Saturday, 1 January 2011

How to kick off the political year

Happy new year!

My final review of the political lessons of 2010 - and the perils of overestimating David Cameron - can be read on the blog. Here's a quick guide to how we're kicking off 2011.

Fabian New Year Conference 2011

Our first major event of 2011 on Saturday 15th January is the Fabian New Year Conference - Next Left: What is the Alternative? on Saturday 15th January in London. Ed Miliband is keynoting the conference - and a programme is online at the Fabian website.

The Young Fabians are hosting a lunchtime 'picnic' on the theme Squeezed Youth: how can Labour reconnect?

Conference tickets are available online at £30 (and £15 concessions) from the Fabian website. Non-members can also join the Society with 6 months membership for just an additional £5 - with a conference ticket plus membership package at just £35 or £15 concessions. Booking is available online - or when the Fabian office reopens on Tuesday.

Thanks to FEPS for partnering with us for the conference as part of their Next Left programme, and watch out for coverage from our media partners The Guardian, the New Statesman and Left Foot Forward. The twitter hashtag will be #fab11.

Netroots UK

Even before that, on Saturday 8th January, the Netroots UK conference takes place at the TUC's Congress House. Here's programme outline. I'm speaking in the opening session. (The event is inspired by and working with the US Netroots Nation events, now five years old).

If you'd like us to mention other external events which you think are relevant to Fabian members here on Next Left, please do mention it in the comments or drop us an email, and we will try to round-up relevant events and activities from time to time here on the blog.

Fabian Review

The new Fabian Review is published on Wednesday 5th January - setting out challenges for the Labour policy review. We'll look at more of it here on Next Left over the week ahead, and it should now be dropping onto members' doormats. Do let us know what you think. We've previewed my essay on how to fund a real pupil premium - read the full piece here - and Mary Riddell's interview with Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson. (Full interview; PDF file).


Future events

On Thursday 20th January 2011 at the Old Vic Theatre in London, the Fabian Society is co-hosting the 2011 John Harvard lecture with Southwark Council on the theme 'A Better Globalisation: How America and Britain can deliver jobs and justice.

We have a high-profile speaker - and so, for security reasons, can't publicly announce who it is!

Advance registration is necessary. The tickets are free - and are now available from the Old Vic box office. (We have a limited number: please quote 'Fabian' when you contact the Old Vic box office; more information).


Britain and Europe: In, Out or Somewhere In Between? on Saturday 19th February at Amnesty International UK.

This one-day conference on Saturday 19th February will involve voices from across the political spectrum as we scrutinise both pro-European and Eurosceptic views of Britain's future relationship with Europe. The event is supported by the European Commission and hosted by Amnesty International. (The Commission grant was won in an open public competition). Our media partners are The Independent newspaper and E!Sharp magazine. More information and tickets will be available shortly from

On Saturday 5th March, we'll be holding an Eastern Region conference in Cambridge, again on the theme 'Next Left - Creating an Alternative. More details will be available shortly. (The event is being scheduled to include an opportunity for attendees to go canvassing in Cambridge afterwards that afternoon!)

And we'll be announcing details of a Fabian one day conference on Saturday 14th May 2011 - "the progressive fightback" - to take the political temperature after the May

More ways to keep in touch

We are really pleased to begin 2011 with more Fabian members than ever before in our 127 year history. If you are not yet a member, why not join us?

You can keep up with activity from the Young Fabians and the Fabian's Womens Network.

There are also 70 local Fabian groups around the UK: please get in touch if you'd like more information about local societies near you, or help and advice to create a new group. You can also keep up-to-date with Fabian activities on the Facebook group and by following @thefabians or me (@nextleft) on twitter.

I always enjoy hearing and responding to your views and comments here on the Next Left blog - so please keep in touch.


michael2brannigan said...

Still promoting 'Right-Wing' Ed, I see. The man who hasn't the loyalty of a Lib-Dem. No sooner had the unions placed him as leader and he was biting their fingers off. Next Left: Is this a neologism? Which means: embarrassed to admit I like the gains of capitalism although I should be ashamed at the cost to others?

james said...

I don't go in much for all this left/right business, Michael. But you will be pleased to know that Sunder writes in the introduction to the latest Fabian pamphlet on Europe that social democrats never wanted to replace capitalism, only tame it...