I'm a member of both the Labour Party and the Co-Operative Party.
The latter is (since the 1930s) a sister-party of the former and exists nowadays to promote the idea of co-operatives and mutualism within the Labour Party.
Mutualism is the idea that lies behind John Lewis, building societies, credit unions and the Co-operative branded shops, funeral parlours and banks. it's the idea that employees, and in some cases customers, should own a share in the business they work for.
Co-operative Party ideals are behind some of Labour's recent policy announcements on giving fans a bigger say in how their football clubs are run, for giving passengers a formal role in overseeing the rail industry and for expanding credit unions.
Today Ed Miliband has added to that list by announcing that a Labour government will legislate to allow employees to bid to takeover their employer if the business owners want to sell up (an attractive option for owners who want to see their legacy continue in the hands of those who have an obvious interest in the long-term success of the business) or its in danger of shutting down.
He also announced that co-operative businesses seeking to expand will be able to access credit through Labour's previously announced new state-run British Business Bank.
These ideas will help increase the number of employees who own a share of the business they work for and give them a greater say in how it is run. Empowering workers in a way that is not only pro-growth but pro-long term growth not quick-fix, short-termist growth that is too often a characteristic of our economy currently.