Let me declare an interest right away . . . I don’t like Russell Brand. I was switched off his style of humour (?) when he publicly aimed it at Andrew Sachs on live radio! That aside, I read your article about his views on socialism with some interest, although I confess not as much interest as I would have if it had been written by Frank, the mechanic in my local garage.
Why is Russell Brand’s opinion so important that it warrants a four page spread in the Socialist Standard? Is it not because he is a ‘celebrity’? And what is a celebrity if not a product of the very system Brand rails against? I agree with his railing …but I find it hard to take advice on changing to a socialist society from a celebrity who makes a great deal of money by acting and conning the rest of the world that he is important. It’s a bit like Bono and Bob Geldof telling us all that we have to ‘live more simply so that others might simply live’, while they swan around the world in jet planes living the ‘life of Reilly’!
Sorry, I don’t buy Russell Brand sniping from the sidelines while taking full advantage of the very system he is decrying. I’d sooner take a lesson from Frank my local mechanic. He’s no celebrity, but he certainly knows a thing or two about life for a real worker.
Russell Brand is famous for being controversial in order to maintain his position in the public spotlight, and I think his conversion to the cause of socialism is just another stunt aimed at bolstering his public persona.
Ian McRae, Dundee
Surely the main point is that Brand is (despite what people may think of him otherwise) using his celebrity to question the system, and that’s why we’ve highlighted it. Unlike perhaps the cases of Bono, Sting, etc who didn’t really challenge the system at all, but became friends with the politicians instead – Editors