Tuesday, December 16

An open letter to Russell Brand.

Dear Russell,

Hi. I'm Jo. You may remember me. You may even have filmed me. On Friday, you staged a publicity stunt at an RBS office, inconveniencing a hundred or so people. I was the lanky slouched guy with a lot less hair than you but (I flatter myself) a slightly better beard who complained to you that you, a multimillionaire, had caused my lunch to get cold. You started going on at me about public money and bankers' bonuses, but look, Russell, anyone who knows me will tell you that my food is important to me, and I hadn't had breakfast that morning, and I'd been standing in the freezing cold for half an hour on your whim. What mattered to me at the time wasn't bonuses; it was my lunch, so I said so.

Which is a great shame, because I'd usually be well up for a proper barney with you, and the points you made do actually deserve answers. Although not — and I really can't emphasise this enough, Russell — not as much as I deserve lunch.

Before I go any further, I should stress that I don't speak for RBS. I'm not even an RBS employee, though I do currently work for them. What follows is not any sort of official statement from RBS, or even from the wider banking industry. It is merely the voice of a man whose lunch on Friday was unfairly delayed and too damn cold.

So, firstly, for the people who weren't there, let's describe the kerfuffle. I didn't see your arrival; I just got back from buying my lunch to discover the building's doors were locked, a film crew were racing around outside trying to find a good angle to point their camera through the windows, and you were in reception, poncing around like you were Russell bleeding Brand. From what I can gather, you'd gone in and security had locked the doors to stop your film crew following you. Which left us — the people who were supposed to be in the building, who had work to do — standing around in the cold.

My first question is, what were you hoping to achieve? Did you think a pack of traders might gallop through reception, laughing maniacally as they threw burning banknotes in the air, quaffing champagne, and brutally thrashing the ornamental paupers that they keep on diamante leashes — and you, Russell, would damningly catch them in the act? But that's on Tuesdays. I get it, Russell, I do: footage of being asked to leave by security is good footage. It looks like you're challenging the system and the powers that be want your voice suppressed. Or something. But all it really means, behind the manipulative media bullshit, is that you don't have an appointment.

Of course, Russell, I have no idea whether you could get an appointment. Maybe RBS top brass would rather not talk to you. That's their call — and, you know, some of your behaviour might make them a tad wary. Reputations are very important in banking, and, reputation-wise, hanging out with a guy who was once fired for broadcasting hardcore pornography while off his head on crack is not ideal. But surely a man who can get invited onto Question Time to discuss the issues of the day with our Lords & Masters is establishment enough to talk to a mere banker. And it would be great if you could. Have you tried, Russell? Maybe you could do an interview with one of them. An expert could answer your questions and rebut your points, and you could rebut right back at them. I might even watch that. (By the way, Russell, if you do, and it makes money, I would like a cut for the idea, please. And I'm sure it would. Most things you do make money.)

But instead of doing something potentially educational, Russell, you staged a completely futile publicity stunt. You turned up and weren't allowed in. Big wow. You know what would have happened if a rabid capitalist had just turned up unannounced? They wouldn't have been allowed in either. You know what I have in my pocket? A security pass. Unauthorised people aren't allowed in. Obviously. That's not a global conspiracy, Russell; it's basic security. Breweries have security too, and that's not because they're conspiring to steal beer from the poor. And security really matters: banks are simply crawling with highly sensitive information. Letting you in because you're a celebrity and You Demand Answers could in fact see the bank hauled in front of the FCA. That would be a scandal. Turning you away is not. I'm sorry, Russell, but it's just not.

Your response to my complaint that a multimillionaire was causing my lunch to get cold was... well, frankly, it was to completely miss the point, choosing to talk about your millions instead of addressing the real issue, namely my fucking lunch. But that's a forgivable mistake. We all have our priorities, Russell, and I can understand why a man as obsessed with money as I am with food would assume that's what every conversation is about. Anyway, you said that all your money has been made privately, not through taxation. Now, that, Russell, is actually a fair point. Well done.

Although I can't help but notice that you have no qualms about appearing on the BBC in return for money raised through one of the most regressive taxes in the country, a tax which leads to crippling fines and even jail time for thousands of poor people and zero rich people. But never mind. I appreciate that it's difficult for a celeb to avoid the BBC, even if they're already a multimillionaire and can totally afford to turn the work down. Ah, the sacrifices we make to our principles for filthy lucre, eh, Russell? The condoms and hairspray won't buy themselves. Or, in my case, the pasta.

And then there is that film you're working on, isn't there, for which I understand your production company is benefitting from the Enterprise Investment Scheme, allowing the City investors funding your film to avoid tax. Was that the film you were making on Friday, Russell, when you indignantly pointed out to me that none of your money comes from the taxpayer? Perhaps it had slipped your mind.

And, of course, you've been in a few Hollywood films now, haven't you, Russell? I take it you've heard of Hollywood Accounting? Of course you have, Russell; you produced Arthur. So you are well aware that Hollywood studios routinely cook their books to make sure their films never go into taxable profit — for instance, Return Of The Jedi has never, on paper, made a profit. Return Of The fucking Jedi, Russell. As an actor, and even more so as the producer of a (officially) loss-making film, you've taken part in that, you've benefitted from it. (While we're on the subject, I hear great things about Hollywood's catering. I hope you enjoyed it. Expensive, delicious, and served (at least when I dream about it) nice and hot.)

But still, you're broadly right. Leaving aside the money you make from one of the most regressive of the UK's taxes, and the tax exemptions your company uses to encourage rich City investors to give you more money, and the huge fees you've accepted from one of the planet's most notorious and successful tax avoidance schemes, you, Russell, have come by your riches without any effect on taxpayers. Whereas RBS got bailed out. Fair point.

Here's the thing about the bailout of RBS, Russell: it's temporary. The plan was never to bail out a bank so that it could then go bust anyway. That would be too asinine even for Gordon Brown. The idea was to buy the bank with public money, wait until it became profitable again, then resell it, as Alastair Darling clearly explained at the time. And that is still the plan, and it does appear to be on course. Not only that, but it looks as if the government will eventually sell RBS for more than they bought it for. In other words, the taxpayer will make a profit on this deal.

Of all the profligate pissing away of public money that goes on in this country, the only instance where the public are actually going to get their money back seems an odd target for your ire. What other government spending can you say that about, Russell? What other schemes do they sink taxpayers' money into and get it all back, with interest? And how many people have you met who have actually been right in the middle of working to make a profit for the taxpayer when you've interrupted them to cause their lunch to get cold?

As for bonuses, well, I'll be honest: I get an annual bonus. I'm not allowed to tell you exactly how much it is, but I will say it's four or five orders of magnitude smaller than the ones that make the headlines. It's very nice — helps pay off a bit of credit card debt (remember debt, Russell?) — but, to put it in terms you can understand, I'd need to work for several tens of thousands of years before my bonuses added up to close to what you're worth.

But here's the key thing you need to know about bonuses, Russell: they come with conditions attached. My salary is mine to do with as I will (I like to spend a chunk of it on good hot food). My bonus my employer can take back off me under certain conditions. Again, I do not speak for RBS, so cannot say anything about the recent FX trading scandal or PPI or any of that shit. But, in general terms, bonuses have conditions attached, such as "And we'll claw back every penny if we discover you were breaking the rules." And yes, it does happen. The only bonuses that make the news are the ones that get paid. But, every year, bonuses either don't get paid or are even taken back off staff for various reasons, including misconduct. I'd've thought, Russell, that anyone who wanted bankers to be accountable would approve of the scheme.

And now, if I may, a word about your manner.

Much as I disagree with most of your politics, I've always rather liked you. You do a good job of coming across as someone who might be fun to be around. Turns out, that's an illusion.

Because, you see, Russell, when you accosted me, you started speaking to me with your nose about two inches from mine. That's pretty fucking aggressive, Russell. I'm sure you're aware of the effect. Putting one's face that close to someone else's and staring into their eyes is how primates square off for a fight. Regardless of our veneer of civilisation, when someone does that to us, it causes instinctive physical responses: adrenaline, nervousness... back down or lash out. (Or, apparently, in the case of the celebrity bikes you like to hang out with, swoon.) I'm sure that, like turning up with a megaphone instead of an appointment, such an aggressive invasion of personal space makes for great footage: you keep talking to someone in that chatty reasonable affable tone of yours, and they react with anger. Makes them look unreasonable. Makes it look like they're the aggressive ones. Makes it look like people get flustered in the face of your incisive argument. When in fact they're just getting flustered in the face of your face.

I've been thinking about this the last couple of days, Russell, and I can honestly say that the only other people ever to talk to me the way you did were school bullies. It's been nearly a quarter of a century since I had to deal with such bastards, so I was caught quite off my guard. Nice company you're keeping. Now I think about it, they used to ruin my lunchtimes too.

