On Saturday 1st of March, The Young Fabians Film Club 'kicked' off with the screening of La Haine. A French black-and-white drama/suspense film with a passionate look at racial tensions at a Paris housing project.
After local youth Abdel is beaten unconscious by police, a riot ensues on his estate during which a policeman loses his gun. The gun is found by Vinz who threatens he will kill a cop if Abdel dies.
The three friends from different ethnic backgrounds live in the Bluebell housing projects on the outskirts of Paris.This is not the Paris of travel brochures or films like Amelie, but a desolate urban landscape, harsh and grim with housing projects that look as if they could be in any big city in the world. Vinz (Vincent Cassel), is a working class Jew; Hubert (Hubert Kounde), the most intelligent and self-reflective of the three, is an African boxer; and Said (Said Taghmaoui), an Arab from North Africa is younger but just as embittered.
On Tuesday 8th April 2014, the Young Fabians, in partnership with the Young Icebreakers and the LSE SU China Development Society held a panel discussion on ‘UK- Chinese Relations – The UK’s Place in the Asian Century: challenges and opportunities’.
The discussion was led by the chairman of the 48 Group Stephen Perry and the panel included the Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills and former Chief Secretary to the HM Treasury Liam Byrne MP, the newly appointed Minister Counsellor Zhang Jiminig, John Zai, the chairman of the UK-China Student Entrepreneur Association and Tianran Cheng, the president of the LSE China Development Society SU (CDS).
Topics discussed included the growing trading relationship between the UK and China, the appeal of the British higher education system to young Chinese and thoughts on how the partnership between the two countries could be strengthened in future.
This event is part of a wider programme on the UK-China relationship.
Happy April Fools!
At a national executive meeting of the Young Fabians last weekend, it was formally voted upon for the Young Fabians to disaffiliate from the Labour Party.
Proposals from the Labour leadership to prevent this move were listened to with respect, but we as a committee felt that the future of the Young Fabians was best served by engaging with other political parties, not solely Labour. It has been done very successfully by other centre-left groups, so we follow in a fine tradition.
Rumours that the Young Fabians had been ‘fixing’ selections to promote Fabian candidates, categorically played no part in this decision – it is something that had long been considered and we refuse to comment on these baseless accusations.
In keeping with our gradualist tradition, we have simply grown beyond our current relationship – we bear no ill will to the Party but make no apologies for this decision nor for witholding it from our membership until now.
Labour members of the Young Fabians will soon be joined by those of different political traditions. Today we welcomed several Liberal Democrats, some Tories and even UKIP members to stand with us in our fight for a better future. It’s a move that ushers in an exciting time for us all.
From 01/04/2014 the Young Fabians will be considered separate to the Fabian Society and formally decoupled from the Labour Party and our position in Young Labour.
Of course change can be hard to accept, but a truly One Nation vision of British politics incorporates all political strands.
Our flagship project looking at the isms that make up One Nationism will reflect this – with patriotism being headed by a LibDem, feminism and internationalism by UKIP members, and environmentalism and socialism by Tories.
Liberal Democrats have long spoken of a need for plural politics and their contribution to young people over the course of this parliament truly speaks for itself. Nick Clegg and David Cameron have both defined the formative experiences of so many of our members – it will be a delight to work with them.
Socialism is a Broad Church – but why should it just be for socialists? This move by the Young Fabians is bold and perhaps scary for some but it is an essential step forward. Long lambasted as the champagne socialists of the Labour Movement, we are delighted that that very champagne will now be courtesy of our new friends at CCHQ.
UPDATE: 12:00 1st April 2014
If you put together the first letter of every paragraph above you’ll understand the true nature of our announcement to disaffiliate from Labour! The Young Fabians are the youth movement of the Fabian Society, a founding member of the Labour Party and the original Socialist Society. That should tell you all you need to know about our commitment to Labour.
While our members include those of no firm political persuasion and a small number of non-voting affiliates, our relationship with the Labour Party is fundamental to who we are as an organisation… so shame on you if you believed the spoof!*
We don’t just do cracking April Fools Day jokes – we commission member-led research, campaign, hold great socials and events and work hard to be a voice for our members within the Labour Movement and beyond. The march to victory in 2015 will be a hard one so if you haven’t already, please consider joining the Fabian Society and the Labour Party as well.
*If you did fall for it don’t feel too bad.. we caught out quite a few MPs who should’ve known better!
