Founders of the Fabian Society are depicted in the famous stained-glass Fabian Window designed by George Bernard Shaw.
Wolves among Sheeple
This is a descriptive list of known members of the Fabian Society. When examining profiles we must consider projection being steered through contradictory participants by collectivised Fabian purpose.
The Fabian Society originated in Britain as a socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism in Great Britain via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow. The Fabian Society derives its name from the Roman general Quintus Fabius, known as Cunctator from his strategy of delaying his attacks on the invading Carthaginians until the right moment.
The logo of the Fabian Society, a tortoise, represented the group’s predilection for a slow, imperceptible transition to socialism. Hence their motto: "When I strike, I strike hard". The original coat of arms, a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, represented its preferred methodology for achieving its goal.
In 1900 the Fabian Society joined with the trade unions to found the Labour party and has remained affiliated with it ever since. The society has pursued its role as the new Labour government's "critical friend", seeking to ask challenging questions and to stimulate public debate. In 1923, over twenty Labor Fabians were elected to parliament, with five Fabians in Ramsay MacDonald’s cabinet.
The future prime minister and Fabian, Clement Attlee received his first ministerial post at this time. By 1945 many of the pioneering reforms of the Labor government had been first developed in Fabian essays or pamphlets. Since the 1997 general election, there have been around 200 Fabian MPs in the Commons, amongst whom number nearly the entire cabinet.
This list is far from complete, Fabians number across the globe in their thousands. Fabian Societies subversive turncoat influences exist solely to co-opt representative democratic commonwealth regimes into unsustainable aspects of Socialism, goofed unrecognisable as a series of economic blunders propped up as an LSE house of cards. As you will see by viewing the profiles of the more infamous members revealed in the list below; they seek to manipulate and subvert every cohesive facet of today's dwindling society, manifesting and manipulating disparities to maintain spectral dominance; most notably abusing altercate religious beliefs through theosophical vectors subordinate to Co-freemasonry. Orwell's 1984 was birthed to enable a visionary Fabian Utopia.
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Le Droit Humain
The International Order of Freemasonry Le Droit Humain is a global Masonic Order, membership of which is available to men and women on equal terms, regardless of nationality, religion or ethnicity. The Order is founded on teachings and traditions of Freemasonry, using Masonic ritual and symbolism as its tools in the "search for truth".
In contrast with other Masonic organisations which operate in national or state jurisdiction only, Le Droit Humain is a global fraternity with many Federations and Jurisdictions worldwide, each of which work the Scottish Rite from the 1st to the 33rd degree. The Order is administered by the Supreme Council, which has its headquarters in Paris.
The Order of Universal Co-Freemasonry in Great Britain and the British Dependencies was founded by Annie Besant and officers of the Supreme Council of the French Maçonnerie Mixte (known today as The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women, Le Droit Humain) on September 26, 1902, with the consecration of Lodge Human Duty No. 6 in London.
Maurice Druon (Son of Russian-Jewish immigrant Lazare Kessel) of White Swan Lodge No. 1348 (postal address of Co-freemasonry) is the author of The Accursed Kings or Les Poisons de la couronne (The Poisoned Crown), a novel which depicts the death of the last Grand Master of the Knight Templars, and how King Philip the Fair was cursed by the Grand Master Jacques de Moley.
Le Droit Humain is in mutual amity with the following Orders (meaning recognition is reciprocal and members can intervisit):
Grand Loge Féminine de France
Grand Orient de France
Grand Orient of Belgium
Le Droit Humain recognises the following Masonic Orders (but is not reciprocally recognised by them as a regular Masonic Order):
United Grand Lodge of England
The 51 "mainstream" Grand Lodges in the United States (one for each State plus the District of Columbia)
Prince Hall Masons
Le Droit Humain has lodges in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia (Slovak Republic), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, United States of America, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon. Syria, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Daylesford, Adelaide, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The British Federation of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain was the first Federation to be established outside France, thus making the Order truly International. On 26 September 1902 Lodge Human Duty No. 6 was consecrated by the Grand Master, The V. Ills. S. Marie Martin 33°, assisted by Officers of the Supreme Council, including one of the Co-Founders of the Order, Georges Martin 33°. The first Master of the Lodge was Annie Besant, who would become the first Grand Commander of the British Federation.
Through creation of a "Dharma Ritual" Le Droit Humain attempted to restore esoteric and mystical aspects that Theosophically-minded authors involved with Le Droit Humain felt were the heart of Freemasonry, so that it became foremostly a spiritual organisation; Co-Freemasonry of this Order was therefore often called "Occult Freemasonry". Severn prominent members of the Theosophical Society joined Co-Freemasonry, including Annie Besant, George Arundale, Charles W. Leadbeater and C. Jinarajadasa. Henceforth, wherever they took Theosophy, they also introduced Co-Freemasonry.
Since its creation, the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women LE DROIT HUMAIN has experienced continuous expansion, with the exception of the years of the two World Wars. To date, it is present in more than sixty countries on five continents and has nearly 32,000 members. The Order claims to bestrow three characteristics: it is a mixed Masonic Order where men and women work together in perfect equality and harmony; it is the only international Masonic Order; it’s an initiatory Order that works from the 1st to the 33rd degree.
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher and writer, best known for The Prince (Il Principe), written in 1513. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is of high importance to historians and scholars.
Machiavelli's name came to evoke unscrupulous acts of the sort he advised most famously in The Prince. Machiavelli considered political battles, not through a lens of morality, but as though they are a board game with established rules. His experience showed him that politics have always been played with deception, treachery and crime. He also notably said that a ruler who is establishing a kingdom or a republic, and is criticized for his deeds, including violence, should be excused when the intention and the result is beneficial.
Machiavelli’s Prince was much read as a manuscript long before it was published in 1532 and the reaction was mixed. Some considered it a straightforward description of "the evil means used by bad rulers; others read in it evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power." The term Machiavellian often connotes political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. Even though Machiavelli has become most famous for his work on principalities, scholars also give attention to the exhortations in his other works of political philosophy. While much less well known than The Prince, the Discourses on Livy (composed c. 1517) is often said to have paved the way of modern republicanism.
The Rainbow Circle was a political group consisting of Liberals, Fabians and socialists who first began to meet in 1893 in London to consider if it was possible to resolve the relationship between the various progressive forces they represented to advance the cause of political, industrial and social reform in a consistent and coherent programme. In 1894, they were meeting regularly at the Rainbow Tavern in Fleet Street from which the group took its name. However, in 1896, it moved its gatherings to a member's house in Bloomsbury Square but retained the name Rainbow Circle.
According to one source, the group continued to meet until 1931. but the archives at the British Library of Political and Economic Science indicate there are papers going as late as 1966. The circle's heydey however was the early years, before the formation of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and that organisation's journey to become the Labour Party. Amongst the leading figures in the group were Charles Trevelyan, Herbert Samuel, J. A. Hobson and Ramsay MacDonald.
The Cambridge Apostles (also known as Conversazione Society) is an intellectual society at the University of Cambridge founded in 1820 by George Tomlinson, a Cambridge student who went on to become the first Bishop of Gibraltar. The origin of the Apostles' nickname dates from the number, twelve, of their founders. Membership consists largely of undergraduates, though there have been graduate student members, and members who already hold university and college posts. The society traditionally drew most of its members from Christ's, St John's, Jesus, Trinity and King's Colleges.
The society is essentially a discussion group. Meetings are held once a week, traditionally on Saturday evenings, during which one member gives a prepared talk on a topic, which is later thrown open for discussion. The usual procedure was for members to meet at the rooms of those whose turn it was to present the topic. The host would provide refreshments consisting of coffee and sardines on toast, called "whales". Women first gained acceptance into the society in the 1970s.
The Apostles retain a leather diary of their membership ("the book") stretching back to its founder, which includes handwritten notes about the topics on which each member has spoken. It is included in the so-called "Ark", which is a cedar chest containing collection of papers with some handwritten notes from the group's early days, about the topics members have spoken on, and the results of the division in which those present voted on the debate.
The members referred to as the "Apostles" are the active, usually undergraduate members; former members are called "angels". Undergraduates apply to become angels after graduating or being awarded a fellowship. Every few years, amid great secrecy, all the angels are invited to an Apostles' dinner at a Cambridge college. There used to be an annual dinner, usually held in London.
Undergraduates being considered for membership are called "embryos" and are invited to "embryo parties", where members judge whether the student should be invited to join. The "embryos" attend these parties without knowing they are being considered for membership. Becoming an Apostle involves taking an oath of secrecy and listening to the reading of a curse, originally written by Apostle Fenton John Anthony Hort, the theologian, in or around 1851.
Former members have spoken of the lifelong bond they feel toward one another. Henry Sidgwick, the philosopher, wrote of the Apostles in his memoirs that "the tie of attachment to this society is much the strongest corporate bond which I have known in my life."
Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore joined as students, as did John Maynard Keynes, who invited Ludwig Wittgenstein to join. However, Wittgenstein did not enjoy it and attended infrequently. Russell had been worried that Wittgenstein would not appreciate the group's unseriousness and style of humour. He was admitted in 1912 but resigned almost immediately because he could not tolerate the level of the discussion on the Hearth Rug; they took him back though in the 1920s when he returned to Cambridge.
Mark Abrams was born Max Alexander Abramowitz in Edmonton, North London in 1906 to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Lithuania and Latvia to the East End of London in the 1890s.
Between 1931 and 1933 Abrams was a research fellow at the progressive Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. In 1933, he joined the research department of the London Press Exchange, one of Britain's leading advertising agencies.
Here Abrams began developing his pioneering work in social investigation, market research, and opinion polling by conducting large-scale statistical surveys into consumer behaviour.
His national newspaper readership surveys, which included over 20,000 participants between 1934 and 1938, were landmarks in survey research and were credited with establishing the widespread use of the ABC1 system of social classification in Britain
During World War Two Abrams was employed first in the BBC Overseas Research Department, then at the Psychological Warfare Board, where he carried out government surveys into working-class diets under rationing and the impact of bombing on civilian morale, and also commissioned covert psychological analysis into the mind of Adolf Hitler.
His studies of food consumption during the war contributed to the establishment of the National Food Survey in 1940. Abrams's contacts with other social scientists working abroad during this period led to his work retrieving refugees from Nazi Europe (in 1939 helping Sigmund Freud make his final move to England).
Abrams returned to the London Press Exchange in 1946 to direct its research department as an independent subsidiary consultancy, Research Services Ltd. By the early 1960s the company employed over ninety members of staff and produced surveys for 300 clients a year, including academic as well as commercial, political, and public sector organizations.
Two of his most influential market research reports coined the phrase 'teenage consumer', drawing attention to the new significance of a rapidly expanding youth market for products and advertising. Abrams was one of the founding members of the Market Research Society and an advisor of the Consumers' Association. Research Services Ltd. (later known as RSL) was one of the founder companies of Ipsos MORI.
From the mid-1950s Abrams became closely connected with the Labour Party and carried out many of their private opinion polls, first with the modernizers in the party aligned with Hugh Gaitskell and then Harold Wilson, for whom he worked on the development of Labour's publicity campaign for the 1964 general election.
