May 5th, 2015

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards).

Categories: Economics - General Tags:
  1. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 10:43 | #1

    Russell Brand has sold out and is now telling UK people to vote Labour.

    Brand said: “What I heard Ed Miliband say is that if we speak, he will listen. So on that basis, I think we’ve got no choice but to take decisive action to end the danger of the Conservative party. …

    When Brand was originally railing against supporting the status quo in 2013 he said:

    “It is not that I am not voting out of apathy. I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations”, …

    His conversion is being called a “coup” for Labour. And it is.

  2. Ikonoclast
    May 5th, 2015 at 11:37 | #2


    Almost all “personalities” are sell-outs, be they entertainers or politicians. It goes with the territory.

  3. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 11:51 | #3


    I see Brand’s selling out as naïve rather than, the more usual, cynical.

    He has drunk their Kool-Aid. If they win, and when they continue the neo-con project, he will try to rail against them but he will have no standing with the disenfranchised masses. The power duopoly were fearful of him because he had that standing. He’s trashed that now.

    I agree, it goes with the territory. But I was still slightly surprised in this case. As I said, that’s quite an impressive coup.

  4. plaasmatron
    May 5th, 2015 at 16:52 | #4

    Peter Garrett
    Dr Karl

  5. Fran Barlow
    May 5th, 2015 at 17:33 | #5


    Very disappointing, but not surprising, especially after his interview in which he spoke of Miliband knowing what the British people want.

    Maybe he’s tired of being a critic. Now he’s just another shill.

  6. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 17:48 | #6

    @Fran Barlow

    I don’t know, I’ve been following his actions and words reasonably closely over the last few years. I read his book, which was interesting rather than inspiring. But I think he is genuinely seeking change, just extremely naïve and/or gullible.

    His new friends will be careful to keep him encouraged that he has done the wise and pragmatic thing, and they will tell him not to mind the less enlightened, narrow-minded, mean-spirited critics. In his book he goes on a lot about his recently formed religious beliefs, they may have appealed to that side of his character (higher purpose, divine plan etc…?).

    I’d put Garrett in the cynical camp. Dr Karl is trickier, I’d guess naïve with a dose of self-rationalised cynicism.

  7. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 20:00 | #7

    So after all that scathing criticism of a corrupt and broken duopoly system, what is it that Brand wants everyone to vote for?

    UK Labour unveiled an 8ft high stone carved with their 6 election pledges.

    Ed Miliband explained the purpose:

    “These six pledges are now carved in stone, and they are carved in stone because they won’t be abandoned after the general election.

    “I want the British people to remember these pledges, to remind us of these pledges, to insist on these pledges, because I want the British people to be in no doubt – we will deliver them. We will restore faith in politics by delivering what we promised at this general election.”

    And the carving on the stone reads:








    If anyone thinks I’m joking, just search for it.

  8. Fran Barlow
    May 5th, 2015 at 20:26 | #8


    Right … so no mention of social justice, equity, inclusion, the environment or anything outside Britain. No mention of education, at any age, or housing (Russell Brand’s big thing) or the prison system, or media reform but they do mention keeping out foreigners.

    Really, they haven’t given Brand or his enthusiasts any cover at all. Brand should have held out for some fancy dissembling at least — you know ‘decent houses for all’ and ‘an end to corporate greed and improper media influence’ and ‘non-racist immigration policy’ … Fluffy stuff that he could have used to cover his naked capitulation.

  9. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 21:28 | #9

    @Fran Barlow

    Astonishing. They’ve actually arrived at the point where they carve their weasel word talking point mantras in stone, literally.

    And, as you point out, the only “pledge” that is concrete is “Controls on Immigration”.

    But….. “Cameron Would Be Worse”!


  10. zoot
    May 5th, 2015 at 21:32 | #10

    What are the odds Abbott tries carving his lies in stone next time?

  11. Megan
    May 5th, 2015 at 21:47 | #11


    Security would be an issue.

    He’ll have a hard time keeping Shorten from sneaking in at night an co-signing it.

  12. zoot
    May 6th, 2015 at 00:00 | #12

    Sad, but true.

  13. J-D
    May 6th, 2015 at 08:04 | #13


    ‘Controls on Immigration’ is no more concrete than, say, ‘Action on Rents’. Obviously the phrase ‘Action on Rents’ is supposed to make people think of action to lower rents, but that’s not part of the actual content of the words. Action to raise rents or action to keep rents unchanged would fall just as much within the definition of ‘Action on Rents’. In the same way, the phrase ‘Controls on Immigration’ is not intended to make people think of less restrictive controls on immigration, but those — or unchanged controls on immigration — would fall just as much within the definition of the phrase as would more restrictive controls on immigration.

    But how widely recognised is this verbal approach to total vacuity?

    I’ve just searched the Web for reactions and I keep finding ones that comment (justly) on the ludicrously gimmicky nature of the stone monument idea — but none that discuss the lack of concrete content. Why is that?

    Admittedly, the top hits on Google are all major news media websites, and all of those have to rely on near-vacuous abstractions to fill up space — but then, why do they supply that kind of content? Is it because of consumer preference?

  14. Fran Barlow
    May 6th, 2015 at 08:11 | #14


    I’ve just searched the Web for reactions and I keep finding ones that comment (justly) on the ludicrously gimmicky nature of the stone monument idea — but none that discuss the lack of concrete content. Why is that?

    Maybe stone is a better material (less likely to flake) than concrete, or they want to avoid puns about limey pledges?


    </channelling JD's oeuvre)

  15. Donald Oats
    May 6th, 2015 at 16:23 | #15

    Wonder if after the election, it will sink like a stone?

  16. Fran Barlow
    May 10th, 2015 at 05:53 | #16

    @Donald Oats

    The stone turned a foreshadowed minority Labour regime into a Conservative majority government. From Labour’s POV it was a millstone.


    Russell Brand now looks tarnished too, selling out for nothing.

  17. Megan
    May 10th, 2015 at 23:54 | #17

    @Fran Barlow

    On the bright side, Brand wants to unite people in a common cause….

    Now EVERYONE hates him, before it was about 50/50.

    Power to the people!

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