Ben Patrick Chacko
1984 (age 34–35)
|Education||Pate's Grammar School|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Oxford|
|Known for||Editor of the Morning Star|
|Home town||Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England|
His father, Francis Chacko, who came to Britain from India at the age of eight, is an actuary, while his Lancashire-born mother Sarah Chacko (née Willcock) is a software engineer who studied for a PhD at the University of Oxford. His brother is the tax barrister Thomas Chacko, of Pump Court Tax Chambers.
Chacko credits his conversion to communism to a recommendation from his mother when he was a teenager that he abandon the Socialist Worker newspaper, published by the Socialist Workers Party, for something more genuinely "leftie", such as the Morning Star. Chacko found the Star "a real revelation".
Chacko was appointed editor of the Morning Star in May 2015, the youngest editor of the paper since its founding editor, William Rust. He joined the paper as a sub-editor in 2010, and was subsequently deputy features editor, assistant editor and deputy editor before being appointed acting editor in July 2014. "The Star is the most precious and only voice we have in the daily media", said the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn at the time of Chacko's appointment in May 2015. "I look forward to working with Ben in promoting socialism and progress".
After leaving university, Chacko lived in China for a few years. The country, according to him, is evidence that "you can run a society without surrendering to the idea that the market is always right". Post-Soviet Russia, on the other hand, he describes as "a gangster capitalist state run by oligarchs".
In summer 2015, he told Josh Glancy of The Sunday Times: "We need a revolution in politics to overturn the power of private ownership... That doesn't mean you'd have people storming Buckingham Palace. It could be a revolution that is enacted by people in parliament as a result of a mass movement for change".
- Glancy, Josh (5 July 2015). "A respectful rallying cry from the starry-eyed Lenin of Cheltenham". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- Platt, Edward (4 August 2015). "Inside the Morning Star, Britain's last communist newspaper". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "New Editor Hailed By Leading Lefties". Morning Star. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- "Rising in the east". The Economist. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- Greenslade, Roy (26 May 2015). "Morning Star opts for youth by appointing Ben Chacko as editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2016.