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The unwilling accomplices

Posted on December 01, 2014 by

As we’re talking about surveys, opinion polls and statistics today, it seemed worth mentioning another one that’s come to our attention. Conducted earlier in the year by YouGov but only released today, it’s a vast poll done on behalf of the Co-operative and canvassed over 180,000 people, most of them through the Co-op’s own website.

It’s relevant to us because the Co-operative also runs a political party, which has representatives at both Westminster (31 MPs) and Holyrood (4). They’re little-known because the Co-op never stands in its own right, but in conjunction with Labour, so to all intents and purposes it’s a branch of the Labour Party, funded by Co-op customers.


And it turns out most of them don’t know that, and don’t like it when they find out.

The full data can be found here (summary here). It’s slightly confusing as respondents were classified into three types, so we’re going to highlight a couple of key facts.


In the graphic above, “HYS” refers to Co-op customers using (mostly) its website and “HYS More democratically active” refers to customers who’d taken some sort of active part in their local co-operative, such as voting in a member election or attending a meeting. And what the poll found was right across the board, among customers and the general public alike, there was overwhelming agreement that the Co-op should NOT donate money to the Labour-affiliated political wing.

Between 60% and 71% of respondents agreed that the company should use its profits to support local community initiatives or lower prices rather than give it to the political party, with the Co-op’s customers more hostile to political involvement than the general public. Only a third of customers had any idea that some of the cost of their shopping was going to a political party, and only 9% thought it was appropriate.

Members of trade unions which pay a political levy to Labour have the opportunity to opt out of the contribution. Shoppers picking up milk and sausages in their local Co-op do not. In the light of the survey showing such massive opposition to the idea, it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes.

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    146 to “The unwilling accomplices”

    1. unclebob says:

      So where do I shop now?
      I don’t use Asda, M&S, Tesco’s and now the Bloody Co-op!!!!!
      I do use Aldi and Lidl but have to travel either 15 or 19 miles to get there.
      What the hell is going on??

    2. Brotyboy says:

      How many bots do you have running to pick up all this stuff? Or do the rats have special skills?

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I prefer to call them “alert readers” 🙂

    4. David Smith says:

      You’re OK at the pharmacy, I think.
      That division’s been sold to a private company.

    5. Morag says:

      I took part in that survey and registered my extreme displeasure with the situation.

      The Co-op is our village shop. Although there area other small food outlets (a tiny delicatessen and a newsagent which has a small stock of basic groceries), it’s the mainstay of the village food supply. Without it, everyone would have to travel at least nine miles (Tesco and Lidl). If the village is cut off in winter, which happens, we couldn’t do without it.

      I tend to the view that we use it or lose it. We need the shop, and we should shop there. But at the same time we’re forced to donate to Labour when we do. (I have complained about this in the shop on at least one occasion.)

      I remember the first time I was told about this, during the 2010 election. The subject came up because the Labour candidate (Claudia Beamish, whom I believe is some sort of scion of the aristocracy by birth) is one of the joint Labour/Co-op people. I didn’t actually believe my informant, and it was only when checking up subsequently I discovered he was on the nail.

      The Co-op has a good animal welfare record, which is important to me, and it’s not bad about sourcing local food. I don’t quite see how boycotting it would help anything much. But I sure did let rip when I got my hands on that questionnaire.

    6. msean says:

      Thought the co-op had been sold or merged or some such thing or was that just a part of it in Scotland?

    7. scottimusprime says:

      Lidl, Aldi and Asda it is then. I would like to point out that the gent from Asda was misquoted, so boycotting them is ridiculous.

    8. James says:

      Fair enough with the article, but why use the co-op bank image instead of the usual co-op food stores? The co-op bank isn’t even part of the co-op group anymore, they just have a few shares in the bank.

      …and now I feel weird defending the bank I work for. Ugh. I feel so dirty.

    9. Dan Huil says:

      We could all go to Navid’s wee shop [Still Game].

    10. manandboy says:

      This is the kind of reporting that makes you the best Stu.
      Very well done.

    11. Lollysmum says:

      Bet Aldi & Lidl are so pleased they remained neutral.

      Just shows that you have to look behind the popular image to see what’s really happening before you give them your custom.

      I find that customers voting with their feet is always a good way to make companies sit up & take notice. Co-op found that with their customers deserting their banking business.

      Community run supermarkets anyone?

    12. Uta Rosenbrock says:

      Is the cooperative bank not a separate business from the coop supermarkets etc? Or am I being terribly naive here?

    13. Lollysmum says:

      The farm businesses have been sold off to raise cash

    14. Andy smith says:

      I’m with unclebob on this one, running out of shops to use.
      Been walking past rest of supermarkets to use co-op whom I believed to be the best of a bad bunch.
      There isn’t a lidl or aldi closer than 8 miles that I know of.

    15. Meindevon says:

      Blimey, I’m gobsmacked, I never new this!

      Stu, you’re a walking Wikipedia!

    16. postman pete says:

      It’s a comment on the sad state of democratic politics that the history of the co-op has been forgotten, both by the management and by the public; the Rochdale pioneers would look at the current labour party with total despair; bring back the divi, I say; used to love those wee tokens

    17. Croompenstein says:

      Aw FFS our local shop is a Co-Op.. 🙁

      on a brighter note iscot magazine is out.. 🙂

    18. Steve B says:

      According to the Grauniad this may be put to a membership ballot next year conveniently after the general election – apparently they have a new one member one vote rule starting then so it means that its likely the tie could be broken at that point.

      However, it is fair to say that, Labour Party donations aside, this is possibly one of the more ethically better places to shop in that it doesn’t have shareholders and is owned by its members (i.e. people who have a loyalty-type card). Therefore you at least know you are not lining city financier’s pockets (apart from at the Co-Op Bank which has been partly sold-off).

      Given that I guess only a tiny fraction of members are likely to vote in such a ballot if Yesers were join in numbers that could help swing the result against Labour. Membership costs £1 but its only deducted from your first share of profits – so if you don’t actually shop there it won’t cost you anything 🙂

      Note that membership of the Co-Operative Group is NOT the same as joining the Co-Operative Party so there are no political aims you have to sign up to to join. Anyway just an idea.

    19. handclapping says:

      I’ve known this since Ian Davidson’s “doing”. I think it was the Torygraph gave him his full title and I was intigued enough to look them up.

      The thought of all those lady shoppers supporting the election of a man who will threaten a woman with a doing got me quite incensed and I nearly went and did something about it but the thought of being paid £5 to attend the meetings scared me off. What sort of meeting, other than a vampire convention, requires attendees to be paid?

