The actor and comedian spoke to Unity at the Convoy to Calais rally, the night before the convoy left for France.
From Unity, anti-racist and anti-fascist magazine July-August 2016, issue 16. Email UAF to ask for printed copies firstname.lastname@example.org
How did you get involved with Convoy?
I’ve been a supporter of the People’s Assembly for a while and their actions against cuts. My politics became increasingly obvious the more I spoke about issues like the privatisation of the NHS.
We live in an age where fame is a kind of currency. I have some. I’d rather spend it on trying to draw people’s attention to the fact that the way we are told our society operates and the problems our society faces are largely lies.
The evidence is out there. We live in the information age—but because we live in the information age everyone is overwhelmed with information. So it just comes down to instinct and what your best mate thinks. No one is prepared to change their mind based on facts.
So every newspaper that you’re likely to come in contact with says immigrants did this or immigrants did that. Immigrants are leading to the death of the NHS. Immigrants are responsible for the closure of libraries because the funding has to be spent on getting them houses rather than buying books. But it is lies.
We are being comprehensively lied to. But the lie is so audacious and at such a scale that people can’t believe it’s a lie. To some extent if you had to genuinely believe that the way in which capital and power collude to maintain the status quo you look like a tin hatted conspiracy theorist, in spite of the fact that all the evidence is available and obvious.
How does the refugee crisis relate to austerity?
If you take a group of people and make them out to be the cause of all our problems then rather straightforwardly the eradication of those people becomes the solution. Seventy years ago there was the final solution; now we have this temporary solution.
How can people in politics get people to trust them?
I don’t know if that is necessarily the right approach. It’s not that politicians have to regain our trust. Its that we as citizens have to elect people that we feel we can trust.