Love him or hate him, think he is genuine or believe he is using politics to build a popular image of himself – it doesn’t really matter. Russell Brand is bringing radical, left-wing politics to the mind of the public.
Brand himself was recently hounded by the establishment for saying that the mainstream parties are not worth voting for and for instead encouraging people not to vote unless there are people worth voting for. On this point, Brand is absolutely right and this is nowhere more relevant than in the North where, on many occasions, the only choices on offer are the sectarian parties of Green and Orange or the openly neo-liberal Alliance Party. A vote for any of these parties is a vote for the continued sectarianism that we see daily come from Stormont and the continuation of the austerity policies that will ravage the working class in this country for years to come.
He has since said that if a party SYRIZA was to emerge in Britain that he would lend them his vote.
Is it any wonder that Brand’s call for revolution has struck a chord with so many? We are now seeing the reforms won by our parents and grandparents being stripped away by the greedy politicians with the interests of big business firmly on their mind and with no regard for the working poor. This shows that the idea that reform will bring better living and working conditions is an illusion as all gains of the working class can be quickly stripped away from us while economic and political power is left in the hands of a tiny elite. This is made clear by the dismantling of the welfare state and the NHS; it is clear that the only way to truly change society is through revolution, through the mass of ordinary people taking the society’s wealth into our collective ownership and building a truly democratic society.
Brand himself has shown that he is far more concerned with the ordinary people of Britain than our “elected representatives” in parliament, he has shown this by his active role in the housing issue in east London where he has worked with our comrades to fight against the mass evictions of working class people in the east of the city.
Brand, along with Socialist party activists has been vocally and actively opposed to these evictions that would see many working class people displaced and sent hundreds of miles away to ‘alternative’ housing in Birmingham!
Brand has also lent his support to the anti-water charges campaign in the south, where hundreds of thousands of people have come onto the streets in protest at the implementation of water charges by the pro austerity coalition government currently in place. Brands support has, in a way, helped to popularise this campaign which has taken off after Socialist Party member Paul Murphy won the Dublin South-West by election on an anti-austerity ticket.
Socialist Youth stands for the polar opposite of the main parties at Westminster and Stormont, we stand for the oppressed in society, the poor who work countless hours for starvation wages. We stand for workers unity, the coming together of workers from across the divide to fight for a better future against the sectarianism that we see come from Stormont. We believe that the big corporations that are determined to see the poor get poorer should be brought into public ownership and that the wealth that we create should be owned by society as a whole and that the economy should be planned democratically by the workers in order to benefit all within society.
We recognise that the only way to fundamentally change society is through mass struggle. If you agree with the need for a change in society then your next step is to do something about it, get active. The socialist party organises across Ireland and Britain and campaigns everyday on the defence of our NHS, the fight for decent housing, pay and pensions and against the corrupt Stormont parties and we further the idea of revolution and the changing of society as a whole.