Hilary Wainwright


Hilary WainwrightHilary Wainwright is a member of Red Pepper's editorial collective and a fellow of the Transnational Institute.

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Tony Benn really was ‘dangerous’ – to the establishment March 2014

Hilary Wainwright looks back at how Tony Benn's frustrations in government spurred him to spend his life fighting for real democracy

The spirit of Stuart Hall February 2014

Hilary Wainwright remembers the power of Stuart Hall’s being and thought

‘We are as Gods.’ The legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog October 2013

Steve Jobs said it was like ‘Google in paperback’. Hilary Wainwright reports from an exhibition and conference centred on the Whole Earth Catalog, first published in 1968

Footage from occupied Greek TV station September 2013

Earlier this summer Red Pepper co-editor Hilary Wainwright joined the occupation of Greek public broadcaster ERT.

Ructions in Rio July 2013

The scale of the protests rocking Brazil took everyone by surprise - even the demonstrators themselves. Sue Branford and Hilary Wainwright investigate where they came from and where are they going

The day Greece’s TVs went dark June 2013

Hilary Wainwright reports from Thessaloniki on what happened when the state ordered Greece’s state broadcaster to shut down

Resist and transform: the struggle for water in Greece May 2013

A combination of opposing privatisation and putting forward practical alternatives is helping water campaigners mount an effective challenge to austerity in Greece. Hilary Wainwright reports

We need to challenge the myths that poison attempts at progressive change April 2013

Hilary Wainwright introduces the first in a series of mythbusters produced by Class, in collaboration with Red Pepper.

Essay: Political organisation in transition January 2013

Hilary Wainwright opens the new year ambitiously! She discusses how to transform the state and why radical politicians find it so difficult to maintain their radical momentum once in parliament or the council chamber. How could this change?

Unleashing the creativity of labour October 2012

Hilary Wainwright calls for policies that release workers’ creative potential, not just in waged work but beyond

Greece: Syriza shines a light July 2012

In Greece, a radical left coalition is actively preparing for power in society and in parliament. Hilary Wainwright reports from Athens

Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons July 2012

Michel Bauwens examines how collaborative, commons-based production is emerging to challenge capitalism. Below, Hilary Wainwright responds

Co-operatise the state? May 2012

Can the co-op movement be one source of alternatives to marketisation? Hilary Wainwright explores

An ‘excess of democracy’: what two generations of radicals can learn from each other February 2012

Hilary Wainwright examines the possibility of forging a new kind of political economy by learning from the best of both today's radical movements and those of the 60s and 70s

Resistance takes root in Barcelona October 2011

Hilary Wainwright explores the deepening organisation of the Indignados movement

Refounding the politics of labour September 2011

Ed Miliband's speech had little to say on the unions. Hilary Wainwright urges the Labour leader to embrace a newly political trade unionism

Feeling our way forward August 2011

Hilary Wainwright maps structures of feeling and resistance

Kenny Bell: From loss to living legacy August 2011

Kenny Bell stood for a distinctive, strategic and effective kind of trade unionism writes Hilary Wainwright

Crack capitalism or reclaim the state? April 2011

John Holloway and Hilary Wainwright debate strategy and tactics for social change

AV: Yes or no? April 2011

Hilary Wainwright and Kevin Blowe debate the alternative vote

The resistible rise of corporate power October 2010

Corporate power has grown as regulation has receded - and the outsourcing of public services has played a major part in this growth of unaccountable economic power, writes Hilary Wainwright

Our favourite Miliband August 2010

Hilary Wainwright reveals which Miliband caught her fancy

A distinctive purpose June 2010

Labour's leadership debate could end up like a competition to be chief executive of an ailing company. But activists are intent on taking it somewhere more interesting. Laurie Penny and Hilary Wainwright did the round of post-election think-ins to find out more

A Brighton shade of Green May 2010

What is the wider significance of the Greens' success in Brighton and how can they build on it? Hilary Wainwright caught up with the party's new MP Caroline Lucas as she set up office in Westminster

Beyond the casino state March 2010

Watch Question Time – or any TV programme where politicians are on display – and it’s clear that our cover theme, turning David Cameron’s ‘we can’t go on like this’ back on him and all the main parties, sums up a popular mood. Disillusionment with politicians has fed into a deepening anger at the way […]

Rocking the system February 2010

A campaign is mounting over Northern Rock, the bank whose collapse heralded the financial crisis. Hilary Wainwright reports on the effort to create a community-owned bank serving wider social needs, not private profits

A real green deal October 2009

35 years ago, workers at the Lucas Aerospace company formulated an 'alternative corporate plan' to convert military production to socially useful and environmentally desirable purposes. Hilary Wainwright and Andy Bowman consider what lessons it holds for the greening of the world economy today

