Law student’s social media footprint used by popular right-wing blog to make ‘champagne socialism’ accusations that don’t quite hit the mark
Oxford University law student Aled Jones has attracted the unwelcome attention of political blog Guido Fawkes after appearing in a Labour Party campaign video.
In the video (below), Jones, who co-chairs the Oxford University Labour club, talks about growing up on his family’s sheep farm in rural Wales, and explains why he is committed to the Labour Party.
So far, so unremarkable. But don’t forget that this is August, a slow month that is notoriously unkind to news-hungry hacks. Which may explain why Guido Fawkes writers Paul Staines and Harry Cole proceeded to do some digging on Jones, 20, and — lo and behold! — unearthed a LinkedIn CV that showed he had done vacation schemes at White & Case and Slaughter and May.
This doesn’t seem such a crime — after all, City law firm training contracts are the main route for students without family money to get through law school without incurring huge debt, thanks to their practice of paying new recruits’ Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees.
Many left-leaning types take the cash, benefit from the top quality training in their early years as an associate and then move on — although it’s also true that plenty end up changing their politics and sticking around in the corporate world for good. But is that so bad? As Winston Churchill famously put it:
“Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. In Jones’ case, he hasn’t even taken a job with W&C or S&M, having simply done their summer vac schemes to get a taste of life in the City. What Guido Fawkes conveniently fails to mention is that Jones has also completed a host of mini-pupillages at, among other chambers, human rights set 6KBW, housing and local government specialists Arden Chambers and crime set Argent Chambers.
So, in reality, he’s just a student getting a range of work experience across the legal profession.
Oh, and like most students, Jones is active on social media and should probably be a bit more careful about his online footprint — as Guido Fawkes readers have picked up on, plastering the comments section of the piece with embarrassing photos of the lad.
Jones’ Twitter account is now protected, but judging by the responses of his mates, he seems likely to survive this.
— Sam Maywood (@SJMaywood) August 6, 2014