Posts Tagged "co-operative"

Policy Governance and Co-operatives Presentation

Posted on January 17th, 2014 in Co-ops (10 comments)

I was due to be in Manchester today to give a talk on the article on Policy Governance I wrote here. Sadly, a combination of dodgy drains at home and ill children meant I’ve not been able to attend, so I’ve recorded what I was going to say and put it here – hopefully they’ll manage to connect the session to this post… Policy Governance and Co-operatives from Dave Boyle (You can also download and MP3 of the audio and a PDF of the...

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Treating the Local Media Patient with Leeches

Posted on November 18th, 2013 in Co-ops, Media (3 comments)

Just written a quick blog for Media Reform UK on Theresa May’s comments blaming the BBC for the crisis in local media. Reproduced below so as to keep all my stuff in one place. It was a shame that in her recent intervention on the subject of local newspapers, Home Secretary Theresa May chose to use the opportunity to indulge in every government minister’s favourite sport of bashing the BBC. In seeking to implicate the BBC in the decline of local media when speaking to the Society of Editors, she flattered her audience by avoiding the...

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Storify on Spanish Member-Owned Clubs

Posted on August 7th, 2013 in Co-ops, Football (2 comments)

The Independent‘s Sam Wallace has a story today about a threat against Spanish member-owned clubs from the EU, which might be taking action to force them to convert into privately-owned companies. It wouldn’t be a surprise; action via the EU by Olympique Lyonnais forced a change to a French state law preventing clubs being owned by private enterprises. That said, there was a fascinating intervention by FASFE (the Spanish equivalent of Supporters Direct) who cast into doubt many of the core facts in the article. I’ve done a...

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We need to talk about governance

Posted on July 19th, 2013 in Co-ops, Football, Published Writing (1 comment)

I’ve just had an article published in the Guardian’s Social Enterprise Hub on Policy Governance (I’ve copied the original prior to subbing below this piece). It’s something I came across when doing a piece of work for a client who wanted to examine different ways to run their football club democratically. I came to the conclusion that it was the missing system I’d fruitlessly spent 10 years looking for when at Supporters Direct (you can read that report here). There, people would ask us how to make their...

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The Strange Rebirth of Co-operative Britain

Posted on April 2nd, 2013 in Co-ops, Published Writing (16 comments)

I was asked to write a piece for Economia magazine (the in-house journal of the Institute for Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) on the growth in recent years of the co-operative and mutual sector. The piece is on their site, and is reproduced below.

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It’s not my Party (and I should choose what happens to my co-op money if I want to)

Posted on January 30th, 2013 in Co-ops, Published Writing (14 comments)

The Guardian have published a piece I’ve written on how the Co-operative movement engages in politics, focussing on the link with Labour via the Co-operative Party.   Writing in this section a few months back on the Co-operative Party, Greg Rosen wrote that “the co-operative tortoise is winning the race to find Ed Miliband a ‘big idea’”. The recent publication of a collection of essays edited by Jon Cruddas on the direction for Labour and its future manifesto suggests the tortoise is actually trailing by some distance,...

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How to make the BBC democratic

Posted on November 13th, 2012 in Media (2 comments)

I did a post some months back over at Our Beeb on how the BBC could become accountable to licence payers, and today, Tessa Jowell has said something similar in the Telegraph. When I wrote the piece, it was all a touch theoretical since the BBC’s governance wasn’t a live issue. (update – The Independent’s Steve Richards suggests there might be a link) I’m still not in any way convinced that the Savile and Newsnight affairs have any real and pressing read through to governance, but as we saw with the reform of the...

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Co-operative Cinemas?

Posted on July 24th, 2012 in Co-ops, Published Writing (5 comments)

The Guardian have published a piece I’ve written on Co-operative cinemas over on their Social Enterprise Network site. It was fun to write, learning about the world of cinema distribution and exhibiting. What there wasn’t space to discuss was the impact of the net, which we can transforms distribution chains wherever it meets them. In cinema, with only so many copies of a film printed for distribution for the big city cinema to have it meant the small town picture house couldn’t; exclusivity was a by-product of scarcity. Now...

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The British Broadcasting Co-operative

Posted on May 18th, 2012 in Media, Published Writing

I’ve just done a piece on how the BBC could become the British Broadcasting Co-operative, and why it should, as part of OpenDemocracy’s Our Beeb series. It draws on the references I make in my pamphlet on media ownership to the BBC. Now is absolutely the right moment to be querying the BBC’s governance. Just because people who beat up on the BBC seem to have an ulterior motive, and just because the cultural life of the UK would be much worse without it, that’s no reason for the rest...

