LET WORK­ERS OWN THEIR FIRMS

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

You might be sick of po­lit­i­cal con­fer­ences but there’s a re­ally im­por­tant one next week­end.

Jeremy Cor­byn will be at The Co-op­er­a­tive Party’s 100th an­niver­sary con­fer­ence, mak­ing the case for pub­lic own­er­ship of wa­ter and en­ergy firms, the rail­ways and the Royal Mail. Since 1917, it has ar­gued for busi­nesses to be owned by work­ers and cus­tomers. This would stop wa­ter com­pa­nies rak­ing off bil­lions for over­seas in­vestors in­stead of cut­ting bills. Go on Theresa May, steal that idea. Though it’d be im­pos­si­ble to find any­one co-op­er­a­tive in her Cab­i­net. his quiet, steely de­ter­mi­na­tion led to the in­tro­duc­tion of the min­i­mum wage.

Not only the Con­ser­va­tive Party op­posed it. Some unions thought it would dam­age pay dif­fer­en­tials and busi­ness warned that it would cause a mil­lion job losses and in­crease in­fla­tion.

When it was in­tro­duced by Labour it ac­tu­ally cre­ated a mil­lion jobs, re­duced in-work poverty and pro­vided a floor to stop peo­ple fall­ing into debt.

It wasn’t just work­ers Rod­ney helped. As the chair­man of the Na­tional Pen­sion­ers Con­ven­tion, he in­creased state pen­sions in line with earn­ings or prices.

How­ever Rod­ney’s real he­roes were his wife Pat and his fam­ily.

The great ex­cite­ment he felt on dis­cov­er­ing he had three half­broth­ers in Ire­land showed how much he was a fam­ily man.

His friends will have heard of his death with a tear in the eye – fol­lowed by a smile re­mem­ber­ing the man they knew.

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