Party notes

£13,000 pledged

The Communist Party is preparing for the general election. Our members are playing a full part in the Socialist Alliance, including pulling our financial weight. That is why we have brought forward our annual fundraising drive to spring from its traditional summer slot. Over the months of March and April, we aim to raise a minimum of £20,000.

This year's Spring Offensive is now underway after its March 1 launch. Members and closer supporters are now feeding in their pledges to Party Centre and the pace of the campaign is starting to gather. Pledges currently stand at just under £13,000.

The annual Offensives are designed to be highlights of the Party's political work. Every subscription to our paper won, every publication sold, every donation gathered, every item of political merchandise traded, every order to our printshop won - it all counts to that comrade's individual target. It is a measure of the level of intensity of their political work as well their ability to raise finance, in other words.

But the SO is not a spectator sport. There are many comrades in Britain and internationally who read our paper every week or regularly visit our website. Often they will disagree with important aspects of our politics. But amongst these comrades, there is a growing recognition of the key role of the Weekly Worker on the left, the principled fight for unity and a serious left electoral challenge to Blair by the organisation that sustains it. They should take this opportunity to show their support in a more concrete way.

This year, the coincidence of the campaign with the build-up to the general election offers comrades a tremendous opportunity. We have ambitious plans for the general election and after. In England and Wales, our comrades will be throwing themselves into work for their local SA candidates. CPGB members will also be standing as SA candidates themselves, both in London and other parts of the country. In Scotland, our comrades will be supporting the Scottish Socialist Party's ambitious challenge.

Throughout this, the Communist Party will ensure that its distinct voice is heard. Our paper will be getting into the hands of thousands of new readers. Our relaunched website will be busy during this period of heightened political activity and interest. Comrades know the message:

*For democracy and openness in the SAs! Despite threats of exclusion and gagging orders the Weekly Worker has consistently reported the birth pangs as the left has started the painful but vitally necessary process of uniting. We have been to the forefront of fighting anti-democratic bans, winning the right for automatic representation for supporting groups, for example.

*For a Socialist Alliance party! We have been in the vanguard of the fight for an ambitious challenge to Blair. Against the inertia and frugal penny-pinching of others, we have fought for sufficient candidates to ensure a TV broadcast, for a Socialist Alliance paper, for serious financial commitment from the groups. Most importantly, we have pointed to where the logic of this leads - to a united working class party, cohered around a revolutionary programme, with freedom for open factions and tendencies. Such a party could begin to really challenge for the support of the working class.

*For high politics! Our programmatic method is very different from others. We believe that working class politics do not simply consist of strikes, opposition to PFI or defending the NHS. We say our movement has to make the question of how we are ruled central to our propaganda. This is why we have pushed issues such as self-determination for Wales and Scotland, abolition of the monarchy and the House of Lords, etc.

The Spring Offensive will be regularly featured in the Weekly Worker so all readers can follow its progress. But don't just watch from the outside! Take part!

Send your donation today. Make cheques and postal orders payable to the CPGB and mark them 'Spring Offensive' on the back.

Mark Fischer