POLITICS

Russell Brand Tells Robert Webb 'I'm Not In Favour Of Death Camps'

04/11/2013 21:42 | Updated 06 November 2013

Russell Brand has defended his call for a revolution against the political system, insisting that he is, unsurprisingly, not in favour of death camps.

Brand's demand for change, outlined in an article for the New Statesman and in an interview with Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman, divided opinion, with fellow comedian Robert Webb rebuking Brand, saying that revolutions inevitably lead to “death camps” and “repression”.

Speaking at an event hosted by The Huffington Post UK on Monday evening in London, Brand said: "I'm not saying lets go smash people up and certainly not kill people. Just for the record, I'm not in on the old death camps… I'm double, double against genocide. I am talking about a revolution of consciousness."

Brand added: "Definitely no killing. I'm against that; I'm a vegetarian, I think we're all equal. I'm not saying smash people's stuff up, and definitely no killing."

Assessing previous Marxist revolutions, the 38-year-old said that in its "traditional form" revolution was ok but it "went a bit genocidal, it was just a bit of sharing, then it got spoilt." Brand insisted that he wanted a peaceful revolution. "Once you are violent you'd get nicked. If you're disobeying without being violent they can't nick you, it's a paradigm breaker."

(Story continues after the video)

Webb said that Brand should recognise the privilege of living in 21st Century Britain. But the comedian said Webb did not understand the lives of people less fortunate than him. "No one is going to take his kids away," he said. "If you're coming at me straight out of Oxbridge rather than straight out of Compton."

"Maybe it's okay for Robert Webb; no one is going to take his kids away, but I've heard some examples. I don't claim to be a politician, like all things I'm sure there are people in the room who know more about this than I do, I didn't have an education like Robert Webb had. But there are people from Leicester in Guantanamo Bay, people from Leicester in Guantanamo Bay.

"If you went to Oxbridge, if you went to a private school, no one is coming for your kids. They're not coming for you if you're from Oxbridge. That's my open letter to Robert. I hope it doesn't go to the other one by mistake - David Mitchell - who I really like."

Brand also repeated his insistence that people should not bother to vote. "I am not going to turn up and vote like an obedient little prisoner." And he dismissed all mainstream political leaders as "irrelevant" and "shadows on the walls".

He added: "Focus on new ideas. It's not going to come from them. They don't want you talk about fracking they want you to talk about twerking. Let's not focus our energy on people faffing around in the old system."

Russell Brand In Conversation With The Huffington Post UK

Related on HuffPost:

04/11/2013 20:59 GMT

We're all done here

Go home the lot of you.

We'll have more stories pictures, video, and the best behind-the-scenes gossip going up throughout the evening.

04/11/2013 20:58 GMT

Brand fans, a question..?

russell brand

Is this a new hand tattoo?

04/11/2013 20:57 GMT

Mehdi's final question - what is Russell's biggest regret, and what is he most proud of?

"I am happy in the moment. I am happy to be here and speak about things that I really care about. This is the best moment," Russell says.

But...

"I do regret going to that Philip Green party."

04/11/2013 20:53 GMT

Meanwhile, on Twitter

04/11/2013 20:51 GMT

Would a huge global catastrophe be the catalyst for change?

We shouldn't have to wait for that, says Russell. The hospitals, the schools, are all in place, it's the philosophy that needs to change.

04/11/2013 20:48 GMT

Brand goes to lots of parties...

So when he goes to Topshop launch parties [as he did this year, a lady in the audience points out], does he question Philip Green about his ethics?

"I am not talking from outside the system," Brand admits. "I am not better or different than you. I have done terrible things in my life. i am a scumbag dirty drug addict. I have done nasty things in my life. and going to parties like that is one of the worst things I have done. And if I went there again, I would ask him."

He has a huge respect for UKUncut and Occupy, and disappointed they were caricatured as "crusties" and "hippies".

