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Sunday 29 March 2015

Russell Brand - Another Sun Smear

The mean-spirited behaviour of the right-leaning press towards anyone of celebrity status who chooses to give their time to fighting their own chosen deserving causes knows no bounds: the attitude of papers like the Mail towards Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan, for having the audacity to appear at the Leveson Inquiry, is well-known. And the hatred of that paper, and the Sun, towards Russell Brand is also a regular feature.
So when Brand put his advocacy and his money behind a venture called the Trew Era Café, opposite the New Era Estate in Hackney where he joined the campaign to prevent 93 residents being evicted by a new corporate landlord, which intended to triple rents, the deeply subversive Guardian might have given some straight publicity, but Rupe’s downmarket troops would never be far behind.

The café is “a social enterprise staffed by recovering drug addicts from the area …According to Brand, the cafe stands as a permanent symbol of the victory of a grassroots movement over corporate interests; a place for the people of the New Era estate to gather for social and political purposes, while also contributing to the community”.

What did it sell? “A chalkboard hangs next to the counter advertising the cafe’s offerings – cafe latte and cappuccino for £1.80, tea for £1.40 and juices (all organic obviously) for £4. Several cheesecakes made by Lindsey Garrett, a lead campaigner against the New Era evictions, are on sale, as are locally made jams”. Yes, there are teething problems, but Brand and his café have the backing of local residents and businesses.
Enter the Sun to smear and spin: “Leftie comic’s eaterie is a flop … Russ’s revolutionary café is revolting” it told readers. For starters, the toilet was “Horrible”. What was wrong with it? Ah, but you don’t need to know about that. It just is. “The Sun on Sunday visited yesterday and found it has no menu, no kitchen, no savoury food and is fast running out of cake”. And to that I call bullshit.

As the Guardian pointed out, what is available is on a chalkboard, it’s not yet pretending to sell savoury food, the kitchen is still being put together and if the cakes are selling well, what’s the problem? Instead, the Sun sneers at a spelling mistake on the chalkboard, disparages the idea of food being “ethically sourced” (something else they could have read about in the Guardian), and even tries to blame the café for local parking charges.

Did the Sun hack actually drive there from the Baby Shard? Did the Sun hack actually visit the place, given most of what was in the article could have been churned out of that in the Guardian? What does not get told by the Murdoch faithful, of course, is that the Trew Era Café has the support of the locals, and is serving a further purpose in helping to rehabilitate recovering drug users - they just pretend it’s a Brand vanity project.

When the obedient Murdoch doggies put their money into that kind of enterprise, they might be worth listening to. But they won’t do any time soon, and so they’re not.


Tim said...

I wonder how many copies of the sun are sold in that part of London? They must see through this. The more the sun craps in its own nest the more the circulation figures will drop..

Otto said...

Russell Brand won't be unhappy about this hatchet job, it comes firmly under the PT Barnum "don't care what they say about me, as long as they spell my name right" category. Anyone with half a brain can see the agenda, which leaves perhaps 15% of Sun readers who may now consider his new caff for their morning cuppa.

And I'm no fan of Brand myself, but I'm sure he doesn't care about that either.