Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Owen Jones Watch: Dear Me

Owen frowning and looking concerned, pictured recently.
How tempting for the left to turn inwards, to suddenly feel like strangers in a foreign and hostile land, populated by shy Tories and rampant Ukippery. You can see how the already inward-looking left could become ever more insular, with leftwing meetings serving as group therapy rather than a means to win over the unconvinced or the unreached, and activists retreating into online “safe spaces” free of those who think differently. Our language often seems intended to exclude, full of rhetoric and terminology that only those who have associated with leftwing milieus could ever hope to digest. Social media abounds with activists attacking others on the left for failing to abide by the strict rules of communication.

Not speaking or writing in the correct way can be seen as suspicious at best, treacherous at worst. For millions of people who are not au fait with the latest queer theories, that means being written off. Being “leftwing” could become a cultural label, like being a hipster or an emo-kid, a way of standing out from the crowd and asserting difference in a Ukip-ised England.

How ironic that the right preaches rampant individualism but often displays great solidarity, while the left professes collectivism, but often operates in the most rampantly individualistic way. Voices on the left who achieve any prominence whatsoever are castigated for careerism or other ulterior motives, or for failing to use their platform to promote the correct form of politics. Rather than seeing different strategies as complementary, an advocate of a different approach risks being accused of not acting in good faith.

For those of us who want to transform society, rather than just noisily critique the way things are, we have to completely rethink our approach. This is not me castigating the failures of others, arrogantly assuming I have it all worked out. I don’t, and this is about my failure as much as anyone else’s...



Our Owen castigates those on the Left who are 'talking among themselves' by writing about himself.

All a bit rich for someone who holds the Twitter record for BLOCKING! anyone who says he may be wrong.

Poor lamb.

Stop it OJ!

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