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What would Thomas Attwood have said to Ed Mayo?

June 21, 2011

Ed Mayo of Co-operatives UK asks: 

“Would you be willing to sign and share the petition we are launching to narrow the gap between rich and poor through action to share wealth and ownership in a co-operative way? 

You can do so online at www.uk.coop/yourstoshare/petition ” 

Petition text 

I want to narrow the gap between rich and poor, through action to share ownership and wealth in a co-operative way. 

The gap between rich and poor is widening. One half of the UK population now owns just one percent of the wealth. A generation ago, they had twelve per cent. 

Unlike bankers’ bonuses, giving employees, consumers and residents a wider share of ownership and wealth is good for society and the economy. 

Co-operatives and mutuals are businesses that are owned by members and share their profits. 

We are calling on government to support action to share ownership and wealth in a co-operative way by: 

  • encouraging business to share profits with staff, customers and communities more widely;
  • promoting community ownership as one way to save lifeline services, such as village shops and pubs, and enable people to take action on housing, arts, sport, land, finance and green energy;
  • cutting red tape so that it is as easy to start a co-operative as any other form of business.

In view of the official June figures of 235,000 currently unemployed in the West Midlands, with rising numbers claiming benefit, it is probable that Thomas Attwood would welcome any initiative which had the potential to create worthwhile employment, including the Co-op Group’s apprenticeship scheme – see article here.

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