Russell Brand – yes, he of the long hair and comedy – writes surprisingly vehemently and eloquently about politics in an editorial for the New Statesman:
There’s little point bemoaning this apathy. Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people. A system that is apathetic, in fact, to the needs of the people it was designed to serve. To me a potent and triumphant leftist movement, aside from the glorious Occupy rumble, is a faint, idealistic whisper from sepia rebels. The formation of the NHS, holiday pay, sick pay, the weekend – achievements of peaceful trade union action were not achieved in the lifetime of the directionless London rioters. They are uninformed of the left’s great legacy as it is dismantled around them.
Of the two possible reactions to the mechanised indifference and inefficiency of their alleged servants, not leaders – apathy or rage – apathy is the more accessible and is certainly preferable to those who govern.
Brand of course has made political statements before, and on Morning Joe earlier this year pointed out the absurdity of the media right to their faces, but I’ll definitely accept that I never expected quite the strength of opinion and intelligence backing it that shines through in this editorial. It’s fascinating for the contrast against Brand’s character as much as the content of the polemic against the political landscape of the day.