My usual two reasons for returning to this story – one, it’s amusing; and two, it’s predictable to the point of inevitability.
Having endorsed Labour’s campaign after a one-to-one session when he found himself unable to sustain the intellectual challenge in a one-to-one against Ed Miliband, who proved uncharacteristically impervious to Russell’s use of of buzzwords… I mean ‘Russell’s incisive grasp of political theory’, the inevitable soon followed.
Apparently Brand buckled into supporting Ed as a consequence of pressure from Ed’s Gestapo-like Labour activists who had the bad taste to relentlessly point out the consequences of a Tory victory to the sort of social welfare programmes that Brand likes to posture in favour of. Uncool, man.
Brand’s mistake was to allow himself to be pinned down by a discourse based on reality; any psychic, con-man or guru on the make could have warned him to steer clear of such dangers and maintain his status by taking refugee in his normal anodyne ‘revolutionary’ generalities. Exposure to reality, even at the hands of Ed Miliband, would only expose them as the hollow posturing they were. Incapable of refuting Ed, his options were limited and embracing Labour allowed him to put off the evil moment where he would have to admit he didn’t know what he was talking about.
Given his backtracking after Ed’s defeat I can only suppose that Brand was then overcome with buyer’s remorse and the inevitable outrage of his intellectually-slack ‘revolutionary’ fellow-travellers at such a craven betrayal of their treasured posturing in favour of actually useful political engagement.
Ed’s mistake was to sit down with Russell Brand and think that he could possibly gain any credibility.
Still, the episode perhaps represents a trival yet accurate characterisation of Ed’s leadership – in the end, it couldn’t even convince Russell Brand.