1. Número 1 · Enero 2015

  2. Número 2 · Enero 2015

  3. Número 3 · Enero 2015

  4. Número 4 · Febrero 2015

  5. Número 5 · Febrero 2015

  6. Número 6 · Febrero 2015

  7. Número 7 · Febrero 2015

  8. Número 8 · Marzo 2015

  9. Número 9 · Marzo 2015

  10. Número 10 · Marzo 2015

  11. Número 11 · Marzo 2015

  12. Número 12 · Abril 2015

  13. Número 13 · Abril 2015

  14. Número 14 · Abril 2015

  15. Número 15 · Abril 2015

  16. Número 16 · Mayo 2015

  17. Número 17 · Mayo 2015

  18. Número 18 · Mayo 2015

  19. Número 19 · Mayo 2015

  20. Número 20 · Junio 2015

  21. Número 21 · Junio 2015

  22. Número 22 · Junio 2015

  23. Número 23 · Junio 2015

  24. Número 24 · Julio 2015

  25. Número 25 · Julio 2015

  26. Número 26 · Julio 2015

  27. Número 27 · Julio 2015

  28. Número 28 · Septiembre 2015

  29. Número 29 · Septiembre 2015

  30. Número 30 · Septiembre 2015

  31. Número 31 · Septiembre 2015

  32. Número 32 · Septiembre 2015

  33. Número 33 · Octubre 2015

  34. Número 34 · Octubre 2015

  35. Número 35 · Octubre 2015

  36. Número 36 · Octubre 2015

  37. Número 37 · Noviembre 2015

  38. Número 38 · Noviembre 2015

  39. Número 39 · Noviembre 2015

  40. Número 40 · Noviembre 2015

  41. Número 41 · Diciembre 2015

  42. Número 42 · Diciembre 2015

  43. Número 43 · Diciembre 2015

  44. Número 44 · Diciembre 2015

  45. Número 45 · Diciembre 2015

  46. Número 46 · Enero 2016

  47. Número 47 · Enero 2016

  48. Número 48 · Enero 2016

  49. Número 49 · Enero 2016

  50. Número 50 · Febrero 2016

  51. Número 51 · Febrero 2016

  52. Número 52 · Febrero 2016

  53. Número 53 · Febrero 2016

  54. Número 54 · Marzo 2016

  55. Número 55 · Marzo 2016

  56. Número 56 · Marzo 2016

  57. Número 57 · Marzo 2016

  58. Número 58 · Marzo 2016

  59. Número 59 · Abril 2016

  60. Número 60 · Abril 2016

  61. Número 61 · Abril 2016

  62. Número 62 · Abril 2016

  63. Número 63 · Mayo 2016

  64. Número 64 · Mayo 2016

  65. Número 65 · Mayo 2016

  66. Número 66 · Mayo 2016

  67. Número 67 · Junio 2016

  68. Número 68 · Junio 2016

  69. Número 69 · Junio 2016

  70. Número 70 · Junio 2016

  71. Número 71 · Junio 2016

  72. Número 72 · Julio 2016

  73. Número 73 · Julio 2016

  74. Número 74 · Julio 2016

  75. Número 75 · Julio 2016

  76. Número 76 · Agosto 2016

  77. Número 77 · Agosto 2016

  78. Número 78 · Agosto 2016

  79. Número 79 · Agosto 2016

  80. Número 80 · Agosto 2016

  81. Número 81 · Septiembre 2016

  82. Número 82 · Septiembre 2016

  83. Número 83 · Septiembre 2016

  84. Número 84 · Septiembre 2016

  85. Número 85 · Octubre 2016

  86. Número 86 · Octubre 2016

  87. Número 87 · Octubre 2016

  88. Número 88 · Octubre 2016

  89. Número 89 · Noviembre 2016

  90. Número 90 · Noviembre 2016

  91. Número 91 · Noviembre 2016

  92. Número 92 · Noviembre 2016

  93. Número 93 · Noviembre 2016

  94. Número 94 · Diciembre 2016

  95. Número 95 · Diciembre 2016

  96. Número 96 · Diciembre 2016

  97. Número 97 · Diciembre 2016

  98. Número 98 · Enero 2017

