Coffee House

The biggest loser of the night? Russell Brand

8 May 2015

8:51 AM

8 May 2015

8:51 AM

Forget Vince Cable. Forget, if you can, Ed Balls (and I know that’s hard, because what a joyous result that was). Expel from your mind the image of Nick Clegg crying into his cornflakes this morning while texting his old pals in the Euro-oligarchy to see if they will give him a new plush job that involves no contact with pesky plebs. For last night there was an even bigger loser than those guys. Russell Brand. Or ‘Rusty Rockets’, as his politics-packed Twitterfeed has it. Rusty being the operative word, for now we know that the much-hyped ability of slebs like Brand to sway public sentiment is in a serious state of decomposition.

This election has just done to Brand what the last election did to Clegg: exposed that his powers of persuasion over the little people are nothing more than a Guardianista fantasy. In 2010 every liberal was banging on about Cleggmania and saying Nick was the Obama of Britain. (Obama should have sued.) Then the election results came in and revealed that Clegg’s Lib Dems actually lost seats – 57, down from 61 in 2005 (and now, of course, his party is wiped out).

This time round, leftish observers talked up the ‘Brand effect’, the possibility that Rusty’s reversal on not voting and his interview with and endorsement of Miliband might help swing the election. ‘The Tories should be worried’, declared the Guardian. Yeah, not so much. If Brand had any effect – and he didn’t – it was only to damn Labour even more than it was already damned.

The bigging-up of Brand’s intervention in the election was seat-shiftingly embarrassing. ‘He has nearly 10 million Twitter followers… he is listened to by hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Britons… Russell Brand matters’, said Owen Jones, clearly viewing Brand as a kind of priestly figure with a mystical hold over that inscrutable blob (us lot) that politicians can’t connect with. In another piece, Jones said ‘Miliband’s best route to young voters is Russell Brand’, not stopping to think that it might be super-weird that the leader of the alleged party of working people can only speak to the youth via a floppy-haired 40-year-old tabloid filler who hasn’t made a decent gag since 2008.

— Elisa Misu Solaris (@ElisaMisu) April 27, 2015

Elsewhere, commentators hailed Brand as the man who has ‘access to voters politicians can’t reach’. Brand was treated as a celeb conduit, a connector of the political class with the plebs, someone who could actually turn things around. ‘The Tories should be worried.’ People seriously said that.

We can laugh at it all now, and we should – in fact, it’s important that we do. Because it turns out that Brand’s ability to get people lining up behind Miliband was pure bluster. This calls into question, not only the impact of Russell’s silly, increasingly David Icke-like ‘Trews’ videos, but also the whole modern trend for shoving celebs into the political limelight in the desperate hope that they might get the lazy little people interested and engaged in political stuff.

Hilariously, the very same people who accuse the Murdoch papers of brainwashing their readers into voting for the Tories – such undiluted snobbery – believed that a celeb with a webcam and a lively Twitter presence could simply click his fingers and get the hordes voting Labour. But he couldn’t. And it isn’t hard to see why. It’s because people aren’t idiots. They want substance, seriousness, not finger-wagging gags about EVIL TORIES and instructions to ‘save Britain’ by giving the nod to Ed.

Brandmania ultimately spoke to the gaping, chasm-like disconnection of the Labour movement, the liberal elite and the Twitterati from ordinary people. Incapable of speaking directly to the masses, they had to employ a sleb to try to do it on their behalf. Their reliance on Rusty revealed their own lack of any serious message, or any means of communicating it to the people. And now they are dumbfounded by the election results, utterly unable to comprehend why their favoured party did so badly. ‘But we had RUSSELL BRAND on our side!’ It’s amazing – they’re like medieval kings, staring in bemusement at the throng, wondering why it refuses to heed the messages of their long-haired missionary.

Show comments
  • Russell Brand

    The biggest loser is this country now the Tories is in total control. Things is already getting bad after just ten days. At least I can spend half the year at my gaff in Hollywood — not all poor people have got that opportunity.

  • MC73

    Miliband going to see him was a massive miscalculation, I’m not sure whether it was motivated by foolishness or weakness. I felt a little ‘Dave might just have this’ thrill when I saw the report of the visit last week.

  • Callipygian

    The amazing thing, looking at this video, is the crazedness of Brand — his unwillingness to listen, his impatience at letting the other man speak. He really does seem undisciplined, uninterested, and unhinged.

