Owen jones

High life | 22 June 2016

I always thought the Freuds a pretty sordid bunch, and after the latest revelations it seems I wasn’t far off. I first met Clement Freud when John Aspinall employed him as an adviser for food and wine. He was lugubrious and aggressive, and none of us punters liked him one bit. He was not a gambler but talked as if he were a big one. While crossing the Atlantic on board the QE2 back in 1974, he tried to pRlay the tough guy with me over — yes, you guessed it — a lady, but it didn’t work. But there’s no use giving him the business now that he’s dead,

Rise of the atrocity exhibitionists

Life is speeded up. It used to be that when a hideous atrocity occurred people waited a day or two, even a week, before co-opting it into their political armoury. Now it happens while the smell of cordite is still in the air and before the blood has dried. There is a breathtaking shamelessness about it and a certain narcissism, if not outright solipsism and an eagerness to demand a sort of acquired victim status. The revolting murders in an Orlando nightclub are a case in point. Some 49 people dead and 53 injured after a Muslim, presumably what we are enjoined to call a radical Muslim, ran amok with


Battle of the pundits: Owen Jones vs ‘the Katie Hopkins of the Blairite right’

Today the BBC invited arch-enemies Dan Hodges and Owen Jones onto Daily Politics to discuss the Labour leadership battle. What began as a civil exchanging of views over Jeremy Corbyn’s inclusion on the ballot, rapidly turned into an all-out spat with Jones calling Hodges ‘the Katie Hopkins of the Blairite right’: DH: You’ve insisted he’s on the ballot, he’s on the ballot. Do you now want him to win? OJ: Yeah, I’ll be supporting and fighting for Jeremy Corbyn DH: So you genuinely think if Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the Labour party, the British people will elect Jeremy Corbyn? OJ: I think the problem that Labour has at the moment is that there

For Owen Jones and fellow idiots, the Orlando atrocity was all about them

Life is speeded up. It used to be that when a hideous atrocity occurred people waited a day or two, even a week, before co-opting it into their political armoury. Now it happens while the smell of cordite is still in the air and before the blood has dried. There is a breathtaking shamelessness about it and a certain narcissism, if not outright solipsism and an eagerness to demand a sort of acquired victim status. The revolting murders in an Orlando nightclub are a case in point. Some 49 people dead and 53 injured after a Muslim, presumably what we are enjoined to call a radical Muslim, ran amok with

Owen Jones fails to practise what he preaches on LGBT voices

In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, Owen Jones appeared on the Sky News paper review on Sunday night to share his thoughts on the terrorist attack which left 49 dead. However, he ended up walking off set live on-air after growing frustrated over the broadcaster’s refusal to describe the shooting as an attack on LGBT people. Since then, Jones has penned a piece for the Guardian calling for the media focus to be on homophobia as the LGBT community try to deal with this attempt at the ‘erasure’ of their people. However, it turns out that Jones isn’t so fussed about the silencing of certain members of the LGBT community. Steerpike understands that

Will Labour convict me of thought crime?

I got an email this week, from a chap called Harry, which began as follows: ‘I am writing to inform you that I will be carrying out the investigation on behalf of the Labour party into the circumstances that resulted in your suspension from the party.’ Harry went on to say that he will be ‘conducting interviews with witnesses’ and added: ‘I will also need a time when you are available for an interview.’ This last presumably as an afterthought: I suppose we need to hear from him. Anyway, at this interview (to be conducted in London, natch) I am allowed to bring along a ‘silent witness’ —someone who is not

Another day, another fake MP death threat

Although Owen Jones was once Jeremy Corbyn’s main cheerleader, in recent months his relationship with the Labour leader has cooled as his former Guardian colleague Seumas Milne has usurped him in Corbyn’s trusted circle. Still, Jones is now at least on good terms with other members of the party. Today the Guardian columnist has interviewed the outspoken Corbyn rebel Jess Phillips for his YouTube channel. During the friendly exchange, Phillips — who previously told Diane Abbott to ‘f— off’ after they clashed over Corbyn’s shadow cabinet appointments — discusses Corbyn’s pros and cons. Phillips also promises to ‘knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front’ rather than the back, should it become clear to her that he is not up to

