The trial by media of Russell Brand

19 Sep

Can you imagine a sane world where this …

… and this …

… and this …

… drew more opprobrium from liberals than the alleged sexual misconduct of a man who, like the similarly targeted Julian Assange and Scott Ritter, does a better job of exposing the abuses of power than our systemically corrupt media do?

Tricky innit? Imagining such a world. What’s that you say, whataboutery?  Here are my thoughts on that charge, its emergence as a social media trope neatly coinciding with rising awareness of the crimes of those who rule. (And those whose ostensible job is to report those crimes – in full, at the time, and with an intensity of coverage proportionate to the scale of their wickedness.)

Meanwhile here’s Marina Hyde in The Guardian today, her prose peppered as ever with put-down and smear, doing just what she’s hired to do 1

For a certain type of mournfully uncool man on the left, Russell Brand was quite the excitement. You only had to watch their little faces in his presence – lit up at being fleetingly indulged by the kind of guy who would probably have bullied them at school … Brand’s inevitable journey 2 toward alt-right-frotting 3 wingnut was surely the ludicrously feverish speculation over whether he’d endorse Labour in the 2015 general election … Ed Miliband traipsed to Brand’s London flat … where committed non-voter Russell inquired rhetorically: “Since suffrage, since the right to vote, what has meaningfully occurred?” Nothing much, he reckoned. Somehow, this disqualifyingly moronic assumption did not deter his political acolytes. 4 [Emphasis added.]

I had no truck with any of this bollocks …

Well of course not Marina. You is the biz! But the piece you link to, to parade your credentials as one who has no truck with bollocks, opens with a reference to John Lennon’s Imagine. Of which you say:

 ‘Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.’ This is, of course, the old discredited communist dream … Sadly, when it was tried, that particular concept gave us Mao Tse-tung, Stalin and Pol Pot.”

Now this is  bollocks. For one thing, no possessions is not a communist dream. (Having wealth creation planned by and for humankind, as opposed to eco/genocidal market anarchy, comes nearer the mark.) It’s a strawman for those too smug and lazy to find out what communists do say. Try Marx, Marina. I hear he was one. Two, it was not imagining no possessions that gave us Pol Pot. Nixon-Kissinger’s raining down on Cambodia of more bomb tonnage than in the whole of WW2, and the mass hysteria and famine conditions it induced, did that. Do you suppose the Khmer Rouge marched the entire population of Phnom Penh out of the city because Pol Pot was a John Lennon fan? Or because the B-52s had seen to it that there was no way of feeding those people? We can say similar of Mao and Stalin but the arguments are lengthy and detailed. Let me know if you’re up for that level of debate. 5

– but I don’t think it will quite do for me to spend even a nanosecond on self-congratulation …

Yet you just did.

… because I got other things wrong.

This, for instance?


For his part, also writing in the Guardian today, Daniel Boffey targets Russell Brand’s “usual diet of conspiracy theories [and] critiques of the mainstream media”.

Now it’s my turn to offer a mea culpa.  I too was once critical, a priori,  of conspiracy theories. Not any more. See my posts on the subject here and here and here.

(In sum, these days I use ‘conspiracy theory’ neutrally unless I say otherwise. In which case I will object on evidential or logical grounds, not that it posits a conspiracy. To use the term in a-priori dismissal is lazy, stupid or in bad faith. If I say this too often it’s because I’ve too often seen the term’s boorish use by folk who deem themselves critical thinkers. FWIW my own culpability, re 9/11, flowed from confusing a Marxist view, of conspiracy as not needed to explain the logic of capital, with the non sequitur that 9/11 could not have been a false flag op.)

As for Brand’s “critiques of the mainstream media”,  I think I already covered that subject, in this piece and a zillion like it. So what do I think of the current furore? Well I’m not here to stick my neck out and say it’s all a tissue of lies to take down a man who, unlike most critics of our rotten status quo, reached millions rather than hundreds and thousands. I have to leave a lot of room for what I don’t know. Meanwhile I agree with all that Jonathan Cook says here:

A few thoughts on the Russell Brand furore

Almost no one seems willing to hold their tongue on the latest claims. Here are my observations: not on the allegations, but on all the noise

There are times when we would all be best advised to keep quiet and wait. But given that almost no one seems willing to hold their tongue on the latest claims being made about Russell Brand, I feel compelled – wisely or unwisely – to make a few tentative observations: not on the allegations, but on all the noise.

