Revolution. An exciting notion! It's certainly stirred up an increasingly lively national debate; suddenly we have a comedian being interviewed on Newsnight and the Mayor of London writing a column about him.
Luckily it has also got people talking openly about ideas that until recently have largely been considered the arena of hippies, dreamers and conspiracy theorists. That is to say, unrealistic. Whilst the UK has made a half hearted nod to appease 'the people' in that we now recycle, buy free range and run news stories about corporation tax avoidance, the issues of global irresponsibility, corruption and equality are pushing more firmly into the public arena.
'Revolution' as I see it is merely the most convenient (and faintly glamorous) term for the social change which is imminent. I say imminent because I really believe that if we don't make this change we're fucked. Either we'll take ourselves out with an ill advised war that if anyone ever finds our charred remains - perhaps a solitary Nokia will remain with a brief explanation - aliens will laugh about us in the way we affectionately abuse the silly dodos, or mother nature will say enough is enough and shake things up a bit. I mean, we may consume our way into global famine or intensively breed ourselves a ravaging new swine flu/ bird flu/ BSE - the consequences of our charming approach to raising animals for food. None of those prospects are appealing, and apart from the mother nature scenario, none of them need occur.
Although 'revolution' inevitably has connotations of violence and chaos, "a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new order', fortunately that force can be less about beheading and more of a persistent lean; it simply requires that people are willing to take responsibility for their actions, spend their money ethically and be vocal about injustice. Obviously there is more to it than that, this is just a blog and it's getting late. However if you apply these principles at all levels of society, from individuals to corporations and governments, we would quickly find ourselves on the right track.
Consider if billions of pounds weren't spent in keeping various pharmaceutical companies in power over our health; if our doctors weren't sponsored to prescribe us addictive pills for complaints that often can treated with more holistic or natural approaches. Sure, cures aren't good for business.
On a similar note there is certainly a lot of profit in intensive animal farming, but not only are we committing atrocities for which any grand children will be quick to disown us, we're also funding the most unsustainable industry that is pillaging our resources when people on the planet still don't have enough food or clean water. The human population of the planet consumes 5.2 billion gallons of water a day, and 21 billion pounds of food. Cows raised for food alone consume 45 billion gallons of water and 135 billion pounds of food - which could be eaten by people. That doesn't make sense. But it does make a few people very rich. It also makes for a huge strain on the NHS. Back to our reliance on addictive pills with side-effects, for which there are other pills.
My copy of Russell Brand's Revolution has just been delivered. Tomorrow is November 5th - a day on which I first watch V for Vendetta and which made me hugely reassured that the revolution I'd sensed wasn't just in my head. I'll be joining the Million Mask March which sees people across the world protesting peacefully in the name of changing social order and achieving actual democracy. Last year 900 hundred people in masks marched through central London and it wasn't reported in the news until 10.30pm when the BBC mentioned there'd been a small protest about 'rises in energy prices'. That definitely wasn't it. I predict tomorrow will be even more indicative of the change that is bubbling at society's surface so if your interest is piqued why not grab a mask and show your face.
Trafalgar Square 5.45pm November 5th.
Best sign ever.