Election controversy of the week: Russell Brand endorses Labour

Comedian Russell Brand has urged his followers to vote Labour despite earlier telling them not to bother voting at all.

741-brand-634
Mr Don't Vote Russell Brand makes a play for skittish voters

Political endorsements are always controversial but the most notable of this election is undoubtedly that of comedian Russell Brand. Despite declaring two years ago that "I've never voted and never will", and encouraging others to do the same, Brand has endorsed Ed Miliband, after interviewing the Labour leader for his online TV channel The Trews.

Justifying his apparent U-turn, Brand argued: "I know I've been Mr Don't Vote', but what I mean is politics isn't something we can just be involved in once every five years... Democracy is something you should be constantly involved in."

David Cameron dismissed the endorsement "I don't have time to hang out with Russell Brand" while Ukip leader Nigel Farage claimed to be "very pleased" that Brand hadn't endorsed him. But while Brand may not be the most profound or coherent thinker, he "has a following of around half a million mostly younger people", notes The Guardian's Rowena Mason.

The point of the exercise was not to get Brand's endorsement it was a chance to grab the attention of "the people watching him with Mr Miliband, people who wouldn't normally give a politician 15 seconds of their skittish attention". By sneering at Miliband's attempt to engage them, the Conservatives "run the risk of looking like they hold those people in contempt".

Unfortunately for anyone who followed Brand's earlier admonition, the deadline for registering to vote was 20 April. So as The Daily Telegraph's Michael Deacon tweeted: "Now all that Russell Brand's fans have to do is build a time machine so that they can meet the deadline for voter registration."

Recommended

Beyond the Brexit talk, the British economy isn’t doing too badly
Economy

Beyond the Brexit talk, the British economy isn’t doing too badly

The political Brexit pantomime aside, Britain is in pretty good shape. With near-record employment, strong wage growth and modest inflation, there is …
17 Oct 2019
Spare us these desperate measures
UK Economy

Spare us these desperate measures

Struggling firms are trying to reinvent themselves. Some are going to have to get much more radical
21 Sep 2020
Universal Credit comes good
UK Economy

Universal Credit comes good

The government’s benefit reforms have been plagued with disasters since their introduction in 2013. The Covid-19 crisis, however, has revealed a posit…
21 Sep 2020
Bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19
UK Economy

Bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19

The recent spike in Covid-19 “cases” is very different to the original outbreak, says James Ferguson of MacroStrategy Partnership. The government need…
18 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?
Oil

Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?

With demand for oil hammered by Covid-19 and talk of “peak oil demand”, there are lots of good reasons to be bearish on oil producers. So, asks John S…
22 Sep 2020
Why you should stuff your end-of-pandemic portfolio with Chinese stocks
China stockmarkets

Why you should stuff your end-of-pandemic portfolio with Chinese stocks

For an end-of-pandemic portfolio, you need assets that can cope with today’s volatility. And that, says Merryn Somerset Webb, means Chinese stocks.
14 Sep 2020
IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it
Trading

IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it

The owner of British Airways has had a turbulent year, but is now worth a punt. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to play it.
8 Sep 2020