  • James Harris

    So – your whole article posits that because Labour didn’t win, then Russell Brand is meaningless? That’s a completely false premise. Who’s to say how much of an effect he did have? What would the result have been like without him? His whole schtick has never been only to ‘vote for Labour’ – that was just last week. He’s had a huge effect on public discourse and have you ever heard what he did with a housing estate?

    • Callipygian

      Look at the video. The man is a disaster waiting to happen. The question is only how many innocent bystanders he takes down with him.

  • Wildthingsable 10

    It makes me laugh how spectacularly ignorant the commentators are on this site. Instead of reading right wing drivel and believing it, perhaps they should understand that many more people are going to be pushed into even further poverty in the next five years. Whether more people are made homeless, die waiting to be served at the NHS, or become increasingly reliant on food banks, not to mention the burgeoning gap between the wealthy and non wealthy. The Tories have chosen one solution which is barely working, and is the worst possible selection of several ways of recovering this country, and yet people are willing to buy the argument that there is no other way out and its the fault of the party in opposition. As if in a Free Market, the political parties have complete control and responsibility over the way our economy runs. Nonesense.

    • Callipygian

      You wouldn’t know ‘right wing’ if you were flying a plane, darling. There IS no ‘right wing’ in Britain, and we should all be glad. What there is is a Grown-up Group and a Marxist Dreamland Childish Group. The Grown-ups have learned the lessons of the past two centuries, and especially they have noted the bloody failures of Communism (something like 100 million dead through massacre, war, and famine for the sake of that corrupt ideology — and that’s not counting the survivors that lived in misery). The Marxist Group has no idea, as always.

      • Wildthingsable 10

        Ok, you seem to refuse to accept political terminology? You first state that I don’t know what right wing is, then you state there is no ‘right wing’ in Britain (enough said, no Tories, no UKIP?). Your political ignorance extends further by stating that I am Marxist just for attacking the state of the country the Conservative party has left us in and will continue to lead us into. If I said ‘lets have a revolution and destroy these capitalist politicians’ then I would be the communist, juvenile (or dreamland childish), marxist you are branding me as. I am telling the right wingers on here to stop believing the propaganda tripe that makes them blindly follow the Tories. To claim that opposing poverty is childish makes me question whether you are human? Its little wonder you are offended by me.

        • Callipygian

          Oh blimey. That’s right: the Tories and UKIP are just exactly like the parties of Weimar Germany of the 1900s. [That’s sarcasm.] Who is the political ignoramus? And suggesting that non-Marxists and non-statists actually LIKE poverty certainly IS childish, on your part. And wrong. In fact, it’s Labour’s and the Lib Dems’ policies that are proven triggers of poverty and exacerbators, in their misguided and misbegotten attempt to punish some for being less than miserably off; while by contrast everyone is better off in a democratic, free-market regime.

          The 20th century proved with bloody regularity that socialism does not work. You don’t know history but the rest of us do — and are determined not to repeat it.

  • UKSteve

    I agree with the headline. Now perhaps the Speccie can answer why the F they keep obsessing about the half-witted fool, in pieces like this?

  • Peter Day

    I like Russel Brand.The under 18s believed his drivel was the new promised land, which at least, prevented them from joining I S for the time being.

  • WinstonCDN

    Why would a nation of adults listen to a crack addict kid?

  • Nathan Forester

    Ha! I told everyone that Brand would lose. I told them..but did they listen? Noooooooo…they didn’t. This just made my day.

  • Anna Conaghan

    wow I’m stunned that you could put this article together, whilst sucking off rupert murdoch. How multi talented are you??

    • Callipygian

      That’s a totally incoherent comment. And wonderful evidence that the non-thinkers of Britain are prodigious in their non-thinking.

  • Haywood Jablowme

    you mean Russell has no brand.

  • Matthew

    I respect Russell Brand and enjoy his performances. Given his background and anti-establishment stance, however, he’s a toxic brand as far as his political endorsements go. What Milliband miscalculated in his attempt to make the election more interesting was his failure to realise that the support of a renegade like Brand was very likely to damage his campaign, as it most likely did.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “What Milliband miscalculated”

      That’s Brits for you; double the consonant at the drop of a hat.

      • Too Old To Join UKIP

        Which is what most normal Britons spelt that particular surname, phonetically, rather than by rote.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          No, Jock. They mispronounce the name and that morphs into a spelling error.
          Jonathan D. MacDonald, Rochdale’s ignorance and stupidity candidate. “Too stupid to Join UKIP” Your support was the kiss of death.

          • Too Old To Join UKIP

            Or you are just a vapid, pedestrian idiot. What is your point?! Because, let’s face it, you have never got one!

