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Summer of Heroes: From strength to strength

The tension is mounting as we near our appeal deadline – so now has never been a better time to join our Summer of Heroes

THE Summer of Heroes coverage last weekend sparked an extraordinary donation to the appeal — almost £7,000 arrived in one day. 

We are inching ever closer to our target of raising around £150,000 by September 12. There is now about £75,000 to find in a month.

There is no doubt that this is a high target and the daily struggle to reach it is gruelling. Some people say we will need a miracle to get there, but then this newspaper is known as the Daily Miracle. 

Some people say our cause is hopeless, but we have survived 84 years because we offer millions of people hope, and those who read and support us know that.

Some people ask me what is the point of this newspaper. This is what I tell them.

The Morning Star is the pre-eminent voice of the broad left, labour and trade union movement. 

Reading it puts you at the heart of political and social struggles, ranging from the international (Gaza/Ukraine), the national (bedroom tax/benefit cuts, education and NHS privatisation, immigration) and the local (fracking to the freedom riders of Barnsley).

It is a campaigning newspaper. Its journalists are producing eyewitness coverage of issues and news as it happens, lending its reporting an excitement and immediacy found nowhere else. 

By reading the Morning Star, you are instantly inside these struggles, alongside the movement and its activists.

It is a thinking newspaper. Reading it brings you the bigger picture and a depth to the reporting of issues way beyond the unthinking, shallow, but dominant narrative you will get from the Establishment. 

It is a newspaper of the regions, where you live. It is picking up reporting in an area vacated by a national media who are locked into a London perspective. 

Reading the Morning Star gives you instant access to your neighbours’ struggles in the north and west, east and south, the nations of Scotland and Wales and in Ireland, long before they reach the attention of national media news desks and newsrooms. 

This is a newspaper which values the cultural and counter-cultural in the fight for freedom and justice. 

Whether it is music or films, plays, architecture, exhibitions, festivals, poetry or wildlife and the countryside, its fresh approach jars against the celebrity obsession of our national media.

Only on the Morning Star’s back pages will you find reporting of women’s sports which gives proper emphasis to their extraordinary achievements, to the achievements of the disabled — and not just paralympians — and the struggles against racism worldwide and for LGBT rights. 

All these are elbowed off national media back pages by the latest football transfer speculation.

This is the newspaper read by trade union general secretaries and key officials. Nine unions sit on its management committee. 

It is a co-operative, owned by readers and supporters. Reading it gives you unrivalled daily coverage of issues affecting six million trade union members, and more.

This newspaper is read by its political rivals and even its “enemies” — government ministers and their advisers. It is a daily thorn in their side, and has been for 84 years. 

The fast-approaching 2015 general election will be the most important in 70 years. All the gains of the 1945 generation, which built the NHS and our welfare state, are now on the line. 

Only the Morning Star will give you the other side of the story in the battle not just to save these cherished and much loved achievements but to extend them.

The Morning Star is unique. It is the only daily English language socialist national newspaper in the world. It is a vital part of our national life. 

So be part of the Summer of Heroes appeal. Organise a barbecue or a film night for it. Throw a party or a gig at the local pub. Have a poetry reading or a street sale and collect some money. 

Last week, a reader sold their home and donated £5,000 of the profits to the Morning Star. With other donations that day, we raised around £7,000 — our biggest daily gift so far.

We value every donation, whether it be £5 or £5,000, and Ivan Beavis charts the progress of this appeal and celebrates each and every one in his own inimitable way. 

In our struggles, we are the inheritors of the courage of Sylvia Pankhurst and the audacity of Gerrard Winstanley. 

Dig deep for your Morning Star so we can become what we are — the herald of a future of peace and socialism.

DAVID PEEL

Campaigns co-ordinator

 

Star cycle challenge Super Domestique Les Doherty takes us through the maths

WITH the London to Paris cycling challenge now just three weeks away, all thoughts are turning to the numbers.

For the rider in me, this is nothing new. Cyclists are obsessed with numbers.

Whenever we’re asked how we got on in a training ride, race or sportive, our instinctive response is to list numbers — 68.3 miles, 4,871ft of climbing, top speed 44mph, average moving speed of 23.7mph.

It never occurs to us to talk about the views across a valley, the coffee, choice of cake or the conversation in the pack. It’s just about numbers.

Gearing ratios, distances, speeds, tyre pressures, cadence, pace, gradients, weight, heart rates — to the non-cyclist we might as well be talking in a foreign language.

But here are some numbers that everyone can understand:

270 miles 

100 flapjacks 

99 bananas 

10 riders 

five hotels 

four days 

four support staff 

two wagons… 

… and one goal — to reach Paris in time for the start of the Fete de l’Humanite.

The biggest number is the one that we are relying on Morning Star readers to deliver — £10,000.

We can only reach this target with your support and solidarity. So please reach into your wallet or purse and sponsor the ride. 

Whether you can afford £5, £10 or £100, you can rest assured that every penny will go towards supporting the paper that supports you.

 

Hazel Roberts

Commissaire of Pain 

MY role in the team is to document everything on the challenge and build a living archive of our efforts. 

As an artist and designer, I understand the power of the collective and the positive impact it can have on creativity. 

I hold this close to me in my work and life. The Morning Star is the only national daily newspaper that shares these values.

 

Regi Thomas 

Maillot a Pois Rouge

I STUDIED economics and came across the Morning Star by chance while at college and was surprised that there was an alternative to the main stream Murdocracy. 

The combination of economic lessons and coverage from the Morning Star helped me to see through the right-wing press and the way it ignores the experience and needs of ordinary folk. 

We need a strong, independent, progressive newspaper that supports our call for housing, education and health.

 

Paul Vogt  

Voiture Balai

I AM part of the logistics core and looking forward to hurrying the group along from the broom wagon! 

I’ve worked in the taxi trade for over 25 years, initially as a driver and now tutoring. 

As a taxi driver, you spend a lot of your time sitting around on the ranks where discussions always end up in heated debates. 

I made sure I wasn’t without my copy of the Morning Star so I was able to counter their tabloid rubbish. What other newspaper can bring cyclists and a taxi driver together for a common purpose?

 

Why I read the Morning Star

READ the Morning Star not only because it’s a refreshing, easy-to-read and well-presented newspaper, but above all because it offers a reflective and radical take on the daily news which you won’t readily find anywhere else.   

It’s not way out — far from it, it’s closely argued and persuasive — it’s just that in the selection and treatment of the news the “big eight” daily newspapers share a high degree of middle-class consensus.   

It’s astonishing that in a country where at least 40 per cent of the population are working class, there’s no other paper at present which even tries to see the world through the eyes of nearly half the electorate.   

The Star, though, does and some of its articles will I think not only please new readers, but certainly open their eyes to a perspective on the news which may well surprise them in a way they will find really valuable.

MICHAEL MEACHER MP

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