Saturday, April 23, 2005

Happy (belated) birthday

On 20 April last year, the prime minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons that he would "let the people have the final say" on the EU constitution, thereby announcing that he would hold a referendum – without actually using the word "referendum" in his speech.

Nevertheless, he closed with a stirring peroration:

Let the Eurosceptics, whose true agenda we will expose, make their case. Let those of us who believe in Britain in Europe - not because of Europe alone, but because we believe in Britain and our national interest lying in Europe - make our case, too. Let the issue be put and let the battle be joined.
We decided to take up Mr Blair’s challenge – to make our case – and two days later we started our Blog with our first post, declaring that:

In this new Blog, we hope to rehearse and discuss the issues relating to one of the most important political issues of the day - the UK referendum on the EU's constitutional treaty. Enjoy.
That made yesterday our first birthday and, over 200,000 hits later, we believe we have established a firm niche in the Eurosceptic movement, providing our own brand of news, comment and analysis.

However, with our "hits" standing at over 200,000, battle has still not been joined by the Blairites and now, in the midst of a general election, "Europe" is still firmly off the agenda and there are indications that we might not even have the referendum that the prime minister promised.

Despite that, with our first year behind us, we feel that the need for our site remains and we will therefore continue our work, not least in the hope that we succeed in better informing and occasionally entertaining our readers.

Should the day come when we are allowed to make a decision on our relationship with the European Union, we thus hope we will still be there. At the moment, though, it looks like we are in for the long haul and our yearling child may be of quite an advanced age before we get that chance.

On that basis, we wish ourselves a belated "happy birthday" and, not with a little trepidation, wish ourselves many more to come.

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