“Carthago delenda est”
These were the words that Cato the Elder apparently ended his speeches with in ancient Rome. “Carthage must be destroyed”. Excuse me if you have had a classical education and already knew this.
Owen Jones is not Cato the Elder, being more Jones the Moan. His articles are mainly lists of stuff he complains about, strung together with some tenuous unifying logic, and calling for this or that movement to spring into being or activity to be staged by someone other than himself. Or some such.
Consider the words with which Jones is ending his Guardian articles recently:
“if the Left doesn’t get its act together, then the populist right will continue to sweep the western world. Does the future belong to the Trumps, the Farages, the Le Pens? I don’t think so. But it’s up to the Left to prove it doesn’t.”
“There is a common thread, but centrists and radicals have failed to find it. We must redouble our efforts. From the US, we see what tragedy occurs in a vacuum.”
“But time is not on our side. The polling is calamitous and an early election beckons. We need a strategy above and beyond “save the NHS”.”
“The Right has already won two massive votes this year. If we surrender to their agenda, we’ll be gifting them yet more victories.”
And he is getting bolder of late…
“Yes, Labour has been a mess this year, partly down to the unnecessary and destructive leadership battle of the summer; partly down to mistakes by the leadership. Labour must now settle on a clear Brexit strategy – a deal that puts jobs, living standards and the economy first – which is communicated in a way people understand. Then the party must direct all its fire at the bitter divisions of its opponents.”
Who is Jones talking about if it is not Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous leadership of Labour? Corbyn’s inability to communicate to most people outside the North and South Circular roads? He cannot bring himself to directly criticise the man. Who does Jones believe will usurp the Tories if it is not Labour? The SWP? The Greens? Gordon Brown?
Jones is sticking the boot into Labour in a coy manner that is becoming less coy as he goes on, tacitly admitting Labour is, at the moment, a bit crap. Well, perhaps a bit more than a bit, and a bit less tacitly.
“Up to the Left”, “tragedy occurs in a vacuum”, “We need a strategy”, “gifting them more victories”, “Labour has been a mess this year”, “mistakes by the leadership”. It’s all there.
Owen Jones has given up on Corbyn and wants him gone, just like Owen Smith did. But, alas, Smith and Jones, Corbyn is going nowhere.