Ed Miliband’s interview with Russell Brand has been released and it’s rather depressing. Not that Miliband messed up — in fact, he is very on message and sticks to Labour’s party lines. It’s simply not very enlightening. Brand comes across as the mad man cornering the boring person in a pub because he thinks he might agree with him.
It’s business as usual from Brand, who ranted about the ‘unelected powerful elites that really control things behind the scenes’, the ‘geopolitical influences’ and ‘transnational corporations’. Miliband told Brand he is ‘totally wrong’ on people who pull the strings, pointing out that equal pay, women’s rights and gay rights came about thanks to the combination of politics and people power. ‘Without politics, without government, the change doesn’t happen — that’s what happens in a democratic society’, he said.
Miliband revealed he will continue his fight against Rupert Murdoch, telling Brand ‘he’s much less powerful than he used to be’ but going on to say ‘media ownership really matters – we’re definitely going to look at’. While Miliband said many things Brand nodded along to, the comedian said ‘we all got excited about Tony Blair’ and disappointment followed. Miliband retorted that ‘change is hard, change takes time —that’s the reality’. He went on to say:
‘I’m not looking for euphoria, I’m looking for a sense that is real concrete deliverable change and I think that’s what people want.’
There was plenty of hyperbole too on what will happen if Labour doesn’t win. Brand argued that the Conservatives are trying to drive the ‘very fabric of society’ into the ground. Miliband agreed, describing the ‘prospect of another five years of Tory rule’ as ‘incredibly dangerous’.
Miliband doesn’t quite receive an endorsement but comes close. Brand nodded along and looked pretty enthused with the Labour leader’s plans throughout. When Miliband said that ‘people think it is run for somebody else and the somebody else is somebody probably right at the top of society’, Brand exclaimed:
‘That is exactly it. That is exactly it. What we need to feel, normal people, is that there is the will in politicians, that they are getting into politics, not because of cronyism, not because’
But the whole premise of the interview is quite demeaning. There is an argument that Miliband should go anywhere, debate anyone where there is an audience — as Owen Jones says in the Guardian today. But this is the man who could be Prime Minister in just over one week, skulking around Shoreditch late in the evening to record a video with Russell Brand. At least during Cool Britannia, Tony Blair summoned Noel Gallagher to visit him.