Serving the people – from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown

"Serving the People, a Co-operative Party History, from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown" written by Greg Rosen details the history of the Co-operative Party and the transformations co-operative values have helped make in history.


Greg Rosen of the Labour History Group has written a new book – Serving the People, a Co-operative Party History, from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown. With an intro from the Prime Minister, Greg details the origins of the Party and takes it right up to date, showing how our work has been transformed over the last ten years.

The Fred Perry reference is due to the fact that Fred’s dad was Sam Perry, a co-op activist who became the first National Secretary of the Co-operative Party and then a co-op MP. Rosen makes the case that the co-op movement allowed Sam, and by implication Fred, to rise out of his humble beginnings, and that moving into politics exposed the young Fred to tennis and meant he did not become a cotton-spinner, but rather a Wimbledon champion.

Gordon Brown’s foreword reads:

When I first joined the Co-operative Party, I was aware of its proud history. I shared its conviction that social justice can best be achieved through co-operative action.

Throughout our history as a nation, the co-operative movement has not only provided services on which ordinary people rely, but has strengthened the very community bonds from which we flourish. Today, the Co-operative Party’s commitments in an interdependent world make its work more relevant than ever.

The Co-operative Party stands for social responsibility, for global decency and for people having a say in the running of their communities.

These are the values that I share. I wish the Co-operative Party well in its 90th year and I look forward to working closely with it in the future.

The book is available via the Party’s website here.