In the final hours before the UK election on 8th May, Russell Brand, who has been called the second most influential person in British politics, did a complete turn-around.
He called out for all UK citizens to vote to get the current Conservative government out.
But in October 2013, he argued that voting for any established political party was a waste of time, and claimed that if we wanted meaningful, realistic and rapid societal change, we needed much more than voting—we needed a revolution.
So what changed?
Despite the indisputable impact that Russell Brand’s view on not voting has had on politics, the ubiquitous argument made about politics today remains that voting for an established party is the only way that we can expect to see positive change.
Brand’s response to this was to do something truly unprecedented.
With the help of director Michael Winterbottom, Brand rushed the release of a documentary in cinemas across the UK that clearly outlined the injustice of ever-increasing austerity for everyone throughout Britain, Europe and the USA.
It cites examples such as the £131 billion paid out by UK tax payers, and the $30 trillion paid out by US tax payers, to bailout the bankers and keep corruption within current financial systems afloat.
Not only that, immediately following the first screenings of the documentary on 21st April, Brand broadcast a live event to everyone in the 200 cinemas nationwide calling for people to get involved in a new restructuring of society in the interest of the masses.
I was there, and for me such an action seems revolutionary in and of itself.
Brand’s argument is not that we should now support established politics; instead, it is that we should vote for the established political party that is most willing to listen to us, and then join together from the ground up to make our voice heard.
In his book Beyond Happiness, Anthony Seldon, a UK head teacher famous for his beliefs in holistic education and the in-school teaching of happiness puts it like this:
“When we experience pleasure, the ‘I’ is more important than anyone else: we see others as objects. But to achieve happiness, we must treat others as equals. To experience joy, others become more important than ourselves: our whole aim becomes to serve.”
In other words, in every true buddha there is an activist, because the greater good we do for others, the happier we all become.
On Friday 17th April, I happened to catch a single party political broadcast by a group of people calling themselves TUSC, or the “Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.” This group does not propose the creation of a new political party within the current political structure, but instead is forming a coalition of working people from all walks of life interested in offering an alternative to the established parties.
I felt a passionate compulsion to bring all these ideas together. I looked through recent footage from Russell Brand’s YouTube channel to formulate a linear narrative that explains why Russell Brand has been claiming all this time that we should not vote for the established political parties, and explores the deeper political message—what is the long-term alternative?
So what do you think?
How can we create a realistic, better alternative to the current political system?
And now that the Conservatives are back in power in the UK, what does this mean for those of us who want an alternative?
‘The Trews Behind Politics’ is a sincere and genuine call to action. It asks everyone to start thinking about the bigger picture. All political systems (whether capitalist, communist, fascist or any other) are currently contributing to the systematic extinction of all life on our planet, and the film encourages us to seriously think about the legacy that the system today is leaving for the children of tomorrow—our children.
There has never been a more crucial time for people the world over to come together and discuss realistic options for a better system, a system that serves the well-being of all life on planet Earth, our home.
I am also proposing to organise a free conference and invite a variety of speakers from different movements whose collective cause is rapid positive societal change so that we can make the world a better place for the future. You can read more, register your interest, and suggest speakers for the proposed conference here.
No one person can change the world. We can only do that it if we come together.
Please share this article and encourage others to join in the debate! Now more than ever we need to keep talking.
Author: Robito Chatwin
Apprentice Editor: Khara-Jade Warren; Editor: Alli Sarazen
Image: secretlondon123/ Flickr