Mayor Russell Brand? Boris Johnson ‘thrilled’ to oppose comedian in election race
In his column for The Telegraph, Johnson commends Brand on his ability connect with the younger generation of left-wing voters, who Boris claims have been neglected by Miliband’s Labour Party.
The Mayor of London said Brand had been unfairly denounced by both left and right-wing media as a “know-nothing narcissist” and “Beverly Hills Buddhist,” but insisted that these views of Brand were primarily due to envy of his popular appeal.
“So much of this vituperation is obviously motivated by jealousy: of his success, his easy good humor, his string of beautiful and intelligent girlfriends, [and] his Hollywood lifestyle,” Johnson said.
Brand, who has recently become the center of a media storm, announced in an interview with the Financial Times that he would “probably” give up acting in pursuit of his revolution.
His new book “Revolution” advocates business run by “collectives,” the absolute prohibition of fracking and the dissolution of the monarchy.
Among other policies in his book, Brand suggests that taxes ought to be abolished and voting should be ended. He further advocates the closure of all businesses with a turnover of more than $37 million, which is the GDP of Tuvalu, the world’s smallest country.
Let's all support Russell Brand's bid for Mayor of London by not voting for him - it's what he'd want. #GoRussell
— Max Olesker (@maxolesker) October 26, 2014
The book has been panned by critics, including Nick Cohen, who said the text was “long-winded, confused and smug; filled with references to books Brand has half read and thinkers he has half understood.”
Johnson admits that while Brand may have reams of popular support, his policies do not pose a direct threat to the Conservatives.
But jokes aside, if Russell Brand is serious about running for Mayor of London then at least he's recognised you can't ignore party politics
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) October 26, 2014
He says Brand is “fantastic news for the Tory party” predominantly because his manifesto is “nonsense,” something which Johnson thinks Brand would admit to “in private.”
Boris believes, however, that Brand continues to garner support through his continuing ability to appear passionate.
“Russell Brand may be about as convincing as a political theorist as a toaster made by Russell Hobbs, but he is at least engaging his left-wing audience with something they can recognize as passion.”
The rumor of Brand’s bid for Mayor appear to contradict his usually adamant stance to remain disengaged from the “political classes.”
Brand has since denied the claims. Speaking to XFM, in an interview to be broadcast on October 28 at 8am, Brand will say that he is “absolutely not” going to run for Boris Johnson’s job.
“We've already got a comic in the job,”said Brand.“If you want a daft comedian running London, just leave things as they are. What I'm interested in is real change.”
Brand can often be found at protests and rallies, publicly showing support for demonstrations and solidarity with campaigners.
Most recently, at the Occupy Democracy demonstrations in Westminster, he was filmed handing out pizza to protesters.