One last thing, Russell. Who did you inconvenience on Friday? Let's say that you're right, and that the likes of Fred Goodwin need to pay. OK, so how much trouble do you think Fred faced last Friday as a result of your antics? Do you think any of his food got cold, Russell? Even just his tea? I somehow doubt it. How about some of the millionaire traders you despise so much (some of whom are nearly as rich as you, Russell)? Well, no, because you got the wrong fucking building. (Might want to have a word with your researchers about that.) Which brings us back to where we came in: a bunch of admittedly fairly well paid but still quite ordinary working people, admin staff mostly, having their lives inconvenienced and, in at least one case, their lunches quite disastrously cooled, in order to accommodate the puerile self-aggrandising antics of a prancing multimillionaire. If you had any self-awareness beyond agonising over how often to straighten your fucking chest-hair, you'd be ashamed.

It was paella, by the way. From Fernando's in Devonshire Row. I highly recommend them: their food is frankly just fantastic.

When it's hot.

468 comments:

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Anonymous said...

getting drab Steve. Time to leave this forum to the 'I don't like Brand' opinions. all very enlightening

Anonymous said...

Its time to open LUNCH BANKS for needy bank workers - a terrible thing when a rich country cannot ensure that its bank workers can lunch and will not have to wait minutes nay even half an hour before eating paella. How irritating that some evil dickensian upstart decides to inconvenience normal people and draw attention to some poxy social issue. This is unjust and an absolute disgrace. We also need GUILT FREE ZONES. One cannot walk more than 5 minutes these days without bumping into some "Oliver " type character that propels one into a defensive spin causing one to rant touretically about hypocrites, scumbags, lefties and the like . It is unjust and a disgrace

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant! Very well done for taking the time and effort to write such a coherent piece. Reading this made my day!

Anonymous said...

hey i want to applaud you for this blog post. Just last night I was talking about how much Brand's behavior remind sme of the school bully in the playground. And I say this as someone who briefly got excited by his campaigning, and briefly became a full fledged fan, as I do agree with some of what he has to say. BUT, and this is crucial, I now view him as exactly like the people he attacks. Politicians get accused of having an agenda and never answering the questions posed to them on chat shows. Brand does exactly this. He comes in with his own agenda often accompanied by copies of his books and Trews stickers which he parades around, and then trots out his preplanned responses whether they answer the questions posed or not. . He then blasts the interviewer or anyone who disagrees with him, talking over them and not letting them get a word in edgeways. When someone disagrees with him he uses his fans on twitter to rally support against that person This again reminds me of the tactics of a school bully, using his classmates to belittle and pick on a single person. I like the Trews because it does amplify voices we rarely hear on the mass media BUT I do not believe it is the only true news which is how Brand brand's it. It is the news according to Russell Brand. Again like I said, amplifying important issues , but, like with any reporter, leaving in information hat supports his point of view , leaving out information that doesn't. Nothing wrong with that and I have signed several petitions from watching his program. But while I sometimes agree with Brand's perspective I don't tout either his or my views as the only truth there is. Which leads me to the next thing. Brand thinks that once he has seen something it needs to get implemented now despite opposing opinions. There is nothing wrong with feeling passionate, and there is nothing wrong with campaigning hard to change things, but an insistence that your will be imposed over everyone else's is both childish and again a characteristic I attach to a school bully. I also find his us versus them mentality infantile. i.e. poor versus rich. I really don't think this accomplishes anything, in fact I think it is very much part of the problem, even though i hate the rapid rate of the rising inequality. I am only going to say a tiny bit re drugs. I think campaigning to change drug laws if that is something you feel strongly about is wonderful. I feel promoting your own and others recovery via press radio and film is high questionable and problematic. I also don't think it's fair to the struggling victims. Getitng clean is SO hard. Leaving rehab is TERRIFYING. Why film that and put an added pressure on someone? and you can say"oh they agreed to be fined" but who just graduating from rehab is thinking all that clearly? I don't mean that disrespectfully AT ALL but people are actually told not to make big decisions during their first year because they aren't necessarily going to be the right one. I AM talking as someone who has been there and as someone who would never make the decisions today that I thought I would have made in early recovery. I have been hesitant to talk out because I am basically a coward still scared of the bully. And also because like I said very briefly and very recently I actually became a huge fan of Brand and even attended two events. Then I turned into someone who didn't dare write what I really thought, which I am not remotely proud of.

Anonymous said...

anyone notice a predictable pattern to the positive comments. speaking as someone with little time for Brand as a celebrity I really think if people dislike Brand enough to have read through such a weak piece of writing then they need to look at what hidden issues this is hiding. some of the stuff on here is worrying. Did I really hear someone reference Rik Mayall as a caricature of leftys. I haven't seen that bolshy type for decades. someone else called themselves 'normal' and then made sneery remarks about garlic. Didn't that caricature get phased out with 80s comedy too.
this guy sought attnetion and was annoyed someone was more professional about it. get over it

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant post! You have expressed what so many of us feel and in a very witty way - well done.

The only bigger tosser than the multi millionaire Russell Brand is spindrift.

Get a life spindrift!

Andy Channelle said...

You know you could have wandered off and sat down on a bench to eat your hot lunch? Would have saved a lot of bother.

And, in respect of Brand's intentions, it was raising the profile of the issue that is ignored by the mainstream. As I've seen a lot of shares of this blog today, you've helped.

I think he'd thank you.

Anonymous said...

Witty and well put. However, can we forget about Brand being rich? It's irrelevant even to his argument. He's not saying it's not allowed to be rich he's merely asking that it be made a level playing field. Otherwise, i Liked that post a lot.

Steve said...

I haven't seen that bolshy type for decades

You must've missed the Occupy kids. You lucky bastard.

The Slug said...

So in summary, butthurt banker claims he's the real victim and uses all manner of fallacies and thought-terminating clich├ęs in order to make his rather flimsy case. I'm no Russell Brand apologist, but the standard of rhetoric used against him is astonishingly shitty.

Anonymous said...

The glaring point that the brandy wandy's ignore is that if Russell is that desperate to talk to high flying bankers, why not book an appointment?

Adrian Wedgewood said...

Paella is not that expensive

Anonymous said...

Was it pasta - near the beginning, or paella - near the end!! Or was the letter so long that my pasta turned into paella??

Adrian Wedgewood said...

I like to eat at my desk. Point is he was inconveniencing a cog.

Anonymous said...

did anyone notice the "Hair and Make up" van following him around too? Even a man of the people needs to look good!

Anonymous said...

Brand was wrong to turn up unannounced and to behave aggressively to you.

You are wrong about the RBS bailout being the only profit-turner for the public sector.

The Great North Eastern line was regularly turning a profit and out-performing other rail companies. It is now earmarked for privatisation despite proof of its success.

Also the sale of Royal Mail did turn a profit and could have raised much more had it not been sold so (deliberately) cheaply.

The private sector is not always the best option, as anyone who regularly watches commercial television or news could attest to.

leedslad said...

Brand will stick his face into anyone else's face in front of a camera. Take away the camera and his crowd of sychophants and just watch him melt away like the self-important tool he is.

Mark D said...

Absolutely spot on. This is an attack on Brand's personality and completely misses the intention of Brand's actions in highlighting the ever-increasing inequalities of our society.

Like him or loathe him, he is doing more to highlight the fundamental problems of our society than any other media outlet is doing and articles such as this serve only one purpose and that is to undermine efforts to get people to wake up and be bothered about things that are a little more important than whether your lunch is cold. At least the author ofor this had some lunch, unlike thousands of people currently in the country.

The author's arrogance is beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

Good article spoiled by five fuckings.

Anonymous said...

Marvellous. My lunch got cold reading this but it was worth it!

Anonymous said...

The writer took so long to get to a point that I got bored and stopped reading. There's only so much idiocy I can take! If he amused a few people with his diatribe, which he appears to have done, then more power to him.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Fernando's is awesome. No one deserves a cold Fernando's.

Anonymous said...

Magnificent piece with some world class swearing.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE, for the love of my eyes, stop using white text on a black background.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, well thought out, but would Russell be intelligent enough to understand the humour?

Bullies never do.

David said...

Good man, thanks for standing up and saying what many are only thinking :-)

Anonymous said...

Twat! Go on a diet, fatty.

Anonymous said...

I earned 15'000 quid a year in London and lived fine. I had a double room in a friendly house share in Tooting and worked in Wimbledon; had a few quid for beers and the like, wasn't so hard really. 60 K is loads anywhere.

Anonymous said...

How do you know the "bikes" comment was referring to women?

anna_griff said...

I like this rant, it's very good - I hate it when my food is cold too, doesn't taste half as good.

On the EIS and SEIS thing for films - it us a very complicated system that producers are increasingly forced into attempting to navigate (and often abandon due to the dire inability to pay accountants' and lawyers' fees) because the public funding for film, a hugely important part of the UK's cultural heritage, was gut-punchingly slashed when the Coalition came in and abolished the UK Film Council and regional screen agencies.

We've now pretty much only got 2 avenues of public funding (both avenues with a laughable amount of money to spend each year) which is the BFI and Creative England (or Creative Scotland and Film Agency Wales if you're in those parts of the UK) but it is very, very limited. With the government at the helm of public money, it's no wonder Brand's producers are trying to usurp them and go to private financiers who agree with the film's sentiments.

