All parties these days are the same, it doesn’t matter which one you vote for.’ Nope, that’s just silly.
First things first, I actually think Russell Brand is quite funny. I’ve seen a couple of his shows and Scandalous in particular is a bit of a hoot. But now that his career has journeyed from coming up with cutesy names for his penis to political voice of my generation, I’m going to have to be a little bit more critical.
About 18 months ago Russell did an interview with professional smug bastard Jeremy Paxman and everyone went a bit weak at the knees. This was for two main reasons: firstly, Russell was addictively charming and eccentric in his usual manner, complimenting Jeremy’s beard and calling him darling; secondly, because he provided a get-out clause on voting.
He claimed we were at the end, and young people shouldn’t bother as it would make no impact on their lives, a glorious revolution was what was needed. No longer did people have to feel embarrassed about not voting, or not doing any research into whose policies they agreed with and whose they didn’t, or not caring remotely about who was in control of their future. Instead, the cries rang out of “yeah…yeah that’s why I don’t vote…what Russell said.”
Here’s what bothers me. More interviews, a Question Time and a book later and Russell Brand has managed to disguise apathy for some sort of anti-politics. Now, in the coming weeks you’ll probably see a lot of articles telling you why it’s your duty to vote and you shouldn’t take it for granted. This article is not one of them. I’m a politics student, so naturally the idea of democratically voting in a representative Parliament makes me all warm and tingly, but I get that other people are a lot less fussed. And hey, if you honestly couldn’t care less about who gets elected, I’m not going to lecture you that you should. Whatever gets you through the day is your business brother. Besides, I’m a semi-alcoholic student with no hobbies and the fitness of a 7 year-old; the day I start telling people how to live their lives is the day I deserve a swift punch to the groin. However, if you’re not going to vote, please accept it’s because you don’t want to vote and not subscribe to this idea that the country will be the same whoever you vote for.
It feels so patronising even stating the fact that who you vote for matters considering that most of the people reading this article will have about £18,000 more debt than I will because of the current government. On that topic, tuition fees may well be changed again, depending on who you vote for. Labour promise a mansion tax and an outlaw of zero-hours contracts, something my sister was subjected to for 10 months last year, whilst the Conservative’s vow to continue their economic recovery plan, under which the café which has been in my family for 30 years has returned to success after the difficult recession. I’m getting all personal here to try and make a point that the outcome of this election will affect you and your family. But hey, if you really want to mix things up vote UKIP and support the UK becoming the first country to leave the EU, or vote Green and support an entirely new way of living which believes in 0% economic growth, the legalisation of drugs and prostitution and a special Beyoncé tax. A liberal democrat majority would change the way we vote all together.
There is a vast variety of policy you can show your support for, but if you don’t vote, I hope you spend 7 May doing something worthwhile. Just don’t spend it thinking you’re a revolutionary in the Brand army; he made more sense when he was writing booky wooks about Mr Winkie Woo.