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Fearless and truthful. Provocative and controversial. Straight-talking and thought-provoking. A new breed of debate.
Mar 6, 2020
Is the media alarmist over coronavirus? | Should girls be encouraged to be as strong as boys?
This week, Nick Ferrari refutes suggestions the media is being alarmist over the COVID-19 outbreak. Also: Should domestic abusers be forced to take lie detector tests? Is Boris Johnson a typical Tory? Why can't girls be just as strong as boys? Is racism structural?
Feb 14, 2020
Are kids allowed to change gender too quickly? | Will HS2 be worth the money?
This week the panel discuss the rules on children transitioning gender, and ask if we should slow the process. But is it wrong to deny treatment to children who say they are sure that are trans? Also: Has the government learned from Windrush? How much is too much for high speed rail? Are we asleep to the threat of coronavirus? Is colour-blind casting the future?
Feb 7, 2020
Is coronavirus as bad as it seems? | Should there be a maximum age for a president?
With mounting concerns about the spread of coronavirus, The Pledge has recruited a doctor as a guest panellist this week - none other than Love Island's Alex George. He's arguing the media is fuelling hysteria about the infection. Also: Should there be a maximum age for US President? Was No10 right to ban some reporters? Is education the way to prevent radicalisation?
Jan 31, 2020
Is football banter at work wrong? | Can we trust facial recognition tech?
This week, Femi tells the panel that he doesn’t want police to use facial recognition technology as he thinks the government can't be trusted. Also: Will Brexit bring peace? Is office football banter harmless? How should we punish criminals who attack police? Is antisemitism a thing of the past?
Jan 24, 2020
Should Parliament move north? | White privileged men and race
This week Michelle Dewberry presents the case for Parliament moving to northern England. Also: Nick Ferrari on why white privileged men should be able to talk abut race. Afua Hirsch says the 'Tradwife' is not a feminist Twitter trend. June Sarpong reckons post-Brexit Britain should look to Africa. And on his Pledge debut, Geoff Norcott argues that social media is harming the left at the ballot box.
Jan 17, 2020
'I was adopted. Blood isn't thicker than water'
This week Andrew tells his adoption story - and explains why he thinks the stigma around it is wrong. Also: Should Big Ben chime on Brexit day? Are Extinction Rebellion extremists? Does Canada want Harry and Meghan? How gloomy is the outlook for our high streets?
Nov 8, 2019
Should we raise the age of criminal responsibility? | When are workplace relationships OK?
Scotland's raised the age of criminal responsibility to 12, but on this week's podcast, June Sarpong argues that's still too young. Also: Was McDonald's right to fire its boss because of a romance at work? Are we giving away too much of our personal data? Is the UK as a nation prejudiced?
Nov 1, 2019
Will a general election sort out Brexit? | Can the gender pay gap be solved?
The week, we ask if a Christmas general election is a gamble or a gift for those looking to deliver Brexit. Also: Is the gender pay gap as dramatic as it appears? Is hate crime really on the rise? Who's really at fault over the Grenfell Tower fire?
Oct 25, 2019
Should Meghan and Harry leave royalty behind?
Greg Dyke thinks if you're a royal, press intrusion comes with the territory. He says if Prince Harry and Meghan are "struggling to cope" with the press coverage they could leave royalty behind and move abroad. But do the panel agree? Carole Malone thinks parliament has "repeatedly betrayed voters and democracy" and says the handling of Brexit has been "the greatest political embarrassment of modern times". Michelle Dewberry says a "pitiful" number of prosecutions have followed against soldiers who worked at Nazi concentration camps. She thinks they should all face jail, despite their age, and even if they weren't directly involved in killings. Prince William and Kate visited Pakistan recently and took every opportunity to wear a sherwani. But Nick Ferrari wants to know, what is appropriate when it comes to cultural appropriation? Sainsbury's has announced that they will not be selling fireworks in any of their stores. Femi Oluwole suggests we "do what we can to shield" our animals from any distress and insists the ban is unnecessary.
Oct 18, 2019
Is racism re-emerging in football and society?
