Myners has pointed out two things. First, management was out of control. I think there is little doubt that the management team of the Co-op had fully embraced the neoliberal logic that competing is the sole goal of all organisations. They evidenced this through a desire to compete on the basis of the group’s size and breadth even though that both clearly compromised viability and, at least as importantly, defied the supposed ethos of the group, which was and should be to supply value to its members. Yt has very clearly failed to do that. This was the fundamental malaise at the heart of this issue. The management, possibly motivated by self interest (which appears to have been well rewarded), had very clearly forgotten all that this group was supposed to be about and what they were good at.
As worryingly, the board that were supposed to remind them of this appear not to have done so. They take some significant blame for what happened if that is true: it looks like they succumbed to the same neoliberal logic, not that this is surprising: the whole neoliberal game of the last thirty years has been to make its logic of competition in all things all pervasive. It would appear to have succeeded here, at great cost.