Name: Lenny Wood
Avatar: Wayne Knight
Age: 67 (Born February 17th, 1948)
Marital Status: Married with three children
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Political Outlook: SCG Member, Bennite
Constituency: North Durham
Year Elected: 1992
Education: Left school at 16
Coal miner: 1964-1985
NUM Representative: 1971-1985
NUM Strategist: 1985-1992
MP for North Durham: 1992-Present
Political Career: MP for North Durham: 1992-Present. SCG Treasurer 1995-1998, 2001-2005
Lenny was born a little more than two months before the creation of the National Health Service. The Wood family enthusiastically welcomed both. Although showing flashes of brightness in school, Lenny left to work in the pits, just as his father and grandfather had done before him. And just like his father, who served a few stints as Durham NUM lodge chairman, Lenny became quite involved in the trade union and socialist movements – not that he would assert that there was a material distinction between the two. Despite his young age, Lenny was intensely involved in local strategizing and striking logistics during the battles of the 1970’s and was keenly aware of the power held by those who toiled in the collieries and pits, saying as much when he asserted “this great trade union of ours is all that protects the tremendous gains the toiling class have won since ’45. To preserve our gains, we must struggle in solidarity to move beyond capitalism entirely” in a speech at his Lodge.
Unfortunately, Thatcher employed the same power-analysis. Lenny was quite active during the struggle in 1984-85 and was a supporter of Arthur Scargill, but you all know the story…After his – and so many others’ – job disappeared, Lenny went to work with the NUM full time, attempting to pick up the pieces and develop strategy in the wake of not only the miners’ defeat, but the collapse of the post-war social democratic order.
When his home constituency – North Durham – opened up in 1992 following a retirement, Lenny stood for selection, winning with the support of the NUM, despite his vocal criticism of “Kinnock and his slithering modernizing bunch”. Since entering Parliament Lenny has been portrayed as an “enforcer” for the Hard-Left, calling Harman’s welfare cuts “perhaps the greatest betrayal of Britain’s socialist movement in history", and demanding – at the London Stop the War protest - that Tony Blair “resign in shame for marching alongside Bush in his imperialist crusade”. During the Coalition, Lenny has been quite vocally opposed to austerity and has expressed “immense disappointment” with regard to Labour’s position on fiscal controls. He echoed John McDonnell’s threat to block any budget that advances cuts, should Labour win in 2015.
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