It’s the SNP’s country and Scots are just living in it

The SNP rather than the Lib Dems or UKIP may be the third largest party in the next parliament

This presumably assumes a Uniform National Swing which is unlikely: there will be incumbency advantages and tactical voting. I also can’t vouch that whoever did the maths here got it right. Still if it’s remotely accurate then wow!!!!

The trashing of Russell Brand

I’ve not written about Russell Brand’s book. It’s not that I’m indifferent towards him. I despise his cod radicalism and wrote many posts laying into his early forays into politics. But I just can’t bring myself to spend £6.99 on his new book and then sacrifice several hours to reading it. And I think that even Russell Brand deserves to have his work read before it is mauled.

There are, however, masochists  people who have plunged into this pit apparent of fatuous fallacies and returned to recount to the rest of us the horrors therein. My friend has Robin McGhee has contributed to this emerging sub-genre with an article for Prospect. He compares (or rather contrasts) Brand’s book with a recently published collection of Noam Chomsky’s work:

Russell Brand’s new book is a brilliant, if totally unintentional, defence of the establishment. On the one hand, he proposes the bankruptcy of the current political system. On the other, he gives victory to the establishment by suggesting the only way to fix it is by not participating in politics. Worryingly, Brand’s so-called ideas have resonated with the public: the Newsnight sparring session between him and Jeremy Paxman has had over 10m hits on YouTube and his own news show, The Trews, is up to 44m views and rising. He is a master populist, who is restyling himself as an “alternative” leftist voice. On several occasions he has professed his admiration for alternative thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, despite Brand’s anti-voting stance directly contradicting his hero’s arguments. Chomsky believes the corporate media fabricates narratives to suit the aims of the governing elite. The media’s job is not to inform the public: it is to massage them into being apathetic so the privileged can run the country in peace. While this conspiratorial message has been much derided, if anything proves it, it is Brand’s latest printed tirade.

For me the highlight is the following:

Where there is humour, it is gratingly predictable. His act of the streetwise hedonist playing with literary and philosophical concepts is, as usual, the main source of comedy. (“Amazing as it is that the brain can conjure up these neurological illusions, which on some subtle level are a physical reality, like they must be made of an electrical impulse which has a charge or a weight, it’s a fucking drag when I can’t voluntarily stop it.”) Other attempts at humour come out as surreal meta-ironic puns. Chomsky is “Chomskerooney” at one point, while Thomas Picketty is described like this: “Dear ol’ Thomassy Piketts, ol’ Piketty, Licketty, Rollitty, Flicketty, has been given a right kicketty by the right wing for daring to suggest that we need transparency around the wealth and assets…” The effect, besides bafflement, is padding. Brand has more of an eye on the word count than the words—or less on the spellcheck as the cheque.


The trailer for the Minions is coming!

It’s due on Tuesday. There’s also a poster and a revised synopsis.

“The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. After accidentally killing off so many of them—from T. Rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without a master to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon an adventure that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation”.

Which sounds encouragingly bonkaz!