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The Most Interesting Event In The Russell Brand Scandal
Censors come out of hiding.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in which case I’m slightly envious, you might have heard about the controversy surrounding one Russell Brand.
To recap, The Times teamed up with Channel 4 Dispatches to produce an indictment of Brand, airing allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse. The latter occurring between 2006 and 2013. Brand has denied all of them.
Mayhem ensued. #MeToo supporters rushed to the defence of the alleged victims. Some truthers rushed to support Brand. Mainstream media latched on like the click-thirsty bloodhound it is, inviting all of their favourite inflammatory pundits on to discuss the story. With many treating allegations as though they were court convictions.
As Father Jack would say, “fecking hell!”.
There were some voices of reason - Leilani Dowding to name one. She stood out as one of the few to exercise logic and reiterate the fact that Brand has not been charged. Nor has he been convicted. And that whether he is innocent or guilty doesn’t matter at this point because all we have at present is accusations.
YouTube, surprise surprise, couldn’t give two hoots. Due process isn’t really their thing, so they promptly demonetised all of Brand’s content. Kind of like what they did to all those who told the truth about vaccine transmission falsehoods. Perception of their “moral” action, however, took a bit of hit when people realised they can still profit off Brand’s videos, just not Brand himself.
Members of the UK Government went a step further.
When the Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Baroness Lancaster of Kimbolton, Caroline Julia Dinenage MP (I know it’s a mouthful), learned that pro-free speech platform, Rumble, hadn’t demonetise Brand, she took it upon herself to pen a letter. Here is a copy:
In other words, Caroline thinks it is appropriate to strip away a person’s income based on accusations alone. God forbid the day that someone accuses her of something serious...
The move, ultimately, backfired. With many aghast that a government representative would use her office to wade in on such a matter, prominent online commentators dug into her.
These efforts proved fruitful. Journalist David Atherton discovered Caroline’s husband, Baron Mark Lancaster (we really need to ditch these pompous titles) was Deputy Commander of the secret intelligence 77th Brigade from June 2018 to July 2020. The same brigade that spied on public social media posts critical of lockdowns and the Covid vaccines.
Via TheyWorkForYou, I also discovered Caroline had Rumble’s arch rivals Google (which owns YouTube) listed on her Register of Members’ Interests page. Turns out, Google invited Caroline as their guest to a cosy day out at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Arts earlier in June.
A day before she wrote her letter to Rumble, it emerged that Caroline had penned another letter to GB News. She contended presenter Beverly Turner’s labelling of Brand as a “hero”, outlining the importance of impartiality in UK broadcasting. This was despite Beverley’s co-presenter Andrew Pierce fiercely challenging her during the show. Also, mirror check, what of her “impartially”?
No matter how outlandish viewers might find Turner's comments, they were presented as opinion, not fact. So why Caroline felt the need to interject, again using her office, is mystifying.
Critics have dubbed the bill as “one of the widest sweeping attacks on privacy and free speech in a Western democracy”. One provision in particular allows the government to demand online services employ government-approved software to scan through user content, including photos, files, and messages, to identify illegal as well as legal but harmful content.
All in all, it’s a hot mess. If a member of the government cannot respect due process for citizens and the law, how can she expect us to do the same for her? And more importantly, the bill she co-wrote?
If only the wider public held the same disdain for racists as they did for censors. Perhaps then we would rid ourselves of these paradoxically nannying and bullying representatives...
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