Now to complete the democratic revolution May 2009

Hilary Wainwright's editorial in our upcoming June/July issue argues that the issue of public control over public money could be the basis of a movement to complete the unfinished struggle for popular sovereignty

Public service reform … but not as we know it! April 2009

How do you save money, improve services, involve the unions and strengthen democratic control at the same time? In Newcastle, they have come up with an alternative to privatisation that achieves all these objectives, as Hilary Wainwright reports

Beyond the usual fragments March 2009

Red Pepper has always been about more than radical journalism. Our origins lie in the extraordinary movement that converged across parties, movements, identities and geography to support the mining communities. The Chesterfield Socialist Conferences, and then the Socialist Movement, attempted to realise the potential of this convergence. As its limits became apparent, we created Red […]

Art, truth and politics March 2009

Hilary Wainwright and Ian Rickson pay tribute to the politics, plays and life of Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008

We are woman, we are strong … March 2009

Hilary Wainwright on the vital role women played in the miners' struggle

Editorial: Parallel worlds February 2009

These days of putting together this issue of Red Pepper have been the days of the Gaza massacre. They have also been a time of two distinct political worlds. On the one hand, demonstrations that grew from one week to the next, bringing together Muslims and Jews to a unique extent; dissenting Jews across Israel, […]

Crisis for Christmas January 2009

With so much of this, Red Pepper’s Christmas issue, examining the financial crisis, it doesn’t look like we are exactly bringing yuletide good cheer. But the holiday is also a time to reflect, recharge and prepare for the New Year. So we’re unashamedly adding to your seasonal menu some tough food for thought! We want […]

Thank you, Harold December 2008

Hilary Wainwright wrote the following note about Harold Pinter's involvement with Red Pepper for a collection published by Faber to celebrate his 70th birthday

In words and silences December 2008

Hilary Wainwright reflects on Harold Pinter and Red Pepper

The ‘f’ word: from ’68 to ’08 December 2008

{'68-'78-'88: from women's liberation to feminism}, edited by Amanda Sebestyen, was published at a moment 'when feminism became uncool'. Ten years on, it became a key text on women's studies courses - its tales from feminists of various backgrounds documenting the many layers and differences woven into the women's liberation movement. Fast forward to 2008, and some of the contributors met at Housmans bookshop in London. We present edited extracts from that discussion to open a debate on feminism today, introduced by Hilary Wainwright and with a summary of current feminist activity by Andrea D'Cruz

The Beijing Declaration: Another Economic World is Possible October 2008

'Another World is Possible', the familiar slogan of the World Social Forum, is now being put to the test, writes Hilary Wainwright from Beijing. Can the activists and intellectuals of the movements for global justice propose convincing alternatives, drawing on the struggles and experiments of recent years and on interesting historical experiences?

Editorial: A place for the left September 2008

Hilary Wainwright says that the pull of national and local identities away from Westminster is a vital clue to understanding and preparing for the unravelling of New Labour

New limbs for the left June 2008

New Labour is dead. The New Tories are in the ascendancy. The left needs to look beyond its existing, inbred networks, writes Hilary Wainwright

Reaping what they’ve sown May 2008

Hilary Wainwright says while the radical left are in no position to say 'I told you so', reviving public service values and practices is the only way to renew the Labour Party

A red guide to Italian politics April 2008

Italians have often led the way in creating a European left but now they face a crisis in the return of Silvio Berlusconi. Hilary Wainwright talked to a range of left activists as they prepared for the elections

Rethinking political parties February 2008

The membership and influence of political parties is declining throughout the western world, and most quickly in Britain. Hilary Wainwright examines the role of the party in transformative politics and asks how the left might reimagine this crucial instrument of political change

The commons, the state and transformative politics December 2007

Hilary Wainwright examines how new technology and new forms of organisation are coming together to transform the left and labour movements, political representation and democracy

Democracy diary December 2007

Hilary Wainwright reports from Caracas on Venezuela's referendum - and the next steps towards reform

Any Respect left? November 2007

With the implosion of Respect, Hilary Wainwright asks can anything be learnt for the future or is it a moment simply of despair?

Much argument, many opinions September 2007

Welcome to the new-look Red Pepper magazine and website. Let me put it in context. By Hilary Wainwright

Reclaiming our past August 2007

Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason's Live Working or Die Fighting sets the experience of modern factory workers in the global South alongside some of the classic narratives of labour history. He spoke to Hilary Wainwright about the insights he gained in examining a neglected part of our heritage

Fresh Spice: Red Pepper old and new August 2007

In October 2007 Red Pepper moves to a bigger, new-look bi-monthly format, at the same time as greatly expanding its web presence. Here co-editor Hilary Wainwright reviews its role in providing a platform and a voice for all those whose hopes of change in 1997 have been deflated by the Blatcherism that followed, but who still share a real sense of possibility for the future

The Blairafter June 2007

There was a time when democratic debate in the Labour Party was held up as compensation for the lack of constitutional control over a powerful executive.

