chapter  9
66 Pages

Parties and Prospects: Left and Right

This chapter examines the reasons brought by each of the parties to the minimal consensus for Co-operation. In other words, the established Movement might well now ask itself whether, if Industrial Co-operation is the wave of the future, the time had come to lay the distinguished but fading Fabian ghosts of the past, who in their prospectus saw a place only for Consumer Co-operation. After the intricacies and confusions of the relationship between the Co-operative Movement and the Labour Party, the attitude of the Conservative Party has one shining merit: simplicity. More recent pronouncements by the Government itself suggest that the Conservative Party has warmed somewhat towards industrial co-operatives. And then, prophetically: 'if a two-party, or even a three-party, system holds, Co-operators must in practice align themselves with the Labour Party so as to form a virtually single political force unless the Labour Party itself breaks apart, or gives place to some new comprehensive organisation of the political Left'.