Cooperative engagement in Labour’s ‘ways forward’

Well done to the Co-operative Business Consultants, and in particular to their members Jo Bird and Phil Frampton, who are arranging a conference in January in Manchester under the banner ‘Building an Economy to Serve People not Profit’.

This will be the fourth time in the past three years that CBC have staged their “Ways Forward” events, and the previous events have provided a valuable forum for debate among cooperative activists about how to rebuild the movement after the Co-op Bank and Co-op Group awfulnesses.

This time their focus is very much on the opportunities opening up in the Labour Party and John McDonnell the shadow Chancellor has already been bagged as a guest speaker. “The new Labour leadership says that nationalisation, but without the old style bureaucratic policies that left control in the hands of the Establishment, will be accompanied by co-operative democratic principles in the new People’s economy. The challenge is ours – to thrash out how a People’s economy can be shaped to benefit everyone,” the organisers say.

I’ll be in Manchester on Thursday 21st January to play my part in the discussions. More details at


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