The language of social change is shifting

The increasing number of voices articulating a positive vision of the future – including Russell Brand’s call for “a peaceful, effortless, joyous revolution” at London’s march against austerity – are a welcome antidote to the ‘anti’ approach, says Lucy Purdy

RussellBrand-anti-austerity2-crop-385x250Beardy, dressed in skin-tight grey and barely pausing for breath, Russell Brand addressed the crowd at the People’s Assembly march on Saturday with customary rock star zeal.

Striding onto the stage, charmingly flirtatious and studiously dishevelled, it was difficult to gauge what reception he might get. Because among the estimated 50,000 people who had turned up were families I spoke to who can’t afford to spend any time together, people who told me they were making choices between paying for heating or food; men and women feeling worn out, afraid and fed up.

The day felt engaged, but largely ‘anti’. This was about anti-austerity and angry placards. Music and togetherness yes – but against something, not for something. Last to speak on a line-up of mainly trade union bosses and stalwarts, it was uncertain how Brand would relate to this crowd. But he did.

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