Co-opting co-operatives to the capitalist cause

Last Thursday David Cameron made his much-discussed speech on ‘moral’ capitalism. Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg also made speeches last week that visited similar territory.

Cameron’s speech was rather short on what he meant by ‘moral’. Or, to put it another way, for him moral capitalism was primarily about ensuring more competition and broader asset ownership than is the case in ‘immoral’ capitalism. It appeared, in fact, rather similar to the capitalism we already have, but tweaked around the edges. The spirit that animates the system does not need to change. There is no need for ethical renewal.

Towards the end of the speech there is a passage which justifies further scrutiny. [Read more…]