Posted 5 years ago on Nov. 15, 2014, 7:32 a.m. EST by flip
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JEREMY PAXMAN: 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 then?
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, I don’t get my authority from this pre-existing paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity. Alternative means alternative political systems.
JEREMY PAXMAN: They being?
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, I’ve not invented it yet, Jeremy. I had to do a magazine last week. I’ve had a lot on my plate. But I say—but here’s the thing that you shouldn’t do: 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, not people who like doing a magazine for a novelty.
JEREMY PAXMAN: How do you imagine that people get power?
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, I imagine there are sort of hierarchical systems that have been preserved through generations—
JEREMY PAXMAN: They get power by being voted in. That’s how they get it.
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, you say that, Jeremy, but like—
JEREMY PAXMAN: You can’t even be asked to vote.
RUSSELL BRAND: It’s quite narrow—quite a narrow prescriptive parameter that changes within the—
JEREMY PAXMAN: In a democracy, that’s how it works.
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, I don’t think it’s working very well, Jeremy, given that the planet is being destroyed, given that there is economic disparity of a huge degree. What you’re saying, there’s no alternative. There’s no alternative, just this system.
JEREMY PAXMAN: No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying—
RUSSELL BRAND: Brilliant.
JEREMY PAXMAN: —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 which 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: I don’t think it works. People have voted already, and that’s what’s created the current paradigm.
JEREMY PAXMAN: Well, 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’ve struck an attitude, what? Before the age of 18?
RUSSELL BRAND: Well, I was busy being a drug addict at that point, because I 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 that it was voted in to serve.
JEREMY PAXMAN: But you’re veiling the—you’re blaming the political class for the fact that you had a drug problem?
RUSSELL BRAND: No, no, 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. I say that the apathy—
JEREMY PAXMAN: But of course it doesn’t work for them if they don’t bother to vote.
RUSSELL BRAND: Jeremy, my darling, I’m not saying that—the apathy doesn’t come from us, the people. The apathy comes from the politicians. They are apathetic to our needs. They’re only interested in servicing the needs of corporations. Look at where—ain’t the Tories going to court, taking the EU to court? It’s because they’re trying to curtail bank bonuses. Is that what’s happening at the moment in our country?