Campaign for Owen banknote gathers pace

The Co-operative Group is supporting proposals to highlight the achievements of co-operative pioneer Robert Owen by campaigning to have his image featured on Scottish banknotes in time for...

A motion tabled by Labour/Co-op MSP Bill Butler, which has already attracted the support of almost 50 MSPs representing four parties, is due to be debated at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on June 3rd.

The move to have the Welsh-born visionary and co-operative entrepreneur included on banknotes of the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland or the Clydesdale Bank to recognise his ground-breaking work at New Lanark has already been supported by both Edinburgh and West Lothian Councils and was due to be debated by two Lanarkshire councils as the News went to press.

Gerard Hill from the Co-operative Group’s membership team in Glasgow is asking co-operators around the country to back the campaign and says the Parliamentary motion at Holyrood could add the momentum and focus needed to make the Owen banknote a reality.

Mr Butler’s motion recognises the contribution made by Robert Owen to Scottish society through “his pioneering work at New Lanark where he championed co-operative principles and values” and notes that the co-operative sector in Scotland is worth £3 billion to the nation’s economy.

The motion adds: “The co-operative business model has proved extremely resilient and reliable during the recent global economic upheaval and we would welcome widespread support for the proposal to have Robert Owen commemorated on Scottish banknotes.”

As of last week, Mr Butler’s motion had received the support of 29 Labour and Labour/Co-op MSPs, including two former leaders of Labour at Holyrood, Jack McConnell and Wendy Alexander.

Fourteen SNP MSPs, two Liberal Democrats and Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie had also signed the motion by last weekend and online petitions had attracted the support of over 1,000 people.

To help the campaign to have Owen featured on Scottish banknotes, visit the petition:

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