Stepping up to the plate

Peter Manson reports on Communist University 2017 and the end of the Summer Offensive

I am pleased to report that the CPGB’s annual fundraising drive, the Summer Offensive, raised a total of £26,580. This fell short of our £30,000 target, but in the circumstances was still a remarkable achievement.

For a number of reasons the SO lasted a mere seven weeks this year - as compared to the usual two-month period, which has often been extended by a couple of days to nine weeks. In other words, we should be more than pleased with the 2017 result.

Amongst the dozens of contributors, two stand out - comrades TB and YM both raised just over £2,500. That includes the cash that came in as a result of their efforts, as well as what they personally donated. Their achievements were recognised at the August 18 celebratory meal, held at the end of Communist University, as were those of many other comrades, including DG, who still came up to the mark despite difficult personal circumstances.

I also ought to mention comrade PK, who featured in my last column three weeks ago. His fundraising efforts had meant cutting out little things like a visit to the barber’s and so we were pleased to introduce a not entirely novel idea to this year’s SO - a sponsored shave and haircut! This added an extra £55 at the very last moment (‘before’ and ‘after’ photos are available for those who want proof!).

As Weekly Worker editor, I know only too well what the Summer Offensive means. Despite our monthly fighting fund, the cash we raise does little more than cover our basic costs. But every year the money that we at the Weekly Worker receive from the SO gives us a massive boost - not only in terms of much needed office equipment and so on, but in providing the extra finance to cover such things as the extra printing costs for supplements and so on. It also provides a much needed breathing space and allows for a little relief, when it comes to the constant demands on our resources.

Every year we demand a lot of our members and supporters - and every year they step up to the plate. 2017 has proved to be no exception.