Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tory Porkies

From LabourList channel on YouTube. Only a minute - if only party political broadcasts were this short and featured food.

Monday, 16 February 2009

New Co-op Advert

If you missed the new 2 minute 39 second Tv advert for The Co-operative - the one with the Bob Dylan "Blowin in the Wind" soundtrack then you can see it at :

Don't know for how long it will be available.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Fairtrade Fortnight 2009

It's that time of year again ,23rd February thru 8th March, when Fairtrade issues are highlighted. 2008 saw lots of events, film showings and publicity. This year with economic bleakness dominating the media things are bound to be a little less exuberant.

A view is that consumers generally trade down to cheaper options, and budget supermarkets in a recession. Confectionery, tea and coffee sales have been pretty much recession proof as they are the one luxury customers console themselves with...

Events noted so far in Manchester are at the 8th Day Co-operative, 111 Oxford Road with fair trade games, tombola (don't you just love that Italian word - from tombolare - to somersault) and tastings. Details here.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Cameron "Bring Back The Job Clubs"

David Cameron addressed the Social Enterprise Coalition Conference today. He does a nice line in buzz words - enterprise, more training, empower individuals - that's what all politicians do. Put me down as naive but I thought he'd be offering support for all the social enterprise / third sector organisations given that was his audience. But no it's the same story of market forces, laissez-faire and bring back the Thatcher-era Job Clubs. The last one around here met in the Tory Club on a Thursday, don't know if it was like the one in the film "The Full Monty".

Not so sure about his take on capitalism :
"So if we want to make capitalism a success again, we need to make it popular again."

"It means shaping capitalism to suit the needs of society; not shaping society to suit the needs of capitalism. And it means being clear about the social goods we want our market economy to achieve - a society that is fairer, greener and safer, where we save more and waste less, and where we create good-paying and rewarding jobs for all."

History shows that capitalism does not create fair societies with well paid jobs for all. It can do wonders but that isn't one of them.
Full text.
BBC Report

Monday, 9 February 2009

No canvassing

Co-op Elections12 places up for the taking and 15 candidates on the ballot paper for the first Area Committee of this region. Co-operative Members have until Saturday 14th February to make their choices. Under the rules no canvassing for or by any candidate is allowed. Don't know what would happen if such a dastardly act took place. Obviously the online voting process is the quickest and easiest. The old school pencil, envelope and walk to the post box method is still available. You know you've been involved in this Co-op stuff a while when you've met most of the people standing for office. But I can't say who to vote for. Photo of election poster taken in my local store next to the adverts for unwanted electric guitars, buggies and other bric-a-brac...

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Turn failed banks back into mutuals

"Turn failed banks back into mutuals Labour is told", and the Co-operative Party makes it into a story in the Observer business pages, which might be a first. It is possible says Martin Weale, director of the National Institute of Social and Economic Research, but it will take time. Thanks to our Secretary for drawing attention to this article.

Cameron at Social Enterprise Conference

David Cameron is to make a keynote speech at the Social Enterprise Coalition conference fashionably called Voice09 and that room will be in Birmingham on Tuesday 10th February.

We'll await what he has to say, though you can't help being a little sceptical. These days you'd want to put as much clear blue water between the your party and the City institutions, hoorah capitalist speculators and the boom that went surprisingly bust.

Social enterprises are businesses set up to tackle a social or environmental need - more info. Co-operatives UK, Supporters Direct, New Economics Foundation, The Big Issue all have board members on the Coalition.

Friday, 6 February 2009

AGM Season

Hardy Lane Co-op 2008February thru March is the AGM season. I've got about five written in the diary and the Withington Co-op Party is in there.

Monday 23rd February 2000h
at Hardy Lane Co-op Rooms
. (that's above the shop in the picture. Entrance is the black door on the left hand side and up the steep stairs - never seen anyone use the chair lift but it is there as a trip hazard)

All the usual business, plus some refreshments purchased from the shop on the ground floor. Wrap it up just after 2100h and retire to the pub. Keep it brief and make it informal. We also plan our programme for the coming year. No local elections so that frees up April.

Our Secretary points out "More and more of our members live outside the ‘Withington Constituency’ particularly in the City Centre so we will be looking at organising at least one event in central Manchester this year."

There is a Plan B

The Co-operative has launched Plan Bee, a new campaign and 10-point plan to help reverse the worrying decline in the British bee population.

Better than that you can join in with positive action if you have a garden or allotment. All simple practical steps like letting a patch of grass grow long, buying a bee box at a subsidised price, planting some patches of wild flowers (I'd certainly recommend borage as they little blighters spend summer buzzing all over them at my allotment).... More info

Thursday, 5 February 2009

New Co-op Ventures in South Manchester

A story in the local free sheet about two new planned co-operative enterprises has prompted a revival in blogging after an overlong seasonal layoff. A food store / cafe over in Longsight taking over from an existing business. Nearer here a co-operative toy shop in Chorlton, again taking over from a business that recently closed through retirement of the owner. All very encouraging in times of economic woe. The toy shop was a local institution though I suspect it didn't have enough customers. No indication in the story which form of co-operative ownership model is going to be used....

Co-ops: Together we can save our local shops
in the South Manchester Reporter 5/2/2009

Cherished Toy Shop
in the Manchester Evening News 6/2/2009