    20. Cymro says:

      I’ve known about this for a long time and filled in the survey, but the options were very limited. I have no objection to the Co-op Group having a political fund like a Trade Union, or even a political party, but this has just been a way of funding Labour members, MPs, MSP, WAMs and local councillors. Most of whom have no idea what the co-operative principles are. If you are a member of the co-operative party you are allowed to be a member of the labour party, and the labour party only. The answer is simple, do like all the other parties and rule that you can only be a member of one party. Most labour members will probably leave when their funding is cut, which is likely to happen soon. I understand that members of the Co-op Group will have a vote on it soon.

    21. Roberto Esquierdo says:

      Oh! The infamous Rev Paul Flowers. Him of rent boy and cocaine fame . A financial advisor to Ed Milliband. Him who loaned millions of CO-OP money to the labour party.He also gave Ed Balls a donation of £30 grand.The co-op currently sponsor labour with money from profits.

    22. heedtracker says:

      The staff are really nice but as per, its run by maniacs. Long way from what Labour and the Coop actually started out as, Daily Heil a year ago on the last Coop boss

      “Flowers was £132,000-a-year chairman of the ‘ethical’ bank, which has lent £34million to Labour over two decades.
      But in June he stepped down from this post and as deputy chairman of the Co-operative Group as the scale of the bank’s financial problems became clear.
      It lost £700million in the first six months of the year and a £1.5billion black hole was discovered in its finances.

      Giant financial black hole is a Labour trade mark, or City spiv/junky puts meth in Methodist etc. I read the Heil so much I should sign off sieg heil but why these Daily Hate neo fascists get angry at one corrupt City Ceo bankster who only got a £130k a year but co-op donorises Labour party and…oh

    23. @unclebob

      There is nothing wrong with using Tescos. They did not sully themselves during the campaign. BT tried to say that prices would go up and used Tesco Ireland as an example but Tesco came right back the next day and poo-pooed the claim stating there would be no price increase in the case of independence. I’m still shopping there and I’ve got a very large list of where not to. Hard to find petrol sometimes.

    24. Dr Jim says:

      Unless it’s a horse called profit no supermarket has a good record on animal welfare, they kill it we eat it, if it costs them less they’ll source from the back streets of Mumbai if they think they can get away with it, if they’re caught, “OOH” lessons will have to be learned, better practices in the future,dah dah dah dah heard it, so eat, in blissful put it to the back of our mind knowledge that there’s nout you can do about it anyway, although i’m lucky, got Aldi and Lidl nearby…Easy for me to say…No offal..I mean offence..

    25. James123 says:

      That’s another supermarket off my shopping list, I don’t have a Lidl or Aldi nearby so I’m off to forage in a nearby forest.

    26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Fair enough with the article, but why use the co-op bank image instead of the usual co-op food stores?”

      Visual pun.

    27. Betsy says:

      Rather than a boycott which is unlikely to succeed, it would be more of a hoot for us all to join the co-op as members and try and sever the link that way. Besides they usually have good biscuits at the members meetings.

    28. Dr Ew says:

      The Co-op’s close affiliation with the Labour Party is common knowledge, certainly to anyone with even a passing interest in politics (i.e. your readership). My late parents both spent most of their working lives in different divisions of the Co-op and everyone in my community was well aware of the historical and political links with Labour.

      The Co-op’s affiliations are not now and never have been a secret. Marks & Spencer, on the other hand, are/were long time supporters of the Tories, as are several of the banks, notably Barclays who were especially influential in shaping Mrs Thatcher’s attitudes towards Apartheid South Africa.

      Although I have not voted for Labour since 1992 I have for the most part continued to shop and bank with the Co-op. Their banking division still has a far more open and coherent policy on ethical investment than their high street competitors. Co-op retail outlets also led the way on fairtrade and on ethical farming, especially at the turn of the century.

      The reality is spending money at ANY major retail chain means you are almost certainly contributing to political funds or candidates here, in Europe or in the USA, either directly or indirectly.

      Party political funding is a venal, corrupt and rotten business pretty much everywhere in the world. Major donors back politicians and/or political parties in order to influence policy, pay for their interests to be represented and to trump the interests of an MP’s constituents, a party’s members and supporters, and the public in general. The SNP are not immune from this. Indeed, the shift in the Scottish political tectonics mean the ambition vehicle of choice for the next generation of self-serving politicians and big business donors will not be Scottish Labour. Worse, corruption of the SNP’s principles is almost certainly already a project for some nefarious interests, just as Labour’s soul was eroded over several decades before being sold completely to Blair in 1994.

      The break-up of the local co-op communities – we were members of Rutherglen Co-op – and their subsumation into the UK-wide Co-op structure was in no small part a reaction to 80s-style Thatcherism, which sought to smash anything that enabled working-class people to organise and by-pass corporate interest (trade unions, credit unions, housing associations, etc.) The Co-op can still be controlled by its members so it will be possible to change or end its affiliations, which I guess was the intention of your article. If it was to encourage a boycott of the Co-op then I’m unclear why spending money at any of the other outlets is any better.

      Party political funding needs urgent and radical reform. Alternatives exist: Linking state funding and fundraising limits directly to audited membership numbers and receipts would compel parties to be more responsive (and democratic) to their members.

      If and when an Independent Scotland comes into being we will have a golden opportunity to effect real change and reform party funding in a way that cleans up party politics. It will be a fundamental of who really runs the New Scotland.

    29. SquareHaggis says:

      Aldi sells the Daily Record but also sells Ayrshire middle.

      Decisions… decisions…

    30. Dr Jim says:

      Quick best wishes to iscot looks great hope for big success

    31. galamcennalath says:

      Perhaps it’s time for the coop to get out of politics if they don’t want to go the same way as Labour and the Union.

    32. Big Del says:

      Have I missed something?

      Why are we boycotting Tesco?

      Thought they wanted to trade with an Indy Scotland?

      I work over seas and have missed this.

    33. Early Ball says:

      I took part in that survey and slaughtered them for their funding of Labour. Well they did ask.

      If they carry on doing it next year I will shift my account despite the hassle.

    34. Gallowglass says:

      I knew about this for some time, the regular co-op food shops.

      I take it the same can be said for the bank? Ie some profits funnelled to Labour?

    35. donald anderson says:

      I boycotted the Crooked Coop in 1974 when they stole the SCWS.

    36. ScottieDog says:

      Question, are scotmid a separate coop from the cooperative?

    37. stonefree says:

      Slight OT
      I remind you of Mark Frankland’s excellent article on the Co-Op

    38. heedtracker says:

      Coop bank also have weird new to ad out here in Englandshire. It’s like an Xmas ad for Channel perfume for butch psychopaths but it’s not popular with far right teamGB at the Torygraoh who also don’t mention giant coop labour donation.

