On far-right Breivikism


“ While the far right has always been obsessed with Jewish people, today’s far right is fixated too with Muslims and Islam. After three Islamist terrorist attacks in just a few weeks, some believe that Muslims as a whole are a fifth column, an internal menace to western civilisation. And that’s what leads on to what you could call ‘Breivikism’. In 2011, the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik launched an Islamophobic attack that did not target Muslims. Instead, he targeted young socialists, whom he believed were traitors responsible for mass immigration, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. According to this worldview, the left is the enabler of Islam, and therefore just as culpable for the destruction of the west ”

Owen Jones, ‘Far-right extremists are cornered and dangerous. They must be challenged’, The Guardian


On the death of Blairism


“ Blairism, New Labour, whatever you want to call it, is dead. It owed its hegemony to, frankly, despair: the idea that socialist policies were electoral poison, and offering them to the British people would invite only landslide Tory victories. The idea that technocratic centrism in this election would have mobilised voters as Corbyn’s Labour did is for the birds. No, Labour didn’t win, but it won its biggest increase in vote share since Clement Attlee in 1945 and is far closer to government than it was, despite being hobbled with disadvantages such as the loss of Scotland before Corbyn assumed Labour’s leadership. The idea, therefore, that centrism is the only possible route for electoral victory is buried ”

Owen Jones, ‘New Labour is dead. Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet must stay as it is’, The Guardian

On why Labour’s poll ratings have risen


“ Labour’s poll ratings – and Corbyn’s own numbers – have risen for two reasons. Unfiltered media coverage of Corbyn has allowed many prospective voters to reconsider their first impression of the Labour leader. Both he and his team have run an astonishing campaign. But above all else, it’s the vision Corbyn’s team offered in Labour’s manifesto that has lifted all the party’s ratings. A pledge to raise taxes on the top 5%, big corporations and financial institutions – while freezing tax for everyone else – and to invest in the NHS, education, housing, public services and jobs has resonated. So has a genuine living wage, the abolition of student debt, and bringing public utilities run by profiteers and foreign governments back under the ownership of the British people ”

Owen Jones, ‘This is not over: we can still turn the arrogance of Theresa May into hubris’, The Guardian

On putting hope in Labour’s manifesto


“ Labour’s manifesto – unveiled today – is a moderate, commonsense set of antidotes to the big problems holding back one of the wealthiest countries on earth. And – intriguingly – here is an attempt to confront the crisis of identity and vision afflicting social democracy not just in Britain, but across the western world. The manifesto sketches out an answer to Britain’s broken model. The current model is bankrupt: it’s not just unjust, it’s irrational. It concentrates wealth in very few hands – the richest 1,000 British people enjoyed a 14% jump in their fortunes oveIner the past year – while wages have suffered the longest squeeze in generations. It fails to build the housing the country needs. It robs many communities of secure, properly paid, skilled jobs. It leaves most people in poverty in work, earning their poverty. It allows multinational corporations to pay little or no tax while small businesses struggle. It reduces the country’s national jewel – its National Health Service – to a state of “humanitarian crisis”, as the British Red Cross put it. It saddles its younger generation with debt. It transforms public utilities into cash cows for profiteers who prioritise making a short-term buck over the needs of consumers. We could go on. Again, this is one of the richest countries on earth. It’s not a lack of wealth or resources holding Britain back from curing its many ills: it’s a lack of political willpower ”

Owen Jones, ‘Labour’s manifesto is a template for the struggling left worldwide’, The Guardian

On dreaming a different society, ran in the interests of the people


“ Dare to have dreams. A society run in the interests of people’s needs and aspirations – not profit for a few – is possible. A wealthy nation can cure all of its ills: we just need the willpower and determination. That’s the prism through which every slogan, every vision, every policy offer should be seen ”

Owen Jones, ‘Labour can’t turn it around by peddling misery. It must exude hope’, The Guardian

On how horrors and genocides require the dehumanization of a group of people


“ It is always comforting to imagine that those who commit atrocities against fellow human beings are sociopaths or evil. But that does not explain the great horrors of human history, from fascism to colonialism. Inhumanity is only made possible by stripping a group of its humanity. You only feel empathy, after all, for those you feel are human beings like you. That’s how human beings who in other contexts feel compassion and love and warmth can become capable of the most unspeakable horrors ”

Owen Jones, ‘Let’s answer Chechen brutality with a global uprising against homophobia’, The Guardian