Abrams left his chairmanship of Research Services Limited in 1970 to become Director of the Survey Research Unit at the Social Science Research Council, under Michael Young. Between 1971 and 1975 he worked on the 'Quality of Life in Britain' surveys, which included the innovative use of 'subjective social indicators' to track perceptions of social change.
Michel Aflaq was a Syrian philosopher, sociologist and Arab nationalist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of Ba'athism and its political movement; he is considered by several Ba'athists to be the principal founder of Ba'athist thought.
He published various books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Battle for One Destiny (1958) and The Struggle Against Distorting the Movement of Arab Revolution (1975). Aflaq founded an Arab Student Union at the Sorbonne, discovered the writings of Karl Marx and became active in communist politic.
Aflaq being critical of the government of Léon Blum, supported by the French Communist Party and so viewed the communist movement as a tool of the Soviet Union. He was impressed by the organization and ideology of Antun Saadeh's Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
What Aflaq saw in Islam was a revolutionary movement. In contrast to other nationalities, the Arab awakening and expansion was attributed to a religious message. Because of this, Aflaq believed that the Arab's spirituality was directly linked to Islam; therefore, one could never take Islam out of the equation of what is essentially, and essentially is not, Arab. Arab's nationalism, just as Islam had been during the lifetime of Muhammad, was a spiritual revolutionary movement, leading the Arabs towards a new renaissance: Arab nationalism was the second revolution to appear in the Arab world.
At the age of 15, while working as a messenger for the local examinations board, he met the philosopher T. H. Green. Green encouraged him to enter the University of Oxford. In 1884, he was admitted to Balliol College, graduating with a third in classical moderations in 1886 and literae humaniores in 1888. He subsequently began studies for the Congregational ministry at Mansfield House, Oxford. From 1892 to 1901, he was a member of the West Ham Borough Council, serving as deputy mayor in 1898. He was a supporter, but not a member, of the Independent Labour Party group that controlled the council.
Following his resignation from the Mansfield House Settlement, Alden remained involved in radical politics. In 1902, he became secretary of the National Unemployed Committee, and in 1903 joined The Rainbow Circle, a progressive discussion group of Liberals and Socialists. In the following year, he was among a group of Circle members who helped form the British Institute of Social Service. In addition to being a member of the Liberal Party, Alden was a member of both the Fabian Society.
Alden became disillusioned with the Labour Party when the First Labour Government led by Ramsay MacDonald had ended in failure. He instead returned to the Liberals in 1927, attracted by their policies on relieving unemployment. He did not re-enter active politics, devoting himself instead to charitable work. He was chairman of the Save the Children Fund, administered a number of educational trusts for the underprivileged and worked with groups for the relief of refugees. Alden died during the Second World War when a German V-1 flying bomb exploded in Tottenham Court Road on the morning of the 30 June 1944. The missile came down at the junction of Howland Street and Tottenham Court Road and caused numerous casualties.
Shortly after coming up from Cambridge with a third-class degree, he was made Secretary and then General Manager of the Daily Citizen between 1911 and 1915. He was Chairman of the No-Conscription Fellowship in the First World War, and was imprisoned as a conscientious objector three times.
After the war he was Treasurer and Chairman of the Independent Labour Party between 1922 and 1926, Chairman of the New Leader between 1922 and 1926 and director of the Daily Herald between 1925 and 1930.
He was raised to the peerage as Baron Allen of Hurtwood, of Hurtwood in the County of Surrey, on 18 January 1932, to boost Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald's National Labour representation in the House of Lords. In 1934, he co-founded the Next Five Years Group seeking a progressive centre-left re-alignment in British politics.
Robert Wherry Anderson
Anderson was a political journalist and more than a decade, he wrote the "Gracchus" column in Reynolds Newspaper. He left the paper in 1914, when Lord Dalziel bought a controlling interest, and worked as a motoring journalist for a few years, after which he began writing on behalf of David Lloyd George. He joined the Fabian Society in 1888, and served on its executive committee for several years. Following World War I, he remained a prominent supporter of Lloyd George and the Liberal Party.
Appelbe was born in Johannesburg to a British family, his father being a medical missionary. He was educated at Kingswood School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was the Squire Law Scholar.
Appelbe settled at Toynbee Hall, and formed his own firm of solicitors. He also served on the council of the universities settlements, and on the executive of the Fabian Society.
In 1929, Appelbe married fellow solicitor Carrie Morrison. At the 1935 United Kingdom general election, he stood unsuccessfully for the Labour Party in Harwich. In 1958, he was a founding trustee of the Albany Trust.
Born in Liverpool as Dorothy Holroyd, she studied for a year at the University of Liverpool, then at Girton College, Cambridge. After completing her studies, she became an inspector for a trades board. Immediately after World War I, she travelled to Eastern Europe to undertake relief work for children there.
Archibald devoted her spare time to the London North Western Child Guidance Clinic; this led her to an interest in ophthalmology, and she worked with Ida Mann on a long-term study of possible links between psychological and ophthalmological problems in children. As part of the research, Archibald spent two years at Harvard University, and when it was completed, the University of Oxford awarded her a BSc degree in recognition of her work.
Archibald stood at the Labour candidate in Bath at the 1945 United Kingdom general election, taking a strong second place. She was elected to London County Council in 1946, representing Battersea South, serving a single term. In 1950, she stood for Labour in Wells, increasing the party's vote share. By this time, George had been created Baron Archibald, and she therefore took the title of Lady Archibald. The family moved to Hitchin in 1951, where Dorothy became a magistrate and was also active in the Family Planning Association.
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. He was three times Leader of the Opposition (1935–1940, 1945, 1951–1955). Attlee worked briefly as a secretary for Beatrice Webb in 1909, before becoming a secretary for Toynbee Hall. In 1911, he was employed by the UK Government as an "official explainer"—touring the country to explain Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George's National Insurance Act. He spent the summer of that year touring Essex and Somerset on a bicycle, explaining the act at public meetings. A year later, he became a lecturer at the London School of Economics.
Attlee admired Ramsay MacDonald and helped him get elected as Labour Party leader at the 1922 leadership election. He served as MacDonald's Parliamentary Private Secretary for the brief 1922 parliament. His first taste of ministerial office came in 1924, when he served as Under-Secretary of State for War in the short-lived first Labour government, led by MacDonald. In May 1930, Labour MP Oswald Mosley left the party after its rejection of his proposals for solving the unemployment problem, and Attlee was given Mosley's post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In March 1931, he became Postmaster General, a post he held for five months until August, when the Labour government fell, after failing to agree on how to tackle the financial crisis of the Great Depression.
Attlee remained as Leader of the Opposition when the Second World War broke out in September 1939. Labour and the Conservatives entered a coalition government led by Winston Churchill on 10 May 1940. Attlee and Churchill quickly agreed that the War Cabinet would consist of three Conservatives (initially Churchill, Chamberlain and Lord Halifax) and two Labour members (initially himself and Arthur Greenwood) and that Labour should have slightly more than one third of the posts in the coalition government. Attlee and Greenwood played a vital role in supporting Churchill during a series of War Cabinet debates over whether or not to negotiate peace terms with Hitler following the Fall of France in May 1940; both supported Churchill and gave him the majority he needed in the War Cabinet to continue Britain's resistance.
Only Attlee and Churchill remained in the War Cabinet from the formation of the Government of National Unity in May 1940 through to the election in May 1945. Attlee was initially the Lord Privy Seal, before becoming Britain's first ever Deputy Prime Minister in 1942, as well as becoming the Dominions Secretary and the Lord President of the Council. Attlee himself played a generally low key but vital role in the wartime government, working behind the scenes and in committees to ensure the smooth operation of government. In the coalition government, three inter-connected committees effectively ran the country. Churchill chaired the first two, the War Cabinet and the Defence Committee, with Attlee deputising for him in these, and answering for the government in Parliament when Churchill was absent.
In foreign affairs, the Attlee government was concerned with four main issues; post-war Europe, the onset of the Cold War, the establishment of the United Nations, and decolonisation. The first two were closely related, and Attlee was assisted by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin. Attlee also attended the later stages of the Potsdam Conference, where he negotiated with President Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the Government faced the challenge of managing relations with Britain's former war-time ally, Stalin and the Soviet Union. Ernest Bevin was a passionate anti-communist, based largely on his experience of fighting communist influence in the trade union movement. Bevin's initial approach to the USSR as Foreign Secretary was "wary and suspicious, but not automatically hostile". Attlee himself sought warm relations with Stalin. He put his trust in the United Nations, rejected notions that the Soviet Union was bent on world conquest, and warned that treating Moscow as an enemy would turn it into one.
Attlee's government presided over the successful transition from a wartime economy to peacetime, tackling problems of demobilisation, shortages of foreign currency, and adverse deficits in trade balances and government expenditure. Further domestic policies that he brought about included the creation of the National Health Service and the post-war Welfare State, which became key to the reconstruction of post-war Britain. Attlee and his ministers did much to transform the UK into a more prosperous and egalitarian society during their time in office with reductions in poverty and a rise in the general economic security of the population.
Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a key role in Nigeria's independence movement, the First and Second Republics and the Civil War.
Born in Pershore, Ball was educated at Wellington College and then Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated in classics. In 1882, he became a fellow of St John's College, Oxford, and a tutor in 1885, later becoming St John's senior tutor.
In 1886, Ball joined the Fabian Society, and he devoted much spare time to the group for the remainder of his life. He wrote "The Moral Aspects of Socialism", a tract published by the Fabians in 1896, and in 1907 was elected to the group's executive, with the support of H. G. Wells.
However, being based in Oxford, he found it difficult to attend regular meetings in London, and left the committee the next year. In 1895, Ball was a founding member of the Oxford University Fabian Society, and he remained a leading figure in the group until his death.
In 1909, he was expected to win election as president of St John's, but was defeated after controversy over his socialist views. He was also the treasurer of the Oxford Union, a strong supporter of Ruskin College, and served for several years on the Hebdomadal Council.
A Labour Party Member of Parliament for Redcar from 2001 to 2010, Baird was a government minister from 2006 to 2010 and the Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2007 to 2010. She served as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Police from November 2012 to June 2019.
Baird is the author of books on rape, female murderers, and women's experiences in court. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to women and equality.
Barker worked as a journalist in France, Germany, and the Netherlands prior to World War II. He was expelled from Germany because of his opposition to NDSAP. On returning to the UK, Barker became active in the Labour Party, standing unsuccessfully in the 1937 London County Council election, and in Chertsey at the 1945 United Kingdom general election. He also joined the Fabian Society, and served on its executive committee for several years in the 1940s. In 1946, he wrote Labour in London: A Study in Municipal Achievement.
Born in Poltava, in Ukraine, Barou joined Poale Zion in his youth, this being a banned movement at the time. He attended Kiev University, but was expelled in 1908 for socialist activism. In 1910, he was exiled to northern Russia, but he was soon allowed to continue his studies in Germany, at the University of Heidelberg and University of Leipzig. He returned to Russia in 1913 when a general amnesty was offered, and there became the general secretary of Poale Zion.
