Brand versus Farage: the Question Time showdown

Whatever your views on the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, or comedian turned political-activist, Russell Brand, both have added a new energy to politics.

On Thursday night the two personalities clashed on Question Time, resulting in some memorable moments.

Brand attacked the UKIP leader directly, saying:

"I as much as any of us enjoy seeing Nigel Farage in a boozer with a fag, laughing off his latest scandals about breast feeding or whatever...this man is not a cartoon character...He is a pound-shop Enoch Powell. We gotta watch him."

Additionally, Nigel Farage, when asked about how he could represent South Thanet, had a go as Russell Brand, saying:

"I'm not the wealthy one on this panel this evening.”

The night was a fierce one, and will likely be a well-remembered episode of the show, up there with Nick Griffin’s appearance a few years back, which drew in a wide audience. But whatever one’s views are of these two men, one cannot deny what they have done for politics. Whilst Brand does not wish to stand directly in politics and feels a great distrust in the system, the pair have energised different parts of the electorate, by helping them want to get more involved in politics.

Russell Brand has engaged the youth and many others who have been put off politics. Farage has done a similar thing: by rising to prominence he claims to be an alternative to the ‘Westminster establishment’, resulting in many people in the electorate who have not voted in years voting for UKIP.

Both have done something beneficial for politics in the long term. Engagement and interest in the political process, whether through voting or protesting with a passion, is fundamental for a democracy. Credit to both men in playing their part in getting people interested.

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