Young Fabians

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Young Fabians
Formation name 1960
Type name Think Tank
Purpose name The Young Fabians are the under-31's section of the Fabian Society
Membership name 1500
Chairperson Alex Adranghi
Vice-Chair Martin Edobor
Vice-Chair Ade Adeyemi
Treasurer Sophia Morrell
Secretary Paulina Jakubec
Editor of Anticipations Ellie Groves
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Website
http://www.youngfabians.org.uk/


The Young Fabians is the under 31 years of age section of the Fabian Society, a socialist society in the United Kingdom. The Young Fabians operate as a membership-driven think tank that organises policy debates, research projects, publications and informal networking. The organisation holds no collective position on policy.

History[edit]

The Fabian Society was founded by a group of young idealists in the late 19th century (see Fabian Society entry for full details). For example H. G. Wells was 27 when he joined the Committee as was George Bernard Shaw. However, by the middle of the 20th century, the average age of active members was relatively elderly. In order to encourage more young people to join the society, a Young Fabian Group was proposed.

The Young Fabian Group for members of the Fabian society 30 years of age or younger was officially convened in May 1960 at a meeting organised by Fabian Society assistant General Secretary, Dick Leonard.

From small beginnings, the Young Fabians produced a steady stream of pamphlets through the 1960s and 1970s, and produced some 50 by 1980.

The Young Fabians became less prominent during the 1980s while the Labour Party re-organised its youth wing, partly based on a template set out in a Young Fabian pamphlet.

TonyBlairArmagh1998.jpg

However, in the early 1990s, the group underwent a revival and played an important role in the discussion of the next stage of modernisation within the Labour Party. In 1994, members of the Young Fabians were part of the campaign to elect Tony Blair leader of the party and then the campaign to change Clause IV, although the group itself took no formal position on these issues.

In recent years several controversial pamphlets have been produced including "Students as citizens" which advocated granting more choice to university students and "The Case for Socialism" which set out the socialist themes and actions of the Government of Tony Blair. The most recent pamphlet, number 55, was on the rise of the far right in British Politics.

The Group's magazine Anticipations, named after the title of an essay by H. G. Wells, was founded in 1996. It was originally edited by Liam Byrne, Tom Happold, Mark Leonard and Emma Beswick.

Political position[edit]

The Young Fabians' statement of purpose is to avoid commitment to any one brand of socialism and to provide a "forum for different points of view within the left".

Unlike other youth socialist groups, the Young Fabians has maintained this position of neutrality on policy issues, upholding the Fabian Society principle that its role is merely to determine whether a matter or position is suitable for discussion, not to take a group position on an issue. This has helped the group survive through many changes in the Labour Party without being identified as part of the left or right wing factions.

Along with the Fabian Society the Young Fabians is affiliated to the Labour Party. The group officially maintain a policy of neutrality with decisions internal the Labour Party such as internal elections. The group has the right to appoint one member to the Executive Committee of Young Labour.

Full members of the group must not be members of political parties that oppose Labour. A significant minority of members do not hold membership of the Labour Party. Members of other political parties are able to join the group as associate members.

The importance of the Young Fabians[edit]

The book The Modernisers' Dilemma cites the Young Fabians as one of the most important groups within the Labour Party. As an organised network of younger, generally well educated party members, often researchers or academics, the Young Fabians is one of the main social and informal networks through which political activity is carried out. However, by taking no formal policy stance, the Young Fabians has been able to include both supporters and sceptics of past Labour Governments.

The Young Fabians also fills the gap between student politics and mainstream Labour Party politics, a gap which is filled in the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Party structures by having youth wings which include graduates up to the age of 30.

Young Fabian alumni[edit]

Young Fabian alumni include: Professor Colin Crouch, Brian Lapping, Howard Glennerster, Giles Radice, Conrad Russell, Michael Crick, Peter Mandelson, Jack Straw, Stephen Twigg, Ann Taylor, John Mann, Phil Woolas, Oona King, Lorna Fitzsimons, Paul Richards, Tom Watson, Liam Byrne, Stella Creasy, Seema Malhotra, Sunder Katwala and Mark Leonard.

The Rt Hon. Jack Straw 
Colin Crouch, sociologist and political scientist. 
The Rt Hon. Lord Mandelson 
The Baroness King of Bow 
Rachel Reeves MP 

The Young Fabians today[edit]

Since 1994, the Young Fabians has grown to more than 1,500 members. It currently holds a series of events including policy seminars, debates and receptions in foreign embassies, recent campaigning visits to Ohio for the 2008 Presidential election and Sweden for the 2010 and 2014 general election, and publishes the quarterly magazine Anticipations. It also holds regular social events and the annual boat party on the Thames has become a popular fixture in the Westminster calendar.