Owen Jones gives Seumas Milne a run for his money

As Seumas Milne attempts to settle in to his new job as Jeremy Corbyn’s director of communications, the former Guardian columnist has got off to a rather shaky start. As well as making headlines himself over his controversial appointment, the negative press surrounding Corbyn has shown no sign of disappearing with a fresh storm recently emerging regarding Milne’s colleague Andrew Fisher. Perhaps aware of his own shortcomings, Milne was even overheard outside a pub on Thursday asking the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg for advice on how to do his job. Now, Corbyn’s other original Guardian cheerleader Owen Jones has stepped in to offer Milne some advice of his own. Following the negative press Corbyn received this week over

Why I left

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thedeathoftheleft/media.mp3″ title=”Nick Cohen and Fraser Nelson discuss the death of the left” startat=32] Listen [/audioplayer]‘Tory, Tory, Tory. You’re a Tory.’ The level of hatred directed by the Corbyn left at Labour people who have fought Tories all their lives is as menacing as it is ridiculous. If you are a woman, you face misogyny. Kate Godfrey, the centrist Labour candidate in Stafford, told the Times she had received death threats and pornographic hate mail after challenging her local left. If you are a man, you are condemned in language not heard since the fall of Marxist Leninism. ‘This pathetic small-minded jealousy of the anti-democratic bourgeois shows them up for

Welcome to the era of conspiracy-theory politics

Who argues that a ‘shadow state’ controls Britain? That a gang of faraway, faceless suits ‘orchestrate public life from the shadows’, from their ‘yachts in the Mediterranean’? Who thinks people in ‘the shadows’, who always remain ‘hidden’, exercise a ‘poisonous, secretive influence on public life’? A spotty sixth-former who spends way too much time on the internet, perhaps? Or maybe one of those cranky guys who hangs out in the discussion threads of David Icke’s website, convinced that lizards in suits run the world? Actually it’s Tom Watson, new deputy leader of the Labour Party. All those claims come from his rather bonkers book on the Murdoch empire, where Watson

Sorry Owen Jones, but your moral grandstanding won’t solve the migrant crisis

I’m getting tired of the self-righteousness of Owen Jones. His response to the terrible spate of deaths of people fleeing Syria and Africa is to imply that if only everyone were as moral as him, the problem would be solved. He seems to think that the key cause of these people’s deaths is that many people in Britain call them by the wrong word. To call them ‘migrants’, he says, shows a total disregard for their humanity. ‘Those of us who want more sympathetic treatment of people fleeing desperate situations have failed to win over public opinion, and the cost of that is death.’  The implication is that if his right-on

Corbyn’s ‘women-only rail carriages’ points to his coming battle with Fleet Street

Has Jeremy Corbyn jumped the shark already, or have we witnessed the first Fleet Street ‘smear’ against him? Today’s i newspaper has splashed with ‘Corbyn backs women-only train carriages’, which at first glance sounds like a divisive policy. The story has come from Corbyn’s new End street harassment document, which includes a ‘Consultation on public transport’: ‘Some women have raised with me that a solution to the rise in assault and harassment on public transport could be to introduce women only carriages. My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop to on the mode of transport itself. However, I would consult with women and open it up

An evening with the cult of Corbyn in Islington

Jeremy Corbyn has hosted over 70 rallies as part of his Labour leadership campaign. Yesterday evening, the bearded one returned to Islington to speak at a four hour fundraising event — the first in his local patch. I went along to find out more about the ‘movement’ that has sprung up around his candidacy. The event was held in the beautiful Union Chapel on Upper Street, a church that moonlights as a live music venue. Crowds lined the street to get in and the comrades took advantage of this to distribute propaganda — promoting the ‘Spartacist League’, a ‘Rage Against the Tories’ rally and Sadiq Khan’s mayoral campaign: https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/634785197108666368 The first ‘act’ was

Watch: Nigel Farage on why Ukip is still relevant

Nigel Farage emerged from his summer break today to kickstart his party’s No campaign. The Ukip leader hit out at Eurosceptic Conservatives who he believes are lazy and ‘there is no No campaign’ at present. But he won’t be putting himself forward as a candidate to lead the official No campaign —  instead focusing on his grassroots efforts with a tour of the country in September. I caught up with Farage, who appeared refreshed after ‘trying to keep away from people like you’. He denied that by attacking Tories, he is beginning Ukip’s No campaign on a negative footing: ‘You will have seen in national newspaper columns this week a

What is it with the far-left and violence?

