Why I almost agree with Owen Jones

22 Jul 2013 at 20:33

It is not often that I agree with Owen Jones, but his piece in the Independent about Sunny Hundal’s rather sad attempt to villainise the Conservatives as “evil” struck a sensible chord.

Firstly, I must declare an interest. Although I totally disagree with Owen about most things, I rather like him. His views maybe hopelessly wrong (to me) but they are well held and genuine. When he writes I don’t get the impression that he is trying to create a bit of cheap publicity.

He, unlike so many lefties, has a sense of humour, sometimes against himself. He is one of the few flag bearers of the sentient left. Blimey, he actually believes in Socialism!

They are, I suspect an endangered species. But when the Miliband meteorite finally strikes (I won’t hold my breath) I would rather like Owen to be spared having his bones displayed in the Natural History Museum.

Sunny Hundal I don’t know at all. But anyone who considers themselves a commentator to be taken seriously should really be careful about their use of words.

Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussain and Robert Mugabe can be easily considered evil. Their policies were murder and genocide for a political end.

But the Tories? For heaven’s sake get a grip.

Or does he want to get a grip? I suspect not. A load of silly season publicity certainly. And apart for his fifteen minutes of fame, what serious political commentator is ever going to take a word he says seriously again? How is he going to ratchet up his next piece? “The queen presides over a theocracy that demonises Islam”?

Sadly the poor fellow has become a caricature of himself. He has gone beyond parody. A sort of left wing Daily Mash.

This is all a terrible shame. The left really do need a sentient voice. People who can challenge the anti benefit orthodoxy.

The trouble is that Milliband has realised that Labour is on the wrong side of the argument here. Not even the most swivel eyed loons on the Tory backbenches honestly wants to demonise the poor. The essence of Thatcherism was to give everyone a fair crack of the whip. Not just the boss classes jambocking the working classes.

Equality of opportunity.

We haven’t got anywhere near that yet while the trade unions seem to be content for women to be paid less than men for doing the same job. Strangely, the most recent statistics show that the gap between rich and poor is the smallest since records began.

In rock terms Thatcher “stuck it to the man.” In every sense.

If I had been born in the 1900s I would have been on the picket line with Manny Shinwell. I would have been a card carrying communist.

There were no benefits and if you lost your job with the colliery or the mill you would have been turned out of your tied home with nothing.

I know, my grandmother scrubbed floors to keep her family alive.

Yet this was not just capitalism at its red, toothed viciousness. It was pure ignorance of the governing classes as well. Until Joseph Rowntree delivered his report on poverty the ruling elite genuinely believed that the poor were poor by reason of choice.

Incredible by today’s thinking, but back then it was the received wisdom, even by the so called “enlightened”. Pretty depressing.

What I find so remarkable is that the only champion of the poor, the only spokespeople for those ashen faced mothers who have a daily dread of their young boys being seduced into the drugs gangs, is the Coalition.

Which include the “evil” Conservatives.

Quite honestly, I am probably totally wrong for giving Sunny Hundal a single column inch. But he is indicative of how totally out of rhythm the left are with ordinary people trying to scrape together a living together in very difficult times.

And Owen? Sorry to cause you embarrassment, but you are rather good news even if I thoroughly disagree with you!