As UKIPers we should know, more than anybody, what it is like to be criticised for having views which do not fit in with the status quo. When someone who, whether we like it or not, is an idol for thousands of young people up and down the UK, their views have as much right to be heard as yours or mine regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum and their previous personal history
Admittedly, I also find it hard to say anything complimentary about Russell Brand, although he did once call me an ‘awesome guy’ in a short but accidental meeting in Camden Square. He was exactly what you’d expect; stood in his famous ‘look at me pose,’ cracking jokes at every possibility and, probably the most relevant, after attention. This leads nicely on to the main issue of this article, hopefully my first of many for UKIP Daily.
Those who have ever watched any of Russell’s shows on TV will know that he is a natural show-boater. As an entertainer it is his job to… well, entertain. In my view he went into his interview with Jeremy Paxman to do exactly that, but, almost cleverly, to draw attention to himself and his subtle message.
Ignoring his outbursts, bad jokes and calls for an American style revolution, it is what Russell says towards the end of the six minute interview which I found myself fully empathising with. Mr Brand, like many thousands of young people we meet when campaigning in busy shopping centres, out canvassing and inside universities, revealed that he has never voted, and has no interest in starting any time soon; because, in his view, the current political system has created a “disenfranchised, disillusioned underclass”.
He continued… “It’s not that I am not voting out of apathy. I am not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations.”
Russell Brand might not be a man of the people, but on this one occasion, and in those few particular lines he got it exactly right. Many young people are disenfranchised, disillusioned and feel ignored and this needs to change. UKIP can be that change.
It is time to go out and start winning back the trust of young people; those who feel voting is a pointless exercise, those who just want their voices heard and those going through compulsory education and would like the security of knowing that whichever path they choose at the end, they will have the best chance of getting on in life.
Russell might not be politically minded, he might tell bad jokes, but he has got young people talking about politics and the UK economy in which they live. That is something we cannot take away from him.