More than 60 members of the Young Fabians recently welcomed speakers from Chatham House, the chinadialgoue journal and the Shadow Foreign Office team for a discussion in Parliament on the evolving nature of China’s foreign policy.
Rod Wye, former head of research for Asia at the FCO and fellow at Chatham House, gave guests a wide overview on the historical character of China’s relations with the West and pointed to how China’s main expectation for the future was a greater sense of recognition from Western countries as a global leader.
Isabel Hilton, a journalist and CEO of China Dialogue, provided insight into how China’s new domestic priority of ensuring environmental protection as part of a modernising economy will feed through into a much greater level of engagement on global issues such as deforestation and climate change.
Kerry McCarthy, Shadow FCO Minister with responsibility for China, provided a critique of the coalition government's overly trade-focused outreach towards China and argued that the way to ensure British influence was to engage with China on all levels, while not shirking from our responsibilities towards upholding our national interests.
On Tuesday 2nd September the Young Fabians hosted a workshop on careers in Europe. The main presentation was given by Jonathan Millins, Senior Policy Officer from the East of England Region. There was advice given on many possible opportunities of working in Europe.
We were also joined by former Young Fabian and academic Michael Weatherburn who is currently engaged in Europe through FEPS on the opportunities for academics to work on projects in Europe.
The event was chaired by the Young Fabians' Secretary, who is also a member of FEPS Young Academics Network, and was followed by a social.
On Friday 29th August the Young Fabians campaigned in Scotland in East Dunbartonshire. The group was hosted by Labour PPC and former Young Fabian Amanjit Jhund.
The group campaigned on the doorstep with five sessions over the weekend focused around Bishopbriggs and Milngavie, and enjoyed a night out in Glasgow on Saturday.
The Social Democrats in Sweden are on the verge of a historic victory against the centre-right Alliance for Sweden coalition, the party has been campaigning hard against austerity and the negative politics of the right.
Last month the Young Fabians invited members to apply to join a campaign delegation to Sweden, travelling during their general election weekend 12-14th September. We received a huge amount of interest in the delegation and want to thank all those who applied. The final delegates have been selected and will be:
- Amrita Rose
- Unsa Chaudri
- Oana Olaru
- Peter Thorpe
- Rachel Ward
They will be joined by International Officer, Joel Mullan and Campaign Officer, Alvin Caprio who will be directing our efforts on the ground. The delegation will be lead by Young Fabian member, Nathaneal Sansam and Treasurer, Martin Edobor.
The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League, the Youth section of the Social Democrats will be hosting us over the course of the weekend. Following the visit there will be a series of debrief events based on Social Democracy in Europe, in which delegates and Young Fabian members will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and thoughts on various aspects of European progress politics.
Chair James Hallwood has been invited to speak at the International Union of Socialist Youth Festival in Malta as a representative of the Young Fabians.
IUSY Festival brings together socialists from all over the world to meet and discuss key issues facing the broad international movement. James will be speaking on panels about the European Union’s Youth Guarantee and Free Movement in Europe.
The Labour Party will have no formal presence at IUSY Festival this year, so James and the Young Fabians will be representing the British Left at this key event.
Recordings of the sessions and tweets from @youngfabians account will give an idea of what is said.
We hope that this first year of our involvement with IUSY will be the start of a stronger relationship.
A call for nominations is now open for members who wish to stand for the Young Fabian Executive 2014/15.
Please send up to 70 words to [email protected] saying a bit about yourself and why you want to stand by 29th August.
The only positions that are guaranteed each year are: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Editor of Anticipations. All other roles are decided by the incoming Executive so bear this in mind in your statement. Members elect Executive Members not the positions they will get.
Ballot papers will go out with the conference edition of the Fabian Review and the new Executive will take over at our AGM on 15 November 2014.
The Health Network left politics behind in Westminster on Friday 1st August and went out and enjoyed some bowling instead, followed by great Indian food. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and an excellent opportunity to meet some friendly faces.