04/11/2013 20:41 GMT

We're taking questions from the floor now

Brand's talking about spiritual development, meditation and personal development.

"I've been following you for a while," says one guest. "And I have never heard you talk about class."

"I am British, you can't help realise class has been a divisive influence for a very long time. We are being turned against one another, for example, the EDL are worried about Muslims and immigrants, when there's nothing for people to worry about," Brand says.

"I would get less money under the utopian system I am describing, so I have nothing to lose from this. I am talking about the super rich global elites, who are not contributing to this country."

04/11/2013 20:31 GMT

And...

Sorry, Russell says, he's in a relationship.

04/11/2013 20:30 GMT

Is Russell a sexist?

"I don't think I am a sexist. But my grandma, she was the loveliest person ever, but she was a racist.

"I know i have great love of proletariat linguists, so I do call people 'darling' and 'bird', but also things like 'mate'.

"If women think i am sexist, they are in a better position to judge, so I will have to say, if they think that, ooooo eeerr, I will work on that."

Candid stuff.

04/11/2013 20:28 GMT

Russell Brand on drugs

"I became an authority because I was a drug addict," Russell admits. "I am famous now and if I talk bullshit, I will be in the papers and if talk about important stuff, it will get in the papers.

"There are certain people like me, who have an illness can't take drugs or drink safely, they should remain abstinent, one day at a time. There's no point in making people criminals, if they are not very well.

"If you've ever been around drug addicts, you'll know they are fucking annoying and they are not doing for pleasure. They are doing it because they can't cope with being alive."

","short_text":"

Russell Brand on Ed Miliband - "I think he's quite kind, but his dad sounded brilliant. If the DM hate him, he's okay by me!" Read More"},{"id":"23","created":"04/11/2013 20:10 GMT","title":"Mehdi and Russ, playing the word association game","tweet_link":"23_mehdi-and-russ-playing-the-word-association-game","entry_text":"

\"russell

Mehdi mentions Tony Blair, Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nelson Mandala, and asks for one word Russell associates with that person.

Russell's not quite getting it, he's replying with around 500 words, rather than just one...

","short_text":"

Mehdi mentions Tony Blair, Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nelson Mandala, and asks for one word Russell associates with that person.

Russell's not quite getting it, he's replying with around 500 words, rather than just one...

"},{"id":"22","created":"04/11/2013 20:08 GMT","title":"'They don't want you talking about fracking, they want you talking about twerking'","tweet_link":"22_they-dont-want-you-talking-about-fracking-they-want-you-talking-about-twerking","entry_text":"

'When I grew up in a hum-drum town, like a Morrissey lyric, I want to be rich and famous.

But I have been inside now, I have been through the looking glass, and I feel empty inside,\" Brand admits.

His politics is fuelled by a sense of optimism about human nature. \"I think we are basically alright, human beings. Whenever there is a disaster we help each other out. Why dont we cultivate those instincts?

Capitalism doesn't have to exist, says Brand. \"Capitalism is held in place by lies, police and military. it is held together with fear.\"

People vote for it though, says Mehdi. \"Well stop it, stop voting.\"

","short_text":"

'When I grew up in a hum-drum town, like a Morrissey lyric, I want to be rich and famous.
\nBut I have been inside now, I have been through the looking glass, and I feel empty inside,\" Brand admits.

His politics is fuelled by a sense of optim...Read More"},{"id":"21","created":"04/11/2013 20:04 GMT","title":"On Foreign Policy","tweet_link":"21_on-foreign-policy","entry_text":"

'I feel that I have more in common with the people we are bombing, than the people doing the bombing.\"

","short_text":"

'I feel that I have more in common with the people we are bombing, than the people doing the bombing.\"

"},{"id":"20","created":"04/11/2013 20:02 GMT","title":"Mehdi admits he did not vote in 2005, disillusioned with the Iraq war","tweet_link":"20_mehdi-admits-he-did-not-vote-in-2005-disillusioned-with-the-iraq-war","entry_text":"

'They are not doing enough, I am not prepared to turn up like an obedient little prisoner,\" Brand says, when confronted about his non-voting.

