MEP Elections Publication Two

The Young Fabians, the under-31 section of the centre left, Labour-affiliated think-tank and membership organisation the Fabian Society, today announced the publication of the second in a series of studies into the 2019 European Parliamentary elections.

Edited by Young Fabian chair Charlotte Norton and with contributions from Young Fabian members, the pamphlet contains chapters on the European economy, public finances, the state of social democracy in Europe, far-right extremism and predictions for the results of the European Parliamentary elections.

Key findings include:

         The EPP are predicted to lose seats though will, most likely, still return as the biggest parliamentary party in 2019, paving the way for Manfred Weber to become the European Commission President.

          Eurosceptic parties are expected to garner somewhere around 250 seats, compared to around 470 for pro-European parties and a further 30 or so seats that are unclear.

          The predicted outcome is for the left as a whole to gain a total of 35% of seats.

          The idea of a European minimum wage, set as a percentage of member-state income, is gaining traction across the left.

          Centre-left parties find their electoral coalitions squeezed by insurgent Greens and Eurosceptic parties strong in rural areas.

          Iberian success stories of Costa and Sanchez show that success can be achieved if the left has bold projects and is unafraid to build coalitions with parties of the radical left.

          Populism is challenging the established narrative that “portrays European integration as a modernisation project”.

          Support for far-right populist movements within Europe has stemmed partly from the exploitation of national and regional imagined communities and the citizens-elite gap.

This is an important study on the eve of the European Parliament elections, as the European electorate heads to the polls in the shadow of a populist wave. Our contributors have begun the vital work of highlighting how the centre-left can rebuild after a decade of difficult election results and how a radical programme can help combat the far-right threat.

In the conclusions of this research, we see the beginnings of a pan-European political sphere as democratic socialists and social democrats – the component elements of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament - once again are at the forefront of the struggle against the likes of the Lega, ÖVP and the Brexit Party.

We see the role of the Young Fabians as part of the pan-European revival and re-invigoration of the left and are keen to contribute the ideas and talents of our members to this ambitious project. We are working with the Fabian Society, the Federation of European Progressive Studies, the Young European Socialists and other organisations to build a network that will, in turn, produce the radical policy that will help the left regain the trust of voters across Europe and once again be the torchbearers of the hopes of ordinary, working people.

I would like to thank everyone for their hard work on this project and look forward to analysing the results with the team in the months to come.”

The entire publication is available here

A Just Transition

The world as we know it is ending. There is a 30 year lag in the effect of the carbon we put into our atmosphere. We’re sitting on a climate extreme time bomb that’s counting down. I wonder if people even care that 40% of species on this Earth have been wiped out by us in the last 50 years.

We are in a climate crisis.

These arguments alone though do not turn peoples opinions and cause the behavioural change needed. We must talk about making the transition to a circular economy fair and how it can bring people out of poverty. Making the transition just.

The people on Waterloo Bridge, in Parliament Square, standing fast at Marble Arch and keeping watch in Oxford Circus, I count them as brave comrades. Extinction Rebellion are doing what’s needed to raise the profile of the emergency we are living in. I praise them for the non-violent action they have taken and I will be arrested with them if that is what it takes for others to take notice. There can be no more standing by.

But there are other problems in our broken system. The ever growing need for families to rely on food banks to quell hunger, more and more people driven to live on the streets with no recourse to a decent life, the ladder being pulled up from those trying to climb to a better existence and an economy that only works for the wealthy few. There needs to be a change.

Creating the change to bring about a circular economy has to be just and work for communities across the UK. We need to save the planet, and the people on it. The people on the breadline are as important as the hipster avo on toast eater, more in fact. We the ‘liberal elite’ have to do more. Change more. The call to action is yes for you to use less plastic, yes to going vegetarian more days a week, yes to public transport, and yes to advocating for those who need it to have more and live better lives.

If we are to win the argument for changing the system to not destroy the planet, we need to change it for the many that suffer at the bottom who go hungry, and make sure there are well paid green jobs to take over from the fossil fuel intensive industry’s. The just transition should raise people out of poverty, whilst reducing the consumption of those who live more comfortably. Not the easiest argument to take to the public, but realistic answers rarely are.

We have a duty, each of us, to do more. The just transition is about making sure children don’t go hungry, and we leave them a liveable planet.

For a happy union

"Constitutional issues rarely pique voters interest, and so parties have rarely had an interest in taking a line on regional devolution other than a vague aspiration"

Spotlight on Sweden

The Young Fabians are observing the EU MEP elections this year. You can find our publications here.

Alongside publications, we will be producing blogs throughout the campaign. Joe Corry Roake writes on recent polling in Sweden and what this means for the upcoming elections.

The Politics of Food

The Young Fabians had an Open day discussing the politics of food on Sunday 3rd February. Thank you to all who attended for the discussion. If you couldn't make it, slides from the introduction section can be found here, prepared by exec member Stella Tsantekidou.

A Question of English Identity

Last week, the Young Fabians Devolution and Local Government Network held an event with John Denham to discuss English Identity. Marian Craig, Chair of the Young Fabians Devolution and Local Government Network summarises the discussions.

Rethinking Economics

On Saturday 10th November the Young Fabians Economy & Finance Network ran a ‘Rethinking Economics Workshop’, hosted by Nadia Islam and Mark Whittaker and with three invited speakers. This was a timely event, coming off the back of an underwhelming autumn budget at a time when, as described by the IPPR, the economy ‘is not working for millions of people and requires fundamental reform’ and with the prospect of a potentially ruinous Brexit looming on the near horizon

Creating a greener, fairer economy.

This article is based on the Young Fabian Economy & Finance Network’s event in Leeds Civic Hall on 25th October 2018.  

The speakers were Mhairi Tordoff (social housing professional and environmental activist), Prof John Barrett (UK Energy Research Centre), Ian Rigarlsford (Ecology Building Society), and Alex Sobel MP (Environmental Audit Committee and leader of SERA’s Parliamentary Network).