Russell Brand’s Revolution or “Wankers one and all”?


We see this word a lot in our lives, and although not generally in our everyday vocabulary, we are happy for REVOLUTION to occur all over the place; in hair-care, tooth-whitening, and hand dryers. Even Argos have recently used it to justify the end to their catalogues and pens, and we still refer to revolutionary when talking about weight-loss, and vacuum cleaners, and sanitary towels. It’s just one of those words that we seem to have allowed to become gradually modernized and sanitised into becoming part of our mainstream language.

Russell Brand used this word a couple of days ago. when he took the opportunity as guest editor of the New Statesman to bring forward his ideas at great length of his views on British politics and the inequalities of wealth distribution; and then spoke to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight to elaborate upon on his ramblings.

I wonder, is he only doing the same as others who have gone before him? Great leaders who have spoken about freeing the masses from the inequities of oppression.

Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama?

They all pressed their respective and destructive buttons, ensuring that they were far enough away from the explosions and repercussions to claim or regret the outcomes of their actions inciting REVOLUTIONS in far flung countries without actually even holding  a banner let alone getting kettled. Is Russell’s  idea of REVOLUTION going to be as destructive and as remotely controlled as theirs?

As much as I admire his linguistic rhetoric and complicated combinations of clever words; and as much as I find him entertaining and humorous. Is his call for a REVOLUTION  just a soundbite, a headline grabber, a firework he can watch from a distance? Does he have a DVD coming out soon, or does he really believe in his words? Will he follow up on his actions, maintain the responsibility he has taken on and lead the REVOLUTION from the front?

I hope so, I really do, but I think he needs to have a sit down and a think about how it’s all going to work, because to be honest, as much as  REVOLUTION sounds like a great idea, without some form of collective agreement on which direction to travel in, and consensus on what the overall goal of the action is going to be, it could all turn out badly, or not at all.

One of his ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ ideas is that we shouldn’t vote, because it is a:

tacit act of compliance” and “there is nothing to vote for

He thinks that by not voting we would be sending a message out. A message of defiance? Or a message of laziness?

I think he is absolutely wrong on this.* Surely by not voting are we not allowing our ‘determined’ efforts against the system to be registered as the apathy, and ignorance he protests against?

Perhaps we should follow the example of my father in law*.

At the grand old age of 76, having been an active voter his entire life, he is now so utterly disillusioned by the political system that at every voting opportunity he gets, he takes the time to make his way to the voting office, collects his paper, heads to the booth and then writes across the paper-  although  I have never seen them – words that portray as much contempt and disgust towards the political system, as Russell advocates with his abstinence:


He signs his name, and gives his phone number just in case they want to question his thoughts, before depositing his slip into the box.

Perhaps he has a better idea than Russell?

It is too easy not to vote, enough people do that already without Russell’s advice; all we have to do is stay in bed. In fact whilst we are lying in bed we can be signing up to email global campaigns against poverty – liking away on Facebook wildly under the covers – solving all sorts of world  problems without leaving the comfort of our duvet.

If it is a REVOLUTION you really want Russell, then why not instead of not voting, let’s all get out there, get away from our duvets, and do something destructive yet productive, like my father in law, lets spoil our ballot papers and be counted for our disgust (counted as people who made the effort to be counted), and show our willing towards a REVOLUTION rather than be included (with those that aren’t counted, as Russell suggests) by our apparent apathy.



*Thanks Fay for bringing this to my attention!

*Thanks Sarah for pointing out my mistake regarding your father!

5 thoughts on “Russell Brand’s Revolution or “Wankers one and all”?

Add yours

  1. Whenever I see him I feel as if I am watching a Baron-Cohen type Docusoap of an ageing revolutionary, where the casting director needs to find a more realistic leading man.

  2. For an antidote, have a look at Joan Smith’s article in the Independent on Sunday – she seems to have his measure!

    1. Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I’ve read the article you mention, thanks for sharing it:

      And I’m sorry to say that I completely disagree with you. I think Joan Smith has simply fallen into the trap of a typical knee-jerk reaction to Brands facile and facetious manner without actually evaluating what he is saying. Her article seems to suggest that she disagrees with his analysis of the way the world works. The nuts and bolts of his message when you’ve wiped away the hyperbole, pontificating and fancy trimming is basically:

      • We are fucking up the environment
      • The poor are staying poor (or getting poorer)
      • The rich are getting richer
      • The divide between the two is getting larger
      • And it doesn’t seem to matter who you vote into power the above doesn’t change for the better
      • Ergo- Democracy isn’t working.

      Now unfortunately in his wisdom he has recommended a silent, non- violent, non-destructive way to ‘Revolt’ against the status quo, which involves doing nothing but staying at home. That is the only point that I disagree upon, and that is what will be the downfall of his Revolution. He admits though that he hasn’t got the answers, and that he is only bringing to our attention something that some of us have believed for a long time yet have had no idea how to go about doing something about it. It’s a shame that he hasn’t got all the answers, but at least he’s prepared to admit that and say it. What he has done is open up a debate, and hopefully that discussion will result in a few more people taking notice of the problem, and perhaps through this dialogue we can do something about it (other than just not voting).

      The by-line to her piece is typical and lazy “Spare us the vacuous talk and go back to Hollywood” – as she goes on to say “I must admit to feeling some amusement when I hear a man with an estimated personal fortune of £10m calling for a “massive” redistribution of wealth.”

      Hang on a minute Joan, let’s just wind that back. Are you suggesting that only poor people can call for a change in the current system, and that only they can suggest that it might be preferable to find a way to distribute wealth more fairly around the world, whilst trying to find a way of protecting the environment? And that someone who happens to be from a working-class background, who has battled drink and drug addiction, worked hard to become successful and then use that platform to make statements about the inequities of life has no right to speak?

      So no Caroline, I’m afraid I don’t think Joan has ‘got his measure’ I think she is a long way off the mark. And I think her use of the disturbing term ‘idiot savant’ is a clear indication of how off the mark she really is with the world.

      Hey ho, it’d be boring if we all agreed on everything eh?



All comments, and feedback welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: