Last night Russell Brand appeared in an interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight to discuss his forthcoming guest editorship of The New Statesman. The bearded duo sat across from each other in a hotel suite, and Paxman kicked off the interview by asking Brand, “Who are you to edit a political magazine?”
Brand appeared to immediately go on the defensive and quickly delved into the reasons why he doesn’t currently — and has never — voted. Paxman seemed equally irritated and asked Brand, “If you can’t be arsed to vote, why should we be arsed to listen to your point of view?”
Brand went on to explain how “disenfranchised” the people of “the planet” are, and how no one should vote as it means being “complicit” about “this ridiculous illusion.” He feverishly explained that the world is on the brink of revolution, and that it was due to movements like Occupy that people are aware of “massive corporate and economic exploitation” for the “first time in a generation.”
Paxman accused brand of being “vague” and “unspecific” about his idea of revolution. Brand responded by saying that he’s not going to “devise a global utopian system” in an interview. He later suggested Paxman was “having a go” at him because he’s “not poor any more.”
There were a few lighter moments, with Brand suggesting Paxman grow his beard long enough to “tangle it into your armpit hair” but any attempts at jokes were quickly dismissed by Paxman as Brand being “trivial” and “facetious”.