Russell Brand calls for UK to join Greek revolution after anti-capitalist anti-austerity coalition Syriza wins in Athens

Describing Alexis Tsipras' inclusive, hopeful message as a 'different kind of politics', Brand urged his followers to 'get down with that'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Russell Brand has rallied his fans to push for a British equivalent of left-wing Syriza.

In a broadcast on political YouTube channel The Trews, comedian-turned-activist Brand praised Syriza's anti-EU stance.

He even appeared to reverse his stance on abstaining from voting. "If we had a party like Syriza in Britain, I would vote for it," he said. "I would urge you to vote for it. What this is an opportunity for us to bully, galvanise, push political powers into representing us properly."

 

Leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister yesterday in an unconventional atheist ceremony. His major promises are to restore the dignity of the Greek people after years of crippling taxes and massive unemployment, bring electricity back to homes of the poorest people, and create new jobs.

Dissecting Tsipras' policies, Brand said he didn't agree with the the party's description in the media as "radical left", and instead termed it new politics.

"I would question the term 'radical left'. What I would say is it’s a new type of political movement that emerges when the population is galvanised, when we’ve finally had enough with corruption, systemic inefficiency, and oligarchal domination and corruption, when people finally come together they get politically represented," he said.

Brand also joked that Syriza - which is a Greek acronym for "Coalition of the Radical Left" - sounds "too much like chorizo, but we’re going to have to get our heads around that".

Brand heavily criticised David Cameron's unenthusiastic response to the left-wing party's victory, saying that it was bad news for people like him, who are pushing austerity measures.

"Because people are finally realising that there is an alternative to being completely dominated by a corporate oligarchy, living under the sweltering weight of imaginary debt," Brand said. "Let’s all get down with that. For us, it’s exciting."

Admitting he didn’t know what it would mean to cancel emergency funding given to Greece by the EU, he praised Syriza's courage to "confront a great big bureaucratic administrative body and go: 'We aint paying that debt'".

"The voters of Greece have had the chance to vote for a party that represents people, but not from some crazy right-wing perspective," Brand said. "Overwhelmingly, this is a victory for tolerance and compassion."

"It's a strong rejection of the values of our time – corporatism, oligarchy, the breakdown of society, the public institutions and common ownership," he continued. "The feeling that we all have of 'what’s the point of politics? What’s the point, they’re not doing anything for us?' That’s definitely something that’s contributed to the victory in Greece."

Brand is currently making a documentary with film-maker Adam Curtis on the devastation of the financial crisis.

Comments