If I had a pound for every time someone said to me “I’ve been meaning to join the Young Fabians but haven’t got round to it”, I’d have enough to buy 1 in 5 of them their membership myself. Yep, that’s right, it’s just £5 to join – a bargain. And now more than ever young people need to get make their voice heard in political circles.
Young voices need to be heard to fight against the terrible deal that the government is inflicting on young people caught between the costs of education rising and there being no jobs – the squeezed youth. And young voices need to be heard at this critical juncture for the Labour Party with a policy review ongoing, and the party structures to be ‘refounded’.
Young Fabian members have had, and will continue to have, opportunity to influence such projects (see our submission to the Refounding Labour consultation and the current YF policy development work).
As I approach the final month and a half of my term as Chair, and move on to standing for the Fabian Society executive committee, it seems a long time ago since I joined the Young Fabians and didn’t actively participate for some time. Eventually I did attend events and somehow got to being as involved as I am now.
I joined because I it seemed silly to recommend others to join an organisation I hadn’t myself. The friend in question was left-minded but didn’t feel comfortable joining Labour. The Young Fabians then seemed the perfect outlet for his left-wing passions and ideas. I still meet members like this today – many go on to join Labour, but many don’t. As a member of the Labour Party myself, I recognise how essential such critical friends are. The Young Fabians is crucial to the wider left movement.
One of the things I am most proud of during my time on the executive and as Chair of the Young Fabians is how much we have become a member-oriented organisation. Central to the work of the volunteers who run the organisation has been a commitment to involving and empowering members. This means new joiners, old members, inactive members and regular event attendees with a range of ways to get involved and an open choice as to whether to simply enjoy reading our pamphlets and magazine, attend events, help organise activity, write for publication, lead projects, or stand for election to the committee. We welcome both those who only have room to do a little, and those keen to do a lot.
I have a couple of years left until I turn 31 and am considered too old. But as I move on from my most active role in the organisation this autumn, I am excited by the new blood and fresh ideas coming into the Young Fabians. If you are not already a member, I’m asking you to join today. If you are a member, you’re invited to take over the organisation and make it what your peers want and need – and please invite your lefty friends to join you.
Today is the last day of our prize draw for new members. You can find out more about the benefits of being a Young Fabian here.
Adrian Prandle is Chair of the Young Fabians.