      • Too Old To Join UKIP


  • George Alexander

    “… who hasn’t made a decent gag since 2008.”
    That should read “… who hasn’t ever made a decent gag.”

  • shaunandelly

    What group is Galloway rushing off to pretend to be part of now?

  • Patrick Meehan

    So Brendan O’Neill, when you say ‘us lot’ is it the ‘us lot’ in schools, hospitals and other vital services that are awaiting the effects of £12 billion of cuts?

    • Picquet

      Do you perhaps mean you supernumaries who spend your time ‘working’ at your Solitaire records in schools, hospitals and other vital services when you could be Working productively?

  • Captain Concerned

    Wicked, I know, but the image of Ed Balls finally meeting his Waterloo couldn’t have been sweeter. In a weak moment, I felt a bit sorry for Millipede, and even more so, Nick Clegg, but for Balls I hold nothing back – he deserved every minute of his humiliation and I hope he never darkens the door of public service ever again. Come to that, I hope he never gets into public service either. He’s a great story teller; he has a future as an author – he can join other left wing writers like JKR and make a fortune – hopefully this time he can keep it!

  • Gilbert White

    The real losers were the elite delusional journalists who will never be fired or be replaced by an illegal. Incidentally now this dopehead is rich can he not be retrospectively fined for his bin laden publicity stunt? I would love to be able to phone him up and tell him the Royal Free Hospital has shagged his bank account.

  • kefp

    Oh but Clegg was the Obama of UK: spun a good tale to the media, absolutely useless in power and you can’t trust him as far as you can spit.

  • stalec

    What a load of horse-shit this article is. Clearly you have no idea what Russel Brand is talking about, nobody ever calls him rusty and how dare you assume the electorate is so easily swayed by the opinions of one man.

    Infact, so many people voted green, and those many are who Russel brand appeals to. However, the greens were the losers, as a result of the fptp system.

    Clearly you are ignorant to the wider picture and have entered this conversation with such a bias that the truth is lost along the way.

    Clickbaited because brand was in the title, commented because of your ignorance and I surely will not be returning to read one of your poorly thought out and out of touch articles again.

    • Picquet

      Perhaps you should check the Green’s result in the council elections in Brighton…

  • fr0d0

    The biggest loser was democracy.

    • Picquet

      When did Miliband change his name?

  • OhioMike45

    Perhaps all these ‘slebs’ will lose their popularity for pimping their ignorant political brand upon the populace. We can only hope! Also, point and laugh!

  • K-Bob

    This also happened in the early Reagan/Thatcher years. Suddenly the left discovered that it’s most iconic social icons of iconicness really had no appeal to the younger set.

  • Mukkinese

    The biggest losers are going to be those with no power, the poor and the most vulnerable. But the Spectator, and the rest of the press, never wanted to talk about what was happening to them and so their plight is ignored with a clear conscience.

    I did not vote Tory, but today I feel ashamed to be an Englishman…

    • jonkle

      Does left wing socialist governance have a better record of helping the poor ?

      • Picquet

        Of course it has. The Russians tried it; they wiped most of them out along the way, but you don’t make omelettes…

  • Golben Amduke

    I think CCHQ should fund Brand’s operation. He is a VERY useful idiot.

    • jonkle

      Coming up next.
      Brand on the benefits of wind turbines.

  • Hippograd

    Yes, anyone who was (ahem) preparing for power with Brand’s backing was highly deluded, wunnay? If only Brendan had been there to tell Labour how elections can be cruel things for those who think they’re on the road to power:

    The RCP’s programme can be traced through the publications “Our Tasks and Methods” (a reprint of the Revolutionary Communist Group’s founding document), the 1983 general election manifesto Preparing for Power and the article “The Road to Power” in the theoretical journal Confrontation (1986)… Many former members of the RCP and some of the people who contributed to LM magazine continue to be politically active, most notably in the Institute of Ideas (a think tank), led by Claire Fox, the online magazine Spiked magazine, initially edited by Mick Hume and later by Brendan O’Neill…,_1978%29

  • Al

    Anyone seen a comment from Telemachus. I’m worried he might have done himself an injury.

  • John Williams

    He’s still calling himself a comedian. About as funny as genital sores…Can’t he be prosecuted under the trades descriptions act or something similar.

  • Marcussmod

    I disagree…the biggest loser was George Galloway. He was booted out of his Bradford seat by a female Muslim Labour candidate. It seems the racists and Zionists were to blame, according to Mr Galloway.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “I disagree…the biggest loser was George Galloway”
      Which means the biggest gainer was Israel.