Let me preface these comments with an additional observation: It should be quite possible to hold more than one thought in one’s head at the same time. In fact, it is normally a pre-requisite for having anything interesting to say.

1. Allegations of sexual assault and rape are very serious indeed. They need to be investigated by police and, if found credible, tested in a court of law, where the alleged victims and the suspect are given the chance to make their case. Trial by TV is no substitute for such an investigation and trial. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

2. Brand has admitted to his past as a sex and drug addict. The Dispatches programme appears to have intentionally conflated long-standing, and well-known, “bad boy” behaviour with far more serious, potentially criminal allegations. That conflation does not strengthen the case against Brand. It muddies the waters. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

3. The media companies now fuelling the public mood via trial by TV are the very same companies that delighted in Brand’s sex-addict persona. As the Dispatches’ archival footage and testimonies make clear, those media corporations willingly exploited his persona – even allegedly at the risk of putting members of their staff and audiences in danger – to increase corporate profits. No one should regard them as good-faith actors in this latest development. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

4. In recent years, Brand has often argued that he went on a long and difficult personal journey of redemption, and that he is ashamed of the way he behaved in the past. There is at least ostensible evidence to back up Brand’s claims. There is zero evidence that the Dispatches documentary represents any kind of act of contrition by the media corporations now publicly reviling Brand for his behaviour. They haven’t seen the error of their ways. They are simply cashing in on Brand again – this time by bringing down the very celeb they built up. It’s all money in the bank for them. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

5. It is deeply unhelpful to focus on why these women delayed for so long in coming forward with their testimonies. It takes a lot of courage to take on a celeb when he or she is the toast of the world’s most powerful media corporations, and especially when the celeb in question is being celebrated by these powerful corporations precisely for flaunting their sexually predatory behaviour.

It does not follow, however, that the timing of these allegations is purely coincidental or of no interest. Most likely, these women are being listened to now, both because Brand is no longer the toast of Tinseltown, and, perhaps even more signifiicantly, because he has become an outspoken critic of the very corporations that once feted him. He speaks to many, many millions of young people with the authority of a celeb-turned-whistleblower. He is possibly the most influential critic of capitalism in the English language (depending on how one defines influential).

The fact that people over the age of 35 mostly don’t feel this way about him – or capitalism – is irrelevant. Or at least it is irrelevant to someone like Rupert Murdoch, who once made lots of money off Brand, and is now using his papers to pretend that the Murdoch empire cares about Brand’s alleged victims, rather than seeing them as a chance both to make more money from the Brand brand (this time without his consent) and damage an increasingly irritating high-profile critic of capitalism and corporate power. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

6. There has been a long-running, and annoying, tendency on the left to treat Brand as “rightwing” because he refuses to stick to the Democratic party line. I have written about this preposterous “left” yardstick before. Brand is on the left because he consistently and publicly supports the key issues that concern the left, as I explained here. The fact that he demurs from some of the left’s most unthinking, knee-jerk positions, and is prepared to consider some on the right as potential allies or listen to their arguments, doesn’t make him rightwing, except to the most unthinking, knee-jerk devotees of the left.

But these allegations are being cited by sections of the tribal left as definitive evidence that Brand is rightwing – apparently because they have decided, absent a trial, that he is guilty of sexual assault. This is childish. People on the left can, quite separately from their politics, be sexual predators. Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.

To which I’ll add only a repeat of what I implied at start of this post. That self avowedly progressive people can express far more outrage over allegations (be they ill or well founded) of sexual predation than they do over the war criminals who slaughter by the million speaks to a sick, very sick worldview.

