The scenery is collapsing at Westminster, we narrowly avoided the break-up of the United Kingdom; the main parties have rarely been this unpopular and they are facing threats on all fronts, with few solutions staring them in the face. One of the people who has expressed their disgust and at the same time stated the banality of politics is Russell Brand. Brand has continually shunned the establishment in his open necked shirts and tirades, which sound clever – until you really think about them.
So as I sat down for the last question time for the year, I was expecting the usual bonhomie from the comedian turned ‘activist’. What I saw was anything but, Brand looked dour and sounded worse, little idea of what was happening and little in the way of anything genuine to say. He seemed lost and only relatively comfortable when he was pointlessly ranting and making out that Farage was an open fascist. For me the crushing blow of the evening was when he was challenged to stand for a position in Parliament. He simply didn’t have a sufficient answer as to why he shouldn’t or couldn’t – merely replying “I’m afraid I would turn into one of them”.
The truth is Mr Brand doesn’t stand because he fails to have any ideas which could actively help a local community or the country. Alas the fact he argued against people voting may make him being a candidate even more ludicrous. It is easy to tirade against the banking system and the 1% (who contribute 30% of our taxes) indeed almost anyone can do it, and so many do. It is far more difficult to have a plan of action on how to distribute wealth more fairly and create the type of society which you want to live in. Brand once talked about the lack of big ideas in politics, when we think of the big ideas we think of the welfare state, universal suffrage and world peace. But what are Brands big ideas?
Sadly Brand encapsulates everything about Westminster politics at the moment. He talks the talk much like the three amigo’s, but when it comes down to big ideas or action he seems a bit lost and muddles around searching in the dark for anything. He has a vague idea of what he wants and sometimes it can come across clearly, but without any plan of how to achieve the utopian dream. Through this process he goes from charismatic and charming, to an angry man with a bad haircut and a lot of chest hair. There is no political party and no manifesto and although he was asked to stand, no candidates. Indeed he is waiting for the people, who unfortunately for him haven’t marched with their pitch forks straight for Westminster. Sadly Mr Brand seems to have misunderstood how democracy works.
Now it is time for broadcasters to stop inviting Mr Brand on our screens and for him to go and have a ponder about what he really wants. As a bright man hopefully this will take a while, he can gather his thoughts which in two years have yielded few results. It’s a shame, as when he talks about the perils of drug and alcohol addiction he is compelling and persuasive, if he were to have ideas about what he wants from government I am sure he would be the same. Without this he simply becomes a lefty hack whose credentials are non-existent. It’s time to go Mr Brand and I am sure the scenery won’t be much different without you.
By Sam Mace
[image credit: jessie essex]