Welcome, Owen Jones, to the campaign for better MPs in Parliament!

Owen Jones: he has quit Labour and is urging you to fund – and vote for – Green or Independent candidates in the next general election. Instructions are below.

Influential left-wing media columnist (and vlogger) Owen Jones has joined the campaign This Site started, months ago – against a Keir Starmer Labour Party landslide in the coming general election.

In a video appeal, he – like This Writer – has appealed for voters to support Green Party candidates or Independents with policies that represent a distinct change of direction for the UK, rather than following the Tory lead as Starmer intends to do.

He says we need MPs in Parliament who support action to reverse climate change, and who oppose Israel’s genocide in Gaza. We’ll get neither by blindly and tribally supporting Labour.

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There’s a long version of his video on YouTube, but here’s the cut-down clip that appeared on X today:

You’ll notice he makes many of the points I’ve been making over the past few months.

Where he does support voting for Labour candidates, take note of those he means (in the images), like Zarah Sultana, John McDonnell and Clive Lewis.

He mentions a new crowdfunding campaign, We Deserve Better, that’s raising cash for Green and Independent candidates. Here are the links to its X account and website if you didn’t catch them above.

Owen explains his thinking further in a Guardian column which has won the (inevitable?) support of the Green Party’s Zack Polanski:

In the article, Owen states:

Just as Labour looks set to reconquer No 10 by a landslide, I’ve just emailed the party cancelling my membership. My committed critics will understandably seek to link the two: Labour has shed its aversion to electability, and off sulks Home Alone’s patron saint of unelectable ideas.

But my decision isn’t based on a desire to see Labour for ever in the wilderness. Reaching it has been a gradual, painful process of realising the party won’t even do the bare minimum to improve people’s lives, or to tackle the crises that have led Britain to catastrophe; and that it will, in fact, wage war on anyone who wants to do either– making anyone with politics to the left of Peter Mandelson feel like a pariah on borrowed time.

I think those who believe in real change from the Tories’ bankrupt model should vote for Green or independent candidates. A new initiative – We Deserve Better – is raising money to support such candidates, judged on whether they believe in, say, taxing the well-off to invest, or public ownership, or opposing war crimes, even if they differ on this or that. Those seeking transformative policies are now fragmented, but they don’t have to be. The premise of this new initiative is simple: if the left doesn’t band together, the only pressure on Labour will come from the migrant-bashing, rich-worshipping right.

The Tories’ chance of winning is infinitesimally small. What matters nowis whether anyone who wants to redistribute wealth and power is denied a voice inStarmer’s administration. That is certainly the ambition of his lieutenants.

Welcome to the real struggle of our age, Owen. I look forward to your future columns and clips in support of it.

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  1. graham poulloin March 21, 2024 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I took a look at the background Labour MPs based on marketing research to ask if the represent ordinary working people.

    No they don’t

    Most of the are middle class graduates.

    There are more Labour MPs from public school and Oxbridge than there are who left school at 16 and went to work.

    So I would join a campaign for more representative MPs

  2. Mr Jeremy Bell March 21, 2024 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    It has taken Owen a bloody long time to come to this conclusion. Some of us have been advocating this since Starmer broke his first promise, made to get himself elected leader. I have long called the Party that Starmer is head of; Starmer’s STP. (Substitute Tory Party).

  3. John Patrick Clarke March 23, 2024 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Can you pass on my thanks to Owen for bringing #wedeservebetter to my attention. I am 62 years old and for as long as I can remember I have tried to convince people not to vote for the top 2 (or top 3 when the Lib Dems were still a force in UK politics). I have argued that no vote is a wasted vote and you shouldn’t just vote for the party you think is going to win. If every one that would like to vote for an alternative to the top parties actually did vote for them, they might not vote for the winning party this time but they might just give more people the impetus to vote with their beliefs. Initially the top parties would be worried about losing a few votes but more importantly other voters might be encouraged not to vote for a top party. I could go on but you have important work to do so I will end here.
    Thank you for what you do and good luck for the future,
    John Clarke.

    • Mike Sivier March 23, 2024 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      I can’t really pass on anything because I don’t think Owen pays much attention to a lowly social media site like this, but thanks for the comment and the kind words!

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