\"They are selfish, they have only known privilege.\"

Even if a candidate came along who was from the same background as Russell, but didn't agree with him on everything? \"No. Fuck him. They are not different enough.\"

","short_text":"

'They are not doing enough, I am not prepared to turn up like an obedient little prisoner,\" Brand says, when confronted about his non-voting.

\"They are selfish, they have only known privilege.\"

Even if a candidate came along who was from th...Read More"},{"id":"19","created":"04/11/2013 19:59 GMT","title":"Brand? Lustful?","tweet_link":"19_brand-lustful","entry_text":"

Russell Brand admits that he has "a capacity for lustfulness". This may be the understatement of the year. #huffruss

— Andrea Mann (@AndreaMann) November 4, 2013

","short_text":"

Russell Brand admits that he has "a capacity for lustfulness". This may be the understatement of the year. #huffrussRead More"},{"id":"18","created":"04/11/2013 19:58 GMT","title":"Russell's asked about the Robert Webb open letter","tweet_link":"18_russells-asked-about-the-robert-webb-open-letter","entry_text":"

Here's the open letter from the Peep Show star

\"Just in case anyone else from Peep Show is worried, I am against death camps. In case Super Hans is worried, I am not a Nazi,\" says Brand.

No-one has to die in the revolution, Brand says. \"I am not saying smash people's stuff up, and definitely no killing.\" He's a vegetarian, after all. He wouldn't kill a fly, and he extends that to David Cameron and William Hague.

","short_text":"

Here's the open letter from the Peep Show star

\"Just in case anyone else from Peep Show is worried, I am against death cam...Read More"},{"id":"17","created":"04/11/2013 19:56 GMT","title":"'Conservatism appeals to our self-interest' - Mehdi quotes from Brand's NS Revolution essay","tweet_link":"17_conservatism-appeals-to-our-selfinterest-mehdi-quotes-from-brands-ns-revolution-essay","entry_text":"

\"I don't agree with the labels. I recognise in myself my capacity for lustfulness, selfishness. I would prefer a culture that did not reward the most negative aspects of human nature.

Are Tories evil? \"I don't think tories are evil, I think we have an evil system, and I don't want to advance it.

\"But the idea of evil is trite. You can be selfish, i can be selfish, but we don't want a culture that rewards selfishness.\"

","short_text":"

\"I don't agree with the labels. I recognise in myself my capacity for lustfulness, selfishness. I would prefer a culture that did not reward the most negative aspects of human nature.

Are Tories evil? \"I don't think tories are evil, I think we ha...Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"04/11/2013 19:55 GMT","title":"Here's Russell","tweet_link":"16_heres-russell","entry_text":"

\"russell

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"15","created":"04/11/2013 19:52 GMT","title":"So is he 'Red Russell'?","tweet_link":"15_so-is-he-red-russell","entry_text":"

\"Lefty, as opposed to righty?\"

Russell says he doesn't feel like he fits those paradigms. \"I haven't been asked to guest edit the Mail or the Spectator...\" he says.

","short_text":"

\"Lefty, as opposed to righty?\"

Russell says he doesn't feel like he fits those paradigms. \"I haven't been asked to guest edit the Mail or the Spectator...\" he says.

"},{"id":"14","created":"04/11/2013 19:51 GMT","title":"How did Russell get to be who he is?","tweet_link":"14_how-did-russell-get-to-be-who-he-is","entry_text":"

I don't know, he admits.

What will become of Russell Brand? , the Observer asked in 2007.

\"I just carried on being the person I am. I haven't changed since I was six or seven years old,\" Brand admits.

","short_text":"

I don't know, he admits.

What will become of Russell Brand? , the Observer asked in 2007.

