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If you don't like him, I'm not sure I trust you.
A sane and likable voice amongst all the other cunt bloggers at the Telegraph
Not an offensive troll (O'Neill)
ignorant climate change denier (Delingpole)
Self serving smug arsehole (toby young)
' Wherever you live in the world, the odds are that you will have an easier life than someone born in the same place 200 years ago. '
interesting that he's chosen 200 years and not, say, 50 years or 30 years.
and I agree with his central points that profit is not a dirty word, that the democratic political system does work and that Brand's version of not voting is doom-saying.
It's the same shitty argument the right always fall back on. `Well things are better than they were in the Victorian era` or `Well, poverty doesn't exist in Britain when compared to somewhere like Cambodia` as a means of closing down legitimate debate about the standard of living people in this country experience given our GDP.
It's a point that it is at best irrelevent and, at worst, incredibly ideologically dangerous and the sort of thing that informs policy which has the potential to keep generations of people trapped in poverty.
Taken at their two extremes, both the 'Well things are better than they were in the Victorian era' line and Brand's 'voting is pointless, we need a revolution' lines are equally as dangerous and reductive.
But you don't fight one hollow proposition with an equally hollow one just because the other person made one first. I don't know this guy's work but it sounds to me he should know better than that...
Although what is galling is the short-sightedness of their argument. I was at dinner with a Tory supporter recently and he very brazenly said:
`Socialists in this country simply do not know how good they have it here`.
Which may not be in itself incorrect, but Conservatives and free-market liberals don't either! The UK is one of the most supportive places ON EARTH for conservatives and free marketeers to reap the benefits of this hideously broken system. It benefits them far more disproportionately than those of a more socially-conscious political persuasion, be that socialism or otherwise.
Genuinely bile-inducing rhetoric.
200 years, even in advanced capitalist societies, takes us to pre-democracy and the early stages of the industrial age. and, kind of importantly too, about 1/7th of today's world population! and before the growing global north/south gap. to use 1813 as a benchmark for 'human progress' in living standards is ridiculous.
i just wonder if he could maintain that 'level headed' answer for something more meaningful and measurable - e.g. are we better off than our parents? is he so confident of the neoliberalism?
i'd argue 'profit' is neither a dirty nor clean 'word' because it's not a description of an already existing economic (or anthropological) function but helps bring into being a particular economic system.
i too think that a democratic political system does, in theory at least, work. i just think russell brand is right to expect it to be one in which we can achieve more than fine tuning and we can imagine more possible transformations.
I don't have strong enough views to argue against you and i'm not trolling either, just thought I'd post an article up. I didn't address your 200 year point, just said what I thought was interesting about it.
I think you are very wrong and i think you have a very limited pov
He's had a hard life.
just wrong because hes in the middle of the cloud and gives the middle of the clouds pov.....which is an exceedingly blocked and limited pov, all he can do is see what others are saying and thus finds comfort and re-ssurnce, when he should not
'So why don't you vote?!!' Ummm he just said, numerous times, Jeremy
delivered in EXACTLY the same manner as 'tread lightly.'
This is just two flawed characters battling it out in front of a camera. Pretty boring.
Russell Brand doesn't convince me as a serious political commentator at all. I think he's intelligent and tremendously compassionate, and I admire him significantly for that when it comes to matters he actually knows about/has experienced (drugs etc.) But here he comes across as a man without much knowledge of the ins and outs of the political realm, filling the gaps with his trademark verbosity and flowery language. You can only talk about pre-existing paradigms for so long before you seem a bit fraudulent.
I admire Brand greatly, and he is clearly very sharp and intelligent. This however felt more like watching some of the more politically aware kids in a 6th form year have a school debate.
the bit where he's asking jeremy, if he is not the most bored of all, was great.
More trying to underline that (both of them, to be fair) came off looking naïve perhaps? I've already said I like and respect him, but I just think the hype around him has lead to him getting more credence in a subject than is perhaps deserved. Also at points it felt more like a character/comedy persona than genuine - to me anyway.
shouldn't be exalted and reserved for the elite few who have access to Parliamentary proceedings?
I don't think he could be doing anything better to mobilise the people he represents here, this would have been a worse interview if it'd been Brand discussing the finer points of EU Tax Law or whatever.. you don't need to have a solution to recognise the problem
That's definitely not what I'm saying. And I don't think you need to have a solution per se, but you need to able to articulate the specifics of a problem with enough eloquence that you don't need to resort to merely speaking in vague, idealist language about things not being fair, or people being disillusioned etc.
I'm no Owen Jones fanboy, but whenever HE's interviewed on these topics he gives a learned analysis of the problem, the impact it has on people, and what he thinks needs to be done to sort it out. And he can do this on a wide variety of topics. Brand needs to develop into something like that, otherwise he's just going to be known as an empty idealist.