* * *

  1. Here’s an amusing repurposing of Marina’s prose, when Guardian PR is called for, from poisoned pen to gushing nonsense:

  2. It is ludicrous, but common in IdPol circles, to call Brand ‘alt-right’. It is true that on some matters right wing voices – Peter Hitchens on Syria, Tucker Carlson on Russiagate – get closer to the truth than does the centre-left. But such smear by association is reminiscent of how arguments in defence of Palestinians are subjected, by the powerful Israeli lobby, to relentless online trawling for similar criticisms of the Jewish State on some neo-Nazi or virulently anti-Semitic site. At which the likes of The Jerusalem Post and Labour Friends of Israel jubilantly inform us that “Corbyn is an anti-Semite in bed with fascists!”
  3. Is the use of ‘frotting’ a Grauniad typo, or Hyde being homophobic? Pass.
  4. On the face of it, Brand’s claim – “nothing meaningful has happened since [universal] suffrage”  – is nonsensical. But while I don’t know the specific context, I imagine he was getting at the wider truth that democracy in the west is a sham, one reason being the degeneracy of Marina Hyde’s profession (see my recent take on a Catherine Bennett piece in the Observer). Democracy implies consent. Consent is meaningless unless it is informed. Informed consent requires truly independent media and that we do not have when, as Noam Chomsky observed, ‘our’ media are large corporations selling privileged audiences to other corporations. (There are other grounds for calling democracy a sham. Other grounds too, beyond advertising/sponsorship dependency, for calling corporate media systemically corrupt. This will do for current purposes though.)
  5. US Geological Survey puts Phnom Penh’s population at 1.2 million in 1971 but “swelled with war refugees to 2 million or more by 1975, when it was evacuated to almost nothing by the victorious Khmer Rouge”.  “Victorious” flatters the figures in black pyjamas who emerged eerily silent from the forest to take charge, with consummate ease, of a capital fear-crazed and starving. (US defeat by Cambodia’s next door neighbour, whose Ho Chi Minh Trail had drawn Cambodia and Laos into that vicious war of imperialism, made it a target for Nixon’s terror from the skies to create levels of chaos then unusual but now chillingly familiar from The War on an oil rich middle east Terror.) Thus did Day One arise. And while conditions in Mao’s China and Stalin’s USSR are less neatly reducible, these too arose amid the hostile response of Western ruling elites oddly disinclined to take a dispassionate view, as at some interesting social science experiment, of any attempt to build socialism. Note to self: must pen post on the smug ignorance of “we’ve tried socialism and it doesn’t work …”

13 Replies to “The trial by media of Russell Brand

  1. I have spent time with Russell. I’ve had fun with him – not THAT kind, just deep gossips about the world. Yes he’s made mistakes. Yes he has some regrets about past behaviour. But… he is intelligent, loving, courageous and very alive. He kept alive instinctual energies that most of humanity have buried. He lived for a while in an anarchic free-fall that has its own wisdom and a different understanding of what life is about. I’ve hung out with musicians, celebrities and all sorts and in the sexualised freedoms of this context many things happened that from the less charged climate of ordinary life are condemned as ‘wrong’. Before people go crazy on me I want to say this: I was at the first feminist conference in 1970. We were attacked on all sides and decreed as mad and ugly by the very mainstream media now pointing fingers at Russell. But we went for it. We raged and articulated for the first time how patriarchy had kept our freedoms locked away in the dungeons of the collective unconscious. We wanted love and freedom, sexual freedoms too. We were seeking new ways of living for children and animals and – yes- men too. We released our rage and hurt, our fears and hatred of the patriarchy. We allowed ourselves to come alive in ways not before available to women. And in doing so, among many liberations of our energy, men became our friends not our enemies. Many women have not gone through this direct cleansing of buried for and hatred of men and the patriarchy. It looks to me as if this rage is now emerging without any conscious awareness to contain it. But if you do not encounter these instinctual energies consciously they turn demonic. This natural anger is now therefore emerging as righteous attack. This is going to get us nowhere. Russell has made many enemies in the powerful entrenched privileged worlds of politics, media, corporations and so on. The world is getting darker and more destructive by the hour. I also have been attacked and judged for living life in a different way from others – by the media and others who do not understand such things. I have found a different kind of liberation in life itself other than the world. I hope Russell too finds the profound goodness of ordinary life as the world goes to hell. It’s heartbreaking to face this but false hope is now a form of denial. Goodbye world. Hello Life. Sorry if I am inarticulate in this post. I am very upset and angry.

