Feminism is by its very nature the disruption of the status quo; it is truly radical politics that aim to completely transform society. For that reason, feminism is never going to be popular and it is never going to be a vote winner – it is a utopian vision that is ultimately very difficult to sell as a remedy to people's day to day concerns. The question must be asked, that if the Labour Party's strategy is promoting the politics of consensus, will the party be ignoring radical feminist reforms in the name of favourable polling? Whilst we could all do with following Caitlin Moran's advice of getting up on a chair and declaring ourselves strident feminists, there still remains the question about how this attitude can be implemented in popular policy.Read more
Across Europe all political parties are dealing with the rise of far-right and Eurosceptic parties. It is also increasingly difficult to get foreign affairs issues on the agenda of mainstream political parties, unless it is in the form of a battle cry against the European Union or any form of immigration.
On Monday 7th, the Young Fabians hosted and Internationalism Ideas Series event to discuss some of these issues. We heard from the experiences of Pierre Kanuty from the French Parti Socialiste, Samuli Sinisalo from the Finnish SDP and Mattia Guidi from the LUISS Guido Carli School of Political Science in Rome. All speakers elaborated on the difficulty of getting foreign affairs issues on the agenda citing the complexity of many of the issues, the perception of their irrelevance to everyday life and particularly the EU’s ability to elicit negative association and emotion.
Despite the differences in the composition of far-right and Eurosceptic parties across Europe, a number of commonality were striking. Constituency of voters, shifting patterns of voting behaviour, disproportionate amounts of media
coverage, a charismatic leader who is less extreme than much of the party and the use of EU election as a protest vote have all been contributory factors to the rise of UKIP-style parties, particularly in France and Finland.
The panellists also spoke about tactics that have been helping to tackle the rise of these parties – focussing on the politicians and the consequences of their voting records rather than attacking the voters; not compromising and playing games to court voters but focussing on your own positive message; and presenting a vision of change but also of stability.
There was a lot of positive feeling about the ability of centre-left parties to win the argument about what type of society we want to build for the future and our common values of human rights, but a recognition that more work needs to be done to analyse the shape of the emerging right. In the end, this will require us to find a way to serve the constituency of people who are drawn away from mainstream parties by understanding and addressing their needs as socialists in the wake of the crisis.
Patriotism is a tricky subject for Labour. And yet, who within Labour ranks could possibly claim that the Labour movement is anything other than a patriotic expression? We are a patriotic party, with a patriotic history.Read more
Throughout 2014 the Young Fabians are running a series of commissions to explore the major ideological questions facing One Nation Labour now and in the future.Read more
What is “environmental justice”? The inaugural meeting of the Young Fabians Ideas Series on Environmentalism tackled this question head on, examining a wide range of issues and topics: from energy prices to attitudes towards recycling. However, it was the issue of equality that formed the focus of the discussion, as set out by our keynote speaker, Melanie Smallman, co-chair of the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA), Labour’s environment campaign.Read more
YF Internationalism Launch Event
Over the past few years, international issues have taken a backseat to more pressing domestic issues. Even despite a strong tradition within the Party, the idea of internationalism as a key pillar of “One Nation Labour” is often met with mystified doubt.
This is why the Ideas Series project on Internationalism has the potential to be one of the more interesting explorations of the ideas and principles that underpin a Labour approach to governing in 2015. The launch of the project on April 30 aimed to explore some of the challenging issues that comprise internationalism and involve members in setting the direction of the project. Taking in a wide range of topics and perspectives, the event produced an impressive and lively debate amongst members.Read more
With fewer than 600 days to go until the next general election, now is the time to flesh out our vision for 2015. This is the last chance to really impact the choices of the next Labour government, and we believe that it is important that Young Fabians make their voices heard.
With this in mind, our research project for 2014 is an ideas series on One Nationism – and we’d like you to get involved.
The project will explore Young Fabian perspectives on the 'isms' that are integral to One Nation Labour. Members can apply to become one of five project chairs, looking at one of the following:
Project chairs will lead and coordinate the work of their group, carrying out a variety of research activities to inform the group's thinking. The whole ideas series will feature as a series of chapters in a Young Fabian pamphlet.
We hope lots of members will come forward to take part in the ideas series. It’s a fantastic opportunity to play an active part in the Young Fabians, work with some of Labour’s top thinkers and get your voice heard.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Research Officer, Felicity Slater