Owen Jones (writer)
8 August 1984 |
|Alma mater||University College, Oxford|
|Subjects||Working class, socialism, left-wing politics, trade unions|
|Notable work(s)||Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class|
Jones was born in Sheffield and grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester. He is the son of a local authority worker and an IT lecturer and describes himself as a "fourth generation socialist"; his grandfather was involved with the Communist Party and his parents met as members of a Trotskyist group, the Militant tendency.
He attended Bramhall High School and Ridge Danyers Sixth Form college (now Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College) before reading history at University College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in 2005 and a Master of Arts in US history in 2007. Prior to his media career, Jones worked as a trade union lobbyist and as a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party.
Writings and public career
Jones is a weekly columnist for The Independent newspaper and his work has previously appeared in The Guardian, the New Statesman, the Sunday Mirror, Le Monde diplomatique and several smaller publications. He has made a number of television appearances as a political commentator, including several BBC News shows, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV's Daybreak and BBC One's Question Time discussion programme. Jones tends to write from a left-wing perspective, with Andrew Neather citing Jones' Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class as part of a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas. Additionally, he is the Policy and Media Advisor for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a left-wing think tank.
In 2011 Jones published his first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, which discusses issues surrounding stereotypes of sections of the British working class, and the use of the pejorative term 'chav'. The book received attention in both domestic  and international media, including being selected by The New York Times as one of its top 10 non-fiction books of 2011 and being long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. In addition, The Independent on Sunday newspaper named Jones as one of their top 50 Britons of 2011 for the manner in which the book raised the profile of class-based issues. Jones is currently working on a second book, due to be released in 2014, that will focus on issues concerning the British establishment.
Jones has received attention as a significant commentator of the left, with The Daily Telegraph placing him at 7th in their 2013 list of Britain's most influential left-wingers and readers of the Left Foot Forward blog voting him as the most influential left-wing thinker of 2013. In February 2013 Jones was awarded the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award, donating half the prize money to support the campaign of Lisa Forbes, a Labour parliamentary candidate, and the other half to Disabled People Against Cuts. Jones commented in an interview with The Student Journals, that several people have made the accusation that he uses his politics only as a tool to raise his own profile, and that he risks being seen as a "lefty rent-a-gob".
Jones spoke at a press conference to launch the People's Assembly Against Austerity on 26 March 2013 and regional public meetings in the lead-up to a national meeting at Central Hall Westminster on 22 June 2013.
- "Who the hell is Owen Jones?". 28 December 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "Owen Jones: My father, and the reality of losing your job in middle age". 9 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Phelim Brady (2013-02-08). "Interview: Owen Jones | Varsity Online". Varsity.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- Jones, Owen (1 June 2011). "Abolish Oxbridge". Labour List. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- "Owen Jones". David Higham Literary, Film and TV Agents. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Time to abolish Oxbridge?". The Oxford Student. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- "Owen Jones". The Independent. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Andrew Neather (23 April 2011). "The Marx effect". Evening Standard (London). Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- Classonline.org[dead link] The Centre for Labour and Social Studies About our staff: Owen Jones, Retrieved 14 February 2013
- Jon Cruddas (3 June 2011). "Book of the week: Chavs: the demonization of the working class by Owen Jones". The Independent. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Daily Mail Reporter (6 June 2011). "The demonisation of the working class: How shows such as The Only Way is Essex have wiped out popular culture". Mail Online. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Giving the poor a good kicking". The Economist. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Dwight Garner (12 July 2011). "Get Your Bling and Adidas Tracksuit, Wayne, a British Class War Is Raging". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Dwight Garner (21 November 2011). "Dwight Garner’s Picks for 2011". Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- Alison Flood (31 August 2011). "Guardian first book award longlist: fiction takes lead". Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- The Independent (18 December 2011). "IoS Great Britons 2011". The Independent. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- "Now Then | Owen Jones. |". Nowthenmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- "Top 100 most influential figures from the Left 2012: 26-50". Telegraph. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- Daniel Elton (29 September 2011). "LFF’s most influential left-wing thinker of the year 2010/11 is Owen Jones". Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Caroline Crampton "Watch: Lord Ashcroft tries to pwn Owen Jones, fails", New Statesman (Staggers Politics blog), 7 February 2013
- Evans, James. "TSJ talks to Owen Jones". www.studentjournals.co.uk. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Owen Jones “How the People’s Assembly can challenge our suffocating political consensus and why it’s vital that we do”, The Independent, 24 March 2013
- Jenny Wotherspoon “People's Assembly: Writer Owen Jones Helps Build Nationwide Anti-Cuts Movement In The North East”, Sky Tyne & Wear, 23 May 2013
- Marc Rath “Popular writer joins comedian at anti-cuts rally“, This is Bristol, 30 May 2013
- The Royal Television Society Lecture 2013 - 'Totally Shameless: How TV Portrays the Working Class' on the BBC website
- Owen Jones (28 July 2011). "A Warning Shot". Next Generation Labour (publisher), London. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- "Owen Jones". Retrieved 28 November 2011.