The Fabian Society’s Development Programme provides one year paid appointments, which are designed to help people who are new to politics to gain skills and experience. The programme is streamed by job function to support participants gain understanding and skills in the area of their choice.
Within the Development Programme, we are now looking for an Events Assistant to support our busy events team. Fabian events consistently attract very senior speakers, and we need someone able to work calmly under pressure and to negotiate the complex organisational challenges of arranging an events program at a leading think-tank.
With our audiences often numbering hundreds of people, a genuine and demonstrable interest in events management is vital. In return, we’ll train and support you to deliver smaller projects of your own, and to make sure that at the end of the year long contract, you are qualified and ready to take your next steps in events management.
People from backgrounds that are under-represented in Westminster and at the Fabian Society are particularly encouraged to apply. This includes women, disabled people and people from low-income or minority ethnic backgrounds. Appointments are based on merit alone.
The position in summary
Events and Office Assistant The post-holder will work directly with the Partnerships and Events Manager on all aspects of events delivery, including event briefing, speaker booking, marketing, venue logistics and post-event dissemination. Additionally you will support the Head of Finance and Operations on specified organisation-wide administrative tasks. We are looking for someone who is efficient, calm under pressure, a good multi-tasker, has an eye for detail and is motivated by the practicalities of project delivery. Duties will include:
- Events: Finding and booking venues, researching potential speakers, arranging catering, contacting speakers, assisting at events, liaising with sponsors.
- Office management: up to 20% of the role will consist of office support and inquiry response, including managing office systems and procedures, reception service, ordering supplies and overseeing the office environment.
Duration: Fixed 1 year contract
Salary: £16,100 plus 7% pension contribution
Hours: Mon – Fri, 10am – 6pm
Your application should arrive no later than 9am Mon 11th of August 2014.
26-year old Young Fabian executive member, Alvin Carpio, has completed a six week tour of the United States as part of a prestigious fellowship programme. His trip, which took him to New York, Boston, Washington DC and Chicago, looked to understand how community leaders have campaigned for social change to help the poor, young offenders, the homeless, and the socially excluded in the United States. Carpio met political leaders in the United States Capitol, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and sought to discover what is being done in the United States to combat the ever-growing gap between rich and poor. His ultimate goal is to return to the UK to develop a new set of young leaders that represent marginalised economic and social groups.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is funding Carpio’s work. The trust, founded in 1965, aims to provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad on a project of their choosing to advance themselves through the knowledge and skills they gain. The Trust wants their fellows to return to the UK and put into practice what they have learnt.
Each year the trust rewards over 100 British citizens for a wide range of projects from a total of 1,200 applicants. A Fellow must travel overseas for between four to eight weeks, and past award winners have come from a variety of specialisms, including medicine, conservation, sport, women and youth. Carpio’s interest in leadership in young people is rooted in his upbringing in East London and his association with UpRising, an East London based youth engagement charity – whose patrons include Ed Miliband – and also boasts of East London MP Rushanara Ali as one of its founding partners.
Carpio currently works as a Public Affairs Officer for Catch22, a national social business that helps young people and families in difficult personal circumstances turn their lives around. Carpio has already appeared on CNN commenting on the London riots, and blogs on the Huffington Post. He has also launched a blog where he will wrote about his work in the United States (http://www.theexcluded.wordpress.com).
Commenting, Carpio said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen as one of this year’s Winston Churchill Travel Fellows. Growing up in Newham gave me an insight into the importance of helping talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their potential in life. I am passionate about forming a new movement in the UK that gives people from all social backgrounds the opportunity to reach leadership positions, whether that is in business, politics, or civil society. There is much to learn from American politics and civil society, but they too have a lot to learn from our civic institutions and welfare state.’
‘I also hope my story will encourage other young people to take advantage of fantastic schemes such at The Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship and the UpRising Leadership Programme that have helped me and others so much.'
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.