Category Archives: Radio Interview

Modern Slavery in the United Kingdom

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Modern slavery is the great human rights issue of our time – so said our newest Prime Minister Teresa May. In 2014, the Home Office estimated there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of slavery in the UK – just 2,340 of those were officially reported and recorded.

Jason was joined on his Monday Matters radio show by Jakub Sobik from the campaign group www.antislavery.org

Terrorism & The Media with Prof. Charlie Beckett from London LSE

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News organisations descended onto a street in London to report on the latest terror attack to strike Europe recently.. A women in her 60s lay dead and 5 other people suffered stab wounds. Professor Charlie Beckett is Head of Polis a journalism think tank at the London School of Economics, and he spoke to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM

Are Smart Motorways Safe?

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An AA poll shows 8 out of 10 drivers think removal of hard shoulder for Smart Motorway makes motorway more dangerous.

According to an AA Populus poll of 20,845 drivers, eight out of 10 drivers believe that in comparison to four years ago, they feel the Smart Motorways have made motorways more dangerous, with some describing emergency lay-bys as “death zones”.

Guidance from Highways England says stopping places are to be no more than 1.6 miles apart on motorways where the hard shoulder can be opened to traffic during busy periods, but the AA have said drivers have made it “abundantly clear” that they feel this is insufficient.

Drivers feel that this is not enough to avoid broken down vehicles being forced to stop in live running lanes, with the danger of being hit from behind.

When asked by AA to describe their thoughts on the lay-bys, phrases such as “death zones”, “foolish planners’ promised land” and “desperate unreachable havens” were used.

The motoring company have said that they would like to see twice as many lay-bys and they should be twice the length.

Officials have been keen to press ahead with smart motorway projects, which are already in operation on sections of the M42, M1, M6, M4 and M5.

Highways England say Smart Motorways tackle congestion, which costs an estimated £2Bn every year, with 25% of this resulting from incidents.

Analysis gathered by Highways England since the opening of Smart Motorways shows a 22% increase in journey reliability, a reduction in personal injury accidents by more than half, and where accidents did occur, severity was much lower overall with zero fatalities and few seriously injured.

LES MIS V PHANTOM Charity Football 2016

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The award-winning charity football match LES MISERABLES v THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is returning for The Decider! Having each won two matches in recent years, the two titans of the West End will battle it out for the title of Ultimate Champions at Bromley Football Club on Sunday 7th August 2016.

Monday Matters reporter Bonnie Britain was there and spoke to the event organisers and players.

Bank of England New £5

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TheBank of England has cooked them in ovens, drowned them in red wine, stuck them in the microwave and run them through a 90C washing machine cycle with Persil washing power. It reckons the new £5 plastic notes – which go into circulation on 13 September – will be warmly welcomed by the British public. Jason chats to about the new £5 which is due to be released later in summer. Jason speaks to Jonathan Calloway from the International Bank Note Society.

 

Professor Ruth Blakeley: Chilcot report & Rendition

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The Chilcot report was published on 6th July by ex-civil servant Sir John Chilcot with the report looked into the origins, conduct and aftermath of the Iraq war – all 2.6 million words of it!!

In this programme Jason McCrossan speaks to Professor Ruth Blakeley from the University of Kent whose had a bit more time to digest the findings and we’ll get her reaction to some people’s call for Blair to be tried for war crimes.

Jason also discusses a project Professor Blakeley is running in conjunction with Westminster University called The Rendition Project – which looks at the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) programme.

Martin Meredith: Mandela A Biography

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Today is Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day).  An annual international day celebrated each year on 18 July, which was Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.

Jason McCrossan spoke to one of his biographer Martin Meredith about a biography which was published in 2010. Also broadcast on http://www.sfmradio.com 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne.

 

 

 

 

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo , Transkei, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni 1 .

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin, Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile “Thembi” and Makgatho, and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. He and his wife divorced in 1958.

Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949.

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Nelson Mandela on the roof of Kholvad House in 1953. Image courtesy of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

Sarah Lonsdale The Journalist in British Fiction and Film

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Why did Edwardian novelists portray journalists as swashbuckling, truth-seeking super-heroes whereas post-WW2 depictions present the journalist as alienated outsider? Why are contemporary fictional journalists often deranged, murderous or intensely vulnerable?

In The Journalist in British Fiction and Film author, journalist and lecturer Sarah Lonsdale traces the ways in which journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction, theatre and film from the dawn of the mass popular press to the present day.

Hilda Murrell – Murdered By The British State?

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In 1984 Hilda Murrell, a 78-year-old distinguished rose-grower turned anti-nuclear campaigner, was found brutally murdered outside her home town of Shrewsbury, England. The case became one of the biggest, most bizarre and baffling British murders of the 20th century involving political conspiracies surrounding the nuclear industry and the Falklands War.

After a cold case review, in 2005 Andrew George, who was a 16-year-old petty thief from a foster home, was convicted. In 2011, Hilda’s nephew, former British Navy Commander Robert Green, does not believe Mr George committed the murder – but who did? Robert spoke to Jason on Monday Matters.

Orlando: Another Mass Shooting – LGBT targeted

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In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman, who I’m not interesting in naming, walked into the gay night club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida and started shooting at a group of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people – who were doing nothing but being who they were and enjoying themselves.

This was a direct attack on gay people, freedom, humans, love and a different way of life.  As a gay man in love with another man you are always aware that there are people who would hurt, damage or kill people like me – just because of who they love.  Attitudes to gay people have fundamentally changed in the UK since I was born in the late 1970s.  Hostility was very present in the 80s when gay bars started to spring up in cities, albeit usually in discrete and concealed places – until the 90s and 2000s when the gay movement stopped hiding and people like me felt comfortable being open about our sexuality at work and so rather than being some distant object of derision – we become up close and personal with our straight colleagues – who realised – we were just like them.

But we are still not in a world, or country where being gay is still acceptable across the board.  When a bakery can refuse service to customers who wanted a gay themed cake because it is ‘against their belief’ – backed up by Christian groups and media elements.  It demonstrates to gay people that although we have journeyed far – the route back to the dark ages of the 1950s when we were illegal, arrested and in-prisoned – isn’t as far away as we might like to believe.

On my Monday Matters radio show I spoke to gay radio presenter DJ Justice, who presents his show in Orlando and often visited  Pulse and lost people that he knew in the atrocity.