There are two paragraphs here which need comment from me. I am aware Mr.Jones is fairly narcissistic, and at some point this should come to his attention.
The first paragraph is paragraph 6 of his article. When Owen started to use the astroturf of the Labour Party to cultivate an image of himself as a concerned nobody, who just happened to have answers on austerity, he attacked people who knew what was abundantly clear. What he has admitted here. That Mr.Jones is in fact part of an establishment route from Oxford, to politics, to media. He denied this, and abused those who pointed out that it limited his understanding of the very real economic and social policy transformation that austerity required. He denied strongly that this could possibly be the case, and that he could possibly be benefitting from a different platform to the one he shared with social care users, trade union members, benefit claimants without the social network, elite connections, political connections he exploited alongside the austerity that killed people.
”Here is my political background. When I left university in 2005, I worked in the office of the now Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell for two-and-a-half years, and helped to run his (abortive) leadership campaign in 2006–07. My Parliamentary badge sponsor was Katy Clark, then a Labour MP who it turned out knew my uncle as a fellow party activist in the 1980s, and who is now Corbyn’s political secretary. My colleague was Andrew Fisher, now Jeremy Corbyn’s director of policy. Friends who were fellow Parliamentary ‘bag-carriers’ included Cat Smith, Jeremy Corbyn’s researcher and now an MP in the Shadow Cabinet. Other Shadow Cabinet members I’ve known for years include my friend Clive Lewis, who I campaigned for years before the election, and Richard Burgon, whose house I stayed at when I did talks in Leeds. Seumas Milne is my friend and colleague at The Guardian. Team members like ex-New Economics Foundation economist James Meadway I’ve long known through political activism. Much of the leadership team are my personal friends, and some I have known for a decade or more. And as for Corbyn himself — well, I’ve known him for years, and shared a platform with him many a time. During the leadership campaign, I was at the first Corbyn campaign meeting, and the last campaign meeting, too. I not only spoke at Jeremy Corbyn leadership rallies: I introduced him at the final one. I helped choose the name for Momentum. This isn’t a milieu that I know well: it’s a milieu I’m part of.”
I thank Owen for being clear, after several years, and after every chance of opposing austerity was removed because he needed an anticuts movement that did not discuss political consensus on social care, welfare, and childrens services in particular. He will never know the impact of what he did. Many of us are not so lucky.
The second paragraph is this one.
”Labour faces an existential crisis. There will be those who prefer me to just to say: all the problems that exist are the fault of the mainstream media and the Parliamentary Labour Party, and to be whipped up with the passions generated by mass rallies across the country. But these are the facts as I see them, and the questions that have to be answered. There are some who seem to believe seeking power is somehow ‘Blairite’. It is Blairite to seek power to introduce Blairite policies. It is socialist to seek power to introduce socialist policies. As things stand, all the evidence suggests that Labour — and the left as a whole — is on the cusp of a total disaster. Many of you won’t thank me now. But what will you say when you see the exit poll at the next general election and Labour is set to be wiped out as a political force? What will you say when — whenever you mention anything vaguely left-wing, you’re mocked for the rest of your life, a throwback to the discredited Labour era of the 2010s? Will you just comfort yourself by blaming it on the mainstream media and the PLP? Will that get you through a lifetime of Tory rule? My questions may strike you as unhelpful or uncomfortable. I’m beyond caring. Call me a Blairite, Tory, Establishment stooge, careerist, sellout, whatever makes you feel better. The situation is extremely grave and unless satisfactory answers are offered, we are nothing but the accomplices of the very people we oppose.”
The astroturf that Owen was part of developing, from the personality cults around himself and Russell Brand, that relied on abuse of women and the gaslighting of vulnerable people to demand they pretend reality on the consensus on austerity wasnt real, to Netroots, and Peoples Assembly where trade unions funded the synthetic creation of the appearance of grassroots movements to exploit austerity for Labour, led to what we are now witnessing with Corbyn. Which is a personality cult of people who cannot see reality and will abuse anyone whose existence reminds them of reality.
Austerity was real for kids in care, for the women for whom the means to leave violence was removed, the women who lost their kids, the people who died as a result of our benefits system, the people who cant get those years back or undo those consequences. Those consequences go beyond Corbyn. At a time when we may see a President Trump, we may now also lose ANY parliamentary opposition and see the political vacuum we have been in for a long time ignite.
The consequences for the UK go way beyond austerity and are entirely the responsibility of Owen’s peers, who learned at elite universities they had the right to speak for a working class they cant see about subjects they dont understand and use the power we pay union dues for. Because a media class emerged that allowed him to decide taht we were his base without any consent from us being required. Not only do we have the inequality crisis that has developed as a result of austerity, not only do we have a benefits system on the verge of collapse, not only do we have a social care crisis, a child protection crisis, but we have a country who just voted to leave the EU. We may face these crises with no parliamentary opposition. THis is entirely down to the vanity of the social network Owen describes and their belief that austerity was about them and their opportunity. The left.
It may be too late to do anything about Corbyn.
Owen probably doesnt remember what it was like to live under Thatcher, he hasnt ever been poor, he has never mixed with the Chavs he fetishises. The left have no future outside apologising for what happened in 1983, and the price we paid for that.
A culture whose raison d’etre is making up versions of the working class to base political ambition on only have one way to survive in a digital landscape where they have to mix with us. And that is the whipping up of abusive personality cults that ensure we are at risk of violence, intimidation and abuse, should our very existence threaten those false narratives.
This country may now pay a terrible terrible price for the vanity of Owen and his friends. I am glad he finally appears to understand this is not a game and has consequiences. But he is 6 years too late. Perhaps he would like to donate the proceeds of Chavs to the people who paid for the false narrative he created and begin to make amends for making his fortune out of preventing opposition to the austerity that killed people.
Maybe now he can finally understand why the inequality that gives him the right to create false narratives aboiut those people, using us to relive those 1983 battles, is harmful. The mea culpa is too late to allow opposition to the austerity that is at the heart of this, and it may be too late to address the threat Corbyn now poses.