Sunday, 28 September 2008

Demutalism Failed

"The nationalisation and break up of Bradford & Bingley will represent a momentous event in the history of British banking, because it will mean that every building society that floated on the stock market in the wave of demutualisations of the past two decades will either have collapsed or been sold to a conventional bank." Robert Peston Blog at BBC
Mutalism we were told didn't have a future - it has now.

Friday, 26 September 2008

International Webcast

The Co-operative are putting on a global webcast next Tuesday 30th September starting at 1900h BST. Some of it will be from Manchester but contributions will be coming from Jan-Eirik Imbsen of the International Co-operative Alliance, and Vishwas Satgar, executive director of The Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center in South Africa.
It's chaired by Len Wardle, Chair of The Co-operative Group.

It's viewable by anybody, not just members of The Co-operative. Usually these events are recorded and can be watched later if you miss it. So full marks again for use of internet technology.

Details here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ownership of football clubs

Andy Burnham's (Minister of Culture and Sport) speech at the Co-operative Party Conference about the ownership of football clubs received plenty of press coverage. The response from Lord Triesman, chairman of the FA was encouraging. It has a wider implication beyond the multi-million pound owners of English Premier league clubs. Emilio Butragueno until recently vice president of Real Madrid warned that it could affect the Champions League with it being dominated by English clubs. He won't remember his own club dominating European football in the 1950's. Then it was backed by the fascist Franco regime.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern Munich said "Germany needed to have an open discussion about relaxing the country's strict ownership rules and making it easier for individuals to make big investments in Bundesliga clubs." ESPN Soccernet

Back in Blighty, Andy Burnham has responded to a request from FC United of Manchester, our own co-operative football club, to meet and discuss the issue of ownership. Currently clubs in the Football League and Premiership cannot have a mutual ownership model as in Germany and Spain.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Ship Travel Video Report

Bit after the event but this is a short video of the Co-operative Party trip down the Manchester Ship Canal. Salford Quays to Pier Head in 6 and a bit hours.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Conference : Club are alienating fans

"Andy Burnham, who on Thursday outlined his views in a speech at the Co-operative party conference in Westminster, said that the Football Association were duty-bound to revise their 'fit and proper persons' test for club takeovers and also insisted that the organisation should attempt to promote competitiveness."
Press Association

This story was trailed in the press before the speech.

Conference : More school co-operatives

The Co-operative Party conference made the mainstream media on the first day. Just noting if the event gets reported. Answer is yes, thanks to a keynote speech from Ed Balls MP.

"Schools Secretary Ed Balls wants to see 100 schools taken over by co-operative trusts, primarily formed of parents, teachers and other staff." BBC Story

"Balls pledges to set up 100 co-operative schools in parent power battle"
This is London

'It gives pupils a voice and brings the community together' This is London background story

This is London is another title for the right wing Evening Standard.

'Balls to set out vision of 100 schools becoming co-operative trusts' The Guardian published before the speech was made.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Co-op Party Conference Film Showing

There is a screening of a film the ‘The Great African Scandal' at the Co-operative Party Conference. The showing of films at a Conference works well. It's lunch time so eat your sandwiches and watch the projection. Stay out of the pub, stay awake in the afternoon.

You can watch it online on Google's 47 mins long. Download version for iPod, MP3 players etc available too.

Lunch time fringe event: 1215 - 1400h:
Screening followed by a Q & As session chaired by Michael Stephenson, General Secretary of the Co-operative Party, and with Brian Clavin, Ethical policies manager, The Co-operative Group, and Deborah Burton, Christian Aid.

Congestion Charge Campaigns

The big local issue for Manchester and the surrounds is the referendum on Congestion Charges. Vote yes and get a new metro system, vote no and things remain the same. It's a little bit more complicated than that but only a little.

Voting begins in November by postal ballot until December 11th. A yes campaign is kicking of with a meeting at Green Fish Resource Centre, 46-50 Oldham Street, Manchester 1900-2100h. The no campaign backed by Peel Holdings has been running for months as we saw in the local elections in Salford.

There will be lots of scare stories in the media. If you cross Wilbraham Road in Chorlton before 0930 you will have to pay a charge - that sort of thing.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Co-op Party Conference

The annual Co-operative Party conference returns to Memorial Hall, Westminster this week. All party members and in fact anybody can attend, but only delegates can vote and speech make. Doubt if anything will be reported in the mainstream media but if anyone wants to send in photos, stories or links the address is coop AT
We'll be scanning the web and news channels in case anything appears.
Link : Party activists seek left turn at conference - Co-op News
Official Line-Up - Co-op Party

Co-op in Play

MikronSpent the damp Sunday afternoon watching a play called "Fair Trade" by the Mikron Theatre Company out back of the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. Not your earnest speeches but comedy and music to tell the story of The Co-operative Movement. Highly recommended. It has a cast of four, some stage props and musical instruments that all of that arrive in a white van. On tour at the moment. They are also touring another play called Debtonation.

Links : Mikron