During World War I, he was prominent in the Jewish War Relief Organisation, and then in 1918 he became one of three general secretaries of the Ukrainian Trades Union Congress. Following the October Revolution, Barou represented Poale Zion in the International Congress of National Minorities and the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. He found work with the Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives, who sent him to London to head up its office there. After a few years in London, he was briefly posted to Berlin, but then returned to London, where he became the director of the Moscow Narodny Bank.
Barou joined the Fabian Society, serving on its executive in the 1940s and writing books on co-operative banking and insurance. He was also a Zionist activist, becoming a founder of the World Jewish Congress in 1936, and chairing its European executive from 1948. He also served on the Board of Deputies, founding with Maurice Orbach its Trades Advisory Council, and was a leading figure in negotiating West Germany's restitution payments to Israel.
Bassett-Lowke was the son of Joseph Tom Lowke, a Northampton boilermaker and his wife, Eliza, and is noted for having founded the firm of Bassett-Lowke which specialised in producing construction sets, and model railways, boats and ships.
He was actively interested in modern design, notably becoming a patron of the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who remodelled Basset-Lowke's home at 78 Derngate, Northampton. Now a Grade II* listed building, the house (which has been fully restored) is now open as a museum and visitor attraction.
His close contacts with German toy manufacturers, particularly Gebruder Bing, introduced him to the very advanced state of design in Germany and organisations such as the Deutscher Werkbund. He was quick to join its British equivalent, The Design and Industries Association, founded at the opening of the Great War.
It is notable that in 1925-6 Lowke commissioned the German architect-designer Peter Behrens to design his house 'New Ways' in Northampton (now considered the first modernist building in the UK) rather than any UK architect.
Lowke professed to Fabian socialist politics, serving on the executive of the Fabian Society from 1922 until 1924. He greatly admired George Bernard Shaw, to the extent of having him modelled as an '0' scale railway platform accessory. He supported Stephan Bing and other members of the family when, as Jews, they fled NDSAP Germany to the UK in 1933.
He was a member of many societies, including the Rotary Club, of which he was a founder. His work on the Northampton Council gave him most opportunity to influence the future of the town. He was also a founder Director of the Northampton Repertory Theatre in 1926.
Born in 1890 into a farming family in Welton, Midsomer Norton in Somerset. She was the sister of Kay Beauchamp, who went on to become a fellow founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. The family was part of the Beauchamp family that dominated the Somerset coalfield, her father being the cousin of Sir Frank Beauchamp and Louis Beauchamp who owned coalmines in the area.
During the First World War, Beauchamp became active in the No Conscription Fellowship (NCF). The NCF was established to help and give advice to the estimated 16,000 pacifists and socialists who refused to join the military and fight. In 1920 she received a ten-day prison sentence for her anti-war activities.
She was one of the founders and a lifelong member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and an associate of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst. She was regarded as one of the suffragette movement's most militant members.
She was a supporter of the Soviet Union's collectivization of agriculture and published a book, Agriculture in Soviet Russia (1931), on the subject and an article claiming she "completely failed to find" any "signs of famine" during her 1933 visit to the Ukraine and that "nowhere" did she "find the word 'famine' used by the people themselves".
Beaumont was born in Birmingham and went to Saltley College School. He began work for the Co-op, and through their sponsorship he went to Ruskin College at Oxford University and the Central Labour College. During the First World War he became a Captain in the Army. He later worked for the League of Nations Union and produced two educational films for them.
From 1914 to 1925, Beaumont was a member of Derbyshire County Council. He began fighting Parliamentary seats at Aldershot in the 1924 general election, and Harrow in the 1929 general election. In the 1931 general election he was chosen for the Labour-held seat of Peckham where the sitting MP John Beckett had split from the Labour Party. With the vote split among three competing "Labour" candidates, however, Beaumont came fourth with only 1,350 votes.
lthough remaining a backbencher, his knowledge of agriculture gained from working for the Co-op did win for Beaumont an appointment to the Luxmoore Commission on Agricultural Education in 1943. He served Tom Williams (Labour junior Minister for Agriculture in the Coalition government) as his Parliamentary Private Secretary from 1940. After re-election in the 1945 general election, Beaumont was appointed as Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (the second Deputy Speaker).
Born in York, Bellerby was educated at York Grammar School, the University of Leeds, and Harvard University. He served in World War I with the York Rifles and Machine Gun Corps, becoming a major. From 1921, Bellerby worked for the International Labour Office in Geneva, in which role he served as secretary of the International Unemployment Conference in 1924. In 1927, he became a fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, then in 1930, he transferred to the University of Liverpool, where he held the Brunner Chair of Economic Science.
Bellerby was a supporter of the Labour Party, and stood unsuccessfully for the party in Newark at the 1931 United Kingdom general election, and Cambridgeshire at the 1935 United Kingdom general election. In 1933, he served on the executive of the Fabian Society. After a period out of academia, Bellerby became a Leverhulme Research Fellow in 1940, then a lecturer at the University of Glasgow in 1942, but spent the remainder of the war working for the Ministry of Food. From 1947, he worked at the Oxford Institute of Agricultural Economics Research, retiring in 1961, though he was a director of Hunter and Smallpage for a few years later in the decade. Bellerby continued to write in retirement, principally on agriculture and ecology. His last book, Britain in Debt?, was published in 1975, two years before his death.
He first stood for Parliament at the 1918 general election, when he was unsuccessful in Guildford, a safe seat for the Conservative Party. He contested Guilford again in 1922 and 1923, and did not stand again until the Battersea South by-election in February 1929. The vacancy had arisen when the Conservative MP Francis Curzon succeeded to the peerage as Earl Howe, and in a three-way contest Bennett took the seat for Labour with a majority of 2.1% of the votes. He was re-elected at the general election in May 1929 with a majority of only 1.1%, but at the 1931 general election he was soundly defeated by the Conservative Harry Selley, whose majority was 36.2%.
In 1909, she joined the Women's Social and Political Union. This was a militant organisation who believed in "Deeds not Words". Bentinck did wear a sandwich board but unlike many of its members she was never arrested. She wrote The Point Of Honour: A Correspondence On Aristocracy And Socialism in 1909. The third key event in 1909 was founding a library that was to become in time the Women's Library.
In 1912, Bentinck and Florence Gertrude de Fonblanque organised a suffrage demonstration that involved women dressed in brown, green and white walking from Edinburgh to London. The "Brown Women" gathered signatures for a petition and national attention. The following year de Fonblanque and Bentick decided to set up the Qui Vive Corps. The idea was that these brown, green and white uniformed volunteers would appear at suffrage events organised by any organisation.
It was intended that these would attend any suffrage inspired event. The Qui Vive Corps were involved in campaigning among the miners for the Labour Party in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The reason for their support for Labour was because the suffragettes objected to the governing Liberal Party's policy of not supporting women's suffrage.
In 1913, she was involved with the Northern Men's Federation for Women's Suffrage which she was helping to organise. In 1918, her library was given to the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) although Bentinck still took a strong interest. The library is considered her most important legacy. The NUWSS gave the library to the Women's (Service) Library in 1931. Her collection is considered to be the core of what is now the important Women's Library.
Annie Besant (also known as Annie Wood) became involved with union actions, including the Bloody Sunday demonstration and the London matchgirls strike of 1888. She was a leading speaker for both the Fabian Society and the Marxist Social Democratic Federation (SDF). She was also elected to the London School Board for Tower Hamlets, topping the poll, even though few women were qualified to vote at that time.
In 1890 Besant met Helena Blavatsky, and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew, whilst her interest in secular matters waned. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she travelled to India. In 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu School, and in 1922 she helped establish the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board in Mumbai, India.
In 1902, she established the first overseas Lodge of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain. Over the next few years she established lodges in many parts of the British Empire. In 1907 Besant became president of the Theosophical Society, whose international headquarters were, by then, located in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai). She also became involved in politics in India, joining the Indian National Congress, she helped launch the Home Rule League which elevated her into becoming president of the Indian National Congress.
In the late 1920s, Besant travelled to the United States with her protégé and adopted son Jiddu Krishnamurti, who she claimed was the new Messiah and incarnation of Buddha.
Besant formed a relgious group called the Order of the Star in the East (the O.S.E.) to prepare the world for the coming of the World Teacher. Besant and Leadbeater became the Protectors of the Order of which Krishnamurti was made the Head. In the presence of Besant and over three thousand Star members (there were 40,000 members of the O.S.E. at that time), Krishnamurti dissolved the Order, saying that it was impossible to organize a belief.
In 1919 Krishnamurti obtained Besant’s permission to live in France to study French. In 1916, along with Lokmanya Tilak, she launched the Home Rule League. She was selected the first woman president of the Indian National Congress in 1917. After the war, Besant continued to campaign for Indian independence and for the causes of theosophy, until her death in 1933.
Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett
Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett was a British experimental physicist known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism, winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1948. In 1925 he became the first person to prove that radioactivity could cause the nuclear transmutation of one chemical element to another. He also made a major contribution in World War II advising on military strategy and developing operational research. His left-wing views saw an outlet in third world development and in influencing policy in the Labour Government of the 1960s.
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. On his resignation he was appointed Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, a diplomatic post which he held until 2015. He currently serves as the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, established in 2016. As prime minister, many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.
In 1972, at the age of nineteen, Blair enrolled for university at St John's College, Oxford, reading Jurisprudence for three years. As a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours, and performed some stand-up comedy, including parodying James T. Kirk as a character named Captain Kink. He was influenced by fellow student and Anglican priest Peter Thomson, who awakened his religious faith and left-wing politics. While at Oxford, Blair has stated that he was briefly a Trotskyist, after reading the first volume of Isaac Deutscher's biography of Leon Trotsky, which was "like a light going on".
In contrast to his later centrism, Blair made it clear in a letter he wrote to Labour leader Michael Foot (an alledged Soviet Spy) in July 1982 (published in 2006) that he had "come to Socialism through Marxism" and considered himself on the left. Like Tony Benn, Blair believed that "Labour right" was bankrupt: "Socialism ultimately must appeal to the better minds of the people. You cannot do that if you are tainted overmuch with a pragmatic period in power." He was a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, despite never strongly being in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament.
In his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 6 July 1983, Blair stated, "I am a socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for cooperation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality." John Smith died suddenly in 1994 of a heart attack. Blair defeated John Prescott and Margaret Beckett in the subsequent leadership election and became Leader of the Opposition. As is customary for the holder of that office, Blair was appointed a Privy Councillor.
At a special conference in April 1995, the clause was replaced by a statement that the party is "democratic socialist", and Blair also claimed to be a "democratic socialist" himself in the same year. Aided by the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative government (itself deeply divided over the European Union), "New Labour" won a landslide victory at the 1997 general election, ending eighteen years of Conservative Party rule, with the heaviest Conservative defeat since 1906.
Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 2 May 1997, serving concurrently as First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Labour Party. Aged 43, Blair became the youngest person to become Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister aged 42 in 1812. In his first six years in office, Blair ordered British troops into combat five times, more than any other prime minister in British history. This included Iraq in both 1998 and 2003, Kosovo (1999), Sierra Leone (2000) and Afghanistan (2001).
