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Dictionary of Peril: The peril of the Fabian Society

July 29, 2012

(So I couldn’t wait…)

Fabian Society


  1. an association of British socialists advocating the establishment of democratic socialism by gradual reforms within the law: founded in 1884

My name is Lauren Hero and this is my statement describing the tragic events of 28th July 2012. I have been a member of the Fabian Society for nearly ten years, since a representative came to a debate held by Warwick University. The date? I don’t remember. I do remember he was cute for an older guy, so I signed up. What? Not relevant? Sorry. You did ask about me getting involved. Oh you mean for this summer’s inclusivity and diversity celebration for the large sporting event that I am not allowed to name due to laws that contravene the accepted British notion of freedom of speech. Yes, a written constitution might help, but we are British. Just because something is sensible doesn’t mean we have to change hundreds of years of idiosyncratic if imperialist tradition. What do you mean you don’t want the political asides? You know I am a prominent member of the Fabian Society? Political asides is what I do.

Anyway, I became involved as organiser of our contribution because I fell asleep during a really important committee meeting and so did not object when my name was put forward. So it was decided that I would create a splash with our bit of the parade in the opening ceremon.. I cannot say that? Even to the insurance investigator? Oh.

I gathered a core group of enthusiastic participants. How many? Well, about six. The others were coerced into it for the good of the Society, and the promise of free cake. How I regret that promise now! Anyway, after quite a lot of discussion it was agreed that I would do the choreography… Yes I fell asleep again. I have a medical condition, do you want a doctor’s note?

Well it was the cake that was the trouble. The rehearsals had gone so well. The tortoise is one of our historical symbols see – slow and deliberate social change, right? Well, apart from our support of the collapse of empire in India… I think because of traditionally recognised dialectics between the working classes and… oh, digression, right. So when we were gearing up for the final practice on the big day we were happy, right. And that strange man who is always on about legalising Cannabis… what? There is always one in any political gathering, its a rule…. Anyway, he brought the cake and we all ate quite a lot. Old Mrs Reede had four whole pieces.

Well I certainly did not expect the human pyramid in the shape of a tortoise to spontaneously organise into quasi-self-awareness. Nor to rampage through Stratford trampling (or wheeling in the case of Mrs Reede and her mobility scooter) all in its path… Who knew Tortoises were so angry?

(For more information on the Fabian Society, see

Next entry’s noun:



  1. idle or trivial talk

See gift of the gab

(I heroically resisted G spot… I couldn’t face the puns…)


From → Definition

  1. hapax permalink

    I’ve always loved Jean Webster’s description of the Fabians in DADDY LONG LEGS: “That’s a Socialist who’s willing to wait. We don’t want the social revolution to come to-morrow morning; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come very gradually, in the distant future, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock.”

  2. Hi Hapax, thanks for commenting. Lovely quote!

  3. Amaryllis permalink

    hapax, we’ve read too many of the same books. I can’t hear about the Fabians without thinking of that line either.

    the large sporting event that I am not allowed to name due to laws that contravene the accepted British notion of freedom of speech.

    In which context, am I allowed to mention that here in the U.S., spouse is undergoing severe withdrawal symptoms due to the sudden unavailability of BBC-over-the Internet?

    • Ha. On behalf of a license fee payer I am sorry about that Amaryllis.

      • Amaryllis permalink

        Well, after all, it’s not like he’s a fee payer himself, or a British taxpayer or anything that actually entitles him to all that free music, But he’s used to having it anyway! Fortunately, he’s discovered that some programs are still down-load-able for later listening, presumably after they’ve been warranted free of unauthorized sporting allusions.

        Also, it occurs to me that I forgot to say that your story made me laugh. It’s always the quiet ones…

  4. Oh, that wasn’t having a go! I think of the BBC like a public good – more than just license payers should benefit. Its good propaganda for the UK, afterall… and despite me being able to fill pages about the bad stuff in the UK (Class system, tories being in charge and useless, benefits being cut, remaments of Empire ego, etc etc) we do do soemthings rather well, the BBC is one of them.

    🙂 thanks for the laugh. I find humour really hard to write… and non humour and absurdity and and and ok, I find writing really hard… why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, cos stories are cool… must remember that…

    • Amaryllis permalink

      Oh, I didn’t think you were having a go! I’m just so used to American public radio, which is actually very minimally “public,” with all their “if you like it you should help support it” guilt-inducing subscription drives, And in bygone days (five years ago!) we lived perfectly contentedly without the BBC, but now that we’re used to it, we (especially he) miss it when it isn’t there.

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