THE BLOG
15/11/2013 07:45 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Russell Brand, It's Time to Stand

Ok, so I'm going to weigh into this ongoing debate about the growing disenchantment with our political classes. You know the one which has been rumbling along since most of us were born, and has recently got some more media attention because a well-known comedian has got involved.

Ok, so I'm going to weigh into this ongoing debate about the growing disenchantment with our political classes. You know the one which has been rumbling along since most of us were born, and has recently got some more media attention because a well-known comedian has got involved.

I guess that's my major problem with this latest Russell Brand crusade - why does it take a celebrity to say something about how he's not going to vote for any of these 'p*** w****ers' for anyone to take the issue seriously.

It's a sign of the times. We've actually got to the point where we take someone who is paid to be the opposite of serious, more seriously than we take the political classes - and that's got to bad, right?

Well according to most people I've spoken to, apparently not. Most with 'leftist' tendencies say they would rather Russell Brand was running the country than Ed Miliband, and most people on the Right continue to pull for another humorist turned politician to run for Prime Minister, except this one is on the road to that end goal already, as he also happens to be the Mayor of London.

And I'm not talking about the younger people I know here, I'm talking about the thirty-somethings that roughly fall into my age bracket. They're all sick of the two (ok three if we are really going to count the Lib Dems who clearly will never win an election outright) party system, and not one of my peer group believes that any of our politicians tell the truth about... well, anything, really.

It's going to be interesting to see if anyone actually bothers to turn out to vote at the next election. I don't think Brand is the only one who will turn his back on the political process this time around. There is a sense that we've reached an apex of apathy in the UK, and if you look at the figures published in the Huffington Post this week - 46% of voters under the age of 30 don't want to vote - it's a very worrying problem.

The reason I'm concerned is because throughout history one thing that extremists have always looked to turn to their advantage is a political vacuum. If we have a low turnout, if most of us collectively refuse to vote for any of the options, then those with extreme agendas (usually with fanatical and diehard support) will gain more influence. That scares me.

Radical extremist movements of all kind have prompted some of the most awful and upsetting scenes we've experienced in the early phase of this new century. With the rise of new media, those people who would seek to choose violent methods to get their misguided point across have found themselves with a bigger stage than ever before.

There's barely a day that goes by where we don't see an example of these zealots making what they refer to as a 'political point', by cutting someone's head off or some other hideous means. My point is that there is no doubt that these people are out there, and we need to recognise that our democratic system protects us from these lunatics having more influence than they already have - which is already too much, thanks.

Someone once said that democracy is far from perfect, but it's the best system that we've ever tried. I'm inclined to agree and I think people need to remember that when they're turning their backs on the electoral process.

"So who are you to tell us what you think then?" I hear you saying. "You're not even famous!" Well, that's true (thank goodness) but does that really matter? I'm just one of those ordinary thirty-somethings trying to make ends meet who, like you, is tired of the poor choice of politicians we have at our disposal.

However, I'm also a father who, like you, is concerned about his family's future safety. I'm someone who is worried that in our collective rejection of a system which has protected most of us from the serious dangers of extremism for so long, we will be opening the door for the radicals to get back at the top table. Nobody wants a return to the 1930s, surely?

I've got no problem with Russell Brand putting the issue of our lacklustre political class back on the agenda. He's using his fame to make a good point and one which clearly resonates with a significant number of people, including me. However, what I do worry about is that he hasn't offered anyone an alternative.

Russell, if you're going to encourage everyone to turn our back on the status quo, you've got to back it up by offering the people, who hang off you're every word, with a viable way forward. You can't just say, "everything is shit, I'm not playing, and you shouldn't either," and then leave a political vacuum behind, waiting to be filled by dangerous people.

There's only one thing for it, I think you're going to need to create a party and stand for election. I reckon Jonathan Ross would make a fantastic campaign manager.