No nonsense

Our campaign to raise £30,000 is off to a flying start

In the first seven days of the campaign, we have already received just under £3,210 towards our £30k minimum, with a number of comrades taking large chunks out of their individual targets. In particular, thanks go out to comrade PK, who has stumped up £700 - courtesy of a nicely timed rebate from the taxman. In addition, comrades MJ and MM have produced a sturdy £200 and £140 respectively, comrade AM has pushed her standing order contributions to the party up to £300 a month for the duration, comrade AD has given us £100 and PM £200, a no-nonsense start to his push for £1,000 by the end of July.

The same comrade writes: "Last year I set myself a modest target initially - I was tight for cash and thought I would be stretched for both time and money. But I had a few good badge sales (the Make Poverty History event in Edinburgh and the SWP's Marxism proved productive) and I also organised some extra classes where I teach. In the end I notched up just over £1,000. So this year I have decided to be more ambitious and set my target at £1k from the off. Again I am teaching once a week right through July and will use all the extra income for the SO."

Of course, many of our comrades will raise a large percentage of their individual targets through arranging extra hours at work. But we always try to emphasise that the SO campaign is also a time for our people to turn outwards, not simply disappear into a black hole of capitalist exploitation for eight weeks or so. Every paper or book sold, every subscription won, every donation garnered counts toward comrades' individual targets. We should also approach the task with some imagination, to attempt to draw friends, work colleagues and family members into the campaign.

Last year, for example, one comrade organised dinner parties for workmates at £15 a head. More dodgy, in my prudish opinion, was the fact that the same comrade offered colleagues a 17-minute massages at £10 a pop. A student comrade - normally a serial kebab monster - fasted for two days, raising something like £200 in sponsorship. Another student did a sponsored row (of the boat variety, not a day-long quarrel). It was actually a 'dry' version, completed on one of those gym simulators, although he claimed to have trained for it in 'wet' conditions. ("Yeah, in a pub," others observed).

This year, comrades are attempting to revamp and upgrade party businesses, there is talk of a new team reviving the popular Marx Walks of yesteryear and those among us blessed with gardens and a degree of optimism about the British summer are mulling over the idea of World Cup final barbecues and parties. All good stuff that looks set to raise well over £20,000 on current estimates.

The remaining £10k is up to readers and sympathisers of our paper who identify with the commitment to accountability and transparency it embodies. Comrades can contribute to the campaign at whatever level they feel able to - every pound is much appreciated. We will be sending out e-bulletins and general campaign letters, as well as embarking on personalised emails and phone-arounds to alert comrades to the need to support this year's SO - but don't wait to be asked! Send cheques and postal orders off today and let's build the momentum in this year's Summer Offensive after a stonker of a first week.