Russell Brand is following in Morrissey's footsteps (but in a gentler way).
After the singer blasted Margaret Thatcher as "barbaric" following her death, Brand chose to instead share his thoughts on Britain's loss by writing a piece for Huffington Post that reflected on the imprint Britain's former prime minister had on him as a child who grew up under her rule. And, well, they weren't exactly fond memories.
"You could never call Margaret 'Mother' by mistake; for a national matriarch, she was oddly unmaternal. I always felt a bit sorry for her biological children Mark and Carol, wondering from whom they would get their cuddles," Brand said, also mentioning, "Thinking about it now, when I was a child she was just a strict woman telling everyone off and selling everything off. I didn't know what to think of this fearsome woman."
He continued, "Perhaps my early apathy and indifference are a result of what Thatcher deliberately engendered, the idea that 'there is no such thing as society, that we are alone on our journey through life, solitary atoms of consciousness."
But the celeb admitted that regardless of what views he had of Thatcher, her death was still...a death.
"When I awoke today on L.A. time, my phone was full of impertinent digital eulogies. It'd be disingenuous to omit that there were a fair number of ding-dong-style celebratory messages amidst the pensive reflections on the end of an era. Interestingly, one mate of mine, a proper leftie, in his heyday all Red Wedge and right-on punch-ups, was melancholy. 'I thought I'd be overjoyed, but really it's just... another one bites the dust...'
"This demonstrates I suppose that if you opposed Thatcher's ideas it is likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one's enemies."
After questioning why certain groups—such as the Spice Girls—referred to the Iron Lady as a feminist, and reminiscing on her political stance which Brand later referenced as "just not British," he said, "The blunt, pathetic reality is that a little old lady has died, who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police supervision. If you behave like there's no such thing as society, in the end there isn't. Her death must be sad for the handful of people she was nice to and the rich people who got richer under her stewardship.
"It isn't sad for anyone else. There are pangs of nostalgia, yes, because for me she's all tied up with Hi-De-Hi and Speak and Spell and Blockbusters and 'follow the bear.' What is more troubling is my inability to ascertain where my own selfishness ends and her neoliberal inculcation begins.
"All of us that grew up under Thatcher were taught that it is good to be selfish, that other people's pain is not your problem, that pain is in fact a weakness and suffering is deserved and shameful. Perhaps there is resentment because the clemency and respect that are being mawkishly displayed now by some and haughtily demanded of the rest of us at the impending, solemn funeral are values that her government and policies sought to annihilate."
In closing, Brand simply stated, "I do not yet know what effect Margaret Thatcher has had on me as an individual or on the character of our country as we continue to evolve. As a child she unnerved me but we are not children now and we are free to choose our own ethical codes and leaders that reflect them."