Thanks to Guido Fawkes, I learn that the left-wing author Owen Jones has just appeared at the Sinn Fein summer school in Ireland.  According to Sinn Fein’s own newspaper, Owen used the opportunity to praise Sinn Fein’s ‘progressive’ politics, suggest that people take inspiration from the 1916 Easter Rising and announce what a ‘passionate believer’ he apparently is in a united Ireland. There are a number of interesting things about this.  The first is that it exposes what a sham the far-left’s attitude towards political violence really is. Owen isn’t the first person of his ilk to have supported Sinn Fein.  For decades there has been a dirty line-up of far-left figures

Is the Guardian about to endorse Jeremy Corbyn?

Despite frequent claims from both sides of the political spectrum that Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn is ‘unelectable’, he has so far managed to win the endorsement of Unite as well as the highest number of nominations from constituency Labour parties. Could he now be on his way to an endorsement from the Guardian? Steerpike only asks after the Labour leadership hopeful was the guest of honour at today’s news conference at the paper. While it was Andy Burnham’s turn last week to grace the newsroom, Mr S is assured that Corbyn was the more popular of the two guests. In fact, such fan-mania hasn’t been witnessed since Hollywood star Benedict Cumberbatch paid the paper a visit:

A beginner’s guide to Euroscepticism

As a long-time Eurosceptic, I should be happy about the Johnny-Come-Latelys now swelling the sceptic ranks. Following Euro-institutions’ wicked treatment of Greece, many European liberals have finally realised that Brussels might not be the hotbed of liberalism, internationalism and bunny rabbits they thought it was. So, bit by bit, they’re becoming the thing they once looked down upon, the thing they once forcefielded their dinner parties against: Eurosceptics. But I’m not feeling very welcoming to these latter-day doubters, currently live-tweeting their Euro-existential angst and clogging their newspaper columns with tortured questions about whether the EU really is a ‘great achievement of enlightened internationalism’. (Answer: no, you donuts.) For two reasons.

The best way to end the ‘poshness test’

Here is a preview of Toby Young’s column in this week’s Spectator, out tomorrow. Subscribe from just £1. There’s a warning buried in the detail of the new report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on why top companies employ so few applicants from comprehensive schools: ‘Though this study provides valuable insights into barriers to the elite professions, there are nevertheless some limitations associated with the chosen research methodology. As a small-scale qualitative study, the aim is to explore issues and generalisability is limited.’ But most pundits who’ve commented so far missed this caveat. ‘New research… reveals the privileged choose and look after their own,’ wrote Owen Jones

Rape culture, Rotherham and double standards

Freddy’s blog on the so-called ‘rape culture’ that we in Western democracies are all meant to be struggling under reminds me of an unwittingly important moment on BBC3 last year.  It was provided by our colleague James Delingpole when he appeared on something called ‘Free Speech.’  This is an almost comically appalling ‘yoof’ programme which I did once from an ice rink in Doncaster alongside a Page 3 model and Owen Jones. Anyway, on the occasion that poor James appeared one of the subjects that came up was ‘rape culture’.  James – displaying a form which any sane viewer couldn’t have helped but watch with noises of admiration like ‘coo’

I’m not voting on Thursday — but don’t you dare call me apathetic

With just 48 hours to go before we get to vote in officially the most boring election in history, the great and good are fretting over the apathy of the little people. We’ve seen the emergence of Poets Against Apathy — a group of northern scribes keen to shake the public out of its anti-political stupor — and numerous newspaper articles bemoaning the apathy of the masses. A whole section of the Guardian website is devoted to ‘Voter apathy’, featuring Owen Jones, Polly Toynbee, Charlie Brooker and others shaking their liberal heads over the disengaged. Brooker even refers to them as ‘idiots’ who say ‘Bah to everything. BAH BAH BAH.’ This