Weird in Watford

Howard Roak updates us on the progress of this year's fundraising drive

As we near the halfway mark of the Summer Offensive, we are maintaining a decent enough pace. This week has seen £1,390 added to our overall total, taking us to £6,810. Not brilliant. But we always pick up speed in the second half of the campaign, so if we can get to something like a third of our £30k target within the next week, we would be well on course.

A special mention this week to comrade TM for his sterling £500 as well as comrade JD for his more modest £25 donation. "All I have at the moment!" he needlessly apologises. It's very much appreciated, comrade. Comrade FK also contributed a similar amount last week and told us that he had "one or two" tentative ideas for "extra fundraising". However, we shouldn't make plans for the money just yet, warns the comrade: "It's weird in Watford".

Now I'm not sure it is any more weird in Watford than in any other part of the country, but I know what the comrade means. Objectively, the situation that surrounds us is overripe for communist politics; subjectively, where is the Marxist left? Trapped in dead-end projects trying to breath new life into left Labourism or the living death of the confessional sects. The alternative project the Weekly Worker champions - of an open, democratic Marxist party, cohered around a revolutionary programme as its guide to mass action in the here and now - remains a minority one at present. Our slowly spreading readership - we had 18,699 e-readers last week - and creeping sympathy amongst wider layers is encouraging, but we have a long road ahead.

For the time being, however, things are still a little "weird" all over, as any comrade watching the slow-motion traffic accident of the Scottish Socialist Party would probably concur. So, in keeping with the tenor of the times, my award this week for the most inventive (read 'weird'?) method of fundraising for the SO goes to a comrade who is to appear on a TV quiz show. No, not the millionaire one (shame): a rather more modest production on a rather less popular channel. Our comrade will be asked to solve word puzzles and - more worryingly, he confides - answer questions in a general knowledge component. ("When I was phoned for the 'audition', I was asked what the pub in Emmerdale was called!", he told me - with almost the same level of bafflement as when it actually happened, I think).

Anyway, the comrade will make his bid for glory in July and we wish him every success, if for no other reason than the look on the smarmy presenter's face when he asks: "And what are you going to do with the money "¦?"