Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the Conservative Co-operative Movement - hoisted by its own petard?

A few years back, there was something akin to outcry when the conservative party announced the launch of its ‘conservative co-operative movement’, mainly because we already have a co-operative movement that‘s been doing quite well for quite some time and already has good linkages into the political systems at Westminster.

Undaunted, the conservatives pressed on, launching their movement with a website and flagship publication “Nuts & Bolts – how to start a food co-op”, the author of which prefaces by saying that they have no technical expertise in how to set up co-ops... and the site doesn't list what co-op values are, nor link to the national federal body for the movement - Co-operativesUK

And this new movement has been subject to some criticism, not least because although espousing co-op values, it was a self-selecting body, accountable to no-one... But now, all that’s changed! It’s incorporating itself as a formal co-operative entity, with membership open to all (a snip at £10 a year!)

And that got me thinking... if enough people in the ‘main’/pre-existent co-operative movement became members, we could exercise member democracy, call an extraordinary meeting, and agree to dissolve the co-op, distributing its assets throughout the wider non-partisan co-op movement.

Anyone with me?

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you! It's not the first time they've done this. Way back in 1869 they set up a Conservative Co-operative Society in Rochdale in competition with the Rochdale Pioneers, although without much success. But then Conservatives are not very good at understanding the term co-operate, just as Thatcher only understood the word 'solidarity' if it was in Polish.