Another defence of Russell Brand.
I don’t blame Russell for not wanting to read all the negative publicity. The word Parklife buzzes through cyber space. But is it fair? Is this man a real life 21st Century prophet or just a publicity crazed celebrity, victim of this own inflated ego talking idealistic mumbo jumbo?
The hypocrite millionaire. I understand the argument. My sympathies lay with the comments of John Robb, a very talented writer who said in an open letter in Louder Than War ” A working class hero is something to be, as another rich anti capitalist once sung and that old millionaire against poverty thing is very awkward and an odd thing to be – just ask Bono ” Are the two always mutually exclusive? Is a man with a public platform and wealth to back him not allowed to do anything humanitarian ?
Think of the difference being made in the world by many such people. The weak are forced to be meek. Those in powerful positions are usually better placed to make a real difference. And if he were to give away his money & trappings. Would this help? It would no doubt make a difference to those in immediate receipt but on a world wide scale it is but a drop in the ocean. Yes,to give away all his money would be a Statement.( I think we need to watch this space on that one. I have a feeling that is exactly what he will do at the right time) However my opinion is the rich man who helps the poor is not a hypocrite if he does not first divest himself of all his worldly goods. I am sure I am gonna get gunned down for saying this but I like George Soros. He is like a modern day Robin Hood in some respects. Yeah yeah, I know he nearly caused sterling to collapse on Black Friday or Wednesday when ever it was. But he is giving ten million of these profits to the Human Rights Watch amongst doing many other good things like being instrumental in the abolution of apartheid in South Africa and in forcing some eastern bloc countries to change their entire regimes into more democratic processes. He couldn’t do any of these things without his position, power and money. Russell does a lot of charitable work and donation .
Do you dear reader?
He is not ” politically correct ” I think this one deserves very careful scrutiny.To whom is he not politically correct? Think about it. Does not the ordinary man on the street- the man on the Clapham omnibus as often called in legal circles- relate more to Russell Brand than to any of the revolving door, cardboard cut-out politicians currently on offer?. Mr Brand is right when he says almost increduously, just listen to the way they speak, let alone the bullshit they spew out. Listen to the actual message , that is the important thing. The basic and very important message Russell Brand is putting across is difficult to refute. This is how most ordinary would people see it, lamentably, if only they had real access to it. ( the Trews on the TV before X factor maybe?. I say this tongue in cheek)
Ha ha, listen to the way politicians speak; what about the way Russell speaks I hear you mutter. Yes, we can’t deny that he is sometimes excessively and unnecessarily verbose love him. But its pretty entertaining isn’t it? But why is it necessary to speak in a certain way? Most people are not sufficiently well educated to speak grammatically correct, erudite Queen’s english. I am a lawyer, who whilst bright enough to qualify as one had the disadvantage of one of the aforementioned educations. I shall never forget the day a High Court judge, peering down at me from over his dusty glasses, said I had just split my infinitive. Wouldn’t it have been a laugh if I had replied with the words that popped into my head at the time ” Apologies your Honourableness, but I don’t know what an infinitive is, let alone how to split the fucker! ”
The John Robb quote about the working class hero is a contradiction , as Russell is a working class hero in most senses. And the estuary accent and mockney thing is not as I have read somewhere, affected. I know ; I too, have the dubious luck to come from Thurrock,Essex. Although not ” politically correct ” what he says certainly does resonate with truth not found elsewhere easily in the media, as its about things not in the interests of the media to expose.
His motivation. Well theres the old book out just in time for christmas accusation. Maybe, but is this a bad thing but as the profits are going to good causes. What is wrong with that? Another interesting observation by John Robb ” Another celebrity delusion that once they have changed the charts or got bored with being famous they can change the world. Another new role to play out after drugs, fame & sex” I have read the “just another addiction” thing before. I think these things could be true, but again, so what if they are? You know what, I would rather have someone with real experience of life, who can understand real social problems such as drug addiction. Who is brave enough to post a video of himself in former days getting high, in order to help others see the futility of it. What do we get now? Politicians that no experience of the real world in which ordinary people live and lie through their arses to appear squeaky clean?
There is something disarming in a man who happily flags up all his faults and talks about the continuing fight he has with his own demons. He points out it is in our nature to have negative responses to things like immigrants seemingly taking jobs & benefit and to want to boil alive the extremist who beheads .But he reminds us of that old line between good & evil running through every human heart and our responsibility to act humanely. An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind. Who can really argue with these sentiments? I think his heart is firmly in the right place.
Ideological mumbo jumbo with no real solutions offered. I like it when he sat on Jeremy Paxman’s sofa and said ” look mate, I can’t devise a plan for world peace( or something like that) in this hotel room now!” A cheeky answer but making the point that he does not purport to have all the answers. He certainly has many suggestions and is doing a lot of good work but it maybe he is not the man to actually lead us into this brave new world. No reason he can’t be a spokesman but with another, perhaps better qualified to lead?
This brings me (at last) to my conclusion. I cannot agree with Russell’s view about not voting or just spoiling ballot papers. A great gesture but doesn’t really achieve anything. I don’t think you can have a peaceful Revolution. And as Mr Robb says ” If only by shouting “Revolution” from the rooftops and sprinkling the magic dust of charisma over well meaning words the world would change”
My suggestion is to form a party for The Protest vote. What a platform. Let the Revolution begin !