And it's not a tax avoidance scheme, in so many words, it's an offset. So if your tax bill was 5k a year, you could put that in a film. They're not saving any money, just putting it somewhere else (that's a very basic summary of it, there are lots of other stipulations). And actually, independent films very, very rarely do make a profit and even with they do, it's even rarer for that profit to be seen by the producers or the financiers. It gets swallowed up by distributors and sales agents.

Like I say, it's a complicated scheme, legally, accounting wise and somewhat morally, but if the government gave a shit about cultural heritage and helped to nurture an industry of such historic importance then it would not be needed.

Unless the film you wanted to make was utterly shit and you had stupid rich friends, then it's the only way your film could get made. But it'd go straight to DVD.

Anonymous said...

You had a security pass, yet couldn't get in - and this was not the fault of security? Was a 'lockdown' entirely necessary?

Anonymous said...

Oh Jeeves, the peasants are getting uppity, again! Talking about socialism and marxism and what not! Worst of all, its that preening celebrity Russell Brand who seems to be fanning the flames. He even had the temerity to interrupt my lunch today(a most unforgivable of sins).

He made me eat cold paella Jeeves! How utterly monstrous!

He didn't stop there though, Jeeves. He even invaded my private space (a hitherto most uninhabited region) and looked me in the eye with those fiercly intimidating eyebrows of his. Look here if you don't believe me Jeeves:
http://vimeo.com/114367807

I was almost in tears by the encounter. Wait until I tell mummy about this. There'll be hell to pay.
He even touched me. I haven't experienced this since Berti Wooster called me a cad in fifth form.
Why isn't he satisfied riding all his celebrity bikes? (I know I would be!). Why does he have to plant himself in my vacinity without even an invite? He didn't even have an appointment Jeeves! What an exceptionally rude revolutionary!
Sigh! It looks like I'll have to write a blog post about it all. I shall have nightmares about this for weeks to come. It must be what suffering from post traumatic distress disorder is like.

Oh Jeeves! Are we having scrambled egg for tea today?

Make sure its hot!






Jess said...

What's that German word for only coming up with a good riposte when you're on the staircase, walking away from the encounter? That's what this rant seems to be. Brand seems perfectly reasonable in this clip, which isn't how he's represented in this post: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11298029/Russell-Brand-accosts-RBS-worker-during-anti-capitalist-protest-outside-bank.html Yes, Jo does look flustered, but it doesn't look like that's due to an invasion of personal space, but more because his passing, annoyed comment as he shoved through wasn't intended to be responded to, one-on-one. I'd be flustered by a celebrity suddenly talking to me like that too.

I'm not a Brand fan, but I think any attention he brings to this issue is welcome, as - in case you hadn't noticed - it's the poorest in our society who are suffering as a result of spending cuts that are aimed directly at them. If it takes a multimillionaire to spend his time shouting about these issues, then so be it: that in itself is not hypocrisy. (Though if what Jo says about Brand partaking in various tax avoidance schemes is correct, then levelling that insult is fair.)

For a better rant about banks in the street outside RBS's HQ with a camera crew, here's Channel 4's beleaguered Paul Mason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf7a53y9RRM

Sugar Rush said...

Finally someone more annoying than Russell Brand. Describing women Brand hasd dated as "celebrity bikes?" Nce to see the atmosphere in the City has improved. The regressive tax that keeps the BBC in business seems to exercise him quite a lot- wonder if he'd prefer the BBC to be privatized. Of course he would. And while RBS may be on target for being sold ...(kind of) ...the crisis bailout wasn't driven by the desire to make a profit for the piblic sector. It was made necsssary by the crooked and crazy behaviour of...err...the top brass of RBS. which had indeed enriched them thru bonuses linked to ...their risk-taking. You'd think the least the bail out would require of RBS was that they would forego the bonus culture. And boo hoo if that meant they didn't perform in the top percentile of banks in the short-term. Who kniows it might make absolutely no differece to their performance period. Maybe they'd just take less stupid risks. The bottom line is that cuts are justfied by the markets because Britain is indebted.and one of the reasons we're indebted is because Brown and Co bailed out (with public money) a bank like RBS. Fernando's? Go eat in McDnalds and I might give a damn. And eat it cold for all I care.

Anonymous said...

Heh. All you've done is reveal yourself as a blinkered Tory banker who eats paella for lunch. Also, what Northern Irish bloke is called 'Jo'?

Anonymous said...

Great come back!

Anonymous said...

gay

Chris Bartlett said...

Well look you make a few mildly valid points, but I dare say the completely out of touch French aristocracy were rather upset at the poor manners and lack of consideration shown to them by the revolutionaries as they were led to the guillotine. If the corrupt establishment wanted a nice civilised discussion perhaps they shouldn't have subverted our democracy and media in their efforts to force everyone else into grinding poverty.

Anonymous said...

If the worst thing about being cynical is being right, maybe you should start being cynical and stop being selfish.

Anonymous said...

Next time you're slurping over your "fantastic" pasta, perhaps you might spare a few seconds of your precious time on pondering why it is we live in a society where thousands of parents go without food for days at a time to feed their kids, where 350,000 people a year have to turn to food banks to feed their family, where 3.5 million children live in poverty. Here's a clue: it's not unconnected with the law-breaking, tax-avoiding, morally bankrupt financial sector in this country, who irresponsible, corrupt and sadly unpunished practises have created the biggest economic recession and collapse in social justice this country has ever seen - and whose smug, arrogant, uncaring, nauseating and contemptible attitude is perfectly expressed in your blog and its depressingly cynical and callous attitude. And there's Russell Brand - trying to make people think about why it may not be desirable to make the poorest, weakest people in our society pay for the crimes, scams and selfishness of its uncaring elite; worrying about people living in poverty, hunger and poor health when he could be kissing the fat arses of bankers and praising their unfettered spewing of enormous bonuses on coke binges and jolly get-togethers in lap-dancing clubs... what a bastard...

Anonymous said...

Nice takedown. Would repost, except for the "celebrity bikes" comment - casual misogyny isn't cool. Otherwise, I like your style.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm Cold Food, not good.
Perhaps you should sue. Russell "Tosser" Brand would for sure.

Anonymous said...

'Jo from Ireland' is more likely to be 'Overpaid media knob with nothing better to do'.

Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest thing I've read all day. I should of stopped after the first few paragraphs – anyone who begins a post by complaining that they were annoyed by someone staging an impromptu political protest about income inequality and social justice because they were making your lunch cold does not deserve to be read. Foolishly I read on...

Sure this may have been a futile effort by Russell Brand to attract attention to an entirely worthy cause. But at least he is using his fame and fortune to give a voice to the problems and the struggles of every day decent people (regardless of what he is worth). I don't know who you are or what you do at RBS but are you using your own relative privilege and success to do things that may benefit others less fortunate? I doubt it.

Above all you try to reduce this debate to the issue of whether or not Russell Brand is a hypocrite because he is wealthy. I really don't see where you are going with this. Is what you're saying that rich people can't speak out against the structural features of society from which they may have benefited in the past? By the same logic I suppose poor people can't speak out against the bonus culture or taxation because they have no idea what it means to get a 5 figure bonus each winter?

Congratulations on writing the most cretinous piece of writing I have come across all day!

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of dumb comments from the brandy wandy's appearing now - What would you lot have wanted, RBS to go to the wall and collapse rather than be bailed out. I think you'd find we'd end up with significantly more than 350,000 going to foodbanks were that to happen.

You people are shouting about writing nonsense, and yet you want to see the abolition of the financial sector!!!

George Pickles said...

Brilliant, apart from the language which us old'uns find unnecessary. You could have made your case without it.(Sort of sinking to his level a little bit) What surprises me about all the commentators is that it took you all so long to realise what a unacceptable Clown Brand is. Our generation knew from the very fist day his ugly face and obnoxious attitude appeared on our TV's, and had a few more like us turned the tele off, or at least changed channels he wouldn't be a rich and arrogant as he is.

Adrian T said...

Brilliant. yes, it stooped to his level, but at least the stupid bearded idiot will understand it.

In case Brand, or one of his PR assistants is reading this, which I surely hope they are - here's a little message. I work not far from where you were. If you try this again, I look forward to you squaring off for a fight, two inches in front of my face so I can show you what aggression looks like, and what it *feels* like. Do you understand? it means that I'm going to hit you, very very hard. Do you understand?

Anonymous said...

Sorry who's the self aggrandising prick, you or Brand?

I suspect that you both are.

I've nothing but distaste for Brand's persistent need for attention while simultaneously saying nothing but you don't really seem much different to be honest, except for the persistence.

Anonymous said...

Here's the video of the incident:

http://vimeo.com/114367807

Anonymous said...

60K is bugger all?! im living off a 14K job in London with no benefits and i seem to be doing fine, obvioulsy some more money wouldnt go a miss but i think i could live like a king on 60K

Trent said...

