Left-wing comedian Russell Brand talked about redistributing land from aristocrats such as the Duke of Westminster in an on-line video dubbing the election hype as nothing but ‘a spectacle’.
Mr Brand, who hit the headlines after interviewing Labour leader Ed Miliband for his Trews You Tube channel, made the comments about the Chester-based duke during a recent episode analysing the televised leaders’ debates.
He told his hundreds of thousands of followers: “My view is the whole thing is a spectacle and real power takes place behind it. What we care about on the Trews is what is actually going to make a difference. Even something that superficially seems like a big deal, like shall we cancel Trident and spend that money on nurses?, the obvious answer would seem to be, why wouldn’t you do that?
“It doesn’t address the broader problems like redistribution of land, that’s when it gets heavy. When you go up to the Duke of Westminster or the Queen of England and Cadogan Estates and say we are reclaiming this land and re-purposing it for the people. We are going to take 1.5m empty buildings across the UK and repurpose them.
“Like, you know I don’t agree with centralised power but I do agree with imposing a coordinated system of fairness where there’s empty houses and homelessness, let’s deal with it. When there is an excess of land controlled by the aristocracy, let’s take it. When there is media barons that have excessive control and influence, we are going to break down their monopolies. Like, no political party can do that because of the relationship between Westminster and the corporate world.”
Boris: I'd "rather have Russell Hobbs"
While campaigning in Chester yesterday, Mayor of London Boris Johnson dismissed Brand’s views during a scathing attack on Miliband’s decision to be interviewed by him.
He said: “Not since the Tzar and Tzarina prostrated themselves and asked for economic guidance from Grigori Rasputin has there been such a ridiculous political pilgrimage as the mission of Ed Miliband, the heir of Keir Hardie (founder of the Labour Party), for heaven’s sake, to seek economic guidance from Russell Brand.
“A pompadoured popinjay who thinks people shouldn’t vote and shouldn’t pay their taxes. What total nonsense and a sign, I think, of desperation,” added the mayor who said he’d ‘rather have Russell Hobbs’ than Russell Brand as economic advisor.
The Duke of Westminster’s company, Grosvenor Estate, told The Chronicle it had ‘long been the policy’ not to comment on party political matters.
According to last weekend’s Sunday Times, the duke is the north west’s richest person with £8.56bn assets, making him ninth richest British citizen.
Grosvenor Estate recently reported record results with pre-tax profits of £681.8m.
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