A growing number of commentators have argued that the coming century will be defined as much by decisions made in Beijing as the last century was by decisions made in Washington DC. The strength and nature of the British-Chinese relationship will have wide-ranging implications. Despite this, there is generally a low level of understanding of Chinese culture, politics and society amongst young people, and indeed Britons more generally, even among those who are politically engaged.
In 2014, as China's new leadership begins to outline its vision for the country's future, the Young Fabians will embark on a year-long programme designed to develop our members knowledge and understanding of China, and the political, economic, social and cultural trends that are shaping it. We will look specifically at the bilateral relationship between the UK and China and consider how it might be strengthened in the future.
The China Programme is part of the International Network.
As part of the Young Fabian ideas series exploring the ideas that underpin One Nationism, the project on socialism and capitalism will explore fundamental questions relating to the political economy of the left and the fair distribution of goods and opportunities within the economy.
At the heart of this project will be the question of the left’s vision for social and economic transformation in an era when public confidence in the capacity of politicians and political movements to achieve far reaching change appears to be at a low ebb.
We want to hear from Young Fabian members about the key issues you think we should be discussing. Should our focus be on the revival of nationalisation as a political model for public utilities like the railways, or should the left be focussed on a ‘consumer politics’ to achieve our goal of a fairer, more equal society? Does ‘pre-distribution’ offer salvation for the left in an era of austerity, or should our focus be on protecting and enhancing the safety net provided by the welfare state?
We want your views! Members of the project will be given the opportunity to present their ideas on these questions and many more. We will aim to give participants the support and opportunity to lead the exploration of the issues which they feel are important, with the opportunity to write for the commission and to participate in discussions with other members.
If you are interested in becoming involved, please register your interest here. Please also check out our Facebook group.
Chair: Callum Totten
Vice-chair: John Macartney
Patriotism is a touchy subject for Labour. Its very concept, usually in the form of a jingoistic nationalism, has long been the reserve of our opponents on the right. Too often, the Conservatives, and other more extreme groups, have been able to wrap themselves in the Union flag and so tie it in to their appeal and (damaging) message. Meanwhile Labour – with pride in our national flag/s muddied by its association with the extreme right – have been unable, or unwilling, to do likewise.
This is both worrying and frustrating, and we know we are not alone within the Young Fabians or the wider Labour Party. It is possible to be a Labour member and a patriot – we must find a way to disassociate patriotism from the negativity and exclusivity of nationalism.
Much good work has been done with the creation of 'One Nation Labour' under Ed Miliband. However, this does not go far enough in offering a definition of patriotism that can offer an alternative to the right.
And so, this project will attempt to deal with the ambivalent nature of patriotism and make it something coherent: defining what could be termed an “inclusive patriotism” for One Nation Labour.
As such, the project will take in to account and include in its research the UK's national divisions; the importance of local or regional outlook; the nature of modern Britain; and the spectrum of left-wing political thinking.
If you are interested in helping us with this project, please sign-up.
Chair: Jack Eddy
Vice-chair: James O’Connell-Lauder
There has always been a strong tradition of internationalism within the Labour Party. This stems, at its heart, from a belief that we achieve more together than alone and that collectivism, solidarity and the struggle for social justice have always extended beyond our borders.
There are no shortage of foreign policy and international issues affecting the UK – from the crises in Syria and Ukraine, EU reform, our military drawdown in Afghanistan, trade cooperation to deliberation of the future of global development policy at the UN - however, in these times of austerity it is unsurprising that policy development on foreign affairs issues and Britain’s place in the world has suffered in the face of more pressing domestic issues.
In an increasingly complex and interdependent world, the linkages between the domestic and the international are stronger than ever. Many of the things that Britons say they care about are affected by influences beyond our borders – our economy, jobs, climate, energy bills, immigration, health etc.
The Young Fabians One Nation Ideas Series project on internationalism will explore how we can create a strong, coherent narrative on Britain’s place in the world that is relevant to the doorstep and look to reignite a passion for internationalism within the Labour Party. The project has scope to explore:
What does internationalism mean within a One Nation Labour Party? How can it reflect the modern world, our values and our history?
What issues define and characterise 21st century international political landscape and how does affect Britain?
What does a distinctly Labour approach to foreign policy and internationalism look like? On which issues can we distinguish ourselves and what challenges will arise?
