Hero to Zero: The Descent of Climate Heretic Russell Brand

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Russell Brand. By Raph_PH – RussBrandRegPark140920EARLY-10, CC BY 2.0, link

From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; From a left wing hero of 2014, to a green energy heretic who hangs out with Bjørn Lomborg, to accusations of sex offences. But we’ve seen all this before.

In 2014, the George Monbiot lauded Brand’s flawed left wing activism.

Heroes of 2014: Russell Brand

George Monbiot

The volatile comedian-turned-activist’s ability to be openly and honestly flawed sets him apart from the grand old men of the left

Mon 29 Dec 2014 22.29 AEDT

No one is better at attacking Russell Brand than Russell Brand. He takes the lavish criticisms aimed at him and, like Cyrano de Bergerac, shows his opponents how to do it properly. 

He is volatile, vulnerable, troubled, mercurial, but unlike most people in public life, he makes no attempt to hide it. His emotional honesty helps to explain his appeal, and his ability to inspire people who had switched off from politics.

Yes, his politics are rough and inchoate, but he doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Sometimes he can be incoherent. But even that is a refreshing change from the stifling coherence of some of the grand old men of the left, for whom everything must conform to a rigid scheme of loyalties and enmities, and who appear unable to admit mistakes. This obnoxious and dishonest rigidity, often enforced by a cult-like following, is, I believe, one of the reasons why the left often struggles to build support. 

…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/29/russell-brand-comedian-turned-activist

How quickly things change. The Guardian reclassified Brand as a hate figure when Brand strayed off the establishment narrative thought plantation once too often.

Russell Brand is the latest to platform climate conservative Bjørn Lomborg’s ‘reckless’ net-zero cost claims

Graham Readfearn
Thu 16 Mar 2023 10.00 AEDT

The Danish commentator has been accused of continuing tomisrepresent findings about the costs of cutting emissions, despite pleas from scientists

Brand has more than 6 million subscribers on YouTube and this week his channel turned to the Danish political scientist, Bjørn Lomborg, for a “debate” (not really a debate) on climate change.

“I know that polluting the planet cannot be good on a spiritual level and there seems to be significant evidence to suggest that man-made climate change is real,” Brand said.

During the segment on Brand’s “Stay Free” show, viewed 315,000 times in the four days after it was published, Lomborg argued that renewable energy was too expensive and appeared to try to undermine the role that batteries play in storing renewable energy.

The Guardian commentator and environmentalist George Monbiot wrote last week that Brand had seemingly shifted from “challenging injustice to conjuring phantoms”.

…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/mar/16/russell-brand-is-the-latest-to-platform-climate-conservative-bjrn-lomborgs-reckless-net-zero-cost-claims

Monbiot was even more scathing.

I once admired Russell Brand. But his grim trajectory shows us where politics is heading

George Monbiot
Fri 10 Mar 2023 18.00 AEDT

In an age of distortion, public figures have powerful tools and a responsibility. This is an object lesson in how that can go wrong

In 2014, the Guardian asked me to nominate my hero of the year. To some people’s surprise, I chose Russell Brand. I loved the way he energised young people who had been alienated from politics. I claimed, perhaps hyperbolically, he was “the best thing that has happened to the left in years” (in my defence, there wasn’t, at the time, much competition).

In 2014, he was bursting with new ideas and creative ways of presenting them. Today, he wastes his talent on tired and discredited tales: endless iterations of the alleged evils of the World Economic Forum founder, Klaus Schwabthe Great ResetBill GatesNancy Pelosi, the former US chief medical adviser, Anthony FauciCovid vaccines, medical data, the World Health Organization, Pfizer, smart cities and “the globalist masterplan”.

His videos appear to promote “natural immunity” ahead of vaccines, and for a while pushed ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for Covid(they aren’t).

He championed the “Freedom Convoy” that occupied Ottawa, which apparently stood proudly against the “tyranny” of Justin Trudeau’s policies. He hawks Graham Hancock’s widely debunked claims about ancient monuments.

…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/mar/10/russell-brand-politics-public-figures-responsibility

Now, surprise, Brand has been accused of sexual assault.

Russell Brand allegations come as no surprise to anyone who listened to his jokes

Katy Hall
Age deputy opinion editor
September 21, 2023 — 7.40pmSave

Though the recent accusations made against Russell Brand of rape and sexual assaults are shocking for their alleged levels of violence, that these claims are being levelled against Brand himself is not shocking at all.

Until his recent pivot into the wellness and conspiracy theorist space, a central aspect of Brand’s persona that made him a globally loved comedian and actor was his sexual proclivities. He identified as a sex addict and spoke freely and often about the number of women he had slept with. He regularly used his bedroom antics as material in his comedy routines, while marketing himself as a kind of new-age ethical shagger. Where some go to great lengths to hide their sexual habits, Brand positioned the spotlight on his.

…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/culture/celebrity/russell-brand-allegations-come-as-no-surprise-to-anyone-who-listened-to-his-jokes-20230921-p5e6i7.html

Isn’t it strange that high profile personalities get cancelled and in some cases are accused of sexual assault, after they offend the establishment or tangle with the green movement?

