Why does anyone want to be a parent, with all the stress, exhaustion, and often thankless turmoil it can entail? A simple answer is a very basic instinctive urge implanted in our genes to ensure we procreate and ensure the survival of our species, codified in very powerful and often problematic cultural and social expectations which normally revolve around the nuclear family. …


Len McCluskey is a titan of the labour movement and, to my mind, a trade union leader defined by courage, principle and determination. Vilified by the British corporate media, the Unite union in general, and McCluskey in particular, played a pivotal role in the rise of the British left in the 2010s: from the active support offered to movements fighting injustices ranging from tax avoidance to austerity, to Corbynism itself.

McCluskey has written a review of my new book, This Land, about the rise and fall of Corbynism. Its tone, of paternal disappointment, was one I genuinely appreciated. Above all…


you can’t be a journalist if you helped organise this protest, sorry I don’t make the rules

Is it possible for a journalist to be a political activist? This is a recurring debate, albeit sadly one that only generally arises in relation to the left. If you’re a socialist, you believe in collective struggle to achieve social and political change: abstaining from some form of activism, then, does not sit well.

This is an argument that persistently emerges in relation to my own position, as one of the few socialists with a platform within a British press eco-system which heavily tilts to the right. Activism in the commonly understood form is something I engage in a lot…


this is not healthy

Here’s what Twitter could be for the left. It could be a means to reach new audiences, to organise, to build pressure on the Labour leadership, to link together campaigns, to share ideas and strategies.

Or it could be an angry and ever diminishing echo chamber, where blind fury is a substitute for strategy, where there’s fierce competition over the fieriest denunciations about how crap everyone and everything is, where outlandish conspiracy theories can be shared, and where traitors can be vilified and their malign motives exposed.

In other words, Twitter can be where the left goes to die, not…


As I reported this morning, Jess Phillips is pulling out of Labour’s leadership race. Here is the latest victim of Centrist Hack Syndrome. This is basically when centrist journalists fluff up chosen politicians privately and publicly: “If you take this leap, you will be overwhelmed by adoration and flourish”. They are granted puff piece interviews in print and generously soft TV interviews, fawning magazine front covers, described in hushed tones as the next big thing, as the politician the Tories are really frightened of, as that unique sort of politician with real star quality and “cut through”. In exchange, they…


ffs

No, I’m not responsible for the tweets, or indeed actions, of strangers. I don’t care if they’re one of the however many people I’ve had a selfie with, who’ve come over and said “hi”, bought me a pint, or (in the most recent case) given me cat treats for my two hyperactive Burmese pusses in the three minutes we’ve met. Neither am I responsible for the tweets of the 5,459 people I follow on twitter — yes, a hilariously unmanageable large number — who range from Tory MPs and hard right commentators to left-wing piss-taking activists who tweet a lot…


No, this is not one of those pompous why-I’m-leaving-twitter-and-why-anyone-should-give-a-toss posts. I want to drastically change my relationship with this, um, fascinating internet innovation, and writing it down makes it more likely I’ll stick to it, that my friends will yell at me if I don’t, and also maybe I can write some vaguely interesting reflections.

Twitter is an extremely handy tool for sharing information and articles, for giving a platform to ideas and voices that are otherwise marginalised, to make global connections, to link journalists and activists together, and to find events or protests or actions to turn up to…


The British far right is ever more thuggish and violent, emboldened and fuelled by mainstream politicians and media outlets. Its members have killed a Labour MP, attempted to kill another, and plotted to kill Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan. The Labour leader has himself been attacked and harassed. The far right are harassing and attacking minorities and perceived political opponents on the streets, and organising demonstrations in support of the Conservative Prime Minister in which they they openly chant for leftists and Remainers to be hanged. Multiple far right terror plots have been foiled, while the far right have been…


It is a fact that is rarely commented on, but until relatively recently, the working class had been widely erased as a social and political category. In the 1990s and 2000s, the dominant mantra in politics and media alike was “we are all middle class now”. The crushing of organised labour, the apparent hegemony of rugged individualism, the end of the Cold War — portrayed as the absolute historical victory of capitalism red in tooth and claw — and New Labour’s surrender to Thatcherite tenets seemed to render class to historical irrelevance. That was Margaret Thatcher’s avowed aim: as she…


not gonna happen guys :(

There are many things I’m not proud of — shoplifting a Bourneville aged 6 (I don’t even like dark chocolate), accidentally wearing a blouse the first time I went on Question Time, and coining the word ‘Lexit’, or ‘a left exit from the EU’. That’s my own contribution to the English language, right there, and I don’t even believe in it, so that’s annoying.

It was nearly a year before the EU referendum, and in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of Syriza’s attempt to free Greece from the ruinous corset of austerity. I was pissed off, to put it…

Owen Jones

Author of 'The Establishment' and 'Chavs', Socialist, Guardian columnist. Losing my Northern accent. My views etc... https://www.youtube.com/c/OwenJonesTalks

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