International Endorsement for the Ways Forward Conferences

Extract from the papers of 2104 ICA Quebec Summit

“The current crisis at The Co-operative Bank is one of the most important to affect the co-operative banking sector since the wave of demutualisations during the Thatcher era. The personal scandal, apart from undermining the bank’s standing, appears to justify the arguments of incompetence previously put about by those disparaging co-operative banks. The risk that the contagion will spread is a classic phenomenon. The danger is that the whole movement becomes challenged and weakened, something referred to in the invitation to a public discussion for co-operators in Manchester on 17 January on the theme of the crisis of The Co-operative Bank and ways to move forward and prevent the whole movement from falling into a spiral of despair. That is the right way to take the movement beyond the current situation. This discussion, open to members, underlines how democracy must drive the co-operative movement and that it is of absolutely the first importance. It has a timeless significance since it goes back to how co-operatives were originally constituted (to manage their own affairs). In terms of the energy and engagement of its members. the gathering that day shared many similarities with one that might have been organised in the 19th century (Bibby, 2014) – although the atmosphere of the latter would surely have been more optimistic.”

“One of the important aspects emerging from the crisis of the co-operative movement is the harkening back to the importance of democracy. . . . . . At the conference held in January 2014 in the symbolic city of Manchester, one of the participants called for society members to be more prepared to take on “creative tension” and the management of “conflict”, and to be less angelic and “nice” in their attitude (Bibby, 2014). There was a different tone, as if the urgency of the crisis had awakened co-operators to the fact that their heritage, and thus the future of co-operation, was threatened. Democracy is a battle of ideas and ideology.”

Full paper here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please help us by first completing this short spammer test: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.