      Toryboy “Diary refers to the TV advert the Co-op launched yesterday in a bid to restore its tarnished reputation, which revealed a problem with the “Ethics & Values” tattoo the ad’s central character receives as a token of his “enduring commitment” to the Co-op’s integrity drive. It’s fake.
      “It’s a metaphor,” said Laura Carstensen, the chair of the Co-op’s ethics and values committee, when quizzed on the message a fake tattoo sends out about the Co-op’s commitment to ethics on BBC Radio 4’s Today show. “We have a pretty media-savvy audience who will understand what we are trying to say with this.”

      Why this is unavailable to viewers in the Scotland region is another teamGB mystery.

    39. Stoker says:

      Thanks for that, Rev.

      Another off my list.

      No big deal for me anyway as i only ever used my local ‘Co’ for odds and ends but that can be sourced elsewhere – just means i have to change the bread i buy.

      Extremely small sacrifice in exchange for the piece of mind of not donating to the red Tory ("Tractor" - Ed)s.

      That makes sense now, my grandparents were staunch Labour through and through and they would never use any shop other than the ‘Co’ which was only 5 minutes round the corner from them, on the edge of a large town centre which played host to all the big names in supermarkets, ie; Presto’s, Sainsbury’s, Safeway, Spar and many more.

      If she sent you to get something from “the shop” and you got it from anywhere other than the ‘Co’ you would be sent right back with it.

      Right next door to it was a very large (2-storey) Co-op furniture store and you can guess where all her furniture came from.

      Now looking back and thinking about it, it’s clear that her staunch loyalty to the ‘Co’ was more than just a matter of her favourite shop, and none of us ever gave it a second thought.
      Well, you don’t as kids, do you!

      Come to think of it, i’m sure their funeral plans were also through “the Co?”

      Aye, it all makes sense, she’d never be without her People’s Friend, her Woodbine and the Co.

      Oh how times have changed, thank goodness!

    40. Denis says:

      I use the coop for just a small amount of the goods I buy and use the loyalty card. I will be active in voting to stop the funding if I get the chance. I will check if I have to alter my membership account with them tommorrow to participate in any votes. :0)

    41. Tackety Beets says:

      @ Dan Huil

      Don’t you mean ” Harrids” , Navid’s wee shop .

      I’ll stick to Aldi/Lidl , I’ve spent less than a £5 on late night emergencies in ASDA since Sept .
      They may have been miss-quoted ( I was not aware of it ) . They did not do much to correct it .
      Support wee Indy butchers etc where possible , I actually feel its better for the local economy too .

    42. Gavin Alexander says:

      We need a Scottish-based supermarket, registered in Scotland and paying taxes that are registered as Scottish in origin (unlike our other supermarkets). It needs to prioritise Scottish-sourced products; my local Morrisons sources its fresh herbs from Israel!! Why is this?.. You can’t buy Scottish-grown apples in a supermarket in Scotland; it’s easier to buy various brands of English and Irish butter than Scottish, cheeses too etc etc. We could easily boost our own economy if we had this option.

    43. H says:

      isn’t Ed Milband a memeber of the co-op party, so it has some muster within labour

    44. Nana Smith says:

      Sorry if this has been posted already….

      Tonight’s Q&Q with our FM.

    45. Stoker says:

      @ Big Del.

      I don’t know why some folk have mentioned Tesco because they didn’t come out against us.

      I get the bulk of my shopping from them.

      They also provide a great delivery service where you can choose a delivery time slot – slots range in charges from £1 up to about £5 or £6.

      For me Asda (came out against us), Sainsbury’s (one of THE biggest donors to Labour Party) and now the Co-op are strictly off limits.

      There is ALWAYS an alternative if the individual is willing to make sacrifices. I suppose it depends on how committed each individual wants to be on any given situation.

      Granted, there will be times and situations where the individual might have no realistic alternative but to feed the enemy.

      I think the very best anyone can do is to do what they can when they can and try doing it as often as they can because i fear if we had to really look into everything we would never leave our beds.

    46. Lenny Hartley says:

      Here in Brodick, Isle of Arran, we have two supermarkets , a big coop and a small coop, apart from a very vocal No supporting baker there is nothing else. Tesco’s are supposed to be converting a local non grocery shop sometime soon, but as far as I am aware no contracts have been signed yet.

      What to do?, I have purchased a sidecar which Im going to connect to a motorbike and with RET I reckon I can get the ferry to Ardrossan for around £20 return, wont be able to do it every day or week, but Lidl and Aldi for me, and Tesco in emergencies.

    47. Brian Powell says:

      I wonder if this applies to the Co-op Visa card?

    48. 1AlanM says:

      What about the smaller co-operative societies? Do they fund the political party side of things too or is it just the ‘big’ co-op?

    49. Luigi says:

      Most people also don’t realise that part of their TV licence fee also goes to support the Red Tories (less directly of course, but the end result is the same).

      If only they knew.

    50. Edulis says:

      O/T Anybody help me here? I thought Scotmid was a reincarnated Co-op, but in Beauly there is both a Co-op and a Scotmid so they appear to be separate entities. Is Scotmid a straightforward commercial company, privately owned and by whom?

    51. Lesley-Anne says:

      Well, Well, Well.

      During the referendum we all got the message from ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, TESCO etc concerning which way we were all *ahem* expected to vote. Now we can quite rightly add the CO-OP to the ever expanding list.

      Like so many others we are running out of supermarkets to go to to do our weekly shop. Our nearest ALDI is around 20 miles away in Dumfries, other superstores (LIDL) are also available here. 😀

      We only use TESCO’s in Annan for emergencies and now of course our daily newspaper, the National. 😉

    52. davidb says:

      I shop at my local Coop sometimes. But have only been in our shiny new local Asda once since it opened – because the co didny have shoelaces. And the last time I went into any Asda was on the night of 18th September to get coke and snowballs for the Yes Hub.

      I have not purchased any Caramel wafers or teacakes, nor any of my favourite soups since that day. I have discovered that Lidl sells quite a few Scottish things. I have declined to purchase cooked meat – in particular – but just about anything sporting a large butchers apron. I don’t know if they always sported that flag, or if I am just hyperaware nowadays. But boycotting is bloody hard work.

      And then theres the Co. I have long pondered how it can be that a basically non profit making operation can have any competitors at all. Is that not Amazon’s USP? They don’t pay taxes because they don’t make money.

      I have seen a few crazy things in it. Goats milk may well be popular for bathing in some parts of Glasgow, but I hae ma douts its going to be a biggy in my village. Maybe its like so much of the utopian idealism of an earlier age. Supposed to be about the mutual benefit of members, but ultimately really about the mutual benefit of those who get into high office. A bit like being a Labour MP really. Kind of appropriate they should be linked.

    53. Sinky says:

      Even smaller Co-ops like Scot Mid are forced to buy the vast bulk of their stuff from Manchester rather than from local suppliers

    54. gillie says:

      That is the end of the Co-op for me.

