Owen Jones tells James O'Brien UK must deal better with far-right extremism

28 July 2020, 15:45 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 18:09

By Seán Hickey

The columnist said that the assault he experienced is proof that Britain isn't fighting far-right extremism effectively.

Journalist Owen Jones was speaking to James O'Brien after a court case which saw one man receive a hefty prison sentence and two others receive suspended sentences for a premeditated attack that occurred on his birthday.

"His home contained a photograph of him performing a Nazi salute, other items connected to far-right ideology and some particularly pungent homophobic material," James O'Brien clarified of the perpetrators.

He wondered what Mr Jones could see legislatively that would reduce the likelihood of these kinds of attacks in the future.

The Guardian columnist said, "Prison isn't a solution to this. He'll go into prison a far-right thug and he'll probably leave the same.

"We don't deal with rehabilitation, de-radicalisation in the way we should."

He said that we need to think about "who are the hate preachers in society radicalising far-right extremists," and discuss how the radicalising begins.

Mr Jones said the UK needs to learn how to deal with far-right extremism
Mr Jones said the UK needs to learn how to deal with far-right extremism. Picture: PA

"We have migrants, Muslims, refugees, demonised and attacked often in the most vicious way often based on outright lies."

Mr Jones claimed that there is an issue of "the way minorities and people on the progressive side of politics," are portrayed in certain media outlets and the way they are criticised in these platforms is a factor in extremism.

The journalist said that "vilification has, I think, legitimised this sort of hatred that leads to far-right extremism."

Harping back to his own assault at the hands of far-right extremists, Mr Jones revealed that he "wasn't surprised" by the attack.

"I do think we need that wider discussion because as I've said, there are people in this country who have been killed by extremists."