Politics outside the box May 2007

Red Pepper's first issue came out 13 years ago this month, shortly before Tony Blair became Labour leader. As we celebrate outlasting him, and prepare for a new phase in our development (more of which later), Hilary Wainwright sets the wider scene for the independent left.

Aiding the blockade February 2007

From academic seminars to birthday parties, there are no end of ways to blockade Faslane, writes Hilary Wainwright

Tropical Blair or Axis of Hope? December 2006

Hilary Wainwright returns from Sao Paulo to report on how social movements are preparing for President Lula's second term

OurSpace: the new frontier November 2006

The left needs to do much more than simply oppose the marketisation of public services - it must promote a positive alternative. In a series of articles, Red Pepper authors consider how that might be done. Hilary Wainwright sets the scene

A different kind of leader October 2006

Left-wing MP John McDonnell says that he wants to 'reclaim the Labour Party' and is standing as leader under the campaign slogan 'Another world is possible'. Why does he think it's worth the effort and what's the 'new politics' he's talking about? Interview by Hilary Wainwright

Imagine there’s no leaders. It’s easy if you try… October 2006

But is it? The problem of leadership runs right through this issue of Red Pepper. Three leaders representing parties of different shades of the left - Tony Blair, Tommy Sheridan and President Lula - have each arguably all but destroyed the parties they were elected to represent. Such leadership crises are part and parcel of the left tradition. So what is it about the left and its leaders? What kind of leadership do we want - or need?

Venezuela’s new model army April 2006

It was all very mysterious; but indicative of the seemingly random way things can happen in Venezuela. I had only a few days left in Caracas after the 2006 World Social Forum.

Who will speak for us? March 2006

There is a deepening crisis of political representation in the UK. As the main parties narrow the electoral contest to a diminishing patch of ‘centre-ground’, who will give voice to those whose views are unrepresented? Hilary Wainwright considers the political challenge facing the left

Europe: bridging the emotional gap November 2005

In search of a fresh argument for the left in Britain to become more European in its thinking and organising, I picked an extraordinary book off my bookshelf: 'Europe in Love; Love in Europe' by Louisa Passerini from the European University Institute in Florence.

Lula’s lament October 2005

The success of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), or Workers Party, acted as a beacon to the left worldwide. Now it has been revealed that it was governing on the basis of systematic corruption. Hilary Wainwright reports on how the quest for power perverted the PT and subverted democracy

The remaking of the left September 2005

More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin wall, communist successor parties are winning support as they struggle to reinvent themselves

The UK/US Presidency of the EU July 2005

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the meaning of the UK Presidency of the EU. Just read the Wall Street Journal of 16 October 2003, where Gordon Brown explains New Labour’s agenda for Europe: ‘economic reform should be embraced with even greater speed. The right response to global competitive pressure is […]

The Left and Power – the Italian way May 2005

From the dramatic events surrounding the killing of an Italian secret agent to a sweeping electoral victory against Berlusconi, Hilary Wainwright provides a snapshot of a dramatic time in Italian politics. But as Rifondazione Comunista extends its influence in regional government, she asks: can the left transform the state by sharing power?

World Social Forum on Trial March 2005

With 155,000 participants from 33 different countries, the fifth World Social Forum held in a specially constructed site in Porto Alegre's Marinho Park was bigger than ever, and with a wider geographic spread. Yet the future of the WSF was on trial. Was it becoming its caricature: a kind of political Woodstock, Hugo Chavez pulling the crowds instead of Mick Jagger?

Time for a global warning movement February 2005

Red Pepper editor Hilary Wainwright introduces this month's features on climate change and the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster

Coordination without centralisation December 2004

The 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre left the Brazilian organisers, both in Porto Alegre itself and in Sao Paulo, completely exhausted. 'We knew we couldn't go on like that, just organising bigger and bigger events. Something had to change,' said Ze Correio Leite, a member of the Brazilian secretariat. But a visit to their Sao Paulo offices as they prepare for the 2005 WSF finds Ze and his colleagues full of energy and enthusiasm. 'I so like working here; I'm learning so much. We do a bit of everything,' commented Marcello, computer expert cum member of the outreach team cum all round administrator. What had changed?

European Social Forum: debating the challenges for its future December 2004

After three European Social Forums (ESF) we need to step back and ask: what next? The successes and achievements of the European Social Forum (ESF) process stem from the strong desire amongst almost every social justice initiative for a cross border, trans-European way of organising, debating and exchanging ideas. This felt need is being reinforced by accumulated skills at creating new agencies for social change.

