They Came to Crush the Dandy – Some Questions Provoked By QuestionTime

Question Time seemed to get the fun, holiday season cacophony that Farage and Brand were meant to bring to the table.

Furious audience hoopla, while the honoured guests attempted to appear statesmanlike.
It was more a night of applause wars.Everyone in the audience had a chance to applaud their own echoed opinion, and everyone got the chance to shake their head at words they disagreed with. Farage sat there with a new expression that said, “I’ll be deputy Prime Minister soon. I wonder if there’s a hook to hang my pewter tankard in Nick Clegg’s kitchen?” He has been taken seriously by the media for long enough that now even he can comfortably take himself seriously on telly. Russell looked more serious too, even nervous, not grasping for power, despite having the monstrous ego of a performer, this behemoth was dwarfed by the Godzilla egos of those who imagined their feet resting on ministerial shagpile. Later, this lack of dictator desire would be thrown at him, and even he would not quite know how to handle this peculiarity.

Brand brought bankers’ bonuses up and some people had that look of, “can’t we move on, it was all a long time ago”, at the same time as we are told austerity must continue forever. Apparently, it is both over, and it will never end.

Columns are now being written about the moment Brand was “silenced” by a man saying, “I don’t like people preaching that I am in any part responsible for anything”.
I have watched this over a few times, (Could this be my “back and to the left” Jim Garrison moment) and I can only presume there was a clumsy edit.

“I don’t like people preaching that I am in any part responsible for anything”

What this man seems to be saying then is, “how dare anyone say that anything may be my fault, that any action of mine may have ramifications for anyone”. So we live in a world where nothing we do has any implications for anyone? At the very least, I know my consumer choices have ramifications beyond me, my voting choices have ramifications beyond me, the way I influence my child has ramifications for others, and on and on.
How has this dumb statement heralded any column inches, a nonsense statement elevated because it made Russell Brand uncomfortable.

As for the question about why doesn’t Russell stand for parliament, there may be some merit in that, or at least, find some people he can support. The revolution may be some way off yet. I hope it is, I work for radio 4, I am bound to end up perilously below a blade while old women furiously knit. While the revolution of representation and higher conscious is in the distance, we do at least have to try and lure some people into the political arena who represent what we feel about the world, and it can’t only be UKIP, despite the media’s blanket insistence that they are the only ones. I may look to the NHA Party or Green Party instead while imagining a rebellion in the ranks of labour that reflect the values I read in post war books and pamphlets.

Or, I might just do some more adverts for fruity chews and purchase a little granite outcrop, grow a beard and starve as my carrot crop fails.

Though I disagree with quite a few things Russell Brand says, this incessant disdain for him from politicians and journalists creates the illusion that everyone else is speaking such wonderful, pragmatic sense. Much of what he said on Question Time was perfectly sensible and, though he may not be our Neo, his popularity is a reminder that not everyone dissatisfied with the three main parties has been hooked by the delicious beer and fag worm bait of the new right.

I am off to USA with Professor Brian Cox for a tour

I am off to Australia to tour on my own

and I am still taking myself around the occasional UK date too, from Edinburgh via Bishops Stortford to Salford (and plenty of Christmas shows in London too)

FOOTNOTE: Why do the media have so much love for Farage and such a desire to crush the fop “upstart”? (answers on torn cardboard to the usual bin please)

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11 Responses to They Came to Crush the Dandy – Some Questions Provoked By QuestionTime

  1. Mike Morris says:

    Like you, I’m not the biggest fan of Russell Brand, but I do find the disdain for him rooted in something quite unpleasant. I was unaware that Big Booming Voice Man was supposed to have taken Brand down in some way, I certainly didn’t see it myself. His point seemed to be “If you’re so smart, why don’t you stand for election” and Brand’s only real mistake was fumbling his reply – his “I’d become like them” seemed trite and pat, when he’d have been better-served (in my view) saying “I wouldn’t be very good at it.”

    But Booming Voice Man summed up a lot of the media disdain for Russell Brand, which is he spouts off on topics about which he’s not that educated, and there’s a shade of hypocrisy underpinning his one-of-the-people act given his own enormous wealth.

    Well, both those things are possibly true. But I’d argue someone wealthy with a slightly shallow view of politics, who’s nonetheless politically-engaged, gets involved in laudable campaigns to help the unfortunate, and tries to argue for a slightly fairer society is still doing a damn sight more to make the world a better place than someone who does none of those things, and then sneers at the shortcomings and inconsistencies of others.

    It’s easy to avoid being a hypocrite if you don’t believe in anything or try and help anyone. What underpins a lot of the attacks on him is a sense of “Who’s this person think he is, challenging me?” I’m not a fan, but you don’t have to be a fan to see that as rather pathetic.

  2. “… someone wealthy with a slightly shallow view of politics… is still doing a damn sight more to make the world a better place than someone who does none of those things, and then sneers at the shortcomings and inconsistencies of others.” <<THIS. Well said, Mike.

    I agree he does come across as a bit out of his depth on certain topics, but that's not really that surprising. He's a comedian. He doesn't have a team of people briefing him behind the scenes (presumably). That's one of the problems with democracy. Anyone can stand and yet we expect them to become flawless, skilful experts in foreign policy, home office affairs, crime and punishment, welfare distribution, taxation….. and not put a foot wrong.

  3. AlanP says:

    “Though I disagree with quite a few things Russell Brand says, this incessant disdain for him from politicians and journalists creates the illusion that everyone else is speaking such wonderful, pragmatic sense. Much of what he said on Question Time was perfectly sensible”

    Also true if you replace Russel Brand with Nigel Farage.

    Reality is mainstream politics is being outflanked by fringe in *all* drections as it is being seen as imcreasingly ineffectual. Lauding one fringe while excoriating another just shows the same biasses as t’other way round.

