Marcus Stead

Journalist Marcus Stead

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Radio Sputnik Interview

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By MARCUS STEAD

Earlier today, I appeared on Radio Sputnik to discuss the balance between protecting public health and the need to reopen the economy. I also assessed the challenges social distancing measures bring to the private sector:

You can listen to the interview in full below:

 

Written by Marcus Stead

June 16, 2020 at 11:13 pm

Coffee Break with Marcus and James: March 2020

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By MARCUS STEAD

 

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

March 3, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 37: Coronavirus – How Worried Should We Be?

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By MARCUS STEAD

 

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

March 2, 2020 at 3:37 am

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 36: Flooding Fiasco

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By MARCUS STEAD

 

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

February 25, 2020 at 3:35 am

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 35: Caroline Flack

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By MARCUS STEAD

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

February 19, 2020 at 3:11 am

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 34: Streatham Terror Attack

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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.

Written by Marcus Stead

February 9, 2020 at 3:45 am

Coffee Break with Marcus and James: 2020 Episode 2

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By MARCUS STEAD

 

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

February 6, 2020 at 1:17 am

Twenty Minute Topic Episode 33: UK Independence Day

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By MARCUS STEAD

 

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.

Written by Marcus Stead

February 2, 2020 at 2:31 am

NEW PODCAST: Coronavirus Special

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By MARCUS STEAD

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?

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

 

Written by Marcus Stead

January 28, 2020 at 5:09 am

Holocaust Memorial Day: Welsh Nationalism’s Shameful Antisemitism

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By MARCUS STEAD

WITH EACH year that passes, the number of Holocaust survivors still living dwindles ever further. For many years after the liberation of the concentration camps, survivors often did not tell their stories, the full horror of what they had experienced being too painful to recount.

But in recent decades, as they approached old age, survivors began to speak more openly about what they went through. Has the passing of years eased the pain of their memories? It’s not for me to say, but I suspect it has not. Survivors telling their stories in books, on film, in lectures and in school assemblies do so because they understand the importance of lessons being learned, and of history never repeating these mistakes again.

As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, their stories become more important, not less. The years since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader have seen a resurgence of antisemitism to levels that would have seemed unthinkable in mainstream British politics just a decade ago. And as with the 1930s, the resurgence of antisemitism has come from the left.

While it is right and proper that antisemitism in the Labour Party is properly reported and scrutinised, it is wrong to assume that antisemitism in Britain is confined to the Labour Party.

Welsh nationalist activists Phil Stead and Aled Gwyn Williams pay homage to Saunders Lewis

Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru has a history of antisemitism stretching back to its founder, Saunders Lewis, but it remains an ongoing trait with the party. As recently as last month’s general election, Plaid Cymru member Sahar Al-Faifi was suspended days after she appeared in a party election party when it was revealed she had been responsible a number of antisemitic social media posts several years earlier.

It would also be wrong to assume that Plaid Cymru has gone to great lengths to distance itself from its past. Saunders Lewis is still widely revered by Plaid Cymru supporters and the Welsh nationalist movement in general. They can be rather touchy when you raise the subject. At best, they seem to regard Lewis’s antisemitism as a minor character flaw, like leaving the toilet seat up after using it.

Below, I have reproduced an exert from my lengthy essay ‘Wales – A Country Divided’, which was originally published in February last year and can be read in full here. The exert details Saunders Lewis’s long history of antisemitism, which litters not only his politics but also his wider writings.

Underneath that, I have reproduced an article by former BBC Wales Head of News and Current Affairs David Morris Jones. Until last autumn, he ran an excellent hyperlocal news website for Penarth, which was updated several times per day. Ill health forced him to stop work, and the site has been closed down, but I have access to an article he published on 30 May 2019, in which he used former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood’s disgusting comparison of Brexiteers to Nazis as a platform to expose Plaid Cymru’s long links to fascism and the Nazi movement.

Extract from Wales – A Country Divided by Marcus Stead

Indeed, Plaid Cymru itself was founded during a meeting at the 1925 Eisteddfod in Pwllheli. The party’s co-founder, the aforementioned Saunders Lewis, was an ardent Monarchist and devout Roman Catholic. He didn’t care much for political independence, even going so far as to say that Wales was a nation (as in a people with a culture and, most importantly for him, a language). His ultimate vision was of a Welsh-speaking, monoglot Wales of small-scale farmers as part of a united Catholic Europe.