\"I just carried on being the person I am. I haven't cha...Read More"},{"id":"13","created":"04/11/2013 19:49 GMT","title":"He needs no introduction","tweet_link":"13_he-needs-no-introduction","entry_text":"

The crowd cheers as Russell relaxes into the armchair.

\"Thanks for inviting me to your pretend front room,\" he says. He's very welcome..

","short_text":"

The crowd cheers as Russell relaxes into the armchair.

\"Thanks for inviting me to your pretend front room,\" he says. He's very welcome..

"},{"id":"12","created":"04/11/2013 19:42 GMT","title":"Mehdi's onstage..","tweet_link":"12_mehdis-onstage","entry_text":"

The most important part: \"Our hashtag is #huffruss...\"

And we'll be watching, so get tweeting and we'll feature the best.

Mehdi will be chatting to Russell for 30 mins, and then it'll be thrown open to the floor. That could be interesting.

","short_text":"

The most important part: \"Our hashtag is #huffruss...\"

And we'll be watching, so get tweeting and we'll feature the best.

Mehdi will be chatting to Russell for 30 mins, and then it'll be thrown open to the floor. That could be interesting....Read More"},{"id":"11","created":"04/11/2013 19:36 GMT","title":"LIVE PICTURES: Russell Brand in conversation (UPDATED)","tweet_link":"11_live-pictures-russell-brand-in-conversation-updated","entry_text":"

Keep checking back as we'll be adding live pics throughout the night.

","short_text":"

Keep checking back as we'll be adding live pics throughout the night.

"},{"id":"10","created":"04/11/2013 19:29 GMT","title":"Just the lads, hanging out","tweet_link":"10_just-the-lads-hanging-out","entry_text":"

\"russell

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"9","created":"04/11/2013 19:22 GMT","title":"The #huffruss timeline is in full swing, with 10 minutes to go...","tweet_link":"9_the-huffruss-timeline-is-in-full-swing-with-10-minutes-to-go","entry_text":"

The only revolution is that is relevant is that blogging sites are bringing more interesting live debates than TV. Yes @HuffPostUK #huffruss

— Sam Ashoo (@sam_media) November 4, 2013

Popcorn check, gin and tonic check, let the rumpus begin! #huffruss

— Juliet Bowbrick (@birdonthebox) November 4, 2013

","short_text":"

The only revolution is that is relevant is that blogging sites are bringing more interesting live debates than TV. Yes @HuffPostUK Read More"},{"id":"8","created":"04/11/2013 19:18 GMT","title":"Our livestream is, well, LIVE!","tweet_link":"8_our-livestream-is-well-live","entry_text":"

We're off, scroll up to watch the event, as it happens...

","short_text":"

We're off, scroll up to watch the event, as it happens...

"},{"id":"7","created":"04/11/2013 19:06 GMT","title":"Our Audience Awaits","tweet_link":"7_our-audience-awaits","entry_text":"

\"huffruss\"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"6","created":"04/11/2013 19:03 GMT","title":"Brand's last head-to-head...","tweet_link":"6_brands-last-headtohead","entry_text":"

While we're waiting for Russ to arrive, it's a good time to remind ourselves of the last time he thrashed out his Brand of politics - with Newsnight titan, Jeremy Paxman.

Who do you think came off best when the two came to blows? Did Brand get the best of the newly-bearded broacaster? Tweet us, using #HuffRuss.

","short_text":"

While we're waiting for Russ to arrive, it's a good time to remind ourselves of the la...Read More"},{"id":"5","created":"04/11/2013 18:50 GMT","title":"Who's tweeting #HuffRuss?","tweet_link":"5_whos-tweeting-huffruss","entry_text":"

Who should you follow for Ruff Post Live?