  99. Número 99 · Enero 2017

  100. Número 100 · Enero 2017

  101. Número 101 · Enero 2017

  102. Número 102 · Febrero 2017

  103. Número 103 · Febrero 2017

  104. Número 104 · Febrero 2017

  105. Número 105 · Febrero 2017

  106. Número 106 · Marzo 2017

  107. Número 107 · Marzo 2017

  108. Número 108 · Marzo 2017

  109. Número 109 · Marzo 2017

  110. Número 110 · Marzo 2017

  111. Número 111 · Abril 2017

  112. Número 112 · Abril 2017

  113. Número 113 · Abril 2017

  114. Número 114 · Abril 2017

  115. Número 115 · Mayo 2017

  116. Número 116 · Mayo 2017

  117. Número 117 · Mayo 2017

  118. Número 118 · Mayo 2017

  119. Número 119 · Mayo 2017

  120. Número 120 · Junio 2017

  121. Número 121 · Junio 2017

  122. Número 122 · Junio 2017

  123. Número 123 · Junio 2017

  124. Número 124 · Julio 2017

  125. Número 125 · Julio 2017

  126. Número 126 · Julio 2017

  127. Número 127 · Julio 2017

  128. Número 128 · Agosto 2017

  129. Número 129 · Agosto 2017

  130. Número 130 · Agosto 2017

  131. Número 131 · Agosto 2017

  132. Número 132 · Agosto 2017

  133. Número 133 · Septiembre 2017

  134. Número 134 · Septiembre 2017

  135. Número 135 · Septiembre 2017

  136. Número 136 · Septiembre 2017

  137. Número 137 · Octubre 2017

  138. Número 138 · Octubre 2017

  139. Número 139 · Octubre 2017

  140. Número 140 · Octubre 2017

  141. Número 141 · Noviembre 2017

  142. Número 142 · Noviembre 2017

  143. Número 143 · Noviembre 2017

  144. Número 144 · Noviembre 2017

  145. Número 145 · Noviembre 2017

  146. Número 146 · Diciembre 2017

  147. Número 147 · Diciembre 2017

  148. Número 148 · Diciembre 2017

  149. Número 149 · Diciembre 2017

  150. Número 150 · Enero 2018

  151. Número 151 · Enero 2018

  152. Número 152 · Enero 2018

  153. Número 153 · Enero 2018

  154. Número 154 · Enero 2018

  155. Número 155 · Febrero 2018

  156. Número 156 · Febrero 2018

  157. Número 157 · Febrero 2018

  158. Número 158 · Febrero 2018

  159. Número 159 · Marzo 2018

  160. Número 160 · Marzo 2018

  161. Número 161 · Marzo 2018

  162. Número 162 · Marzo 2018

  163. Número 163 · Abril 2018

  164. Número 164 · Abril 2018

  165. Número 165 · Abril 2018

  166. Número 166 · Abril 2018

  167. Número 167 · Mayo 2018

  168. Número 168 · Mayo 2018

  169. Número 169 · Mayo 2018

  170. Número 170 · Mayo 2018

  171. Número 171 · Mayo 2018

  172. Número 172 · Junio 2018

  173. Número 173 · Junio 2018

  174. Número 174 · Junio 2018

  175. Número 175 · Junio 2018

  176. Número 176 · Julio 2018

  177. Número 177 · Julio 2018

  178. Número 178 · Julio 2018

  179. Número 179 · Julio 2018

  180. Número 180 · Agosto 2018

  181. Número 181 · Agosto 2018

  182. Número 182 · Agosto 2018

  183. Número 183 · Agosto 2018

  184. Número 184 · Agosto 2018

  185. Número 185 · Septiembre 2018

  186. Número 186 · Septiembre 2018

  187. Número 187 · Septiembre 2018

  188. Número 188 · Septiembre 2018

  189. Número 189 · Octubre 2018

  190. Número 190 · Octubre 2018

  191. Número 191 · Octubre 2018

