Friday, February 14, 2014

The Russell Brand brand breeds cynicism and disdain

It is a mystery why Channel 4 News promotes the goofy Russell Brand: last night, Jon Snow was trying to get and answer to a perfectly straightforward point of democratic logic - how Brand's exhortation not to vote is consistent with his demand for a parliamentary debate to change drugs legislation. How does encouraging young people not to participate in elections ever lead to the sort of psychedelic utopia he dreams of? But the wacky comedian just waffles and spouts sophomoric platitudes about his "revolution". He fools around and grins inanely like a deranged half-wit. This isn't Big Brother: it is Channel 4 News.

There was parliamentary by-election yesterday in Wythenshawe and Sale East, caused by the death of Labour MP Paul Goggins, who was a committed and compassionate Christian. The seat has been retained by Labour. The full results were:

Mike Kane (Labour): 13,261
John Bickley (UKIP): 4,301
Reverend Daniel Critchlow (Conservatives): 3,479
Mary Di Mauro (Lib Dem): 1,176
Nigel Woodcock (Green Party): 748
Eddy O'Sullivan (BNP): 700
Captain Chaplington-Smythe (Monster Raving Loony): 200
Turnout: 28%

Forget that Ukip came nowhere near to taking the seat, as they boasted they might. Forget that the Tories were shunted into third place, which they dreaded but deserve. Forget that the Liberal Democrats lost their deposit, which is just humiliating but humiliatingly just. Consider the turnout - 28%.

It is a psephological fact that there tends to be a lower turnout at by-elections than for general elections - in this case down from 54.3% in 2010. But this is Russell Brand's fairytale: 72% just can't be bothered to participate in the election of their democratic representative, and so Brand is absolutely right that Parliament is made up of the unrepresentative. Political parties seem to win elections by promising heaven on earth, and when, a decade later, the electorate realises that they are still in purgatory, another swathe of disaffected voters views the democratic process with cynicism and disdain, declaring a plague on all their houses. This leads to a voter apathy and alienation, a deterioration in democratic participation and a declining turnout in elections, especially among the young.

Of course, the logic of Brand's revolution is that he would have to become prime minister, and his manifesto would be comprised not of every protest that takes to the streets on behalf of some day-dreaming minority with a Shangri-la cause, but of what he believes to be best for the common people. He would overlook the majority millions who favour the reintroduction of capital punishment or secession from the European Union. He would ignore the majority who favour tighter abortion laws or more rigorous control of immigration. Brand seeks to bring only his own peculiar brand of service, justice, healing, reconciliation, liberation and peace. Those who don't agree can safely be scorned  because they are simply boorish, birdbrained and unenlightened.

Our democracy is very ill: the condition might even be terminal. This is a logical consequence of 70% of our laws (according to EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding) being made above and beyond our control. And Russell Brand's solution is to recognise him as the nation's Philosopher-Guardian - effectively to make him our next EU commissioner. No need for a vote, because the people are too stupid to understand and lack discernment.

Why does Channel 4 promote this dotty, potty fruitcake?


Blogger James said...

It is a psephological fact that there tends to be a lower turnout at by-elections than for general elections - in this case down from 54.3% in 2010. But this is Russell Brand's fairytale: 72% just can't be bothered to participate in the election of their democratic representative

You might be courteous enough to acknowledge that on Wednesday night, Greater Manchester Police told people to go out only if absolutely necessary because of the prevailing storms.

14 February 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Our democracy is very ill

We could set it on the path to recovery by doing away with postal votes. Labour’s majority in yesterday’s by-election will have been bolstered by the fraud we’ve come to expect from postal voting: 13,883 votes were cast at polling stations and a quite remarkable 10,441 by post.

14 February 2014 at 11:12  
Blogger gentlemind said...

What should we do when a system of man-made law moves beyond making bad law, into the terrain of making wrong (illegitimate) law? Given that the system itself regards its laws to be legitimate, the system believes illegitimate laws to be legitimate. Thus the system itself is illegitimate and our best response is to turn away from it. No law made by Brand can be worse than some made by Cameron and the EU, since there is no such thing as "worse than wrong".

