Accio voters! Harry Potter star Dan Radcliffe backs the Lib Dems

by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2009

The Sun reports an interview with Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the film franchise, in which he gives his support to the Lib Dems – and dismisses Labour and the Tories:

The actor – who battles soul-sucking Dementors as the boy wizard and is currently starring in Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince – said he supports Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg because the other parties offer nothing to young people.

He said: “I rather like Nick Clegg. At the next election I will almost certainly vote Lib Dem. If all the people who liked them voted for them you could change politics overnight and we could have a proper three party system.”

Asked about Gordon Brown he said: “Paul Merton said, and I agree with him, ‘it’s a tragedy that this man has waited all his life to do this job – and now he finds out he can’t do it.’ I don’t like the New Labour thing. I never experienced the optimism of New Labour, I was too young but I hear everyone was up and it was fantastic. I’ve only seen the bad years of it.”

Radcliffe’s opinion on David Cameron is no more positive. He raged: “No! No, no, no, no, no! David Cameron is barely distinguishable from Tony Blair.” He added: “I think the reason why people don’t vote is because the politicians are all so central now, it doesn’t seem to matter who you vote for.”

He also blasted the BNP who won two seats in the recent Euro elections, saying: “I hate any type of prejudice.”

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Harry Potter is filmed at Leavesden Studios, which is in one of my council wards. Shall I pop down and sign him up?

by Sara on July 24, 2009 at 11:10 am. Reply #

Who gives a t0ss. We do not need to turn this into a cheap version of “OK Magazine”.

by Meandyew on July 24, 2009 at 11:17 am. Reply #

One would hope the Lib Dems would rise above the celebrity culture.

by Richard on July 24, 2009 at 11:22 am. Reply #

Actually reading this cr@p in The Sun he does not even endorse us.

He says “I rather like Nick Clegg. At the next election I will almost certainly vote Lib Dem.”

Almost certainly. How many times have we heard that only for someone to vote for someone else.

Stephen, your post is utter nonsense. Qu’elle surprise.

by Meandyew on July 24, 2009 at 11:26 am. Reply #

Oh FFS! Yes, god forbid that LDV ever publish anything remotely light-hearted or in any way connected with popular culture! Earnest STV and Trident discussions only here please!

Honestly.

by Alix on July 24, 2009 at 11:39 am. Reply #

And as for this:

“Stephen, your post is utter nonsense. Qu’elle surprise.”

Meandyew, if you don’t like the stuff Stephen writes on LDV, please do feel free to ask for your money back as you go away and stop reading it.

by Alix on July 24, 2009 at 11:43 am. Reply #

I must say I like this very much.

by Thomas on July 24, 2009 at 11:45 am. Reply #

Alix,

To be fair it does look pretty embarrassing. I can see Tories now chuckling their heads off; ‘Lib Dems joyful that Harry Potter MIGHT vote for them’. It just looks silly.

Besides, given Mr Radcliffe has a problem with centrist politicians, after ‘A Fresh Start’ (i.e. abandoning everything that attracted voters in the past) we might find he votes for someone else instead.

by Alex on July 24, 2009 at 11:53 am. Reply #

If I canvassed someone who said they liked Nick and would almost certainly vote Lib Dem, I think I’d count them as a ‘Def’. (And obviously ask them if they’d put up a poster in their window).

by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2009 at 11:55 am. Reply #

Alix, Stephens posts are worth what I pay for them.

Get over it. I won’t go away, I will read the blog and support the party. Attitudes like yours run the risk of turning this blog into a close shop where a bunch of pals all post blogs that are above critical comment. Light hearted I can do, jumping in the celebrity bandwaggon and turning this blog into a Lib Dem version of heat I do not care for at all and will say so. Don’t like that then STFU and get over yourself.

Your attitude is not very liberal at all.

by Meandyew on July 24, 2009 at 11:59 am. Reply #

As revealed on Freedom Central first!! http://www.freedomcentral.org.uk/2009/07/liberal-democrats-gain-a-high-profile-convert.html

by Peter Black on July 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm. Reply #

Of course our Pupil Premium policy would make state schools much more competitive with the likes of Hogwarts.

by Duncan Stott on July 24, 2009 at 12:08 pm. Reply #

Wow, the trolls are out in force over this one.

Speaking as a man who, thanks to 10 years of being subjugated to “Harry Potter” insults by distinctly unfunny people, I am not the greatest fan of the franchise. However, for a popular young actor to give a clear preference for the Lib Dems is great news from a political standpoint.

by Huw Dawson on July 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm. Reply #

Sorry Meandyew/Richard your copies of Heat must be different to the ones I’ve looked at. The ones I’ve seen tend to say stuff like “doesn’t he look fat on the beach”, and “hasn’t she lost a lot of weight”.
Never seen them cover “which political party would you vote for?”.
On top of that the Sun has in print a quote which as a party we spend a lot of effort trying to get across: “If all the people who liked them voted for them you could change politics overnight and we could have a proper three party system”.

by Ryan Cullen on July 24, 2009 at 12:32 pm. Reply #

Argh, I need more sleep. My grammar is awful. -_-

by Huw Dawson on July 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm. Reply #

Isn’t Will Young supposed to be a Lib Dem too?

