Where to even begin? Coming up with one single descriptor for Owen Jones is nigh on impossible. Mr Jones is one of the most charismatic figures of the modern left and he is rarely, if ever, out of the news, off our screens or out of the spotlight. Writing about him from a completely unbiased and balanced perspective while at the same time pointing out some of his more glaring “inconsistencies” is nothing if not challenging, but let’s give it a go.
To some he is the “enfant terrible” of “socialism, a no nonsense sort of guy with an opinion on everything, and, when I say everything I mean, literally, everything. Over the last 10 years or so he has been extremely vocal on all manner of topics. He has a regular column in the Grauniad, which can be highly entertaining, he writes occasionally for other newspapers and periodicals and is also the author of several books. He is, as you might have guessed, a member of the ABBC revolving door club along with people of the calibre of Yasmin I’maliar Brown, Diane Abbott, Michael Heseltine, Chuka Umunna and others who, although they might have very important day jobs are ever eager to trouser the odd £500 of license payers hard earned to be given a platform to spout inane claptrap on a very regular basis.
It would have been relatively easy for me to write a piece about this complex young man that was full of insult and accusation. Owen makes such writing incredibly easy, but as I’ve looked into who he is, what he says and how he presents himself to the public gaze I have come to the conclusion that it goes deeper than that.
For him, being ignored by those he regularly refers to, depending I think on which side of the bed he gets out of as “haters”, “phobes” “far right” and any number of other insults would be far worse than being regularly called out for being a hypocrite, a liar and a professional “faggot” (Please note that the use of the term “faggot” has nothing to do with his “sexuality” and everything to do with his persona. I couldn’t care less how he identifies sexually; I would suggest that he is as confused on this subject as he is on most others).
Owen revels in the exposure afforded him, it’s how he makes his money and so, on an almost weekly basis he is “found out”. Being in the media spotlight might make you rich, it might even make you popular with certain sections of society but one needs to be sure that one is being both consistent and a little honest when; ultimately, honesty is what one will be judged on. I’ve said it before, I am not an intellectual and I didn’t have a University education. I learned some stuff at school and a lot more at the other school, the one of hard knocks. Life isn’t always black and white and we can all make mistakes over any number of things. Making mistakes, facing up to them, apologising and moving on is all a part of growing up. I’m not certain Owen has grasped that yet.
Let’s take a look at some of the things he has said and done over recent years. It might give us a better insight into how this boy/man thinks. Owen has strong views on abortion, they might match your opinions and they might not. Not for him the concern that a perfectly healthy baby may be murdered in the womb, removed from the person carrying it and then be sold on for research. Owen is a “just a clump of cells” man. Owen, a modern “feminist” if ever there were one considers the possibility of denying a woman an abortion, whether it is medically essential or not, “a great violence” to the said woman while not caring one single jot about the level of violence visited on a growing baby. Is he saying this because he truly believes it or is he saying it because he knows that it will be seen and commented upon, thereby maintaining his precious profile, either way, what a nice guy?
Owen hasn’t always been Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest fan. In November 2016, only two years ago, he had this to say;
“Jeremy Corbyn, a person who will never win a British general election… I know him personally and I know he never wanted to be leader; It was presented as a sense of obligation. He never anticipated this result and now leads the party without having any experience.”
And this in February 2017;
“The Left has failed badly. I’d find it hard to vote for Corbyn… They have made lots of bad mistakes. There’s been a lack of strategy, communication, vision.”
But, within less than six months, this;
“Jeremy Corbyn has caused a sensation – he would make a fine prime minister”
Hypocrisy, pragmatism or an overwhelming desire to remain firmly in the psyche of both his supporters and his enemies, you pay your money and you make your choice. I know what I think; he despises the “populists” of the far right as he calls them, without seeing any irony whatsoever in him jumping on any left wing populist bandwagon that might be passing by.
In 2012, Owen, along with several others of similar “socialist” outlook visited what was, for them at least, the “El Dorado” of a socialist state, Venezuela. On his return he had this to say;
“Venezuela is an inspiration to the world; it really does show that there is an alternative. I met so many people who told me how their lives had changed since the election of President Chávez”.
In 2014, writing in the Independent and as Venezuela was disappearing up its own backside he continued to defend his position, saying this;
Socialism’s critics look at Venezuela and say, ‘We told you so’. But they are wrong.
When presented, this year, with the reality of a country in total crisis; inflation up 947%, 82% of the people living in poverty, staggering levels of infant mortality (not that Owen would care about this, given his stance on abortion), and a murder rate 10 times the world average he continued to defend socialism. Owen might be a lot of things, but stupid, in the ordinary sense, isn’t one of them. Was he defending the indefensible because of deeply held conviction or was he, again, saying something to make sure he stayed “relevant” and, more importantly, worth his fee?
Owen is a great believer in more home grown causes too, especially those that are closest to his own “modern” world view. In the year 2000 he wrote, somewhat shockingly in my opinion;
“I militarily support the IRA against the British State, though I assert that their tactics of individual terrorism were bound to fail and thereby encourage them to take part in building a working class movement against the occupation (rather than their present outright capitulation).”
Where does Owen stand on Islam? Exactly where you’d expect him to, Jihad is the fault of the west and has nothing to do with the peaceful Muslims that are perfectly integrated into the fabric of our society. So much so that when a radical Islamist shot over 100 people, killing at least 50 of them, at a “gay” nightclub in Florida Owen, ever the friend of the Islamist, chose to frame this murderous and barbaric act not as out and out terrorism, perpetrated on the Infidel hordes by a Muslim, but as an attack on the gay community by a mentally ill “misfit”. Generally he would have got away with this too, The Grauniad, The Independent, The New Statesman, The ABBC and Sky News would have been happy to go along with it. Unfortunately for Owen he chose to make this argument on television and whilst in conversation with a couple of people not so easily intimidated by him as others might be. Here we have the darling of the left, walking out of a live broadcast, because not everyone was buying into his version of events; petulant grandstanding or a deeply held and principled stance? Again, I know what I think but I’ll let you decide.
I could go on, always available for a march, a rally or a meeting this paragon of left wing virtue tramps the metaphorical boards of political theatre, threatening the President of the USA with a protest of millions should he dare to visit the United Kingdom. He has held rallies in the parliamentary constituencies of Tory MP’s, not least that of Ian Duncan Smith, where he insists that with the will of the people behind him he will unseat these democratically elected politicians, grandiose? Hugely so.
He has changed his mind on the EU because it is expedient for him to do so; he believes fervently that gender is a choice and not a scientific reality, he hates ordinary people that care about schools, immigration and the pressure on the NHS with a passion that many of us can only just begin to comprehend; he sees himself as something very special indeed. He is the modern left in human form; here I offer my opinion, which I believe I am currently still allowed to hold. Owen Jones is a hypocrite, an opportunist, a band wagon rider “par excellence”, he is petulant and narcissistic, he is NEVER wrong (which makes him potentially dangerous) and he is not going away, anytime soon. He is, in short, an ICON for the 21st century.
© Coloniescross 2017