Wildcard winnings

Mark Fischer reports on some solid progress for the Summer Offensive

This past week has seen £2,490 of new money added to our annual fundraising campaign - the Summer Offensive - pushing the running total up to £8,874. Many thanks to comrades JT (£75), TB (£30), ML (£380), GT (£15) and many others who have made sure that we are on course to hit (and hopefully smash) our collective target of £30,000 for this, our 30th SO.

Of course, £30k may be an ambitious target for an organisation like ours and it undoubtedly stretches us individually and collectively - although we should make efforts to ensure that fundraising doesn’t become a rather grim chore for comrades. We retain a sense of perspective, however. The point to bear in mind is that revolutionary communist groups generally subsist on peanuts (unless, like the Workers Revolutionary Party of yesteryear, you are lucky enough to recruit thespian royalty, such as the Redgraves and their groupie periphery, and/or develop some ‘interesting’ international relations).

This unfortunate financial fact popped into my mind, as I listened to a report about Liam Broady, the latest ‘plucky Brit’ to be lauded by the press after an unlikely first-round victory at Wimbledon, who had been comfortably despatched in the second by Belgium’s David Goffin. I’m not particular riveted by the drama of tennis per se - the raucous and slightly forlorn pro-Brit din of the crowd generally sees me lunge for the remote. No, what piqued my interest was the information that the wildcard, Broady - ranked a lowly 182 in the world and living a rather itinerant life before his SW19 heroics, to be fair - would pick up a cheque for £43,000 after his exit at this early stage of the championship.

So our £30k would be viewed as small beer by those at this year’s gig at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (the winner will trouser something in the order of £1,760,000). But it is an absolutely vital fillip for our annual income that allows us to plan our activity over the coming year and set aside funds for special projects. For instance, the online profile of our party and paper urgently need to be developed qualitatively. (We have also had to suffer a long delay in the launch of the new CPGB site and make do with an extremely inadequate interim substitute.) In this field, as in others, we rely on the voluntary labour of dedicated amateurs who teach themselves ‘on the job’, as it were. A little financial flexibility would allow us to buy in some expertise to speed the tempo of the work, send comrades on courses rather than have them learn by trial and error, upgrade outmoded technology that is slowing everything down, etc.

So, if we can’t look forward to any Wimbledon participants donating a chunk of their winnings this year, how about some readers out there organising some Wimbledon parties for July 12, the final day of the championship? Strawberries and Pimms, comrades …?

Mark Fischer