The sniffiness exhibited by some (not all) on this thread so far is politically idiotic – high-profile endorsements may not be that likely to make people change their mind about which party they like the most, but they help to encourage turnout for the party – especially amongst young people.

A fact recognised by the Democrats in the United States but not yet by us over here is that the likes of the Conservatives have their own cultural figures who urge them to go out and vote, or their voters are just old and in the habit of voting consistently. Young people turn out much less, so there needs to be a mobilisation of high-profile figures in popular culture to encourage them to vote. That’s why in America they hold huge rock concert rallies with the likes of Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, The Decemberists and R.E.M. urging everyone to go out and vote Democrat. If the Lib Dems wanted to get more young people to go out and vote for them, that’d be the way to do it.

Come on, i mean we’ve got Brian Eno – if needs be, he could do a concert on his own…

by Leo on July 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm. Reply #

I think this is great news and thank you LDV for posting it!

Meandyew – I treat LDV as my first port of call to get into about the party, and as this is likely to be the best news story (and certainly headline) we get in any of the mainstream newspapers over the summer I think it is a story LDV should cover. I don’t read the Sun or like Harry Potter, but this piece will certainly be read by many more voters than read the Indy and Guardian combined.

by Will on July 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm. Reply #

Meandyew, “Don’t like that then STFU and get over yourself.

Your attitude is not very liberal at all.”

Say what?

Nonono, pay close attention. You are, as you rightly say, quite at liberty to say something stupid, which is what you did. I then am equally at liberty to tell you “You just said something stupid” by means of sarcasm.

By the same token, you are then technically entitled to tell me to STFU, provided of course that you don’t have any real expectation of it working.

by Alix on July 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm. Reply #

Credit for the interview should go to Attitude magazine – http://www.attitude.co.uk/

by Martin Howes on July 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm. Reply #

“Alix, Stephens posts are worth what I pay for them.”

And, er, yeah – that was kind of my point? No-one’s obliging you to read them, you know.

by Alix on July 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm. Reply #

how did a post about Daniel Radcliffe supporting the Lib Dems get this bitchy? perspective, anyone?

by Leo on July 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm. Reply #

I’m sorry, Leo, but one does get sick and tired of the unremittingly bitter negativity of some of our posters. Sadly, some people just go through life finding things to grumble at. I don’t mind so much when it’s against our politicians or policies – they’re fair game and it’s all up for discussion.

But for goodness’ sake, piling in with abuse of a quick clip from an article about Harry Potter?! And perilously close to personal abuse of the author too? It’s just ludicrous – someone has to stand up to these people.

by Alix on July 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm. Reply #

Right, well, in rising order of priority:

1. Surely it is quite amusing, and how incredibly Liberal Democrat, that a brief light-hearted post about a celeb supporting the party should become a row about whether it should have been posted or not. And who says we’re too interested in process!

(I’m with Alix, by the way, and not only because I strongly suspect that she may well be Professor McGonagall’s long list daughter and could turn me into a toad if I don’t!)

2. Harry Potter has been a Lib Dem for many years, and was in fact a councillor for us in Greenwich for a while. (NB I am not making this up – google it if you don’t believe me).

3. Surely all the debate above has missed the real point about this, by treating this as just another celeb endorsement. Guys, wake up, he’s Harry Potter! He has magical powers! This is just what we need!

by Jeremy Hargreaves on July 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm. Reply #

As a long standing Liberal (Lib Dem) -aging if not old (!) I’m delighted when I can get a positive response to the Lib Dems from anyone. Welcome Harry Potter – delighted you are with us – hope very much you can add your appeal to Lib Dem campaigns.

Come on you young (fogies) go out and enrol some new supporters (famous or not)

by Roger Roberts on July 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm. Reply #

Alix – don’t get me wrong, i’m on your side on this one. It’s just the whole thing is so out of proportion. There’s a serious debate to be had about how the party can use celebrities to get out the young vote, which i tried to flag up in my first post, but it has just got lost under the name-calling.

by Leo on July 24, 2009 at 2:32 pm. Reply #

Roll with it folks.

If I was going around signing up sleb endorsements I’d start with any musician who sings about freedom.

In fact anyone who is a success in the arts is almost by definition a liberal – we shouldn’t need to shout about it by identifying individuals, but I think we’d do well by adding a bit of glamour to our slate – maybe Lembit could take over the culture brief… it’d give him an excuse to go to all the premieres!

by Oranjepan on July 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm. Reply #

Alix,

Meandyew does not have the monopoly on saying stupid things. However your smug, patronising and condescending manner says plenty about you. Personally I thought Meandyew has a point and I do think the quality of some of the posts and posters here leave something to be desired. You riding as a knight in shining armour and bitching about fellow LD’s is counter productive and you also say some pretty stupid things at time as well.

