Friday, 1 July 2011

Co op fortnight

Once again I am indebted to Liberal England. They report that this is Co op fortnight and there is a video on youtube from 2010 which gives some background and context.      

I am particularly pleased that the co-ops are taking this step to promote themselves because there is a real danger that the government drive to promote mutuals to take on public sector operations may eclipse the role of employee ownership in other sectors of the economy. I should be clear I am delighted by the attempt to promote employee firms in all parts of the economy but I firmly believe that the Bitish economy would be transformed if the major wealth producing industries were owned by the employees. Robert Oakeshott who helped found the Employee Ownership Association along with Jo Grimond wrote over on the Equality Trust website:

Democratic employee ownership and control also has many advantages as a way of creating a more egalitarian society. It puts earning differentials under democratic control, redistributes wealth quite substantially, prevents external shareholders taking unearned income, improves productivity, develops a sense of community and begins to free people from the divisions wrought by hierarchy and status competition. Furthermore, because employee ownership can and does exist side-by-side with conventional business, it makes successful transformation achievable, with the new society developing within the old.

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