|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
|Purpose||The Young Fabians are the under-31's section of the Fabian Society|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Main organ||Executive Committee|
|Parent organization||Fabian Society|
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 thinktank that organises policy debates, research projects, publications and informal networking. The organisation holds no collective position on policy.
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.
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 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
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
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 Young Fabians today
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 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
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. Each network is run by a steering committee who manage their own annual programme, and since 2012 the networks have elected their own Chairs.
Chairs of the Young Fabian Networks are elected at their separate annual AGM's and hold office for one year.
|Year||Finance Network||Science Network||Health Network||Foreign Policy and Defence Network||Creative Industries Network||Local Government Network|
|2011-2012||Alexander Adranghi||Matt Gwilliam||Martin Edobor||-||-||-|
|2012-2013||Lorna Russell||Devinder Cheema||Adebusuyi Adeyemi||Jonathan Orde||Vicky Prior||-|
|2013-2014||Sophie Robson||-||Amrita Rose||-||-||Hetty Wood|
Young Fabians Executive
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:
|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|
|2013-2013||James Hallwood||Katharina Klebba, Alex Adranghi, Martin Edobor, Louie Woodall, Hetty Wood, Joel Mullan, Adebusuyi Adeyemi, Alvin Carpio, Felicity Slater, Lorna Russell.|
- Fabian strategy
- Keir Hardie
- Labour Research Department
- List of UK think tanks
- Social democracy
- Fabian Society
- Democratic socialism
- Ethical movement
Young Fabian Press
- Anticipations – Print magazine of the Young Fabians
- Anatomy – Policy project-centric serial