    55. Caroline Corfield says:

      There is a Co-opertatives UK (ltd) organisation, which contains a number of different co-operative companies,

      In my area there is an independent local co-operative society which is a member of the above organisation, it would appear to enable them to sell co-op goods, and probably gives them access to bulk buy stock from other suppliers. Their constitution allows for them to leave this organisation and to decide whether to make payments towards it when required. I was thinking of joining, mostly to check whether they do donate via this or directly to the Labour party. I’d like to support a local co-op but not if they in turn support the Labour party.

    56. Fran says:

      Im running out of shops fast, another 1 off the list

    57. Effijy says:

      Please have a look at this toady Alan Cochrane and the celebrity
      diner he has while laughing at the Scottish Food Banks.
      He nails the Queen as being in on the act by leaking her support?
      Squeek like a Rat on Purring like a Cat.

    58. ronnie anderson says:

      Gordon Browns reward. Special Envoy of the UN for Education,FFSaky don’t let him show kids how to operate a calculator.

    59. “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”:)

    60. ronnie anderson says:

      Just like the Co ops cigs of yesterday year ( passing cloud) so will the Slab pass into oblivion.

    61. Clootie says:

      A simple message – If you do business at the CO-OP then you are giving a donation to the Labour Party.

    62. Lesley-Anne says:

      ronnie anderson says:

      Gordon Browns reward. Special Envoy of the UN for Education,FFSaky don’t let him show kids how to operate a calculator.

      Best make sure that Broon the Loon is a mobile phone free environment whenever he is within 50 miles of any kids Ronnie. As we all know he has been prone to the *ahem* occasional mobile phone “free flight” incident! 😛

    63. The Rough Bounds says:

      The Co-op, both the Scottish co-op and the English co-op (who took over the Scottish one in 1974) were part of the 19th century movement for workers rights. The Labour Party was part of that movement and the Co-op helped to fund them in order to get MPs elected to help forward the cause of socialism and democracy.

      But the whole thing has become a mere shadow of its former self, and the present Labour Party MPs aren’t fit to polish the shoes of those early pioneers. They have sold out to the almighty god Mammon.

      The Co-op and the Labour Party are just a joint dying culture today: existing for the sake of existing. There are still a lot of good things about the co-operative food shops so I won’t be boycotting them because of their outdated embrace with Labour…but I would love to see them split off from them for their own sake.

    64. Stoker says:

      What the supermarkets said, or a version of it at least:

    65. Brian MacLeod says:

      I won’t boycott the Co-op. It at least is working by the principles.

      I will be voting. As suggested above, all us Yes supporters should join, turn up at the meetings and chuck out the funders of the red Tories and stop the donations.

      I’ve nothing against the Co-op giving money to a proper Labour party, but they should be funding ALL the socialist parties, not just one.

    66. Fred says:

      Donald Anderson has the right of it, the SCWS kept us clad & fed for generations. The great coop emporium in Morrison Street was a source of wonder to us weans and the factories in Shieldhall made a whole range of goods that now come up from the south. The Scottish Coop, for whatever reason, was sold down the river and Ginger Wine essence was never the same again. 🙂
      The Coop is OK for the odd item but far too expensive for the weekly shop if you have access to an alternative. Mine is ASDA but I don’t cross its door and go a bit further.

    67. De Valera says:

      First became aware of this many years ago when I asked my father who was a Labour activist why our then MP George Foulkes stood as a Labour ans Co-Op candidate.

      I did once have the dubious honour of meeting Mr (now Lord!!) Foulkes, he was riven by hatred of the SNP even then(early nineties), which made me think that Mr Salmond must be doing something right!

    68. ClanDonald says:

      “There is nothing wrong with using Tescos.”

      The reason people object to Tesco is because of the Vote No intervention by Tesco Bank, part of the Tesco group:

      Incidentally, if you are boycotting Tesco, another to add to the list is the Dobbies Garden Centres, they are owned by Tesco too:

    69. Caz says:

      does anyone know if Scotmid is also involved or are they completely independent of the coop? Th sell the coop branded products but I was under the impression they’re separate entities.

    70. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry for going O/T here but with wee Georgie Porgie’s announcement of £15 Billion for road improvements in England can we be sure that this will be covered by Barnett Formula giving Holyrood £1.5 Billion or will it somehow suddenly become exempt from Barnett and Holyrood ends up paying £1.5 Billion into this? 😉

    71. Walking on Sunshine says:

      If you google Kezia Dugdale wiki, for example you will see her political party is listed as ‘Scottish Labour, Cooperative Party’.

      I never knew ‘the cooperative party’ existed until now.

    72. Rock says:

      There is no escape. Directly or indirectly, our money goes to support the union.

      It is time to re-invent the wheel, or at least the co-operative movement in Scotland.

    73. De Valera says:

      @ Effijy

      Just made my way through that Cochrane article, what a small minded twat the man is. I have friends whose daughter married an Irishman and moved with him back to Ireland recently and thay didn’t say “oh god she’s gone all foreign and married a bloody foreigner”.

      Bloody sickening how he sucked up to every Labour/Tory creep he met.

    74. Tommy Mac says:

      If you google Kezia Dugdale wiki, you will see her political party is listed as ‘Scottish Labour, Cooperative Party’.

      She must be one of the four MSPs.

      I never knew the party existed until now.

      I find it strange to be honest.

    75. Harry McAye says:

      Am I not correct in thinking that the only Sainsburys connection to the No campaign was their EX chief executive Justin King’s comments?

      I haven’t shopped at Asda since the vote and now use Aldi and Lidl more and more. Boycotting Morrisons now too because of their refusal to stock The National. However, my local Aldi doesn’t either and had a huge pile of Daily Mails the other day. And you walk through the doors at Lidl, Blantyre to be confronted by a stand full of Records and nothing else. Might be worth writing to these stores asking them to stock The National.

    76. mogabee says:

      I don’t think Stu. was advocating boycotting the CO, rather just direct peoples attention to the Labour Party’s woes which seem to be increasing.

      The mere fact that so many who completed that survey were strongly against funding Labour probably means that they had better look for new funders pronto!

      I wonder if all those MP’s who have stated they will not contest next election are Co-op backed? Perhaps they see the writing on the wall…

    77. Stoker says:

      Brown thanks constituents for chance to serve:

      Six moments Brown would rather forget:

      night night folks, don’t have nightmares.

    78. Ian Sanderson says:

      Makes me wish for an Aldi-Lidl Christmas…

    79. John Young says:

      So even if Scotland returns 40-50ish SNP MPs in 2015 nothing may change due to a Red/Blue/Yellow Tory Coalition.

      Thoughts on the following please.

      The SNP should campaign for this General Election, on making the Scottish Elections in 2016 an Independence Ref.

