Owen Jones in Ipswich.
Owen Jones needs no introduction to many of the unemployed.
Apart from the fact that he is a columnist for the paper a lot of us buy, the ‘I’ (cost 20 pence), he has been of the few who has stood up against ‘welfare reform’ and benefit cuts.
Here is a sample of his writing (on the last episode of Shameless),
Most people in poverty are in working households. One in six workers have claimed jobseeker’s allowance in the past couple of years, most for just a few weeks. The desperation for work is so intense that there are now 45 people chasing every low-skilled job. Charities report parents skipping meals to make sure their kids are fed. Studies show that it is middle-class people – not the poorest – who consume the most alcohol, and are more likely to suffer from obesity. You would never know this from our TV screens and newspapers. The reality is airbrushed out of existence in favour of the extreme and the grotesque.
There are people in this country who can’t be bothered to work, who’d prefer to scrape by on the measly benefits that exist, who run amok on booze and drugs. The point is they are the exception, not the norm. But they are constantly hunted down by ratings-hungry TV producers and cynical journalists.
Shameless has had a good run. But what our TV screens need is a new wave of drama showing the reality of British life in an enjoyable way. It would mean working-class writers and producers who can break into the middle-class closed shop of the media. A challenge, to say the least. But one, I hope, that will be taken up.
Tonight Tuesday the 17th of August) Owen Jones is speaking in Ipswich.
It’s at a meeting called by Suffolk People’s Assembly,.
7 pm Co-op Education Centre.
Fore Street Ipswich (a few doors from the Spread Eagle Pub).
Suffolk People’s Assembly say No to Austerity!
Defend the NHS, Defend Education, For a Living Wage
• Owen Jones, Journalist, Broadcaster and Author of “Chavs”
• David Ellesmere, Leader Ipswich Council – Labour Group
• Graham White, Suffolk County Secretary NUT
• Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary UNITE the Union