The New Observer Media Comment Alleged bad behaviour

Alleged bad behaviour

One feature of the Russell Brand episode is that it has brought out a feature of the new ideology. If you pay attention we can see that a new category of wrongdoing has come into being. This is being guilty of “alleged bad behaviour”. This is an example, reported in the Guardian:

“We would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform,” Dinenage wrote. The MP also asked what Rumble was doing to ensure that content creators did not use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims of “inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviour”.

This is a UK MP who wrote to Rumble to query (and put them under pressure) whether they were going to cancel Russell Brand. The first question is, of course; why on earth should they? He hasn’t broken their terms of use and isn’t using (nor is alleged to be using) their platform to pursue any criminal ends.

In this case the suggestion is that Rumble should think about it because Brand has committed “potentially illegal behaviour”. In fact – as of now there are a number of anonymous media stories and one report to UK police for historical sexual assault which has not yet led to an active investigation, let alone Brand being charged with anything, let alone Brand being found guilty. This is a variant on the current vogue to cancel people simply on the basis of allegations. This is crazy until your understand the logic. The victim is always right so to be accused is, entirely logically, to be guilty. They just move straight from allegation to exile without skipping a beat.

In the same story we have the familiar line about Russell Brand:

Brand regularly posts content on Rumble ranging from conspiracy theories to critiques of mainstream media.

I don’t watch Russell Brand. He is not my cup of tea. I just watched a few videos in order to see whether he is a conspiracy theorist or not, and I confirmed that his style does not appeal to me. But I noted that what I saw was:

  • A serious piece just asking questions about Pfizer profits during the pandemic and its links to government, discussing whether the profit motive might not, combined with lobbying, lead to overselling
  • A piece which picked up on a story which had been in the mainstream media wherein a UK government adviser had “blown the whistle” on how it was part of UK government pandemic strategy to deliberately use fear to manipulate the population into compliance with covid restrictions
  • A piece picking up on a media story about how US intelligence has identified that in the autumn of 2019 3 people fell ill in the Wuhan lab with Covid-like symptoms. It is worth adding that the FBI now states it is probable that Covid emerged in a lab in Wuhan and so it is hardly a “conspiracy theory”

All the pieces I saw (I part-watched the videos) were a) based on mainstream media stories and material which I see as uncontested facts and b) were fairly restrained and more about questioning than floating any wild theories. Perhaps he seems to be alluding to an “agenda” which might seem a little conspiratorial; but this seems to me to be a matter of style. I only looked at 3 videos but I chose ones where he would be most likely to be making “conspiratorial” claims, and he wasn’t.

There isn’t much to say except that just 20 years ago the idea that at the first sign of a handful of anonymous historical allegations in a newspaper it was ok for the entire political and media elite to gang up and execute someone would not have seemed possible. Now it is routine. Why? The reason is simple; the mainstream political and media elites know how tenuous their command of popular support is. Russell Brand, once allegations have been made against him, presents a threat to them. They are cleansing themselves of a liability. They are protecting themselves from any risk of crumbling public support by being linked to even a hint of something like this. This is the same pattern we see in how the establishment is now going after people for historical abuse in state-run institutions for children. When the public mood changed and decided that sexual abuse of minors in institutions as a matter of course was not ok the establishment very quickly got to work disassociating itself from people and practices which up until this point it had had no problem with. They sacrifice individuals to protect themselves as a privileged class – while claiming to be doing it out of some high-minded virtue. It is laughable.

Update – madness

This is a prime example, on Times Radio:

How did Russell Brand get away with his alleged behaviour for so long?

Honestly. If they behaviour is simply alleged how can you talk about how he “got away with it”. This is sheer nonsense.