I suggested a few days ago that urging people not to vote might not be the most effective way to bring about fundamental political change... Here are my thoughts on some other ways of acting politically without necessarily having to faff about putting a mark on a ballot paper next to the name of someone for whom you may have nothing but contempt. My slogan for today (yes, I know it's not original) is: Think Big, Act Small.
One thing's for sure, Brand has managed to get the county talking, and that's a political bullseye in itself. It seems it takes a rather large hammer to crack the apathetic nut that is UK politics, and this proves Russell's point as to why there's a very real and ingrained reason that we're swaddled in political apathy. We are creaking under the laden weight of a benign democracy.
Does this indifference to the current political system mean I'm not interested in our country and its government? Of course not. If a party came along that expressed views that met my own or close to, then I would be first to the ballot. It isn't about apathy, it's about believing the current system is wrong.
One of the many policies announced by Ed Miliband at the Labour Party Conference was that he would lower the voting age to 16. Giving 16 and 17-year-old's the vote will be including them in our democracy which we pride ourselves upon in Britain. A staggering 1.5 million people are denied the right to vote in the United Kingdom and it just isn't fair.
Seventy years ago in October something extraordinary took place in Europe. Standing in solidarity with their fellow Danes, the people of Denmark organized a large scale rescue of the Danish Jewish community, bringing the overwhelming majority to the safety of neutral Sweden and thus preventing their deportation by the Nazis to extermination camps...
Relying solely on the ballot box will not fulfil the democratic ideal of a legitimate government by the people and for the people. Election results in both Egypt and the UK demonstrate the need for the political process to be anchored much more in a highly participatory civil society, with high levels of ongoing social engagement both before and after elections.
Editors, we hear, are filing one by one through the door of Downing Street, bending the prime minister's ear about royal charters and press regulators. You must do something, they warn him, or there will be an impasse, a stalemate. They are wrong. There is no impasse; there is a process. Lord Justice Leveson foresaw that some editors and proprietors would stubbornly resist change and he made provision for this.
What many do not realize is the European Parliament has an impact on almost every aspect of life in the UK, whether it is trying to cut the costs of a mobile phone call while you're on holiday to protecting your employment rights when you're at work or trying to ensure the very air you breathe is clean.
Fortuitously the start of my work placement with Unlock Democracy, a lobby for constitutional reform, coincided with the reassembling of Parliament post-recess, which heralded the passage of the trumpeted "Transparency Bill" in to legislation. It revealed to me - a huge politics geek - a lot about how public policy is made and influenced in the United Kingdom.
As a country, we have shirked this challenge. We have ran and hid from that bully Assad, far away from his Sarin strikes, and his blatant disregard for both human life and the tenements of International Law. We should not be running scared, we have both the means and the morality to stop him in his evil re-conquest of a former fiefdom.