Russell Brand has received a brutally hilarious tongue-lashing after a protest which saw an irate City worker miss his lunch.
Blogger and City worker Joseph Kynaston Reeves was caught on film squaring up to Brand outside the Royal Bank of Scotland London offices as the comedian staged a protest against capitalism.
Footage of the pair reveals a tense exchange as Reeves attempts to get into the building – which was closed after Brand, who is making a film on financial inequality with director Michael Winterbottom - attempted to gain entry on Friday.
Squaring off: Russell Brand and Joseph Reeves outside the RBS London offices
Brand and his team – accompanied by a cardboard cut-out of disgraced former chief executive Fred Goodwin – were asked to leave after approaching bank employees and asking them about their pay and bonuses in the wake of the bank’s £46million bail out.
Following the encounter, Reeves penned an open letter to Brand, complaining about the 39-year-old’s “puerile self-aggrandising antics of a prancing multimillionaire.”
Reeves opened the letter by pointing out Brand’s “completely futile publicity stunt” had caused his lunch (paella, since you ask) to go cold after he found himself locked out of the office.
Reeves – who stresses he does not speak for RBS “I’m not even an RBS employee, though I do currently work for them” – asks Brand what he hoped to achieve.
“Did you think a pack of traders might gallop through reception, laughing maniacally as they threw burning banknotes in the air, quaffing champagne, and brutally thrashing the ornamental paupers that they keep on diamante leashes — and you, Russell, would damningly catch them in the act? But that's on Tuesdays. I get it, Russell, I do: footage of being asked to leave by security is good footage. It looks like you're challenging the system and the powers that be want your voice suppressed. Or something. But all it really means, behind the manipulative media bullshit, is that you don't have an appointment.”
Reeves adds: “You turned up and weren’t allowed in. Big wow. You know what would have happened if a rabid capitalist had just turned up unannounced? They wouldn't have been allowed in either. You know what I have in my pocket? A security pass. Unauthorised people aren't allowed in. Obviously. That's not a global conspiracy, Russell; it's basic security. Breweries have security too, and that's not because they're conspiring to steal beer from the poor. And security really matters: banks are simply crawling with highly sensitive information. Letting you in because you're a celebrity and You Demand Answers could in fact see the bank hauled in front of the FCA. That would be a scandal. Turning you away is not. I'm sorry, Russell, but it's just not.”
Reeves’ Squander Two blog – in which he likens Brand to a “school bully” and accuses him of being “pretty fucking aggressive” in his physical stance towards him, has been picking up attention and praise.
Commenter Susan Hill wrote: “Absolutely brilliant.. and spot on, very coherent and thought-through. If only I could imagine he would read it…”
Ian Katz, the editor of BBC Newsnight even called for Reeves to be given his own show, while economics editor Robert Peston asked: “Has Russell Brand met his match in an RBS worker whose lunch he spoiled?”
“I was really just annoyed about my food getting cold. Anyone in the office that day could have told you how annoyed I was about my lunch.
"As I walked past him I did mutter something about my food getting cold and he grabbed my arm and accosted me. I don’t remember all that clearly what he said.”
Reeves signs off his riposte with the stinging:
“One last thing, Russell. Who did you inconvenience on Friday? Let's say that you're right, and that the likes of Fred Goodwin need to pay. OK, so how much trouble do you think Fred faced last Friday as a result of your antics? Do you think any of his food got cold, Russell? Even just his tea? I somehow doubt it. How about some of the millionaire traders you despise so much (some of whom are nearly as rich as you, Russell)? Well, no, because you got the wrong fucking building. (Might want to have a word with your researchers about that.) Which brings us back to where we came in: a bunch of admittedly fairly well paid but still quite ordinary working people, admin staff mostly, having their lives inconvenienced and, in at least one case, their lunches quite disastrously cooled, in order to accommodate the puerile self-aggrandising antics of a prancing multimillionaire. If you had any self-awareness beyond agonising over how often to straighten your fucking chest-hair, you'd be ashamed.”
No word from Brand yet.