The Young Fabians Networks[edit]

In 2010 the Young Fabians launched two special interest groups focused on Finance and Science industries. These networks set out to bring together those involved or who have an interest in the subject, and link their specialist knowledge into policy debate. In 2011 a third Health Network was launched. In 2013 saw the brief existence of Foreign Policy and Creative Industry Networks and in 2014 a Local Government Network was intended to open. 2015 saw the largest expansion of networks with founding of Education, International and Communications, which coincided with the election of the first former network Chair Alex Adranghi as the Young Fabian National Chair. Each network is run by a steering committee who manage their own annual programme, and since 2012 the networks have elected their own Chairs and other officers.

Network Chairs
Year Finance Network Health Network International Network Education Network Communications Network
2011-2012 Alexander Adranghi Martin Edobor - - -
2012-2013 Lorna Russell Adebusuyi Adeyemi - - -
2013-2014 Sophie Robson Amrita Rose - - -
2014-2015 TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Young Fabians Executive[edit]

The Executive of the Young Fabians are elected in the run up to the November AGM and hold office for one year. Recent Executives and Chairs have included:

Young Fabian Executive
Year Chair Elected
1993-1994 Katherine Edwards
1994-1995 Darren Kalynuk
1995-1996 Emma Beswick
1996-1997 Tom Happold
1997-1998 Peter Metcalfe
1998-1999 Howard Dawber
1999-2000 Seema Malhotra
2000-2001 Mari Williams
2001-2002 Guy Lodge
2002-2003 James Connal
2003-2004 Jessica Asato
2004-2005 Kevin Bonavia
2005-2006 Prema Gurunathan Conor McGinn, Tom Flynn, Kate Groucutt, Mark Rusling, David Floyd, Emma Carr, Emily Robinson, Matt Blakeley, Nisha Tailor, Fred Grindrod, Rebecca Rennison
2006-2007 Conor McGinn Kate Groucutt, Tom Flynn, Emma Carr, Mark Rusling, Will Martindale, David Floyd, Fred Grindrod, Yue Ting Cheng, Angela Green, Nisha Tailor, Rebecca Rennison
2007-2008 Mark Rusling Kate Groucutt, Rebecca Rennison, Emma Carr, David Chaplin, Patrick Woodman, Alex Baker, Tom Miller, Dan Whittle, Tom Flynn, Brian Tomlinson, Richard Messingham
2008-2009 Kate Groucutt Emma Carr, David Chaplin, Rebecca Rennison, Richard Messingham, Dan Whittle, Adrian Prandle, Tom Stote, Alex Baker, Sam Strudwick, Claire Leigh, James Green
2009-2010 David Chaplin Adrian Prandle, Sara Ibrahim, Alex Baker, James Green, Rebecca Rennison, Preth Rao, Steve Race, Claire Leigh, Brian Duggan, Anna-Joy Rickard
2010-2011 Adrian Prandle Sara Ibrahim, Claire Leigh, Alex Baker, James Green, Vincenzo Rampulla, Marie-Noelle Loewe, Preth Rao, Brian Duggan, Anna-Joy Rickard, Richard Lane
2011-2012 Sara Ibrahim Claire Leigh, Steve Race, Hetty Wood, Ellie Cumbo, Katharina Klebba, James Hallwood, Matt Zarb-Cousin, Jack Storry, Vincenzo Rampulla, James Roberts, Brian Duggan
2012-2013 Steve Race Hetty Wood, Ellie Cumbo, Katharina Klebba, Louie Woodall, Thomas Butler, Alex Adranghi, Colm Flanagan, Graeme Henderson, James Hallwood, Joel Mullan, Marielle O'Neill
2013-2014 James Hallwood Katharina Klebba, Alex Adranghi, Martin Edobor, Louie Woodall, Hetty Wood, Joel Mullan, Adebusuyi Adeyemi, Alvin Carpio, Felicity Slater, Lorna Russell.
2014-2015 Alexander Adranghi Martin Edobor, Adebusuyi Adeyemi, Sophia Morrell, Paulina Jakubec, Ellie Groves, Heather Vernon, Louie Woodall, Alvin Carpio, Jess Toale, Ben West, Sophie Keenleyside.

See also[edit]

Young Fabian Press[edit]

  • Anticipations – Print magazine of the Young Fabians
  • Anatomy – Policy project-centric serial

See also[edit]

External links[edit]