(a) Pick out one or more of Brand's arguments and provide a detailed reponse (whether you dis/agree and why, backed up with your own research: facts, figures, quotes), OR
(b) Come up with a proposal for an e-petition that might lead to MPs debating this idea or argument (explaining why you think this is important, why you think it is a good idea, and backed up with your own research: facts, figures, quotes). You could include examples of actual e-petitions in your presentation.
PRESENTATION FORMAT: Feed back to the class as a group, each person in a group have the same notes on their iPad. You can inlcude images within a KeyNote presentation if you wish.
This has been one of the most discussed/shared interviews of recent times, and a rare instance of a political interview going viral. Is Brand simply a gadabout, vacuous celebrity spouting nonsense ... or is Paxman pompously defending a broken democratic system in the UK?
THE NOTORIOUS PAXMAN INTERVIEW
It was Jeremy Paxman's apparent disgust at Brand's arguments that made the views of an actor/comedian into a major story. Paxman seemed to get particularly cross at the notion that voting was pointless (although he later said he had some sympathy with Brand's views).
Brand followed this up with a lengthy essay in political magazine The New Statesman, which he guest edited:
RESPONSES TO BRAND:
Low earners don't vote much either, so the young/poor vote least of all. The IPPR shows how, since 2010, average voters lost 12% in service cuts, but those who didn't vote lost 20%, or £2,135 a year. So, Russell Brand, young people are badly treated if they don't vote. [Polly Toynbee, Guardian, 21.3.14 - lots of facts and figures on how decisions by both major major parties in recent years have hit young people]Opinion has been very much divided on this; Suzanne Moore defends him while describing his essay as 'teenage'; Nick Clegg attacked Paxman; Brand himself wrote for The Guardian following the infamous interview; letter writers argued its easy to criticise, but where is his alternative plan?; you can find many more here (The Guardian's Brand microsite; there have been articles about him in every paper), and here you can find articles written by him.
BRAND ON DRUGS AND (NOT) VOTING; E-PETITION [C4 NEWS, 8mins]
Brand is also questioned about climate change. This interview came about after Brand launched a petition to force MPs to debate drugs law.
You can see a simple graphic of how these 'e-petitions' work here.
BRAND: USA INTERVIEW ON UK + US MEDIA [MSNBC, 8mins]
Includes clips from Brand's 'Trews' YouTube operation.
BRAND ON NEWSNIGHT, 2014 [15mins]
A return interview, this time with Robert Peston.
BRAND ON PARTY FUNDING, 2015
This one of Brand's daily 'Trews' features, the most recent at the time of creating this post. He is joined by Guardian newspaper columnist and environmental campaigner George Monbiot to discuss how political parties are funded. He had earlier taken up this point during a Question Time appearance.
BRAND ON QUESTION TIME: DON'T TRUST POLITICIANS TO DECLARE WAR [1min]
Brand makes a range of points about how public opinion is manipulated over warfare.
BRAND ON PROPERTY: THE NEW ERA ESTATE CAMPAIGN [C4 NEWS, 2mins]
Brand interviewed on C4 News about the successful campaign over New Era housing; an American investment fund was set to boot out working class renters until a grassroots campaign eventually saw them sign the properties over to another company that pledged to keep these families on. The issue here is over the right of companies to stockpile property as an investment, often keeping it empty, while many struggle to find an affordable home. His own channel reported on this too.
Of course, he's not the only comedian seeking to take up the political fight...