Summer Offensive: Raise the banner

Mark Fischer reports on a positive start to the CPGB's annual fundraising drive

Comrades are pretty confident about this year’s Summer Offensive, our annual fundraising drive, which was launched at the end of the CPGB members’ aggregate meeting on Saturday June 28. Most in the room were veterans of a number of SOs and that - combined with the more comprehensive cell infrastructure that most of our comrades are now integrated into - meant that the collective target of £30k over the next eight weeks held little fear for the majority of comrades. Pledges at the aggregate amounted to £18,200 and since then the total has been nudged up to £19,250.

SOs always give us a chance to look back over our last 12 months of work and I took the opportunity on June 28 to remind comrades of our upbeat perspectives last year. In his speech at the celebration meal to mark the end of the 2013 SO campaign, Jack Conrad had noted that our opportunities to engage others on the left in debate had become much more real. Specifically, he had suggested that “a degree of mutual understanding” had seemed to emerge in formal and informal exchanges with comrades from, for instance, the International Socialist Network and the Socialist Platform of Left Unity. “Nothing dramatic, but generally moving in the right direction” had been the comrade’s assessment.

However, while we in the CPGB are in good shape both organisationally and politically, what surrounds us on the left has mostly continued to decay and disintegrate over the last year or so. And this underlines the importance of the SO - of raising the funds essential for our work, which will help develop our online presence and strengthen the Weekly Worker. Speaking of which, a series of rather unfortunate technical and other errors led to a severe delay in the production of last week’s printed version, which was finally mailed to subscribers on Monday June 30. The Weekly Worker team has asked me to apologise on their behalf.

I will be updating comrades weekly with the running cash total until the end of the Summer Offensive, but Robbie Rix has asked me to pass on thanks for all those who contributed to the paper’s June fighting fund. The last week of the month saw an extra £205 come our way, taking the total to £1,519.

So far in July, regular standing orders to the paper have totalled £155, but - a reminder - we class the Summer Offensive as a measure of the intensity of the collective work of CPGB comrades. So all monies raised during the SO period, which ends on August 23, are added to the overall total, including for the paper.

As we always say - don’t wait to be asked. For instance, The Weekly Worker website had 7,867 hits last week - but only one comrade left any cash before they logged off! C’mon!

Mark Fischer