  4. Pete Biggs says:

    “Booming Voice Man” was apparently the brother of a UKIP MEP James Carver. See comment at the end of the RT article http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-12-12/russell-brand-vs-nigel-farage-was-most-tweeted-about-question-time-ever

  5. The Bogmonster says:

    The main thing revesled in QT is that Brand is till just a performer, he’s using a position of incredible influence and power to shout his views (some almost sensible, others hopelessley idiotic) but when it comes to standing up and actually trying to defend them, he’s impotent.

    Anybody can sit in front of a camera and spout hypothetical revolution plans but that goes nowhere, only his fame and fortune allows him to be heard, there are far better thinkers out there who will never be heard.

    As for “I’m afraid I’ll become one of them” response, that was appalling weak, he has no belief in his own preachings, he knows that if any type of revolution ever happens, his type would not last long and hence he wants to continue his massively privileged existence whilst trying to appear pseudo-revolutionary.

    The loud man speaking and the audience proved they don’t like listenings to the ramblings of a nut like Farage or a rich Lord Byron wannabe like Brand.

  6. Guy Jones says:

    Too many people believe he is actually a politician. Did Omid Djalili get this kind of reaction with his views last week, or countless celebrities from other professions in weeks previous. I feel as well as the usual system the media have much to blame for the frightened public that Farrage is trying to get support from, every week there is some kind of public affair topic which is whipped up to sell papers basically. Free press is all well and good, but it shouldn’t be legally allowed to make up scary headlines without an ounce of truth in to shock the public into wanting to know more, and worse believing the fictional stories. What Russell is trying to campaign against is the dominant corporations which have a law unto themselves, they are the reason that the British economy is among the most unequal in the world. Looking at GDP per capita for the UK things looks quite rosey, however this is the mean, this isn’t a modal figure which is of far more relevance to the average Joe. And if you delve into the many people at the bottom of the pyramid this is a life on a squalid sink estate, rife in drugs, crime and poverty. What’s more these people are stigmatised, they have barriers put up, they don’t have access to the same levels of education or access to proficient lawyers. This is what Russell has issues with, as a man with a past addiction, he knows more probably than most of us about the affects of stigmatisation. These people at the bottom of the pile, along with immigrants who are net contributors to our economy lets not forget, are often blamed for the debt issues our country faces and having to cut back on public expenditure so that we still can’t even service the levels of debt. If it wasn’t for the cheap labour these immigrants provide our country may have defaulted a while ago wiping off the value that the pound has. Let us not forget who got us into this mess, the bankers, not just British, this was a global issue, but it certainly wasn’t caused by the immigrants, they are a part of the solution if anything, not the problem. The bankers and other businessmen who have been supported to the tune of billions and have their taxes looked over have meant that we have sold off years of our pension ages, and too some people with Chronic illnesses like my father are paying a huge price for this fact! To think Farrage and the media can troll out to the public that immigration is the problem and get away with it, shows what idiots they are or the public. It’s one or the other, Russell Brand is educated enough to know this, even if he isn’t as well versed as politicians when debating to an open audience.

  7. Matt p says:

    I find it difficult to not get annoyed with politicians telling us we need to have an adult debate on subjects; purely because the popular voice disagrees with what they believe. Then we hear them in the parliament braying at each other like some demented pack of animals.
    Dissent and talk of huge change by the likes of Farrage or Brand is a good thing in the run up to the elections. Regardless of whether everything they say is coherent or not, it has to be better than the mindless obedience to voting, yet again, for the least worst option. Having the government and media work the public into a frenzy about one group or other, be they immigrants or disabled, to distract attention from the real villans. Bankers on huge bonuses. MPs getting 11% rises. Lords refusing to reduce their food subsidies. Billions wasted to pretend we’re a nuclear superpower.
    We need someone who has the opportunity for publicity to voice the anger. Otherwise we’ll get treated like the sheep they think we are.

  8. What do you think to The Beach Party Politics? We stand for most of the things which Russell Brand is fighting for. Offering this as part of our manifesto:

    Free Food
    Free Housing
    Free Health Care
    Free Higher Education
    Free Electricity, Heating, Water, Internet and Basic Utilities.

    But we are officially the least funded political party in the UK with zero corporate backing, funded by donations given to one man busking on the beach making sand art who also wants to make the world a better place. Not a politician yet, Sandy Andy is just a working class artist who sees a possible future if we stopped putting profit before people and the environment.

    The Top 4 political parties are evidently only working for the interests of big business and unethical industry profit which they have done for many years. It’s making life hard for ordinary people, but there is hope as a Collaborative Commons could replace our currently corrupt capitalist system. Times are changing more rapidly then ever as we become more entangled with the interweb, but we hope for the sake of the world that this change goes in the right direction. Humanity could easily be obliterated by war, become slaves to big business or fade away amid the mounting effects of climate change so we hope to address these big issues head on while solving many of the smaller issues people face in the UK today.

    If you think these ideas are important to stand up for, then please help us out by telling your friends. The Beach Party was founded on the simple aim of ”Being Nice” … pass it on!

    We also support the Green Party, the NHA party and the socialist party on Clapham High Street.

    Tweet @DirtyBeachTV
    http://www.dirtybeach.tv/politics-in-the-uk/
    Sandy Andy aka Andrew Robertson

  9. The revolution is in the mind. The revolution is the discard of the neoliberal narrative, pop-psychological manipulations, and fetishistic political wank. The revolution is non-complicity and admission of hypocrisy.

    As for Question Time, it’s a constant disappointment; a very shit pantomime.

  10. Bruce says:

    I hope Ricky Gervais pisses in your shower and then jumps out and scares you.

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