From the start of the War on Terror in 2001, Blair strongly supported the foreign policy of George W. Bush, participating in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 2003 invasion of Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was particularly controversial, as it attracted widespread public opposition and 139 of Blair's own MPs opposed it. In 2009, Blair stated that he would have supported removing Saddam Hussein from power even in the face of proof that he had no such weapons. Playwright Harold Pinter and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused Blair of war crimes.
In an October 2015 CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, Blair apologised for his "mistakes" over Iraq War and admitted there were "elements of truth" to the view that the invasion helped promote the rise of ISIS. The Chilcot Inquiry report of 2016 gave a damning assessment of Blair's role in the Iraq War, though the former prime minister again refused to apologise for his decision to back the US-led invasion.
Blair increased police powers by adding to the number of arrestable offences, compulsory DNA recording and the use of dispersal orders. Under Blair's government the amount of new legislation increased which attracted criticism. He also introduced tough anti-terrorism and identity card legislation. Non-European immigration rose significantly during the period from 1997, not least because of the government's abolition of the primary purpose rule in June 1997. This change made it easier for UK residents to bring foreign spouses into the country.
"Former government advisor Andrew Neather in the Evening Standard stated that the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until early 2008 was to open up the UK to mass migration.".
Along with enjoying a close relationship with Bill Clinton, Blair formed a strong political alliance with George W. Bush, particularly in the area of foreign policy. For his part, Bush lauded Blair and the UK. In his post-9/11 speech, for example, he stated that "America has no truer friend than Great Britain". The alliance between Bush and Blair seriously damaged Blair's standing in the eyes of Britons angry at American influence. Blair argued it was in Britain's interest to "protect and strengthen the bond" with the United States regardless of who is in the White House.
In 1994, Blair forged close ties with Michael Levy, a leader of the Jewish Leadership Council. Levy ran the Labour Leader's Office Fund to finance Blair's campaign before the 1997 election and raised £12 million towards Labour's landslide victory, Levy was rewarded with a peerage, and in 2002, Blair appointed Lord Levy as his personal envoy to the Middle East. Levy praised Blair for his "solid and committed support of the State of Israel". Tam Dalyell, while Father of the House of Commons, suggested in 2003 that Blair's foreign policy decisions were unduly influenced by a "cabal" of Jewish advisers, including Levy, Peter Mandelson and Jack Straw.
In 2004, 50 former diplomats, including ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv, stated they had "watched with deepening concern" at Britain following the US into war in Iraq in 2003. They criticised Blair's support for the road map for peace which included the retaining of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. After the Libyan Civil War in 2011, Blair said he had no regrets about his close relationship with the late Libyan leader. During Blair's premiership, MI6 rendered Abdelhakim Belhadj to the Gaddafi regime in 2004, though Blair later claimed he had "no recollection" of the incident.
Blair was reported by The Guardian in 2006 to have been supported politically by Rupert Murdoch, the founder of the News Corporation organisation. In 2011, Blair became Godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children with Wendi Deng, but he and Murdoch later ended their friendship, in 2014, after Murdoch suspected him of having an affair with Deng while they were still married, according to The Economist magazine. A Cabinet Office freedom of information response, released the day after Blair handed over power to Gordon Brown, documents Blair having various official phone calls and meetings with Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation and Richard Desmond of Northern and Shell Media.
Blair and Murdoch are documented speaking 6 times; three times in the 9 days before the Iraq War, including the eve of 20 March US and UK invasion, and on 29 January 25 April and 3 October 2004. Between January 2003 and February 2004, Blair had three meetings with Richard Desmond; on 29 January and 3 September 2003 and 23 February 2004. Blair appeared before the Leveson Inquiry on Monday 28 May 2012. During his appearance, a protester, later named as David Lawley-Wakelin, got into the court-room and claimed he was guilty of war crimes before being dragged out.
Blair taught a course on issues of faith and globalisation at the Yale University Schools of Management and Divinity as a Howland distinguished fellow during the 2008–09 academic year. In July 2009, this accomplishment was followed by the launching of the Faith and Globalisation Initiative with Yale University in the US, Durham University in the UK, and the National University of Singapore in Asia, to deliver a postgraduate programme in partnership with the Foundation. Blair's links with, and receipt of an undisclosed sum from, UI Energy Corporation, have also been subject to media comment in the UK.
Blair established Tony Blair Associates to "allow him to provide, in partnership with others, strategic advice on a commercial and pro bono basis, on political and economic trends and governmental reform". The profits from the firm go towards supporting Blair's "work on faith, Africa and climate change". Blair has been subject to criticism for potential conflicts of interest between his diplomatic role as a Middle East envoy, and his work with Tony Blair Associates, and a number of prominent critics have even called for him to be sacked.
On 30 May 2008, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a vehicle for encouraging different faiths to join together in promoting respect and understanding, as well as working to tackle poverty. Reflecting Blair's own faith but not dedicated to any particular religion, the Foundation aims to "show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world". "The Foundation will use its profile and resources to encourage people of faith to work together more closely to tackle global poverty and conflict," says its mission statement.
Cherie Blair's friend and "spiritual guru" Carole Caplin is credited with introducing her and her husband to various New Age symbols and beliefs, including "magic pendants" known as "BioElectric Shields". The most controversial of the Blairs' New Age practices occurred when on holiday in Mexico. The couple, wearing only bathing costumes, took part in a rebirthing procedure, which involved smearing mud and fruit over each other's bodies while sitting in a steam bath.
In November 2011, a war crimes tribunal of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, established by Malaysia's former and current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, reached a unanimous conclusion that Blair and George W. Bush are guilty of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide as a result of their roles in the 2003 Iraq War. The proceedings lasted for four days, and consisted of five judges of judicial and academic backgrounds, a tribunal-appointed defence team in lieu of the defendants or representatives, and a prosecution team including international law professor Francis Boyle.
In July 2017, former Iraqi general Abdulwaheed al-Rabbat launched a private war crimes prosecution, in the High Court in London, asking for Tony Blair, former foreign secretary Jack Straw and former attorney general Lord Goldsmith to be prosecuted for "the crime of aggression" for their role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The High Court ruled that, although the crime of aggression was recognised in international law, it was not an offence under UK law, and, therefore, the prosecution could not proceed.
G. R. Blanco White
The son of Thomas and Margaret Elizabeth Blanco White, he was educated at St Paul's School, London and Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he graduated second wrangler behind Arthur Eddington in 1904, and was awarded Smith's Prize in 1906. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1907.
On 7 May 1909, he married Amber Reeves, feminist writer, scholar and campaigner. She was the daughter of William Pember Reeves and his wife Maud Pember Reeves. She bore a daughter Anna-Jane in December that year whose biological father was the author H.G. Wells (though Blanco White was Anna's legal father).
He stood for the Labour Party at the 1929 Holland with Boston by-election, coming second to Liberal James Blindell. He was made King's Counsel in 1936. He became a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1940 in replacement of Henry Chartres Biron. Blanco-White was an English judge, Recorder of Croydon from 1940–56, and a member of the Special Divorce Commission, from 1948–1957.
Hubert Bland (3 January 1855 – 14 April 1914) was an English author and the husband of Edith Nesbit. He was known for being an infamous libertine, a journalist, an early English socialist, and one of the founders of the Fabian Society.
Bland, "a poseur by nature, was something more than a philanderer by habit." He had "a voracious sexual appetite." When Edith met Bland, he "already had a mistress with child." After Alice Hoatson joined the Bland household, "he proceeded to father children on both her and Edith regularly." George Bernard Shaw described Bland as maintaining "simultaneously three wives, all of whom bore him children," and two of the "wives" lived in the same house.
To top it off, Bland "was not averse to seeking to seduce" the girlfriends of his daughter Rosamund. Bland wrote that he "hated the Pharisees, the Prigs, the Puritans." He smoked, and claimed to be "adventurous" with drugs, having taken "opium in all its forms" as well as other drugs.
In 1883, the Blands joined a socialist debating group which evolved to become the (middle-class, socialist) Fabian Society in January 1884. On 4 January 1884, Bland chaired the first meeting and was subsequently elected to be the Society's honorary treasurer, a position he held until his sight failed in 1911. With Edward Pease. Bland served as co-editor of the Fabian News, a monthly journal. Nevertheless, "he sometimes disagreed with others in the group, and over the years he had been repeatedly outmanoeuvred and overruled by Shaw, Sidney Webb, and their supporters. Fellow members included Edward Pease, Havelock Ellis, and Frank Podmore.
By 1900, Bland was part of the inner circle who controlled the Fabian Society. In December 1906, he and other members of the inner circle defeated H. G. Wells's "attempt to take over and change the Fabian Society". Bland was the Fabian delegate at the Labour Party conferences in 1908 and 1910. "The Blands' socialist principles and sympathy for the oppressed never prevented them from enjoying a thoroughly bourgeois affluence, reflected in their increasingly grand houses [and] growing numbers of servants." Their affluence began in the late 1880s when both of them were selling more of their writings.
Before his journalism career, Bland had shown that he was "ill-equipped for business." It was Nesbit who kept the household going financially by having her poems and stories published. With Nesbit's support, Bland became a journalist in 1889, at first as a freelancer. In 1892, he became a regular columnist for the radical newspaper, Manchester Sunday Chronicle.
Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch
Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch was an American writer, suffragist, and the daughter of pioneering women's rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Blatch initially joined the leadership of the Women's Trade Union League. In 1907, she founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (later renamed the Women's Political Union), to recruit working class women into the suffrage movement.
In 1907, she founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (later renamed the Women's Political Union), to recruit working class women into the suffrage movement. The core membership of the league comprised 20,000 factory, laundry, and garment workers from the Lower East Side of New York City. The organization successfully lobbied for an equal pay resolution for New York teachers.
The Union achieved significant political strength, and actively lobbied for a New York state constitutional amendment to give women the vote, which was achieved in 1917 after Tammany Hall relaxed its opposition. In 1915, Blatch's Women's Political Union merged with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns' Congressional Union, which eventually became the National Woman's Party. The Union achieved significant political strength, and actively lobbied for a New York state constitutional amendment to give women the vote, which was achieved in 1917 after Tammany Hall relaxed its opposition. In 1915, Blatch's Women's Political Union merged with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns' Congressional Union, which eventually became the National Woman's Party.
After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Blatch joined the National Woman's Party to fight for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She also joined the Socialist Party, and was nominated for New York City Comptroller and later the New York State Assembly, but did not win office. She eventually left the party, because of its support for protective legislation for women workers. During the 1920s, Blatch also worked on behalf of the League of Nations, proposing improvements for the amendments to the League's Covenant.
Bleakley joined the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) and contested the Northern Ireland Parliament seat of Belfast Victoria in 1949 and 1953 before finally winning it in 1958. At Stormont, he was made the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, but he lost his seat in 1965. Bleakley was head of the department of economics and political studies at Methodist College Belfast from 1969 to 1979. After the Parliament was abolished, Bleakley stood for, and was elected to, the Northern Ireland Assembly and its successor, the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention.
