Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Fabian Society 

We are a Society which is concerned with the improvement of the lot of our fellow beings by acting on Socialist principles. 

What is the Fabian Society? 

Historically the Fabian Society was founded in 1884 by a group of British intellectuals who believed in the gradual peaceful change of society through democratic methods to bring about equality without revolution. Some of the best thinkers of the time were involved, George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Ramsay McDonald and H.G. Wells amongst them. 

Local Fabian Societies like ours were later formed throughout Britain and these are affiliated to the parent body. The Fabians have never constituted themselves as a political party. However, they participated in founding the Labour Representation Committee in 1900, which later became the Labour party, and are affiliated to the party (which gives them a say in the election of the Labour Party leaders). 

In recent years the Fabian Society has influenced socialist thought by the publication of pamphlets, articles in the Fabian Revue and the organisation of conferences on particular topics. Senior figures in the Labour Party often float new ideas through Fabian publications. There is no "left" or "right" bias, New Labour and Old Labour viewpoints are to be found. 


What does the Fabian Society do in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells?

We are a group of people who are interested in political and social issues and enjoy discussing them with other people. You do not have to be a member of the Labour Party to join the Fabians, some of our most active members are outside the Labour Party and we welcome all centre to left party members to our meetings, including the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, who are often to be seen there. 

We meet about once a month and invite a guest speaker to talk about a topical political issue. Afterwards there is always a discussion period (usually very lively) when all present are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and views. Speakers come from a wide diversity of backgrounds, politics, the media, government officials, Protest groups, there is no bar except that the subject of the discussion must be interesting. We respect the views of all participants. 

         To contact us email to richard,uk

Let us hope that One Nation Labour starts to offer a new vision, something for us to be excited about.

We all may have views as to what that should be. Three suggestions:-

1 There is talk about banks learning to be socially useful again. Perhaps we could move towards  business all being socially useful- paying employees fairly and not majoring  on cigarettes or armaments that kill people, but on industries which address the real problems we face to-day-climate change and global population growth.

2 Do we any longer need to play an undistinguished part in the undistinguished aim of ruling the world by force? Why not instead welcome our being part of Europe, and help to move it in a people-friendly direction.  

3 It is perhaps not too late to celebrate one great achievement-the prominence of democratic civil government which celebrates and cherishes our traditions of history culture and religion whilst respecting and giving equal rights to those of different faiths and traditions.(This is IMHO the opposite of  a multiculturalism which seems, ridiculously, to say “all cultures are equal we ourselves have no culture here” .)

Anyway I hasten to send our

                                                WINTER/SPRING PROGRAMME

(meetings Fridays 8pm at 71A ST JOHNS RD TW unless otherwise stated.)


17th Jan at Jim and Margarets house,12 Broadwater down TW. IVANA BARTORELLI on “Labour’s policy on Referendum and Europe” .Ivana is Chair of Fabian’s Woman’s Network , and London labour candidate for the 2014 European elections.

21st Feb. MAURICE GLASMAN on “Forging a coalition within Labour does not mean destroying Labour’s ideals”,, We are lucky to be having Lord Glasman, prominent politician of the “blue labour” wing. He is reliably reported as being an excellent speaker, and welcomes all shades of opinion.

21st March PETER SINNOTT on “The folly of Royal Mail privatisation”. Petar is an experienced union speaker, with knowledge of the mail situation on the continent. There are lessons to be learnt in a situation which is not over yet.

11th April MARTIN CLAY on “Burma: back in the modern world?”. Martin will be able to build on the trip to Burma which he will by then have made.

At present we plan to have our usual picnic and walk in May-details to follow.


Do come and bring your friends.

Best wishes

John Champneys

Hon Sec