REVOLUTION Review by Geoff Gibbs
Laying my revolutionary cards on the table, I am a fan of Russell Brand and sympathise with most of what he has to say. Mr Brand has an awful lot to say about many things and despite his checkered past his heart is definitely in the right place.
Russell Brand’s Revolution was recently published by Random House in October of last year and is available in hardback only.
The genesis of this book was arguably born out of an interview with the political giant Jeremy Paxman on BBC Two’s Newsnight where Brand advocated that the politically disenfranchised abstain from voting where no preferred political option was present. Brand was given a very hard time by the press in the following months and I guess this is his considered response to mass media fury.
Brand writes from the hip and he uses a style that isn’t too dissimilar to his unique form of East London articulate vernacular. As you flip the pages you almost imagine Brand sitting in front of you and reading Revolution direct to you.
Let’s not be mistaken, Revolution is a self indulgent monologue that is sometimes confusing. Brand refers often to personal experiences to draw analogies with issues he raises and I often I thought ‘you just had to be there’ to make sense of the context. More often than not, he is spot on with thoughts and makes very concise points with comical pertinent comparisons of political and economic corruption.
Brand is not a tourist to poverty. Raised by a single mother in the depths of one the most socially deprived areas of the UK – Grays Essex.
Brand advocates a social revolution wherein, “corporate tyranny, ecological irresponsibility and economic inequality” come to an end. A worthy aspiration for all of us and society. The problem for some is that ‘Revolution’ doesn’t include a 10 point bullet list on how to achieve this lofty goal. Does it make ‘Revolution’ a hollow and senseless exercise? No! For those who have reached this conclusion, they are missing the point. Revolution isn’t a political manifesto but a ice breaker to start the conversation.
This book is important. As Nick Cohen of the Guardian states; Russel Brand is the nearest thing Britain has to a ‘Revolutionary Populist’. Brand champions the ideas of fairness, peace, equality, egalatarism and, dare I say, love. Revolution screams out, albeit muffled and obscurely, that the system is broken and it needs to be fixed for the benefit of us all.
Brand is seeking something all too utopian and it is a big ask!
However, agree with him or not – what is important is that this is the beginning of a discussion that needs to happen and only then will changes be made.