Russell Brand on voting | Halloween festivities

Russell Brand is guest editor for The New Statesmen and he’s written a surprisingly good essay about, what exactly is hard to say, but I would say it’s a sort of Russell Brand philosophy of everything. You can read it here – Russell Brand on revolution. It is very long but well worth reading. Here’s the BBC interview with him that goes with it:

Russell Brand has never voted. This is not because he’s apathetic, according to him, but because he feels disenchanted by the choices available. I feel the same way. I always vote, but this is only because I don’t want the suffragettes turning in their graves. They did, after all, fight very hard in order that I can vote today. Somehow I feel that my inability to decide who to vote for is akin to the dilemma of deciding what to wear each day and that is seriously disparaging of the vision the suffragettes fought for.

But is not voting at all any worse than voting for someone different each time because this is what I do. I have never voted for the same party in two consecutive elections. What does this say about me? Some people might say that I am fickle and they are probably right to a certain degree but I also think I just feel disenchanted with every politician I have voted for.

I have said before that I am not of any political persuasion and this is true. Russell quotes someone in his essay, “The right seeks converts and the left seeks traitors.” He also describes the left as not fun and way too serious. They preach from a pedestal of moral superiority which is vomit-inducing at best. But the right is so self-serving and uncompassionate and rather lax on environmental issues. So what’s a person to do?

I guess one solution is to cast a donkey vote. This is a deliberate stuff-up of your vote so that it ends up being invalidated and not counted. But the best solution would be if we could just have someone decent to vote for. Or, as Russell Brand might put it, first and foremost I just want someone fucking decent to vote for. Is that really too much to ask?


On other matters, I am a bad mother. It was a special dress-up Halloween day at school today and I forgot to organise a costume for Daniel. There were tears at the gate and, “why didn’t you get me a costume” accusations. Every other child was dressed up. All of the teachers were dressed up.

It wasn’t so much that I forgot but that I didn’t realise how much of a big deal the Halloween festivities were going to be. I reluctantly carved teeth and eyes into a pumpkin and we filled up bags of lollies and took them in earlier in the week but the costume bit I just glossed over because we don’t have any costumes here. Halloween is also not something we have ever celebrated. Why do people want to go knocking on the doors of strangers asking for lollies? Do I sound like a party-pooper?

I did not want to leave my child mortified and crying at school, so I dashed off to the charity shop and managed to find a pretty terrific furry hat with a 3D skull with wings coming out the sides. I also got him a skeleton wand and a creepy-looking spider. Then it was back to school with purchases where I saw that I was not the only one racing in late with costumes. Phew! With dressed-up and now happy child, disaster has been averted.