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A funny kind of democracy

Posted on May 17th, 2012 in Co-ops, Football (1 comment)

Back in the day when I was at Supporters Direct, I set up a google RSS feed to feature any mention of ‘supporters trust’, and it brought me this article on Monday, about events down at Exeter. This post isn’t about the League Two salary cost management protocol. It’s about  what is meant by fan democracy. In the piece, current Trust board member Roger Conway is quoted saying: The Trust has made the decision to help the manager build a really good team to push for promotion out of League Two next year,” trustee...

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Would your football club be better run as a co-operative?

Posted on May 9th, 2012 in Co-ops, Football (2 comments)

I’ve done a piece for  The Guardian on football clubs and co-operation, making the case for why it’s the best form for them to take, what progress has been made in the last decade, and what challenges they still face to become a successful part of the landscape. Co-operatives offer a sustainable model for football clubs – just ask Champions League finalists Bayern Munich What’s the point of a football club? If we look at the motives of its owners, we’d get some...

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Co-operation and Media Regulation

Posted on April 16th, 2012 in Co-ops, Media

Visitors landing here from Roy Greenslade’s piece in the Guardian about my report on media co-operatives should visit this page first!   I was very kindly asked by Anthony Zacharzewski of The Democratic Society to contribute a piece to their series on media regulation. My research on media co-operatives is mainly focussed on the how they meet the challenge of the digital age, but there’s an important dimension in respect of regulating the media for the public interest. In his...

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Co-operative Business Studies

Posted on December 2nd, 2011 in Co-ops

I gave two talks today to on co-operation to AS-level students at BHASVIC in Brighton. Co-ops do feature in the course notes produced for the students, but in the not-for-profit sector. As any co-operator knows, if you have no profits, you have no co-operative, eventually. What was noticeable is that in talking with students about the reason you might want to form a co-op rather than a private limited company, there was a need to talk about a wider set of values than are covered in the AS-Level Business Studies course; the value of labour, the...

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Practical Options for Media Co-ops

Posted on November 25th, 2011 in Media

Originally published on OpenDemocracy as part of their series examining media policy. The piece also has extra relevance given their own exploration of a membership scheme to their reader community as part of their own attempts to make their site sustainable in the medium and longer-term. For 11 years, I worked at Supporters Direct, helping to create mutual structures through which fans could run their football clubs, and in recent years, I’ve been drawn to the similarities between clubs and...

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Media Reform @ Red Pepper

Posted on November 15th, 2011 in Media

Red Pepper have posted a debate I took part in a few weeks’ ago under their auspices on reforming the media to better serve the public interest. I was there to give a co-op angle to a general discussion about media reform along with Dan Hind (author, The Return of the Public), Fiona Swarbrick (National Union of Journalists) and Aiden White (formerly of the International Federation of...

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More Media Co-ops

Posted on September 14th, 2011 in Media

The issue of ownership has been the absent part of the British media debate but there is growing recognition that the issue has to be on the table as the various strands of inquiry into the media resulting from hackgate start in earnest. I’ve written about why news should be produced co-operatively and why it would be more ethical, more responsive and more accountable, opening up new sources of capital in the midst of crisis and transformation in the economics of news. But how could it actually work, and what would a co-operative media...

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The Case For Media Co-ops

Posted on August 26th, 2011 in Media

Originally published on New Left Project  in the wake of the hacking scandal to argue for using co-operative and mutual structures in media ownership, a project I’ve been working on with Co-operatives UK. The piece argues that ownership has always been thought of in terms of ‘who’ rather than ‘how’. It’s strange that in the renewed debates about UK media policy in the wake of the hacking scandal, the critical importance of the nature of media ownership hasn’t...

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Why We Need Media Co-ops

Posted on August 13th, 2011 in Media

First published on Liberal Conspiracy on the need to consider issues of media ownership in the context of how they are owned, not just who owns them, as the debate following the revelations of the hacking scandal focussed on News International and the Murdoch family. The plurality debate recognises that who owns newspapers matters, but says little about how> they’re owned; the regulation debate recognises that media need to be held to account but is focussed on external control, with...

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Barca – Co-operation & the Future of Football

Posted on June 14th, 2010 in Co-ops, Published Writing

Commissioned by Co-operatives UK for publication during Co-operatives Fortnight in 2010 alongside the first publication in the UK of the English translation of the club’s statutes. You can download a PDF of the pamphlet here, and a PDF of the statutes here. What is a football club? Before you can decide what a club should do, you really need to have a clear picture of what it is for. Such questions are rarely, if ever, asked in English football; such a failure may explain the fact that if we...

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Oh, FC United!

Posted on June 13th, 2006 in Football, Published Writing

Written for Supporters Direct’s quarterly magazine in 2006, reviewing life at fan-owned football co-operative FC United of Manchester, one year after their formation in May 2005 soon after the Glazer family’s takeover at Manchester United. When it was first reported that disgruntled fans of Manchester United were thinking of starting their own team, many in the football world scoffed. Some couldn’t see the point, whilst others couldn’t see that it would work. There was certainly...

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