Is it okay to have a cleaner during the coronavirus lockdown? It's a simple question but one that has led to fiery exchanges in recent weeks. A row kicked off last week when Guardian columnist Owen Jones said people who aren't forking out for their cleaners 'shockingly selfish human being(s)'. 'If someone can afford a cleaner, they should be paying them to stay at home and doing their own cleaning – they've certainly got the time to do it,' he wrote.
It led to many praising Jones for taking a bold stand – such as this HuffPo opinion piece on the moral problems with employing a cleaner:
On the Jeremy Vine show today, Jones was taken to task by fellow journalist Angela Epstein who pointed out that many of those who employ cleaners are also facing financial difficulties themselves.
'The fact is, if you can afford to keep your cleaner on the payroll, fantastic. If you can't, then don't do it. But there is no reason why you should feel morally impelled to pay them if you're not in a position to do so.'
— Angela Epstein (@adepstein1) May 20, 2020
Then the plot thickened. Jones made this rather sheepish confession on the programme:
Vine: 'I’m wondering if you also have a cleaner yourself?'
Jones: 'Yeah, and it’s not my decision but when you live with people you have to make compromises...'
Funny how Jones didn't feel this was relevant to mention when he was on the warpath last week...