John Lydon recently branded Russell Brand a “bum hole” due to the actor and comedian’s attempts to stage a “revolution”, with the focal point of that revolution being that young people shouldn’t vote as the current democratic system is, according to Brand, “corrupt”. Now Russell Brand has responded to Lydon’s comments.
Speaking to the Radio Times, former Sex Pistol and butter merchant Lydon said: “Don’t be like Russell Brand and bum holes like that. If you don’t vote, you don’t count. You’ve got to start local. There’s fuck all on TV, so go to town hall meetings and give them fucking hell. I’ve been thrown out of so many town halls.”
He added: “The likes of Russell Brand coming along and saying something so damn ignorant is absolutely spoon-feeding it to them… What he’s preaching there is a lifestyle of cardboard boxes down by the river. He’ll make you all homeless. He’s preaching all this from the mansion. Lovely innit.”
In his political YouTube series The Trews, Brand responded to Lydon’s comments and stated that while he “adores” the punk icon, he feels as though his comments regarding voting have been taken out of context.
“John Lydon for me is a great cultural figure”, Brand said. “I adore the Sex Pistols, I adore his music and I adore him, but it’s a common misconception that I told people not to vote.”
Brand had previously stated in an article in New Statesman that he had never voted, writing: “I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites.”
However in this clip Brand states that he would vote, if the right political party were to rear its head. He continued: “If there was a party worth voting for then I’d vote for them… and I would urge you to as well, but it’s difficult to create those kind of global political parties because of trade agreements preventing that kind of thing from happening on a national level, which is a complicated issue and I can see why John Lydon might have trouble fitting that into a tiny little interview particularly when he’s got to promote a show about bugs.”
Watch the video below:
While actors, comedians, singers and other entertainment figureheads’ opinions regarding politics usually (and quite rightly) sail above the heads of many, Brand has proven himself to be an articulate and knowledgeable voice of reason within the UK media (despite his career oscillating wildly between ill-advised projects such as Arthur and Hop). The youth vote is integral to the betterment of the UK and him discouraging them from doing so until a “party worth voting for” shows up will only encourage their ambivalence to continue.
It’s true that the current major parties have led most to become jaded with the system, but to not vote is to stand by while these same people continue to be elected into power. Asking for a revolution is naive in a time when most people are comfortable to just sit in front of their computers, TVs and PS4s and watch the world go by, and a respected public figure such as Brand should recognise this.