During the 1980s, Bleakley sat as a non-partisan member of various quangos. From 1980 to 1992 he was general secretary of the Irish Council of Churches. In 1992, he joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and was an advisor to the group during the all-party talks. For the 1996 Northern Ireland Forum election, he was a prominent member of the Democratic Partnership list and stood in Belfast East, but was not elected. In 1998, he joined the Labour Party of Northern Ireland and stood in Belfast East in the Assembly elections, receiving 369 first preference votes.
George Pearce Blizard
Born in Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire, Blizard was educated in Cheltenham and Clevedon, before finding work at the headquarters of the London and Country Bank, then in 1900 he began working for the Scottish Equitable, and then Star Life in Ireland. From 1922, he was assistant registrar of the Dental Board, while later in the decade he worked for various syndicates promoting motorway construction.
Blizard became active in the Fabian Society, serving on its committee on a couple of occasions in the 1910s. He was also active in the Fabian Research Group, and revised the society's "Facts for Socialists" tract. He later became active in the Socialist Health Association, and was secretary to a committee which produced A Socialised Medical Service.
At the 1913 London County Council election, Blizard stood as a Progressive Party candidate in Whitechapel, but was not elected. He soon joined the Labour Party, for which he stood in Wandsworth Central at the 1918 and 1923 United Kingdom general elections, and also in the 1919 and 1922 London County Council elections. He next stood in Birmingham Moseley at the 1924 United Kingdom general election, Gillingham at the 1929 United Kingdom general election, and Thornbury in 1931, then Kensington North at the 1934 London County Council election.
Bolton joined the Fabian Society in 1916, and became private secretary to Beatrice and Sydney Webb. She then became secretary of the Fabian Local Government and Research Bureau, and assistant editor of Local Government News, and served on the society's executive committee.
At the London County Council election, 1934, Bolton was elected as a Labour Party candidate in Hackney North. She held the seat and its successor, Stoke Newington and Hackney North, until 1952. That year, she became an alderman, and she was chair of the council in 1953/54.
John Elliot Burns
John Elliot Burns (20 October 1858 – 24 January 1943) was an English trade unionist and politician, particularly associated with London politics and Battersea. He was a socialist and then a Liberal Member of Parliament and Minister.
Burns had a succession of jobs until he was fourteen years old and started a seven-year apprenticeship to an engineer at Millbank and continued his education at night-schools. He read extensively, especially the works of Robert Owen, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Paine and William Cobbett. A French fellow-worker, Victor Delahaye, who had been present during the Paris Commune introduced him to socialist ideas, and Burns claimed that he was converted because he found the arguments of J. S. Mill against it to be insufficient.
In 1878, he was arrested and held overnight for addressing an open-air demonstration on Clapham Common. He worked at his trade in various parts of England, having joined the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1879. In 1881 he formed a branch of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in Battersea. Burns delivered a speech at the Industrial Remuneration Conference in 1884 which attracted considerable attention, and in that year he was elected to the Social Democratic Federation's executive council.
A year later, he took part in a London demonstration against unemployment which resulted in the West End riots when the windows of the Carlton Club and other London clubs were broken, where he encouraged rioters to loot bakeries. He was arrested and later acquitted at the Old Bailey of charges of conspiracy and sedition. In August 1889, Burns played a major part in the London Dock Strike. By this time he had left the SDF and, with fellow socialist Tom Mann, was focusing on trade union activity as a leader of the New Unionist movement. With other London radicals such as Ben Tillett, Will Crooks and John Benn, Burns ('The Man with the Red Flag') helped win the dispute.
Burns has been described as an antisemite by historians and scholars of antisemitism such as David Feldman, Colin Holmes, Robert Wistrich and Anthony Julius. His opposition to the Second Boer War was interconnected with his personal antisemitism, making repeated references to the "trail of the financial serpent", declaring at an anti-war rally at Battersea Park in 1900 that:
"the South African Jew has…no bowels of compassion…every institution and class had been scheduled by the Jew as his heritage, medium and dependent. Where he could not intimidate, he corrupted; where he could not corrupt, he defamed…[the Boers] defend their land, not from a nation armed, vindicating a righteous cause, but against a militant capitalism that is using our soldiers as the uniformed brokers’ men turning out the wrong tenants in South Africa for the interests of the Jews...with wisdom foresight and kindliness, we may yet retain South Africa for the Empire and humanity, even though we may lose it for the Jews"
Later, Burns declared in Parliament that "wherever we examine, there is the financial Jew, operating, directing, inspiring the agencies that have led to this war". Wistrich has compared this conspiratorial antisemitism to that which spread during France during the time of the Dreyfus Affair. Burns deplored the British Army which had, in his view, been transformed from the "Sir Galahad of History" into the "janissary of the Jews". In 1902, Burns further denounced "syndicated Jews who don't fight but do know how to rob".
He remarked during a tour of the East End that "the undoing of England is within the confines of our afternoon’s journey amongst the Jews". In 1900, David Lindsay recorded Burns telling him that he believed that the "Jew is the tapeworm of civilisation".
In 1919 he was left an annuity of £1000 by Andrew Carnegie which left him financially independent and he spent the rest of his life devoted to his interests in books, London history and cricket. As a book collector, he created a very large private library, much of which he left to University of London Library. He developed an acknowledged expertise in the history of London, and in 1929, when an American compared the River Thames unfavourably with the Mississippi, he responded "The St Lawrence is water, the Mississippi is muddy water, but the Thames is liquid history".
A collection of his papers is held at the University of London library, and embraces many of his political interests, including universal adult suffrage, working hours and conditions, employment, pensions, poor laws, temperance, social conditions, local government, South African labour, and the Boer War.
Melvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg is an English broadcaster, author and parliamentarian. He is best known for his work with ITV as editor and presenter of The South Bank Show (1978–2010), and for the BBC Radio 4 documentary series In Our Time.
Earlier in his career, Bragg worked for the BBC in various roles including presenter, a connection that resumed in 1988 when he began to host Start the Week on Radio 4. After his ennoblement in 1998, he switched to presenting the new In Our Time, an academic discussion radio programme, which has run to over 870 broadcast editions and is a popular podcast. He was Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1999 until 2017.
Bragg began his career in 1961 as a general trainee at the BBC. He was the recipient of one of only three traineeships awarded that year. He spent his first two years in radio at the BBC World Service, then at the BBC Third Programme and BBC Home Service.
Bragg's friends include the former Labour Party leaders Tony Blair, Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot, and former deputy leader Roy Hattersley. He was one of 100 donors who gave the Labour Party a sum in excess of £5,000 in 1997, the year the party came to power under Blair in the general election. The following year he was appointed by Blair to the House of Lords as the life peer Baron Bragg, of Wigton in the County of Cumbria, one of a number of Labour donors given peerages. This led to accusations of cronyism from the defeated Conservative Party.
Edward Carpenter (29 August 1844 – 28 June 1929) was an English Utopian socialist, poet, philosopher, anthologist, an early activist for gay rights and prison reform. As a philosopher he was particularly known for his publication of Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure. Here he described civilisation as a form of disease through which human societies pass. An early advocate of sexual liberation, he had an influence on both D. H. Lawrence and Sri Aurobindo, and inspired E. M. Forster's novel Maurice.
Born at 45 Brunswick Square, Hove in Sussex, Carpenter was educated at nearby Brighton College, where his father was a governor. His brothers Charles, George and Alfred also went to school there. When he was ten, Carpenter displayed a flair for the piano. His academic ability became evident relatively late in his youth, but was sufficient to earn him a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. At Trinity Hall, Carpenter came under the influence of Christian Socialist theologian F. D. Maurice.
Whilst there he also began to explore his feelings for men. One of the most notable examples of this is his close friendship with Edward Anthony Beck (later Master of Trinity Hall), which, according to Carpenter, had "a touch of romance". Beck eventually ended their friendship, causing Carpenter great emotional heartache. Carpenter graduated as 10th Wrangler in 1868. After university, he was ordained as curate of the Church of England, "as a convention rather than out of deep Conviction", and served as curate to Maurice at the parish of St Edward's, Cambridge.
In Sheffield, Carpenter became increasingly radical. Influenced by a disciple of Engels, Henry Hyndman, he joined the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in 1883 and attempted to form a branch in the city. The group instead chose to remain independent, and became the Sheffield Socialist Society. While in the city he worked on a number of projects including highlighting the poor living conditions of industrial workers. In 1884, he left the SDF with William Morris to join the Socialist League. From there he stayed with William Harrison Riley while he was visiting Walt Whitman.
In 1883, Carpenter published the first part of Towards Democracy, a long poem expressing Carpenter's ideas about "spiritual democracy" and how Carpenter believed humanity could move towards a freer and more just society. Towards Democracy was heavily influenced by Whitman's poetry, as well as the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. Expanded editions of Towards Democracy appeared in 1885, 1892, and 1902; the complete edition of Towards Democracy was published in 1905.
Drawn increasingly to Hindu philosophy, he travelled to India and Ceylon in 1890. Following conversations with the guru Ramaswamy (known as the Gnani) there, he developed the conviction that socialism would bring about a revolution in human consciousness as well as of economic conditions. His account of the travel was published in 1892 as From Adam's Peak to Elephanta: Sketches in Ceylon and India. The book's spiritual explorations would subsequently influence the Russian author Peter Ouspensky, who discusses it extensively in his own book, Tertium Organum (1912).
On his return from India in 1891, he met George Merrill, a working-class man also from Sheffield, 22 years his junior, and after the Ferneyhoughs left Millthorpe in 1893 Merrill became Carpenter's companion. The two remained partners for the rest of their lives, cohabiting from 1898. Merrill, the son of an engine driver, had been raised in the slums of Sheffield and had little formal education. Carpenter and Merrill lived openly together as a couple, which seems remarkable given the moral panic about homosexuality triggered at the time of the Oscar Wilde trial of 1895 and the illegality of sexual acts between men for which others were paying with harsh prison sentences.
Carpenter included among his friends the scholar, author, naturalist, and founder of the Humanitarian League, Henry S. Salt, and his wife, Catherine; the critic, essayist and sexologist, Havelock Ellis, and his wife, Edith; actor and producer Ben Iden Payne; Labour activists Bruce and Katharine Glasier; writer and scholar, John Addington Symonds; and the writer and feminist, Olive Schreiner. E. M. Forster was a close friend and visited the couple regularly. He later recounted that it was a visit to Millthorpe in 1913 that inspired him to write his gay-themed novel, Maurice. Forster records in his diary that Merrill "touched my backside – gently and just above the buttocks. I believe he touched most people's. The sensation was unusual and I still remember it, as I remember the position of a long vanished tooth. He made a profound impression on me and touched a creative spring."
Carpenter corresponded with many leading figures in political and cultural circles, among them Annie Besant, Isadora Duncan, Havelock Ellis, Roger Fry, Mahatma Gandhi, Keir Hardie, Jack London, George Merrill, E. D. Morel, William Morris, Edward R. Pease, John Ruskin, and Olive Schreiner. The grave of Carpenter and George Merrill at the Mount Cemetery, in Guildford Carpenter was a friend of Rabindranath Tagore, and of Walt Whitman. Aldous Huxley recommended Carpenter's pamphlet Civilization: Its Cause and Cure in his book Science, Liberty and Peace.
