In a recent interview with Channel 4 News, pop star Paloma Faith took some time to explain why comedian Russell Brand is wrong about voting. Here’s why I think she was absolutely right.
Vote whoever, you get Tory
I’ve always had mixed feelings when it comes to the bushy haired controversial comedian otherwise known as Russell Brand. On the whole I think he’s a bit of a prat. Quite clearly he lives to stir up controversy and whilst I’m actually quit a big fan of controversy when it’s being used to make a point, more often than not he generates it just for the sake of generating it. Plus his voice just makes me want to render myself permanently deaf just so I can stop listening to it.
However even such a professed Russell Brand hater as myself has to admit that the man knows his politics. Often enough you’ll hear him wittering on about how the politicians don’t listen to the people any more and he’s absolutely right. These days if you vote Labour you get Tory, if you vote Tory you get Tory and if you vote Lib Dem you get Tory. It’s maddening!
Where it all falls down
Yet Brand’s solution to the problem that has gripped British politics since the advent of New Labour is as counter-productive as the issue he believes it will solve. As far as I’m concerned, it all falls down is when Brand turns to the idea of a revolution to fix all of our problems.
Russell Brand actually believes that we should all stay home twiddling our thumbs on 7th May. Instead he advocates the idea that we need to rise up in some sort of bloodless coup. At least I hope he means bloodless at any rate. In her interview with Channel 4, Faith took umbrage with Brand’s proposed solution. She commented that “I think we need to vote first, then complain”.
The pop star went on to say: “I think Russell Brand is wrong.. I do think it was irresponsible, because I think what he did was play more into the hands of power again because the powerful always vote – it’s in their interest to vote.”
The one thing even I like about UKIP
I sympathise with Brand’s position, I really do. The career politicians down in Westminster closed their ears to the thoughts, feelings and concerns of the British public years ago. But revolution, even a bloodless one, isn’t practical. Not only is it almost inconceivable in a country who’s last successful real revolution (nobody counts the one in the late 17th Century where Parliament invited William III and Mary II to England to take over from a King they hated) landed us with Oliver Cromwell, it’s counter-productive. Over-throwing the entire infrastructure of this country would create more problems than it would solve.
Furthermore Paloma hits it right on the head, we need to vote first. How are we supposed to have our voices heard if we don’t even take the time to use them? I think that’s what people are starting to recognise at the moment and it’s working. I actually kind of like the system that’s being created around us as we careen ever more steadily towards May 2015; a multi-party Democracy.
Before I make this last point I want to start with a disclaimer. I hate UKIP. Anybody who knows me knows that I believe they’re a danger to this country and it’d be a disaster of unmitigated proportions if they ever made it into power. Yet the one thing even I like about them is the fact that people feel like they can vote for them. Go back two elections. That contest was the very definition of a two party system. Now people have a choice and it’s because they’d had enough of the way things are and they’re using that voice to do something about it, in order to affect change.
Raise your voice loudly enough and someone will listen
So Paloma Faith is right because she’s making the point that we can affect change if we make the effort to get up off our lazy backsides and actually do something about it. The meteoric rise of UKIP and the responding (if somewhat less spectacular) rise of the Greens on the left, show that it’s already happening and that if we raise our voices loudly enough, somebody, somewhere will listen.