BY BEN KERRIGAN
With election day now at our very doors, voting begun from 7 a.m this morning and will continue right until the end of the evening. Polls have suggested that no party will outrightly have enough of the majority required to win this election, though recent polls indicate that labour is slightly ahead on the polls as expected. Russell Brand’s support of Labour boosted by Milliband’s visit to the Comedian may still make a difference, seeing that the Comedian has 2 million followers on youtube.
Cameroon’s goading of Brand as a joke may also have added fuel to the Comedian’s determination to support Labour, though the grounds for doing so are not so bad. In his blog, Brand says his fundametalist ”abstemiousness”(tone down the vocab Brand) became untenable because of mates making practical pleas of varying import, and adds that his brother’s who has MS will have his independent living fund cut or he may have to ‘move into mine’ if the Tories get in.
He then says that his daughter cannot afford to get into University because she can’t afford to pay the student’s loan back. Brand’s argument about student loan’s is one shared by all prospective student’s and parents, but the question I ask is why should Brand’s daughter need to even take a student laon? Brand is surely loaded enough to take care of his daughter’s fees. At worse, the millionaire should be able to help refund the loan completely, or at least contribute significantly to a loan his daughter should not even need to get. The fact is Univeersity student’s will only need to repay loans after they are earning a reasonable salary in excess of £25 grand or so, though the charge of £9grand for fees is excessive and one big election issue that weighs heavily against the conservative government.
However, the rich should be able to look after their own. Brand can speak on behalf of the struggling majority but one of the benefits of having lots of money is to provide a better life for one’s family, especially their children. Brand also mentions that our drug treatment day care programme is is being shut down due to cuts- a fair point one can understand coming from a former drug addict who managed to beat the habit. This is a partially good point, though the weakness here is that those who are stupid and useless enough to allow themselves to become hooked on drugs, really have themselves to blame. There are many paths in life, and nobody is forced to become a drug addict no matter their background or misfortunes. For every drug addict from a sad background, there are hundreds other with similar backgrounds who never went on drugs.
Brand labells the Conservatives as ‘cinematic villains, Etonian gits with their Freudian slips, the West Villa United” supporting ”career defining”, Darth vader toffs. If you are auditioning for heads on spikes ”come the great day”, there is no competition. This is vindictive words from Brand, not very respectable or political like. The problem here is that Brand seems to be launching an attack on the Conservatives that seems to be borne out of a vendetta because of Cameroon’s clever criticism of him as a ‘joke’, used by the conservative leader to ridicule Milliband. Let’s be frank here, the comedian and former actor has not given us any solid reasons to vote Labour, even though I have already cast my votes for the Labour party. This election is about choosing the right party to lead the country, not just slaaming and heaping insults against members of one party on the basis of what resemles resentment than it does valid objection. Why has Brand never come out before Milliband’s visit to lend his support for Labour and warn against the Conservatives?
He explains ” The reason I didn’t suggest it sooner is because, twerp that I am, I have hope. I really do believe that real, radical change is possible that the tyranny of giant, transnational corporations can be ended, that ecological melt-down in pursuit of imaginary money can be arrested and reversed, that an ideology that aspires to more than materialism, individualism and profit can be realised and practiced.
”People that know a lot more about this than me, and probably you, advised me that we’ll be better off rucking with a Labour government than a Conservative one – if that strikes you as a pitiful choice, more sympathetic I could not be – but some people are facing much worse dilemmas than reneging on a puritanical political stance.
Does this country need a radical new political movement? An equivalent of Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain? It feels like it does and when the next administration fails to deliver because of the limitations of parliamentary politics I’ll happily participate in setting it up. With you”.
He proceeds to explain that by not removing the Tories, through an unwillingness to participate in the “masquerade of democracy”, he was implicitly expecting the most vulnerable people in society ”to pay the price on my behalf while I pondered alternatives in luxury”. He finally gets to the point in explaining hisrecommendation that people vote Labour as ”an optimistic punt that the degeneration of Britain will be slowed down and the lives of the most vulnerable will be a little more bearable than they’d’ve been under the Tories. Nothing more ambitious than that”
But a vote for a party should be more ambitous than a default position of not being as bad as another party, should it not? Brand does well to talk about issues of austerity, the issue of the privatization of the NHS, and the wide blame of immigrants for problems they have not created. He fails to elaborate on this crucial issue. The latter is a strong talking point among UKIP supporters which may give the underdogs a chance of an upset. There are many who are fed up of the influx of immigrants in this country and who may be persuaded by UKIP’s controversial Nick Farage’s stance on immigration. The numbers have been growing, but they are not enough to compete with either the Conservatives ot the labour party. Brand says it will take serious activism to achieve this and he will be doing his best through housing, trade unions, football campaigns and social media enterprises and so forth.
I still doubt that a large percentage of his followers will be able to understand the much verbose language he often uses to communicate considering the high level of education lacking in many quarters of the UK. Brand can have influence among University students and the educated among us, but can he really relate to the ordinary stupid druggy on the streets? Brand talk of immigration hype is not expanded upon, and a smuch as he rightfully touches on issues of student fees and cuts to welfare, he fails to address the point by showing how the Labour party will offer better alternatives. Brand and I are going for the same party, but will he actually vote or is he just engaging in propaganda? Brand does not show the qualities of one who would be a good politician despite his high class formal education, but he has the opportunity and platform to have a strong influence, though it is questionnable at this point how far that influence will actually go. He may still pack a punch just for being Brand.