Robbie Rix looks forward to the year ahead

We at the Weekly Worker have every reason to be optimistic as we begin the new year.

Slowly but surely, this paper has been gaining in readership and influence. The principled politics we advocate has gradually been seeping into the consciousness of the organised left. While most of the groups continue to pretend that they alone exist, our central message - against sectarianism, for Marxist unity - has been gaining an ever wider hearing.

In my last column of 2011, I reported that we had notched up over 20,000 internet readers the previous week. Well, I am pleased to say that our final 16-page issue of last year did better still - 22,411 people read it online the week after it was uploaded. In fact over the three weeks since it was published readers continued to scour our articles - we had a total of 62,409 visits.

I also mentioned that from January our monthly fighting fund target would be increased to £1,500. This will allow us to produce more 16-pagers (the next of which is planned for next week) and more full-colour features. Fortunately our supporters seemed to have anticipated this, as we almost reached that figure in December. Despite the Christmas break we received donations amounting to £398 in the last week of the month, which took our December total to £1,411 - beating the old target by £161.

A very large part of that was down to two comrades - JR and EJ. The former had contributed a magnificent 300 Canadian dollars, which comrade EJ bumped up to a nice round £200. Thanks to both of you! Also worth a particular mention for their generous standing orders are JT (£75), PM (£30) and DO (£20).

January too has already been marked by a handsome gift - thank you, SW, for your £100 donation. And the 17 standing orders received so far this month, plus the three cheques in the post, have given us £410 towards our first £1,500 target. That’s not bad, but we are behind the asking rate, with more than a third of the month already gone.

Comrades, let’s start the year as we mean to continue.