At 9.30 this morning (BST), on the longest day of the year, this blog reached a landmark of sorts. It registered 10,000 hits.
This may not sound a great deal but consider the facts: the blog has been going for eight weeks only and it is run by two people, who, between them try to keep down a number of day jobs as well. We do have some outside contributors, to whom we are very grateful. We hope they will continue to supply us with material and that others will appear.
We are getting no financial support from anywhere, though, as we are contributing a great deal to that discussion on Europe that the europhiles are calling for all the time, perhaps we should apply for some EU funds. (Joke!!!!)
Many of our hits are from new visitors but, equally, there are many returnees and, on average, people stay on the blog for 30 minutes or so. In other words, what we write people want to read.
This can be put down mainly to a widespread desire in this country and elsewhere (we do have readers on the Continent and in the United States) to find out more about what is going on in and around the European Union. And that can be put down to a growing conviction that whatever it is that politicians tell us, it is not the truth.
About half the hits were registered in the last two weeks and that, too, is understandable. Much happened in that time: the European elections with the preceding campaigns across the EU; the results, so painful to our leaders, who are determined to ignore them; the negotiations before the Brussels Summit; the Summit itself and the tortuous, opaque, barely comprehensible document that came out of it.
As we enter the prelimiary skirmishings around the EU Constitution, we predict that many more people will want to read what appears on this blog. News of it has spread by word of mouth and through its electronic equivalent: links and references on other websites and weblogs. We rely on our readers for our advertising.
One more thing: Mr Blair would be very pleased to know that we started the battle between myth and reality some time ago. We have been collecting, analyzing and disproving EU Myths and we intend to go on with that task. As soon as there is a round dozen, we shall send Mr Blair a copy of the collection in either electronic of printed format. We think he might find it useful.