Marathon effort

Howard Roak is in a much better mood this week, as our annual fundraising drive has its best seven days so far

It has been an excellent week for our fund campaign. Our total has now come within sniffing distance of the £20,000 mark. Some £3,342 of new money came in, taking us to £17,388, as these lines are written. With beneficial financial effects still expected from demos, mailings and party businesses in the remaining 10 days of this year's campaign, I am confident that we can still make significant inroads into the remaining £12k or so of our £30,000 overall target. Every pound we claw in takes some of the financial pressure off us for the rest of the year, comrades - so get mean in the last few days of this year's SO!

It is a great pleasure this week to give a special mention to comrade MM, who has stumped his second cheque of the 2006 campaign for a magnificent £520. This comrade has been a consistent supporter over the years and is never shy of putting his money where his mouth is. Well done once again, comrade.

Other than that, there was a very useful £100 via our PayPal facility from our supporter JS, a comrade who undertakes very valuable work every week advertising the Weekly Worker online. The donation is particularly appreciated, given the comrade's slightly off-colour finances at present. Many thanks for your work and support, JS. I have to say, though, that none of our other 17,443 online readers availed themselves of the opportunity to make a donation last week.

Also mentioned in despatches are PM for his no-nonsense £280 and those comrades who have been instrumental in winning new work for our party businesses during the last seven days - with profit worth over £900. These and other comrades have collectively given the campaign its best week so far and imparted some real momentum as we head into the last lap.

Now, we really do need comrades on our more distant periphery to break their duck - including any reticent eccentric millionaires we have out there, please. One weakness this year's SO has certainly revealed is that this layer - many of whom we know have an appreciable degree of sympathy with the work of the organisation - have not yet shown much in the way of financial support.

Oddly enough, some of these comrades feel a little shy about contributing to this fund drive. The fact that other CPGBers closer to the core of the organisation raise relatively large amounts actually puts them off. They are slightly abashed by the prospect of divvying up what that they see as just "small change".

This is arse-backwards, comrades. At our current stage of development, the number of our comrades in our broader periphery far outnumbers full members. For instance, there are currently over 470 people receiving an occasional e-bulletin written for "sympathisers, supporters and friends of the CPGB" - just one of a number of such mailings we do. Even relatively small donations from a good percentage of these comrades would make an appreciable hole in what is left of our SO. Thus, when we say that every £1 sent to us during this campaign is appreciated, we are not mucking about.

And, if you need any more reason to donate, how about this pleasing bit of news from Germany that recently popped up on our internal list? CPGB comrade Ben Lewis has just about finished his 'Translatathon' - putting well over 40,000 words of relevant CPGB material into German for the first time (see Weekly Worker June 22).

The comrade writes: "I just wanted to let you all know that I have more or less finished my translation marathon. I have about another thousand words to do today of the final article and then will distribute the articles amongst my German mates to be proof-read over the weekend. Then everything will be available for a 'final edit' and I presume then put up onto the website in some form or other ... It proved to be a hard task "¦ I think the rowing was probably easier though." (Last year the comrade completed a gym-based sponsored row for the SO.)

The articles translated are not only those on Germany, with their obvious focus on the Linkspartei and the left in general, but, for example, Mike Macnair's concluding article on revolutionary strategy (described as "a bugger to translate"). Given the "rather entrenched nature of green ideas" in Germany, the comrade also intends to grapple with Jack Conrad's series on greenism, and suggests our Draft programme should be "a short to medium-term goal". The Weekly Worker 'What we fight for' column had already been translated and is also available for uploading.

Comrade Lewis has so far raised £150 in sponsorship for his translation endurance test - slightly disappointing, given the huge effort involved. But there is still time to contribute - if you want your donation to be added to his sponsorship, mark it 'Translatathon'.

Cheques and postal orders should be marked 'SO' on the back and sent to our usual address - although you can, of course, use PayPal on our website to get money to us fast. Ten days to go, comrades!