Friday, 6 December 2013

Three Ideas to Help Russell Brand Become Prime Minister

Many of us have seen the Jeremy Paxman, Russell Brand interview . It makes great watching and has gone viral.
Fair enough to Russell - not many people can manage Paxo like that - whilst he rightly identifies some big problems in society and the economy today. Whatever you think of this long-haired, exotic enigma, he's hugely articulate in his diagnosis.
Russell Brand for PM some shout and if he's ever to seize the keys to Number 10, here are three ideas I think could help him solve some of his major grievances with the world today.
Solving the riddle of inequality
Russell cites the problem of massive inequality today and how such a small number of people own all the wealth. All the while a growing under-class is emerging without education, hope or any stake in society.
He's not wrong there and stats from the USA are typical of what's been happening across the advanced world. Incomes for the top 1% in the US are up over 400% since 1979, whilst incomes for the great majority of normal people have possibly even declined in real terms.
People have a range of explanations for what's causing this trend in wealth inequality. Some argue it's because of failings in capitalism, greedy bankers or caused by education and skills differentials.
Another group argue that this inequality is being caused by the nature of money itself. They talk of something called 'fiat money' and how money printing leads to great social injustices where the elite constantly get richer at the expense of Joe Public.
I think Russell should take a look at this argument about money itself. There's a great YouTube video about it here.
If this money issue really is at the heart of it though, Russ, there's lots you can do about it. Perhaps the Bank of England could stop printing money and start printing your rizzlers? There's also new competition to government money today in the form of digital currencies and some of these new community-based monies are growing out of the UK - Feathercoin, a younger competitor to Bitcoin, is a good example.
How to return politics to the people
Another issue Russell is spot on with is his damning assessment of British politics.
I agree with him that no matter which way you vote all our politicians seem to have vested interests, paymasters outside of Parliament and are generally out of touch with the folks that voted them in. Others highlighting this problem have called it the 'cosy Westminster consensus', where a LibLabCon political elite operate in their own bubble.
Again there are differing opinions about what's gone so wrong with our democracy today and how we can clean it up make parliament more accountable and representative. Some of the best ideas I've seen bandied around include 'open primaries' and more regular by-elections.
Open primaries are said to create much more competition at the local level, where anyone can challenge the political incumbent and be voted in if they better represent local interests. Open primaries could help local people all over the country reclaim political power back to their constituencies and move beyond the today's tired, narrow party system.
More regular by-elections for MPs could also help us improve our politics, by making MPs more responsive to our needs and communities. Regular votes to retain our mandate prevent MPs from getting in and then breaking all their promises they made to us, as they tow the party line to further their own ends.
Well, there you are Russ, just a couple of ideas for you, in case they're useful.
Oh, and if this does help and you get into power and start having P Diddy-like parties in Downing Street; spare us an invite!

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