After watching the video, read the blog and comments, a couple of things as I see them.
1.- Really the author at no point said that RB was shouting, in fact he says "you keep talking to someone in that chatty reasonable affable tone of yours, and they react with anger" -this is what happens in the video! The, author talks about personal space and it is true that Brand sort of invades the author's personal space
2.-A bully is not necessarily someone that makes you suffer by shouting or with physical pain, no, instead is the person that makes you suffer in silence, is the one that pushes you when no one is watching -humiliates you in silence- it is the one that uses his power for his own gain...
and it is this last point what I feel the author is about: RB uses his “celebrity” status to cowardly make his way while he knows that his life or reputation is not at risk as; hence he tackles a guy that is not a risk and inconvenience his lunch.
RB is inconveniencing the admin staff , not the big cats and if I disagree in something with the blogger is the fact that I don’t think that Brand’s researchers did a bad job, instead they knew where to go as “going to the wrong building” will ensure they don’t end up in trouble whilst gaining enough publicity! And this has all the makers of a bully (I will hit you where no one see it and if you tell anyone I will hit you again and harder )
I think the article is brilliant because it shows that what Rusell Brand is after is his own show. RB and all the neo-leftist are damaging the reputation of the people who really wants change and a fair society.
I ask those following and applauding Rusell Brand:
Why if he is so concerned with inequality he does not give all his monies to people that need it more and keeps a small amount to allow for him to live a decent life and not the millionaire high life he is having?
Why he has not brought solutions to the plate and instead he just preaches something with no basis but that will gain him popularity?
Why he is not working hard in changing things by implementing change and instead is taking the easy life?
In my view, RB, Ukip, BNP are all the same, the blame is always one someone else’s shoulders but theirs; whether you call it EU, Immigration, or bankers! It is the same.
It is our fault and our responsibility. Do we want a better country and a better world? then we all have to work together and share the blame! Did you think on the Chinese exploited children when writing on your tablet? Did you stop eating meat? Have you stop buying stuff because you disagree with consumerism? Have you given your seat to a less able person? Have you given you food to the one that need it the most? did you stop that fight? Have you help someone?...no?...well then think about it!

spindrift said...

"I think the bike comment is probably an acknowledgement that a small number of females have distorted priorities that make their own womanhood cheap."

See, this is the sort of creature you attract with your sexist filth. Women are "bikes" or "cheap" if they have sex? Is this the nineteenth century? You claim Brand's a bully, then you call his girlfriends slags. You're a rank hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

The laddie doth protest too much, me thinks.
Soft you now, fair Jo. Or get thee to a monastery.
Russell prefers girls.

Anonymous said...

haha, clutching at straws there spindrift. Brand's a self confessed sexist who is "working on it" with regards to toning down the sexism,

Anonymous said...

YAWN.

Anonymous said...

I know celebrity-bashing is all the rage but this isn't funny, and the substantive bits of your complaint make no sense. It was a political protest.

I see this has now been republished by The Independent. Personally I don't have much time for Brand - his attempts to stoke a revolution are at best tactically inept. You can say what you like on your blog, but if someone can't stage a protest at a state-owned bank that engages in the kind of practices that RBS does without a (supposedly radical) national broadsheet publishing this kind of sneering response, then our society is very definitely going in the wrong direction.

spindrift said...

"haha, clutching at straws there spindrift. Brand's a self confessed sexist who is "working on it" with regards to toning down the sexism,"

Why do you think that's relevant? Has Brand called anyone a "bike"? Your defence of sexist, hateful language is that someone else did the same? So, you would defend racism on the grounds that other people are racist? You're not very intelligent, are you?

Anonymous said...

Ok, lets see how this goes...

I am a former banker, I worked for JPMorgan and Barclays Bank for many years and I agree with Russell Brand way more than with whoever wrote this post.

After many years working in the banking sector I can tell you one thing... bankers are the most stupid, useless and ignorant people on earth... to make it worse, they are normally arrogant and think they are better than everyone else because they work in pretty buildings and have a nice clean desk and get to wear suits and can afford things and I was guilty of that in the past as well at times.

Why are they stupid?

Because in all my years working in the banking sector, NO ONE even understands its roots... the few that do benefit so much from it that it is in their interests to keep it concealed, normally CEO's and Executives.

Does an average bank worker understand:

Fractional Reserve Banking?
Process of Money Creation?
FIAT currencies?

Off course not...

Has the average bank worker researched the bank they work for? their history? dodgy deals in the past which affects us now? Jekyll Island meeting for example? if you have no idea what happened in Jekyll Island then you should shut up before giving me a negative opinion after you finish reading this.

If every single bank employee spent a couple of weeks researching what I speak off you will arrive at the same conclusion.... that our version of banking is nothing more than a ponzi scheme, the biggest deception in the history of mankind.

If what I said above sounds shocking, ridiculous, ignorant, over-dramatic, etc... then you simply have not researched enough to realize it, if you had, would you still work for a bank?

Oh... and to answer the predictable "TV would have told us so" then I am guessing you are not aware that since the early 1900's bankers have been holding interests in all major newspapers and when TV was invented they continued influencing the people that way by holding interests in TV networks and more recently websites and social media, they have been brainwashing us for generations.

Oh whats that? the people funded BBC would have told you? you mean the BBC that has people linked to these bankers in their board of directors? yes, I am sure they'll tell you, lol

Is all there for you to see, you just need to look.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning"

-Henry Ford.

Russell Brand... like the person writing this article are controlled opposition... and the thing is you are controlled because you do not understand how the invisible shackles in this paradigm contain you in a psychological bubble... only truth, knowledge and understanding can make you pop that bubble.

At least Russell seems to be trying to pop his bubble... the person who wrote this blog sadly isnt even trying.


Anonymous said...

I make a lot of money for the country too. I'm in manufacturing. Only we don't fiddle our books and ask the taxpayer to bail us out, when it all goes pear shaped. We have insurance, and our insurance isn't a scam, as was the case with AIG etc. We certainly wouldn't tell the public to stuff their whinging just because we paid back the loan. Bit of a lack of the requisite humility there I think. Especially as this is not some one off. These people fuck up regularly and spectacularly. Whether its derivatives or Libor or whatever, The scorn they get is well earned. I don;t mind someone getting paid a million quid for doing their job brilliantly. I do have a bit of a problem with someone getting paid 5 million quid for running their bank into a fucking iceberg and then scarpering with the loot.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are other celebrities/individuals that you want to rip into and question their morals/motives etc. Seems strange that you have written this about Brand when there are so many more individuals who are more deserving. Most celebrities/politicians don't even give the slightest impression that they give a shit about anything but their own image and profits. It is clear that you dislike the man's politics and ideology, and instead of using your time and intellect productively, have written this smug piece in which, so as not to bring your own motives/morality into question, you hide behind the lighthearted conceit about 'your lunch going cold'. You try to make a joke of it, but you come across as arrogant and middle-class and 'best of all possible worlds', 'everybody means well' etc.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely fantastic. Vastly more intelligent, witty and hilarious than Brand ever will be.

Jenn said...

Entertaining, informative, and well written. Russell Brand really is an idiot... albeit a sometimes funny one.

PeterG said...

completely futile publicity stunt

Indeed.. except he has, once again, proved what an utter tw*t he is. No wonder Ms Perry ditched him.

Cracking post by the way.. made me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

I love trawling through the abattoir of the human soul that is blog comments. I've forgotten the main thrust of the argument.

Also, I think Hitler was right!


N.B. Obviously I don't think Hitler was right, but the debate is now over, right? Isn't that the rule?

Anonymous said...

Just curious - how many views has this blog entry had already? :o

Kev Irwin said...

Bravo that man

Mark D said...

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

Brand is a twat. Well said mate.

Need a lie down as exhausted from laughing.

Anonymous said...

"Why do you think that's relevant? Has Brand called anyone a "bike"?"

Probably, he is a self confessed sexist after all


" Your defence of sexist, hateful language is that someone else did the same? So, you would defend racism on the grounds that other people are racist? You're not very intelligent, are you?"

Your defence of sexist individuals such as brand is a touch hypocritical is it not? This is the point I'm making, if you were that hung up about a throwaway comment like "celebrity bike" you wouldn't even be defending brand in the first place

Anonymous said...

Brilliant stuff, well done sir.

Simon Goodchild said...

Fuck your dinner you sorry company boy milksop. There are grown ups looking out for your brainwashed ass before the nukes start flying. WAKE UP.

spindrift said...

"Your defence of sexist individuals such as brand is a touch hypocritical is it not?"

You are claiming Brand is sexist? On what grounds? I've never heard him use that word, neither have you, so don't make stuff up.

Anonymous said...

" But is it not a fact that the bail-out still brought the country to its knees" ....no. The bail out prevented the blow from being one that had Britain out for the count.

spindrift said...

"Why if he is so concerned with inequality he does not give all his monies to people that need it more and keeps a small amount to allow for him to live a decent life and not the millionaire high life he is having?"

He does. On the 31st of October Brand announced all his future earnings go to charity, which makes me wonder why you are commenting on a person you know nothing about?

Trent said...

