Happy New Year. Last year My WordPress blog reached 304,297 hits with 218,257 unique visitors – compared to 286,840 hits and 203,099 visitors the previous year.
This figures does not include hits on my Facebook and Linked In sites which means the numbers are actually much higher though more difficult to exactly measure. Nor does this include my articles on Whitehall and Westminster for Byline Times. Byline Times is worth subscribing to for all the other independent journos who contribute to it.
Thanks to everybody who chose to read my stories and special thanks to those who kindly donated to my site. Last year I raised some £5600 via WordPress plus another £1600 through Paypal before charges.
The two campaigns I run on this site – the demand for full restitution for the 3.6 million women who lost out when the pensions age was raised from 60 to 66 – and valiant whistleblowers fighting for justice in the NHS and at the nuclear facility in Sellafield – attracted the most interest.
The Department for Work and Pensions emerged as the most hated ministry by pensioners and benefit claimants.
DWP most hated ministry
The biggest hit on the site was not from my campaign for the #50swomen but from the blog exposing the millions of people who have been swindled by the DWP out of a Guaranteed Minimum Pension. Here I was helped out by a retired expert on the issue Christopher Thompson who has tirelessly pressed ministers and the Commons DWP committee to do something about it. This attracted 15,281 hits.
Four blogs on the 50swomen campaign attracted over 10,000 hits – the highest being my report of the WASPI meeting at the Labour Party Conference which attracted 12,405. My report on the proposed remedies for the women by the Parliamentary Ombudsman which I and many women see as a betrayal attracted 10,054 hits. An opportunity to download the summary of the changes attracted 4,400 people to do so – adding a little to more transparency given only a selected few were supposed to see it.
Dr Day case was followed across the world
On the the whistleblower front I decided to do a daily report on the Dr Chris Day case – the appalling story of a junior doctor who lost his training place because he tried to expose patient safety dangers at an intensive care unit at Woolwich Hospital where two patients had already died. This was really old fashioned journalism when people used to cover courts regularly – in this case an employment tribunal – making the proceedings publicly accountable. It paid off not only with a big following of the blog here but thousands of people followed it on Linked In including doctors from Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and Brazil. He lost the tribunal despite the health trust destroying 50,000 emails relating to its case that should have been examined by the tribunal. But the good news is that the British Medical Association is backing his appeal.
There is similar interest -including internationally – in the tribunal case of Alison McDermott who was commissioned by Sellafield to review its human resources policies and found appalling shortcomings and also in India and the UK in the fight by Dr Usha Prasad, the former cardiologist at the Epsom and St Helier University Trust, who was sacked after refusing to change a report on an ” avoidable death” there that should have been reported to the coroner. My thanks to two retired cardiologists, Dr David Ward and Jane Somerville for their help on these cases.
Whistleblower cases call into question the employment tribunal system
These cases have thrown up serious questions about the competence and bias of employment judges and called in question the entire running of the employment tribunal system and its failure to keep records of cases. I am now beginning to be inundated with dissatisfied people who feel they have been cheated by going to an employment tribunal.
This year has been a frustrating year for whistleblowers and for women seeking a just solution to maladministration and direct discrimination over the raising of the pension age. But there is no reason to stop reporting this – though I will be taking a long break at the beginning of this year only to come back reinvigorated.
One final point. A very small minority of people are trying to put up comments on this blog using false names from fake email addresses. I see some national newspapers are no longer going to put up comments on the web from people who don’t declare who they are. So from this year I will no longer carry comments from people who do this.
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