Russell Brand – Call for Revolution, Pt. 1 [Interview on BBC Newsnight]

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[Jeremy Paxman]
Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine? Is it true you don’t even vote?

[Russell Brand]
Yeah no, I don’t vote.

[Jeremy Paxman]
Well, how do you have any authority to talk about politics?

[Russell Brand]
Well, I don’t get my authority from this preexisting paradigm, which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity. Alternate means alternative political systems.

[Jeremy Paxman]
They being…?

[Russell Brand]
Well, I’ve not invented it yet, Jeremy! Here’s the thing it shouldn’t do: It shouldn’t destroy the planet, shouldn’t create massive economic disparity, shouldn’t ignore the needs of the People. The burden of proof is on the people with the power.

[Jeremy Paxman]
How do you imagine the people get power?

[Russell Brand]
Well, I imagine there are hierarchical systems that’ve been preserved for generations--

[Jeremy Paxman]
You get power by being voted in. You can’t even be arsed to vote!

[Russell Brand]
That’s quite a narrow prescriptive parameter--

[Jeremy Paxman]
In a democracy that’s how it works.

[Russell Brand]
I don’t think it’s working very well, Jeremy, given that the planet is being destroyed, given there’s economic disparity of a huge degree. What you’re is say is, there’s no alternative. Brilliant.

[Jeremy Paxman]
I’m saying that if you can’t be asked to vote, why should we be asked to listen to your political point of view?

[Russell Brand]
You don’t have to listen to my political point of view. But it’s not that I’m not voting out of apathy; I’m not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class that has been going on for generations now, and has now reached fever pitch where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned, despondent underclass that are not being represented by that political system. So voting for it is tacit complicity with that system, and that’s not something I’m offering up.

[Jeremy Paxman]
Why don’t you change it then?

[Russell Brand]
I’m trying to.

[Jeremy Paxman]
Well, why don’t you start by voting?

[Russell Brand]
*Laughs* I don’t think it works! people have voted already and that’s what’s creating the current paradigm.

[Jeremy Paxman]
When did you last vote?

[Russell Brand]
Never.

[Jeremy Paxman]
You’ve never, ever voted?

[Russell Brand]
No. Do you think that’s really bad?

[Jeremy Paxman]
So you struck an attitude before the age of 18.

[Russell Brand]
Well, I was busy being a drug addict at that point because I’m come from the kind of social conditions that are exacerbated by an indifferent system that really just administrates for large corporations and ignores the population it was voted in to serve.

[Jeremy Paxman]
You’re blaming the political class for the fact you had a drug problem?

[Russell Brand]
No, I’m saying, I was part of a social and economic class that is underserved by the current political system, and drug addiction is one of the problems it creates when you have huge underserved, impoverished populations. People get drug problems, and also don’t feel like they want to engage with the current political system. Because they see that it doesn’t work for them. They see that it makes no difference. They see that they’re not served.

The apathy doesn’t come from us, the People; the apathy comes from the politicians. They’re apathetic to our needs. They only interested in servicing the needs of corporations. Aren’t the Tories taking the EU to court because they’re trying to curtail bank bonuses? Why am I gonna tune in to that?!

[Jeremy Paxman]
You don’t believe in democracy; you want a revolution, don’t you?

[Russell Brand]
The planet is being destroyed, we are creating an underclass, we’re exploiting poor people all over the world, and there are genuine, legitimate problems of the people not being addressed by our political class.

[Jeremy Paxman]
What will a revolution be like?

[Russell Brand]
I think what it won’t be like is a huge disparity between rich and poor, where 300 Americans have the same amount of wealth as their 85 million poorest Americans, where there is an exploited and underserved underclass that have been continually ignored, where welfare is slashed while Cameron and Osbourne go to court to defend the rights of bankers to continue receiving their bonuses. That’s all I’m saying.

I think a socialist egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution wealth, heavy taxation of corporations and massive responsibility for energy companies and any companies exploiting the environment. I think the very concept of profit should be hugely reduced. David Cameron says, ‘profit isn’t a dirty word,’ I say, ‘profit is a filthy word,’ because wherever there is profit there is also deficit and this system currently doesn’t address these ideas.

[Jeremy Paxman]
You’re calling for revolution.

[Russell Brand]
Yeah, absolutely! I’m calling for change. I’m calling for genuine alternatives.

CONTINUES IN PART 2.

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