Our Chair, James Hallwood will be speaking at FEPS Renaissance for Europe Conference (3rd-5th April) on the Friday morning discussing the topic of "Youth guarantee: Implementing and complementing" - alongside:
Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, joined the Young Fabians for a wide-ranging discussion on the future foreign policy challenges facing the UK as part of a two-part series of events on Britain’s role in the world.
Speaking at the height of tensions over Crimea the Shadow Foreign Secretary argued that Russian President Putin was acting from a position of weakness rather than one of strength, and said it was crucial that the UK had the groundwork in place to match our rhetoric with action.
He also stated that any future Labour Foreign Office would be much more active in multi-lateral forums than the current FCO has been under Cameron and Hague.
A further event with Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair will be held on June 16th. Further details can be found here. His talk will focus on how we can best promote our humanitarian values abroad, promote British businesses internationally, and remain an influential global player.
Yesterday James Hallwood and Alex Adranghi represented the Young Fabians Executive at a new members reception hosted by the Fabian Society. Packed with new members, staff and members of the various Executives the event included short speeches from shadow cabinet members Sadiq Khan and Rachel Reeves.
James and Alex met with many new Young Fabians and were on hand to explain the different ways to get involved more with the organisation.
Labour's ruling body has backed leader Ed Miliband's plan to change the party's links with unions, do you agree with the "one member, one vote" system for leadership elections?
In our last poll, 97% of supporters were in favour of the plans.
On Wednesday the Young Fabians held the launch event to kick off their exciting campaigns programme for the year. They were joined by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP and Chair of the Fabian Society Jessica Asato, top campaigner Kirsty McNeill and Deputy General Secretary Marcus Roberts. The panel discussion explored how the Young Fabians can build a culture of campaigning and offered a number of practical tips to aspiring and seasoned campaigners.
The panel agreed that the campaigning techniques of the Obama campaign had a profound impact on their approach to campaigning. Jessica Asato explained that campaigning is about making politics real and relevant. However it is also about the personal experience. Campaigning binds people together - you go to places you haven’t been to before and make friends forever.
Kirsty McNeill asked the audience to check out the Progress website Frontline 40 (http://labourmajority.org.uk/where/frontline-40/#.UyIl3Pl_uBI) to gain an understanding Labour’s target seats. Campaigners should understand the strategy behind campaigning and dig into the polling to understand what voters care about.
Marcus Roberts explained that field organising is finally taking its rightful place at the top table of electioneering, having been neglected for too long.
David Lammy highlighted the hard work that was lying ahead of Labour over the next year. But he emphasised that if we do get this right, we won’t be going back to the US to learn about their campaigning but we’ll be talking about our experiences here in the UK.
The panel also recommended a number of publications that campaigners should consult including Drew Weston’s ‘The Political Brain’ and the Yale University website http://gotv.research.yale.edu/, which compiles results from a wide array of voter mobilization field experiments.
Young Fabians' Campaigns Officer Alvin Carpio, who organised the event with the Campaigns Programme Leadership Team, said: "it was fantastic to see so many Young Fabians wanting to campaign and help Labour win. The challenge for us is to build a culture of campaigning in the lead up to the local elections and General Election next year and the launch has got us off to good start." He went on to say, "Our first campaigns session is in Ilford North where we will be supporting Wes Streeting and his team in one of the key battleground seats in the country - with only 10 Saturdays left until the local elections, the hard work begins now."
King’s College School might not seem the most obvious venue for a talk on socialism, but our Chair, James Hallwood, was invited to speak to students about One Nation Labour and what socialism means in the 21st century.
James commented afterwards, “It was encouraging to see so many young people open to, and interested, in what Labour stands for. Regardless of background, Labour has a message that can speak to everyone – truly One Nation”
James will be speaking at a variety of schools across the country to explain who the Young Fabians are and what Labour’s message should be in the run-up to 2015.
If you have a school or group that wants a Young Fabian speaker contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Hallwood travelled to Peterborough local Fabian Society to talk about the important issue of youth engagement with local members.
It follows on from his chapter in How Labour Can Change Britain with the title "Generation Why Labour".
As always, Executive members enjoy meeting our local societies, the backbone of the national Fabian Society, and the discussion had touched on key issues facing young people who are disproportionately suffering due to Coalition policies and successive failures to engage young voters.
A recording of the session can be listened to here.