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AHC: Co-Operative party wank

Markus Meecham

Marxism-Ambedkarism-Anikulapo Thought
#1
Well, thank god this is the politibrit forum!

Disregarding the fact that, according to the wiki the 2017 general elections has been their strongest showing so far, how to increase their participation in parliament(and devolved assemblies, and city councils...) even more, given a 1900 PoD?

What policies would be likely pushed by them inside a broader labour party platform ( if they are still labour-cooperative, which is not mandatory in this thought exercise), how would these policies affect the UK as a whole? Could we see less nationalisations and more cooperativisations (is that even a word)? Cooperative debentures being traded in the stock market as a common thing? Industrial cooperatives being the beacon of hope for british industry in the era of the service economy? Weed clubs a la uruguay being the path for drug legalisation? Credit unions taking over the banking system? Future decentralised energy grids being controlled by cooperatives of landlords controlling the political system and opressing tenants for ever and ever? Nuclear war?
 

Alex Richards

She needs an artificial Mountain, not AV
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#3
The Co-operative Society was actually the first left-wing party to get properly organised in Long Eaton UDC and I suspect Ilkeston as well.

They were in coalition with the Liberals locally, but post WWI moved into a close relationship with Labour and held on as an independent polity until WWII.

It's probaby notable that even in the 50s there were still quite a number of local-level Labour-Co/op candidates and we've got a bit of a tradition of Independent Labour type councillors.
 

Alex Richards

She needs an artificial Mountain, not AV
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#8
There was actually a 'Conservative Labour' candidate on Long Eaton UDC back in the 1890s.

I'm pretty sure at this point this was using Labour as an adjective for 'working class' but certainly that sort of 'I like Conservative policies on many things but want a bit more support for working people' ideology would be feasible.
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#9
There was actually a 'Conservative Labour' candidate on Long Eaton UDC back in the 1890s.

I'm pretty sure at this point this was using Labour as an adjective for 'working class' but certainly that sort of 'I like Conservative policies on many things but want a bit more support for working people' ideology would be feasible.
Could also develop as a label for economically socialist, socially conservative parties/politicians.
 

Nomad

Well-known member
#10
For someone who's a member of the party and has been acquainted with a lot of its top brass, I must admit I know very little about its history. One thing I have heard though is that the recent upturn in its number of MPs has a lot to do with a more liberal approach to deciding who actually gets endorsed as a Co-op candidate. If that policy had been brought in at an earlier stage, you might see a lot more Co-op MPs down the years, though you might not neccessarily see a huge increase in the amount of co-op focused legislation that is pushed.

The thing with the Co-op Party is that it doesn't really represent a coherent ideological faction of Labour. Its MPs come from both left and right, and vary quite a bit in their commitment to the cause. If you want to make it more powerful, you have to create a situation where membership of the party is seen to be indicative of a general political outlook. One way to do that would be to make libertarian vs state socialism a major ideological debate either in Labour, or in UK politics as a whole. Strangely, I could see the Co-op Party gaining a foothold as a party of protest in a TL where you either have a communist Britain, or the two major parties both endorse state socialism for some reason.

More realistically, you could have co-operative and mutual societies retain their status as the major provider of welfare, as they were prior to 1945. That might mean making Labour less favourable to the idea of state ownership. Maybe that could be achieved by a general shift in left wing thought worldwide, or by having the Webb's decide that socialism takes up too many evenings, or by a change in personnel at the top of the party.

AV Alexander was pretty heavily involved in the Co-operative movement, and in a situation where he didn't lose his seat in 1931, he would stand a pretty good chance of taking the leadership rather than Attlee. Putting him at the head of a reforming post-war government would probably do a lot to preserve the place of co-ops and mutuals, and it would probably attract a lot more people to the Co-op party in the future if he becomes idolised as Labour's greatest hero.
 
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Nomad

Well-known member
#12
Now this is an interesting thought.
What else do you know about the politics he advocated?
Not much beyond what is on his wikipedia article, which doesn't go into much depth in his view on co-ops. Though I will say he ended up on the right side of history on the most important issues of the time, being anti-austerity in the MacDonald government then anti-appeasement when he was an opposition spokesperson under Attlee. Hell, if you really wanted to run wild with it you could make Labour a stronger parliamentary force at the time WW2 starts and have him become PM during the war, which could elevate him to alt-Churchill status in the public consciousness.
 

Markus Meecham

Marxism-Ambedkarism-Anikulapo Thought
#13
Not much beyond what is on his wikipedia article, which doesn't go into much depth in his view on co-ops. Though I will say he ended up on the right side of history on the most important issues of the time, being anti-austerity in the MacDonald government then anti-appeasement when he was an opposition spokesperson under Attlee. Hell, if you really wanted to run wild with it you could make Labour a stronger parliamentary force at the time WW2 starts and have him become PM during the war, which could elevate him to alt-Churchill status in the public consciousness.
So wiki links to the cambridge Janus platform that has a collection of his papers

Rather, an index of such papers, the actual stuff seems to be inacessible. I'll use my university VPN to see if there's anything i could possibly access but it seems that this shit is only available if you go to cambridge :(