Lewis was far from universally popular among the Welsh nationalist movement. A significant number were suspicious of his conversion from Nonconformism to Roman Catholicism. He was pretentious and snobbish, with a reedy voice, cerebral style and aristocratic contempt for the proletariat. Many Welsh language literary critics don’t hold his extensive writings in high regard.

Saunders Lewis

Saunders Lewis

But there was a far darker side to Lewis, ones which modern-day Plaid Cymru prefers not to talk about.

Lewis’s writing is littered with numerous grotesque examples of anti-Semitism. A repeated phrase of his is ‘Hebrew Snouts’, which he uses when referring to Jewish financiers, with Alfred Mond being a favourite target of his.

Lewis had an affection for the politics of Franco, Salazar and Petain. Plaid Cymru officially remained neutral during World War II. Some senior figures openly advocated that a German victory would be better for Wales. Lewis’s anti-Semitism and support for fascism became a target for opponents of the party and an embarrassment to some of its supporters, including the writer Ambrose Bebb (the grandfather of current Conservative MP Guto Bebb).

Of Hitler himself, Lewis declared: “At once he fulfilled his promise—a promise which was greatly mocked by the London papers months before that—to completely abolish the financial strength of the Jews in the economic life of Germany.”

Plaid Cymru’s stance did not stem from Christian pacifism but from their own nationalist opposition to Britain, which they saw as a greater threat to Wales than Hitler. In the late 1930s, the party’s internal newspaper cited Jewish influence over the British media as a source of the drive to war.

Of  English children being evacuated to Wales to avoid the bombing of their homes during the war, Plaid Cymru said that that would completely submerge and destroy all of Welsh national tradition. Saunders Lewis went on to say that the movement on population is ‘one of the most horrible threats to the continuation and to the life of the Welsh nation that has ever been suggested in history.’

So, there we have it. Hitler and Mussolini were friends of the nationalists, but English children escaping the ravages of war were the enemy.

Plaid Cymru doesn’t like to mention or discuss, let alone condemn its own murky past. Indeed, former party President, Lord Dafydd Wigley, who will have known Lewis personally, called for the ‘character assassination’ of him to end during a 2015 interview, as though Lewis’s abhorrent views were some kind of minor character flaw.

David Morris Jones on Leanne Wood comparing Brexiteers to Nazis, and Plaid Cymru’s links to fascism and antisemitism

David Morris Jones

 

Leanne Wood,( former leader of Plaid Cymru and a former AM for South Wales Central which includes Penarth ) has come under attack for publishing a cartoon on Facebook which suggests that people who want Britain to Leave the European Union are, in effect, Nazis .

The controversial  cartoon shows a figure representing the EU arm-wrestling with a  Nazi Swastika over a ballot box.

On social media the lack-lustre Leanne, who was replaced as Leader of Plaid Cymru  last year, has praised the tasteless, politically-motivated and grossly misleading cartoon as a “powerful image”.

Leanne Wood served as the leader of Plaid Cymru from March 2012 to  September 2018. Plaid Cymru supporters have lambasted her lack of judgement – condemning her Facebook post as “idiotic”‘, “childish”  and “totally inappropriate”.

Ironically Plaid Cymru itself  (whose anti-semitic founder, Penarth author Saunders Lewis, praised Hitler and backed the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War)  has  plenty of fascist skeletons hidden away in its own murky history.

Plaid Cymru first came  to prominence after a terrorist arson attack committed by three of its central figures on the RAF bombing school on the Lleyn Peninsula in 1936.

It was at this bombing school young RAF airmen were to be trained to meet the growing threat posed by Nazi Germany.

In the 1960 and 1970s nationalists and fellow-travellers committed a series of terrorist bombing and arson attacks across Wales targeting major infrastructure and “English-owned” holiday homes .

The fascist element of nationalism reached its zenith in the creation of the “Free Wales Army” (whose uniforms and insignia aped those of the Nazis) and in the sinister Mudiad Amdiffyn Cymru which planted three bombs on the processional routes of at the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969. (A soldier was killed in one explosion and a young boy injured in another).

 

 

 

Written by Marcus Stead

January 27, 2020 at 7:12 pm