Russell Brand is just a 1980s Leftist rebrand

The point about Russell Brand's political opinions is not that they are shallow or poorly thought through. The point is that if the comedians are being left to make the running on the issues that matter, we got real problems

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Russell Brand
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On 6 November 2013 11:37

In his most recent self-explanatory column in the Guardian, there is at least one thing we can agree with: "God knows I'd love to think the attention was about me but I said nothing new or original..."

You can say that again Russell. Here are some of the highlights of his argument:

"As long as the priorities of those in government remain the interests of big business, rather than the people they were elected to serve, the impact of voting is negligible..."

"The lazily duplicitous servants of The City expect us to gratefully participate in what amounts to little more than a political hokey cokey where every four years we get to choose what colour tie the liar who leads us wears."

"People riot when dialogue fails, when they feel unrepresented and bored by the illusion, bilious with the piped in toxic belch wafted into their homes by the media."

"...we are living in a time of huge economic disparity and confronting ecological disaster..."

"The less privileged among us are already living in the apocalypse, the thousands of street sleepers in our country, the refugees and the exploited underclass across our planet daily confront what we would regard as the end of the world."

There's even a good word for Che Guevara: "When I first got a few quid it was like an anaesthetic that made me forget what was important but now I've woken up. I can't deny that I've done a lot of daft things while I was under the capitalist fugue, some silly telly, soppy scandals, movies better left unmade. I've also become rich. I don't hate rich people; Che Guevara was a rich person."

So you get the picture, and if you remember the Left of the 1980s you've seen it before anyway. It's a bit of pseudo Marxist-Leninist twaddle about how parliaments are just talking shops (so why not abolish them?) while the real power is wielded by "Big business" and the "rich".

Wrap that all up in some Green rhetoric about how we as a species are bringing about the end of the world and all Brand is doing is rebranding an old form of politics for the world of today.

The brutal paradox here is that for all the triviality and lack of originality in Brand's thinking, it is being left to comedians like him (and Italy's Beppe Grillo) to make the political running these days. That's the real point that comes shining through from what Brand is saying and the prominence it has been given.

There really are major issues to discuss about the banking system, about corporatism (not capitalism, but corporatism), about the way our democratic sytem is run and for whom, and a whole range of other issues that we at The Commentator are genuinely interested in disussing.

And if it's all being left in the hands of the comics while the journalists, academics, think tankers and politicians blunder on oblivious, we really do have probems, even if they are not quite the same as the problems Russell Brand thinks we have.

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