14 February 2014 at 11:36  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I think there is a point to be found beneath Russell Brand's bluster and waffle. As the voting figures show, he's right that people largely don't believe our current electoral arrangements leads to governments that represent the views of voters, nor that voting is a particularly effective way of, erm, effecting change. He's also not pretending to have a solution to that - which, while making him a frustrating commentator (all the more so if you've battled through his incoherent and mumbled rant hoping to here of an alternative) does not invalidate his criticism of the current system.

14 February 2014 at 11:37  
Blogger Galant said...

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Kierkegaard

People just don't care. They're more or less happy as they are. They don't see it as worth the effort and likely never will. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but neither is any match for the sofa.

14 February 2014 at 12:05  
Blogger judy abraham said...

Whenever someone who is an artist and is popular, especially within the mainstream but holds "radical" views the news journalists are always wanting to "probe" them. If, by chance the speak any kind of sense then the new journalists try and detract from the main point. So for instance the issue of a radical change to the current drug laws, gets turned into "why are you using the political process if you yourself don't vote?" When will news journalists actually start doing their job objectively and stop feeding us endless propaganda, feed to them by their elite masters.

14 February 2014 at 12:05  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I thought Anglicans didn't believe in Purgatory? Seriously, though, there is a desperate kind of logic in boycotting elections, but only when society has reached the point of actual desperation. It isn't there quite yet. The problem - particularly bad in Britain because of it's antiquated electoral system, but by no means a "British problem" per se - is the advent of the professional politician. These wretched individuals have blighted every country in the western world, and it's worse than anywhere in the Anglo-Saxon realm.

I have ranted about this several times previously, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is the first period in history when it really doesn't matter which one you vote for because the really are all the same. How could it be otherwise, when you think of politics as a career, rather than an act of service? If you come out of university at 22, go straight into a think-tank or constituency work, sit around political corridors for a five or six years until a safe seat comes up and then go on to spend the next twenty years in parliament, then you have no standing, no legitimacy and no validity to your existance except through your office. Consequently, you'll do whatever you have to do to retain that office. You don't concern yourself with ideals, principles or anything risky which the voters might be leery about. Instead, you call a polling company, find out what's selling to the biggest group and attach yourself to that, whatever "that" might be.

So yes, I can see to an extent where Brand is coming from. The problem is, it's not going to be fixed by the young, because by its very nature, the system is set up to suck the young into the vaccuum of office for office's sake. It's going to take a party full of principled middle-aged people with the character and backbone to overhaul not just the political system, but the entire underlying substructure of neo-liberal, Thatcherite, barrow-boy social assumptions which gave rise to it in the first place. It's just a pity UKIP is full of aging Thatcherite barrow-boys.

14 February 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger Owl said...

Russell Brand seems a bit clueless which would mean that he would fit in quite well with our current set of politicians.

The fact that he doesn't seem to bother about what the majority of the public think, would make him perfect.

The best thing about the vote was seeing the party of DC, previously known as Conservative, fall behind UKIP.

14 February 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

And here I thought 'Monster Raving Loony' was an editorial comment on the candidate.


14 February 2014 at 12:39  
Blogger IanCad said...

Great comment Corrigan, and could there be anyone better to illustrate your point than the tax-eater, Lord Smith, Parasite-in-Chief of the Environment Agency?

I've said it before. Until the prospect of the gibbet or block is made one of urgency for our masters we can expect little change.

14 February 2014 at 12:41  
Blogger Galant said...

The greatest source of cynicism towards the democratic process is, I believe, a massive lack of accountability as concerns politicians, and especially, their word as politicians.

Is it not common belief that politicians and lies go hand in hand?

Should we not be utterly shocked and disgusted that this is so?

They manage vast amounts of our money, the education system, healthcare and public welfare and they influence law. Despite this we somehow consider it to be acceptable to expect lies from them.

Were any one of us thinking now of our accountant, our children's teacher, our physician or our legal counsel would we, for even one second, tolerate lies? Would we not rather fire and replace them?

We would not permit deceit from any one of these, let alone consider it to be an acceptable modus operandi. Yet with those who fulfill these roles at a regional or national representative level, we laugh it off.

Until politicians are, by law, forced to be truthful and held to be publicly accountable for their words (military secrets not withstanding) on pain of swift removal, the democratic process will remain lame and poorly attended.

14 February 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger said...

Brand is an irritating & clueless twit, but the line of argument that Paxman & Snow take when interviewing him is ridiculous! Arguing that because he opposes the current system he shouldn't use it while it exists to further his own cause is simply illogical.