I think Brand can be immensely valuable in popular political discourse. I genuinely do. But the reverence he seems to receive at the moment seems pretty misplaced.
it's possible to criticise something without offering an alternative. people's objections to russell brand seem to boil down to the same thing that shit bands say when their albums get slapped up. "i'd like to see you make a better record."
i'd rather see a celebrity get mad about politics than come out with all that bullshit like "rock the vote" from a few years back.
I just think if you're editing a significant political magazine, and are getting notable airtime as a result, you need to offer more than just a stream of long-worded soundbites.
If he gets more people roused about politics as a result then that's a good thing, I suppose.
among a group of the electorate that probably don't even consider themselves as part of the electorate, in a debate like this, is only a good thing. Regardless of whether or not it bored you, or if you think he's a poor speaker, or whatever you think about his 'knowledge of the political realm', the fact he's done enough to stimulate a debate across the press is admirable. Doubt he's that fussed if it doesn't live up to political geniuses such as yourself's higher standards of discourse. He's done a great job.
You do know that the BNP and the EDL generate interest among a group of the electorate marginalised by mainstream politics don't you? It's not a good thing in and of itself.
But, sure, we clearly have different views on Brand's worth as a political commentator. That's fair enough. Maybe he'll surprise me. I'd like him to.
Let's come back in 10 years and evaluate his influence. That'll be interesting at least.
Whether it's a group of people who feel they have to follow the extremists you've mentioned, or a group who just don't feel like being involved at all, I'd rather find out how to engage them and bring them in from the wilderness instead of turning my nose up at them and writing them off as lost causes.
really really boring disourse.
Whenever I ask my mum why she doesn't vote (in fact the only time I could get her to do so was when the NF was on the local ballot, and even then she tried trolling me by telling me she voted for them) it's always the same answer *No one cares about people like us*
While those groups are repugnant, their success is in that they actually engage with the communities that everyone else ignores and offer them radical solutions to their problems
The youth stop voting
Conservatives get huge majority
Life is made much harder for young people
Seems like a flawed plan. He makes some good points, but this is such a dangerous time to tell young people not to engage with the political system. Five years ago, the common line was 'Labour and Tories are all the same'. Surely now nobody still believes that? We've seen how much worse the Tories are. Even if you hate both, we all have a responsibility to vote for the party we hate the least, as a party like the Consevatives being in power has a huge negative impact on the lives of millions of people.
Perhaps over time we might develop a better system of governance, but for the time being government policy has real world, often devastating, implications and the public do have the ability to change that on election day.
young people aren't going to do exactly what russell brand tells them to do, for a start.
'this is such a dangerous time to tell young people not to engage with the political system.' - he's not telling people to not engage with the political system. russell brand for example is engaging with the political system in that interview.
he's radicalising potential labour voters.
I appreciate he's trying to get people involved in politics, but I do think it's a dangerous time to be giving young liberal people the message that voting is pointless, as it will only lead to a Tory majority, and worse lives for the people he's trying to protect, at least in the short to mid-term.
but didn't take from it a message that 'voting is pointless'. i take brand's points and his call for radical action and apply my own political analysis. the output is that i should, for the time being, throw my tentative support behind the labour party which comprises the most viable vehicle for change in the uk. for me anyway, i can vote labour whilst believing everything brand said about capitalism and believing that it's important to believe it.
But he does implore people not to vote. I'm not suggesting people will wake up on election day and say 'Russell Brand said not to go' but I'm concerned it could easily become a cultural thing and young people could get the impression they're protesting against the government by staying away, when really the conservatives will be delighted if youth turnout is as low as possible.
many, many young people don't vote because they don't see the point. can hardly blame them.
all the polling which show today's 'young people' being conservatively-minded.
Can't be arsed to find a link, but this is true.
:D :D :D :D
Here's a random article from 30 secs of googling: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/19/conservative-young-people-welfare-reform-_n_3463663.html
However the study, which analysed interviews taken over a 17 year period, shows that Labour still retains the lion's share of young people's support.
21st century young people in 'being raised to think no-one else is important' shocker
but the point here is that young people *not* voting doesn't make a Conservative government more likely, them going to the ballot box does.
Is meowington making you behave yourself as a birthday present to her or something?
If you don't like the existing parties, either get involved with the nearest to your beliefs and change it, or start a new one.