Anonymous

You mentioned that you worked in the bank industry and I believe you did; however I think that a lot of people here are missing the point. Independently of what some bankers or the banking industry have done, the argument derives from the question: What was the point of the “protest”?
I agree with you have said, but was Brand is doing is not to burst any bubble but to gain revenue and popularity, that is it! There is no substance to the guy or his claims, other than resentment and revenge.
We need ideas, ways of moving forward and it is precisely for following people like RB that we are in this mess!
People have forgotten to think for themselves, elaborate an argument and come up with ideas, we have become a “like” and selfish society, but the reason behind this is not JUST the bankers; in fact, and in my view, people like RB have more to do with the problem that with the solution!

Anonymous said...

"You are claiming Brand is sexist? On what grounds? I've never heard him use that word, neither have you, so don't make stuff up."


what about on Question Time when he apologised for his sexist behaviour and promised he was trying to work on that? Or when he describes threesomes as just finding "the one" more quickly?

Anonymous said...

as you say Jo, bonuses get clawed back for various reasons including misconduct - this is a bare minimum, actual salary & then some should be sacrificed depending on the severity of an individual's actions/risks

Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on. He huffs and puffs but doesn't put forward a coherent arguement for an alternative!

I think a lot of people have missed the point of the original post. I sincerely doubt Mr 'Squander Two', if that really is his name, expected this level of coverage/attention - just seems like a rant that has resonated with a lot of people who feel Mr Brand is, well, a bit of a prick!

Jaz said...

Very well played.
I can't abide UKIP and find the Tories pretty hard to stomach but the idea that Brand somehow speaks for the Left is laughable. He speaks for Mr. R. Brand and no one else.
I am sorry about your paella. I too am a fan of paella.

Dan Doh said...

Bravo Sir,

I do however feel bad about your paella, If in some way I could send you a hot variety I surely would.

If that Brand guy bothers you again... Mid-lunch...

I say under the laws of Foodism you slap that fool about the face, use his hair as kindling to start a small office fire and warm up your paella that way, its just an idea!

Trent said...

spindrift...
so...
this is because he is nice and not for tax purposes then, right?
And this is the Gross income right?
Also, all the future earnings will include TAX and interests from bank accounts right?
And this is in a contract that will be managed by someone and not another publicity stunt, which as it has no one policing it, will go unnoticed right?
Don’t think so.
Tell you what; I get a bit tired with so called Robin Hoods, and revolutionaries that hide their own gain behind an apparent altruism.
When RB announces that he will donate a sizeable chunk of his fortune and all future earnings and all the associated bonuses, benefits (free food and clothes, etc) to charity, then we talk!
I tell you, something independently of if I agree or not with the president of Uruguay policies, at least that is a consistent guy that calls for equality not RB.

Anonymous said...

Legend!

Anonymous said...

Taking into account Russell Brand made most of his money as a Comedian, I am going to take this Blog as I think it was meant - a REALLY funny rant! No more, no less. Can't stop laughing!!

spindrift said...

"what about on Question Time when he apologised for his sexist behaviour and promised he was trying to work on that? Or when he describes threesomes as just finding "the one" more quickly?"

Once again, if you seriously think calling a woman "love" is the same as calling her a "bike" then you are too stupid to reason with.

Anonymous said...

hey spindrift, the women he was shouting over the top of and directing that towards thought it was sexism, and he has a long history of treating women as objects. I suppose he dearly respected each and every one of them right? Never once used his status to bed anyone, nor saw people as objects to fulfil personal needs....

Anonymous said...

I mean come on spindrift, wasn't he FIRED FROM THE BBC for phoning someone up live on air to taunt them several times for bedding their niece??

spindrift said...

"hey spindrift, the women he was shouting over the top of and directing that towards thought it was sexism"

No, she didn't. Nobody called him sexist, Brand apologised if anyone thought saying "love" was sexist. Nobody called him sexist at all, why make stuff up, and why are so many people inflamed by stuff Brand's never, ever said?

spindrift said...

"I mean come on spindrift, wasn't he FIRED FROM THE BBC for phoning someone up live on air to taunt them several times for bedding their niece??
"
No. He wasn't. He resigned after leaving a message for Sachs about his grand daughter. Why is this plave full of idiots who haven't a clue what they're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Russell Brand - he wanks for England!

Anonymous said...

Damn, there was me thinking that Brand was just there for entertainment! You, sir, certainly are. I stand and salute you (in a non-militaristic sort of fashion)

Anonymous said...

so let me get this right spindrift, you have no problem with leaving several answerphone messages on live radio to an old man about bagging their granddaughter? I guess it was with her consent, right, and he wasn't using her for comedic purposes - as that could have potentially humiliated her on national radio.

And yet you get on your high horse when someone on the internet calls some of BRand's conquests "bikes"?

Majorajam said...

What a load of tosh. Indeed, the bailout of RBS was a real winner for HMS Treasury. It was actually more like an investment than a bailout when you think about it. Every Briton owes those men an apology! Never mind that the very act of socializing the risk latent in thinly capitalized intermediation but not the profit, as typified by the bailout, is what enables the ongoing rents banks levy on society (not to mention banker bonuses). Never mind the grossly irresponsible and fraudulent behavior these banks engage in. Never mind that those rents are what support the valuation of RBS by which the eventual sale of that bloated pile of leverage will 'profit the taxpayer'. Britons have nothing to complain about.

But thank you for exposing the hypocrisy of those Hollywood types that use creative accounting to scam the US tax system. I'm sure it's not relevant that every industry in America employs the same tactics, ergo why every corporation in this country prepare two different sets of financial statements. I mean, conservative stupidity wouldn’t be manageable without the false equivalence of absurd parallels. Allowances must be made.

But my word, what an ignorant lout you are! You're apparently not even clever enough to realize that people might look up the video of you and realize your fabrications. Talk about poncing around you nancy, Brand didn't remotely threaten or bully you. That much is manifest by the video. Not that you hadn't discredited yourself by the time that bit of this rant came up.

But I’ll grant you, the lunch angle was a good approach. When you’re going to dump a load of political hooey on someone, be sure to distract them first with a bit of wit (as it happens, a very itty bitty bit). What a fraud.

spindrift said...

"so let me get this right spindrift, you have no problem with leaving several answerphone messages on live radio to an old man about bagging their granddaughter?"

It would be brilliant if you can show me where I said anything of the kind.

When you realise I didn't you can come back and apologise for being a lying sack of shit.

Anonymous said...

"He's not the messiah he's a very naughty boy"
Brian, your tea's ready.

Anonymous said...

Or, he was there, his collegues were there, they told him that, they told the Mail that. Quite cynical dont you think?

Anonymous said...

Am I really supposed to feel sorry for this Jo having their lunch interrupted haha, I seriously don't. and I do not apologise.

Jo's comments are nothing but bitchy and trivial.

Anonymous said...

"It would be brilliant if you can show me where I said anything of the kind.

When you realise I didn't you can come back and apologise for being a lying sack of shit."

But you must think that, because you insist that he isn't a sexist. And yet, that's about as awful as you can get isn't it? Humiliating a conquest on national radio purely for entertainment purposes? You can call me names all you like, doesn't change the fact he's a sexist pig and you're defending him for it!

Andrea said...

With the exception of the profanities, this was an excellent post! It's so refreshing to read something that's not nauseatingly sycophantic about Che Brand for once. In my opinion, he is a truly odious individual.

Anonymous said...

Russell Brand is always posing in photos or on YouTube like Jesus...or a disciple in prayer ....
He definitely has a Jesus complex...the RBS stunt wss the equivalent of hooligan jesus running rampage....
Jesus. ..yet another Gemini...like Brand
Jesus according to an Australian astronomer born june 17th 2016/17 years ago

Anonymous said...

Too true. What an asshole that oaf Brand is!

Anonymous said...

Spindrift: You clearly see yourself as being on the side of the righteous but on more than one occasion elected to describe the author as "fat and ugly" or words to that extent [I'm not about to go back and look for your exact terminology or punctuation]. When you criticise him for using the term "celebrity bike" but then go on to attack him based upon your judgment of his appearance you reveal naught but your own bullying hypocrisy.
I've spent enough times in places like Soho House to parties at the Cannes festival to, gawd help me, clubs full of Premiership footballers to know that there are plenty of women who practically hurl themselves at anyone with a smear of fame stuck the the heel of their shoe; I've seen fist-fights break out between girls over celebs and sportsmen. So, "celebrity bike" seems not too far off the mark for such gold-digging nightmares.

I now see you [Post: 5:08pm} demanding from somebody else an apology "for being a lying sack of shit". Whatever validity there may be in any of your points - and there are, I believe, fewer than you think - you really do reveal yourself as a nasty piece of work and it would be to everyone's benefit and relief if you would go and make a nuisance of yourself elsewhere if you can't behave yourself.

spindrift said...

"But you must think that, because you insist that he isn't a sexist. "

It would be brilliant if you could show me where I said that. When you realise I didn't you can come back and apologise for being a lying sack of shit.

Dude, seriously, you're not equipped for mature debate if you keep lying about what I've said. I didn't say Brand wasn't sexist.

I SAID CALLING A WOMAN "LOVE" IS NOWHERE, REMOTELY, EVEN SLIGHTLY THE SAME AS CALLING A WOMAN A "BIKE".

Sorry for shouting but you seem to be a bit stupid. Argue with what I've said, not the voices in your head.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Good on you!

Sijack said...