Change the World by Transforming Power – Including State Power! November 2004

I've been puzzling over John Holloway's book. I say puzzling because on the one hand, there is a lot I agreed with in his critique of the traditional left - Leninist and social democratic - in particular their fixation with seizing or taking state power. I agreed too with his emphasis on recognising our own creative power: both our power of refusal and our power of transformation; and his focus on the ways that we can change society ourselves through collective and co-operative action rather than look to the state or the party to achieve change on our behalf.

Labour’s hollow drum October 2004

Hilary Wainwright introduces Red Pepper's special on the Labour Party

Union wild card seeks to trump modernisers from within October 2004

GMB leader Kevin Curran tells Hilary Wainwright why his trade union will no longer write Labour a blank cheque

Paul Foot 1937-2004 September 2004

Paul Foot did not simply believe in socialism from below; he positively exuded the values that make it possible: anger against injustice, relentless exposure and mockery of the ruling class, a deep belief in the capacity of people to bring about change through their own collective action, warmth and generosity of spirit, and a detestation of both sectarianism and self-importance.

Internationale Rescue September 2004

The year is 1996, and 21-year-old Ilya Ponomarev, typical of Russia's new breed of young entrepreneurs, is making the most of the market opportunities opened up by perestroika. At 15 he had set up his own computer-programming company, achieving a $10m turnover in two years. At 24 he became the youngest ever vice-president of the giant Russian oil company Yukos.

Local Democracy Italian style August 2004

Hilary Wainwright savours the political and cultural dolce vita in the Adriatic town of Grottammare.

Losses and gains of June elections July 2004

Over the past two years the anti-war movement has successfully challenged the manufactured consensus of the powerful. To find out what is being done in their name, people have sought out and opened up numerous paths to the truth. Websites, for example, are giving voice to the opposition in Iraq, and to whistleblowers in the US, UK and UN. We are piecing together information that was previously in the public domain only as fragments.

Ten tumultuous years May 2004

"Red Pepper, breaking a decade; New Labour, broken and decayed,' suggested a wit in the office. But now is not the moment for narrow triumphalism (beyond celebrating the larger font size and the monthly miracle performed in getting the magazine out at all).

Choose solidarity, not fear April 2004

"A triumph of democracy over fear,' declared Spain's new prime minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, after Spanish voters defied conservative predictions that the Madrid bombings would drive them to support the government.

The RMT shows the way March 2004

To most Westminster pundits, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union's opening of its political fund to organisations other than Labour and the union's consequent expulsion by the party are a sideshow.

From Mumbai with hope March 2004

"Can you ask them to go?" an anxious volunteer pleaded with Gautam Mody, trade union organiser turned honest spin doctor for January's fourth World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai. A group of politically motivated Buddhists were performing a dance outside the forum's media centre and taking up a lot of space.

Tony’s big con(versation) January 2004

As Tony Blair's inflatable conversation bounces round the country, there are two sets of voices which definitely won't be heard: asylum seekers and people leafleting working-class estates, football matches, workplaces and colleges to answer the arguments of the British National Party (BNP). Those likely to succumb to the appeal on the BNP are probably not present, either.

Unity coalition to take on Labour in euro poll December 2003

George Galloway has announced plans for an anti-war coalition to stand in next year's European elections. Galloway has also declared that he had no intention of seeking readmission to the Labour Party.

All eyes on Paris November 2003

"The sheer volume of people gave me a sense of a growing European movement," says Unison shop steward Lee Turner of the first European Social Forum (ESF) last year. Participating in this new Europe-wide movement for social justice had brought him a powerful sense of a new common identity.

Sacking the Ministry of Truth October 2003

"People here are concerned with the real issues," said the minister glowering at us, as if to say "not the issues you want to ask me about".

Blair’s Community Con July 2003

Does Tony Blair ever wake up in a cold sweat, fearing that he might be found out? This month made me wonder about this more than usual. At the same time as the PM is effectively on political trial for not telling the truth to the cabinet, to parliament or to the people over WDM, the Labour Party announces that its bid for a third term will be based on community involvement and devolution. Something wrong here, Ed, as Private Eye's Lord Gnome might say.

When Labour is the alternative to New Labour June 2003

Robin Cook and Clare Short may have got all the media attention but there have been other expressions of despair of far greater significance for the future of Labour and the left.

No more demockery May 2003

We failed to stop the war but another world is still possible writes Hilary Wainwright

A global message from the people December 1999

Thanks to the audacity of thousands of diverse activists, being 'anti-capitalist' is back on the mainstream agenda, writes Hilary Wainwright





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