Bertrand Russell Peace FoundationRussell1

Welcome to the website of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.  Launched in 1963, the Foundation was established to carry forward Russell's work for peace, human rights and social justice. More than fifty years later, our work continues.

Here, you will also find information about our journal, The Spokesman, and links to our publications website Spokesman Books and our Online Bookshop

European Citizen
The Spokesman 136



Weeks after invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to commence the UK's withdrawal, Theresa May called a snap election to 'strengthen' her hand in the imminent negotiations. She miscalculated badly. Instead of increasing her Parliamentary majority, a fragile minority government depends on support from the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. In large numbers, people case their ballot for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, which successfully mobilised millions of new voters, with estimated turnout among those aged 18 to 24 soaring from 43 per cent in 2015 to 72 per cent in 2017 … 

Meanwhile millions of people living in the United Kingdom, whose personal and professional status is directly affected by the outcome, had no vote in the General Election on 8 June 2017. By contrast, up until May 2018, they and others throughout the European Union can endorse a European Citizens' Initiative entitled 'Retaining European Citizenship'…

Tony Simpson from his Editorial which can be read in full here


  This new issue of The Spokesman can be purchased from our sister website or from our online bookshop

Standing Up for Our Rights: European Citizens' Gathering

Click here for information and to book tickets

Dexter Whitfield seminar

Dexter gave a talk on ‘Capitalist dynamics reconfiguring the state: alternatives to privatising public services’ at The University of Nottingham on Wednesday 16 September 2015. A recording of his talk from the event is available via the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSJG) website.

Ken Coates Memorial Lecture

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, gave the inaugural Ken Coates Memorial Lecture at The University of Nottingham on Wednesday 3 June 2015. The lecture was on the subject 'The future of the left – where next for Britain's labour movement?' Watch the video recording here.

Ken Coates died on 27 June 2010, in his eightieth year. He was a prolific author whose work included the Penguin Classic, Poverty: The Forgotten Englishmen, about the St Ann’s district of Nottingham, co-authored with Richard Silburn. The Times commented: “Writing with compassion, style, wit and an almost complete lack of jargon, (they) present us with inescapable facts which must remould our thinking and our actions.”

During the 1960s, Bertrand Russell invited Ken Coates to work with him at the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. This was to lead to location of the Foundation’s offices in Nottingham, where they remain to this day. Ken Coates edited The Spokesman, the Foundation’s journal, for 40 years; he also directed the Foundation’s activities, such as launching the Appeal for European Nuclear Disarmament in 1980, which ultimately led to the removal of a category of nuclear weapons from Europe in accordance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That significant disarmament achievement is once again under threat as international tensions worsen. Ken also established the Institute for Workers’ Control in the 1960s, which organised a series of influential conferences during the following decades, several of which took place in Nottingham, addressing aspects of industrial and political democracy. Tony Benn was one among many political associates who participated.

Many people will remember Ken for his adult education classes at the Workers’ Education Association in Shakespeare Street and elsewhere. He was an industrial tutor for many years, and became a Special Professor of Adult Education at the University of Nottingham when he was elected to the European Parliament in 1989. During the next ten years, he chaired the Parliament’s Human Rights and Employment Committees. His work for full employment and a New Deal for Europe, in conjunction with Jacques Delors and Stuart Holland, continues to attract attention in the current era of austerity and mass unemployment in many European countries.