General Election 2010

You may have noticed that the UK votes in a General Election tomorrow. It looks like the closest for at least 18 years and maybe more. Happily, all the major parties are saying nice things about cooperatives, but I wonder how much of that will translate into policies that are practical for co-ops like mine.

Our national body Cooperatives UK has gathered the commitments from 18 manifestos and summarised them in a PDF. The first 7 pages deal with the five biggest English parties.

One striking thing is how many gaps there are in the Labour, LibDem and UKIP policies, while it’s not really clear to me that the Conservatives or LibDems really understand cooperatives. The Conservatives seem to suggest council-controlled co-ops (which wouldn’t normally be co-ops if they lack autonomy), while the LibDems mention employee trusts more often than worker co-ops.

I’m sulking at Labour after several recent schemes that subsidised private competitors and excluded worker co-ops – and I don’t believe Labour can win in Weston-super-Mare. That would leave the Greens, who probably can’t win but do seem to get it, except that there’s no Green candidate where I live because he stood aside and recommended the LibDems (as I understand it). Drat.

So, only a few hours to go before the start of the ballot and I’m still an undecided voter.

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