Malcolm, Rob and Edgar send emessages about the Co-operative YouGov survey

yougov co-op header

Earlier this month, Rob was favoured with an “Interesting email yesterday from the coop chief executive asking me to complete a YouGov survey; he also appeared on the breakfast news”. Rob thought that the survey questions were quite wide ranging, varying from whether we should hand back more to the local community to whether we should become a political and campaigning organisation. He added two comments:

“Ethical standards are a must, but they asked questions such as “do we need
to be honest when we make mistakes?” which I would have thought came under
the ethical standards.

”In general I feel a lot more can be achieved by getting more people involved and buying local – it will achieve many things at once”.

co-op edgarEdgar included this graphic to summarise his reaction to the survey.

He has recorded the adverse reactions of ‘many members’ on several fronts which include:

  • the fact that the survey is addressed to the general public, not the membership; devalues the concept of The Group being a member-controlled enterprise;
  • suspicions about the motivation behind the survey; fears that executives are trying to abolish their accountability at a time when elected members are too demoralised to resist;
  • a feeling that the survey is pushing The Group down the road of becoming a sort of charitable trust distributing cash to local good causes
  • and eliminating the idea of co-operation being about member ownership and control;

Edgar recommends the Group to involve its members more in direct decision-making, or in considering how the members should in future exercise their ‘overview and scrutiny’ role over management, commenting that the failure to do this effectively got us into the current mess in the first place. See his website:

Malcolm reacted to Edgar’s mailing by asking “Is this worrying or not?”

Meanwhile others, who did not receive an email invitation from the chief executive, will be wondering how he selected his correspondents.

They may now complete the survey by clicking here:


This entry was posted in Co-operative Group, Co-operative movement, Democratic participation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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