Recently, on Facebook I saw a group which said “Russell Brand for Prime Minister”, at first when I saw this, I chortled so hard, but then I watched an interview and said, oh wait he’s actually made some attention-grabbing points for the first time in his life (?)
1)”Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites.”
2)”I am not that I am not voting out of apathy. I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations”
3)”The planet is being destroyed, we are creating an underclass, exploiting poor people all over the world, and the genuine legitimate problems of the world are not being addressed by our political parties.”
4)”There is going to be a revolution, it’s totally going to happen. I don’t have a flicker of doubt.”
Before I turn into the negative side, its’ great the Russell Brand wants to use his influence to talk about these issues, especially as he has several followers on twitter so this may be the first step of enlightenment! Great, three cheers for Russell Brand (!) But, I’m just going to talk about two vital points that stood out to me the most. To be honest, nothing new has been said here, why do we need to wait for a white man to talk about Revolution? If a person of colour said these things, they wouldn’t even get two minutes of media time, they would just be labelled as delusional, so why is it so different for Russell Brand?
To say that we shouldn’t vote is disastrous, Russell Brand is a celebrity who is very wealthy, and he is NOT in a position to tell everyone else that we shouldn’t vote because of the “lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for ages”. Whether he votes or not, who cares? It’s very easy to say that he doesn’t vote, because he hasn’t been affected by the ills of society. To say that we shouldn’t vote is not enough, what about the lower class? They need that vote, they need democracy. Yes, democracy in the UK isn’t great, but voting is a small step into “improving” the system? Sadly, One in four 18-24 teenagers vote when it comes to the elections, if more people of this age group actually started voting, matters that mean the most to us would be addressed and things could actually change for the best. Not voting however, gives the politicians more reasons to believe that young adults are not worth investing in. I mean look at the riots in 2011? Nothing major resulted from this, but important lessons were learnt; It showed that Young Britain actually do have some interest in what is going on in our country, and small changes such as stopping benefits for the unemployed will affect us some way or another. Encouraging us not to vote is not a method of boycotting; it’s just another method of foolishness.
Point three was interesting, (nothing new that I learnt obviously) he talks about “legitimate problems” but he doesn’t elaborate on this… Brand doesn’t analyse how gender and race has contributed to the world system today economically. He fails to recognise that racism, sexism, and classism exists, he fails to recognise that women are the poorest humans on earth; he also fails to talk about land rights, the wars that UK (and possibly the US) is involved in right now. What about how taxes are spent? What about education; he fails to mention that education is inadequate in several parts of the UK which is why several people are lacking knowledge in what is happening today around the world. What about the importance of books, and why people are so vulnerable to conspiracy theories. Without education where will this “revolution” you speak of come from? You want a revolution Russell Brand? Well you need to address everything, not just the basics, we need an in depth exploration to why the world is the way it is today. We don’t need to know why you do not vote, this is not going to help lower class men and women of ALL races.What about the misconceptions of religion, and the negativity that has perpetuated from it? You need to address issues that has happened in the past, such as the European colonisation, imperialism and slavery. You also need to address society, and the way it thinks towards men, women, gays, lesbians, transsexual, bisexual, cis genders (of ALL colour) – the list is endless. How can you start a Revolution when these issues are not spoken about enough?
To be quite frank, Russell Brand is just another white male supremacist spouting lines of hope in this revolution he continually speaks about. It’s extremely frustrating that it will take a wealthy celebrity to speak up before society can pay attention to something important. Fair enough, you got a trigger going in the public, something new to talk about I guess, but it’s simply not enough. A revolution is not coming any time soon! There is a lot of ignorance about institutional racism and patriarchy (the two most important features that have moulded society today) it’s going to take a lot more than telling people not to vote, or your views on politicians who are “frauds”. It going to take a long time, and it’s not going to happen this year or the next either.