Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rough Winds and Rattling Knockers (1956)

Party News from the May 1956 issue of the Socialist Standard

“Rough winds,” sang the bard, “do shake the darling buds of May." Many party members are hoping that during this May in particular the winds will blow a little more kindly, because for the first time we are making a combined effort to increase sales of the Socialist Standard by widespread canvassing. A number of branches in London and elsewhere are taking part and have sent representatives to a meeting at Head Office to set up a co-ordinating committee, with the general object of doubling their usual monthly Standard sales. If everything goes to plan, a great many knockers will be rattling during this month.

These are difficult times for Socialist propaganda, when workers are more inclined to stay in for television soap operas than come out to listen to a speaker on a windy platform. To this problem canvassing is part, at any rate, of an answer—if people will not come to us, then we must go to them. And there is no need to be hesitant about knocking them up—a surprising number are quite willing to leave even Miss Shirley Abicair to talk about the problems of the live-a-day world. Apart from that, canvassing has its exhilaration of hard work and its fun—one comrade who disappeared from a Sunday morning expedition came puffing up half an hour later to explain that a housewife had mistaken him for the rent collector and he had drunk three cups of tea and promised to mend her drainpipes before she had realised her mistake.

At all events it is worthy activity which over the years can build up a solidly regular readership for our journal. We hope to publish the results of the drive in our July issue. Meanwhile, there is a lot of work to be done.
Ivan



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