It's a bit like saying people who are against the euro shouldn't use it when they go abroad.

I'm with Brand & the 72% who voted with their feet in Wythenshawe ... the democratic system is broken, putting an X on a piece of paper every 5 years achieves next to nothing. So don't bother.

However, to then say that anyone who didn't vote or refuses to vote therefore can't use/engage/lobby within the existing structure is a non-sequitor. There is no other means by which laws can be changed than persuading MP's to make the changes.

Incidentally, here is what I discovered about non-voters when I stood to be MP in an inner-city constituency last general election

14 February 2014 at 13:24  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Since Frost and the deep mocking, cynicism of the 60s program "That was the week that was" , destructive comments have carried more weight with the media than those who wish to either conserve the best of the past and/ or build anew.

This attitude displayed by Brand is to a considerable measure what got us into this state of advanced decay. Anyone can destroy, a child can, but to build takes courage, vision, belief, hard work and good fortune.

For the time being they are having more fun, destroying. But the pillars holding up western civilization are beginning to look rather fragile to me.

14 February 2014 at 13:43  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Is not Russell Brand the perfect cipher for our age? Is he not exactly what we deserve? A pig's bladder wielding, babbling, drug damaged pervert whose moronic ramblings are interpreted by many as witticisms and wisdom; an unoriginal freak whose puerile and inane verbal copulations are considered entertaining and insightful.

And where else would he be invited to expose himself, other than uber-trendy 'news' show the Channel 4 News, presented by the ghastly luvvie John Snow?

Brand had it absolutely right when he said that both he and Snow are nothing more than entertainers.

All power to him.

14 February 2014 at 14:20  
Blogger gasbilly said...

All we need to know about Brand is that once he stripped naked and danced on top of a car at Notting Hill Carnival. The dreary old bores that run the media think associating with comedians makes them 'cool', no matter how painfully naïve they are.

14 February 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger IanCad said...

I have heard of Russell Brand, but until now, had no idea of what he is.

Another great advantage of not owning a TV.

There is in the 'Artistic" ranks a tendency toward totalitarianism.

They all do it, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Adolph Hitler, Nero; the list goes on--.

14 February 2014 at 15:34  
Blogger Galant said...

@Ars - Wait, so are you saying, Brand is the cipher Britain deserves, but not the one it needs?


14 February 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Hello Galant,

I think we need him, because he is pointing out (by his existence and profile if nothing else) just how absurd and bankrupt our political system and public discourse has become.

Consider him the hacking cough that pre-warns of cancer.

14 February 2014 at 15:53  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

The drugs he took have somewhat destroyed Brand's brain. I would think Ch 4 love him because he's a wreck. Controversial you see, hip and happening they think, gobby half wit more like.

UKIP have more work to do to get on top.

I notice Janice Atkinson Small on QT last night was OK but like Diane James before her, allowed more vocal people to override her and I feel she wasn't strong enough to get her point across at times. They need people with strong voices that are fluent in the UKIP policies and manifesto to be confident enough to put the points across and win the arguments in public debates.
Paul Nuttall is good at this, maybe he can coach the ladies.

14 February 2014 at 16:47  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

A troubled man, and agreed, a most unlikely reference source for a news agency.

Make the most of Brand now, perverse as that sounds, as he won’t be around for ever. His mental issues are apparently current, and though he has been clean of drugs and drink for around a decade, so he says, he thinks about heroin daily. He has tasted the real forbidden fruit, and his desire for it may never leave him. One is left in rather little doubt that if his derangement worsens, he will again reach out for that chemical sop that kills the pain and elevate himself to the wall where the head of that equally mad Amy Whitehouse is now displayed…

We never had these kind of people around before, celebrated in the way they are. What is it about godless modern living that does this to our young ? Can we warn the rest of them, even though these people are warnings in themselves. Probably not. Some will fall along the way – let’s just hope it never becomes many…

Anyway, rather splendid news about UKIP coming in second at that by-election, what !

Not sure if anyone remembers the march of the then liberals 30 or 40 years ago. They were coming in a strong third everywhere, and congratulating themselves on that. UKIP is thus years ahead of them, which is just as well, as we don’t have 30 or 40 years left to be finally released from the EU. One fears the option by then will have long ago lapsed.

