Yesterday’s interruption of service was the first break in this Blog’s output – barring a short sojourn at Her Majesty's Pleasure - since we started on 23 April, in the immediate aftermath of Blair’s momentous decision to opt for a referendum on the EU constitution.
In that short time, I and my co-editor, Helen Szamuely, have published over 800 posts, amounting to well over 300,000 words – the length of a very sizeable book. We stand on the brink of taking our 40,000th "hit", with the monthly rate now well in excess of 10,000 a month, and rising.
It is appropriate, therefore, we felt, to trouble our readers with a moment of introspection, to ask you what this Blog is really for – and what you want from it. Through the summer, as the silly season took hold and news all but dried up, we kept a flow of items on issues not covered by the mainstream press, and have tried to give “added value” in terms of comment and analysis on the main EU-related issues of the day.
Clearly, we cannot provide a comprehensive news service on all matters EU – we do not have the resources, and in any case it would seem somewhat otiose to reinvent the wheel and thereby duplicate the voluminous coverage that can be obtained elsewhere. However, if readers feel they would prefer a “one stop shop” for their news, we would do our best to oblige.
Obviously our primary purpose is to inform and shape opinion on the forthcoming EU referendum – which will most likely be held in the later spring or early summer of 2006. But that puts us in for the long haul, and much water must pass under the bridge before the campaign gets underway in earnest.
Some would prefer we did not attack the "No" campaign – however dire it is or will become; others have "suggested" privately that we should not attack the Conservative Party – we already know how dire it is; and others have kindly pointed out that "slagging off" – as I put it – journalists, for their sloth and ignorance, is somewhat misplaced.
Therefore – the question. Do we continue as we are; do we concentrate more on strategic analysis; comment; criticism - or what? Your comments would be appreciated.