Regards

Martin

by Martin Kinsella on July 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm. Reply #

…and just as Leo, Jeremy and Oranjepan thought they had saved it.

by Alix Mortimer on July 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm. Reply #

Still, shorn of the ad hominems and the positively comical suggestion that bitching against fellow LDs is counter-productive (“and by the way you’re smug and say stupid things, Alix”), I think your core point basically shows double standards. It would seem you’re allowed to criticise any LDV post and poster you wish (which of course, you are) but we’re not allowed to defend ourselves, and anyone who dares to talk back to your unimpeachable criticisms must be being “patronising” or whatever.

by Alix Mortimer on July 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm. Reply #

I score with the rebound. 1-0 to the Lib Dems.

Perhaps appearing in the comment is free section of The Grauniad has gone to your head, or perhaps you enjoy your continual smug asides and condescending sneers at those who dare to disagree wth you. Either way it is a mediocre trait and one you should drop. HTH.

Try debating the issues sometime. You never know, it might grow on you 😉

by Martin Kinsella on July 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm. Reply #

Hm. Debating the issues. Let’s see.

“…saying stupid things…”
“…smug, patronising and condescending manner says plenty about you…”
“…bitching about fellow LD’s…”
“…gone to your head…”
“…your continual smug asides and condescending sneers…”

Yup, that still looks remarkably like a list of issue-less ad homs to me.

I did, in fact, finish my post with a challenge about how LDV should be debated between readers and writers, but you appear to ignore that.

Attempting to take the point forward then (are you with me, Martin, as I attempt to debate the issues?) LDV readers can criticise the posts, right? Well, of course. But LDV writers can also come back and argue the point – I don’t think you’re really disputing that.

If that response, for whatever reason, doesn’t give you satisfaction, I’d say you have a number of options. You could of course write regular contributions yourself – you could even write a post about how you think LDV could/should change. There’s a debate we haven’t ever had properly.

If you wanted to take a slightly more determined stance, you could always start a thread in the forum, maybe even get in touch with a few people who share your views, and plan to, in some sense, force the issue (whether that be by writing en bloc for LDV, demanding that certain writers don’t write, demanding polls, etc etc). It’s really up to you.

But, by any measure, presumably you can see that the kind of abuse being doled out by you and, in his second post, Meandyew, is just not going to achieve the result you claim to want.

by Alix Mortimer on July 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm. Reply #

Well I think it is great that young Mr Daniel supports us, but primarily because of his stated reasons which suggest that he identifies with one of our core beliefs about equality.

(And by coincidence we took our little’un to see the new film last weekend and have then watched each of the first five films in succession during the week. He is a fine actor.)

by Liberal Neil on July 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm. Reply #

I think this kind of endorsement is potentially a double-edged sword. I’m expecting the following to endorse David Cameron:

Sauron
Lord Voldemort
Gollum
The White Witch
Mordred
The Sheriff of Nottingham….

by Martin Land on July 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm. Reply #

Have I just walked into a playground?

by Richard on July 25, 2009 at 9:53 am. Reply #

Martin Land, I’ve just got information that Labour will be able to withstand the challenge. Despite Cameron’s new-found followers, they’ve got strong support of their own:

http://tinyurl.com/n8c3nx

by asquith on July 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm. Reply #

A Lib Dem version of Heat? I’d love to read that. “Seen coming out of the NUT’s fringe meeting at 9pm, with his tie slightly undone, was…”. The mind boggles. This is great news, as The Sun’s interview will reach young people who rarely think about party politics. The only note of caution is that it’s just a newspaper quote – no more, no less. Let’s remember this little fiasco – http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-10372150-details/Row+over+celebrity+backing/article.do and be cautious how we use it…

by Matthew Harris on July 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm. Reply #

“Lib Dem version of heat”

No-one mention Lembit.

Oh wait…

Note: Different Alex to poster “Alex” above

by Alex on July 26, 2009 at 3:38 am. Reply #

I am thinking of starting a Facebook group; Lib Dems who look like Harry Potter…

by Geoffrey Payne on July 27, 2009 at 7:40 am. Reply #

Maybe you need two groups:

(1) http://tinyurl.com/mbpuol

(2) http://tinyurl.com/m9zwz2

by Herbert Brown on July 27, 2009 at 8:20 am. Reply #

When I used to deliver my Westgate Ward Focus to Virgilia House in St Thomas’ Hill, Canterbury, little Orlando Bloom used to love to post the Focus through his mum’s letterbox for me. Does this mean we can claim him for the party too?

by ColinW on July 29, 2009 at 10:59 am. Reply #

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