Communist University and cash

The CPGB's summer offensive is keeping a good pace, reports Mark Fischer

Another good week for this year’s Summer Offensive, our annual fundraising drive. But before we get into the details of what has been raised over the last seven days, we should update comrades about Communist University - the annual CPGB school that the SO actually helps make possible.

We will be uploading onto the CPGB site a more or less finished timetable for this year’s week-long event. That said, we are also at the stage of haggling with various confirmed speakers - it’s always the case that some comrades have to come back to us with tweaks to the times and/or dates of the sessions they have signed up for. This is fiddly, so comrades should check the website right up to the last minute if there are specific sessions you have your eye on.

As a taster for the full agenda, here are some of the speakers and their subjects of this year:

Hillel Ticktin (editor of Critique) assesses World War I as a symptom of capitalism’s systemic decline; Camilla Power (Radical Anthropology Group) speaks on early communism and its resonances in the 21st century; Mike Macnair dissects the politics of Left Unity’s ‘safe spaces’ policy; Yassamine Mather talks on women-only quotas, positive discrimination and the fight for women’s equality; The Bolsheviks and their record of organising amongst women is examined by Anne McShane; Moshé Machover will open a discussion on the possibilities of the further Balkanisation of the Middle East in the aftermath of the ‘Arab spring’; Paul Demarty presents the intriguingly titled session, ‘The politics of lying’; and German comrades from Assoziation Dämmerung discuss the problems of ‘animal liberation’.

As always, and in a rather sad contrast to schools organised by other trends of the revolutionary left, CU is a place where differing views contend and clash openly, and where members of the CPGB, as well as comrades of other organisations or none, can air their views, argue and debate freely with one another as comrades. Staging and building this event is one of the most political things our organisation does in the course of its annual work, and a healthy SO is vital to a successful CU.

So, to make my opening paragraph more specific, I’m pleased to tell readers that we have added a robust £1,418, taking our total to £7,093. Or - to be pedantically specific, £7,093.50. A comrade responsible for compiling these figures tells me that “traditionally we deal in whole pounds only!” Sez who, comrade …?

Mentioned in despatches are comrades ML for his £350 - the fruits of his “first proper job”, according to a supportive comrade; the team that has raised £110 through badge sales; a sturdy £380 from PM and a £70 cheque from JH to the Weekly Worker, along with a note that thunders, “Towards the revolution! Keep up the fight!” (Money sent to the paper will, of course, be used for the Weekly Worker specifically, but it counts towards our overall total.)

So a decent pace is being maintained - but we need more supporters of the work of this organisation and the paper it supports to follow the fine lead of JH and put their money where their principles are!

Mark Fischer