What do Russell Brand, the SWP and The Casa have in common?

Posted on 4 November 2014 by

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[Screen grabs linked to in this article are also shown at the end of the text with description for reader assistive software].

The above leaflet is a cluster-fuck of disreputable revolutionary brands[1] all discrediting themselves further through association with the others.

To be fair, the Brand brand probably doesn’t know or care about his image being used to promote this meeting, but maybe he should. After recently cancelling a debate at his book launch in the “Turns out my mate’s a Naziwho knew?” fiasco, you’d think he’d want to start being watchful around the issue of just who’s trying to ride his shabby-chic coattails into the public eye.

Not that he’d have much of a problem with the SWP. He and the central committee have a lot in common. Consider yourself a revolutionary vanguard? Check. Divert genuine revolutionary anger into harmless catharsis? Check. Claim working class credentials from the vantage of a luxury lifestyle? Check. Regularly display major consent issues and gloss over the misogynist skeletons in your closet? Check and check.

Which just leaves the Casa, who have hosted rape apologists before. While they might have been able to claim (though they haven’t) that they didn’t know the full background of the organisers of that event, and apologise (though they haven’t) for hosting abusive transmisogynists, they have less excuse for the statement they later made to police (since disregarded as unsupported by the Casa’s own CCTV), backing a vexatious and (thankfully) failed attempt to by one of those misogynists to press assault charges against one of the group that he attacked. Even if it weren’t for all this, The Casa would have no excuse for claiming not to know about the SWP’s recent history of misogyny and rape apologism. It’s more than likely they simply don’t care.

What Russell Brand, the SWP and The Casa have in common is the use of Class Struggle and Revolution as abstract, meaningless buzz-words that they can trot out[2] to sell books, papers and beer but don’t have to follow through with any act of solidarity that inconveniences them. They don’t believe that revolutionary ideals include women’s bodily autonomy, or men having a basic understanding of sexual consent. They believe they can have a revolution without having to examine their own behaviour or create revolutionary spaces that are safe for women. They think they can give platforms to fascists, misogynists and abusers, without acknowledging or apologising when they’re exposed for it, and still call themselves revolutionaries. They’re wrong. A revolution that gives space to abusers over the abused is no revolution. There is no class struggle without feminism, and just like our feminism, our revolution will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

[1] All puns intended.
[2] See [1].

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