      A Yes vote then will result annually in 50% of the profits of our oil going directly to the people of the rest of the UK, a form of a people’s Quantitative easing.

      In return Westminster will guarantee a Currency Union and back an Independent Scotland’s entry into the EU.

      Until the Independence Ref in 2016, SNP MP’s will only participate in Westminster issues affecting Scotland.

    80. Fred says:

      My local Morrison’s stocks the free local paper the GENN which has a pronounced YESward leaning.

    81. fred blogger says:

      they brought in a landscape gardener around my bit to restyle the potholes.

    82. ronnie anderson says:

      Bigging up Gordy, his Statue will be erected facing Dalgety Bay.

    83. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      O/T I am currently musing on the implications not of EVEL but of (as Pete Wishart SNP MP put it) SCVL—Scottish votes for Scottish laws.

      This was originally enshrined in the AoU 1707 and has been quashed with vehemence – especially since the discovery of Scotlands resources ‘strangely’.

      What could the implications of such be ?

    84. Lesley-Anne says:

      fred blogger says:

      they brought in a landscape gardener around my bit to restyle the potholes.

      Ooh, you lucky little so and so Fred. :P:

      Stoker says:

      Brown thanks constituents for chance to serve:

      Six moments Brown would rather forget:

      night night folks, don’t have nightmares.

      Ye gawd’s!

      Broon the Loon thanks his constituents for the chance to serve! Serve what … beefburgers at the local hamburger joint cause he sure as hell has NOT been serving his constituents at HIS required place of employment namely the House of Commons!

    85. Lollysmum says:

      @ Croompenstein
      Thanks for the link to iScot-it looks good. I found the article on American Scots particularly interesting. The photos are brilliant & there seems to be something for most people in it. An impressive start.

      @Nana Smith
      I don’t know how you do it but you always come up with timely links to interesting stuff-well done. Watched the FM answering questions & I do find her brand of trying to be accessible to Scots a real breath of fresh air. Beats the stuffed suits any day. I also happen to think she credits the electorate as being far more intelligent than others in her profession normally do.Thanks for the link

    86. handclapping says:

      @ronnie anderson
      Could they make it with concrete from the beach at Dalgety Bay and so not need to illuminate it on the Gordon Brown Day national holiday that will be brought in by the new Scottish Government in 2016?

    87. R-type Grunt says:

      @ Ronnie Anderson

      Dinnae show the weans tae HIM, mair like.

    88. Truth says:

      And this is precisely the reason why I spend nothing in Co-op and haven’t done for years.

      They also (or certainly used to) sponsor various MSP’s Christmas card competitions. This rather insidiously gives the MSPs access to schoolchildren to start the indoctrination early.

      In fact I’m fairly certain one Sara Boyack was one such politician that declared this each year in member’s interests.

    89. handclapping says:

      Of course if there was any justice in the world we’ld only be forced to celebrate Gordon Brown Day in 13% of years to correspond with his % attendance about our business in his palace of employment

    90. Lesley-Anne says:

      I wonder if Ozzy Osborne’s, no not THAT Ozzy 😉 , alleged plans for a new “garden city” will fall under the Barnett Formula or will we Scots end up shelving out a load of dosh cause we will *ahem* benefit from this new Garden City?

    91. Truth says:

      And this is precisely the reason why I spend nothing in Co-op and haven’t done for years.

      They also (or certainly used to) sponsor various Labour MSP’s Christmas card competitions. This rather insidiously gives the MSPs access to schoolchildren to start the indoctrination early.

      In fact I’m fairly certain one Sara Boyack was one such politician that declared this each year in member’s interests.

    92. Robert Bryce says:

      OK folks I work for the Co-op but let me assure you we are not a bunch of Labourite loonies!

      Everyone to a man / woman I work with were Yes voters. Take from that what you will but just keep in mind that your damaging the livelihood of a great many fellow Yes voters if you do!

      I can’t argue against any of the Rev’s article but I will defend my employer and the group in general as we contribute more to the communities we serve than any other retailer I can think of. Many people don’t see this.

      We may be a bit more expensive than Tesco or ASDA etc but you can be assured that the farmers supplying us are getting a fair price for the goods they supply us. You can also be assured that we are not exploiting people for profit. We pump millions every year into community projects, charities AND pay our members a fair share of the profits.

      The whole point of this survey was to glean the current mood of our membership & customer base and act accordingly. The group is now assessing this data and I have no doubt will act upon it.

      As some have stated previously the bank is now approx 70% owned by private investors. We retain a minority interest in it.

      Pharmacy stores are also owned in full by a company called Bestway, they simply have the use of the brand.

      I make no apology for the rant. I’m extremely proud of the Co-op and what it stands for. We’re not perfect but everything we do is for the good of our membership and their respective communities, not some faceless shareholders intent on maximising their investment.

      If you want to boycott us then fine but I’ll continue shopping there safe in the knowledge that the vast majority of profit is being used to the benefit of our members and the communities we serve.

    93. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Nana Smith –

      Good cover there on the National – strangely enough, we’ve been having a bit of a Two Ronnies Night over on O/T!

    94. ClanDonald says:

      Robert Bryce, yes you’re right, the best solution would be for us all to join the co-op and then vote for it to sever its political links. Then it will become the kind of ethical, farming and community supporting enterprise where we will all be happy to shop.

    95. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      Again O/T-soz

      By my understanding Barnett Formula changes are based on Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL). How this affects Scotland is calculated by 3 factors-
      1) the amount of money allocated to the department eg Trade and Industry
      2) the percentage to which that is regarded as devolved eg Trade and Industry 18.6%
      3) the percentage of population in Scotland vs England (not rUK)
      The total Block Grant being the sum of (1) x (2) x (3) for each devolved department.

      In this respect we are seeing an ever increasing issue – while immigration to England increases we see an ever decreasing amount of Block Grant.

      My main point here is that England’s problem of 250k net inward migrations IS Scotlands problem. Population percentage directly affects (3) above. Which by my rough estimates is costing in excess of £100m per year.

      I am uncertain how the re-categorisation of expenditure actually would (if at all) affect the Block Grant, but one thing is certain (sorry if I am preaching to the choir) we need to cut loose from the growing elephant.

    96. Chic McGregor says:

      Good with fuds.

    97. Suzanne says:

      Out of the two options in my area, I’d rather shop with Tesco than M&S – lesser of two evils I guess, and there’s only one greengrocer in town.

      The other option is to get food / grocery boxes delivered from farm co-ops, as well as buying only local fruit and veg. They probably wouldn’t be affordable for everyone though, especially for families struggling on very little money, and even if Tesco is more expensive than Lidl or Asda it’s at least a source of budget options. Fruit / veg boxes are a good bargain though, I think.

