When it was announced that the comedian, prolific philanderer and all-of-a-sudden leftist rhetorician, Russell Brand, would be guest editing a special edition of the New Statesman it was hard not to scoff. Such a populist, youth-y move seemed to underscore a certain, celeb-hugging desperation on the part of the magazine: Brand’s issue assembles such towering political intellects as Noel Gallagher and Alec Baldwin to weigh in on the subject of revolution.
But following his fiery interview with Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight, I’ve decided the appointment is absolutely inspired. Brand proved he could fire off empty, morally aggrandising statements - about liberating the underclass, toppling corporate Goliaths and soothing our carbon-sick Mother Earth - with the best of the right-on NS hags. All, of course, without offering anything resembling a political alternative to the current rot, other than, erm, perhaps more taxes.
Thus, I cast aside my prior cynicism. Brand is the perfect (empty)figurehead, not just for the New Statesman, but the entire idea-lacking and sanctimonious modern left. Vive le Russellution!
Tom Slater is assistant editor at spiked.
Watch the interview here