Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Political Apathy

I'm not doing very well with this blogging thing, am I? In September I wrote a brilliant blog entitled 'Miliband the Magnolia' about Ed Milliband's lack of policy ideas. Unfortunatley, the lightning-paced nature of politics meant that by the time it was ready to publish, he'd practically re-written the Labour Party Manifesto!

Anyway, someone that's been worrying me recently is Russell Brand. Surprisingly; it's got nothing to do with his sex-addiction, old heroin habit or questionable dress sense. Instead; it's got everything to do with his interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.

For the first time in my life, I might actually agree with what Jeremy Paxman has to say. When I watched the interview I was literally dumbfounded. Shocked and speechless can't really describe my reaction.  Here was Russell Brand, a man whom I quite admired, actually encouraging political apathy! This is a guy who has lived on the very fag end of life, suffered mental health problems and overcome addiction. He has championed the cause of the Tibetans, hugged the Dalai Lama and supported Chelsea (Formerly Bradley) Manning. On paper, you'd image him to some trendy bohemian comedian with a heart and a passion for politics.
Instead, he's appearing on Newsnight ranting at Jeremy Paxman like an angsty 17 year old that hasn't got chest hair yet. It's embarrassing. He sounds like he's stolen 'Das Kapital' from his local library and suddenly become a revolutionary. He appears eloquent, but his argument has no substance.

The worrying thing is that his argument has gained some momentum. Ed O' Brien of Radiohead recently came out in support of Brand on the band's website Dead Air Space. His argument just re-enforces the idea that "All politics is crap and therefore worth ignoring."
 Fortunately there have also been some voices of dissent, such as Robert Webb's who is 'renewing his labour party membership' in response to Brand.

As a 16 year old who will be 5 months too young to vote at the next general election, it massively irritates me when people like Russell Brand just carelessly discard their vote like an empty crisp packet. Sitting on your arse and eloquently moaning about the political class does not change anything. Be the change you want to see!