Tag Archives: russell brand

When politics, business and comedy collide with real lives


The following story is a bit like a Tom Sharpe novel. It involves an American investment firm, an estate in London’s East End, aggrieved local residents marching on Downing Street, the family firm of (reputedly) Britain’s richest MP and a famous comedian who speaks in a sort of Victorian “luv-a-duck” lingo. All that is missing, to complete the manic Sharpesque scenario, is a climactic explosion liberally showering the whole cast of characters with the contents of the local sewage farm.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

We need to embrace Russell Brand – he’s the new political messiah

Cow votingHe’s not going to go away. After all, celebs rarely do, even after their stardom has faded. My instinct is to ignore him. But I’ve talked to young friends. And they tell me my instinct is wrong.

They are saying to me that even if I can’t embrace the anarchic politics of Russell Brand, I should at least try to understand why he is so in tune with the next generation of non-voters.

This whole fuss started with Brand editing an edition of the New Statesman, then throwing Paxo into a state of complexity on Newsnight. Our media, bored to its teeth with the professional dullness of today’s politicians, drooled on every rebellious word.

Yesterday, Brand was back on ebullient form in the Guardian:

I’ve had an incredible week since I spoke from the heart, some would say via my arse, on Paxman. I’ve had slaps on the back, fist bumps, cheers and hugs while out and about, cock-eyed offers of political power from well intentioned chancers and some good ol’ fashioned character assassinations in the papers.

Posted in Op-eds | 47 Comments

Opinion: Russell Brand – a turgid mess of a manifesto

On Friday this week I was challenged by a friend to read Russell Brand’s article in the New Statesman, after I went on Facebook to casually eviscerate his interview with Jeremy Paxman. I cursed my friend for making this request, which seemed too reasonable to refuse yet to tiresome to enjoy. Below is an edited version of my response.

I have now read the piece and I think it is self-referential to the point of narcissism. Brand’s intellectual ambitions literally reach for the stars. But his self-congratulatory ignorance is exposed by his failure to provide evidence beyond …

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On Twitter, Leveson, media standards… and Labour MP Ian Austin labelling Russell Brand “a disgusting, sleezy [sic], horrible creep”

I love Twitter and I hate Twitter. At its best, it is a brilliant way of enjoying a shared moment with friends and friends-of-friends, whether glorying in the Olympics or bitching about X-Factor. At its worst, it is a bile-filled bearpit, where opinions are sprayed with scant regard for their accuracy in the race to be first or funniest or most outraged.

For fans of cognitive dissonance, it’s a wonderful window-on-the-world which explains much about how and why the media works as it does. Lord Justice Leveson would have learned much from observing a life-in-the-day-of Twitter.

He would, for example, see …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Should BBC licence fee-payers foot £150k ‘Sachsgate’ fine?

No, says Don Foster, the Lib Dems’ shadow culture, media and sports secretary, following media regulator Ofcom’s announcement on Friday that it was fining the BBC £150,000 following the infamous prank calls made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on Mr Brand’s Radio 2 show:

This money should come out of Jonathan Ross’s salary so that broadcasting does not suffer.”

Hmmm. Sorry, Don, but you’ve not convinced me your statement is anything other than populist drivel.

Of course Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross bear ultimate resonsibility for their potty-mouths. But what they said was broadcast by the BBC, and the Beeb …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Cameron labelled an undeserving icon

Readers of Arena have given David Cameron the thumbs down, listing him fourth in a poll for the men’s magazine’s “Anti-Icon of the Year”.

Sky News reports that Cameron was picked as an “undeserving icon” for “attracting ridicule for his ‘hug a hoodie’ campaign and for cycling to the House of Commons while a gas guzzling car followed behind with his briefcase.”

He was held in fourth place by the salubrious company of Syed Ahmed from The Apprentice, comedian Russell Brand and occasional musician Pete Doherty, who topped the poll with 38% of the vote.

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

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