"yes, yes, i hear you, vote labour, will do"
i'm the same way inclined really, but it's weird logic. labour are so crap it's unreal.
it doesn't matter if the right or the left are elected - they are just differently painted facets of the same machine. while there are still power-hungry, self-serving elitists (of all political ilks) in power we are fucked. there's nothing wrong with the term revolution, and nothing wrong with gently suggesting support of such a thing.
we certainly dont have a responsibility to vote for 'the party we hate the least' - jesus christ! are you telling ,e that that's a democracy you believe in?!
its why it has never been right for me to vote
would I like it?
He doesn't vote :) sensible chap, got to keep some part of you pure :D
He's a made-up character, like Dennis Pennis, and we're all falling for it.
They both reneged on this in very different ways.
Much like Melanie Phillips must be
Otherwise how could she remain married to Joshua Rosenberg?
Demolishes Hitchens from both an ideological and practical standpoint.
Easily the most impressive performance I've seen him give.
I agree with Brand's position but as Hitchens says, it's mainly ad hominem attacks on him (as it was when they clashed as the Versus debate earlier). It's entertaining but it won't remotely make anyone on Hitchens' side consider their opinion.
He's like a dog that's been at the cat treats.
is that Brand is on the TV more than he is.
he's a very naughty boy
im a brand fan, dont really agree with him 100% here but i respect his conviction
Keeps me grounded.
I enjoy the sparring, they are both good at it and there's a few good lines in there but the most interesting ones are all in the second half, especially towards the end.
He's pretty much the lone political voice amongst British celebrities isn't he? Could really do with a lot more people like him about now.
I disagree with him on not voting though - silence does not equate to voicing your dissatisfaction with the political choices or structure you are faced with, it has to be defined and you can do that with a trip to the poll booth.
It's very unlikely a significant number of people will be activists for change by lobbying the government and challenging its infrastructure - but it would be possible by amending ballot papers. That's a more realistic goal to set people.
e.g. one might have thought that voting for the lib dems would have been the choice to make if you wanted voting reform........alas the reality turned out that you had voted to increase student fees three fold.....people have some good reasons for not voting
'You want a revolution, don't you'? Great questioning Jeremy, really incisive.
for Brand to share his ideas and challenged him pretty effectively throughout. I actually think Paxman has a lot of respect for Brand.
not gonna watch this
I don't see why Russell couldn't head up something similar here.
over the past few years. Seems like it would get decent support to me.
...you could argue that the success of UKIP eating into the popular vote and Boris being voted in as London Mayor comes from a similar place (whilst not a similar swathe of the electorate). It's people voting for out of a disenchantment of contemporary politics for people who seem like mavericks and not belonging to the standard political elites/system.
I would love to see that happen in this country. It won't, but I'd love to see it. Wouldn't like Brand at the helm myself but I think I've made my views clear on that repeatedly...
though Boris and UKIP, regardless of how unintentionally humorous they are (or superficially different by comparison), are still "politicians". And those voting for them want their political ideas put into practice. The alternative would need to be made up of those who aren't career politicians with manifestoes which are charming and silly, as much as they are political. Brand could do that. He could blab about it from any media outlet he likes in a quite natural "non-politician" way. Which seems more important than whether one likes him or his ideas. What's important is that the alternative is visible.
I think there is a real appetite for representation. Which doesn't have to be stoic and dull - but it does need to be significant and thoughtful. There's so much space for a movement and so many young people seem to be proponents of social justice and a party that represents principled politics that has the best interests of the population at its core. I don't think we need anything twee or quirky. But nor do we need anything particularly revolutionary. We just need some good people coming together. The Lib Dems used to provide a lot of the voice of compassion and long-term thinking. Obviously, it rings little hollow these days. That gap needs to be filled, and it needs to be filled with something a lot less flimsy and self-serving.
i meant 'silly and charming' in relation to what I remembered of The Best Party manifesto: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_Party#Besti_Flokkurinn.27s_Platform
Agree about the Lib Dems. Could say that the Greens are a party of compassion, empathy and equality too. But it just seems that any group which resembles a traditional political-party organisation would not be trusted by disenfranchised people who aren't voting, understandably.
and it seems that if there was such an option on the voting form, it would restore a bit of faith in 'the system' among those who want a Brand-esque revolution. The best thing about Clegg, Cameron, Miliband et al is that it would take any vaguely crazy chap talking about compassion to seem wild and revolutionary by comparison.
From Brand, following up on his points
best thing i've read in the new statesman for a while anyway.
I wish he would stop his stand up and crappy films, and the whole 'ooh, my dinky would fit in your vagina' bullshit, and just do stuff like that article full time.
saw him with the dalai lama in manchester, that was good.
How long does he have to have not been doing it before he's stopped?
Is pretty much his film character at the moment. That whole fey, sleeping around libertine rubbish
That seems really wei.. oh, it's you.
