When I heard that Russell Brand was to be appearing on an episode of Question Time, I was skeptical at best. The comedian-turned-actor-turned-author-turned-political activist has been making waves recently with his sudden involvement in all things ‘revolution’ – he’s even written another ‘booky wook’ about it. I was expecting a Farage vs Brand slanging match, however, I was pleasantly surprised. Brand was a class act and delivered my favourite line of the night, branding Farage a ‘pound shop Enoch Powell’ and urging governments to ‘give us something to vote for’ – but why is Russell Brand on Question Time and not Big Brother’s Little Brother?

Brand’s recent public activism has well and truly brought politics back to the forefront of young British minds. At no point in my lifetime have I witnessed so many informed debates about the future of our country coming from the mouths of our youth. It seems, however, that most of our generation Z are not so much disillusioned by our current political climate as they are apathetic. Disillusionment is a sign of clear political ideals not being met, but apathy is a form of defeat, apathy is thinking there is nothing we as a nation can do to change. Some of his more outlandish suggestions, such as the idea that to show our disdain we should abstain from voting, have been rather ill-advised, but he seems to be having a positive effect and politics is once again in vogue.

The 2014 European Election boasted a UK voter turnout of just 35 per cent and with the average EU voter turnout at around 43 per cent Britain has a lot to do to spike political engagement in its younger generation. Russell Brand may be ‘just a comedian, mate’ but he has the social and influential factor to help ignite the political fire in Britain. Whether you think he’s a flouncy idiot who uses unnecessarily long words or a man who is not afraid to use his social influence to fight for what he thinks is right, you’re talking about him and you’re talking about politics – even if you’re saying ‘why is Russell Brand talking about politics?’

His Question Time appearance generated almost 175,000 tweets and his YouTube series ‘The Trews’ has received over two million views; is this a sign that the youth of our country are taking more of an interest in their power as voters? A privilege that we have not always enjoyed. Brand has become a ‘politics populariser’ of sorts and that is just what we need. He doesn’t hide away because he’s rich and famous, he stands out on the streets with us and he joins in. By no means should he run the country, but he shouldn’t be scolded for trying to help.

One of the main reasons for this political apathy we face today is a misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge of what it is our government actually does and how it works. If we want change it has to come from the youngest minds, minds which need to be given an objective and comprehensive political education. This would allow for a firm basis on which they can build their own political ideas and form their own informed allegiances. Politics needs to be introduced into the national curriculum otherwise this apathy will bleed into future generations and affect the politics of the United Kingdom for years to come.

Over the past year, the amount of protests in London alone have rocketed, so obviously something has changed. Brand most certainly is not the Che Guevara that the memes are suggesting, he might just be riding the new political wave in Britain but either way his voice is being heard by the masses: he is shouting at the top of his voice for change and who can blame him?

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