UK media carried forth two interesting socio-political moments this week in the form of unexpected statements about the general state of things. First up, comedian Russell Brand, fresh from a gig guest editing The New Statesman magazine. Second, former British PM Sir John Major.
Major, now 70, hit out at his classmates running the UK who are allowing an increase in the price of natural gas. Brand, not yet 40, got emotional about the need to quit voting and ditch poisonous political systems that are wrecking the poor and the planet. Brand’s animation put a veteran journalist onto the back foot with a straightforward call for lefty revolution in consciousness and pretty much everything else from ending tax havens and curtailing corporate power and abuse to serving the poor and addicted, two states Brand knows well from experience. Sir John pointed out that the price increase for natural gas is above a reasonable reflection of gas company costs and capital needs.
Brand’s statement was custom made for the age of the Internet and social media where it is still racking up the metrics. Major’s statement is more grown up stuff: very specific, about cause and effect, delivered from the point of view of an elder statesman, successor to no less than Margaret Thatcher. Major told his Tory old boys that if the gas price increase goes forward many people in Britain will have to choose between heating and food this winter. Both men contrasting individuals yet authors of political statements with a great deal of portent. Interesting and delightful. If there was such a thing as a suburban-poverty.com lapel pin both would receive one at no cost via the freshly privatized British post office.
Russell Brand on the revolution: we no longer have the luxury of tradition
Dangerous Minds with link to Paxman interview on YouTube 10:46 and to New Statesman
Sir John Major calls for windfall tax on energy profits
BBC News with video of Sir John and a rebuttal of the windfall tax from shadow energy minister
image: via Wikimedia Commons