  192. Número 192 · Octubre 2018

  193. Número 193 · Octubre 2018

  194. Número 194 · Noviembre 2018

  195. Número 195 · Noviembre 2018

  196. Número 196 · Noviembre 2018

  197. Número 197 · Noviembre 2018

  198. Número 198 · Diciembre 2018

  199. Número 199 · Diciembre 2018

  200. Número 200 · Diciembre 2018

  201. Número 201 · Diciembre 2018

  202. Número 202 · Enero 2019

  203. Número 203 · Enero 2019

  204. Número 204 · Enero 2019

  205. Número 205 · Enero 2019

  206. Número 206 · Enero 2019

  207. Número 207 · Febrero 2019

  208. Número 208 · Febrero 2019

  209. Número 209 · Febrero 2019

  210. Número 210 · Febrero 2019

  211. Número 211 · Marzo 2019

  212. Número 212 · Marzo 2019

  213. Número 213 · Marzo 2019

  214. Número 214 · Marzo 2019

  215. Número 215 · Abril 2019

  216. Número 216 · Abril 2019

  217. Número 217 · Abril 2019

  218. Número 218 · Abril 2019

  219. Número 219 · Mayo 2019

  220. Número 220 · Mayo 2019

  221. Número 221 · Mayo 2019

  222. Número 222 · Mayo 2019

  223. Número 223 · Mayo 2019

  224. Número 224 · Junio 2019

  225. Número 225 · Junio 2019

  226. Número 226 · Junio 2019

  227. Número 227 · Junio 2019

  228. Número 228 · Julio 2019

  229. Número 229 · Julio 2019

  230. Número 230 · Julio 2019

  231. Número 231 · Julio 2019

  232. Número 232 · Julio 2019

  233. Número 233 · Agosto 2019

  234. Número 234 · Agosto 2019

  235. Número 235 · Agosto 2019

  236. Número 236 · Agosto 2019

  237. Número 237 · Septiembre 2019

  238. Número 238 · Septiembre 2019

  239. Número 239 · Septiembre 2019

  240. Número 240 · Septiembre 2019

  241. Número 241 · Octubre 2019

  242. Número 242 · Octubre 2019

  243. Número 243 · Octubre 2019

  244. Número 244 · Octubre 2019

  245. Número 245 · Octubre 2019

  246. Número 246 · Noviembre 2019

  247. Número 247 · Noviembre 2019

  248. Número 248 · Noviembre 2019

  249. Número 249 · Noviembre 2019

  250. Número 250 · Diciembre 2019

  251. Número 251 · Diciembre 2019

  252. Número 252 · Diciembre 2019

  253. Número 253 · Diciembre 2019

  254. Número 254 · Enero 2020

  255. Número 255 · Enero 2020

  256. Número 256 · Enero 2020

  257. Número 257 · Febrero 2020

  258. Número 258 · Marzo 2020

  259. Número 259 · Abril 2020

  260. Número 260 · Mayo 2020

  261. Número 261 · Junio 2020

  262. Número 262 · Julio 2020

  263. Número 263 · Agosto 2020

  264. Número 264 · Septiembre 2020

  265. Número 265 · Octubre 2020

  266. Número 266 · Noviembre 2020

  267. Número 267 · Diciembre 2020

  268. Número 268 · Enero 2021

  269. Número 269 · Febrero 2021

  270. Número 270 · Marzo 2021

  271. Número 271 · Abril 2021

  272. Número 272 · Mayo 2021

CTXT necesita 15.000 socias/os para seguir creciendo. Suscríbete a CTXT

Stewart Wood / Lord Wood of Anfield, Labour life peer in the House of Lords

"The Crash exposed the historical problems of social democracy's mission"

Simon R. Doubleday 28/07/2016

<p>Stewart Wood en un evento político en 2015.</p>

Stewart Wood en un evento político en 2015.