    • It’s not remotely inarticulate Anne, and I’m super appreciative of hearing from a woman who knew the guy. Many thanks!!

    • Dear Anne,
      Phil was right to speak as he did to you. I thoroughly enjoyed your words and hope to read more about you – from you, in future posts.
      I was leaving Morrisons and passed the newsstand and every paper was leading with big photos of Russel Brand, mainly because such trash is perceived as news and thought “here we go again, the man hasn’t even been convicted but he is guilty anyway”. And for the record: “Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.” I’ve had my share of such encounters, survived intact but wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.
      We are seeing more of this kind of thing because it has worked in the past. I remember the Feminazi going after Jeffrey Rush based on a later recanted remark and she admitted that her remark was never intended to be a rebuff of the legendary Mr. Rush, but that didn’t stop the corrupt MSM going after him as though it was a slam dunk.
      Women these days(because of your courage and defiance and energy)have much more freedoms than they ever could have imagined 50 years ago, but the pendulum is oft swinging, as is it’s want, in the totally opposite direction. I knew someone whose wife wanted him gone and she told him she would be quite happy to tell the police that he had molested her spotty, fat and sluttish daughter of 17 if he didn’t leave. He was utterly destroyed by the whole idea. He left and squatted with his mum.
      I don’t know Russel Brand and never really clicked with him, but I certainly won’t be judging him until the facts are known.
      I prefer to think of myself as being capable of independent thought rather than a sheep following the flock. It worries me that many others are so willing to jump on any available bandwagon or happy to virtue signal without the prerequisite knowledge needed to join the fashion crowd.
      Glad you posted what you did, I don’t feel quite the outsider I thought I might be.
      I repeat: “Pointing this out does not mean one is condoning rape or sexual assault.”
      Just in case there is any confusion.
      Best wishes,
      Susan 🙂

      • Thank you Susan! I am very appreciative of what you wrote as I was nervous after my splurge – I thought I’d be in for a hammering. What a precious little corner this is for some sane and intelligent dialogues about this and that and whatever. So thank you too to Phil for creating it and fostering this space. On we go!

  2. Hi Phi,
    Glad you posted this, the reason is in my reply to Anne (what a star she is!). I enjoyed and agree with the many points both you and Jonathon set forth. As you know, I tend to side with your opinions precisely because they are well reasoned and pragmatic, something I find reassuring in this Alice in Wonderland world we currently live.
    Hope you are well,

    Susan 🙂

    • Thanks Susan. To pick up on a couple of things in your reply to Anne:

      … the man hasn’t even been convicted but he is guilty anyway …

      As in other arenas – the ludicrous call of many UK Remainers for a second referendum springs to mind – liberals show they don’t see or don’t care about the perils. On Brexit the likeliest result of a second vote would have been a wafer thin majority to overturn the first: i.e. a recipe for civil war. On allegations of sexual misconduct liberals seem heedless of the danger of abandoning the presumption of innocence, #MeToo fashion.

      Women these days (because of [Anne’s] courage and defiance and energy) have much more freedoms than they ever could have imagined 50 years ago, but the pendulum is oft swinging, as is it’s want, in the totally opposite direction.

      Indeed. I dare say Dave Hansell will have something to say along these or similar lines. You there, Dave?

  3. This observation from a few years back would seem to more than adequately cover the issue:

    The postmodern emphasis on ‘narrative’; and rejection as old fashioned, quaint and uncool all talk of an external reality — independent of our thought processes but in principle accessible by empirical methods — has served, as some prescient souls warned decades ago that it would, thoroughly reactionary ends. If there’s no knowable reality, then all manner of key principles are eroded — such as the distinction between being accused of something, and being found guilty of it!

    Now I wonder who said that?

    Maybe you were thinking about this kind of thing coming from someone who self-identifies as being on the ‘left’ Phil?

    My advice to Labour Party members is that it is never OK to respond to allegations of racism by being defensive. The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement.