      I’m old enough to remember when supermarkets started becoming popular. Anyone remember Mac Fisheries when they expanded? Memories of being dragged round the Richmond branch on Saturday mornings. Gahhh

      I hope we can turn full circle in an independent Scotland and get back to local economies thriving and serving the local communities, with no political back-slapping or interference in where we shop. Yeah, I#m an idealist through and through, but we can make ripples in the lake even if the lake is massive.

    98. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      I should have said …

      The ‘re-categorisation of expenditure’ I refer to above is in respect of the Smith Commission.

    99. tombee says:

      It’s as I posted earlier on another thread, if we want to measure up to combating the nasty ploys of the unionists, go for the MPS and Lords expenses records. Highlight the probability of them cancelling out the free tuition, prescriptions, bus passes and the like. Attack them in those areas.
      But can I suggest caution when it comes to advocating withdrawing custom from supermarkets.
      OK the executives, or some at least, may have made unwelcome comments about certain matters leading up to the 18th Sept. But the people who would suffer most are those who work there, in those shops and supermarkets. The till operators, shelf loaders and their like.
      We should not risk their jobs nor should we risk their anger and cause them to be totally against our ambitions for independence.
      Just ca canny. After all there could be a lot of them who did vote YES.

    100. kininvie says:


      I note today’s (no, yesterday’s) National has a crossword by ‘Calgacus’

      Is that our own Calgacus wot posts here?

      If so, what’s the answer to 3 down, please?

    101. Graeme Doig says:


      Aye but not the one you think.

      Answer to that one in off topic.

    102. Tackety Beets says:

      @ Robert Bryce
      Well said , worth while rant .
      I would rather it was termed as you imparting information , truthful at that .
      You stated clearly some reasons why I am a member.
      Perhaps I should utilise as suggested by Clan Donald .
      Thanks to you both.

      @ Suzanne Last para would be ideal , but far away in the distance for now . We all have hope .

    103. Tackety Beets says:

      @ Kininvie

      See O/T circa Dec1 @ 7.55 pM


    104. call me dave says:


      3 Down : Attic

      The National improved again yesterday. I enjoyed all the articles. Promises to get better too.

      Goodbye Gordon missing you already! 🙂

    105. Kathleen Anderson says:

      So difficult – I have always appreciated that the Co-op operated in the more rural areas – supporting communities until the towns grew large enough that the bigger supermarkets felt it was worth their while. One I know of didn’t stock newspapers because there was a newsagent in the village. Have never seen that consideration from any of the other ‘hogs to the trough’ supermarkets.
      Ultimately we have allowed the independent shops to disappear – no point complaining about it now, can’t have your cake and eat it!

    106. thoughtsofascot says:

      @Gavin Alexander
      We need a Scottish-based supermarket, registered in Scotland and paying taxes that are registered as Scottish in origin (unlike our other supermarkets). It needs to prioritise Scottish-sourced products; my local Morrisons sources its fresh herbs from Israel!! Why is this?.. You can’t buy Scottish-grown apples in a supermarket in Scotland; it’s easier to buy various brands of English and Irish butter than Scottish, cheeses too etc etc. We could easily boost our own economy if we had this option.

      If people were willing to invest in such an idea, then I don’t see why this idea couldn’t get off the ground if someone in the Yes Business community was willing to provide assistance or advice.

      It’d probably go down a storm too if it initially started its operations in somewhere like Dundee or the East End of Glasgow.

      Sourcing locally should bring down costs in ways that top-down British and American supermarkets can’t quite manage. They have economies of scale on their side, but the nature of their operations means everything has to be centralized. Administration costs gnaw away at that.

    107. Rod Robertson says:

      I am gobsmacked that so many Wingers were not aware of Coops affiliation with SLAB.
      I remember Dixon Mabon being Coop Lab MP.
      As to ASDA during Referendum in Newton Mearns ASDA allowed BT in to hand out leaflets and refused YES Campaign same facility.
      Their new store in Barrhead is like a Russian Supermarket half empty, god bless the good sensible folk of Barrhead.

    108. Dorothy Devine says:

      May I speak in defence of the Co-op – it is the only supermarket that went to the islands and distant pairts of the highlands. It has stayed loyal to them despite fairly poor profits.

      On Arran it will now have ASDA just across the water , with road equivalent travel ,and Tesco arriving on the island.

      The sad thing is that all these shops provide employment and no matter what their CEO’s say , those folk need the jobs whether YES or NO voters.

      The Barrhead travel mannie may have damaged his business but its the efficient , loyal staff who will suffer.
      As it will be with Tunnocks, Baxters and the rest – certainly not the heid bummers who have already amassed their pile.

    109. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Today’s National is fattened up and looking good.

      It will get bigger and better.

      We will need it come May 2015

    110. Arabs for Independence says:

      o/t BBC GMS trying to trash the NHS in Scotland again. Apparently we use more locums than before. Ms Bradford desperately trying to drag a bad news story out of the lady she was interviewing at 07:15ish. She kept asking her ‘are patients at risk?’ and when the rather nervous interviewee replied ‘not at all, they are more likely to be at risk if we didn’t bring in locums’ – the interview was swiftly ended.

      So the NHS obsession by the hapless, negative and bitter Eleanor Bradford continues

    111. Arabs for Independence says:

      o/t BBC GMS trying to trash the NHS in Scotland again. Apparently we use more locums than before. Ms Bradford desperately trying to drag a bad news story out of the lady she was interviewing at 07:15ish. She kept asking her ‘are patients at risk?’ and when the rather nervous interviewee replied ‘not at all, they are more likely to be at risk if we didn’t bring in locums’ – the interview was swiftly ended.

      So the NHS obsession by the hapless, negative and bitter Eleanor Bradford continues.

    112. Brotyboy says: “How many bots do you have running to pick up all this stuff? Or do the rats have special skills?”

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says: “I prefer to call them “alert readers””

      Far better to use lawyers, for there are some things you just can’t get a rat to do.

    113. Truth says:

      Despite Robert Bryce’s “rant” I will continue my boycott of all things co-op.

      If I’m in a club and I don’t like it’s direction, I leave. Even organisations like the co-op only understand one thing – money.

      I will never knowingly give a penny to the Labour party or its supporters.

      Server all

    114. Truth says:

      Sorry, fat fingers on a smart phone.

      As I was saying, sever all ties with Labour and I will happily do all my shopping at the co-op as I do support their aims.

      Labour is a deal breaker though.

    115. Truth says:

      By the way, those looking for a National in Edinburgh can pick one up at the café on platform 4 at Haymarket station.

      Though they have to scan it as a Daily Express (shudder) for now.

    116. Tam Jardine says:

      Amazing appreciation of Gordon Brown on BBC Radio Scotland to the tune of ‘Days’ ie ‘Thank you for the days….’

