Big chunks and little pieces

We are off to a flying start in this year's Summer Offensive, the CPGB's annual fundraising drive, which began on Saturday June 23, reports Howard Roak

In the five days that followed, £3,097.50 has been raised towards our minimum target of £25,000 by August 18, the last day of our school, the Communist University. So far, Communist Party members alone have pledged £19,150 - and we are yet to begin systematically approaching comrades on our sympathising periphery, so we could be set for a good campaign this year.

A word of caution though, comrades. Last year's SO saw a similar sum raised in the first week or so - £3,210, in fact. Yet we still had to extend the two-month campaign by a fortnight and, at the end of the day, we made just over £23k  towards a £30,000 target. Not a disaster by any means, but still a shortfall. The key is to maintain momentum over the coming weeks so we quickly get within striking distance of our minimum target. We can then devote some energy and thought in the final stretch to busting through and going beyond it.

Our starting total is bolstered by two comrades - MF and TM - who have taken big chunks out of their personal targets, as well as £100 raised by comrades on the STWC demo in Manchester on the first day of the campaign. Given the weather and the low numbers, this was not a bad total, but we cannot rely on events like this to see us home. We need the resolve of the thousands of sympathetic comrades out there in reader land to give some practical support to this unique weekly paper and the still small organisation that sustains it.

Now, we are under no illusions that we have a whole crop of eccentric millionaires out there just waiting for an invitation to cough up the full £30k and more (one can dream, of course "¦). And we don't suppose that we will have our own 'Brown bounce' - that comrades will be so bullishly optimistic that the accession of Gordon Brown to the premiership heralds good times for the left just round the corner that they will recklessly throw money at us. (In contrast, the Financial Times of June 27 reports that "four businessmen, including leading private equity figures", were so flushed with joy at the thought of the happy days ahead for them and their kind now Gordon runs the show that they have stumped up "more than half a million pounds" to Labour in recent weeks).

More modest - but very much appreciated - are the likes of comrade RG, a young comrade who sent us £7.50 for the SO via the Pay Pal facility on our website (he was one of 47,977 online readers last week - yet another record!). The comrade writes: "I know it is not much, but I am a full-time student, part-time volunteer worker and not in paid work at present. If I come into a better financial position, I intend to give more".

At the other end of the age spectrum is comrade TR, who reminds us: "Remember, I am now almost 91." Despite failing eyesight, "I still think the paper is the only communist one." The comrade's cheque is for £60 - for starters.

This is the sort of spirit that will get us over the finishing line of this year's campaign. While some comrades will take big chunks out of our target, others will chip away little bits and pieces. All of it is appreciated, comrades, and all of it is absolutely vital to our work.

So our thanks go out to comrades like TR and RG, and the call goes out to the rest of you. If you think this paper is worthwhile reading, then you should recognise that is it worthwhile supporting financially on some level.

Let's hear from you, comrades!