    Rebecca Long-Bailey MP

    Seems reasonable to argue that what you think is very much influenced, perhaps even determined, by how you think. I spent most of my working life and daily hours in employment and tasks outside employment in an engineering environment because that’s how I think. Consequently, you get into the habit of approaching everything from that perspective. Particularly when you OD’d on Systems at the OU.

    As a result you get into the habit of focusing on fundamentals like ‘does this work’ and ‘does this do what it says on the tin’. Because if it doesn’t you are very quickly up shit creek. And that kind of approach involves valuing very highly features like consistency across different contexts.

    The Brand case is yet another example of a breakdown of processes that work – as a result of being tried and tested over considerable periods of time. In this case due process which, in an increasing number of everyday examples, are either not being applied at all or are applied inconsistently to suit particular convenience.

    A matter I covered here just over two years back:

    That piece relied heavily on an analysis given by Jewish scholar Brian Klugg nearly ten years ago (video and text link in appendix note 8) which highlighted the inconsistencies in both due process and analysis from a pick and mix approach for nefarious purposes.

    And we see multiple examples at various levels every day:

    – Assange has not even had a trial over allegations which, on investigation, clearly fit Klugg’s description of a dot used for political purposes.

    – Alex Salmond was found not guilty yet is treated by the entire Political and Professional Managerial Class across both Scotland and Westminster as guilty and therefore cancelled.

    – Craig Murray went to prison for something other journalists were guilty of doing but were given a free pass.

    You could fill a ream of paper with similar high profile cases from ‘Putin’ to ‘Trump” (Russiagate); or, going the other way the Biden Laptop to Hilary Clinton who get protected. Not to mention Douma, Salisbury, and example after example of false flags.

    All to protect a fantasy narrative which, whilst it does not stand up to even the most cursory scrutiny, doesn’t work and does not do what it says on the tin.

    And the key point here is that when those such as Brand, Assange, Salmond, Murrey, et al fall foul of this abuse of reality what bloody chance has the ordinary person in the street got?

    You could ask for example, just to focus on what is being sold as the “alternative”, Labour Party members who are suspended on the basis of allegations in which, in a reversal of all principles and standards of due process, they have to prove their innocence rather than those making the allegations having to prove their case. Or Party Units and even Local Authorities* which are disbanded and taken over and run from the center.

    * The example of what happened and is happening in Sheffield City Council and its Labour Group (which unlikely to be alone on this issue) is a harbinger of worse to come. But that’s another story.

    What would a legal and judicial system look like for the Country if it were run on the lines of the way the Labour Party – HM’s Loyal opposition – is being run right now?

    Its not a long way from this Starmer interview with Trevor Phillips on Sky TV this last Sunday…..

    … which Starmer very clearly (5 minutes to around five minutes 45 seconds) puts the families of any refugee children coming over on boats very clearly in the category of terrorists to these kinds of scenes regularly seen in Ukraine:

    A process which we have seen before elsewhere and which does not end well. I’ll cover/continue that theme later as I have to be elsewhere right now.

    • Thanks Dave. I agree of course. And that quote, paragraph two, has a familiar ring …

      Postmodern abandoning of the notion of objective reality does indeed have a corollary in the abandoning of the presumption of innocence but there are caveats. One is that what you observe in the Labour Party – and the dangers of Long-Bailey’s remark – operated also under Khmer Rouge, McCarthyism and Thatcher’s attacks on her party’s ‘wets’. I’m not arguing against my own words, as quoted by you, but adding a caveat. I think we’d both see postmodernism’s excesses as useful but not essential to guilt by association and the jettisoning of innocent till proven guilty.

      A second caveat is narrowly specific. A case can be made for publishing allegations of sexual assault on the ground they may encourage others (women, or children at the time) who do not know one another, so cannot have colluded, to step forward and secure the conviction of a guilty man who’d otherwise get off. (The 1915 Brides in the Bath murder trial established the legal principle – the judge overruling defence objections to separate murder charges being considered together – of quantity changing quality when it comes to ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. One drowned bride with life insurance policy may be seen as misfortune; three starts to look capitally careless.) But the dangers are clear and both sides of the argument are explored in my post of seven years ago. Downsides include the reality that (a) it is increasingly hard to rule out collusion in the age of social media and (b) in at least one of the cases you cite, Alex Salmond, his accusers not only did know one another but had a common interest in taking him down.

