Of course. But that isn't necessarily the same as taking his views seriously. As Sunny notes, his views aren't as much intellectually lightweight as anti-intellectual. Chris Dillow agrees, pointing out that Brand thrives because our landscape is an "intellectual desert". The unsigned author on us vs th3m makes another telling point:
The overall impression is of a man on the ultimate ego trip. Success as a comedian is no longer enough to satisfy him, he needs to make a real impact on the world. The question of whether he really has anything to offer, besides a charismatic stage presence and a verbose vocabulary, hasn’t even occurred to him. He refuses to consider properly the consequences of his flippant statements, but is entitled enough to assume everyone should listen anyway.Others, both on the left and the right have taken him to task for his incoherence. All true, but I think the bigger point is getting missed.
Brand appears to be someone for whom the blinkers are coming off. The veil has fallen and the ugly unpleasantries of 21st century capitalism stand before him unadorned. And like many others who've undergone similar experiences, Brand is responding by precociously picking up on fashionable radical ideas and thinkers. The difference is he's doing this publicly, when most radicalisations - which are a messy, uncertain process - go unremarked and unnoticed. This is why Brand's ideas and "programme", if it can be called that, are so muddled. Criticising Westminster and spiralling inequality sits with hints of September 11th conspiraloonery and paeans to self-transformation/revolution of the heart nonsense. For old hacks with fully-rounded out views, like you and me, this is presents itself as naive and, thanks to Brand's profile, potentially problematic.
Yet this is not the finished product. Brand is on a trajectory. And most significantly, he does not hang round with the tin foil hat brigade. He helps the E15 mums. Works with the Fire Brigades Union. And unlike much of the left who've piled in to criticise him, he's rattled tins and raised awareness about the Kurdish comrades fighting ISIS in Kobane. In case you hadn't noticed, these radical causes are working class causes. The more he engages with labour movement activity, be it community campaigns, unions, or solidarity work the more this will discipline his views.
Does this matter? Yes it does. There are few celebrities with his platform who are engaging with reality-based left politics. Instead of dismissing him or constructing Chinese walls of bad tempered polemic and denunciation, anyone serious about socialist change should be encouraging him to get more involved in the labour movement - and urging his supporters and fans to do the same.
Brand's revolution is a long way off, I doubt it will ever see the day. But he can offer our movement and our ideas a much greater audience. He's holding out a hand of friendship only fools would turn down.