I feel your pain Jo. Lunch is very important and not to be trifled with by some jumped up hairy arsed celebrity hypocrite. You have expressed most eloquently what most of us think of the delusional beardy oik. Essentially he is a nasty little bully with a monumental ego.

You also write better than he does.

spindrift said...

"When you criticise him for using the term "celebrity bike" but then go on to attack him based upon your judgment of his appearance you reveal naught but your own bullying hypocrisy."

Nope. Calling this blogger an ugly bald man is subjective, but defensible. His sexist attitude is ugly, his dishonesty is ugly, his face is ugly, in my opinion. And you can't deny he's a slaphead. That's commenting on his appearance and demonstrable dishonesty.

Calling Brand's girlfriends "bikes" is something entirely different. It's basing an opinion of someone on their sexual activity. From this blog I can see the author is dishonest, so I call him dishonest. The author has no possible way of making moral judgements about people based on nothing more than their choice of sexual partner. Yet he does so.

I can call this idiot ugly and dishonest and I've plenty of evidence of both claims. There is no possible way you can slag off a woman simply for being someone's girlfriend. And you've just done exactly the same thing, you've never met Brand's girlfriends, you know nothing about them yet you compare them to someone you saw in a nightclub! "Gold digging nightmare", based on what, seeing them in a night club? Guffaw.

Darren B said...

As a 'working class' man I should probably vote Labour and hate anyone who earns more money than I do, and owns their own home and periodically bitch & moan about how 'the system' failed me. I should hate bankers...because that's what poor people do, right? - But that's bullshit, and so's what Russell Brand is harping on about - he's a fuc#'ng hypocrite - Well Done for taking the time to cool off and write an efficient and thought provoking response.

Paul Robson said...

"I really don't understand an economic argument that says 'it was inevitable' and not the bankers fault"

The economic cycle has been inevitable so far - especially if it is housing boom driven. As regards "fault" it is important to understand the difference between the 'cause' as in the sense of the recession and the 'cause' as in the depth, breadth and aftermath of the recession.

". It was not 'boom or bust' or what that really means 'an act of god'"

Actually it pretty much was. The 'boom' was built on rising property prices, not on actual economic success. As such its failure was inevitable - house prices cannot go up indefinitely, as people do not have the money. The actual 'responsibility' of the bust is the housing boom.

"There is no logical seasonal reason why recession happened and nonsense economics to suggest there is"

Recessions happen cyclically. The recession wasn't caused by the banks, it was triggered by the banks. If it hadn't been the banks it would have been something else, eventually, because booms cannot continue indefinitely. Think about it, in the boom what were we actually doing - producing cars ? producing chemicals ? - no it was predicated on house price boom.

Anonymous said...

Calling Brand's girlfriends "bikes" is something entirely different. It's basing an opinion of someone on their sexual activity.

Nope, it's an opinion based on their decision to sleep with Russell Brand, who is a sexist oaf who uses women like toys and boasted about bedding a woman to her grandfather. "Bikes" is an apt description of any woman who would allow Brand to paw her, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

So you get a bonus, so probably quite a big bonus which would be coming straight from the taxpayer ? Just checking and you think we give a t*ss about your lunch ? At least Brand does work for charities, whereas Jo you would be working for the charity itself as without the taxpayer you would have no job ? Just checking as I said before.

Steve said...

Spindrift is Russell Brand, and I claim my five poundy-wounds.

Paul Robson said...

"How many people would have suffered if the banks had all been allowed to collapse? As I understand it, a lot of people would have lost all or part of their savings. No doubt mortgages would have been hit, pensions"

Yes and no :)

You can make a case for RBS being bailed out as it could easily have significant knock on effects. It's debatable, but it's credible.

Where you run up with a problem is Northern Rock. There was really no good reason for this, some of us think if it had been called "Southern Rock" it would have been allowed to sink (i.e. it's politics) and this arguably also applies to RBS, though not as obviously.

With RBS our investment has some value and may even turn a small profit on sale. In the Crock there is a bulk of bad money that is never going to pay its way.

The other thing is how do you do it ; people do not apparently realise that because Brown did it in such a rush that 'bonuses' were (say) guaranteed at normal levels for the bank. This was mad.

Actually answering the question. Actually unless HMG welched on the protection plan only the rich would have lost money. There was and is protection against depositor loss (currently £70k) and most people do not have that much money deposited, obviously. The bondholders and shareholders were effectively bailed out and they should not have been IMO. I have shares (not many) in HSBC, if it goes under these should be worth £0.00 - i.e. I lose my money. Otherwise it becomes an unloseable bet.

This happened with the Crock ; at one point it could offer better savings rates than (say) HSBC because its losses were guaranteed with public money.

You can make a good case that something like RBS should not be allowed to fail. However, we did what the idiot Irish did ; make up the losses. There is a part of one of Lewis's books where he describes a US holder of Irish bank bonds who was trying to offload them at a 50% loss (almost free !) and no takers - who woke up the next morning to find the Govt had guaranteed the lot, e.g. they were worth 100% of face value.

Mad.

Paul Robson said...

"Did I really hear someone reference Rik Mayall as a caricature of leftys. I haven't seen that bolshy type for decades. someone else called themselves 'normal' and then made sneery remarks about garlic. Didn't that caricature get phased out with 80s comedy too"

Mayall's character "Rik" in the Young Ones, looks, sounds, and talks exactly the same as the idiot Owen Jones.

spindrift said...

"Nope, it's an opinion based on their decision to sleep with Russell Brand, who is a sexist oaf"

I've asked three times for evidence of his sexism beyond calling people "love". Still waiting.

Got news for you matey, you are not The King of Womens' Morals. Who women sleep with has the square root of sod all to do with you, you are no more equipped to pass moral judgement on sexually active women than anyone else. I think when men act like this it's very revealing, for instance men aren't subjected to the same prurient moralising you've displayed. Your juvenile posturing is like the extremist muslims who think women are slags if they were revealing clothing, it's fascinating in a way to come across someone like you, I've genuinely never met a repressed sexual dinosaur like you who pompously assesses a person's worth by their bedroom partners. Are you quite old? Say, fifties?

Anonymous said...

"Spindrift is Russell Brand, and I claim my five poundy-wounds."

He could be one of Brand's secret catamites the way he keeps on whining about Russ's popsicle suckers being called bikes.

Anonymous said...

All you give s shit about is your food you fat prick, grow the fuck up dick wodge.

Anonymous said...

When the taxpayer makes a profit, exactly what form does it take as a benefit? Should I expect a check in the mail, or a reimbursement for losses I have for bad investment decisions?

Anonymous said...

I've asked three times for evidence of his sexism beyond calling people "love". Still waiting.

It's been pointed out to you several times that Brand boasted about bedding a woman to her grandfather. If you're still waiting, it's because you're a blinkered halfwit who forgets incovenients facts after 20 seconds.

Paul Robson said...

Errr... Spindrift, look at Sachsgate ?

I have no idea whether anyone who sleeps with Brand is a bike or not. What they are (along with anyone who thinks his political utterances even mean anything) is incredibly stupid.

Some say, and I see their point, that Brand at least raises awareness. The problem is his awareness is so ungrounded in fact or reality that he actually makes the points that do have some validity look stupid.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this! I didn't mind the swearing (I swear a lot myself), but I didn't like the "celebrity bikes" reference. The rest of your points were astutely and coherently fucking made :)
Well done! I'm a nice person, or at least I try to be the nicest person that I can be, but, oh my GOD, I want to punch Russell Brand, and he isn't even sticking his face into my personal space!!!

Anonymous said...

"Who women sleep with has the square root of sod all to do with you, you are no more equipped to pass moral judgement on sexually active women than anyone else."

Give it up, Spindrift, whoever who are. You're just babbling like an idiot now. If that person was "no more equipped to pass moral judgment", he/she has as much right to his/her opinion as anyone else. People have been morally judged for the company they keep since the year dot. I'm just glad most women have higher ambitions in life than being one of Brand's conquests.

Anonymous said...

I know you're only going to read the positive replies, OP, so I'll keep this short:

You are too stupid to walk this planet.

Let's hope you're not too high up, because the list of suspicious banker deaths is already at 49!


I guess all those bankers were just tired of life, is all.

Shooting yourself with a nailgun till you're dead, slitting your OWN throat and wrists, shooting two bullets in your own head, these bankers sure are creative in their techniques though!

Anonymous said...

Russell Brand, eh? Is there any spectacle more pathetic than a stupid man who thinks he's an intellectual?

Anonymous said...

"My food is important to me"

Glad to know you're thinking about the big issues. If you really think that civilization is just a cynical veneer utilized by the powerful to cover their animal droppings, surely a cold sandwich and an argument with a long-haired ponce are nothing compared to the jungle out there? But then, as you say (and say and say repeatedly), you do deserve your lunch.

Anonymous said...

Puts me in mind of Bob Dillon !
HAD no success ... so adopted a country and western accent and persona.
Did anything come of that racy interview with Poxman?
DOFORNOW

Anonymous said...

Came here via the Daily Mail - don't hold that against me.