On The Pledge this week, the panel discusses racism in football after England's 2020 Euro qualifier against Bulgaria was marred by monkey chants and Nazi salutes. Maajid Nawaz says that 'racism is re-emerging in football because racism is re-emerging in society.' Nick Ferrari believes the government's proposal for compulsory voter ID is a good idea, but do the panel agree? Michelle Dewberry says spreading the benefits of immigration to the north of England won’t work because ‘plans devised in Westminster are so often contradictory to the wants, needs and desires of the north’. June Sarpong says now is the time to improve state education after it was revealed there has been a 27% rise in home schooling in the last year. And Rachel Johnson looks at the public feud between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy and asks ‘should we accept that social media is where the bloodiest battles are fought these days?’
Oct 11, 2019
Rachel Johnson on Jennifer Arcuri's relationship with Boris Johnson
On this week's episode of The Pledge: Rachel Johnson, the prime minister's sister, discusses Boris Johnson's alleged relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, the American model turned technology entrepreneur, who it is claimed was given more than £100,000 in public money when the PM was mayor of London. Femi Oluwole says Mr Johnson's critics need to be careful and not get distracted by focusing on whether or not Mr Johnson had an affair with Ms Arcuri. Also, are Extinction Rebellion's goals realistic? Carole Malone and Andrew Pierce argue that Extinction Rebellion's goals cannot be achieved by 2025 without severe limitations on air travel and car usage.
Oct 4, 2019
Is Meghan hounded by the press like Diana? | Should Shamima Begum be allowed back?
This week Carole Malone tells the panel why she doesn’t think the Duchess of Sussex has been bullied by the press. Also: Should Jeremy Corbyn be given his chance to lead an emergency government? Is Donald Trump really a friend of the UK? Would you want IS bride Shamima Begum living next door? Is it necessary to allow male soldiers to wear make-up?
Sep 20, 2019
Was David Cameron’s memoir worth the wait? | Is Fireman Sam sexist?
This week Rachel Johnson confesses that former prime minister David Cameron’s new book memoir melted her "stone cold heart, just a little". But does the rest of the panel agree? Also: Do prison sentences for knife crime deter people? Is the job of a teacher as tough as they make out? Why should foreign students be welcomed? Is a ban on Fireman Sam political correctness gone mad?
Sep 13, 2019
Is Boris the Defender of Democracy? | Do tenants really have the 'right to buy'?
This week our panellists discuss Brexit and the Operation Yellowhammer document, the perception of those who undertake IVF treatment, and Labour's proposals to allow tenants the right to buy.
Sep 6, 2019
Should more police officers carry tasers? | Could learning about slavery help tackle racism?
This week, the panel discuss whether a general election will solve anything. Also: Should more police officers be armed with tasers? Could learning about slavery help tackle racism? Is Dior's latest advert culturally insensitive and insulting? On the panel this week are Maajid Nawaz, Carole Malone, Afua Hirsch, Rachel Shabi and Nick Ferrari
Aug 2, 2019
Are Baby Boomers to blame for Generation Snowflake? | Is it 'game over' for conventional careers?
This week the panel debates whether the average person is being “priced out” of becoming an MP. Also: Are Baby Boomers to blame for the attitudes of Generation Snowflake? Is Donald Trump right to reinstate the federal death penalty? Should private schools be permanently excluded? Is it game over for conventional careers?
Jul 26, 2019
'Good luck to my brother, the new prime minister': Rachel Johnson on Boris
In the week her brother Boris became the new prime minister, Rachel Johnson makes a personal plea on his behalf. But how does the rest of the panel feel about him? Also: Given events in the Gulf, is it time we gave the UK military more backing? Do women in sport deserve more respect? Why isn't there better care for those with dementia?
Jul 19, 2019
Should we say no to a cashless society? | Are Brexiteers outnumbered in the media?
This week, Greg Dyke baffles younger members of the panel by revealing he prefers to pay for goods with cash. Also: Is Donald Trump racist? Would it be wrong to force through a no-deal Brexit? Is the mainstream media biased towards remainers? Should police tell journalists how to do their job?
Jul 12, 2019
Should under-18s play at Wimbledon? | Have Harry and Meghan's privacy requests gone too far?
