Friday, 13 July 2018
A portrait of Dorian Jones
When baby-faced Blur frontman, Damon All-Bran, burst onto the Britpop scene, he was cute as a button, an impossibly huggable little imp who the girls both swooned over and longed to mother. Likewise Leonardo Capodimonte elicited an urge for protective smothering in women the world over when he gurned his way through Gilbert Grape. They love the babies, the ladies; as radical as they get, they can’t deny their nature forever.
Owen Jones doesn’t quite hit the spot though, does he? Sure, when everybody thought he was fifteen, publicising his Chavs essay and touring the TV stations to flog it, they gave him a mildly maternal free pass for his simplistic polemic and assumed he would grow out of it. But if anybody is a man-baby today, it is Owen the Unready. Somehow he has become the perfect figurehead for the protest movement; an icon for an unpalatable alternative and an increasingly deluded ranter.
Protest is a tool of the left and a pretty blunt one at that. For some people, protesting is as natural a thing to do as it is for others to go out to work. It’s likely that they see picking up a placard and marching as a legitimate use of the endless hours of free time they have on their hands as, say, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or saving a whale. While others trim their privet or mow the lawn, the eternally outraged think that their regular demonstration of angst is somehow keeping nature at bay; as if, like the hedge, it will run wild if untamed.
But here’s the thing. Protests rarely change anything. Yes they may serve to highlight concerns, they may even generate questions in the House of Commons, raised by MPs rightfully doing their job. And yes, without any means of registering discontent we would be helpless victims of despotic regimes, but if you’re going to protest, get mad about things that actually matter. And recognise that you can protest all you like but somebody still has to empty the bins; if you down tools all the time to complain why, you’re back in 1970s Labour Britain, and nobody wants that, do they?
Oh but wait, that’s exactly the thing the protesting classes seem to have in common. A yearning for a world where they imagine their every whim will be satisfied by the Magic Granddad, Jeremy Christ and his disciples who will deliver real socialism (which has never been tried, by the way) unto the oppressed masses. The marching minions despise those who work and pay to keep their world safe for, well, for protesting. The taxpayer looks up from his toils, watches the retards and their crayoned signs, shrugs and gets back to work. The hate really does flow in only one direction
Which is why Donald Trump might just be the perfect weapon. Blunt, indefatigable, mercurial, explosive, on-target and ultimately disposable. The notional right should embrace the wrecking ball he drives right through his detractors. He doesn’t actually care what they think and he brushes off the spitting hatred of the ineffectual as easily as he changes his policies. Trump epitomises the times as well as any: “Hey Owen, what are you rebelling against?” Owen: “Whadda you got?”
The picture in Owen's attic
When Donald Trump moves on, the Owens of this world will find somebody else to be offended by, because they have no answers. Like the Labour movement itself the problem they were founded to fix has been solved but they cling on, as a vestigial fury with no outlet consumes their soul. But, ultimately, they serve no purpose except, perhaps, as a bad example to others. Jones has been tweeting that history is a savage judge. Indeed it is; I await history’s record of Owen’s contribution, but I fear I may be waiting for a blank page.