I remember you from the old days. In particular, your post about buying a poppy still brings a lump to the throat. Glad to find you're still going strong.

(And I saw what you did there: paella/Fawlty/Brand. Nice one.)

Anonymous said...

spindrift, if you don't think Sachsgate is evidence of sexism then there's no point - you know russell probably isn't reading these comments, meaning he won't want to sleep with you when he reads your uncompromising defence of him

Anonymous said...

You have just become a hero to many. So brilliantly written, you have captured the voice of absolutely chuffing thousands. Hope you get a hot lunch soon.

Anonymous said...

What you watched was a very one-sided cleverly edited version.

Anonymous said...

Good post, just good !
I don't feel sorry for Brand or for the guy, both twats. Because one is Brand and the other is a "worker" who's paella got f 'ing cold. Who eats paella for lunch anyway? I know, probably a fare dodging millionaire who likes to take a piss! Two intelligent twats don't make a good one, both fake in their own rights!

Anonymous said...


Fantastic letter! I never did like Russell Brand!

Gillian from New Zealand

Jules Wright said...

Squander Two: take a bow. That, my man, is an uber-fisk. In the same way that Steve McQueen was uber.

*Applause*

Anonymous said...

Excellent and Hilarious. You should be a writer not a banker!

Derrick said...

Love this post, well done you.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic..... put the bully in his place

James Martin said...

I have looked at all the comments and noticed that we have all failed the test of asking the real important questions (rather than the obvious personal attacks at both Russell and the Blogger).

1. Have those responsible been found guilty and punished?
2. Have we fixed the system so that it can't happen again?
3. Have we set aside a system to protect those in the future who were most vulnerable and affected by the banking transgressions?
4. How do we fix the ever-growing wealth inequality in our society and how do either Russell or the Blogger bring real solutions that can work?

The answer to the latter question is it is quite evident neither has anything constructive to say when it comes to a solution, they just point out the problems that any five year olds on a school playground can do.

So not to be lumped in with both, I will suggest the first solution to the growing inequality; we need to move away from a debt-financed economy and move to an equity-based economy based on the skills and abilities of the individual and how they are useful to the market. Because lets be honest, the skill of hoarding has little real value, yet is very much rewarded in a debt-financed economy.

The point is there is a real opportunity to have a real conversation about our economy and our society and yet people opt for the simple character assassinations instead. What a missed opportunity and shame on both Russell and the Blogger for wasting the opportunity to engage.

John M said...

I don't know why you just didn't fucking headbutt him. I would have, and it would have been the funniest Russell has been in for more than 10 years.

So - next time 0- head butt. Make sure you get the nose - more pain and lots of blood that way.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, we got a smart-guy on our hands. Assuming England, or any other part of the UK, even has a thriving champagne industry, this obviously plays no integral role in the discussion. You seem to carry a lot of hate, jealousy and self-pity with you. Your argument echoes as follows: one banker commits a crime, punish them all. I would use "think before you speak" in response to your utter ignorance.

James Doleman said...

Don't know if you are aware but we are governed by a second chamber of parliament, the House of Lords, none of whom are elected.

I look forward to your outraged blog post about that.

:)

Anonymous said...

Very funny ��

Anonymous said...

What an awesome read.

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/sturdyAlex/status/545243813888159744

Anonymous said...

We're all aware Russell Brand used to be a douche bag, it doesn't require an exhausting and fairly poorly written blog to point that out. Unfortunately for you the reason he gets so much attention is that so many people agree with what he has to say about the present situation so maybe you could address that rather than talking about him, talking about celebrities is also exhausting. And unless your appetite is as large as the many billions of people that his views represent then I'm afraid what he has to say is most definitely more important than your lunch, which nobody except you gives a monkeys toss about. It's not surprising though that someone who works for an industry that thrives on charging students for overdrafts and giving the proceeds to billionaires in interest is so wrapped up in himself that he's totally missed the point. Get over yourself man, the rest of us are way more important.

Anonymous said...

QUA-LEE-TEA!!!

Brand is a self serving fool said...

shut your cake hole

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for you the reason he gets so much attention is that so many people agree with what he has to say about the present situation

He gets a lot of attention because he's a famous comedian who expresses the class hatred of a disgruntled minority, while conveniently ignoring that he himself is one of the despised rich who has profited from "the system" he rails against.

so maybe you could address that rather than talking about him, talking about celebrities is also exhausting.

If Brand wants to "address issues" he should have a public debate with a representative of the banking industry rather than trying to bully his way into a place he has no right to be in. That was one of the main points made in the post.

And unless your appetite is as large as the many billions of people that his views represent

Billions is it? Then why doesn't this hero of the masses form a political party and stand for election instead of turning up at public places with a film crew to harass people who have to work for a living.

Anonymous said...

Seriously wake up everyone, Brand is not the villain here! ."The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it".----- George Orwell

Anonymous said...

Not 'brilliant' in the least. You smug, soulless, self-absorbed tool. Way to showcase your socioeconomic privilege!

You are gainfully employed, can afford to eat out, and have the nerve to whine, snivel and throw a tantrum because Russell Brand is using his own privileged situation to bring to light the greed and corruption of the higher ups? You were mildly inconvenienced because of it, and you think that warrants a 10 million word tome? Get over yourself, you self-absorbed fool.

And you expect to be taken seriously for this? Take your entitlement and self-righteous 'victimization' somewhere else. What are you doing to help people? That's right. Nothing. You're too busy complaining that the problems of the poor are getting in the way of your privileged lunch. Ever heard of a microwave, idiot?

Anonymous said...

The Big Bad Wolf is the real villain. Brand is just useless tosser.

Anonymous said...

i HATE that brand is now riding on this to get even more publicity for himself by writing a letter back.A supposed open apology the bulk of which is him continuing his bank bashing .i hope you don't get in touch and let him buy you a paella. I hope you don't get manipulated.

Michael Thompson said...

I actually agree with Russell Brand, none of the three mainstream parties are worth voting for now, because since Blair took Labour to the right 1997- 2010, all parties have moved to the right. Yes I know our forefathers fought for the right to vote, but they could not see a future where such apathy and greed running Britain. At least Russell Brand is making sense and doing his best admidst the ridicule of others.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely needed to be said. Poor Rbs employees take so much unnecessary crap from the world when the reality is there's really no one still working there who actually caused any of it. Best of all is Brand being just the latest hippy to protest at the wrong building. Management should totally sublet 250 and just keep the sign up.

Anonymous said...

Russell is all talk and no action.

Whilst I don’t agree with UKIP, the cap had a fair point about getting elected and Russell’s point about then becoming part of the establishment is a cop-out.

Get elected and change the establishment in that case, Russell.

Anonymous said...

Russell Brand is using his own privileged situation to bring to light the greed and corruption of the higher ups?

Haha. Do tell us how much greed and corruption Brand uncovered by trying to force his way into the workplace of people far poorer than he is?

Kristen said...

Well said

Kristen said...

Agreed

Anonymous said...

re: paul robson's comments. house prices were clearly an anomaly but isn't that further indication that the market economy can't be left unchecked. these values were on paper but no-one was earning or spending this money.
if the banks were investing money that didn't exist it is still mismanagement and indicates a need for regulation. they didn't trigger. they caused. its like saying it was the knife that stabbed someone.
believing recessions are cyclical is like believing in fate or fairies. nothing happens in an economy without action and effect.

Anonymous said...

yes. right on the money. Hate brand all you like, but watch "the trues" on the "American economy" and then argue there is a future and then say that he doesn't care(despite his wealth) Indisputable that 50% of the country will always live below poverty levels and the 6 people that own wall mart have more wealth than the poorest 16 million in America combined! worrying facts if you care to watch!

Gaby ... Italy said...

Just brilliant.... made my day reading this!+

John said...

He's responded, your replacement lunch is assured!

http://www.russellbrand.com/2014/12/8164/

Anonymous said...

Obviously there are some fanboys of Russell who are vewwy, vewwy upset about your rude words about their Messiah, but nicely done.

The point about Brand is that we have evidence that it has only been for the last year of his life that he has actually taken politics seriously, and that was because he was invited to guest edit the 'New Statesman' by his then-girlfriend, the oh-so-blue collar Jemima Khan. But the impression gained is not of an autodidact trying to educate himself, but some shouty little prick whose brain is on permanent 'Send'.

In the otherwise unwatchable film 'Get Him to the Greek', Brand's character explains the motivation behind his 'African Child' music video, stating that 'I was watching the news one day and I saw footage about, uh, war, and I think it was Darfur, or Zimbabwe, or Rwanda, or one of 'em, and I thought, 'this isn't right, is it?' And I made some phone calls and it turns out, it isn't'.

I wasn't aware that this would turn out to be prophetic.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/RussellBrand/posts/10152580039838177

Adrian Neve said...

Why are we wasting even a second of our short precious lives on this preening fool? Let's grow up, why don't we?

Anonymous said...

get back in your box, woman

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was quite a rant about someone's paella going cold!

Anonymous said...

