Thursday, April 30, 2015

'Band vs Brand

What to make of Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband?

On the one hand, you could see it as a cynical attempt by the Labour leader to curry favour with Da Yoof - right down to the cringeworthy but presumably calculated lapses into informal and slang terms that made him sound like Tony Blair after a fortnight watching MTV Base.

However, I'd prefer to cast the interview in a more positive light - why should Miliband be mocked by David Cameron (or anyone else, for that matter) for actually attempting to engage with the younger members of the electorate and deciding to respond to and challenge the views of someone who argues that politicians and voting make no difference?

As a Tory, of course, Cameron has little real interest in the youth vote, being far more concerned with appealing to middle-class homeowners and pensioners. It's not in the interests of either him or his party to encourage those inclined not to vote to change their minds, because if they do, you can be almost guaranteed they won't be putting their crosses in the Tories' box.

For his part, Brand clearly relished the opportunity to hold to account a prospective prime minister and a key member of the political class he so mistrusts. It was all a bit of an ego boost, no doubt, but he did ask a few pertinent questions, even if Miliband remained somewhat evasive. Miliband may have been trying to be down with the kids, but he is still a politician, after all...

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