progress is not the elimination of struggle, but rather a change in its terms’ - Aneurin Bevan

Ed Miliband on co-operatives

I contributed a question to Labour Uncut's crowdsourced interview with Ed Miliband, a strong contender in the Labour leadership contest:
Q. (from Jamie and James): The co-operative sector is a growing part of the UK economy. What would you do as leader to promote the creation of more co-owned firms in the private sector? Would you consider mutualising banks like Northern Rock?
A. I do think there’s a case for mutual ownership of Northern Rock, because I think we can’t just go back to business as usual when it comes to the banking system. If we think we’re just going to end up back in a situation of the private sector banks with just a bit more regulation, then I don’t think that that’s the right way forward. We’ve got to look at all of these options, not just mutual ownership by the way, public ownership, because that’s what they do in other countries like Germany where they’ve succeeded in building a bigger industrial base.
Whereas I felt that his brother didn't really answer my question, but unfortunately the good folk at Labour Uncut combined my question with one on Northern Rock (the future of which was pretty much settled by the previous government's compliance with EU State Aid rules).

Though I note that in the latest Tribune, Ed Miliband does deal with the question of increasing the number of co-operative enterprises in the private sector. Tribune asked:
How do you propose to change the balance of the British economy from one dominated by financial services to a broader mix of manufacturing, innovation, the “knowledge economy”, technical and skill-based production, and co-operatives?
And Ed replied:
Reshaping our economy is not a project for one year or one term, but a long-term effort. It begins by recognising the role government can play through an active industrial policy. It is scandalous that the coalition is abolishing regional development agencies when in many places they have led the way in creating the growth of the future. We also need to think again about our financial sector. We should make use of our stake in the banks, rather than simply sell them off as quickly as possible. I would take the opportunity of the rationalisation of these stakes to create a new banking system which works to invest in the industries of the future and the small businesses and co-operatives that can be the centre of our communities.

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