It is difficult to escape the media news that 48-year-old comedian and actor Russell Brand has been accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013. Despite the fact there has been no legal trial the government has joined the media in the role of judge and jury. They have assumed Brand’s guilt without evidence and are pursuing the cancellation of him on social media platforms.
The accusations against Brand are not a political issue, nor should they be of interest to the government, but it seems they are using them as an opportunity to silence dissenting voices, starting with Russell Brand who will act as a deterrent to the rest of us.
“This is the type of action we see from the world’s worst regimes,” – Lawyers of Light.
Russell Brand is said to have completely changed his world around by attempting to lead a ‘quiet’ and ‘zen’ lifestyle in the Oxfordshire countryside with his pregnant wife Laura and their two daughters and the accusations against Brand were relating to the period where he was at the height of his fame working for the BBC, Channel 4 and starring in Hollywood films.
While yes, there are all sorts of valid reasons why victims of crimes may take a while before speaking out about what they went through, but why did the Sunday Times, the Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches feel the need for an investigation into Brand at this time?
While most of us will have decided on Brands’ is innocence or guilt already depending on our views of the guy, however, our judgement is entirely immaterial, we were not there, we do not know Russell Brand and we certainly do not know the truth. Nevertheless, we all like to express our views on the world of celebrity at times in a gossipy, social chatter, informal type of freedom of speech.
This is not the “freedom of speech” that our government should enter into, they should instead be expected to adhere to the “formal, legal freedom of speech” as well as the legal “presumption of innocence” yet this was not to be when Tory Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Caroline Dinenage, completely ignored it and wrote to the BBC, Channel 4, GBNews and TikTok following the widespread unproven allegations in an attempt to convince them to demonitise Brand.
Brand who has who has denied all claims has not been considered innocent until proven guilty, but has been dropped by his agents, his shows are being cancelled, the BBC has removed a handful of programmes featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds streaming service, joining the likes of Channel 4 and Comedy Central in removing archive shows featuring Brand.
Loss of Personal Income
“There has to be a limit here. To what extent do people accused of crimes enjoy the presumption of innocence if they can’t make a living? asks Ben Sixmith from the Critic who adds “Sure, Brand is probably rich enough that he could live for four lifetimes without bothering to work again. But it seems unprincipled to suggest that your treatment, in a moral matter, should hinge on your personal wealth.”
Now, due to the aiding and abetting of Tory Caroline Dinenage YouTube has suspended his ability to earn money on the platform and considering his channel has over six million subcribers, this means an awful lot of money will be lost for Russell Brand, which should not be as a result of accusations, whether we think he needs that money or not.
Industry experts have estimated Brand probably makes between £2,000 to £4,000 a video, which, based on five videos a week, could produce close to £1m a year from YouTube alone according to the Guardian.
State Overreach – The Letters
On behalf of the government however Caroline Dinenage, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee has written numerous letters: to the BBC, Channel 4, GBNews and TikTok following the widespread allegations about Russell Brand.
- Letter from the Chair to Dr Theo Bertram, Director of Government Relations, Europe, TikTok, relating to standards of behaviour in media, dated 19 September 2023
- Letter from Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4, relating to Russell Brand, dated 18 September 2023
- Letter from the Chair to Tim Davie, Director General, BBC, relating to standards of behaviour in media, dated 19 September 2023
- Culture, Media and Sport Committee writes to The Sun and BBC over Huw Edwards media coverage and investigation
The letter to TikTok’s Director of Government Relations, Dr Theo Bertram, asks for confirmation on whether Mr Brand is still able to monetise his TikTok posts, including those related to the allegations against him, and what procedures are in place to ensure creators cannot undermine the welfare of victims.
Correspondence with Channel 4 Chief Executive, Alex Mahon, requests further details about C4, and the production company Banijay UK’s, investigations into the allegations against Mr Brand, including timescales and asks for regular progress updates.
The letter to BBC Director General, Tim Davie, asks for a timescale of the internal investigations and to keep the Committee updated on its progress.
