Ihave been giving some thought to preening pundit Russell Brand’s continuing campaign to persuade people to boycott the ballot box. I’m sure you’ve been thinking about little else, too.
I have no idea why Mr Brand appears to be considered one of the great political theorists of our times, his every overblown utterance, pumped up for no good reason by cramming sessions with a dictionary, pored over by other commentators and those in the corridors of power for an insight into what young people might be thinking.
Just because he is able to string a sentence together doesn’t mean that he is talking any sense, and given his various well-documented life choices, not to mention some really awful films, I’d hesitate for quite some time before adopting him as my go-to guru.
Here’s the Brand manifesto as I understand it: He’s never voted, he doesn’t think anyone else should bother either, and there’s revolution in the air, you mark my wild-eyed words.What a pillock.
Life’s too short to slap him down with references to the people who died in the struggle to provide him with the vote, or the millions elsewhere in the world currently engaged in similar struggles.
Democracy has been described as the least worst form of government, which is pretty much on the money if you ask me. It has lots of drawbacks, but when you look at the alternatives – which I suppose must include the slim chance of Russell Brand being installed as dictator by the deluded band convinced by his rhetoric – it’s worth persevering with.
One of the drawbacks, of course, is that it’s not really geared up to cope with apathy or disillusion.
But the only way that the system will change is if people demand it, and one way in which they can demand it is through the ballot box.
Mr Brand rightly says that many people don’t vote because they think the political candidates on offer are all as bad as each other, and it doesn’t matter where they put their cross.
But who says you have to vote for anyone?
Imagine the fuss that would ensue if all the millions of people who apparently hang on his every word turned up at the polling station, perhaps dressed in tribute to his peculiar dissolute dandy style, and deliberately spoiled their paper? If they all scrawled a consistent message on the voting sheet, even if it was just something as ridiculous as Russell Brand For President, it would demonstrate the demand for change.
It’s action, not inaction, that speaks louder than words and anyone who wants to make changes needs to put themselves about a bit, rather than hanging on the flapping coat-tails of a posturing popinjay who can rightly be dismissed as all mouth and very tight trousers.