Andrew Tate, another high profile figure, was arrested for sexual assault shortly after tangling with Greta Thunberg. Russell Brand was accused of sexual assault months after he introduced his followers to climate lukewarmer Bjørn Lomborg.

President Trump, probably one of the greatest threats to the green movement today, has repeatedly been accused of sexual misconduct.

Andrew Tate and Russell Brand have certainly done things I consider unsavoury, like Tate’s trademark online misogyny, and Jonathan Ross and Brand’s nasty public humiliation of Faulty Towers actor Andrew Sachs grand daughter, a cruel prank which defined my opinion of Brand for years afterwards.

If any of these people are guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused, they deserve whatever is coming.

But being rude to an ex girlfriend also does automatically make Russell Brand guilty of a sex crime. Andrew Sachs grandaughter Georgina Baillie, the target of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s cruel prank, actually spoke up in Brand’s defence a few days ago:

“From my own personal experience I do not see Russell as a rapist however a lot of the evidence is very compelling so one has to keep an open mind,” she said. “I want him to continue on his path of recovery and when we make mistakes we make amends that’s what we do.”

“He was always very nice to me,” she continued. “It was always clear what the parameters were and that was mutually agreed upon and never did anything untoward happen – apart from that [the Sachsgate tapes].

“I was struggling with addiction for about 10- 15 years and I was finding it very hard to get clean and sober. So one of my mutual friends between me and Russell called him up and said, ‘Georgie needs some help’, and so he sent me to rehab.

…Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/russell-brand-andrew-sachs-piers-morgan-b2414109.html

There is another factor which makes me wonder what is really happening. A few days ago Rumble accused a senior member of the British Conservative Government of sending a “deeply inappropriate and dangerous” letter to Rumble, demanding they cancel Brand’s ability to profit from his online content – including Brand’s Rumble interview with climate lukewarmer Bjørn Lomborg.

… On Thursday, Rumble accused a parliamentary committee of “deeply inappropriate” behaviour after Caroline Dinenage, the Conservative chair of the culture, media and sport committee, wrote a letter to the company’s chief executive, Chris Pavlovski, to express concern that Brand “may be able to profit from his content on the platform”.

In a public statement posted on X, Rumble called the letter “disturbing” and said parliament’s demands were “deeply inappropriate and dangerous”. The platform added that it was devoted to an internet “where no one arbitrarily dictates which ideas can or cannot be heard, or which citizens may or may not be entitled to a platform”.

Rumble added: “Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble.” …Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2023/sep/23/firms-pull-ads-from-rumble-platform-over-russell-brand-videos

Meanwhile leftist climate heroes who infamously hung out with Jeffrey Epstein, in some cases people whose own ex wives have criticised their association with Epstein, nobody in mainstream media or government is demanding they be demonetised, or dragging their reputations through the mud.

I’m not passing judgement on which if any accusations are true, and what people did or didn’t do. I don’t have the evidence in front of me to make such judgements.

Likewise the failure of media or governments to pursue leftist figures doesn’t automatically make them guilty. Climate hero Bill Gates maintains his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein was entirely innocent. Bill Gate’s claim in my opinion is plausible, however suspicious his association with Epstein seems. Scum like Epstein would surely have made it a priority to cultivate innocent friendships with powerful people, as a smoke screen to conceal his own crimes, to help shield his less innocent friends, and to create a potential opportunity to dupe innocent people into being sincere character witnesses.

Maybe it’s all a big coincidence that high profile people with the capacity and willingness to damage the climate movement seem to be unusually susceptible to public accusations of sexual assault.

But the question in my mind, if the allegations against “Russell Brand” are “no surprise”, as Sydney Morning Herald reporter Katy Hall claims, why wasn’t more done to address these concerns back when Brand was a hero of the left?

I think it is reasonable to suspect there may be some serious journalistic and possibly even legal double standards at play.

Wildly inappropriate pressure from the British Conservative Government to choke off Russell Brand’s income does nothing to dispel my concerns about this situation. Brand is still innocent in the eyes of the law, at least that is how British justice used to work – yet a senior government committee chairperson is pressuring media organisations to treat Russell like he had already been found guilty.

How can Brand be confident he will be treated fairly by the British justice system, if formal charges are laid in response to the accusations which have been levelled, when the British government is already openly exercising their influence to attack his reputation, deplatform and silence him?

I’d be a lot happier if I could be certain that the intense pressure to shut down Russell Brand, in his moment of vulnerability, was not simply opportunistic political payback for Brand rousing millions of followers to start asking who is cashing in on their green cost of living pain, and all the other ways he has challenged government narratives in recent years. And I’d be happier still, if I knew for sure the British government’s actions were not something worse than opportunism.

Russell Brand’s interview with Bjørn Lomborg – part of Brand’s Rumble stream the British Conservative Government tried to cancel.

Is Climate Change A Real Threat? With Bjørn Lomborg – #063 – Stay Free With Russell Brand