Following his death, Carpenter's written works fell out of print and were largely forgotten except among devotees of British labour movement history. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, interest in his work was revived by historians such as Jeffrey Weeks and Sheila Rowbotham, and some of Carpenter's works were reprinted by the Gay Men's Press. Carpenter's opposition to pollution and cruelty to animals have resulted in some historians arguing Carpenter's ideas anticipated the modern Green and animal rights movements. Carpenter was described by Fiona MacCarthy as the "Saint in Sandals", the "Noble Savage" and, more recently, the "gay godfather of the British left".
Reginald John Campbell
Reginald John Campbell (29 August 1867 – 1 March 1956) was a British Congregationalist and Anglican divine who became a popular preacher while the minister at the City Temple and a leading exponent of 'The New Theology' movement of 1907. His last years were spent as a senior cleric in the Church of England.
Campbell was a Socialist politically, his theology proved as radical as his politics and was inaugurated as minister of the City Temple—London's "cathedral of nonconformity" on 21 May 1903. Seven thousand people attended the services on his first Sunday. He was expected to preach twice on Sundays and at the popular Thursday lunchtime services. His sermons, which addressed both issues of the day and doctrinal questions, were instantly published and attracted much attention both in Britain and in the United States.
Campbell was criticised for an article published in the National Review in October 1904 in which he described British working men as " ... often lazy, unthrifty, and improvident, while they are sometimes immoral, foul-mouthed, and untruthful". Crowds of angry and threatening working men gathered outside the City Temple on the Sunday following where they waited for Campbell. Questions also soon began to be raised about the way that Campbell introduced Biblical criticism into his preaching, questioning the traditional ascription of books, and the origins of the text. As his sermons were published, this brought them to the notice of readers throughout the nation, and beyond. The theology held by Campbell and a number of his friends came to be known as 'The New Theology'.
Unwisely, Campbell decided to answer his critics by issuing a volume entitled simply The New Theology, a restatement of Christian beliefs to harmonize with modern critical views and beliefs. Looking back on it later, he felt that he had gone too far. "It was much too hastily written, was crude and uncompromising in statement, polemical in spirit, and gave a totally wrong impression of the sermons delivered week by week in the City Temple Pulpit". Campbell was elected to the executive of the Fabian Society in 1908.
In February 1911 he again caused a stir when he announced at a meeting of the Theosophical Society in London that he believed in reincarnation, and that he believed that when Jesus returned for the Second Coming he would be reincarnated. On 5 September 1911 Campbell met `Abdu'l-Bahá, the eldest son and successor of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, and invited him to give a public address in the City Temple a few days later. In October 1916 he was ordained as an Anglican priest, and became attached to the staff of St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham before appointment as Vicar of Christ Church, Westminster from 1917 to 1921, and then at Holy Trinity in Brighton from 1924 to 1930.
Leonard James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005), often known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. To date, Callaghan is the only person to have held all four Great Offices of State, having also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1964–1967), Home Secretary (1967–1970) and Foreign Secretary (1974–1976), prior to his premiership.
Callaghan was the son of an Irish Catholic father who had fled to England during the Great Irish Famine, and a Jewish mother. Callaghan's father ran away from home in the 1890s to join the Royal Navy; as he was a year too young to enlist, he gave a false date of birth and changed his surname from Garogher to Callaghan, so that his true identity could not be traced. His mother was Charlotte Callaghan (née Cundy, 1879–1961) an English Baptist. As the Catholic Church at the time refused to marry Catholics to members of other denominations, James Callaghan senior abandoned Catholicism and married Charlotte in a Baptist chapel. Their first child was Dorothy Gertrude Callaghan (1904–82).
In 1932 he passed a Civil Service exam which enabled him to become a senior tax inspector, and that same year he became the Kent branch secretary of the AOT. The following year he was elected to the AOT's national executive council. In 1934, he was transferred to Inland Revenue offices in London. Following a merger of unions in 1936, Callaghan was appointed a full-time union official and to the post of assistant secretary of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation (IRSF), and resigned from his Civil Service duties. During his time working as a tax inspector in the early-1930s, Callaghan met his future wife Audrey Moulton, and they were married in July 1938 at Maidstone.
His union position at the IRSF brought Callaghan into contact with Harold Laski, the Chairman of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee and an academic at the London School of Economics. Laski encouraged him to stand for Parliament, although later on he requested Callaghan several times to study and lecture at the LSE. Following the outbreak of World War II Callaghan was assigned to duties with the Admiralty in Whitehall. He was assigned to the Japanese section and wrote a service manual for the Royal Navy The Enemy: Japan. He then served in the East Indies Fleet on board the escort carrier HMS Activity and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in April 1944.
In 1982, along with his friend, Gerald Ford, he co-founded the annual AEI World Forum. In 1987, he was made a Knight of the Garter and stood down at the 1987 general election after 42 years as an MP. Shortly afterwards, he was elevated to the House of Lords on 5 November 1987 as a life peer with the title Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, of the City of Cardiff in the County of South Glamorgan. In 1987, his autobiography, Time and Chance, was published. He also served as a non-executive director of the Bank of Wales.
Peter Ritchie Calder
Calder was Director of Plans and Campaigns at the Political Warfare Executive branch of the Government, which was responsible for the allied war propaganda effort. He wrote propaganda posters and leaflets and speeches for allied leaders. He was a member of the 1941 Committee, a group of liberal politicians, writers and other people of influence in the United Kingdom. In 1941 he became popular with his book Carry on London, which described the effects of the German bombardment of London, Coventry and other cities in Great Britain.
After the war Calder returned to his former activities as a writer and specialised in internationalism, the peace movement and in the public understanding of science. He worked also with the United Nations and was President of the National Peace Council and of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He also worked for the News Chronicle newspaper as Science Editor. Calder was an ardent peace activist and humanist.
In 1955, Calder recorded and released an album on Folkways Records entitled, Science in Our Lives. In 1980 he was one of the signatories of A Secular Humanist Declaration, a statement of belief in democratic secular humanism, issued by the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism ("CODESH"), now the Council for Secular Humanism ("CSH"). He was also one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.
In 1903, he was co-opted to the London School Board, but served only until the following year, when it was abolished. He then stood in the 1904 London County Council election in Camberwell North, for the Progressive Party. He won election, and served until 1919. Bray joined the Fabian Society in 1903, and served on its executive committee for a couple of years in the 1910s.
Brooke was born in Cheshire on 22 December 1844. Her father was a capitalist and she was brought up in Bollington. Her father died in 1872 and with her inheritance she invested it in her own education. She was educated at Newnham College and the London School of Economics. After her left Newnham she returned to Bollington where she lost some of her money. However she remained single and supported herself from her writing.
Her most well known book at the time was the Superfluous Woman. This was called an immoral tale as involved a story where the heroine dies giving birth to a deformed child as the result of marrying an older man who had syphilis. This was the first of her "New Woman" novels. Brooke saw this novel and The Woman Who Did as important in trying to resolved the "Sex Question" which she thought dominated debate in the 1880s. She was annoyed when H. G. Wells reinvented the question when he spoke to the Fabian Society in 1906.
Rupert Chawner Brooke
Rupert Chawner Brooke (3 August 1887 – 23 April 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially The Soldier. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which were said to have prompted the Irish poet W. B. Yeats to describe him as "the handsomest young man in England".
In October 1906 he went down to King's College, Cambridge to study Classics. There he became a member of the Apostles, was elected as president of the university Fabian Society, helped found the Marlowe Society drama club and acted, including in the Cambridge Greek Play. The friendships he made at school and university set the course for his adult life, and many of the people he met—including George Mallory—fell under his spell. Virginia Woolf told Vita Sackville-West that she had gone skinny-dipping with Brooke in a moonlit pool when they were in Cambridge together.
Brothers was born in Merseyside. Diagnosed with aniridia – a condition affecting the iris – at six months old, she spent extended periods in hospital and lost her sight in childhood. Until February 2014, she was Programme Head at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, responsible for health and local government.
Previously she worked at the Disability Rights Commission and the RNIB. She is an active member of the Greater London Association of Disabled People and former President of the National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom. She is on the board of the Community Network charity. She is the first openly transgender Labour Party candidate to run for Westminster.
James Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown HonFRSE (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Blair government from 1997 to 2007. Brown was Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and later for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. As of 2021, he is the most recent Labour prime minister.
A doctoral graduate, Brown read history at the University of Edinburgh, where he was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh in 1972. He spent his early career working as both a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist (journalist and current affairs editor at Scottish Television). He entered the British House of Commons in 1983 as the MP for Dunfermline East. He joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, and was later promoted to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992. After Labour's victory in 1997, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, becoming the longest-serving holder of that office in modern history.
Brown became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 27 June 2007. He was succeeded by Alistair Darling as Chancellor the following day. Like all modern Prime Ministers, Brown concurrently served as the First Lord of the Treasury and the Minister for the Civil Service, and was a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. Until his resignation from the post in May 2010 he was Leader of the Labour Party. Brown was the first Prime Minister from a Scottish constituency since the Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home in 1964. Not all British prime ministers have been university graduates, but, of those that were, Brown was one of only five that had not attended either Oxford or Cambridge.
Pauline Christina Bryan
Pauline Christina Bryan, Baroness Bryan of Partick is a Scottish writer and socialist campaigner. She was nominated for a life peerage by the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in May 2018. On 20 June, she was created Baroness Bryan of Partick, of Partick in the City of Glasgow. Bryan is part of the Red Paper Collective, a group of Labour activists who aim to provide an alternative from the perspective of the Labour movement to the "sterile nationalist v unionist debate" around the Scottish independence referendums.
Bryan reviewed Neil Findlay's book about his bid for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party, Socialism & Hope: A journey through turbulent times, for infamous Communist rag the Morning Star in 2017. In her review Bryan wrote that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party "was a lifeline for the left. It rebuilt friendships and enthusiasm. Bryan is a founding member of the Keir Hardie Society, and was the editor of the 2015 book What Would Keir Hardie Say?. She is also a founding member of the Campaign for Socialism.
Arthur Clutton-Brock was born at Weybridge, third son of John Alan Clutton-Brock, a banker, and his wife Mary Alice, daughter of Rev. Henry Thomas Hill, rector of Felton, Herefordshire. They were first cousins, both being grandchildren of Rev. Henry William Hill, rector of Rock, Worcestershire. The Clutton-Brock family were landed gentry, of Pensax Court, near Tenbury, Worcestershire, where they had lived since the 1600s. They were coal mine owners.
He was educated at Summerfields and Eton, then New College, Oxford. Following a short period in a stockbroker's office, he was called to the bar in 1895 by the Inner Temple, working as a barrister for some years. In 1908 Clutton-Brock was appointed art critic on The Times, having previously occupied the same role on the staff of the Tribune and The Morning Post; he wrote however on a plethora of subjects, from gardening to religion.
