Concerned co-operators reflect on the Co-operative Party and the Group’s business decisions

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Dave Boyle co-opsIn the latest issue of the Co-operative News, Dave Boyle, Brighton-based writer and researcher specialising in co-operatives, writes about the Co-operative Party levy:

“Our members live in a changing political world and vote SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green, Liberal Democrat and Conservative and many don’t vote at all  . . .”

He notes that members might well ask why a party they don’t vote for gets money from the proceeds of their spending, and why don’t they have any say in a Movement that has traditionally said it is built on democratic member control . . .

His co-operative vision: “Individuals making choices within collective enterprises, using the power of their trade and democratic control to help build a better world – a very co-operative approach”.

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In the same issue, Ian Greenhalgh  (Bolton) summarises a number of recent business decisions:

  • The Group’s proposal to sell our new office building and rent it back is bad business and our directors should be ashamed.
  • The Somerfield supermarkets we bought are not performing very well.
  • Co-operative Travel merger with Thomas Cook seems to be a bad deal.
  • It is suggested that we will have to write off £200 million in the process of acquiring 632 Lloyds Bank branches.

He concludes, “The members need to be told what is going on . . . All the directors seem to be interested in is going on trips and conferences and enjoying themselves at the society’s expense. This is not a democratic Movement any more; nor is it run for the benefit of members”.

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Time for change?

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