The Story Of The Daily Worker/Morning Star

First broadcast in 1990 on the BBC Arena programme, this hour long documentary tells of the trials and tribulations of the Morning Star, the UK’s only daily left wing newspaper.
Found­ed on Jan­uary 1st, 1930, the Morning Star is still the on­ly En­glish-​lan­guage socialist dai­ly news­pa­per pub­lished in the world. In ad­di­tion to that claim to fame, it is al­so the on­ly news­pa­per in Britain owned by its read­ers. Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished as the Dai­ly Work­er, the pa­per was launched as the or­gan of the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Great Britain. Over the next 15 years it fought its way in­to the con­scious­ness of trade union­ists and progres­sives through­out the land, al­ways fight­ing for the cause of work­ing peo­ple and bat­tling against an Es­tab­lish­ment which moved heav­en and earth to ex­tin­guish it It sur­vived crip­pling court cas­es and the im­pris­on­ment of staff, ha­rass­ment and even cen­sor­ship by the po­lice.
It sur­vived a 12-​year boy­cott (1930-​1942) by whole­salers, dur­ing which the pa­per’s readers de­liv­ered the pa­per to newsagents. It out­lived an 18-​month ban (1940-​41) by a vin­dic­tive Home Sec­re­tary, Her­bert Mor­ri­son, which was on­ly called off af­ter a grassroots protest move­ment in­volv­ing mil­lions of peo­ple. And it rose above the bomb­ing of its of­fices in 1941, which de­stroyed both the build­ing and the new press­es which had been bought with cash raised by read­ers’ col­lec­tions. At the end of the sec­ond world war in 1945, the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Great Britain re­alised that the pa­per had a far wider im­por­tance than sim­ply be­ing the jour­nal of the par­ty and, in the Septem­ber of that year, the Peo­ple’s Press Print­ing So­ci­ety was es­tab­lished as an in­de­pen­dent co-​op­er­a­tive to pub­lish the pa­per. Shares were sold at £1 each and, up and down the coun­try, tens of thou­sands of trade union­ists, Labour and Com­mu­nist par­ty mem­bers, trades coun­cils and union branch­es and re­gions bought in­to the pa­per.
Those share­hold­ers re­alised that, for the work­ing class, there was lit­tle that was more im­por­tant than to have a dai­ly voice against the forces of im­pe­ri­al­ism, cap­i­tal­ism, oppresion and ex­ploita­tion, a voice to coun­ter­act the di­et of lies and dis­tor­tions fed to the pub­lic by cap­i­tal­ism’s toady press. In 1966 the hon­ourable name of the Dai­ly Work­er was re­placed and the pa­per re­launched as the Morn­ing Star -​ a change of name that was hot­ly de­bat­ed through­out the trade union and labour move­ment. But, change of name or no, the pa­per con­tin­ued the fight against op­pres­sion that had been the hall­mark of the Dai­ly Work­er and car­ried on earn­ing the re­spect of all whose caus­es it es­poused, some­times as the sup­port­er of great mass move­ments and some­times plough­ing a lone­ly fur­row as the sin­gle voice of progress in a Fleet Street which, at times, rich­ly de­served the ti­tle Street of Shame. In 1984, the pa­per moved from its broad­sheet for­mat to be­come a tabloid, tak­ing on an ap­pear­ance which, with some mod­i­fi­ca­tions, is still recog­nis­able to­day.
The Morn­ing Star, how­ev­er, faced many of hos­til­i­ties and at­tacks as its pre­de­ces­sors -​ and some which could nev­er have been en­vis­aged in ear­li­er days.

The Morning Star is now published as a 16 page paper weekdays – in full colour and 24 pages at weekend. The PPPS shareholders include individual shareholders as well as unions such as Unite, GMB, Community, FBU, POA, RMT, NUM and the Durham Miners.

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