Fabians launch in Northern Ireland..

Looks like the British Labour Movement is taking baby steps to organise politically here. The Fabian Society, was, according to Google, “founded in 1884 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw and HG Wells as a group promoting non-Marxist evolutionary socialism”. It’s now here in Northern Ireland as an official “Local Society”.Steven Twigg, Director of the Foreign Policy Centre, former MP and Secretary of the Fabian Society, addressed the inaugural meeting at QUB last week. He outlined the history of the Society as a left of centre, membership driven think-tank.

The Fabian Society had been influential throughout its existence, producing regular Policy pamphlets and stimulating debate. Recently the Society had been developing ideas around Life Chances, encouraging a reappraisal of the opportunities that we offer to all our citizens. It was also taking forward the debate on the future of the European Union in the context of greater international instability.

The opportunities afforded by the establishment of a Fabian Local Society in Northern Ireland were welcomed. The Society had always been inclusive. Full membership in Northern Ireland would be open to members of the Labour Party, the SDLP, the Irish Labour Party and to individuals who were not a member of a political party. Others interested in the work of the society, including members of other political parties, can join as Associate members.

The Northern Ireland Branch of the Fabian Society hoped to stimulate debate among socialists and to encourage the development of policy discussions beyond the confines of local sectarian politics.

A Committee was elected to take forward the work of the Society. The Committee were tasked with the development of a branch of the Young Fabians at an early stage.

Further Information :

To facilitate debate, the Fabian Society in its Constitution agrees to submit no resolution of a political character expressing an opinion or calling for action, to any body to which it affiliates.

The objects of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Fabian Society are:-

“The society consists of socialists. It aims at the establishment of a society in which equality of opportunity will be assured and the economic power and privileges of individuals and classes abolished through the collective ownership and democratic control of the economic resources of the community. It seeks to secure these ends by the methods of political democracy. The society, believing in equal citizenship in the fullest sense, is open to persons, irrespective of sex, race or creed, who commit themselves to aim at the implementation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seeks the creation of effective international institutions to uphold and enforce world peace. Its activities shall be the furtherance of socialism and the education of its members and the public on socialist lines, by the holding of meetings, lectures, discussion groups, conferences and the promotion of research and by any other appropriate methods.”

Click {encode=”ni.fabians@ntlworld.com” title=”here”} to contact the Northern Ireland Branch of the Fabian Society.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty