Saturday, 13 February 2010

Morning Star


Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently, The internet has been absolutely atrocious lately, I was hoping to do a post or two on Iran and its 31st anniversary and its nuclear program but I'll have to wait a little while till the connection stabilises itself.

Anyway instead I'd like to talk to you all about a paper I very much enjoy and think is a splendid example of people power, the Morning Star newspaper. If you can remember all the way back at the bigging of this blog one of my very first posts (namely this one) was me grinding my axe about the lack of principles from the mainstream media especially the "Liberal papers" when it came to advertising money and the like. The Morning Star doesn't have these problems as it is actually boycotted by advertisers and is owned by its readers*.

Perhaps a little background information would be appreciated, The Morning star was originally the political party paper the Daily Worker and owned by the old Communist party of Great Britain (OCPGB) however the OCPGB saw that there was a need for a truly independent Left wing working man's newspaper and that that was more important then another party journal so took the -in my view at least- admirable step of turning it into an independent daily by setting up a cooperative to run it. It has had a rather rocky history but today still goes fairly strongly.

It is currently in the nominal editorial control of the Communist party of Britain (CPB) (the current CPGB runs the Weekly worker) but it often carries columns by many others on the left including Left Labour Mp's like Jeremy Corbyn, and former London mayor Ken Livingstone, and Respect Mp George Galloway or novelist and investigative journalist Solomon Hughes etc. This left wing pluralism is needed more then ever what with the British Lefts seeming need to reenact that joke from the Life of Brian (you know the one I mean). Just look at the shear number of Parties in Britain with the word Communist in them. Or just look at the bottom of this Friends of (North) Korea post http://friendsofkorea.blogspot.com/2009/07/friends-of-korea-joint-letter-on-korean.html for an example.

It also has a number of very generous offers and contact information on various labour movement materials and events, I found out about the RMT annually Cuban Solidarity Garden party last year and had a thoroughly excellent time, which I hope will be repeated this year.

However al is not well with the Star, you see due to the aforementioned advertising bans they have to sell each paper at a cost and have to make this up via a donation drive called the fighting fund,this fund more then anything I believe keeps it independent and a tool of the people while it owes its existence and growth to the Labour movement and the working class it can be relied upon to take there side (it simply can't afford to bite the hand that feeds).


* the paper is run by the Peoples press cooperative, shares cost a pound each. No matter how many shares you own though you each get one vote, though if you buy more you will get bragging rights and trust me that is sadly very important to some lefties I know. For the record I have five shares.

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