Boycott the Co-Op (contd) …… The Co-Op’s Catch-22

I wrote about the Co-Op’s Israel boycott policy here.

co op meeting october 2018
On Wednesday I went to the Co-Op members’ meeting in London. I spoke in opposition to their Israel boycott.   I got the usual brush-off (from Sir Christopher Kelly, ex-HMT).

However a number of Co-Op staff and Council and Board members were there and a few of them seemed supportive in 1-1 conversation after the formal proceedings.

NED Stevie Spring suggested that I bring a motion at the 2019 Co-Op AGM to reverse the boycott. She explained that the boycott was originally implemented as a result of a democratic vote of Co-Op members so it can only be reversed by a similar vote.

There is a glaring hole in your argument, Stevie.  It was THE CO-OP BOARD which in April 2012 hardened the boycott to cover distributors who source from Judea/Samaria. If the Board can make policy, it can unmake policy. It doesn’t need an AGM motion.

Nevertheless after the meeting I looked at the rules for proposing  a motion at the AGM.  They are here (page 23). It needs 100 ‘qualified members’.

And what is the definition of ‘qualified’? It’s on page 25. You have to have spent a certain amount at the Co-Op.

And what is that amount, determined by the Co-Op Board and Council? It’s set out here (click on ‘Purchase Regulations’). You have to have spent £250 in 12 months at the Co-Op; have insurance with the Co-Op; use Co-Op Legal Services; buy a Co-Op funeral plan; or have an active Co-Op bank account.

In other words, Catch-22.  No Israel supporter is going to spend this kind of money at the Co-Op.

So come on, Co-Op Board and Council.  This is a blatantly discriminatory policy which is based on lies. And it’s damaging your business. You are opening several branches in areas of NW London where the Jewish population is significant.

Over to you!