Brand vs Farage was as frustrating as one might have imagined. Two deeply disappointing populists and a handful of second rate MPs who were sent presumably because no one from the three main parties wanted to get involved. There were barely a handful of moments worth remembering.
The first came with an audience question on apathy and Brand's 'don't vote' mantra. Brand might have talked and talked, but his theatrical nonsense not once actually came close to being an appropriate answer to the question. Perhaps that sums up the depth of Brand's beliefs.
The second came as Brand called Farage a 'pound shop Enoch Powell'. As someone whose degree seems have been on Enoch Powell, I can authoritatively state that he, at least in most major ways, is. Both toy with the line between the acceptable and the racist in their battle against immigration (even if Powell's ideas on nationality had a racial aspect and Farage's probably don't). Both have remarkably similar economic beliefs. Both have galvanised the support of the left, despite being quite obviously deeply socially conservative right wing politicians.
Farage has previously praised Powell, even so far as to say that he 'agrees' with the infamous 'rivers of blood' speech. It was a speech in which Powell used racial slurs, quoted letters that probably came from the National Front as 'typical', and used the line 'the black man will have the whip hand over the white man'. Yet Powell built a whole doctrine surrounding and justifying his beliefs, where Farage seems to have trouble deciding on simple policies.
But what right does Brand have to highlight Farage's weak ideological standpoint? Brand seems to have heard people talk about Marx, but never read any. His ramblings seem to hint on revolutionary Marxism while making a lot of theoretical mistakes. And he does all this while living in a multi-million pound 'mansion' as a securely bourgeois member of the middle class.
Quite frankly, the fact that anyone believes that either Farage or Brand actually have an ideological doctrine worth listening to is rather disturbing. Beyond seeing Farage as the leader of a single issue pressure group, I doubt there are even many UKIP members that believe in the personality cult he's built around himself. Certainly beyond a few confused teenagers, I doubt anyone actually sees Brand as a political figure (even if the BBC are determined he somehow is).