Policy Exchange

A diferencia de otros medios, en CTXT mantenemos todos nuestros artículos en abierto. Nuestra apuesta es recuperar el espíritu de la prensa independiente: ser un servicio público. Si puedes permitirte pagar 4 euros al mes, apoya a CTXT. ¡Suscríbete!

A socialist in the House of Lords, a devotee of Jethro Tull and Joni Mitchell, Stewart Wood (1968) is a uniquely compelling voice in UK politics. A graduate of Oxford and Harvard, Wood was a close advisor of Prime Minister Gordon Brown between 2007 and 2010, working in 10 Downing Street. For the next five years worked with Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, leading his campaign to wrestle power back from David Cameron’s Conservative Party. In 2011, he was appointed to the House of Lords, assuming the title of Lord Wood of Anfield (home of Liverpool Football Club). "The Lords does a lot of really valuable work,” he reflects, “but personally I think an unelected second chamber doesn't have a place in a modern democracy”. He is a lifetime fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and has just been named chair of the United Nations Association (UK). 

THE GREATEST POLITICAL CRISIS….

Owen Jones has suggested that the UK is facing its greatest crisis since the Second World War. 

Yes, I think in many ways that is right. We are experiencing a combination of crises. Our economy—over-dependent on financial services and rising household debt—has still not recovered from the Crash of 2008. We have a long-standing crisis of living standards, not just for poor families but for families quite high up the income scale. On top of that we now have multiple political crises: turmoil inside the Conservative Party, civil war inside the Labour Party, a rising tide of anti-politics sentiment. And most importantly of all, we have made a momentous national decision to turn away from the European Union and chart a path on our own—a decision that will also continue to divide our country internally for some time I fear.  So I think Owen's characterisation is not hyperbole.

Should we see the election results of 2015 as a reflection of the power of a conservative press in the UK? Or of some other factor?

It is true that the UK press has a right wing bias. Ed Miliband received years of disparaging and aggressive coverage that I am sure had an effect on how some people saw him. But I think it would be too easy to blame the press for the 2015 election. We need to accept more responsibility for our own defeat.  I think looking back we had a good, strong and accurate diagnosis of what was going wrong in our country: an economy that only worked for a few, scarred by continued deregulation, growing insecurity and unacceptably high inequality, all compounded by a punishing and economically self-defeating philosophy that a crisis of markets could be sorted out by slashing the state. But I think we lacked radicalism in our policies to respond to that analysis. It was a time to be bolder than we were, while at the same time addressing more explicitly than we did some of the concerns many voters had about our record on spending, immigration and other issues.

In recent months, there has been an extraordinary growth in the membership of Labour. Does this reflect the reinvigoration of democracy in the UK?   

Yes, in many ways it does, or at least the reinvigoration of faith in party politics among those on the Left. I have never believed that Britain is apathetic about politics, and even less that young British people are apathetic. But until Jeremy Corbyn, a lot of people who were engaged with political issues and angry about the decline of public services and the quality of life in our country had little faith in political parties as agents of transformation.  Whatever your view of Corbyn, his candidacy for the leadership reinvigorated a sense of hope among those people, and they joined in their thousands to help make the Labour Party a social movement again. The next step is for those thousands, or indeed hundreds of thousands, to seek to work with those outside the narrow confines of Labour's membership—to build bridges and alliances—so that we can return to power and start to repair some of the damage done in the last decade. 

THE FUTURE OF THE LABOUR PARTY

The Labour Party nevertheless seems to be on the verge of a definitive split. In explaining this, how much weight would you give to the Iraq War, and how much to the recession of 2008?

