Co-op Carpet Baggers are back!

Answers to blatantly leading questions in a Co-op Group survey earlier this year, designed to justify a more “commercial” business model, still needed to be twisted to present the impression the profiteers were after.

The survey should be titled, “You Spoke and We Had Already Decided”:

Trying to pander to the notion that people are intrinsically selfish and only bothered about what affects them personally, they attempted to justify this by asking questions to which no-one could answer no. Yet the authors had to admit there is massive support amongst Co-op members and the general public for championing global and national issues as well as local (like Fair Trade , global warming, community projects).

The report still rubbishes the need to fund a political wing of the co-op movement to help achieve its goals, as the carpet baggers want to edge people away from collectivism, and divert funds into reducing prices or increasing member dividends. Oddly reminiscent of Cameron’s government of millionaires.

In fact, barely a majority of the public (52%) thought funding political parties is not right for big companies, and members were split on the question – which they would be, as it sounded like a question about PLC s funding the Tories!

Such a convoluted attempt to rationalise the ditching of the Co-op Party would be funny, if it didn’t mask hidden intent to profiteer at our expense.

Since many people are seemingly unaware the Co-op is meant to be run by its members, the authors will decide that doesn’t matter, then. Changes to “governance” can continue to whittle away at this set-up, which is so inconvenient for people who want to get rich off the back of assets built up by generations of co-operators.

A frontal assault by carpet baggers some years ago led to the demise of many mutuals like Building Societies, and almost the Co-op Group itself. This time the carpet baggers are a bit more subtle, playing a longer game.

The trouble is, those meant to do the job of controlling the profiteering urges of some on behalf of the members fail to do so, repeatedly.

If there is one thing that really is wrong with the Co-op is that it is too easy to become a member of elected committees, with no Co-op background or understanding, and to remain there by blowing with the wind, which is no challenge to the carpet baggers.

So, Tesco lookalike here we come!

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