And this from just 28% of a massively disinterested electorate. Come the real thing next year, imagine if just one third of that disaffected 72% turned up to express their anger by voting for the runner up. UKIP would sweep the board in the UK. One wonders what Russell Brand would have to say about THAT !!

14 February 2014 at 17:42  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

More thought…

Can we safely assume that some of the 72% were Conservatives who continue to be irked about gay marriage being created in their name. After all, they were had over the barrel in a particularly sneaky way – we all were !!!

….By a sneaky politician who went to Sneak school and was tutored by a Professor of Sneakology in how to be even more sneaky…

Mind you, his investment has paid off. Armed with his diploma in Sneakiness, he’s managed to part sell to the gullible the vacuous promise of a many strings attached referendum on the EU, God knows when, and which is unlikely to take place anyway as “It’s not the question the British people want to ask” (Now that is a sneaky get out, par excellence). Still, it will save him the problem of ignoring the result if it went against him, which we can only forecast he would sneakily do.

If you think that all this sneaking will eventually catch up with him, well it should. And has done already. The bizarre notion that British economic recovery is only feasible on the back of EU migrants working for half the wage, while putting our own people out of work is one sneak too far. Nobody believes that !

14 February 2014 at 17:43  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says Russell Brand, an icon of our age. He is a 'sign of the times' in which we live.

A sex addict, a recovered heroin addict and all round disruptor.
Apparently he has ADHD and bipolar disorder. (Chic conditions for celebrities, don't ya know). He is interested in the Hare Krishna Movement and chants, claiming it helped heal him. Through TM he says he connects "... to a boundless consciousness that has no palpable relationship with my thoughts, fears or desires."
He married in a Hindu ceremony and ended his marriage a few years later, initiating this by a text message to his wife.

Jack asks if we should listen to him ranting about legalising drugs and reforming our democracy?


No thank you.

14 February 2014 at 18:11  
Blogger Len said...

Russel Brand is a product of this age.

This is the path a Godless society has brought us down.Confused, with nothing to look up to or respect,making up his own morality as he sees fit.
If man is but a animal a product evolved from some primordial soup what else can we expect from him?.

15 February 2014 at 08:56  
Blogger Old Blue Eyes said...

My beef about Russel Brand is that he calls himself (and is called) a comedian. I find him as funny as toothache.

15 February 2014 at 16:37  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Those Blue Eyes. One concurs. Unfortunately, nearly all the people that make this man laugh have one thing in common these days – being dead.

That we only know someone is a comedian because we’ve read that apparently, they are, speaks volumes...

15 February 2014 at 19:18  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Len, we are all products of the age we are born into and grow up in - it's just that we take different paths and dance to the beat of different drums.

15 February 2014 at 21:18  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Ars, by the time your lung cancer causes a hacking cough, it's usually too late.

16 February 2014 at 00:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, wise words, dear lady.

"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."
(Henry David Thoreau)

Inspector, a little joke to lift your mood:

"Two aerials meet on a roof - fall in love - get married. The ceremony was rubbish - but the reception was brilliant."

Jus' Like That!

16 February 2014 at 15:09  
Blogger Len said...

Mrs Proudie ,
We should perhaps be very careful which 'drummer' we follow?.
Hitler was known as ' the drummer' in his early days and he led many people to their destruction.

17 February 2014 at 13:07  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Len, yes indeed, that is my is up to use which drummer we hear and which dance we choose. I believe it is called 'Free Will' and the Good Lord gave us that as a gift. For some it is a curse...or rather the result of exercising free will can lead to the Slough of Despond (which despite Betjeman saw no friendly bombs).

17 February 2014 at 20:53  
Blogger Len said...

Mrs Proudie, I wonder does anyone actually have free will?.

When man fell in the garden of Eden his will was taken captive by the power of sin .
The' liberal' today thinks he is exercising his free will but in fact the liberal is a captive to sin although he doeesn`t realise that fact until he tries to tries to break free from the power of sin.Of course people will tell you that they are' a good person' but by what standard do they define 'good'.
There are of course' good sinners' and' bad sinners' depending who you compare yourself with but who would want to be the best sinner who ever went to hell?.

Can we see this power of sin today?.
We can see the results of the power of sin everywhere today in wars, murders, greed , lust , stealing , just to mention a few aspects.

What man needs is a new nature ...and only Jesus Christ can give us that new nature we cannot reform ourselves however hard we might try.

19 February 2014 at 10:33  

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