The Star is unique in being owned by its readers, which is what makes the paper different. But we need your support to keep doing what we do, says STEVE SWEENEY
I THINK that it’s fair to say that it’s been a whirlwind of a summer. I remember back in June, when the Morning Star led with the headline “Corbyn set to win place in Labour race,” having a discussion at Unison conference with a key organiser in his campaign team, sincerely hoping that we were right.
A few hours later we embraced as the news came through that he had indeed received the required 35-plus nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party in order to appear on the ballot, giving members the opportunity to vote for an anti-austerity, socialist candidate for the first time in a generation.
A summer of packed-out meetings in towns and cities across the country saw the political elite caught off-guard as the Corbyn campaign gathered momentum, seeing him go from rank outsider to firm favourite.
Thousands of people signed up to vote, either as members or registered supporters, leading to warnings from the ghosts of Labour past including Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Gordon Brown and even electoral mastermind Neil Kinnock.
The Morning Star has been the only national daily newspaper to consistently support the Corbyn campaign.
And Saturday’s result, with Corbyn demolishing his opponents in the first round, come on the back of a lot of hard work.
The campaign has put socialism back on the agenda and breathed life into the anti-austerity movement.
What happens next is important, as the Tories are on the offensive.
Today sees the second reading of the anti-democratic Tory Trade Union Bill.
Is it coincidence that it is timed for the first full day of TUC Congress 2015, or is it a deliberately provocative act by a Tory government in their open and unashamed class war?
Either way, we must stand together and build a broad, mass movement to oppose the Bill. It is not only an attack on trade unions, but an attack on democracy and human rights.
For those who are at Congress, the Morning Star is holding a fringe meeting — Fighting For Our Future: Opposing the Trade Union Bill — at 5.45pm in room 6 on the third floor of the Brighton Centre with speakers including Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and Morning Star editor Ben Chacko.
There is also a lobby of Parliament at 6pm organised by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union and there will undoubtedly be more of these meetings and lobbies as the campaign gathers momentum.
The Morning Star is the only national daily newspaper that campaigns for progressive politics and supports trade unions, the People’s Assembly and the anti-austerity movement.
Over the coming months we will be at the centre of the Kill the Bill campaign to defeat the Trade Union Bill and we consistently fight for working-class politics.
For coverage of industrial disputes such as that in Barnet, where Unison is leading the fight against outsourcing and cuts to services including libraries, or the PCS National Gallery campaign against privatisation and an attack on an effective trade unionist through the dismissal of Candy Udwin, the Morning Star is now more important than ever.
We do not have the resources of the bourgeois capitalist press and are not bankrolled by billionaire non-doms.
As a co-operative we are proudly owned by you, our readers and supporters, from individuals to trade unions, including Community, CWU, FBU, GMB, NUM, POA, RMT, Ucatt and Unite.
The Morning Star needs your support. That means helping us broaden our influence, fulfil our potential in the labour movement and ensure that we have the resources that are so desperately needed to fund our plans.
We are appealing directly to you, our readers and supporters, to make sure that you become a shareholder, or increase your existing shareholding, in the Morning Star. Please encourage your trade union branch or other progressive organisation to do the same.
This is a critical time for the movement and your voice and your paper are a vital tool in the class war. Don’t be without it.
To take out a share either complete the form adjacent or go online to www.morningstaronline/donate. If you’re at Congress please visit out stall where Morning Star staff and supporters can discuss this with you in more detail.
To become involved in our shares campaign, become a Morning Star shares organiser by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Your campaigns manager would be happy to arrange a speaker for your trade union branch, trades council or other group.