STUDENT VOICES: Jolyon Rubinstein visits Brighton University

For the first time, the University of Brighton welcomed Jolyon Rubinstein and his Producer Emeka Onono to talk about Rubinstein’s new Documentary ‘An Idiots Guide to Politics’ at their Hastings Campus.

The event, which was hosted on Thursday evening, allowed students to gain insight into Rubinstein’s views and the intentions behind his documentary. The film, he claimed, was not made for people interested in politics, but rather for those not knowledgeable on the subject matter: ‘The objective was to make an engaging, funny, exciting journey for young people, particularly the Facebook generation’.

The documentary, which aired on BBC3 at 9pm on Wednesday 11th February, takes a look at how politics can be improved on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, a document which underlines the democratic freedoms of today. Producer Emeka Onono claimed the idea of the film was to ‘set up a new Magna Carta’ with a specific focus on making it illegal to lie in Parliament as well as limiting the amount of money wealthy people can donate to political parties.

As the star of his own Television show ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’, Rubinstein and friend Heydon Prowse satirise politics through pranks and humour. The show, as explained on BBC, is a ‘series bringing corruption, greed and hypocrisy to the fore’ in which ‘politicians, multinationals and tax-shy corporations who have been taking the public for a ride for years are now on the receiving end’.

Rubinstein, who studied Politics and International Relations at Sussex Uni, claims that although he was disenchanted by the topic at the time, the events which surrounded the 9/11 tragedy including the Afghan and Iraqi wars that followed the horrific event were one of numerous factors which helped politicise him.

As the evening progressed, Onono elaborated on young people’s apathy in current affairs by stating that the documentary was aiming to let people know that ‘a lot of the things that they think are boring are things that run their lives and have the capacity to change the world that they live in’. He believes that the issues we face in current affairs aren’t going away and states: ‘The place that we live in, is in the process of a lot of change and this generation, who will inherit the mess that is in front of them need to actually start engaging’.

Sarah Owen, the Hastings and Rye Labour MP candidate was also at the event, and explained that there is a misconception about the youth and their apathy in politics stating: ‘It’s entirely wrong. Young people are completely engaged but it’s about issues that matter to them and their community as well’. She continues by saying that young people shouldn’t just cast their vote at the next general election but also get involved in politics in general.

The visitors and students left the event inspired after Onono claimed that there is one thing many people forget about the younger generation. ‘When you’re young, you still believe that you can change the world, and with that comes an energy that can move entire generations’.

By Iara Kaiser

The Verse Staff

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