Pushing ahead

Howard Roak

I am away from our office this week, so I am afraid that I cannot provide readers with precise figures for this week's running total for the Summer Offensive, our annual two-month fundraising drive. However, the last seven days have seen something like £1,100 added, taking us to somewhere in the region of £5,400.

A special mention this week also go to comrade MM, who has stumped up a magnificent £350 - in addition to his substantial monthly standing order - and, what is more, promises a further donation in July. Gold stars in their essay books this week to comrade MJ for her £100 and comrades SW and PL for their useful £50 cheques, not to mention TR for his usual £60 donation; on the other hand, lashings of tongue pie and an hour in the corner for every one of the 19,254 visitors to our website, who left not a single donation behind them.

While £1,100 is a good sum, it represents nowhere near enough to get near £30,000 in two months, so we are still significantly off the pace. No need for panic yet, but there is no question that we now need to pull our fingers out pretty sharpish. Encouragingly, our comrades are pushing ahead with some useful initiatives that should not only raise us cash for this year's campaign, but also develop important areas of the party's work. For instance, there is the CPGB's website "¦

Two weeks ago, I mentioned a student comrade who undertook a sponsored rowing session for the SO in 2005. This year, the same comrade - Ben Lewis - is now studying in Germany and has been active in the important developments in the workers' movement there with the emergence of the Wahlalternative Arbeit und Soziale Gerechtigkeit (see, for example, Weekly Worker May 4). This year, the comrade is turning his back on the gym and the prospect of a repeat 'rowathon'- "I'm a bit too old and fat for that now," comments our 21-year-old rugby player.

Instead, he plans to do "something far more productive for the party's work". He writes: "I have been translating a lot of our material into German and have used some of this in our political interventions here." The comrade now plans to translate far more of our website into German in order to facilitate the spread of our paper's ideas to this pivotally important European country: "Thus instead of rowing 42,000 metres, I am going to attempt to translate (at least) 42,000 words within the rest of the Summer Offensive" - something that is, as the comrade points out, "a hell of a lot of work" and will obviously impose time constraints on any other avenues of raising cash "¦ unless the comrade is sponsored per 1,000 words, of course.

So, come on, comrades - here's a chance to see your money help the paper make an impact in a new and politically very fluid arena of struggle. Send offers of support to comrade Lewis's mammoth 'translatathon' or download the sponsorship form by clicking here (alternatively, you can of course make a straightforward donation to support the comrade's efforts - mark all payments with 'translatathon').

Also, another web-based initiative is in the offing. A supporter with considerable expertise in this area is planning a training day for comrades who work in the party office to enable us to add new features, make sure the site is more up-to-date and features more material than we are able to squeeze into the paper. The comrade will levy a party rate for his time - ie, free - but materials, space and technical equipment will have to be paid for. We will have more information about this on the website and will be sending out details in e-bulletins, but - as always - comrades don't need to wait to be asked! The estimated cost for the day is £500 - the thousands of comrades who visit the site weekly now have something very concrete to support in this year's SO, for which they will see the benefits on the site in the very near future. So no excuses!

The fact that we have started to get more queries for jobs for our printshop and have seen some useful developments with other party businesses is all very good and bodes well for finances for the SO and beyond. But there is no substitute for the active support of the comrades who have some level of identification with our paper and the politics it fights for. You are the answer, comrades!

Send cheques and postal orders - marked 'SO' on the back - to our usual address. Let's have more positive SO news to report next week - put us on schedule to hit £30k by the end of July, if not sooner.