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Owen Jones Biography

Owen Jones is a British columnist, author, commentator and political activist from a democratic socialist perspective. He writes a column for The Guardian and (since 2015) for the New Statesman. Formerly, Jones was a contributor to The Independent.

Jones is a weekly columnist for The Guardian after switching from The Independent in March 2014. His work has appeared in the New Statesman, the Sunday Mirror, Le Monde diplomatique and several smaller publications. He has made 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 programme. Jones writes from a left-wing perspective; Andrew Neather has cited his Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class as a contributory factor in a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas. He is a member of the National Advisory Panel for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a left-wing think tank. Jones is a feminist, a republican and a supporter of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), speaking at conferences organised by them.

In 2011, Jones' first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, he discusses stereotypes of sections of the British working class and the use of the pejorative term "chav". The book received attention in domestic and international media and was selected by critic Dwight Garner of The New York Times as one of his top 10 non-fiction books of 2011 in the paper's Holiday Gift Guide and was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. The Independent on Sunday named Jones as one of its top 50 Britons of 2011, for the manner in which his book raised the profile of class-based issues. Jones' second book, The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It, was published in September 2014.

Jones has received attention as a significant commentator of the left, with The Daily Telegraph placing him 7th in its 2013 list of Britain's most influential left-wingers. In February 2013 when Jones was awarded the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award, he donated half the prize money to support the campaign of Lisa Forbes, a Labour parliamentary candidate, and the other half to Disabled People Against Cuts. In an interview with The Student Journals, Jones commented that several people have accused him of using 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. In November 2013 he delivered the Royal Television Society's Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture, Totally Shameless: How TV Portrays the Working Class.

Jones is gay and was described by Gay Times magazine as a "prominent voice for the LGBT community".

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