Owen Jones (born 8 August 1984) is a British columnist, author, commentator and political activist from a democratic socialist perspective. He is a columnist for The Guardian and, since 2015, for the New Statesman, and a former contributor to The Independent. He has also set up a YouTube channel whereby he uploads videos and interviews, some of which appear on the official website of the Guardian.
Jones is gay and was described by Gay Times magazine as a "prominent voice for the LGBT community". "The fact that I can be openly gay is a product of all the struggles that’ve gone before me", he said in early 2016. Jones explained to fellow journalist and transgender rights activist Paris Lees in a 2015 edition of Attitude that, despite not being overly aware of transgender issues in the past, he has recently felt a great responsibility to champion transgender rights.
Jones has written several articles defending Muslims and attacking the rise of Islamophobia, which he has called a "poison". He is critic of the government's Prevent strategy to combat Islamic extremism in schools and has cited Western foreign policy as one of "a number of factors" responsible for increasing radicalisation within the Muslim population.
He deems antisemitism "a menace" that "infects" the left as well as the far-right, and has said that antisemites should be expelled from the Labour party.
Jones has been described as "a staunch critic of the Republican frontrunner" Donald Trump during Trump's campaign for presidency of the United States in 2016. Following controversy over Trump's proposals for a compulsory halt on Muslim immigration to the US, Jones said in his column for The Guardian that "Trump demonstrates that Islamic State is winning." He also states, "Trump is a menace, an inciter of bigotry and a recruiting sergeant for terrorism – and this must be taken seriously."
Later that year, in an article following Chávez's death, Jones praised him again and rejected claims that the former President was a dictator, asserting that Chávez was "a democratically elected champion of the poor". He added, "His policies lifted millions out of abject poverty and misery. He represented a break from years of corrupt regimes with often dire human rights records."
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Last updated: Sat May 21 2016 10:55:24
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