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Posted on 12 December 2014 at 17:04 GMT

Russell Brand, photo by Paul Mattsson

Russell Brand, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Question Time

Fight the "pound shop" politicians

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Ben Robinson

The cheers for Russell Brand taking on UKIP leader Nigel Farage were not only in the Question Time audience, but in living rooms around the country as Brand took on Farage in Farage's home territory of a BBC broadcasting studio:

"There is a sense that there is a corrupt group in our country, using our resources, taking away our jobs, taking away our housing, not paying taxes, exploiting us. And there is! There is an economic elite that [Nigel Farage's] party is funded by ...

"Let me tell you something. There was an economic crash and a lot of money was lost. His mates in the City farted; Nigel Farage is pointing at immigrants and the disabled and holding his nose".

Russell Brand also spoke in support of the firefighters, on strike earlier this week against attacks on their pensions and on union activists; health workers saving lives while facing attacks on their living standards; against career politicians 'in it for themselves', and he was a rare voice putting forward ideas of struggle.

Like in many pubs, cafes and workplaces around the country, the tittle-tattle of what Labour and Conservative politicians had to say was largely ignored.

Farage attempted to appeal in a populist way to fears, pointing to the reality that many are unable to access decent services.

He evaded questions on the privatisation of public services, while Mary Creagh attempted to justify Labour's record in government - which had started the ball rolling for the Con-dems' attacks.

Brand on the other hand pointed to the 71 MPs who stood directly to gain from further sell-offs in the health service.

With the general election looming next May, the choice between the big-business attack dogs of the Conservatives, or their tacky rip-off copies in control of Labour is daunting.

Brand was right when he suggested that one person alone can be 'absorbed into the system'.
But imagine firefighters, CareUK workers, nurses, zero-hour contract workers and other trade unionists and campaigners all standing together on a common, principled platform. That is what the Socialist Party is helping to build in the form of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

We can fight back at the ballot box, and importantly, raise the need to develop and coordinate struggles. We need to build a united fightback of all those under attack by the bosses, the City and all their Westminster puppets. We need mass strikes, demonstrations and protests on the streets.

And more than that, we need to argue for a socialist alternative - a clear programme that brings workers together and shows a way out of the madness of the capitalist system. That is what the Socialist Party is fighting for. Join us today.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

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Related links:

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