Owen Jones

Owen Jones is a columnist for The Independent. He was born in Sheffield and grew up in Stockport. After graduating, he worked as a trade union and parliamentary researcher. His first book, 'Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class', was published in June 2011. He is currently working on his second book, on the British Establishment, for Penguin.

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Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were given two-year jail terms for protesting against President Vladimir Putin on the altar of Moscow's main cathedral

Pussy Riot: A beacon of hope in Russia’s dark days

The saga sums up the crass stupidity of authoritarian regimes, whose fear of even mild challenges leads them to endlessly create martyrs

Margaret Thatcher during a visit to her old school, Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ Grammar, in 1982

Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system

Where selection remains, it continues to be largely the preserve of the privileged

Uruguay's Senate gave final congressional approval to create the world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana, an audacious experiment that will have the government oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug illegal almost everywhere else

If our politicians were brave enough, or even simply rational, they would follow Uruguay's lead and legalise cannabis

For the criminal underworld, the "war on drugs" is an extraordinary money-spinner

Labour MP John Woodcock has written to the Care Quality Commission asking the watchdog to explain why it 'slipped out' the second damaging review

Get well soon, Mr Woodcock. Your bravery should help break the depression taboo

One in four of us gets a kicking from some sort of mental illness at some point

Patriotism is not the same as spineless adoration of the Establishment

I would want to honour courageous, often faceless Brits who stood up to power

One day ‘coming out’ won't be a thing - and the reaction to Tom Daley's announcement shows we're getting there

It's news because millennia of bigotry cannot simply be eradicated in a few decades

Nick Clegg has now swung to support the Tories’ campaign on immigration

Nick Clegg's scapegoating of immigrants is his most unforgiveable Tory collaboration yet

Historians of the future may say the Lib Dem did as well as he could have – nonsense

Martyrs? Guest-house owners who turned away gay couple on ‘religious’ grounds are nothing of the kind

The Supreme Court ruling is a reminder that we have - mercifully - moved on from the Middle Ages

These deaths are tragedies, but they won’t stop me cycling in London

The need to make roads safer shouldn't put cyclists off them altogether

Sir Bernard Ingham accused campaigners of hypocrisy

Bernard Ingham says Northerners who loathe the Tories are ‘demented’. Perhaps I can put him straight...

Slashing the welfare state and cutting taxes on the wealthy was never going to play well

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Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor