UKIP-lite Russell Brand Occupues Ed Miliband: Reactions To The Trews
Russell Brand isn’t registered to vote. But he says you should vote Labour, unless you live in Brighton, where you should vote Green. Also, Scots should only vote for a Scot – “If you’re Scottish, you don’t need an English person telling what do to do…” Brand the revolutionary likes fixeed boaders and nationhood. He’s wary of foreigners. He sounds a bit UKIPy.
Also, he’s made his views known after the closing date for voter registration. So, Brandios, get in your times machines and vote soon and vote often for a UKIP-Green-Labour-SNP coalition.
What do we make of this? Helping us are the newspapers experts.
He has nearly 10 million Twitter followers; his YouTube interview with Ed Miliband received well over a million hits and counting; he is listened to by hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Britons, particularly young people who have been repeatedly kicked over the last few years. Russell Brand matters.
Sure: Russell Brand entertains.
And however much bluff and bluster the Tories now pull – maybe more playground abuse from David Cameron, who called Brand a “joke” – his endorsement of Labour in England and Wales will worry them.
More people have registered to vote than ever before: between the middle of March and the deadline to register, nearly 2.3 million registered, over 700,000 of them 24 years old or younger. In countless marginal seats, disillusioned voters who were either going to plump for a protest party or not vote at all could well decide whether we are ruled by David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith for another half a decade.
They could. They could not.
Naturally, Brand’s endorsement is being portrayed as a giant U-turn, and sure enough, he has abandoned his “no vote” stance.
It is a giant U-turn. The portrayal is fair. As the Times notes, “Just 18 months ago, Brand blamed the act of voting for upholding the ‘lies, treachery and deceit” of the political class.” But a conversation with Ed Miliband in his home and Brand is changed. The comic speaks with the conviction of a man who has read one book.
But Brand has been on a very public political journey…
He’s been on a journey. And now that journey is at its end. And Labour is Brand’s final Labour.
….previously indicating his support for voting for Scottish independence and Syriza in Greece.
It’s been a circuitous route.
He has been supportive of the Greens, and still calls on the people of Brighton Pavilion to return Caroline Lucas to parliament.
Brand lives in London.
And it isn’t quite as big a U-turn as you might think.
… He’s not advocating a vote for Labour because he’s become a born-again Milibandite, but because he believes Labour are far more amenable to pressure than Tories who will happily shred the welfare state, the NHS, social housing and workers’ rights.
He thinks Labour will listen to him more?
When Ed Miliband met Brand, the comedian-cum-activist explained, he made it clear he “welcomes and wants pressure from below”
Brand is sometimes bizarrely portrayed as the cause of voter disengagement: obviously, it’s our political and media elites who are responsible for that.
But now he’s symbol for vote engagement. He’s a human switch.
Russell Brand has done his bit to stave off disaster and defend the struggles for justice that now beckon.
All Ross (The Sun):
You would have to be mad, desperate or the class dork whose suddenly become populr with thW cool kids, to land inside this left wing Echo chamber during the General Election. …
The chat with Miliband is just an “invitaiton to agree with him [Brand]… Like most people on the fat left and right, Brand is motivated by things he hates rather than loves….”
“I have come to accept, though, that the old hypocrite does have an incredible ability to sell nd market himself. And I hink there’s no shame in being one of capitalism’s unsung triumphs.
Ben Glaze (Daily Mirror):
Brand’s about-face was heralded as brave an honourable by many
At which point Brand jumps up and says “Psyche!”.