POLITICS

Russell Brand Slammed For Anti-Voting Comments By BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson

06/01/2015 10:40 GMT | Updated 06/01/2015 10:59 GMT

BBC political editor Nick Robinson is the latest public figure to lock horns with Russell Brand.

Robinson hit out at the actor and writer for urging people not to vote – comments Brand has since rebutted.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Robinson described himself as an “unapologetic believer” in elections and admitted he “has got a bit of a beef with Brand.”

nick robinson bbc

BBC political editor Nick Robinson has taken Russell Brand to task over his stance on voting

He said: “It does make a difference whether you vote or not and who you vote for.

“Are you listening, Russell Brand and admirers of the man with the most manicured chest in Britain?

“More than anyone I can remember in recent times he has energised, excited and enthused people about some of the great issues of our time.

“And yet Brand continues to tell people that all politics and all politicians are corrupt or venal or a waste of time.”

Brand first sowed his “Revolutionary” seeds in October 2013 during a heated interview with Jeremy Paxman.

russell brand

Russell Brand has urged people not to vote in the past

The comedian-come-political commentator said: “Don’t bother voting. Stop voting, stop pretending, wake up, be in reality now. Why vote? We know it’s not going to make any difference.”

Brand added that Britons “shouldn’t vote… that’s one thing they should do, don’t bother voting.”

But after finding himself described as a “bum hole” by Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, Brand has since argued that the idea he was encouraging political apathy was a “popular misconception.”

“What I said is there is nothing worth voting for,” he insisted.

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However Robinson continued to take Brand to task over his claims, adding: “These days he pretends that he’s only ever argued that there’s no one worth voting for, but not very long ago he wrote in the New Statesman – “I will never vote and I don’t think you should either.”

On Tuesday Robinson tweeted a link to the interview, headlining it “My beef with Brand & why I am not impartial about democracy in this election year.

Telling how his German Jewish grandparents were force to flee the Nazis and then later the Communists who took over China, Robinson said: “In this election year I am an unapologetic believer in elections.”

Robinson insisted that while his job was to be impartial when reporting for the BBC, “I am not required to be impartial between democracy and the alternatives. If Auntie ever asked me to I’d refuse or quit the job.”

Reaction to Robinson’s tweet was varied, with many disagreeing with his comments.

Dan Woodrow wrote: “Brand is right. Politics is out of touch, out of date and needs to change.”

Tent101 replied: “Not voting’s an entirely democratic choice. Being obliged to select only from the specific parties offered is Totalitarian.”

Russell Brand: Life And Times...