How do we make internationalism relevant to voters again? How do we create greater consistency between our domestic and international agendas?
Chair: Jessica Toale
Vice-chair: Isaac Turner
Mainstream policy prescriptions responding the concerns of environmentalism often focus on the use of resources – from efficient use of household’s utilities and recycling to cutting emissions to limit the impact of global warming. Such initiatives however rely upon a narrow interpretation of environmentalism in relation to policy. Just as with other “isms”, such as feminism, racism, capitalism or socialism, a focus on the interaction between individuals, society and the environment requires a much broader reconceptualisation of key policy concerns. Conceptual frameworks around social justice, citizenship and needs of policies around social protection and public health – all need to be rethought in relation to contemporary environmental challenges.
This project seeks to explore how we can start this rethinking in relation to Labour’s articulation of One Nation. Here, a focus on the local has become paramount: sharing power and responsibility; involving communities in rebuilding local economies and democratic participation. These are at the core of the future direction of thinking on the left. From the position of environmentalism this association with the local is not alien; in fact it is the core of many green theories. The challenge of this project is to explore a range of community-based initiatives which fit into this wider environmental ideology and draw out lessons for both the Fabians and One Nation Labour. We hope you will get involved and share your ideas.
Chair: Lee Gregory
Vice-chair: Thomas Maisey
Are quotas just another form of discrimination? Can cultural differences be reconciled with feminist principles? Is it censorship to take action against violent pornography sites?
In the course of the One Nation Feminism project we will seek to define the key principles that should guide a future Labour government as it incorporates One Nation Feminism into all areas of policy-making, not just issues specifically related to gender equality.
The project will explore a wide range of feminist issues that divide opinion on the left. Some examples, which will adjust and evolve according to members’ interests and priorities, are below:
1. Media and culture
Does our culture of porn, sexualised music videos and advertising breed violence and unhealthy self-image affecting girls and women? If so, does the state have a role to play in regulating this environment, or would that amount to censorship and even ‘slut-shaming’?
Contemporary Britain is home to many cultures, some of them critical of feminist principles. How should we approach those in our society who do not respect women's rights? How should we approach women’s rights in the developing world? How can we incorporate the voices of women from all backgrounds in debates on feminism, not just those who occupy the positions of most power?
3. Women’s participation in business, politics and public life
How can we ensure equal pay for women in all sectors and at all levels? Why is it still so hard for women to gain respect and influence? What does it take to produce a female political leader? Do quotas violate the principles of meritocracy and fairness? Could One Nation Labour make a case for quotas in Parliament and the boardroom?
We want this to be a dynamic and interactive project, involving speakers, panel debates, research activities, focus groups, local events, networking and written responses. There will be opportunities for members to develop their skills by taking ownership of a variety of areas of the project.
We hope to hear from members of all ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, religions, genders and sexualities.
Chair: Heather Vernon
Vice Chairs: Rhea Wolfson and Paulina Jakubec
Never been campaigning before and want to get a taste of what it's all about? Or are you a veteran campaigner who wants to read about in-depth campaigning strategy as well as offer tips for good resources to share with fellow Young Fabians? Make sure to check out this resource page. We're looking to crowdsource as many useful resources related to campaigning right here to help us in our efforts to build a culture of campaigning across our membership and beyond in the lead up to the local and European Parliament elections in May 2014, and in the lead up to the General Election in 2015.
The Political Brain by Drew Westen
The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe
Why not take a few minutes to watch this canvassing training video from 1997?
The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe
Check out the Yale University website http://gotv.research.yale.edu/ which compiles results from a wide array of voter mobilisation field experiments
See the Progress website Frontline 40 http://labourmajority.org.uk/where/frontline-40/#.UyIl3Pl_uBI to gain an understanding Labour’s target seats
Keep up-to-date with the Labour Party’s campaign by signing up to the mailing list.
For those interested in online campaigning, you can take part in Labour’s current campaigns here.
As a membership-driven organisation our greatest asset is you. Our Members contribute their own time and ideas that together forge a programme that we can enjoy and learn from.
The Executive Committee is always welcoming to those that want to contribute to the organisation. If you would like to get involved with the organisation please do keep your preferences on this webpage up to date.Become a volunteer