Entertainment

Russell Brand and the GQ awards: It’s amazing how absurd it seems

Foreign secretary William Hague gave an award to former Telegraph editor Charles Moore, for writing a hagiography of Margaret Thatcher, who used his acceptance speech to build a precarious connection between my comments about the sponsors, my foolish answerphone scandal at the BBC and the Sachs family’s flight, 70 years earlier, from Nazi-occupied Europe. It was a confusing tapestry that Moore spun but he seemed to be saying that a) the calls were as bad as the Holocaust and b) the Sachs family may not’ve sought refuge in Britain had they known what awaited them. Even for a man whose former job was editing the Telegraph this is an extraordinary way to manipulate information.

Noel, who is not one to sit quietly on his feelings, literally booed while Charles Moore was talking, and others joined in. Booing! When do you hear booing in this day and age other than pantomimes and parliament? Hague and Johnson are equally at home in either (Widow Twanky and Buttons, obviously) so were not unduly ruffled, but I thought it was nuts. The room by now had a distinct feel of us and them and if there is a line drawn in the sand I don’t ever want to find myself on the same side as Hague and Johnson. Up went Noel to garner his gong and he did not disappoint: Always nice to be invited to the Tory party conference, he began, Good to see the foreign secretary present when there’s shit kicking off in Syria.

Noel once expressed his disgust at seeing a politician at Glastonbury. What are you doing here? This ain’t for you, he’d said. He explained to me: You used to know where you were with politicians in the 70s and 80s cos they all looked like nutters: Thatcher, Heseltine, Cyril Smith. Now they look normal, they’re more dangerous. Then, with dreadful foreboding: They move among us. I agree with Noel. What are politicians doing at Glastonbury and the GQ awards? I feel guilty going, and I’m a comedian. Why are public officials, paid by us, turning up at events for fashion magazines? Well, the reason I was there was because I have a tour on and I was advised it would be good publicity. What are the politicians selling? How are they managing our perception of them with their attendance of these sequin-encrusted corporate balls?

We witness that there is a relationship between government, media and industry that is evident even at this most spurious and superficial level. These three institutions support one another. We know that however cool a media outlet may purport to be, their primary loyalty is to their corporate backers. We know also that you cannot criticise the corporate backers openly without censorship and subsequent manipulation of this information — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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