      Luckily Kevin McGuire of the Mirror was on to add a bit of balance between raving pro – GB James Cook (I think) and just vehemently pro – GB McGuire.

      Only highlight was his ‘bigoted woman’ moment I thought had been erased from the BBC archive… turns out the still have a dusty old recording!

    117. Tam Jardine says:

      Last post should refer to raving pro-GB Gary Robertson on radio Scotland.

    118. Haggis Hunter says:

      My Boycott list so far;
      Co-op, Asda, BBC Labour Jim Murphy, Standard life (Life long pension transferred out)Screwfix,BP, Shell….
      It is important to support the companies who did not stab us in the back;
      Welcome Lidl’s, Airline companies, Glaxo, all Business for Scotland companies

    119. Karen says:

      I’m a member of the SNP and a member of the Co-op and this little detail had passed me by. Reaction: dismay, concern. Co-operatives in general are a great thing and one of the best and most ethical ways of working and doing business. The Co-op is one company that has ethics and the participation of its members as a central plank of its existence. Probably its political contributions to Labour came as a result of this, a commitment to social justice. Unless the Co-op itself is a relic of Old Labour – anyone know which?

      Unfortunately Labour have moved so far to the right this affiliation of the Co-op really does not fit any more. So what do we do about it? I’m in favour of pressuring for change rather than leaping straight to boycott, especially since the Co-op has been rather vulnerable of late. I don’t want to see it go under, but I do want to question this political affiliation. I’ll be going looking for ways, as a member, to get the answers I need and make my opinions known. Here’s an idea – why don’t we all join the Co-op and change it from inside?

    120. heedtracker says:

      BBC R4 news with Jim Naughty and Alistair Campbell hagiography for Gordon, Campbell says it was like Lennon and McCartney, hyper achievements, mental issues and Gordon was a prime minister from a different era, with strange mood swings. Even vote NO Naughty has gone quiet. I’ll never be able to walk into a Coop shop with loling.

    121. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT Did everyone read the superb letter about black Friday in the National by Neil somebody ?(sorry Neil!)

      He expressed my disgust at this latest yankee import perfectly.

    122. Dave says:

      Interesting feature on GMS just now on state pensions. Both speakers agreed that future UK governments would have to drop the universality principle on state pensions. Also, most MPs see the retirement age eventually reaching 70.

      I am confused – I thought a vote for dependence was the only way to guarantee our pensions?

    123. Nana Smith says:

      Devolution (Further Powers) Committee Meeting

      Starts: 02/12/2014 09:00
      Finishes: 02/12/2014 10:30
      Location: Robert Burns Room (CR1)

      Meeting of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee.

      This meeting is open to the public.

      For information about attending the meeting, please see our pages on Visiting the Parliament.

    124. Jaerio says:


      You might guess from this comment where I work and you’d be right.

      In the article you link to about Tescobank the quote from TB to the investors under the ‘Risks’ section is:
      “could significantly impact the fiscal, monetary and regulatory environment within which the group operates”.

      This is a perfectly realistic statement for a company working in a service area that requires tight regulation (stop laughing, it is at our level!). I think the media play on the word Risk but Risk in the business sense is anything the company might have to react to, particularly when it comes to financial regulation. This was spun by the media as a ‘dire warning’ (as happened with other banks).

      TB like the rest of Tesco was neutral during the campaign and TB staff received several reminders of this internally during that period, mainly when stories like this popped up. Reminders like this one but I doubt the media covered it as much:

      Tesco has its faults like every other big corporation, if your going to boycott them then please make sure it is for the right reason(s).

      As a side note, I think its Unite who is the union for our staff. Their reps had ‘a bit of a day’ when the Union sent a letter to all its members telling them to vote no and some people were less than happy. Almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

      Would love to know if the No backing unions have had any issues with political donation or membership since the campaign.

    125. Stoker says:

      The Rev writes in his piece above:
      “And what the poll found was right across the board, among customers and the general public alike, there was overwhelming agreement that the Co-op should NOT donate money to the Labour-affiliated political wing.”

      Robert Bryce writes @ 11.43pm:
      “The whole point of this survey was to glean the current mood of our membership & customer base and act accordingly. The group is now assessing this data and I have no doubt will act upon it.”

      Well i for one look forward to you getting back to and informing us all that the Co-op has now terminated all its support of the Labour party. Somehow i don’t think we’ll be hearing from you any time soon, but i hope i’m wrong.

      As for peoples jobs and committing to community projects etc.
      Couldn’t care less – i’m more interested in the wider community, it’s called Scotland, and i have a natural in-built hatred for anything which exists to destroy that community for its own self-serving gain.

      My community, Scotland, is having its wealth and future prosperity syphoned off at an alarming rate as its people are being constantly made to look like subservient beggars whilst children are going hungry. Do you think i should support the organisations responsible for that situation?

      For anyone using the emotional blackmail stunt of “Jobs” – how many Co-op employees actually give a rats erse about unemployed people? Stinks of rank hypocrisy to say the least.

      As i said, Robert, i look forward to you getting back to us all with the good news, but i will not be holding my breath.

      I sincerely hope you can prove me wrong.
      Now, where did i put that breathing apparatus?

    126. Grouse Beater says:

      The front cover of The National is far too reverential.

      It portrays Brown as if Lenin – in a monumental image.

      I’m still of a cautionary mind, wary of a so-called independence newspaper published by a strident unionist, neo-liberal corporation based in the US.

    127. farrochie says:

      The Coop contribution to Labour has been the subject of posts on Newsnet Scotland since 2011.


      … and in Stu’s post of April 27, 2013 Deadpan Sarcasm of the Day.

      Anyone who has a Coop “membership” should write to the Membership organisation and request a change to their Group policy of making political donations to the Labour Party.

    128. Stoker says:

      Wee Boaby Smiff claiming that there was “overwhelming” demand for something to be done about APD.

      Och well, i suppose there was no demand something should be done on many other issues, eh, i’m glad he cleared that one up.

      The Smith Commission – what a heap o smouldering sh!te.

      Independence now – its the only way.

      Sorry, Nana, but i could only endure watching 2 minutes of that.

    129. Dr Who? says:

      Now this is interesting from the Scotmid site.

      Only £1 to join you say…and one member one vote.

      There’s enough of us!


    130. heedtracker says:

      Arabs for Independence says:
      2 December, 2014 at 7:24 am
      o/t BBC GMS trying to trash the NHS in Scotland again.

      They are but there’s an American research medic from Harvard giving a Reith Lecture on same BBC R4 right now who cites Scottish NHS success implementing life saving surgery programs. 9000 lives saved in Scotland since 2008 and never reported by Pacific Quay liggers like Bradford. There’s monster Scotland world at the BBC and then there’s the real Scotland.

