Co-operative Conservatives

Cameron gave a speech yesterday which he said was his “political philosophy in a nutshell”. So was it a vision moment? He said
“the co-operative principle reflects an important part of the vision of social progress that we on the centre-right believe in: the role of strong independent institutions, run by and for local people. That’s why Conservatives have always argued that free enterprise and the co-operative principle are partners, not adversaries. And now I want the Conservative Party to take the lead in applying the co-operative ideal to the challenges of the 21st century. So I am delighted to announce today the establishment of the Conservative Co-operative Movement. “

Over at LabourHome they have gone all “how very dare they” about Cameron’s Conservative Co-operative Movement. Guido had lunch with LabourHome founder Alex Hilton sometime ago, when Guido paid using a Co-operative Bank debit card he positively spluttered with indignation. “What is a capitalist like you doing banking with the Co-op?” The truth is co-ops are compatible with free enterprise, they can compete with profit-driven businesses and are a very welcome component of an enterprise culture. Guido tried to explain that for years he had worked in what was effectively a co-op. Hedge fund partnerships often work on the same principles as farmer’s co-ops, a few traders get together, share a pool of capital, share risks and share profits, just like members of an agricultural co-op do. Some of the swankiest property in New York is owned by billionaire members of co-ops. They do this because they are smart and don’t want a third party to profit at their expense. Co-ops have nothing to do with top-down state socialism.The chair of the Conservative Co-operative Movement will be Jesse Norman, the author of Compassionate Conservativism. In Latin-American countries political parties from across the spectrum often have a social-action wing that does good works. The thinking here is that state-controlled public services are too bureaucratic, too big and public service reform would be better served by harnessing the flexibility and dynamism of co-ops. Co-op schools would be a great start, with like-mind communities getting together to run schools responsive to the wishes of parents and pupils rather than Ed Balls’ diktats.



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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