"Call me a Blairite, Tory establishment stooge careerist, sell-out whatever makes you feel better," Owen Jones concludes. I will do none of these things. I will not go further than saying I would not like to be in a trench alongside Owen under heavy shelling. The events of the last month, which he mainly ignores, have represented an unprecedented attack on an elected Leader of the Party. They are part of a move to break the power and influence of the Left that Owen claims to represent. It is a moment for solidarity, not back-stabbing. Owen's concerns, many of them quite legitimate, could have been expressed privately. Raising them in the way he has, certain to give comfort to the Left's opponents, speaks for itself.
There is a danger in turning any single commentator into a spokesperson or star, and we should avoid it. There are others who wish to speak and act too, and it's up to us to find and appreciate them, even as we work to develop the same powers in ourselves. But this morning, I want to defend Owen Jones. He has defended the rest of us time and again.
So no doubt those at the Another Europe conference came away feeling good about themselves, in spite of the essential pessimism of their message. And no doubt they continue to believe they are serving the interests of working people by fighting for a remain vote. In reality, they are driving a further wedge between the Left and the millions for whom the EU's contempt for democracy and enthusiasm for austerity and open borders are compelling reasons to leave.
The debate about the upcoming EU referendum has mostly been framed as a debate about migration, national sovereignty, and security. Eurosceptic Conservatives have argued against the loss of power parliament has suffered, whilst UKIP has argued that British borders are porous for as long as the UK remains in the EU...