Russell Brand calls Trudeau a hypocrite for criticising Putin after ‘tyrannical’ crushing of trucker protest

‘“If only we had a dictatorship,”’ Brand says, mocking the Canadian PM. ‘Don’t worry Justin, future you has got that covered.’

Graig Graziosi
Monday 14 March 2022 17:15
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Related video: Tucker Carlson ridiculed for calling Trudeau ‘dictator’

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Comedian Russell Brand called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "tyrant" for dismantling the nation's "Freedom Convoy" trucker protest, and a hypocrite for allegedly posing as an "exemplar of democracy" in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Brand is best known for his career as a comedian, but has grown his audience online by discussing culture, politics and spirituality in YouTube videos.

In a recent video, he essentially called Mr Trudeau a hypocrite for joining the pro-democratic backlash to Mr Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

"What I'm saying is, if the reason that this war is wrong, or one of the reasons, is because it is against democratic principals, then you must ensure where it is possible, where there is no militarized state opposing your ability to be democratic, you should be democratic, otherwise you do not have the same argument," Mr Brand said, before turning his sights on Mr Trudeau.

"You can criticise Russia for many, many reasons, you can condemn the actions of Russia, quite rightly, for many reasons. What you can't do is claim to be an exemplar of democracy if whenever you get the opportunity to be tyrannical, you take it," he said.

Despite the actor's generally progressive social views, he won praise from Canadian extreme right wing publication The Post Millennial after he accused Mr Trudeau of being an authoritarian.

"Wow. Russel Brand just absolutely obliterated authoritarian tyrant Justin Trudeau. Watch until the end!," the Post Millennial wrote alongside a clip of the video on Twitter.

The end of the video featured Mr Brand accusing Mr Trudeau of praising Chinese state authoritarian rule. The comedian showed a clip from a 2014 event in which Mr Trudeau addresses a crowd of people and expresses a "level of admiration" for China's dictatorship.

"Their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime, and say we need to go greenest fastest, we need to start investing in solar," Mr Trudeau says in the clip. His statements later drew criticism from Asian-Canadian citizens who had been victimised by the Chinese government.

"'If only we had a dictatorship,'" Mr Brand says, mocking the Canadian PM. "Don't worry Justin, future you has got that covered."

The pushback against Mr Trudeau is rooted in his use of Canada's Emergency Act to break up the "Freedom Convoy" that closed border crossings and clogged up the city of Ottawa for nearly a month.

The Canadian leader faced backlash from conservatives and some liberals over using executive power - including the freezing of protesters’ assets - to crush a dissent movement.

The convoy kept the nation's capital, Ottawa, congested for weeks, even sparking an injunction from residents frustrated with the constant honking from the truckers. There were several documented incidents of convoy participants harassing residents who were wearing masks, at least one assault on police, and a foiled attempt to smuggle weapons to convoy participants.

Mr Brand has faced criticism recently for pushing Covid-19 vaccine scepticism in his videos.

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