Robbie Rix returns from his summer holidays to keep us up to date on the fighting fund
Unusually, this year the Weekly Worker has had no enquiries from readers wanting to know why they haven’t received their paper for two weeks. We have, of course, just completed our annual August break for the CPGB’s Communist University, but all our subscribers seem to have paid scrupulous attention to the notice advising them of this in the last issue!
That issue appeared on August 16 and over the following seven days we had 11,718 readers on the website (as opposed to the print version). But readers continued to visit cpgb.org.uk over the last two weeks - there were 19,574 of them despite there being no new edition to read.
Although nobody has enquired about those missing two issues, comrades have been complaining in recent weeks about being asked to pay a surcharge for delivery of their paper. Royal Mail suddenly seems to have decided that the envelope containing the Weekly Worker is too thick to qualify as a ‘small letter’, but should be charged at ‘large letter’ rate - even though we have been sending the paper out in exactly the same way for around two years with no problem. The envelope does pass through RM’s measuring template, but we are told that it doesn’t “pass freely through” the 5mm slot (you have to push it a bit!).
In order to get round this inconsistent and arbitrary ruling (what exactly does “pass freely” mean?), we have asked our printers to use slightly thinner paper - readers may have noticed the difference. The alternative would be to send out the Weekly Worker in a larger C4 envelope and pay the extra 19p postage, but that would mean increasing our subscription rates again. Let’s see if the new printing arrangement gets us round Royal Mail’s officiousness.
Anyway, postal problems have not prevented our readers donating to our fighting fund. Thanks to a large batch of standing orders in the first few days of the month, September’s total already stands at £297. But we need £1,500 every month, so let’s hope there’s no let-up over the next few weeks.