John Clifford was a British Nonconformist minister and politician, who became famous as the advocate of passive resistance to the Education Act of 1902.
Clifford was son of a warp-machinist. As a boy, he worked in a lace factory, where he attracted the notice of the leaders of the Baptist community, who sent him to the academy at Leicester and the Baptist college at Nottingham to be educated for the ministry. In 1858, he was called to the Praed Street chapel, Paddington (London), and while officiating there he attended University College and pursued his education by working at the British Museum.
At the Praed Street chapel, he gradually obtained a large following, and in 1877 the Westbourne Park chapel was opened for him. As a preacher, writer, propagandist and ardent Liberal politician, he became a power in the Nonconformist body. He was president of the London Baptist Association in 1879, of the Baptist Union in 1888 and 1899, and of the National Council of Evangelical Churches in 1898. He was instrumental in ensuring that the Baptist Union endorsed the liberal side in the Downgrade controversy, and in arranging the censure of Charles Spurgeon.
In 1899, he became a prominent campaigner against the Boer War. He was on the South Africa Conciliation Committee executive and he was president of the Stop the War Committee. As well as being a critic of the British treatment of the Boers he was a critic of the Union of South Africa's negotiated terms because of the un-equal treatment of the majority black population in the country.
The passive resistance movement, with Clifford as its chief leader, had a large share in the defeat of the Unionist government in January 1906, and his efforts were then directed to getting a new act passed which should be nondenominational in character. The rejection of Augustine Birrell's bill in 1906 by the House of Lords was accordingly accompanied by denunciations of that body from Clifford and his followers. However, year by year went by, with nothing but failure on the part of the Liberal ministry to arrive at any solution of the education problem.
ailure was now due not to the House of Lords but the inherent difficulties of the subject, as it became increasingly clear to the public generally that the easy denunciations of the act of 1902, which had played so large a part in the elections of 1906, were not so simple to carry into practice. A compromise, in which the denominationalists would have their say, was the result. Meanwhile, passive resistance lost its interest though Clifford and his followers continued to protest against their treatment. Clifford was appointed Companion of Honour (CH) in the 1921 New Year Honours.
Born in Leeds, Clay worked as a tram driver. He became active in the Social Democratic Federation, then its successor, the British Socialist Party, and was a keen advocate of the BSP's affiliation to the Labour Party, serving as president of the Leeds Labour Representation Council in 1913/14. In 1914, he founded the Leeds Tenants Defence League, which led an unsuccessful rent strike in support of the construction of municipal housing.
Clay was prominent in the United Vehicle Workers union, presiding over its conference in 1913. In 1922, it merged into the new Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU), and Clay then served as the TGWU's first area secretary for Yorkshire. A supporter of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA), he was appointed as a vice president in 1928. Around this time, he relocated to London, and was chairman of the London Labour Party from 1933 until 1948.
During this period, he was active in the Socialist League; he and Arthur Pugh were the only two prominent trade unionists to maintain activity with the group. In 1940, Arthur Deakin, Assistant General Secretary of the TGWU, became its acting General Secretary, and Clay was appointed to fill his post. Three years later, he became president of the WEA, serving for fifteen years. In 1948, he stood down from his union and political posts, taking a post on the Road Transport Executive.
Born in Norwich, Clarke worked as a clerk before attending the University of Cambridge. He then worked as a journalist, first for local newspapers, then in London, and as a foreign correspondent for some American publications. This led him to specialise in writing about American politics and literature, and he went on several lecture tours of the United States.
Clarke joined the Fabian Society in 1886, and served on its executive committee from 1888 until 1891, and as one of the society's first trustees. He lectured on "the industrial aspect of socialism", in particular as part of a tour of Lancashire, and this was published as part of the Fabian Essays, the only article in the volume to take an explicitly Marxist approach. He wrote an early history of the society in 1894, published in the American edition of Fabian Essays.
In 1892, the society with which Clarke had invested his savings collapsed, and he lost his money. His health also declined, and he gradually moved away from socialism, resigning from the Fabian Society in 1897. He worked for the Daily Chronicle for much of the decade, but resigned in 1899, on the grounds that he supported the Boers in the Second Boer War. He launched The Progressive Review in 1897, but it did not succeed, and so he instead wrote for The Spectator and The Economist.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and wrote on apologetics. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.
According to his autobiography, as a young man he became fascinated with the occult and, along with his brother Cecil, experimented with Ouija boards. In 1931, the BBC invited Chesterton to give a series of radio talks. He accepted, tentatively at first. However, from 1932 until his death, Chesterton delivered over 40 talks per year. He was allowed (and encouraged) to improvise on the scripts. This allowed his talks to maintain an intimate character, as did the decision to allow his wife and secretary to sit with him during his broadcasts.
Chesterton faced accusations of anti-Semitism during his lifetime, saying in chapter 13 of The New Jerusalem (1920) that it was something "for which my friends and I were for a long period rebuked and even reviled". Despite his prostestations to the contrary, the accusation continues to be repeated. An early supporter of Captain Dreyfus, by 1906 he had turned into an anti-dreyfusard. From the early 20th century, his fictional work included caricatures of Jews, stereotyping them as greedy, cowardly, disloyal and communists.
The Marconi scandal of 1912–13 brought issues of anti-Semitism into the political mainstream. Senior ministers in the Liberal government had secretly profited from advanced knowledge of deals regarding wireless telegraphy, and critics regarded it as relevant that some of the key players were Jewish. According to historian Todd Endelman, who identified Chesterton as among the most vocal critics, "The Jew-baiting at the time of the Boer War and the Marconi scandal was linked to a broader protest, mounted in the main by the Radical wing of the Liberal Party, against the growing visibility of successful businessmen in national life and their challenge to what were seen as traditional English values."
Cecil Edward Chesterton
Cecil Edward Chesterton (12 November 1879 – 6 December 1918) was an English journalist and political commentator, known particularly for his role as editor of The New Witness from 1912 to 1916, and in relation to its coverage of the Marconi scandal. In 1901 he joined the Fabian Society, with which he was closely involved for about six years. From 1907 he wrote for A. R. Orage's The New Age. In 1908 he published an anonymous biography of his better-known brother, G. K. Chesterton, a Criticism, but his authorship was quickly discovered.
Chesterton had been one of the 'Anti-Puritan League' of the 1890s, with Stewart Headlam (who stood bail for Oscar Wilde), Edgar Jepson and his brother; and then a member of Henry Holland's Christian Social Union. While Chesterton was writing from a socialist point of view for Orage, he was also moving to an Anglo-Catholic religious stance. In 1911 he started editorial work for Belloc, with whom he wrote in The Party System, a criticism of party politics. In 1912 he formally became a Roman Catholic.
Charles Charrington Martin (1854 – 1926), often known as Charles Charrington, but at times as Charles Martin, was a British actor and barrister. Charrington studied law at the University of Cambridge, and became a barrister. He also worked as an actor, and married Janet Achurch, who worked in the profession. In 1889, they took over the management of the Novelty Theatre, putting on and performing in the first professional English language production of Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House. Charrington also became politically active, standing for the Progressive Party in the 1898 London County Council election, and for the Chelsea Vestry in 1899. Charrington joined the Fabian Society in 1895, and served on its executive committee from 1899 until 1904. That year, he moved away from London to focus his time on acting, but in 1907 he returned.
Henry Hyde Champion
Henry Hyde Champion (22 January 1859 – 30 April 1928) was a socialist journalist and activist, regarded as one of the leading spirits behind the formation of the Independent Labour Party. Up to 1893, he lived and worked in Great Britain, moving after that date to Australia.
Champion was born in Poona, India on 22 January 1859, the son of Major-General James Hyde Champion, and his wife Henrietta Susan, née Urquhart, of aristocratic Scottish descent. Henry was sent to England at four years of age to attend a day school and from 13 was educated at Marlborough College, later he attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He entered the army and fought with the artillery in the Afghan War of 1879. There he caught typhoid and was sent back to England. A radical friend showed Champion the London East End slums; his friend also accompanied Champion to the United States where Champion was influenced by the writings of Henry George.
Champion resigned his army commission 17 September 1882 in disgust over conduct of the Egyptian War of that year and joined the socialist movement. He became assistant secretary of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and wrote for the socialist paper, Justice. In 1886 with John Burns, Henry Hyndman and Jack Williams he was indicted for seditious conspiracy in connexion with the Trafalgar Square riots, after conducting his own defence he was acquitted. Champion bought a half-share in a printing plant and published a paper called To-Day, and in 1885-86 George Bernard Shaw's early novel Cashel Byron's Profession appeared in it as a serial. It was published separately by Champion in 1886. This was the first of Shaw's works published in book form.
Champion then settled down as a leader writer for The Age. His wife successfully conducted the Book Lovers' Library and Bookshop, and in connection with this Champion published a monthly literary paper, the Book Lover, which ran 1899–1921. He also wrote occasionally for the Socialist and The Bulletin. Champion interested himself in social movements, was a foundation member of the Anti-Sweating League.
Sir George Edward Gordon Catlin
Sir George Edward Gordon Catlin (26 July 1896 – 7 February 1979) was an English political scientist and philosopher. A strong proponent of Anglo-American co-operation, he worked for many years as a professor at Cornell University and other universities and colleges in the United States and Canada. He preached the use of a natural science model for political science. McMaster University Libraries hold his correspondence archive and the body of some of his works. He had two children, one of whom is the politician and academic Shirley Williams.
During the 1930s Catlin travelled extensively. He visited Germany, where in 1933 he witnessed the trial of Dimitrov for allegedly setting the Reichstag fire, an alledged forewarning of what NSDAP was to become. He went to Soviet Russia for a prolonged examination of the newly established Communist regime there and to Spain during the height of the Civil War. During this period Catlin wrote a large number of articles as a journalist, mostly for the Yorkshire Post.
He served on the campaign team of Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie during 1940 and his subsequent book, One Anglo-American Nation appeared in 1941. He was an early advocate for the independence of India, after meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 in London. He visited India in 1946 and 1947 and published a tribute to Gandhi after his assassination, In the Path of Mahatma Gandhi (1948).
In 1947 Catlin lectured in Peking. He served as Provost of Mar Ivanios College in India for 1953–54 and as chairman and Bronfman Professor in the Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill University between 1956 and 1960. He was a founder of the Movement for Atlantic Union, which was established in 1958. He drafted the constitution of the Paris-based Atlantic Institute, founded in 1961. He was also a member of the Pilgrims Club of Great Britain.
John Cameron Cartwright
John Cameron Cartwright (born 29 November 1933) is a former politician in the United Kingdom. He was a Labour and then an SDP Member of Parliament (MP) representing Woolwich East then Woolwich from the October 1974 general election to the 1992 election.
Cartwright worked as Political Secretary of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society (R.A.C.S.) and served as a Greenwich borough councillor before standing for Parliament. He unsuccessfully contested Bexley at the 1970 general election (when he lost to Edward Heath) and Bexleyheath at the February 1974 election (which he lost to Cyril Townsend).
