Owen Jones (writer)

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Owen Jones
Jones in September 2013 at Policy Exchange
Born (1984-08-08) 8 August 1984 (age 30)
Sheffield, England
Occupation Columnist, author
Alma mater University College, Oxford
Subject Working class, socialism, left-wing politics, trade unions
Notable works

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

The Establishment and How They Get Away With It
Owen Jones's voice


Owen Jones (born 8 August 1984) is a left-wing English columnist, author and commentator.

He is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Sheffield and grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester,[1] and briefly in Falkirk, Scotland.[2] His father was a non-statutory local authority worker and senior trade union shop steward,[1] his mother an IT lecturer[3] and he describes himself as a "4th generation socialist"; his grandfather was involved with the Communist Party and his parents met as members of the Trotskyist Militant tendency.[4]

He attended Bramhall High School and Ridge Danyers Sixth Form College[5] before reading history at University College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in 2005 and a Master of Studies (MSt) in US history in 2007.[6] Prior to his media career, Jones worked as a trade union lobbyist and as a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party.[7][8]

Writings and public career[edit]

Jones is a weekly columnist for The Guardian and former columnist for The Independent, switching in March 2014. His work has also appeared in the New Statesman, the Sunday Mirror, Le Monde diplomatique and several smaller publications.[1][9] 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.[1] 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.[10] He is on the National Advisory Panel of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a left-wing think tank.[11]

In 2011 Jones published his first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, which discusses stereotypes of sections of the British working class and use of the pejorative term "chav". The book received attention in domestic and international media, including selection 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.[12] [13][14][15][16][17] 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.[18] Jones has written a second book, The Establishment and How They Get Away With It, which was published in September 2014.[19][20]

Jones has received attention as a significant commentator of the left, with The Daily Telegraph placing him 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.[21][22] In November 2012, Jones was awarded Journalist of the Year at the Stonewall Awards, along with The Times journalist Hugo Rifkind.[23] 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.[24] 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".[25]

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.[26][27][28] In November 2013 he delivered the Royal Television Society Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture entitled 'Totally Shameless: How TV Portrays the Working Class'.[29]

Jones is gay and lives in London.[30][31]


  1. ^ a b c d "Who the hell is Owen Jones?". 28 December 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Owen Jones: What a fairer Scotland would look like". Independent.co.uk. 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Owen Jones: My father, and the reality of losing your job in middle age". The Independent (London). 9 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Phelim Brady (2013-02-08). "Interview: Owen Jones | Varsity Online". Varsity.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  5. ^ Jones, Owen (1 June 2011). "Abolish Oxbridge". Labour List. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Owen Jones". David Higham Literary, Film and TV Agents. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Owen Jones - United Kingdom". LinkedIn. Retrieved 15 September 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Time to abolish Oxbridge?". The Oxford Student. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "Owen Jones". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Andrew Neather (23 April 2011). "The Marx effect". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "''The Centre for Labour and Social Studies'' About our staff: Owen Jones". Classonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  12. ^ Jon Cruddas (3 June 2011). "Book of the week: Chavs: the demonization of the working class by Owen Jones". London: The Independent. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  13. ^ 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". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Giving the poor a good kicking". The Economist. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Dwight Garner (21 November 2011). "Dwight Garner’s Picks for 2011". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Alison Flood (31 August 2011). "Guardian first book award longlist: fiction takes lead". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "IoS Great Britons 2011". London: The Independent. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Owen Jones". David Higham. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  20. ^ "Now Then | Owen Jones. |". Nowthenmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. [dead link]
  21. ^ Dale, Iain (2012-10-02). "Top 100 most influential figures from the Left 2012: 26-50". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-09-26. [dead link]
  22. ^ Daniel Elton (29 September 2011). "LFF’s most influential left-wing thinker of the year 2010/11 is Owen Jones". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Media". Stonewall.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  24. ^ Caroline Crampton "Watch: Lord Ashcroft tries to pwn Owen Jones, fails", New Statesman (Staggers Politics blog), 7 February 2013
  25. ^ Evans, James. "TSJ talks to Owen Jones". The Student Journals. Retrieved 2 March 2013. [dead link]
  26. ^ 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
  27. ^ Jenny Wotherspoon “People's Assembly: Writer Owen Jones Helps Build Nationwide Anti-Cuts Movement In The North East”, Sky Tyne & Wear, 23 May 2013
  28. ^ Marc Rath “Popular writer joins comedian at anti-cuts rally“, This is Bristol, 30 May 2013
  29. ^ "The Royal Television Society Lecture 2013 - 'Totally Shameless: How TV Portrays the Working Class'". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-11-24. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  30. ^ "Homophobia is deep-rooted, rife – and ultimately doomed", Comment is free, The Guardian, 1 June 2014.
  31. ^ "Owen Jones". Retrieved 28 November 2011. 

External links[edit]