This week the panel debates whether Sir Kim Darroch should have written his unflattering memos about Donald Trump. Also: Are Harry and Meghan justified in wanting a high level of privacy or have they gone too far? Should we be in a new space race? Should people under the age of 18 be allowed to compete at Wimbledon? Are kids exposed to too much too young? On this week's panel are: Greg Dyke, Carole Malone, June Sarpong, Michelle Dewberry and Nick Ferrari.
Jul 5, 2019
Should the government help pay for everything? | Is it time to get rid of inheritance tax?
This week the panel debates the cost of funerals, and whether it’s right to make the taxpayer foot the bill when a child dies. Also: Would a no deal Brexit be undemocratic? Should inheritance tax be replaced with a levy on all large parental cash gifts? Do you think work should be made more fun than home? Can you be straight and open to a ‘gay sexual experience’?
Jun 28, 2019
Are politicians entitled to a private life? | Should foreign patients be charged to use the NHS?
This week the panel debates whether it’s in the national interest for Boris Johnson to answer questions about a reported row at his home. Also: Is violence against women a pandemic? Should the NHS be free at the point of delivery – no matter where you’re from? Does the government need to take a harder line on gambling firms? Do MPs deserve maternity cover?
Jun 21, 2019
Are we too easily offended by comedians? | Would national service benefit our young people?
This week, the panel discuss whether it's OK to make jokes about about attacking politicians. Also: Is time to decriminalise drugs? Should the north get more funding? Has social mobility stalled? Would national service get our kids to put down their smartphones?
Jun 14, 2019
Should past mistakes affect a politician's future? | Are we paying attention to women's football?
The drugs debate dominated the opening exchanges in the Tory leadership contest so the panel discusses whether the contenders should be held to account for past misdemeanours. Also: Is it right for the BBC to scrap free TV licences for over-75s? Are we paying attention to women's football? Do Nike's plus size mannequins promoting sportswear normalise obesity?
Jun 7, 2019
Is it time to stop funding the search for Madeleine? | Were politicians childish to boycott Trump?
On this week's podcast, the panel debate whether the Madeleine McCann investigation should be called off - with Michelle Dewberry arguing the case is being policed according to social class. Also: Were Labour politicians right to protest against Trump? Should bands be banned for aggressive music? Does the high street need to get with the times? Is cricket showing the way on integration?
May 31, 2019
Why can't we get offenders into work? | Should we all have a vote on who is next PM?
With more than enough candidates to make up a football team, the panel on The Pledge debate whether the Conservative leadership race should be more democratic. Also: Do we need to rethink the way we rehabilitate prisoners? Who were the real winner of the European elections? Why aren't people aware of the seriousness of antisemitism? How much say should parents have about what their children learn at school?
May 24, 2019
Are we doing enough to tackle climate change? | Should the UK ban the burka?
Rachel Shabi makes her debut on The Pledge panel, and argues that the government needs to take drastic action on the environment. Also: Can we afford to lose British Steel? Are disadvantaged students being discriminated against? Should tuition fees be wiped?
May 17, 2019
Is it time to ban reality TV? | Should the rich do more for charity?
Carole Malone is arguing that rich people are entitled to do what they like with the money they've earned. And former BBC director-general Greg Dyke tells the panel the Jeremy Kyle Show was getting too "extreme". Also: Can kids handle exam stress? Was Danny Baker's sacking justified? Is the state right to re-nationalise probation services? :: If you're affected by any of this issues discussed in this episode, you can contact Samaritans for help. Call 116 123 from the UK, or e-mail email@example.com
May 10, 2019
Should vaccinations be compulsory? | Is politics sexist?
This week, Maajid Nawaz calls anti-vaxxers "selfish and unscientific" - but should they be forced to get their children immunised? Also: Is politics still sexist? Are excluded schoolchildren being failed by the system? Should athlete Caster Semenya be allowed to compete in women's races?
May 3, 2019
Should rape victims be forced to hand phones to police?
Carole Malone argues women making rape accusations SHOULD be made to allow police access to their phones. Also: Should Trump address parliament? Was the Huawei leak in the public interest? Are the working class taken seriously?
Apr 29, 2019
Trailer: Take the debate with you
Coming soon: Take the debate with you. The Pledge will be available as a podcast every week. Or watch on TV - every Thursday at 8pm on Sky News.