I have always thought that Russell Brand was an idiot.
And I still think he is an idiot, but what does that say about Ed Miliband and New Labour, since undoubtedly Brand has scored a big popular victory in the New Era Housing Estate's battle against re-development - and Labour has missed the opportunity to do so.
Russell Brand 's reason for existence seems to be to give men an insight into how women feel about Marilyn Monroe. A childish, brainless, wiggling dummy made into a celeb simply because of sex appeal. Well that's what Brand is too - and he may well have his chest hair blow-dried before appearing on TV, but the fact is that he has still for once done something to show he cares. He stood up for people who feared being driven out of their homes en masse. This was not about government cuts, it was about private owners seeking to maximize returns.
Of course Brand is a political baby and of course he is economically illiterate - as most people are - and of course he has done a lot of harm by telling people not to vote. Apparently he is an ex-drug-addict - it wouldn't surprise me. His sexual boasting and rudeness in collusion with Jonathan Woss were atrocious and juvenile. He earns enough to pay £76,000 per year rent and his company got funding from banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland which he denounces.
But despite all of that he took a short break from being a cocky lout to help some people who were in genuine distress. The New Era residents live in flats with a rent of £800 per month, and the market rent the property owners would like to charge is £2,400 per month. Now, after organised protest and resistance, the owners will be selling the site to an affordable housing charity. East London has always provided housing for the less-well-off and if they can be driven out from there, they can be driven out from anywhere.
Of course Brand doesn't understand the causes of the housing crisis, and he shrugs off the effect that unlimited immigration has on driving up prices, but at least he showed he cared. For five minutes he took his mind off sex and drugs.
I don't think Russell Brand has got the answers to any of our problems. He wouldn't have the faintest idea how to explain the resurgence of slavery in modern EU-controlled Britain. Only this week thirteen more Eastern Europeans were found in Rochdale, working an 80-hour week, living in a barely-furnished slum and paid wages that left them with £25 per week after rent. This is the wondrous prosperous world the EU promised us.
The point is that New Era is a cause Labour could have taken up. These are brownie points Labour could have scored if it wasn't too busy running junk like HopeNotHate and operating fake Facebook pages or Twitter accounts attributed to members of certain other political parties.
If Labour had time for anything apart from endless dirty tricks, they could have been at the head of the New Era residents' protest march instead of leaving it to the likes of Brand.
Start worrying if Labour sacks Ed Miliband and takes on Brand as its next leader! With 9 million followers on Twitter he could probably get elected.