5 Big Questions: JOHNNY MERCER MP


Do politicians actually change anything?

What does the future of UK democracy look like?

And how does being a soldier prepare you for Westminster?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to decorated army veteran and free-thinking parliamentarian, JOHNNY MERCER MP


Known for:

  • MP for Plymouth Moor View (Conservative)
  • Former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans
  • Former Captain – 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery
  • Holder – The Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan Holder – The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

The 5 Big Questions:

    1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
    2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
    3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
    4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
    5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“Really, since 2015 you’ve had thirty years of politics crashed into six.” 

“Clearly I’ve had a pretty rough ride, sometimes it’s gone in my favour, sometimes it hasn’t. But I have delivered in a number of areas — and that’s the kind of thing I hold on to.”

“What we’ve seen during the pandemic is, I think people have realised for the first time how much they can do, working in dispersed locations.”

“Two things will dominate the next 10-15 years. One is the climate emergency. And the other is tech and the way tech has changed everything we do. Governments need to be in front of that, and in my experience they’re 20-30 years behind. Companies are far more agile and able.”

“The quality line in politics is extremely low. You look at the skill sets of some of our cabinet ministers who are running departments and you quite reasonably ask yourself, what would you be doing if you weren’t a Member of Parliament, and come up with some quite interesting options.”

Useful links:

This episode was recorded in November 2021

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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