      “In 2008, the Scottish NHS began implementing the checklist program through active clinical engagement with local champions at every hospital and ongoing implementation monitoring and support. Scotland, unlike the US and Canada, has active monitoring of its surgical death rates. Prior to implementation death rates had been flat for three years. In three years following full implementation, death rates decreased significantly, by an average of 0.06% per year. For the last two years (2011 and 2012), death rates were statistically significant low outliers, falling below 0.5% for their first time ever. The Scottish government has documented more than 9000 lives saved (Scottish National Health Service, 2013).”

    131. Edmund says:

      I never understood why, after New Labour’s massive lurch rightwards, the Unions (and I guess, also the Co-Op) continued to fund them.

      What did they get for their money, after 13 years of the party they helped set up in power? Thatcher’s anti-union laws are still in place. Renationalisation of the railways was voted through many times at Labour conference and completely ignored by the parliamentary party.

      Unions are dying as the culture has changed enough that at least two generations and entire employment sectors are ununionised. We’re now reaping the benefits of this with our ‘flexible labour force’ with those shiny zero-hours contracts.

      We need more organisations with co-operative values. But if I was running a Union, or an organisation with the values of the Co-Op, the modern Labour party is decidedly not the vehicle I would choose to represent me in parliament.

    132. Liquidlenny says:

      Dorothy Devine

      Re co-op Arran as you know they have the Island sewn up
      There is no competition , they have two outlets in Brodick and one in Lamlash.

      No other grocery shops exist in those villages when they opened their superstore in Brodick they promised not to compete with local newsagents and electrical store, they now sell bewspapers and electrical goods. Although i am against Tesco in principle they will need some much needed competition as the quality of fresh food in the coop is dire however the choice has improved since the threat of Tesco appeared on the scene
      dont worry about coop profits they make plenty apparently they make more on drink on Arran per head of population than anywhere else

      As i said i will use Tesco in political terms one is as bad as the other but the quality, choice and size of queues will be better
      The size of the queues in the Arran coops are legendry one guy i know picked up his lunch and a newspaper by the time he got to the till he had read the paper and his lunchbreak was finished

    133. Nana Smith says:


      Haha I didn’t even manage 2 minutes!

    134. FergusMac says:

      The situation is the same in Sweden, where Kooperativa Förbundet (the Cooperative Association) is linked to the Social Democrats. Along with the trade unions and other organisations, they make up Arbetarrörelsen (the Labour Movement).

      When I lived in Sweden, my Swedish wife and I shopped in the Coop on occasion, and we were members, which made us also counted as members of the Labour Movement, no matter which party we actually voted for.

      I went off the Coop over there big time when I found out about their pricing policy. We lived in a small village right out in the countryside, and we had a very good local independent shop. About 10 miles away, there was a little town with a Coop. About 30 miles away there was a sizeable town on the motorway/railway, which had a big Coop in the same shopping centre as a large supermarket from a national chain.

      In the small town, there was a fair population of older people, and most of them shopped in the local Coop. Many of them didn’t have cars, so they had no option. I was shocked to find that a bag of own-brand Coop porridge oats was far more expensive in the local Coop than in the big one with competition. The same for other things too.

      Before anyone asks how I could be so naive, the Coop boasted about how it wasn’t like the evil capitalists who screwed the workers for every penny, and who were only ruled by market forces. Oh, no. The Coop cared, and it looked after the poor and downtrodden. Mo thon!

    135. Bugger (the Panda) says:


      The failed Co-op Bank was the bank for Labour and the Libdems.

      The Bank was in the shitter and Balls ducked and weaved, prevaricating about intervening (he was Darling’s right hand man) because the debt that Labour had to the Co-op bank.

      He tried to strong-arm one the UK major banks to pick them up and sort them out. This bank took a few months to make due diligence then declared that the bank’s losses were more than substantial and the Bank was unsaveable.

      The Bank was bought out by a venture capital (vulture fund?) and Osborne had taken over the wheel at the Treasury.

      Osborne taunted Balls very openly in debates about his inaction when he was in charge but the LibDems, in partnership with the Tories ensured that the mess was swept under the carpet.

      The Venture fund which took over has all the dirty on the two political party loans which can be used when necessary.

      Relly the Co-op Bank was another Alistair Darling cluster ferk that he passed onto Balls who, is a Co-op MP!

    136. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Edmuind addendum

      I used to bank with the Co-op and I was given very good service, with an ethical investment policy, except for the political loans, but when the seriousness of their investment and loans policies broke cover I dropped them immediately.

      They had appointed a chief executive who knew nothing about banking and treated the Bank as his private pocket money, spending thousands on drugs and prostitutes. I believe he was also a lay preacher; shade of Jess Yates, father of Paula (maybe, or was it Hughie Green?.

    137. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Edmund

      If anyone wants to know more, try this link

      sex and drugs and rock’n’roll and a Bank

      Great reading, trust me.

    138. ronnie anderson says:

      O/T just gave Thepnr a early morning phone call at 4am in America ha ha ah need tae be more Alert on posts.

    139. ScottieDog says:

      For all you fifers, the FIFE DIET has a food coop.

    140. paul gerard mccormack says:

      I’ve always disliked them. the co-op that is.
      I remember when I was a member of the labour party 35 years ago! and was collecting for a jumble sale and the co-op donated two tins of peas! true story.

    141. Stoker says:

      @ Panda.

      Interesting and informative article.

      Going by that then, there seems to be a grain of optimism in what Robert Bryce is hopeful of in his post at 11.43pm.

      Mind you, that article is over a year old and they seem to be still contemplating the best way forward.

      Either way, according to that article, it doesn’t look that promising for future Co-Lab relations, does it.

      The Co can do without the negative associations with Labour.

      Labour are yesterdays news.

      The Co need to ditch the bitch.

    142. Muscleguy says:


      A good record of local sourcing of food? That will be why our local Coop here in Dundee sells chilled plastic wrapped kippers from Devon? Arbroath is just up the road where they smoke kippers before breakfast. Local food, don’t make me laugh.

    143. Scott Borthwick says:

      The Co-Op/Labour MPs for Scottish constituencies are Ian Davidson, Gemma Doyle, Tom Greatrix, Cathy Jamieson and Mark Lazarowicz. The MSPs are Claudia Beamish, Kezia Dugdale, James Kelly and Johann Lamont. George Foulkes was a Co-Op MP too.

      Looking at this list, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s no Co-Operative Party at all. Some of the most rabid anti-Scottish Labour unionists around.

      I am a member of the Co-Op, and I have told them repeatedly that I am unhappy with this arrangement.

      However, Mark Lazarowicz is my MP and, although I did not vote for him, I have to say he has been very responsive and has supported my point of view whenever I have contacted him.

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