The general election in May proved to be a watershed moment for the Labour party, the surge in Scotland left Labour with a single seat and we lost many Tory facing marginals. One of the biggest issues arising from the election was the extent to which traditional Labour voters turned to UKIP.
UKIP gained around four million votes across the country (3,881,129 according to the BBC figures), and came second in many safe Labour seats. Labour has a purple problem.
Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford argued in their book Revolt on the Right, that UKIP pose an existential threat to Labour, it is clear Labour must have a response. The Young Fabians will be investigating why so many people voted UKIP in the general election and how best to respond.
A group of Young Fabian members led by Rayhan Haque and supported by Martin Edobor Young Fabian, Vice-Chair will be spearheading the investigation. They will be hosting a public discussion and member-led workshop in Manchester and Kent during august in the run-up to Labour Party conference.
This project is open and the direction shaped by members, if you want to get involved in the investigation or want to find out more information please contact Martin at [email protected].
Last week the Young Fabians International Network sent a delegation to Brussels led by the networks operations officer Rebecca Carpenter. The trip centred around the Call to Europe Conference of the Foundation for Progressive Studies, also visited European institutions, and enjoyed the culture offering of the multicultural city.
The delegation met with many leaders across Europe including, North West MEP Azfal Khan, and the EUs High Representative Federica Mogherini, Icelandic Social Democrat Alliance leader Arni Pall Arnasson and former Maltese Foreign Minister Alex Trigona.
Three Young Fabian members participated in the recent seminar of the Foundation of European Progressive Studies Young Academics Network on Friday 26th June. The network formed in 2009 brings 50 young academics across Europe who form working groups to produce published work. Young Fabians Dee Goddard (Gender) and Rich Penny (Labour Markets) are participating in the current cycle of the programme.
The network was joined by MEPs Prof. Marju Lauristin, Brando Benefei and Victor Negrescu.
On Tuesday June 23, the Young Fabians Chair represented Fabian Society at the General Meeting of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies held in Brussels. The meeting, consisting of representatives of each organisation belonging to FEPS conducted general business of the group as well as confirming new members. The UK organisations, the Fabian Society, IPPR and Policy Network were joined by Mutuo, a thinktank aligned with the Co-operative Party.
The Young Fabians International Network is leading a delegation to the annual conference of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Brussels. The delegation led by Rebecca Carpenter will represent the Young Fabians at the Call to Europe V conference, a two day conference on European integration in particular around Islam. The delegation will visit European institutions, meet leaders from across Europe as well as embrace the cultural offerings of Brussels. The visit will last between the 23rd and 27th June.
In addition, the FEPS conference will gather members of the Young Academics Network that include members of the Fabian Society and Young Fabians, where they will be debating and analysis the research produced during year-long research projects. YAN members present include the Young Fabians' Chair.
On June 18th the Young Fabians hosted a roundtable discussion on the renewal of the Labour party and the left following the General Election. The roundtable included veteran Labour MP Diane Abbott, Wes Streeting of the 2015 cohort, former PPC Sarah Sackman and Vice-Chair Ade Adeyemi. The event was devised and chaired by Jun bo Chan of the Young Fabians Education Network.
The Young Fabians hosted a lunchtime fringe event titled 'What does a Conservative victory mean for Young Britain', at the Fabian Society Summer conference on the 6th of June.
The event examined what a majority conservative government may mean for young people. Speakers included Angus Hanton (co-founder, Intergenerational Foundation), Binita Mehta (Conservative group leader, Watford council) and Suzy Stride(former parliamentary candidate, Harlow). The event was chaired by our Vice-Chair Martin Edobor. The discussion was very lively with members adding to the debate, with a range of questions from the floor.
Look out for upcoming events and projects in our weekly newsletter and website. If you want to find out more information about the Young Fabians or have an idea for an event or project, please contact [email protected].
To achieve this, the Young Fabians are producing a pamphlet which seeks to harness the ideas and views of the Young Fabians membership through a series of activities and put forward ideas about where the Labour Party must go in the lead up to the 2020 General Election and beyond. This series of activities will include:
- An online survey - available here https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2TK9HQ3
- An interactive listening event in late-July
- The production of a Young Fabians Pamphlet on 'The Future of the Labour Party'
- A launch at Conference with a further opportunity to share your views
- What must the Labour Party do to win the General Election in 2020?
- What type of leader does Labour need to win the General Election in 2020?
- What must activists and organisers do to win the General Election in 2020?
- Any other thoughts
This year the Young Fabians is organising delegation of members to Beijing for a week-long programme exploring common challenges facing the UK and China. The delegation will be hosted under the auspices of the Young Fabians International Network and is open to all members.
On Wednesday 20th May, the YF's hosted an introductory session with all the information about the objectives, itinerary and logistics of the trip. Owen Tudor from the TUC also provided some background information on the historic relationship between the Fabians and China and some insights into his trip with the Young Fabians in the 80s.
If you weren't able to attend the intro session, you can still attend the delegation! An information document is available to download here and deadline for confirming your attendance on the delegation is Sunday 28th June 2015.
The delegation will take place 12th-16th October 2015.
Please contact Jessica Toale for any more information [email protected]
On Thursday 26 March, the Young Fabians Finance Network marked its five year anniversary with an anatomy session on social finance.
In the network's first event of 2015, Shadow Infrastructure Minister Lord Adonis joined Big Society Capital's Aine Kelly and Will Martindale - Head of UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, with each speaking on different aspects of social investment. Martindale spoke on ways to embed more sustainability into the financial sector, Kelly spoke on Big Society Capital's role in funding social projects and Adonis reflected on how businesses have successfully partnered with the public and third sectors to deliver social value.
The group then broke into three anatomy sessions, with each speaker debating their topic area with a section of the audience. The event was hosted by law firm Simmons and Simmons and was the first in a series of discussions to look at a range of contemporary political topics and the role that finance can play.
Commenting on the event, Labour Peer Lord Adonis said:
"I welcome this new series of policy discussions on the role of finance in society. The private sector has an important role to play in supporting social initiatives and it is commendable that members of the Young Fabians Finance Network are actively engaging in these debates."
Joshua Price, Chair of the Young Fabians Finance Network said:
"Social investment can play an enormous role in creating a more sustainable, diverse and vibrant economy and a fairer society. I’m delighted that the Young Fabians are leading the way by giving under 31s a voice in this debate and I encourage any socially-minded young person with an interest in finance to join our network.”