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."
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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."
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