BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 24 Oct '14

HE’S GOT A POINT

We went to see Russell Brand in conversation with Guardian columnist and political writer, Owen Jones, broadcast live from the Emmanuel Centre in London last night.

Who are our rulers? By Vivienne Westwood

Yes, Brand has an ego. In case the audience was in any doubt, he pointed out that his face, beaming from the cover of his new book, Revolution, was being projected from a pretty substantial screen behind the stage.

Russell Brand reads from Revolution

 

Revolt!

Brand freely admits his weaknesses and demons; he’s battled drug addiction and feels the conflict of having his eyes drawn to page three despite knowing that, ultimately, the images there are exploitative to women.

The discussion was less about Brand presenting himself as a solution to the problems we face in society – from climate change and inequality to corruption and corporate greed – and more a rallying cry for collective action against them.

He wants to use his profile to amplify the voices of those who are already doing great work. With enough attention, he hopes, these communities and groups will be able to join together to effect real change: a revolution.

Brand’s points – including the insistence that David Cameron is ‘a beautiful man – he must be!’ – made sense. If we don’t like the way energy companies are doing business, why don’t we all stop paying our bills? If we don’t see a name on the ballot paper that we like, why do we vote?

Where would our ‘leaders’ be if we all just stopped and said ‘No’?

Extract from Revolution

I suppose we must each ask of ourselves – or each other, have fun with it, it could be a quiz – two fundamental questions: 1) Are you happy with things the way they are? And 2) Do you believe that things could be better?

I know most people want change. I know most people can’t be happy with the current regime. In any electoral process worth having, we might assume that the 3.5 billion people who have as much wealth collectively as the 85 richest people in the world are up for some amendments an’ all. I just used the calculator on my phone to subtract 85 from 3.5 billion and the answer had a letter in it. Even the calculator has gone berserk at this injustice.

That aside, a significant number of people are not happy with the way things are. I’m not, and I’ve done all right out of this system: I’ve a big house, a nice cat, and when I write books, they’re immediately put on the school curriculum. So this system has not been bad to me. I’ve been given everything I wanted. The problem is, I didn’t really want it. That desire was put there. Who put it there? And why?

You can read more excerpts from Revolution on the Guardian’s website. To buy the book, click here.