How to love yourself (and grow half a brain) The recent furore regarding Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson is a perfect example of what is wrong with...
Russell Brand was right to assert, in effect, that the basis on which we are governed is not set in stone. We can change it if enough of us act in unison. But the fact remains that the only legitimate means to constitutional change is the ballot box. Violent revolutions inevitably result in misery for the populous and a greater centralisation of power.
The 2015 General Election Campaign has begun. In 2010, David Cameron campaigned for The Big Society causing widespread bafflement. Since then, The Big Society has silently shuffled off stage in a fog of embarrassment...
It's been two weeks since Russell Brand was on the BBC Newsnight programme telling Jeremy Paxman that voting is a waste of time. Since then, it feels a little like democracy itself has been drowned in a political cacophony as Brand lovers and haters debate his prediction of revolution in the UK.
The Drunken Antics With A Gallic Llama Of News First of all, apologies for the lack of weekly missives, but promoting the book meant I was literally ...
Why did the Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand Newsnight interview go viral last week? Whichever side you take, it is unarguable that Brand struck a chord regarding the public mistrust of Parliament and apathy about politics in general. Can the UK's political class turn this around?
Dear Russell, I am writing this letter to you following your recent interview to promote your tour on Newsnight.
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.
The Paxman and Brand debate has been viewed over 5 million times, and for me, amongst other things, it very succinctly describes the tension between science and spirituality within masculinity. Paxman, like a school yard bully, slowly circles Brand chanting 'prove it, prove it, prove it.' Brand can't prove it. He is just voicing his discontent, happy not to be able to prove it, which perplexes Paxman.
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.
The problem is, unlike comedians like Mark Thomas or Josie Long who take their comedy and convert it into activism, there's been plenty of talk from Russell Brand but precious little action.
This is where the video seemed to really hit home. So many of us are becoming completely disillusioned with different political parties, that it has begun to seem like nothing will ever change as long as we reside in the same political system we live in now.
David Cameron will be planning more holidays if things carry on like this. While the PM has been out of office for the summer, his popularity ratings have taken an unexpected turn for the better, leaving poor Ed Miliband with egg on his face... quite literally this week. With the housing market on the up, and the entire country enjoying the kind of feel-good factor only a summer of sun and a royal baby can muster up, a survey this week by the ICM and the Guardian showed 40% of the electorate have economic confidence in the government, while only 24% have the same trust in Miliband and Ed Balls.
Pogonophobia - which translates as an abnormal fear of beards. Granted, they don't suit every face and they loiter on every corner of Hoxton and Shoreditch like suits in Canary Wharf - but they are just the right amount of bohemian for me. Nonconformist, but without the sandals. I am a big fan.
The empty egg carton of news. Even though we're notionally in the silly season, down in Australia things are far from silly, as they're in the middle...