Here's our reporters, and our special guest, tweeting tonight:

Our live tweets:

#huffruss LIVE: Russell Brand in conversation with The Huffington Post UK http://t.co/sqOXZCBoZ8 Tonight, 7.30pm. Live broadcast

— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) November 4, 2013

The combatants:

At 730PM you can watch me chat to @mehdirhasan LIVE http://t.co/x9AjrKJ0GR

— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) November 4, 2013

#huffruss LIVE: Russell Brand In Conversation With The Huffington Post UK http://t.co/PsXg1de7rI >> Tonight. 7.30pm. Live broadcast.

— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) November 4, 2013

The team:

Crowds already dribbling in for #HuffRuss.. http://t.co/ebC51Yks0b

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) November 4, 2013

Awaiting fierce debate and sexiness @rustyrockets in conversation with @HuffPostUK LIVE broadcast 7.30pm http://t.co/ufdeMvjRP8 #huffruss

— Charlotte Meredith (@CHMeredith) November 4, 2013

Want to catch #huffruss? Livefeed http://t.co/98AAbDOMmW or just follow @SaraCNelson for the latest on the Brand revolution.

— Asa Bennett (@asabenn) November 4, 2013

","short_text":"

Who should you follow for Ruff Post Live?

Here's our reporters, and our special guest, tweeting tonight:

Our live tweets:

Read More"},{"id":"4","created":"04/11/2013 18:27 GMT","title":"We're Almost There","tweet_link":"4_were-almost-there","entry_text":"

\"russell

We're ready and waiting for our guests....

","short_text":"

We're ready and waiting for our guests....

"},{"id":"3","created":"04/11/2013 18:12 GMT","title":"The stage is set for #huffruss","tweet_link":"3_the-stage-is-set-for-huffruss","entry_text":"

\"russell

Final preparations are made and we're settling in for the evening...

","short_text":"

Final preparations are made and we're settling in for the evening...

"},{"id":"2","created":"04/11/2013 10:35 GMT","title":"Russell gives you the inside story behind the New Statesman's cover this week...","tweet_link":"2_russell-gives-you-the-inside-story-behind-the-new-statesmans-cover-this-week","entry_text":"

The blokes either side of me in this pic are my mates and right twerps. They are cover stars. http://t.co/OTQtWUTFhq

— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) 4 years ago

In case you missed it (where on earth could you have been?) here's Robert Webb (that one off Peep Show) taking on Russell's call for revolution, and why it made him rejoin the Labour party.

Webb said:

\"What were the chances, in the course of human history, that you and I should be born into an advanced liberal democracy? That we don’t die aged 27 because we can’t eat because nobody has invented fluoride toothpaste?

\"That we can say what we like, read what we like, love whom we want; that nobody is going to kick the door down in the middle of the night and take us or our children away to be tortured? The odds were vanishingly small.\"

Russell's response?

"Nobody is going to kick the door down and take us or our children away to be tortured" they do Robert http://t.co/EF8SWZz7Oj #revolution

— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) October 31, 2013

","short_text":"

The blokes either side of me in this pic are my mates and right twerps. They are cover stars. http://t.co/OTQtWUTFhq

— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) Read More"},{"id":"1","created":"04/11/2013 10:30 GMT","title":"Welcome to the #huffruss liveblog!","tweet_link":"1_welcome-to-the-huffruss-liveblog","entry_text":"

We're gearing up for tonight's event. Our politics reporters are poised to capture Brand's vanguard taking to the streets in a Russ revolution. Our picture desk are on standby ready to gif Russell's most melodramatic gestures. We'll be giving you the gossip on Twitter, on our liveblog, and on our livestream.

So as Mehdi adds the finishing touches to his questions, what would you like to ask Russell Brand tonight?

","short_text":"

We're gearing up for tonight's event. Our politics reporters are poised to capture Brand's vanguard taking to the streets in a Russ revolution. Our picture desk are on standby ready to gif Russell's most melodramatic gestures. We'll be giving you the g...Read More"}]

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