Entertaining but missing the point. Brand didn't shut the place down. The bank who desperately want to avoid any sort of scrutiny or publicity about the multi-billion dollar tax payer funded bailout (to use a generous term) shut the place down in a manner more suited to a terror attack that a man armed with questions. And Jo should take Russel up on his offer of a hot paella in way of recompense. It might be an interesting conversation.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely bang on. I noticed the misogyny as well; it's disgusting. What's more, almost his whole post is a series of personal attacks, as if exposing any hypocrisy on Brand's part means that Brand's message is false. This is totally fallacious; if a campaigner against, say, racism turns out to be a racist, that doesn't mean that the campaign against it was wrong.

Sue Bailetti said...

Awesome letter - good on you Jo.

Sue

Anonymous said...

I just dont like the way that Russell Brand using the media to craft himself into a new Che Guevara/Messiah type figure, by hijacking demonstrations where everyday people are actually trying to make a difference. Even his look gives it away, which he has been crafting to suite the role. For him, the revolutionary is a marketing niche which he spotted and was waiting to be filled.

Anonymous said...

Rusell Brand - Ruble Rand $$

Anonymous said...

My lunch stayed cold reading this. I'm glad it was a salad.
Well worth the effort to troll through even if there are Brand bikes sucking up to their"hero".

Anonymous said...

It's strange that a comedian's supporters are such a humourless bunch.

Alyssa said...

A standing ovation for the author, please. Most amusing thing I've read all year.

Russell Brand said...

Okay. You win.
This time.

Robert Green said...

so i watched the footage. i can't for the life of me figure out what the author is talking about. he isn't bullied by any stretch. it's odd that the central thesis of the whole piece is quite provably false (who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes...)

so then you have the sexism (gross, and fuck off, you little wanker) of this post, the exceedingly tendentious pro-banker arguments, and worst of all, the offense taken that someone with russell's megaphone would DARE not just support other rich folk like him. Dude, you got owned by a smarter better nicer person. i'm sorry that it happened to you, and maybe someday you will learn from it.

Anonymous said...

Clearly he isn't getting any

Anonymous said...

Bankers give mortgages to people they know can't pay the money back. Low income, spotty employment, large loans.
The mortgage has a terrible rating, because everyone knows they can't pay the money back.
All these mortgages are bundled together and sold to gullible overseas investers like RBS.
They don't do due diligence.
They lose lots of money because they're holding worthless paper when the music stops.
They need a bailout, and such is the scale of their idiocy, the whole economy is threatened.
They get it. That money that could have gone to hospitals, schools, the economy, new tech, new science, is wasted because of their greed and idiocy. That's an opportunity cost for society on a massive scale.

Banks go back to normal. They go back to paying themselves lovely wages, gold plated pensions, bonuses.

Banks go back to risky practises. No meaningful regulation is passed.

I can understand greed. I can understand the fathomless depths of stupidity, when taking part in a meaningless financial charade gets you temporary bonuses, a nice wage, a nice lifestyle.

What I will never understand is people like you, Squander Two, who look at these facts and conclude bankers are the victims.

Gary Ward said...

'manufacture a cause to fight' - get real!

Craig said...

Jo two questions which you only have to answer to yourself....
Did you believe in WMD?
Did you believe the flu epidemic scare each time it has come around?
And I wonder how much publicity you wanted from the RBS bosses? Just curious.

JuliaM said...

Well, anon, I'm not. On account of not being a man.

Kind of sexist of you not to have considered that, eh?

Ian Webster said...

Thank you Jo for showing Brand up as the infantile little pick that he is

fashion diy team said...

Both as entertaining as each other love this angst complaint & Russell has responded offering to buy Paella as only he could - remain Russell fan regardless sorry we all have our own opinions

Anonymous said...

Ostensibly a well-written polemic. But a moments reflection reveals that the writer is just as self-obsessed, and equally as rude, as Brand himself.

Steve Young said...

You come across as not being able to think about anything but your bloody paella. Have you ever considered that perhaps your lunch is not as important to most people as it is to you?

Anonymous said...

Brand lives in building owned by BVI company. Even if he does not own the BVI company, and as far as I am aware he has never denied that he owns it, it does make him look a fool.
Great letter from the banker.

ollieraison said...

I don't think In the history of humans has the term 'bike' been used to describe a mans sexual proclivity.

Alex Macfie said...

No, just slagging off women who have sex with Russell Brand. I would not use Jo's language, but I would warn any female friend of mine off someone like Russell Brand, and would be disappointed in any woman who let herself fall for that poor excuse for manhood.

Stewart Kenneth Moore (Booda) said...

Very funny...sure your not a boxer?
Nice one two punch!

Deep Shade said...

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/russell-brand-jo-rbs-open-letter.html?m=1

Gary said...

Just watched the video . Russell Brands body language was aggressive and controlling at one point he asserts his physical dominance by restraining the movement of the gentlemans arm.

He was acting in a very bully boy manner.

Although I agree in many of the arguments that Russell puts forward ,The manner in which he does them damages the argument and leaves him to ridicule.

He needs to have lessons on how to treat people in these situations he lacks the skills for this environment.

Dodgy Geezer said...

...It was paella, by the way. From Fernando's in Devonshire Row. I highly recommend them: their food is frankly just fantastic....

I prefer Cafe Verona, on Morgate. And you can eat in Finsbury Square if Russell Brand has closed your office...

Sue at Measand said...


Absolutely priceless!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! RB is the most annoying man. In the world.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog - Brand is a self-serving idiot who claims to speak for the common man but has long ago forgotten, (or doesn't care to remember) what it is like to be the common man. To have to clock up the 9-5, 5 days a week (and some)in a job you don't always enjoy because not to do so would mean losing everything that has been scrimped and scraped for.
He doesn't speak for me and I despise him all the more when he claims otherwise.
He's also not "just like" me - I'd never leave the house looking like a second rate gypsy with wardrobe issues.
Hopefully he'll find another bandwagon soon and leave us working class folk to get some work done.

Stacey "Safety" Collins said...

Brand's was an ill-advised stunt and he's not as smart as he is eloquent. Nonetheless, the RBS bailout was NOT designed to make a profit for the taxpayer, and was not certain to either. That's sophistry of the sort that people don't appreciate hearing, even from unofficial admin staff working only temporarily for the bank.

Anonymous said...

Spindiv are you one of RB's trolls employed to fuel online "popularity" of the RB brand? Let's hope that's all it is, otherwise Santa clearly needs to bring you a "bike" for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, well said.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Joseph Reeves comes across as a bit of selfish sort really. Just because his lunch got cold. So what? Some people can't afford a lunch, let alone a hot one. Enjoy your 15 minutes Reeves, but once you've crawled back under your rock, people will still be hungry and bankers will still be paid far in excess on their worth. It's about time something was done about that.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that this letter is 'brilliant' should read Russell Brand's response. There are bigger issues to be fought than your cold lunch, and Brand's stance on the real issues affecting normal people in the UK has nothing to do with his 'celebrity status' and whatever bitter feelings you have about that.

Jonathan said...

Keep it up mate. We need people like you. Desperately

him said...

I am sure everyone is very sorry that on one day of the year your lunch became cold. And yeah no one likes cold food. your food was so obviously cold due to the panoply of obnoxious references to made towards your apparently soggy pasta!, but Hey at least you can afford food unlike the legions of poor souls forced into using food banks due to the abject greed of the bosses you seem so anxious to defend.
" When i was poor and i complained about inequality people said i was bitter, now i'm rich and i complain about inequality they say i am a hypocrite. i'm beginning to think they just don't want inequality on the agenda" Russel Brand was quoted as saying this some time ago long before you unfortunate cold lunch tirade. in that one statement he renders much of your argument(and that on the mainstream corporate media)utterly defunct! yes Russel has made a fair wad of cash by playing the celebratory game, and no one you watches The Trews holds that against him largely because before all of that he was a common poor bloke scratching a living from the margins of society, much like so many of us in destopian Tory Britain!. But he has not forgot where he came from!, and is now using that media spotlight to shine upon the obvious cracks and faults in a system which is clearly designed to support a privileged few. You claim that Bankers having their bonuses receded if they break the law keeping them on the straight and narrow, which does not explain the famous collapse of the banks causing the working poor to feel so much pain, when the rich fuck up it is the poor that suffer. personalty i would have thought a prison sentence would do a better job of halting their rampant corruption. Did you know for instance that last year the richest 1% owned 41% of the worlds wealth! that quite a lot but it all trickels down right? i mean that's the myth that the establishment classes like to propagate. This year the richest 1% owned 48% of the worlds wealth, so if you crunch the numbers in approximately seven years the one percent crew will own one hundred percent of the worlds wealth if this trend continues if you Joseph might find it hard to purchase pasta then hot or otherwise! Russel Brand is doing an admirable job he is giving those us unheard a voice, yes he can be a pompous tit at times and i don't always agree with everything he says but his message does need to be out there. And attacks like yours are lapped up by the corporate media because a vast amount of us are listening which is making the likes of Rupert Murdock and his conyac swilling chums a little nervous. But presumably you couldn't give a fuck about the plight of the majority you are overtly focused of your cooling lunch, next time you see a democratic demonstration i suggest you get a sandwich as they are
supposed to be served cold.

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