I like Russell Brand. I also quite like Nigel Farage. What's a girl to do? Thursday night's Question Time showdown was hardly the political panto punch-up we'd been hoping for but at least it gave us 'pound shop Enoch Powell' and more in-audience action than the disabled gentleman could shake his stick at.
It also showed Brand to be woefully off point at times in his haste to ruffle Nige's feathers. Brand has engaged young people in politics and is stirring up hearts and minds with his on-the-front-line activism and glorious take downs of mainstream media BS.
The recent ad-hom attacks at him from all sides - from his frilly vocabulary, narcotic-imbibing past to his revolving door of bedfellows - have been unjustified, most notably using the bizarre logic of apparently not being qualified to support the poor and vulnerable's causes should you be the bearer of a generously stuffed bank account.
Brand champions the underdog and those whom the system deftly shits upon from a great height - the E9 mothers and New Era Estate being a case in point. He's galvanising the growing socio-political awakening and correct in calling for an entire political overhaul, safe in the knowledge that whichever party you vote for it is the corrupt banking system, the tax evading multinationals, the billionaire lobbyists who are served by the governing party. Not us plebeians who've been hung out to dry. It isn't immigrants' fault he claimed on QT. They're being scapegoated.
Mass uncontrolled immigration as we have witnessed over the last twenty odd years is a problem for many. More specifically, the working class he claims to support. Brand's failure to understand this undermines many of his pertinent points and will only alienate himself from those he's trying to connect with. When people's communities are rapidly changing before their very eyes, when they're competing for sub-living wage jobs, when they're waiting for weeks to see their GP, well, shit's gonna get real...
Uncontrolled immigration really only serves Big Business by depressing workers wages - for immigrants and indigenous Brits. We can see it is straining the NHS, schooling, housing, and yes, our roads. Because Brand (correctly) wants to hold the bankers responsible for our country's economic mire, it does not invalidate uncontrolled immigration from still remaining a very worthy issue for those who are feeling its consequences. In fact, he misses altogether that it's another facet of the crony capitalism he despises.
Enter Nigel Farage. He might not be a common man, but, truth is, he is speaking to him. Farage, Ukip and their policies are connecting directly with those sick of the left-right paradigm and the hopelessness felt after years of lies from LibLabCon. Life is a vacuum, and Ukip, for all their imperfections (and don't get me wrong, they are manifold) have filled the vacuum of expressing concerns of those who've had them ignored, stifled or shut down until now. For the first time in decades politics is exciting again.
And therein lies the paradox. Farage and Brand have more in common than they realise; they're both anti Westminster status-quo and both a mouthpiece for the angry, the disenfranchised, the frustrated - the everyman. The self-styled revolutionary's total political overhaul may well be needed but for now, Ukip are a welcome spanner in the works for their supporters. The tiresome, lazy 'racist / bigot' smear against Ukip doesn't work anymore and the sooner Brand cottons on, the sooner he'll endear himself further to those who I believe he genuinely cares about.