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Posted by : JB Sunday, 17 November 2013

Russell Brand
This seems like a perfectly fair photo to use, doesn't it Ben.

Rather than a standard article, this article will be a reply to another article I recently read by Ben Lazarus for the Telegraph (and for those of you that don't know, the Telegraph is a generally conservative newspaper).

The article I am referring to can be found at this link here, and is regarding his views on Russell Brand (and his recent political interference).

Mr Lazarus (an alleged interesting journalist) writes that Mr Brand's ' crude, ill-thought-through blathering just makes him and his political fellow travellers look ridiculous'.

I'm sorry Ben, I disagree with you.

And before I tell you why you're wrong, I'm going to ensure you know I'm not writing for either side of the political spectrum here.

'Crude' - first let's define it: 'in a natural or raw state; not yet processed or refined.' Or possibly 'lacking tact or taste; blunt or offensive'. Both of which I wholly agree are attributable to Russell, but neither of which are a bad thing.

In regards to the first definition, are you suggesting that in order to be credible as a political figurehead you must be refined, processed, and therefore unnatural? Looks like you're describing the majority of parliament at the moment, and I don't think that's the look Russell is going for. The beauty of how he gets his message across is the unrefined, unruly nature of it.

And for the second definition, are you instead suggesting that being blunt or offensive are bad things? Or for that matter lacking 'taste'? It would be a welcome change to the majority of the world if politicians were blunt, and didn't deviate on every single question or point. The world would be a better place without the deception and 'beating around the bush' of those in power. Brand puts his message across bluntly and with no care for those who might take offence, because it is a strong, harsh message that needs no conventional bounds or limits.

'Ill-thought-through blathering' - I was personally somewhat surprised at both the passion and strength behind his 'blathering' to Paxman. Clearly what he has to say is of importance to him as he said it with heart and with deep emotive feeling. It wasn't just another anti-left telegraph article with no real grounds or backing, it was the real deal - he has lived depravity and disillusionment, and is the product of of the government that failed him. He is his own evidence in some respects. But rather than bash him for using a few complicated words that he has learned along the way (which, funnily enough, is why we use all words, they're all learned along the way) listen to his message and you'll see his point, whether or not you agree with him.

Basically what I'm saying is that he doesn't need to conform to your boundaries of what 'credible' opinions are.

And his method is one of a contemporary nature. Although I'm not sure you've ever heard of 'contemporary politics', being so strictly bound and whipped by traditional politics.

I also thought your comment on him taking a politics A level was quite rich. How else is someone without a thorough education able to become educated in a specific field, without education? Is it not admirable that he is seeking to learn more about the institution in which he is playing a role in at the present, and plays a huge role on his life? You use it as a device to which you can scoff at his 'lack of intelligence', but I think we need to clarify what intelligence is too. Because from the looks of things, Russell appears to be doing pretty well for himself - his name is known worldwide, he's been through terrible times and pulled through, he's changed from drug-dependency to freedom from drugs altogether, and is still able to be interviewed by one of the most prestigious political interviewers on the planet: Jeremy Paxman. And who are you again? An 'alleged' journalist trying to appeal to your up-themselves buddies who will laugh at the idea of not having an A level? Who would see you on the street and ask for a photo or autograph? Do you have the level of influence Brand potentially has? I think that's pretty damn clever of him, to know he can have an impact, thus learns about the area he wishes to impact.

By the way, you have 193 twitter followers, that's not an impact.

Furthermore I don't think you care in the slightest about Orwell or Webb, or whether or not Brand reads them, rather your argument had no real legs to stand on, thus you needed some big names of the left to fall back on, and to suggest that Brand can't read. Anyone who is intelligent enough to be where he is can read through an Orwell novel (considering how poorly they are written literately). But Brand isn't Orwell, and doesn't need to align himself with Orwell or his teachings. In fact, he doesn't even reference him because Orwell is old, Brand is now.

I could go on about your horrendously written attack on Brand's personality, but that would be a waste. Rather I would like to suggest that Russell has a point. There is a massive economic and social divide between countries and the people within them. As humans, we do impact the Earth. British politicians are generally old Oxfordians and Etonians. Politicians in general are the elites. There is mass disillusionment across the country, and voter turnout is low for a reason. And voting really doesn't feel like it makes a difference.

In your style of writing: 'perhaps' it is time that you start writing about the actual politics of Brand and his 'blathering', rather than attacking his personal qualities. Last time I checked, the telegraph is not a tabloid.

Brand is talking politics, you're not.

{ 6 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I actually thought Russell Brand was quite interesting in his interview with Paxman - he seemed to try to be cool and laid back at the start but in the end couldn't as he looked like he cared about what he was saying. Making a change from many interviews I see/hear with politicians who seem to be trying to say what they think voters want to hear

  2. read this last night, excellent writing ,you have wrote in a way I wish I could , it annoys me how every journalist and politician attacks Russels personality his private life his career , without addressing any off the subjects that Russel actually brought up, the one thing that annoys me the most is , they say he is uneducated and has no right to an opinion in politics ,that to me sums up everything that Russel says unless your from Eaton or the likes you cant join are club , I think everyone Regardless off Education or where they work have a right to be listened too , we pay there wages after all .........

    1. Thank you very much - exactly right, the continuous bashing of Russell because of his personality, and the disregarding of his politics because of who he is is totally unfair. And yes, the journalists and media are basically being what Brand is describing, it's terrible.

    2. Your reply was spot on, an excellent dissection of a "journalist" like Lazarus, I loved how he just hurled a jumble of ad hominem attacks and complained about how crude he was. The ruling class and their vanguard in the media love to savage and demean anyone who dares speak against their cozy little system. The educated? Ivory tower snobs. Celebrities? Vacuous, out of touch twits. The working class? Misdirected, ignorant peons. Glad to hear a polite and bright young man as yourself speaking out!

    3. Thank you, appreciate it :) Russell is perfectly entitled to his political opinion as much as the next man, regardless of whether or not people agree with it. I think Lazarus made himself look a fool and a bigot (to anyone who actually analysed the article). Glad you enjoyed reading, many thanks.

  3. Jonny - it has taken me a while to comment as I had to look up and read the original article and the letter by Robert Webb and then I started reading lots of Orwell in order to put up a really good defense for him as he is one of my favourite writers. However this is all taking too long now.
    Actually "how to write" is very interesting but I think the reference to it is mistaken as I am sure that Webb was referring to Orwell in the sense that he made a huge stand against authoritarian governments. Obviously Animal Farm is a famous novel about this but he wrote loads and loads and most serious and not silly (my opinion) fiction. My favourite book of his is Down and out in London and Paris but it probably killed him.

    Having thought a lot about your view on voting I have to say that although I have a tiny bit of time for Brand he is wrong about voting. See how for example UKIP is making other parties think again about their policies? That is the power of a few lost votes. Years ago the "greens" made other mainstream parties start getting a little bit more green. If you don't bother to vote this power is totally lost. I am sure I will not change your mind but if you wish to change mine then give me more evidence please!

    "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
    John Kenneth Galbraith


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