Back to All Events

Fabians Reading Group: "A Party With Socialists In It: A History of the Labour Left"

  • The Royal Inn on the Park 111 Lauriston Road (map)

In October, we'll be discussing Simon Hannah's sweeping history of the "Labour left" - that loose federation of groups who, since the Party's founding, have sought to put a more radical stamp on its politics.

From the publisher:

"For over a hundred years, the British Labour Party has been a bastion for working class organisation and struggle. However, has it ever truly been on the side of the workers? Where do its interests really lie? And can we rely on it to provide a barrier against right-wing forces? By looking into its history, this book shines a light on the internal dynamics of the 'party with socialists in it'.

From its origins in the late nineteenth century, the Labour Party was uncomfortably divided between a metropolitan liberal and a working class milieu, which characterises the party to this very day. This history guides us through the Bevanite movement and the celebrated government of Clement Attlee, to the emergence of a New Left that was highly sceptical of the Labour party during the Wilson era. It explores the move towards Blairism and the disheartening story of the decline of the Labour Left after their historic defeat in the 1980s.

With the emergence of socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party's fate rests in the balance. Will they reconcile their internal divisions or split into obscurity?"

In this meetup, we'll talk about the role of the Fabians in the struggles between different tendencies within Labour, the significance of these struggles in general, and what their result might be going forward.

The book is available from the publisher, Pluto Books, from Amazon, at, or wherever else you get your readables.

See you there!