Russell Brand admits he made a mistake publicly backing Ed Miliband and the Labour Party.
IN THE AFTERMATH of Labour's shattering election defeat, Russell Brand has rapidly distanced himself from the party he urged his many followers to vote for just a few short days ago. With almost 10 million followers on Twitter and a YouTube channel boasting over a million subscribers, it was a decisive moment.
Brand's plea for people to ignore Labour's obvious failings for the sake of getting rid of the Tories, fell on deaf ears. Unlike Brand it seems that most of his followers were not prepared to simply disregard Labour's 'Austerity Lite' prescription for the British economy and society.
Perhaps the blogger Johnny Void summed it all up in a searing attack on Brand published shortly before the election:
"Russell Brand will never face a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, the latest mass workfare scheme that Labour plan to introduce. He will not have his income capped and be socially cleansed from his fashionable address like the families who will fall victim to Labour’s planned regional Benefit Caps. He had his time dicking about on benefits when he was young, unlike the 18-21 year olds who will face their benefits being removed completely if Labour win power this week."
Brand has now admitted on his YouTube channel that he made a mistake endorsing Ed Miliband:
“I think for a moment I got caught up in some mad The Thick of It, oh wow, Ed Miliband’s in my house … People were telling me, journalists, people who know loads about politics, look if Labour don’t get in it’s going to really be bad because independent living fund will get cut, public services are going get cut more than ever, its going to get worse for very poor people, the climate of the country is going to get mean and nasty. And now actually the Conservatives have won.”
While Brand says that he doesn't want to become the "defacto spokesperson for people who don't vote", it would be disappointing if he allowed Labour's defeat to drive him away from left wing politics. He has a public and media profile that the left does not command and he needs to employ that in the battles to come.