The century of co-operation?

Roger Sawtell commends The UK Co-operative Economy 2011, recently published by Co-operatives UK in The Friend – a Quaker weekly. 

“Nicholas McGeorge  (Letters 22 July) writes that the John Lewis Partnership is not a ‘balance between shareholder capitalism and stewardship’ but is part of the co-operative sector.   

“Yes, indeed, with 76,000 people it is the second largest employee-owned business listed in the superb annual review The UK Co-operative Economy 2011 recently published by Co-operatives UK. It can be downloaded at www.uk.coop/economy2011.                                   

“Co-operative businesses, including John Lewis Partnership, have no equity shareholders looking for short-term profits.  They are an alternative way of structuring business, combining economic viability with social responsibility.  

“Following the scandalous behaviour of shareholder-owned banks which led to the 2008 financial crisis, the co-operative sector of the economy is growing steadily.  

I believe this will be the century of co-operation; it’s our best hope to achieve the kind of social justice for which Quakers stand.

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