      An “interest in taking him down” brings us to a highly salient aspect of the current furore. I’m often asked if I fear ruling class retribution, by fair means or foul, for what I write here. Call me complacent but there are two reasons I don’t. One is that, lacking the resources of an investigative team, I may bring readers’ attention to specific accusations damaging to power but am never the primary source. Julian Assange was. This made him a threat.

      The other is that my criticisms of a rotten status quo are not followed by millions. Russell Brand’s are. This makes him a threat.

      (On that last, I haven’t done a comprehensive analysis but my reading of several Graun pieces, and scanning of headlines across the Overton Window of ‘our’ media, showed that every one of the brutal attacks – by rightwing and liberal media alike – on a man accused of sexual misconduct found time, Marina style, to trash his ‘daft’ politics!)

      As ever your comment is packed with vital stuff but I’ll stop here and give others a look in.

  4. ‘Starmer’! Anyone with any residual faith in the ability of the ‘Labour’ party to be anything more than a Trojan Horse only has to examine its election of Starmer to the position of ‘leader’ to see how delusional such faith is.

  5. To try and pick up where I left off previously….

    The Brand issue is getting some pushback. See here at the Liberal site Unherd:

    Some of the BTL discussion on that above linked piece highlights the fact that the State, in the personage of the chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has already written to at least two Social Media providers (Rumble & Tik Tok) in the following terms:

    ““We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Brand is able to monetise his content, including his videos relating to the serious accusations against him. If so, we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.”

    And to TikTok:

    “… we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform.
    We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Brand is able to monetise his TikTok posts…”

    Rumble has told her to metaphorically stick her letter where the sun doesn’t shine.

    If you scroll down the BTL comments on the piece you will find an extremely interesting comment from a poster with the handle “Nik Jewell’ containing two links – one to a register of interest for Dame Dinenage – and another more interesting one to her husband, one Baron Mark Lancaster: who was Deputy Commander of the 77th Brigade between 2018-2020.

    We are clearly in the realm of Brian Kluggs misuse of allegations for a political purpose dot.

    The point here is that in terms of those such as Brand, Assange, Corbyn and a host of other similar figures such unproven allegations to frame a narrative and undermine inconvenient truths and those who tell them represents merely one tool in a toolkit which utilises different tools towards the same end depending on the level and situation.

    Because its not just Brand getting this treatment for going off piste with his narrative. Take for example, Stop the War – which whilst I might have issues with it over certain nuances – is getting the treatment from all quarters:

    “This week, the Stop the War Coalition showed how hollowed out that coalition has become. As Trades Union Congress (TUC) delegates met in Liverpool, they were castigated by Stop the War for overwhelmingly backing Composite 21, a motion supporting Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion. It tweeted: “If Congress adopts this motion it will be taking a position supportive of the Tory govt’s war policy in Ukraine.” Portraying TUC delegates as Tory supporters, pro-Nato and apologists for imperialism is laughable.

    Composite 21 was passed overwhelmingly at TUC Congress in Liverpool, with only a handful of delegates opposed.

    The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs – the bulwark of resistance to New Labour’s military adventures – is, like the TUC, overwhelmingly united in solidarity with the Ukrainian people against the Russian invasion. Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke at a Ukraine Solidarity Campaign meeting alongside trade union leaders on Tuesday night in Liverpool.

    Ian Lavery (a former president of the National Union of Mineworkers) and Nadia Whittome, a former trade union rep, both sent video messages expressing their support for the position adopted by the TUC. According to the warped minds of the withered remnants of the now grandiosely-named Stop the War Coalition they are “backing the Tories”.”

    This represents only a snapshot of a wider attack on another source which challenges The Official Narrative (TON). Another set of examples which I have alluded to (but which would take up to much space and deserves a separate treatment) is the way the LP Central Office has taken over the Labour Group in Local Authorities like Sheffield in order to control not only elected Councillors but also the narrative.

    Ditto for LP Units.

    These are the Government in waiting don’t forget.

