RUSSELL BRAND ON VOTING: RIGHT AND WRONG.

I have been following Russel Brand online recently and felt compelled to publish some thoughts I have had.

I usually vote but I agree with Russell Brand that, in the bigger picture, it's pretty much pointless.

I vote because I would like to keep local government, at least, in the hands of people who are actively involved with their community and who understand the "quiet desperation" of many of the powerless and weaker members of our world.
I prefer to have power in the hands of those who believe in affordable health and education etc and genuine community spirit and who don't try to sell industry over environment as marvelous employment and investment opportunities when they really mean "We'll tear down those trees, put up a smelly factory, the well-paying jobs will go through friends of mine to extravagantly-paid overseas experts and the local employees will be underpaid and have their union rights stripped away even a little further".

But I agree with what I believe Russell Brand is saying in that we can shuffle around all these political parties as much as we want and it makes not a bit of difference while the real power is in the hands of the super-rich and their friends in the major corporations and the military.
And that, at present, those people do not seem at all inclined to stop destroying our world in the name of greed.
If you are keeping on top of news regarding the natural environment to any extent, you will have realised that we actually are living in a time of unprecedented crisis.

Russell Brand has been chastised for mentioning "revolution" but not having a clear plan for one himself.
I would say that that is not his job to come up with one.
But he is "doing his bit".
As an entertainer and someone who has access to the eyes, ears and minds of many people world-wide he is doing exactly what he should be doing; he is trying to spread awareness.

I also have no clear plans for how a, presumably non-violent, revolution will work - but I'm still writing this!
And if I come up with a song about saving the world which is not cringingly awful and which might actually be inspiring then I will try to record and release it. That's what I can do.
I would be "doing my bit".
Perhaps one person who has been putting off really thinking about these issues will then confront them and suddenly come up with an idea simply because they read this ill-informed spiel or heard my song and then the planet and its inhabitants could gain a little grace.
Perhaps monkeys will fly.

I do, though, think that some of the criticism of Russell Brand regarding this issue has more than a faint whiff of "it's humbling time!" about it.
The old tall-poppy syndrome - which is not confined to New Zealand (although the smaller population can make its appearance that little more obvious).
Those who have lashed out at Mr Brand might seriously want to check their own motives because trying to silence anyone who is clearly working on the good side of the Force at this most desperate of crossroads could be a very short-sighted and foolish thing to be doing.

Don't take for granted that everyone is already as well-informed and motivated as you are.
Most people still seem pretty much oblivious to the seriousness of what is happening and they need to be nudged.

The video that prompted this can be seen here


Thanks for reading.

Martin Phillipps,
Dunedin,
November 2013.

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