Thursday 14 November 2013
Russell Brand has elbowed his way back into the headlines with a controversial appearance on Alan Carr's Chatty Man show, to be broadcast on Friday.
During filming Brand laid into David Cameron and George Osborne, according to a report in the Metro:
"I think if you’re a bit mean and tight, and always cutting benefits and being horrible, it’s because you don’t know how to f*** properly", said the comedian.
He added: "I think if your job is to look after the country and you don’t care about the people who need it most, you’re out of order. And you’re a filthy, dirty, posh w***er."
So has he gone too far?
At least last time Russell Brand hit the headlines he had a point. This is simply an ad hominem attack. Brand is in effect saying that Cameron is an uptight, posh person - so has no right to run the country. This is exactly the kind of inverted elitism that Brand feels is damaging to poor people. Imagine if the tables were turned and a Tory MP said someone from a poor background should stay out of politics. Yes, it's different for all kinds of reasons, but that MP would still get absolutely massacred.
Attacks like these lower the tone of political discourse. They foster hatred and suspicion, masking and distracting from rational complaints with the way the country is being run. It's typical of Brand's scattergun approach that in his rant he slams Eton-educated folk as unable to care about gay rights, when it was an Eton-educated Prime Minister who pushed so hard - often against his party - to legalise gay marriage.
He has gone too far, showed too little sense, and is wearing out any welcome on the political stage.
Well, someone needs to say it. Our political classes exist in a Westminster bubble that filters out all the pain and anger of people in Britain who feel they have not only been let down by this Government, but are being actively targeted. Brand is a livewire. His anger is real. It is genuine. And - most importantly - it is representative. Many MPs might feel the same about Cameron and the Tories, but they have to couch their arguments in political niceties, lest they bump into Cameron at the bar, and face an awkward minute or so.
It is only right that someone like Brand be given a platform to take a swing at our political elite. Also, the comedian is still being a comedian. He's clearly joking about Cameron's sex life. He's riffing - as he does so well on stage - and to accuse him of something like breaching the peace is to miss the point.
We need to keep Brand front and centre, so he keeps highlighting these issues as the election approaches.
Where do you stand? Let us know in the comments... (but please avoid swearing!)