    This mirrors the same devolving control (rather than democracy) down to the very lowest level which a lot of us experienced twenty odd years or more back during the EU Objective One Regeneration Funding process. Where community groups seeking to access funding for local projects but who were independent of the control of the local political class (regardless of nominal Party rosette) were systematically undermined, bullied, vilified, smeared and bypassed. Often via the creation of mirror organisations under the control of the local political/professional and managerial class and their local cadre within local communities right down to the Ward level.

    For sure, you don’t end up in a gulag. However, the ability to effect change by challenging The Official Narrative (TON) is negated via all sorts of ways regardless of how many or few one might be reaching. It was not, for example, only the Canadian truckers who had their rigs and bank accounts removed from them the other year. Many of those who donated even small insignificant sums to their crowdfunder lost their bank accounts at the time.

    On which subject; Farage may well have had his Coutts bank account restored – and the Establishment are already whitewashing that issue by officially reporting that such practices of losing ones bank account for ones political views do not take place. However, Farage is, like Brand and Corbyn among others, a high profile figure. How would would any of us know how many ordinary people at our level fall victim to such practices in an increasingly atomised society in which information and narratives are so tightly controlled and managed?

    How do we know whether or not for every Stock or Forstater or Lineham there are an unknown number of similar less high profile cases of people who have lost jobs, livelihood, tenancy, home, bank account, etc for going against The Official Narrative which no one ever gets to hear about in order to provide some kind of solidarity? A crowdfunder? A meeting? Alternative Media coverage?

    Or who have been harassed in ways which forces them to devote limited time to defending themselves which is no longer available to challenge the TON?

    Horses for courses.

    And, as detailed in this piece….

    …..this is a process that does not stand still:

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head…..

    …..Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow….

    ….But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy.”

    – They thought they were free: Milton Mayer.

    The fact that this is a very effective and successful process of Narrative Control, among other features, over a considerable period on time is recognised in observations about the failure or the ‘left’, its project and narratives, in making any serious progress throughout the West. Meaning that States like China have to adapt to that reality.

    The Brand case is part and parcel of a much wider phenomena in which what has long been assumed to be civilised norms across the collective West – due process being merely one of them – are systemically managed out of society increment by increment.

    As Michael Hudson in “The Collapse of Antiquity” alludes to (rather than spells out) this failure to facilitate effective systemic change on an ossifying Oligarchy – which would rather see the extinction of life itself rather than compromise on their total control of everything – can only end in one way unless outside (of the West) intervention is imposed to eliminate the parasite entirely.

  6. Thanks Dave. Your comment says everything I have been trying to grasp with realisation only recently coalescing into understanding of what has been happening.
    At least I can understand the words even if I am unable to articulate them, especially as my dementia is wreaking havoc faster.
    Now you know why I read Phil’s offerings.
    On another note, but still on topic, I donated to CN fall drive again through GoFundMe as usual, bearing in mind that certain people have been gunning for it,(CN) only to have Max send emails to all those donating to the site via GFM to request a refund because GFM had withheld the funds, even refusing to take calls regarding the missing funds and NOT informing the donors of their activities. GFM had obviously been gotten to. I wrote to the Director of GFM and told them I was aware of their abysmal failure and attempt to defraud and paid CN via another funding platform.


  7. The ‘why now?’ question:

    “The answer is that though Brand, like most readers of this esteemed journal, goes against the prevailing narrative, his prominence affords him the opportunity to make a far greater splash than any of us can do. He has, at the time of writing at least, his own very popular youtube channel (which, at the very time of writing, NATO has just demonetised) and he not only gets to interview fellow high-profile heretics like Tucker Carlson and Robert Kennedy Junior but he also appears on prime time NATO TV where he expounds on topics like the CIA’s role in Covid and Ukraine where he goes against the CIA’s narrative. All that being so Brand, as the Mafia would put it, has to go.

    And, in Brand’s case, that means a massive hatchet job on his already very sullied character. Which, if you think about it, might well be a lighter sentence than the bullet which awaits RFK who has chosen to take the same Grassy Knoll route as did his late father and uncle, POTUS JFK.”

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