My name is Phil Frampton. I am a member of CBC and wish to welcome you all here today. CBC is a coop consortium dedicated to assisting co-operatives to develop and promoting co-operative principles.
If you want to know more about us you can go to cbc.coop or ask the CBC consultants here today.
The first Ways Forward Conference was convened in January 2014 in this very hall, which Andrew Bibby described as shabby. We didn’t mind. Many workers organisations and co-ops like FC United meet here.
We don’t need the expensive swanky conference centres demanded by the champagne socialists and their friends, the champagne co-operators.
As Andrew Bibby reported, instead we offered the fresh air of vibrant honest debate seeking real solutions to the crisis facing the movement because of the failure to apply co-op principles at the Bank and the Group.
We convened this 4th conference, Ways Forward 4, because of the magnificent victory of Jeremy Corbyn standing in part on a platform of bringing co-operative principles into the heart of British industry and services. We felt it offered a huge opportunity both for the co-op movement and all those wanting to build a society free from exploitation.
Once more a Labour leader raised the standard of socialist co-operation in humanities age old struggle of co-operation against exploitation
And luckily it came just at a time when some parts of the co-operative movement were beginning to justify the exploitation of huge managerial pay differentials earned on the back of minimum wage employees.
But our standard needs clarifying if it is to be unfurled offering a sustainable robust alternative to capitalist exploitation which ,leaves 62 people owning more in this world than the collective wealth of 3 billion of our poorest people.
We are not here for platitudes. Please make use of and enjoy the cut and thrust of debate on this day.