtained an undergraduate degree in Journalism, Classical Civilisations and Anthropology and an honours degree in Anthropology (a separate degree in South Africa) at Rhodes University, and a Masters degree in the same subject from the University of the Witwatersrand (more commonly known as WITS University). In 1998 she emigrated to the UK.

As an immigrant living in London, Karen worked in whichever job she could find, ranging from secretarial work to private tutoring. She married in 2006 and moved to Ipswich, Suffolk. In 2010 she decided to study again, and the following year she completed a course through the Woolf Institute at Cambridge University called ‘Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges’.

Karen obtained a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the University of Suffolk in 2015. Shortly afterwards, she and her husband moved to Singapore temporarily. Due to restrictions on my spousal visa she was not allowed to work. She had been following The Conservative Woman website for a number of years and so sent them an idea for a blog. The editors approved and she has been writing for them since March 2016.

Growing up under the apartheid regime has made Karen wary of big government, extremism of all forms and totalitarianism. She a life-long interest in politics, religion, spirituality antisemitism and Zionism.