Not our source of finance

No complacency!

Update on the Summer Offensive

Another very good week for the CPGB’s annual fundraising campaign - the Summer Offensive - with a sturdy £1,709 received. This came on top of last week’s tremendous start of £7,489. In particular, our thanks go to JS (£200), PM (£154) and JT (£50), as well as all the other comrades who contributed this week and helped nudge us over £9k - to be precise, £9,236 is now nestled in our account.

Compared to the same period last year, this is a fantastic total. Back in 2018, we reported that the second week of the SO had seen “no less than £2,256” raised - “pretty good”, we reckoned, “especially as a good part of what we receive for the SO” is traditionally stumped up at our annual week-long school in August, Communist University.

With our comrades now beginning to contact sympathisers and supporters around the country for their SO donations, I’m optimistic that this cracking pace can be maintained over the next few weeks - perhaps even built upon. So, accustomed as I am to the annual SO tradition of cajoling comrades to pick up the pace at the beginning, I find myself in the welcome, if slightly odd, position of warning against complacency in this year’s campaign.

We have a minimum target of £30k, comrades. Hitting this will simply allow us to plug the financial holes that gape open because of keeping our national office in good repair, running Communist University and intervening at the Labour Party’s annual conference. However, if we want to take significant steps forward - not simply tread water - we need to raise significantly more than that basic sum, as I reminded comrades in last week’s column.

Of course, if the many scandalous rumours about this organisation in its early years were even partially true, we would have no money worries and no need for this annual attack on the financial front. In this paper - as well as its predecessor, The Leninist - we have had great fun mocking the genuinely stupid allegations we heard (nearly always second-hand, of course) that purported to explain how we funded our publications and work.

For example, we apparently once numbered amongst our many benefactors the Stalinist state of East Germany (oddly enough); the İşçinin Sesi wing of the Communist Party of Turkey (which as an exile organisation had plenty of financial claims on its resources, of course); the Revolutionary Communist Group (a split from the Socialist Workers Party), which thought, for some unfathomable reason, that it would be a good idea to underwrite our political work - despite the comprehensive incompatibility with its own. Apparently even MI5 poured in the funds.

I must confess, however, that my favourite was always the truly bizarre bit of gossip that cast one of our founding members as the millionaire owner of the Sketchley dry-cleaning chain. Predecessors on this annual column have had tremendous punning fun with this nonsense. Our organisation was “laundering money” and we thought we could spin our way out of it … you get the idea. (But don’t write in with mischievous allegations of your own - please.)

Of course, this silly rumour-mongering said far more about those who peddled the crap rather than us. The simple explanation that our serious politics found reflection in our approach to every facet of our work - theoretically, organisationally and financially - was literally unthinkable for many on the left at that time.

The tasks facing the contemporary left in this country - and globally - demand seriousness; that we all should be upping our game to meet the challenges of this period. If you agree, the place to start is with a donation to the Summer Offensive 2019. If you think that this paper and the political project it champions has genuine merit in today’s turbulent, unpredictable world, let’s hear from you, comrades!

Remember - £30k is our minimum target.

William Sarsfield