Ally: to listen before leading

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Jade Azim

There were numerous significant sources of politicisation for me. One of the most important was reading Chavs by Owen Jones on a train journey. It was my first politics book, and began a career of wondering the Waterstones politics section for hours. It made me angry and it set my course as a Labourite. It was around that time that I started noticing things around me. The way, on a bus journey, that terraced housing magically changes to detached 5-beds. Noticing people walking past homeless men, not blinking. The normalised classist slurs among peers. So I owe that book a lot.

Which is why when I debated with Owen Jones on Twitter about working class representation and holding backgrounds against social justice advocates, I knew he wasn’t unaware of the importance of class. Owen was responding to Michael Dugher, who’d made a dig at James Schneider, Momentum’s spokesman, for being from…

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