I sincerely hope we are not on the verge of a split, because I think—especially under our electoral system—Britain needs a Labour Party that unites people across class, income levels, regions and ethnicities to fight against the Conservative Party.  But you are right that the internal divisions are strong and bitter at the moment.  In part that is because of the long shadow of Iraq, which was a catastrophic mistake for our Party. In part this is a fight between two conceptions of the party. On the one hand, the vision of a Labour Party whose purpose is to win power in Parliament, and which craves a leadership that can lead in Westminster; and on the other hand, a Party whose purpose is to create a social movement that can change Britain from below, and which has little time for Westminster politics. 

But I think there is a broader crisis underlying our split. It is a crisis that all social democratic parties have had since the Crash. Can you think of a single social Democratic Party in Europe at the moment that is thriving? The Crash exposed the historical problems of social democracy's mission: as an industrial society moves to a post-industrial time, inside a European Union committed to austerity, and with many of social democracy's historic causes now achieved, what is social democracy for? I think we need to do some fundamental rethinking about how to pursue a more just, prosperous and sustainable economy, and a fairer more equitable society, rather than see our way back by being a tribute act to the 1960s and 1970s. 

Jeremy Corbyn is widely perceived as being unelectable. Do you think this perception is accurate? Is there a more electable figure within the party?

I don't think he is unelectable, but I think in order to win he needs to do more than survive as leader. I am very sympathetic to many of the causes he stands for, and I applaud much of his domestic economic policy—especially taking a stand against austerity. From a personal point of view, however, I have yet to see him set out anything resembling a strategic plan, or a set of policies that translate those speeches into action.  And I see him and his team becoming more isolated and resentful of his own party, rather than seeking to engage with them, win them over, and then turning to win over the country. I passionately believe that this is the time to challenge the Conservative Government on a range of areas that have been accepted for too long—on economic policy, inequality, regulation of financial  and labour markets, and approach to foreign policy problems such as in the Middle East. But I don't honestly believe Jeremy Corbyn can do that.  

Do you think a Progressive Alliance with the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, and the SNP is a viable means of ensuring that the Labour Party has a powerful voice in the next government?  

I definitely think we should be taking the idea of a Progressive Alliance seriously. One of our brightest younger MPs, Lisa Nandy, has co-authored an upcoming back with Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, setting out exactly how this approach might work. We are political rivals in some areas but we have much in common, and we mustn't let historical rivalry prevent us from working together on those areas where we agree.  I think excessive tribalism puts off so many people from engaging with party politics. In the referendum campaign, I took part in some events organised by Another Europe, an organisation that brought together people from the Labour Party, Greens, SNP and other progressive organisations to make the case for the EU based on a positive vision of Europe's future rather than using the politics of fear about what would happen if we left. Those meetings had energy and positivity, and showed just how exciting a progressive alliance could prove in the future.

ELITISM, SOCIAL CLASS, AND FOOTBALL

Elite educational institutions, from Eton through Oxbridge, continue to play a key role in British politics. Is this a facet of meritocracy, a survival of nineteenth-century elitism, both, or neither?    

There is no doubt that our country continues to be dominated by institutions that reproduce privilege across generations.  Only 7% of Britain attends privately-educated schools, but our political, judicial, press and financial elites massively over-represent this small group. Oxford and Cambridge are world-class teaching and research institutions, and do recruit very talented students.  Their problem is that those students have an advantage when it comes to application processes to get into the best universities. I think Oxbridge has a responsibility to cast the net much more widely in looking for new talent.

Relatedly, has the rise in university tuition created a division between ‘town and gown’, exacerbating class divisions reflected in the recent Brexit vote?

One of the most striking things about the Brexit result was the division within our country based on education. A large majority of those who did not go to college or university voted to Leave, while over 80% of those currently attending college & university voted to stay. There is no doubt that the introduction of tuition fees has put off students from poorer backgrounds from going to university, because the prospect of incurring so much debt frightens many of them. But I am not sure that was a big factor in the referendum. The main divides seem to be on the basis of education, age and social class. Parts of our country have been left behind by the prosperity of the 25 years before the 2008 Crash, and since the Crash these parts of the country have struggled to recover under the austerity regime that the Conservative Government told us was unavoidable. I think much of the vote can be explained by that.

