Russell Brand on politics

I really don’t know much about this man who is described as an actor-comedian except that he has popped up on some clips that I have seen while surfing the net and he seemed like a lively and interesting guy who seemed to have no interest in being ingratiating and obsequious to the hosts of these shows so that he would be invited back. He seems to speak his mind and I like that attitude in a TV show guest.

He was recently invited to guest edit an issue of the venerable British current affairs and political magazine The New Statesman. Brand has published in it a 4,500-word manifesto for revolution.

In this interview with the well-known interviewer Jeremy Paxman of the BBC political show Newsnight, Brand turns out be remarkably articulate and passionate about social justice and he mercilessly punctures Paxman’s establishment views. It is well worth watching.


  1. lochaber says

    wasn’t he the guy who held up production on some show or something, demanded that some female staffer ‘show her tits’ or some such?

  2. shari says

    the only thing i know him for is being the voice of the Easter Bunny in “Hop” and for writing an incredibly touching eulogy of sorts for Amy Winehouse, which included a minor discussion of narcotics abuse in the UK, and where help is needed. He seems intelligent, from the little I’ve seen.

  3. Frank says

    I also like the way he speaks his mind, and I like that he values social justice, but I’m not sure that he is actually proposing anything.

    Paraphrasing South Park:

    Phase 1: Revolution!
    Phase 2:
    Phase 3: Things are better!

  4. Mano Singham says

    He is quite frank about the fact that he has no concrete plans but is just generally expressing disgust with the current state of affairs and thinks a hard rain is gonna fall.

  5. Mano Singham says

    It shows that people with progressive politics can also (1) be disgustingly boorish and (2) not practice what they preach by abusing their power over people lower on the totem pole. I hope the dressing down he got from others over that has made his realize that he needs to shape up.

  6. auz says

    Although, the source for that was The Sun, who claimed Billy Connolly was involved. Connolly later described the story as “a total invention. A complete fabrication. It’s total bollocks. It never happened.”

  7. 2up2down2furious says

    It’s always fun to watch a stodgy type advocating traditional, establishment politics get flummoxed by someone audacious, but I agree that Brand doesn’t really offer much substance.

    While I (unenthusiastically) vote, I generally agree that one has a very narrow choice in most countries; but instead of just leaving it at that, Brand could have encouraged grassroots movements and inspired viewers to get involved with movements against austerity, war, etc. There’s a difference between “not writing recipes for the cookshops of the future”, and simply having no vision.

  8. Frank says

    Hey, I’m also quite Frank!

    But as far as any revolution is concerned, I don’t see it happening. We’ve seen populist movements on both the right and the left in the US in recent years. The major achievements of the Tea Party seem to be making the House unworkable and keeping the Senate under Democratic control, and their power, such as it is, seems to be waning. The major achievement of the Occupy movement is…making “the 99%” a temporarily common phrase?

    I agree that there is general disgust with politics and politicians, but general disgust only seems to lead to alternating wave elections that favor one of the two (in the US) establishment parties. It takes more specific grievances to lead to structural change in politics, and I don’t see that enough people are sufficiently engaged with what is going on for this to happen.

    I’ll be the pessimist on this one.

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