An Open Letter to Russell Brand: Voting. So what?

So, yes, Russell, democracy ain’t perfect. Voting is a corrupted and corruptible process. History will show us what we want to look for and voting will either be the peak of human endeavour or a sleazy, compromised dance of settlement with partners you’d not want to get too close to in case you catch something nasty like realpolitik.

But Mr. Brand, marvellous entertaining and uplifting man that you are, voting is the best it’s gonna get for the time being. And I don’t mean the macro choices of Cameron Heavy, Cameron Light or Cameron Rosé. I mean the voting in the little places of the classroom, the workplace or the pub on a Friday night when we might rashly vote to go for a kebab or stay for another Subrowka shot.

We need constantly to practice our voting skills in all sorts of places and at all sorts of times – and often in the knowledge that whilst the ‘majority’ voice should be heard, the ‘minority’ voices also need listening to – otherwise we face a future of loud mouth boorish fat bastards in blazers calling all the shots about which pub to drink in, which school lunchtime option to gobble down and which Labour Party leader gets elected by what kind of vote.

The issue about the act of voting is not about whether you ignore it – but it’s about how you can do it more often, more sophisticatedly and with more joy in the complexities it offers us when it comes to understanding the social lives we are woven into.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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