 You are a devoted fan of Liverpool F.C., and chose to assume the title of Lord Wood of Anfield when you were appointed to the House of Lords. Can you explain the political significance of this title? 

When I was asked to be a Lord, and asked to pick a place to which my position was connected, I immediately thought of Anfield—not just as the place with most emotional resonance to me, but as a way of thanking that part of the world for all the joy and support I've received from being a Liverpool supporter for over 44 years. When I took the title, some local councillors asked me to remember that Anfield is one of the poorest areas on any British city, and to champion causes that matter to the people of Anfield and Liverpool. I hope I have lived up to some of that challenge, for example in helping to expose the scandalous response of the British Establishment to the Hillsborough tragedy from 1989, and more generally in helping to remind my Labour Party that its fundamental reason for existence is to support those that the market economy has a tendency to leave behind.

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

In their impassioned idealism, the grassroots movements on the Labour left— Momentum, for example—seem, at least on the surface, to bear some resemblance to social movements such as Podemos, in Spain. 

There are some similarities. Both want to stand for and reinvigorate a politics of the left that resists austerity, rejects anti-immigration sentiment, and which sees the power of political parties as lying in the movement it belongs to.  The main differences is that Momentum came into existence to support a leader of an existing and long standing party—Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour. Personally I would have liked to have seen Jeremy, once he became Leader, turn around and challenge Labour to change itself to become more of active social movement, rather than turn to another organisation to provide that energy alongside Labour. Although I can see why he didn't do that, I think it has created antipathy for our leader to look to an organisation outside the Party for his primary support.  But there is no doubt that, as Owen Jones often says, Podemos offers many lessons for a party such as Labour. 

Over the past decade, you have often traveled to the United States, meeting both President Bush and President Obama. Many on the Left, in the US are deeply demoralized because of the defeat of Bernie Sanders and the influence of big money to influence elections. How healthy is American democracy?   

Bernie Sanders’ remarkable campaign learnt a lot from those of Howard Dean and Obama before him, and showed quite how far you can go if you can inspire people in the possibility of a different kind of politics. However, the power of big money in US election campaigns is a serious problem. This influence, combined with a dysfunctional relationship inside Washington between Congress and the White House, is worrying. Put these two things together and it is difficult to see how the US can muster an effective response to some of the most pressing problems, such as achieving gun control.  

ARTS AND CULTURE

Does deep change occur through culture, more than through politics?  

My favourite play is Tom Stoppard's Rock & Roll, which looks at Czech politics in the 25 years after the Prague Spring abd asks exactly that question. He persuaded me that the answer was culture. The songs of Joni Mitchell and Jethro Tull, and Ingmar Bergman’s films, have had more influence on me than any political speech. But politics allied to culture is much more powerful for society as a whole. I think politics can break the doors and fences down to open up possibilities that were previously thought unobtainable. The danger is to obsess about politics and neglect the ingredients of a good and fulfilling life for you and those you love. Politics without culture risks redistributing power without transforming people's lives.

You are a great admirer of Joni Mitchell. Has your appreciation for music shaped your political career in any way? 

Joni Mitchell's music has been my constant companion since I was fourteen. She admonishes herself a lot in her songs, pushes herself to realise her mistakes, and to re-emerge again. I've taken that to heart. And she captures the essence of humanity like no other songwriter—"each so deep and superficial, between the forceps and the stone". I don't think her music has shaped my politics directly, but her music reminds me about the true purpose of politics - to give people the time, freedom and confidence to live fulfilling lives, be creative, to have the space to love and laugh. 

 

Autor >

Suscríbete a CTXT

Orgullosas
de llegar tarde
a las últimas noticias

Gracias a tu suscripción podemos ejercer un periodismo público y en libertad.
¿Quieres suscribirte a CTXT por solo 6 euros al mes? Pulsa aquí

Artículos relacionados >

Deja un comentario


Los comentarios solo están habilitados para las personas suscritas a CTXT. Puedes suscribirte aquí