Twenty Minute Topic

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.

 

 

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 deliver a damning verdict on 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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

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

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins 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?