Thursday, 31 October 2013


How about this ...

1) The whole thing has very little to do with class, or, more accurately, the main issues of contention don't. That's not to say that class isn't very important to the wider arguments and to Russell Brand's personal narrative in general, just that it seems to have been introduced in a slightly irrelevant fashion in this instance. To be honest, I blame Facebook and its universe of crossed wires.

2) Debating Russell Brand's sexual politics is valid and necessary.

3) Overwhelmingly, the Newsnight interview was a brilliant, inspiring, moving, and somewhat out-of-the-blue incursion into mainstream discourse of certain key tenets of left politics. It is difficult to quantify the actual efficacy of something like this, but even if just on the level of morale and affirmation of political belief, hope and empowerment, Brand's intervention was magnificent.

4) As such, a real danger - and without wishing to misrepresent anyone else's argument, what I think the slightly mis-aimed criticisms of "identity politics" were trying to get at - is that a hugely positive (not to mention somewhat rare) assertion of left values in a space where that might actually mean something becomes nullified and negated by discussions about Brand's individual class and sexual credentials that, while clearly massively important in a wider sense, are not directly, immediately relevant to his statements about widening inequality, the moral bankruptcy of mainstream politics, the imaginative possibility of revolution, and so on.

5) The overall effect of this sort of nullification/negation is impasse, disillusionment, infighting, those "classic left-wing" curses, and leaves the door open for people further to the right to come in and truly dismantle what could have been a subversive and inspiring moment in cultural discourse.

6) Case in point: that wondercunt from Peep Show, who now comes out as a weirdly impassioned Blairite ultra, lecturing Brand in the New Statesman this week with all the snideness and callow intelligence of a public school debating team captain: "We tried [revolution] again and again, and we know that it ends in death camps, gulags, repression and murder. In brief, and I say this with the greatest respect, please read some fucking Orwell".

7) Do you think Robert Webb realises that Fucking Orwell was in fact a novelist, and not a political historian, much less a prophet of twenty-first-century hopes and dreams?

Monday, 28 October 2013


Sublime sounds from Newcastle's most insanely talented button-presser Calum Howard.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


A grey wraith in a blue leather case,
Still a marvel in some respects;
Reminder of a sci-fi world,
Of buried futuristic sects.

After 1979
Our reeling hopes were all erased,
But the last tape can be wiped again
And the dreaming past can be rephrased.