At the October 1974 election Cartwright was elected as the Labour member for Woolwich East, replacing Christopher Mayhew who had left Labour to join the Liberal Party. Following six years as a backbench Member of Parliament and latterly Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shirley Williams, Cartwright himself left the Labour Party in 1981 to become one of the founding members of the SDP.
Cartwright served as the SDP's chief whip from 1983 onwards and as its President from 1987 until the failure of the continuing SDP in 1990. He also served as the SDP/Liberal Alliance's chief defence spokesman from 1983 to 1987. A close political ally of David Owen, he stayed loyal to Owen and Owen's continuing SDP after the Liberal Party and a majority of the SDP merged in January 1988 to become the Liberal Democrats.
Following the collapse of the continuing SDP in 1990, Cartwright stood for re-election as an 'Independent Social Democrat' - albeit one endorsed by the Liberal Democrats - but lost by 2,200 votes. After thus leaving active politics he went on to serve as Deputy Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority before retiring to Kent.
Cunningham was educated at Dunfermline High School, Blackpool Grammar School and the University of Manchester. He worked for the Labour Party as its Commonwealth officer. Cunningham contested Henley at the 1966 general election as the Labour candidate. He was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Islington South West at the 1970 general election. After boundary changes, he was elected for Islington South and Finsbury at the February 1974 election. Cunningham strongly opposed Scottish devolution.
At his prompting, the House of Commons accepted an amendment to the Scotland Act 1978 that a majority voting "yes" in the 1979 referendum on establishing a devolved Assembly would have to constitute at least 40 per cent of the Scottish electorate, without which the proposal could be withdrawn and the Act repealed by statutory instrument. As the "yes" vote on 1 March constituted only 32.9 per cent of the electorate, the Labour government decided it would not proceed with devolution.
This prompted the Scottish National Party to withdraw its support for the government, which did not have a majority in the House of Commons. The Conservative opposition then tabled a motion of no confidence, in which the government was defeated by one vote. The Conservative Party, which was opposed to devolution, won the subsequent general election; the Scotland Act was repealed in June 1979.
Richard Howard Stafford Crossman
Richard Howard Stafford Crossman OBE (15 December 1907 – 5 April 1974), sometimes known as Dick Crossman, was a British Labour Party politician. A university classics lecturer by profession, he was elected a Member of Parliament in 1945 and became a significant figure among the party's advocates of Zionism. He was a Bevanite on the left of the party, and a long-serving member of Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) from 1952. Crossman was a Cabinet minister in Harold Wilson's governments of 1964–1970, first for Housing, then as Leader of the House of Commons, and then for Social Services. In the early 1970s Crossman was editor of the New Statesman. He is remembered for his highly revealing three-volume Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, published posthumously.
Crossman entered the House of Commons at the 1945 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry East, a seat he held until shortly before he died in 1974. During 1945–46 he served, on the nomination of the Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, as a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry into the Problems of European Jewry and Palestine. The committee's report, submitted in April 1946, included a recommendation for 100,000 Jewish displaced persons to be permitted to enter Palestine.
The recommendation was rejected by the British government, after which Crossman led the socialist opposition to the official British policy for Palestine. That incurred Bevin's enmity, and may have been the primary factor which prevented Crossman from achieving ministerial rank during the 1945–51 government. Crossman initially supported the Arab cause, but after meeting Chaim Weizmann he became a lifelong Zionist. In his diary, he described Weizmann as "one of the very few great men I have ever met." Crossman remained a supporter of Israel during his political career from the late-1940s until he died in 1974.
Crossman is considered by historians to be a central figure to British Cold War propaganda due to his collaboration with the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret branch of the UK Foreign Office dedicated to disinformation, anti-communist, and pro-colonial propaganda during the Cold War. The IRD secretly funded, published and distributed many of Crossman's articles and books, including most notably The God that Failed. His anti-communist works were not only of special interest to British propagandists but were also secretly sponsored by the US government, which translated his works into Malay and Chinese. Crossman was also a regular contributor to Encounter, an "anti-Stalinist" publication which received funding from MI6 and the CIA.
Crossman's intense relationship with disinformation for propaganda purposes led to many people nicknaming him "Dick Double-Crossman". His name was also included within one of George Orwell's notebooks following the discovery of Orwell's list, being noted by Orwell as being "Too dishonest to be outright F. T" (fellow-traveller). He was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party from 1952 until 1967, and Chairman of the Labour Party in 1960–61. In 1957, Crossman was one of the plaintiffs, along with Aneurin Bevan and Morgan Phillips, in a claim for libel made against The Spectator, which had described the three men as drinking heavily during a socialist conference in Italy.
Bernard Rowland Crick
Sir Bernard Rowland Crick (16 December 1929 – 19 December 2008) was a British political theorist and democratic socialist whose views can be summarised as "politics is ethics done in public". He sought to arrive at a "politics of action", as opposed to a "politics of thought" or of ideology, and he held that "political power is power in the subjunctive mood." He was a leading critic of behaviouralism. Crick read Economics at University College London, obtaining a first, before transferring to the London School of Economics for doctoral study. While working on his Ph.D.—published in 1958 as The American Science of Politics—he was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard, 1952–1954; Assistant Professor, McGill, 1954–1955; Visiting Fellow, Berkeley, 1955–1956). Returning to Great Britain in 1956, he obtained his Ph.D at the LSE and was appointed to an Assistant and later a Senior Lectureship, 1957–1965.
Crick sponsored the LSE's new-formed "Society Against Racial Discrimination" (1963). The indigenous British, he remarked, should treat immigrant ethnicities "as equals – and as no more than equals". An anonymous contributor adds : 'At least one member of audience wondered who proposed treating immigrants as "more than equals".' Crick was an advisor to British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock during the 1980s. When Labour came to power in 1997, Crick was appointed by his former student David Blunkett to head up an advisory group on citizenship education. The group's final report in 1998, known as the Crick Report, led to the introduction of citizenship as a core subject in the National Curriculum. authored the 2004 Home Office book Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship, which forms the basis for the new citizenship test required by all people naturalising as British citizens.
He taught for a number of years at the University of Sheffield (1965–1971). and founded a Department of Politics and Sociology, later the Department of Politics, at Birkbeck College, University of London in 1972. He was a Vice-President of the British Humanist Association. In 1974 Crick started work on a biography of George Orwell with the help of Orwell's second wife Sonia Brownell. The hardback edition rights were used to set up a grant in conjunction with Birkbeck College to fund projects by new writers that would have interested Orwell. In 1980, just before the book was published, a friend of Crick's, David Astor, agreed to match the grant. Over the years there were contributions by Richard Blair, Orwell's adopted son, and also The Observer newspaper, among others.
The lectures continue: they are now hosted each year by the Orwell Foundation (originally established by Crick as the Orwell Prize; see below) at University College London, home of the Orwell Archive; in November 2016 the Orwell Lecture was given by Ian Hislop. Previous lecturers include Rowan Williams and Hilary Mantel. In 2017, the Orwell Foundation and the Sir Bernard Crick Centre re-established a new Orwell Lecture in the North at the University of Sheffield: the inaugural lecture was given by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry.
Creech Jones specialised in Colonial affairs in Parliament, especially those in Africa. In June 1936 he pressed the Government, which were encouraging colonies to set up memorials to King George V, to follow the example of Uganda and set up a technical educational institution. The Labour Party nominated him to the Colonial Office's Educational Advisory Committee in 1936, on which he served for nine years. In 1937, he was a founding member of the Trades Union Congress Colonial Affairs Committee, and in 1940 he founded the Fabian Colonial Bureau.
In Africa, Creech Jones presided over a conference at Lancaster House for the African colonies in 1948. He was able to issue a memorandum on local government in the Colonies, which confirmed the intention to bring in responsible government. He was able to make progress in the colony of Ceylon where he introduced a Government Bill to give the colony Dominion status and eventual independence. He thus presided over the Colonial Office's first granting of independence to a 'non-white' colony. (Independence for India and Pakistan a year earlier had been the responsibility of the India Office.).
At the 1950 general election, Creech Jones' constituency of Shipley was subjected to boundary changes, and he was vigorously challenged by the Conservatives. He ended up losing his seat by a narrow 81 votes to Geoffrey Hirst, being one of the most prominent Ministerial casualties of the election. Out of Parliament he spent more time with the Fabian Colonial Bureau for whom he chaired conferences and lectured. He edited volumes of the Fabian Colonial Essays. He also led delegations to the Government from the Anti-Slavery Society (of which he was Vice-President) and the Africa Bureau. He was Chairman of the British Council of Pacific Relations from 1952
Katherine Laird Cox
Katherine Laird Cox (1887–1938), the daughter of a British socialist stockbroker and his wife, was a Fabian and graduate of Cambridge University. There, she met Rupert Brooke, becoming his lover, and was a member of his Neo-Pagans. She was also a friend of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group. At Cambridge, she was considered one of the emancipated "new women". She became the second treasurer of the Cambridge Fabian Society, succeeding Amber Reeves (co-founder of the society in 1905), where she met Rupert Brooke (1887–1915).
Brooke, who had also gone up to Cambridge (King's) to read classics in 1906, was a member of the steering committee of the Fabians and President (1909–1910). Brooke was also a member of the Cambridge Apostles, and after graduating in 1909 had taken up residence in nearby Grantchester, switching to English Literature and continuing his association with the university, working on a dissertation. Ka became part of Brooke's circle, which also included Jacques Raverat and Gwen Darwin, a group that coalesced around him from 1908 till his death in 1915, and which later came to be dubbed the Neo-Pagans.
The membership of this group was drawn largely from the two societies in which men and women mixed, the Fabian Society and the Marlowe Dramatic Society (founded by Brookes). Another unifying feature was that many of them had been to school at Bedales, a progressive co-educational institution that emphasised the outdoor life. One of the Neo-Pagan rules was comradely chastity "We don’t copulate without marriage" (Brooke), which turned out to be difficult to sustain. The group started to form in early 1908, when Rupert Brooke began putting together a production of Milton's Comus for performance in July. Ka, together with a number of other young women, were drawn in to work on the costumes, while Brooke started to draw up rules, such as asking them to forswear engagement or marriage for six months.
Corner joined the Fabian Society in 1914, and was chair of the Fabian Women's Group in 1922. She also served on the executive of the Fabian Nursery Committee, and the Labour Party Standing Joint Committee of Women's Industrial Organisations. She served on the executive of the Fabian Society from 1923. Corner stood unsuccessfully for the Labour Party in Farnham at the 1923 and 1924 United Kingdom general elections. She was also active in the League of Nations Union.
William Dudley Collard
William Dudley Collard (1907-1963) was a British barrister and writer on law in the Soviet Union. Collard was a member of the Anglo-Soviet Law Association, and represented the Communist Party of Great Britain as a lawyer. His affiliation with communism led to the intelligence services keeping a file on him.
Following the "Trial of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center" in 1937 (the second of the Moscow Trials), Collard published a book through the Left Book Club entitled Soviet Justice and the Trial of Radek and Others which argued that the trials had been conducted fairly. Most historians now conclude that the Moscow Trials were show trials.