John Lydon lays into Ukip, Russell Brand and The Clash in live webchat

The punk pioneer says "nobody gives a toss about The Clash" and calls Brand "arsehole number one"

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has taken part in a live webchat for The Guardian, giving his views on a range of topics from the current state of politics to pop culture and music.

“I’d get into Westminster if I need[ed] a new apartment,” said the punk legend, better known as Johnny Rotten. “Nobody sensible voted for Thatcher. And for me, in political terms, the most admirable person and most influential, would have been the philosophy of Ghandi. The ideology of passive resistance worked and can work again and again and again. It is the exact opposite of violence. A glorious conception.”

When asked about Ukip’s recent success, however, Lydon was less than favourable about the party and its leader. “[Ukip is] a black hole for the ignorant to fall into. That’s it.” “Farage?,” he added. “I wonder what the roots of that name are. I think he’s faragical.”


The singer also had some harsh criticism reserved for Russell Brand: “The youth of today have every possibility as being as smart or a stupid as the youth of past. So long as you remove Russell Brand from the agenda. I think he’s absolutely clarified himself as arsehole number one. It’s not funny to talk nonsense. I think his words are the words of somebody else. Misconstrued.”

With questions focusing on the musician’s punk roots, Lydon responded: “Nobody gives a toss about The Clash. In the beginning there was The Sex Pistols. Then there’s PIL. The Public Image Limited… [The] best PIL song has yet to be written. I am writing at the moment. The day I die I’ll let you know how things are.”

Elsewhere in the webchat, Lydon revealed that he’d never accept a knighthood or OBE from the Queen, calls the current Arsenal team (of which he’s a fan) “Arsenmonkey” and didn’t attend any of the recent Kate Bush comeback shows but said that the singer would “always get [his] support”.

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