Acting on Accusations
All of this interference from the state we are supposed to believe is due to unproven accusations against Brand who denies the allegations and insists that all his relationships were consensual. This should not be a government issue, but Dinenage who was the MP first responsible for the Online Safety Bill and was recently made a Dame, made it her business and said on Wednesday 20th September:
“This weekend we have seen some very serious and disturbing accusations about Russell Brand’s behaviour and we understand that the police are now looking into some of these allegations. As a first step, our committee has decided that we will today write to media outlets, including the BBC and Channel 4, to understand the actions they are taking as we consider some of the issues around these allegations.
The allegations have been widely described by reporters in the press and on social media as an ‘open secret’ and quite often these secrets are shared between friends and colleagues just to keep each other safe. But my concern is when people in power are aware of rumours or stories yet don’t act, then a culture is allowed to permeate.”
Letters to Tok & Rumble from the Dame are below) (source).
The video sharing platform Rumble however responded differently from YouTube saying that: “although it may be politically and socially easier to join the cancel culture mob, doing so would be a violation of our companies values and mission. and finished with “We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands.”
The Draw of Like-Minded Followers
Back in 2021, Brand had received backlash from the liberal segment of his fanbase who thought he was becoming an alt-right influencer and were upset by his dismissive analysis of “Russiagate,” according to Dan Di Placido from Forbes who described Brand as “a hairier, barefoot version of Joe Rogan, more likely to skin and devour an eggplant rather than an elk,”
According to Placido, Brand was accused of catering to a certain crowd the main backlash seemed to have been sparked by the fact that he had interviewed Jordan Peterson, Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro, “all of whom became internet-famous due to their ability to repackage puritanical, regressive social conservatism into something resembling youthful rebellion.”
However, the Forbes reporter observed that most of these videos showed Brand “saying a great deal, without communicating much at all” and that generally, his videos push back against government control, embodying a kind of vague populism.”
“I don’t think Brand has changed (he’s always been good at making a word salad sound like a profound insight), he adds, “but perhaps his audience has, as high profile interviews with conservative celebrities tend to draw like-minded followers, concludes Placido (source)
And there we have the most probable issue which irks the government – Brands’ vast number of followers. He still has 1.4 million followers on Rumble which has become a great resource for “canceled” media figures to make a better living, and for audiences to obtain information that they may not be able to acquire via YouTube.
On Wednesday, the U.K.’s The Guardian published a ludicrous hit piece on Rumble, smearing it as a conspiratorial site rife with “election deniers.” (source) at the very same time, Dame Dinenage, representing the Tory government sent the letter to Rumble clearly hoping that just as YouTube had, Rumble too would demonitise outspoken Brand.
Jordan Schachtel on Substack says that “right now, U.K. government and corporate media has the knives out for Rumble, the upstart online video platform that has positioned itself successfully as a free speech alternative to YouTube.”
Brand is Not The Main Target
It is Scachtels oppinion that the main target of the goverment campaign is “seemingly personalised to delegitimise and destroy Russell Brand […]they definitely want him out of the picture, but he is just a proxy for a much bigger target.” Well that target will be most of us and those who are likely to join us in getting wise to the govenment.
“They clamped down on anti-establishment narratives during the Covid hysteria era Scachtels remembers, “at this time we were hopelessly outgunned by the maniacal, lying, pseudoscientist looters who successfully achieved the fastest roll up of power in modern history.” He explains that now, “The forces for censorship are engaged in a much broader campaign to target our right to speak freely and earn a living by contributing value on the internet and in CCP Social Credit Score-like fashion.”
“They want to establish a Great Firewall of information and shut off the remaining popular “free speech zones” on the internet and Brand is a proxy and just another way to “achieve their end game.”
The UK is a now a Dictatorship
In order to shut off the popular “free speech zones,” Dame Dinenage, has callously bypassed the legal process and has effectively filled the role of not only the judge and jury, but also the executioner and sanctioned an unconvicted man despite lack of evidence of the accusations thrown at him.
This is not because the government gives a monkey’s about the alleged victims, the Brand investigation was to bring a red pilling “ring leader” down in their mission to violate our right of freedom of expression online, and to silence all dissenting voices.
They have shown that in their quest to do so, they are willing to stoop very low which will act as a deterrent to others who speak out against them. Make no mistake, this is not how a democracy looks. We are in a dictatorship, an era more befitting of a dystopian novel.
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.
It was their final, most essential command.” ― George Orwell, 1984
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Categories: Opinion Pages