So far 30 of the 38 who lost their lives at the beach resort of Sousse on Friday have been formally identified as British. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "We now have all 30 British victims positively identified and we can say with a high degree of confidence that is now the final death toll of British nationals killed in this incident."
An operation to repatriate their bodies is ongoing.
Russell Brand believes the minute's silence is an 'empty futile gesture'
A minute's silence will be held in memory of the victims at noon on Friday, marking a week since the outrage. Flags are expected to be flown at half-mast over Government departments and Buckingham Palace.
Brand, however, believes the move is: “An empty futile gesture part of a general policy of bullshit that our government can continue selling arms around the world and perpetuating a cycle where its own needs are met at the expense of its own citizens lives.”
Presenting a YouTube episode of Trews News, Brand referenced an online comment from Tom Massen, who commended the work of hotel staff during the massacre. He wrote:
“Russell, I arrived back to England today (Saturday 27th June) from Tunisia, I was at the hotel during the shooting but there is no mention of the incredible job the hotel staff (the real Muslims) did today not only keeping everyone calm and informed but carrying on with their jobs as normal, also the workers stood at the entrances standing unarmed, ready to defend against this mad gunman to ensure mine and all the other guests safety. They are all true heroes which without many, many more people would have died.”
Brand aired comments from David Cameron on BBC Radio 4 in the aftermath of the attacks, and accused the Prime Minister of propaganda, criticising him for refusing to link terror attacks with government foreign policy including bombings and drone attacks.
He also mocked Cameron’s rallying cry that: “We have to stand united with others who share our values.”
Brand sneered: “Oh, others who share our values, who could that be? Are you talking about America and giant corporations and arms dealers and oil companies? When he says that he means America. Oil companies, arms companies, that’s who we have to stand united with.
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“We should stand united with the ordinary people of the world, including the Muslim hotel workers who defended British people from armed, crazed terrorists.
"Who cares about the religion of the hotel guests, who cares about the religion of the hotel staff, who cares about the religion of the gunmen, or the religion of the people selling arms, or the religion of the people piling in the drones or the religion of the people making billions of dollars from resources in Muslim countries? The religion is not what’s important. What’s important is the maintenance of power.”
Brand continued, taking aim at Cameron’s vow to “attack this problem at its source in Iraq and Syria, but also do more to combat it wherever it occurs.”
David Cameron addresses the commons after the attack
“What that means is we’re going to be spying on you [Muslims] domestically and we’re going to be bombing foreign countries”, Brand continued.
“If you want to attack this problem at its source, this is the source: Stop bombing foreign countries, stop selling arms to countries on your own human rights abuses list. If you want to change this situation you’ve got to stop perpetuating the problem
“There’s no point in having a minute’s silence on Friday, it’s a minute of bullshit as long as during that time they continue to sell arms, they continue to bomb foreign countries, they’ve no interest in a solution. Their only interest is perpetuating the problem and continuing to profit from it.
“If you respect those people then demand that your government stops selling arms to countries on its own human rights abuses list. Demand that your government stops carrying out foreign wars on behalf of corporations.”
Brand has previously cited a report which states Britain is currently engaged in the sale of arms to 23 countries considered dangerous to the Foreign Office to the tune of huge profits. Examples include Saudi Arabia, listed for “human rights concern”, for which the government approved the export of £1.6bn of arms in 2013.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest foreign customer, after the US of BAE Systems, Britain’s largest arms company and biggest manufacturing employer.