Owen Jones

Back to the Birmingham Literary Festival, this time for the urban sermon in Birmingham Cathedral. Owen Jones is a leftwing columnist and avowed atheist, but it was still somehow appropriate, because he does have a passionate belief, in all the values that we’ve been told to think of as out of date – solidarity, justice, equality, things like that. OK, so I started off on his side, but I still thought he was great, clear and honest about the gloom of our current situation, but also determined to find seeds of hope in the radical tradition of resistance – Levellers, Chartists, early unions….OK, we’ve heard it before, but it is still relevant, and he sounds more honest and committed than any of the party leaders. He was also terrific with questions, courteous and constructive with contributions which ranged from dull to obsessive, pretentious to inspired. Somehow he drew them all into a threat, from which he extracted clear, positive answers, something to believe in.