Robinson said he had a “beef” with the comedian and activist, who urged people to shun the ballot box at the May election.
Writing in the Radio Times, Robinson argued: “Yes 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?”
Robinson admitted that Brand’s campaigning about the links between corporate greed and poverty have “energised, excited and enthused people about some of the great issues of our time.”
But he could not accept Brand’s proclamation that he would “never vote and I don’t think you should, either”.
Although required to remain impartial over his political views, Robinson wrote: “I am not, though, required to be impartial between democracy and the alternatives.
“What’s more, if Auntie (Beeb) ever asked me to be I’d refuse or quit the job. My German Jewish grandparents were forced to flee the Nazis and then, later, the Communists who took over China, the place they’d sought refuge. In this election year I am an unapologetic believer in elections.”
Rejecting a popular perception that politicians are “all the same” and “in it for themselves,” Robinson argued: “What will make this year’s battle so gripping is the rise of those we used to label ‘Others’ on our election night graphics.”
The rise of Ukip and strong poll ratings for the SNP in Scotland promised “a battle between people with very different visions of the future of the country. Indeed, with very different visions of whether we should stay a United Kingdom and member of the European Union.
“They will argue because they care about your future and not just their own. Who you choose to vote for, or choose to reject, will make a real difference.”
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
Russell Brand's Most Controversial Quips
1/19 On puberty:
“By puberty I learned that nothing worth having could be easily attained and to succeed one must be single minded."
2/19 On changing the world:
“I want to change the world, and do something valuable and beautiful. I want people to remember me before I'm dead, and then more afterwards.”
3/19 On being strong:
"Strength does not have to be belligerent and loud."
4/19 On grammar:
“I couldn't possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar!”
5/19 On manners in England:
"In England we have such good manners that if someone says something impolite, the police will get involved."
6/19 On junkie v vegetarian:
“Even as a junkie I stayed true [to vegetarianism] - 'I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger.' What a sexy little paradox.”
7/19 On the future:
“People don't realize that the future is just now, but later.”
8/19 On sex addiction:
“Boggle with sex addicts is up there with go-kart racing with junkies.”
9/19 On life:
“My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents.”
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
10/19 On happiness:
"If you want to be happy stop being so self-obsessed and start considering other people."
11/19 On drug addiction:
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
12/19 On sitcoms:
"I do have a regard for the musicality of language that came from BBC sitcoms like Fawlty Towers."
13/19 On life motivation:
"That's what keeps me alive, perversion and star quality.”
14/19 On love:
“When you fall in love you recognise you're not the most important person in the world, and your focus becomes another person.”
15/19 On threesomes:
“I like threesomes with two women, not because I'm a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I'm a romantic. I'm looking for "The One." And I'll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.”
16/19 On Conservatives:
"Conservatism appeals to our selfishness and fear, our designer and self-interest."
17/19 On surfing:
“Surfing should be called "foam-choking" or "sea stabbing.”
18/19 On Demi Moore:
"I've not made love to her yet, but it's a matter of time."
STEVE MORGAN/AFP/Getty Images
19/19 On success:
"When I was growing up, I thought I'd be a lot happier if I was famous and successful and if I had money."
Robinson will present a new Radio 4 series in which he grapples with Brand’s assertion that the power of global corporations has drained all power from our elected politicians. Robinson will speak to campaigners, protesters, voters and politicians including Tony Blair, Nigel Farage and William Hague in the series.
“I asked Russell Brand to do an interview, but as he posed for a few selfies I was told he was ‘too busy’. Pity, really, but then that’s why I’m telling you…,” Robinson wrote.
Brand, author of the best-selling book Revolution, has argued that he does not vote out of apathy but since the UK’s political system has created a “disenfranchised, disillusioned underclass” that it fails to serve.
Politicians were only interested in “serving the needs of corporations”, he said in a recent interview, during which he called for an administrative system based on the “massive redistribution of wealth” to replace the status quo.Reuse content