The chief executive and Group chairman of Downtown in Business Frank McKenna, and former MP and political commentator Simon Danczuk will launch a new podcast in 2023.
The new series will be officially launched on 20th January – with a pilot episode of the show to be aired in December.
McKenna explained why the pair have decided to give the new project a go.
“I listen to a lot of political podcasts, but they tend to be hosted by people who seldom disagree, pushing the same messages, with little or no debate. Inevitably I listen to those programmes that generally share my point of view – meaning that I listen to politics in a bit of an echo chamber.
“Social media platforms have also made political discourse in this country hugely divisive, and it seems that the ability to accept that others may hold different perspectives on different issues is becoming increasingly difficult for people to accept. We have lost the art of agreeing to disagree.”
Mr Danczuk added:
“When Frank proposed the idea, I immediately saw the sense. He and I have differing opinions on a whole host of issues nowadays. But we are able to exchange those views in a robust way, without feeling the need to personally vilify one another and fall out.
“Hopefully this new podcast will offer an opportunity for people to hear two opinions on the key political issues of the day – and appreciate that such conversations can take place in a mature and friendly fashion.”
‘The Business of Politics’ weekly podcast will also feature guest speakers from across the political spectrum, business commentary from entrepreneurs from across the country, and Frank and Simon will name a ‘politico of the week’ – and the less flattering ‘duffer of the week’ award in each episode.
“At the very least, the podcast will be fun. As well as adding some objectivity into the political debate, I’m sure we will provide some humour too.”
Although Danczuk was a Labour MP from 2010-2017, his views have shifted to the right in recent years. He is a strong Brexiter and has spoken in support of many Conservative policies since the 2019 General Election. He has also co-written two books, ‘Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith’ and ‘Scandal at Dolphin Square.’ In 2015 the Financial Times described Danczuk as Jeremy Corbyn’s fiercest critic.
McKenna was an elected Labour politician for twelve years. He served as the Leader of the Northwest Regional Assembly, Deputy Leader of Lancashire County Council, and was a Parliamentary Assistant for seven years. He was described by Inside business magazine as the ‘most influential political voice in the Northwest in 1999 and was described by the Financial Times as ‘New Labour’s man in the north’, before setting up private sector lobby group Downtown in Business in 2003.
Both men have now moved into business – but both engage with national and regional politicians regularly – and both have strong, usually opposite, opinions. To stay up to date with programme scheduling follow ‘The Business of Politics on Twitter @BizPoliticsUK or on Instagram @businessofpolitics.