Russell Brand – soap-dodger, lech, former husband of the infinitely more talented Katy Perry – is the most irritating person on earth. This much we knew. But I don’t think any of us realised just HOW irritating till his most recent appearance on BBC Newsnight last night in which, besides revealing himself to be a 9/11 Truther, he also emerged as a preening, ignorant, manipulative bully with disturbing communist and Islamist tendencies.
If you haven’t watched the segment yet then don’t. Really, don’t. I’ve done it for you and the horror will haunt me for weeks.
1. Russell Brand is a 9/11 truther.
Asked by interviewer Evan Davis about the suggestion in his new book Revolution that the destruction of the Twin Towers looked like “controlled explosion”, Brand became characteristically evasive.
Davis: “Do you think that the Twin Towers were destroyed by agents of the American government?”
Brand: “You can read the book in whatever manner you would like to.”
Pressed by Davis, Brand then went on:
2. Brand is an Islamist shill
Davis: “Most people would argue that it is ridiculous to suggest that anyone other than Al Qaeda destroyed that building.”
Brand: “What I do think is very interesting is the relationship that the Bush family have had for a long time with the Bin Laden family. What I do think is very interesting is the way that even the BBC report the events in Ottawa to subtly build an anti-Islamic narrative. I think that’s very interesting.”
3. Brand can’t see a stick without grabbing the wrong end
In a rant on energy, Brand describes a Britain in which “energy companies are subsidised by taxes while renewable energy is ignored.”
Er, Russell, renewable energy is the energy form most heavily subsidised by taxes – and precisely because, far from being ignored, it is being incentivised by government regulation.
4. Brand is all mouth and no trousers
A “Pope is Catholic” point, I know. But it really was quite extraordinary the lengths to which Brand went to avoid discussing something he had written in his book and which was then quoted by Davis: “Let’s kill General Motors. Let’s take it back from the shareholders, scribble out the name and the logo and let’s use its resources for something more valuable.”
If Brand is prepared to type this tripe and then benefit from it financially as herds of Occupy-style idiots rush to buy his book, why is he so unwilling to justify his position?
5. Economics to Brand is like garlic to a vampire.
Davis gently pointed out one of the flaws in Brand’s ‘argument’ on General Motors.
“Do you know who owns it?” he asked. “The United Autoworkers’ Union owns a chunk; the Canadian government owns a chunk…”
Brand’s response was akin to Damien’s in Omen II when his parents try to take him into a church.
And if you thought that was bad, you should have seen how Brand reacted when Davis tried to show him a graph.
“I ain’t got time for a bloody graph”, he said.
6. Brand is a demagogue in the tradition of Alex Salmond, Hugo Chavez, Che Guevara.
Never mind the fine details, just keep repeating the slogans, keep intoning the boo words and the mob will love you for it.
Brand: “Evan are you seriously telling me that corporations like Monsanto and Pfizer…” (turns sidewise to appeal to imaginary audience of approving listeners: Brand uses this technique A LOT) “…are operating on behalf of us ordinary people.”
Davis never said this. He never even implied it. But this doesn’t bother Brand. What matters is that he can slip in the names of companies he knows his target audience hate.
Warming to his theme, he subsequently attacks “corporations like Vodafone, Amazon, Google that don’t pay their taxes.”
This, as Brand knows, is Occupy gold.
7. Brand is an unconscionable bully
Has he done NLP or do these techniques come naturally to him? Certainly, Brand seemed to spend most of his (mightily generous) 15 minutes of BBC airtime trying to find new ways to intimidate and dominate and belittle the unfailingly polite and almost superhumanly patient Davis.
His techniques included:
Stroking (gay) Davis’s leg and pawing his hand to make him uncomfortable [“You’re much more tactile than that Jeremy [Paxman] Geezer. He hated it when I touched his leg”]
Leaning back in his chair and opening his legs to flaunt his crotch, like some alpha male baboon showing everyone who is boss.
Snide little putdowns, like “I don’t know wevver it’s affected the people you hang out wiv, Evan, where you drink…”
Fist shaking and finger-wagging in Davis’s face.
Constant interruptions: “You’re a big cheese. Sharpen up!”
Near-total refusal to respond to any of Davis’s questions straightforwardly and honestly.
Passive-aggressive feigned victimhood: “Now Evan I hope you’re not gonna use this opportunity for you, an Oxford-educated economist, to come on the TV and be rude to me, an autodidact and a self-educated man, for simply trying to suggest there might be an alternative to corporate hegemony.”
8. Brand is nowhere near as articulate as he thinks he is
An “autodidact” is a “self-educated man”, you grandiloquent twonk.
And the “g” in “hegemony” is hard.