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Russell Brand open-minded about 5/11

russell brand newsnight

Comedian and political activist Russell Brand has used the 409th anniversary of 5/11 to declare himself ‘open-minded’ about the possible involvement of the English government in the Gunpowder Plot.

“I’m not claiming I know who was behind the plot like some didactic historical prophet,” said Brand. “But I’ve watched ‘Loose Groats’ and I just can’t help but ask questions – it’s what I do. They tell me the plot was organised by a small group of Catholic co-conspirators, I believe the opposite.”

“Besides, I for one have noticed the increasing demonisation of Catholics in the socio-political climate of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.”

Brand also commented that it was ‘interesting’ that trust in official Stuart media – mainly a network of town criers and very primitive printing presses – had, by 1605, degenerated to such a point as to make such conspiracy theories popular.

Brand, who has often worn Guy Fawkes-style masks to public protests in a widely misunderstood historical statement, made the comments in an interview this evening. His statements have been criticised by many observers who accuse him of exploiting the current cultural buzz and flurry of social media attention surrounding the Plot.

“Which organisation other than the government would have the money and resources to pull off such a stunt?” he said. “Besides, any competent alchemist can tell you that gunpowder doesn’t even ignite at that temperature.”

“Who sent the letter to Lord Mounteagle?” Brand further inquired in conversation with our reporters. “I’m not saying Robert Cecil was pulling the strings, but he certainly stood to benefit.”

“We need to transcend the restrictive parochialism of the material plain that our five senses confine us to and access the higher truth, the deeper truth, of a beautiful collective utopian spiritual consciousness that recognises that Sir Thomas Knyvett was handsomely rewarded for his negligence in guarding Parliament with a peerage.”

“The insurmountable pile of pretexts for shirking your democratic responsibilities simply grows and grows,” Brand concluded. “Keep an open mind, yeah?”

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