With the release of the comedians new book ‘Revolution’ it came as no surprise that Russell Brand used his time on BBC’s Newsnight as a platform to air his nonconformist views from the book.
Often eliciting what is best summed up as a ‘marmite’ reaction towards the comedian, there’s an undeniable sense that Brand courts this ‘love him or hate him’ response.
The encounter must have reminded Evan Davis of an episode of Dragons Den, with Brand coming down on his personal and professional life ferociously.
Brand who’s already known well for his tendency to not mince his words asserts:
‘I don’t trust politicians and corporations in this country’
But despite no apparent lack of his personal brand (no pun intended) of bombshells on national television, Russell is both eloquent and succinct in quickly disabling any arguments that his personal views advocate apathy or non-involvement in politics. He quickly defends the idea that suggesting that we have a lack of enticing candidates to vote for is not the same as advocating no vote at all. In fact, Brand goes on to clarify that all he’s merely proposing is that revolution is necessary in order to galvanise a new kind of politics. So far, so… radical.
The name that Brand has given this new form of activism is ‘Creative Direct Action’ and the audience no doubt can’t help but feel that both the book and Brand’s views have something of a manifesto feel about them. If this all sounds very serious to you, coming from a self confessed ‘comedian who looks a bit like Jesus Christ’, well be under no illusion, Russell thinks it is serious! Angered by the notion that his carefully sited examples of ‘Creative Direct Action’ are mere ‘piecemeal’, Davis is quickly caught out at trying to sensationalise Russell’s viewpoint. It seems Brand is too clever for that. Russell also quickly shoots down any suggestion that he is advocating himself as a modern day messiah. You’d be forgiven for being confused: the likeness is uncanny.
There’s no shortage of topics covered in this 15 minute slot, and by the end, like us we’re sure you won’t be able to resist the urge to feel a little sorry for poor Evan, if not a little in awe of him having survived the ordeal. At times it’s hard to get a word in edgeways, let alone ask a question. But the fact remains, despite his risky ‘like it or lump it’ delivery, Brand does ask some very relevant and valuable questions: Is Britain doing enough to extricate itself from the grip of large scale corporations and direct its attentions to the plights of ‘ordinary people’? Have we learned anything from ‘Bankergate’? And does British politics ultimately have a future if we cannot convince the average voter that their concerns are being answered?
We’ll let you decide whether this particular tome will be making it onto your Christmas wish list, but we think Russell might have a point.