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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2013

Russell Brand - reasons to be cheerful

Nancy Taaffe, Prospective TUSC candidate for 2014 council elections

Sometimes celebrities and popular figures reflect a mood in society at a particular moment without being fully conscious themselves of what they are expressing. They can be like weather vanes, responding unconsciously to events rather than answering questions and putting alternatives.

So it was when Russell Brand countered every sneering put-down by the pompous Jeremy Paxman in the now famous Newsnight interview calling for revolutionary change and an "egalitarian socialist society".

The Brand/Newsnight saga should give us in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) reasons to be cheerful. Millions of people, particularly young people, watched the clip on YouTube and expressed approval. The sentiments expressed are precisely those we have struggled to get exposure for over five years of recession.

He described the deadlock in society and the bankruptcy of current political debate. But unlike TUSC he was given airtime to describe the political blockage at the top and the need to break the consensus.

The establishment and a number of celebrities lined up to condemn Russell Brand for confessing that he didn't vote. Comedian Robert Webb responded to Brand's move by rejoining the Labour Party. However Brand did not believe "not voting" was the answer. He condemned voting for Labour as a waste of time, much as left journalist Owen Jones ridicules voting for anything other than Labour as a waste of time.

Russell Brand's call for a clear and decisive break with all those that betrayed the working class and perpetuated the status quo has more boldness in it than all the lines written by people like Owen Jones. More importantly it chimes with people when it is given an airing.

The Italian working class last year voted in anti-politician comedian, Beppe Grillo as a reaction to the corrupt, greedy politicians who have presided over mass unemployment, economic destruction and political corruption. Russell Brand is on many levels ahead of Beppe Grillo as at least he mentioned the word "socialist".

TUSC should appeal to young people to act on Russell Brand's words and take their place in the lists being prepared to stand in 2014. TUSC aims to stand widely in these elections and we need thousands of people to download the forms on the website and register an interest in representing themselves in 2014.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Government set back over Independent Living Fund

NHS crumbling in Con-Dem Britain

Benefit sanction figures expose Tory lies

Abolish the bedroom tax

Labour blocks living wage

Them & Us


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC: We need councillors who refuse to implement cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

BAE takes the axe to shipyards: Defend every job

Nationalise to defend the shipyards

Portsmouth BAE workers rally to defend all jobs

Probation officers plan more action

Tesco drivers fight on

Vote for Martin Powell-Davies

Blacklist Support Group demonstrates

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

US election campaigns: Socialists make history

Sri Lanka: spotlight on a blood-stained regime


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A small victory for democratic rights

Young workers say: Zero hours no way!

Socialism 2013 feedback

South African socialist speaks in South Wales

TUSC film showing - Riot from Wrong


Socialist Party reviews

Russell Brand - reasons to be cheerful

Play review: Sandpits Avenue/League of St George


 

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Related links:

Russell Brand:

triangleRussell Brand's 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

triangleRussell Brand mistaken to sow illusions in Labour

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