Many people will know Owen Jones as the author of, ‘Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class‘. He describes himself on Twitter:
Socialist, Independent columnist, author of ‘Chavs’, Sheffield-born but Stockport-bred, looks a bit like a 12 year old. My views only, obviously.
Owen Jones might look like a twelve year old, but compared to the many idealistic 12-year-olds out there, he seems to me to be more entrenched in the status quo than they are or would want to be. Owen Jones may have been Sheffield-born, but Owen Jones lacks in my view the character of the reputed Sheffield-born outlaw Robin Hood, whose claimed birthplace in nearby Loxley I once visited.
On Twitter I have long spoken against the way Owen Jones uses the word ‘chav’ as if it is an insult. As a media studies graduate, for me the word is no different to ‘NEET’ or ‘Mondeo Man’. It describe a specific type of person, which in my view should be defined as follows:
Someone who is in a socio-economic bracket lower than what they would prefer, who design their life around making themselves believe that they are in that higher socio-economic bracket so that they don’t become depressed and are instead happy.
So it is easy for one to see how say a couple made up of teachers who teach at state schools, who live in a posh area and act as if they are millionaires are also ‘chavs’, but I would say these are not as desirable as the traditional chavs who claim welfare benefits, because these people often look down on others, like the traditional chavs Owen Jones speaks of, even they are funded from the same pot of tax-payers money as public sector workers.
As you can see, this opinion of mine is legitimately constructed, but it would seem that Owen Jones thinks I have no right to express it. Owen Jones, who uses Twitter under the username @OwenJones84 has blocked my account from posting to his page – all because he disagrees with me!
I often block people I feel do not give the confirmation bias I want from my personal Facebook profile, but the people who I do this, are free to debate with me peacefully uncensored on my Facebook Page and Twitter account. I am a true democrat, unlike Owen Jones in my opinion. This is so much the case, that one of my opponents at the last election, Jools Jones, who was unable to deliver her leaflets because of a recent operation, had the support of my firm, The Crocels Press Limited, to deliver her leaflets. In the end she beat me, but as a true democrat is was more important to me that she had a fair shot at the election than for me to win without a fair fight.
People like Owen Jones, claim to be socialists, but in my view their so-called ‘solidarity’ is only with the few socialists who agree with everything they they, and those socialists who disagree with them do not seem to count. When I was in the Labour Party it was rare to find any more than three people who could get on at the same time. Things were very clique-like, and it seems that Owen Jones, who became a celebrity because of that book, is no different. Owen Jones now finds himself well funded among the chattering classes, giving sympathy to poor people, of which I’m one, yet Owen Jones is so remote from ordinary people, I feel he has become “one of them”.
Owen Jones appears to me to be clinging to this idea that ‘Chav’ is that is a bad word that stigmatises. When one comes across a stigmatising word you have two options:
- To try to stop the word being used
- To redefine the word and re-purpose or re-mould it
I would prefer to do the latter of these. There are many good things about being a Chav. One is aspirational, and want a better life. One is not willing to let one’s poverty get the better of you or make you bitter. And, regardless of what people think of you, you are happy to believe the things you do and what the things you do.
The so called working-class Chavs spoken about by Owen Jones are often on one of more of the following Welfare benefits:
- Income Support
- Incapacity Benefit
- Employment and Support Allowance
I was once on these, and as you can see from the following video, I took advantage of those opportunties to me when I was forced off them to go to being a ‘level 2 chav’, where I am dependent on Tax Credits, not because I lack ability or ambition, but because like the level 1 chavs are denied jobs I am denied government tenders. Owen Jones cannot appreciate the good side of being a Chav, so Owen Jones is as much a part of the problem of stigmatising being a Chav as those he complaints about.
Before Owen Jones came on the scene, with what I see as vieled bigotry towards being a Chav, I created a quiz on Facebook called ‘Are you Chav Labour?’ – to be a Chav you had to prefer Gabrielle’s R&B song, ‘Dreams can Come True’, like the golden merchandise from the Labour Party, among other stereotypical attributes. But, the groups you could be assigned to were ‘Stooge Labour’, ‘Pacifist Labour’ and ‘Chav Labour’ – The only one I wrote up in a positive way was ‘Chav Labour’ because Chavs embody the Labour movement, which is being ambitious and wanting a better life than what you are given. Owen Jones might not want to accept that being a Chav can be a good thing, but that is Owen Jones’s unfortunate way of looking at the world that we have to suffer.