I hate those sorts of people in general, but he does seem honest and upfront at least with ladies. And probably doesn't shag his mate's exs/crushes.
Anyway, my point is, i like his political stuff.
A cunt talking bollocks who is quite content being wealthy, I might add. That whole spiel is a load of arse and he has no fucking idea how taxes are levied - which is the whole fucking reason for fighting a cap on bonuses that the exchequer takes half of. The man has never done a worthy thing in his fucking life, and anyone getting a semi over that video because he waxes on about revolution needs their fucking head examined. If you want me to be clearer: the ideas are foolish, mal-formed, and a number of times thusfar have led to little things such as gulags, purges and mass fucking starvation.
If so, I missed that bit.
which are probably more than I'll ever earn. I really feel for those receiving them.
There is simply no way that high ranking professionals in global financial institutions would set up mechanisms ensuring that they paid (at best) a tiny fraction of the of the 50% personal tax on their bonuses. No way at all
Brand was talking about a lot more than collecting more tax that is legitimately owed. No one disagrees that businesses should pay tax.
But redistributing wealth is difficult and has a shitload of negative consequences, and you need to be realistic about what's possible.
are quite arbitrary terms in this context.
As for wealth redistribution there's also quite a bit of research on the problems caused by large amounts of inequality in society.
who knows how many millions will starve in death marches across the Midlands wastes as a result
But I don't think there's gonna be a revolution nor did the Occupy movement change anything. In fact, it's worse than ever.
I refer the honourable gentlemen to my previous post, yesterday or whatevah
and that new waterwings dude. he seems like he's got a lot to offer.
is my favourite new Disser
"Maybe standing on top of a pile of skulls while gleefully shouting "oh well, let's give it another try!" Isn't so bright."
The government doesn't service corporations, it collects taxes from them, and is proactive and realistic about doing it. The only other system is essentially communism. You remember how well that works out?
Where do you think our money comes from? Do you realise it all comes from a couple of regions in the south? Basically London. If we weren't taxing the businesses in London and encouraging their growth, what would be the alternative? Serious question - cos that's the only reason we have to give a fuck about business.
where did you find out about all of this?
*backs away out of the room*
I disagree with that quite a lot.
They service the banking industry, large party donors and companies whose shares they ow or companies they sit on.
there wasn't an early "CRICKET" call on this thread.
especially thought it was great that he questioned why we won't let truths be told in a flippant or facetious tone.
Sure, he might offend a few of the blue-noses with his cocky stride and musty odours -- oh, he'll never be the darling of the so-called "City Fathers" who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about "What's to be done with this Russell Brand?!"
the current political parties often only have a manifesto point on something because their rivals do.....also it is all bollocks (witness the lib dem about turn/betrayal)
Obviously Brand doesnt have the complete blueprints to the solution in his pocket....neither does any major political party, despite having millions of squids and experianced experts....yet they can talk it in the manner that you are used to....its all bollocks but it sounds sufficiently professional for you to sleep to (even if it is bollocks, you csn pretend it isnt)
I think you're all a bit dull and restrained.....you feel safer as slaves....i dont blame you authorities have lots of burly mechanisms to keep you down and hurt you
Times are hard for a lot of people right now but as long as we aren't seeing our families die around us, I'm betting even the most convicted of us in this thread aren't prepared to rush the gates of Westminster.
We can't rely on change from inside, either, as for all we bemoan the multimillionaire CEOs looking out at the world from behind their walled communities, I suspect they're just as frightened as the rest of us about losing what they have - it doesn't necessarily make them awful people, it's a by-product of the culture fostered upon them for centuries, whose roots is in simple human nature.
The biggest demonstration of anger of late has been the 2011 riots, where instead of dismantling government buildings, we dismantled our own communities and livelihoods. Again, human nature, and the best the enlightened among us can hope for is that the inevitable collapse is slow, because people just aren't listening.
I think humans will achieve utopia - sadly, you, I, or any of the 99.99% won't be involved in it.
And I, for one, welcome our droidy overlords.
(one for the post-rock album titles thread)
“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”
- David Foster Wallace
I think the principle clearly still stands, though.
it's still just his interpretation of what not voting means.
he votes for one of the 'minor' parties that because of the 'entrenched Establishments' have absolutely no chance of obtaining a mandate at any level. Is that 'tacitly doubling the value' of those who vote for the winning party?
There's a massive flaw in DFW's logic.
be more powerful in leading to a constitutional crisis and a reappraisal of a country's democratic system for the turnout to fall dramatically than for there to be an increasing number of "protest" votes scattered between a whole raft of minor parties?
what a fucking hypocrite
but not necessarily at odds with what Brand says or implicitly advocates.