Sheffield Co-op Party

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Sheffield Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party was founded in 1917 by the Co-operative Movement and functioned as a department of the Co-operative Union (now Co-operatives UK).

The need for political representation in Parliament became clear as legislation favoured capitalist businesses and was obstructive to co-operative businesses.

An example of this was that during World War 1, the majority of Co-op staff were called up for the armed services, whereas business competitors’ staff were declared vital for the war effort. In many other ways Government legislation disadvantaged co-operatives. It was deemed necessary to have a voice in Parliament to speak up for co-operative common ownership so that legislation could be enacted to faciliate the development of the Co-operative Movement.

This need is just as great today as it was then. Progress has been made in helping to create a more level playing field for the Co-operative Movement, but more needs to be done, and what has been gained can be taken away.

Co-operation is a threat to capitalism, so strong co-operative representation is needed in Parliament and all other democratic institutions.

At present there are 26 Co-operative Members of Parliament. They stand on a dual ticket of Labour and Co-operative. This was made possible when in 1927 an electoral agreement was made between the Labour party and The Co-operative Party.

It is a matter of concern that many people in the 21st century do not engage in political activity for a more equitable society. The Co-operative Party needs more active and engaged members to ensure the survival and development of co-operatives today and into the future.

Sheffield Branch Co-operative Party

See also The Co-operative Party