My blog in 2021: The year the number of hits reached three million

London fireworks ushering in the New Year. Pic credit: BBC

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers.

This year my blog hit another milestone since it was launched in 2009 after I left the Guardian . The number of hits on the site topped three million – 3,113, 413 to be exact.

Last year this blog received 286,840 hits and over 203,000 visitors. This is smaller than the previous year but still a substantial number for a single handed blog. It is also the year when I started to solicit donations for my investigative work and I have now received close to £2000 in four months.

Part of the reason for the drop is that Back to 60 campaign which I still support has now morphed into a broader campaign – CEDAWinLAW- which people have needed time to get their heads round. Back to 60 was a simple single issue campaign concentrating on getting full restitution for 3.8 million 50s born women who have had to wait up to six years for their pension. Now it has changed into a much bigger campaign covering ALL discrimination against women based on a UN convention which we ratified in 1986 but have never fully implemented- the UN Convention on Eliminating All forms of Discrimination Against Women.

CEDAW tribunal last year attracted a lot of interest

This is now making its mark – two of my highest blogs hits last year- relate to the new CEDAW campaign getting 6500 and over 8,800 each.

The top blog came from a tip off from a reader, Rosie Brocklehurst, who received a threatening letter from the Department for Work and Pensions as part of an anti-fraud exercise to gather information from pensioners. The top line was : ““If you fail to be available for this review and do not contact me, your entitlement to State Pension may be in doubt and your payments may be stopped. ( Bold type my emphasis). This had 25,652 hits.

The second highest at 20,643 came from a 50s woman whose Freedom of Information request revealed the Department for Work and Pensions had never conducted an impact assessment on the effects of raising the pension age for women from 60 to 66.

One older blog which exposed the huge £271 billion savings made by successive governments putting money into the national insurance fund made the top ten blogs – adding another 9828 hits – taking it to an astonishing 331,000 hits since it was published.

Rob Behrens – Parliamentary Ombudsman. His report findings leaked.

One controversial blog leaking the maladministration findings of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s draft report on 50s women over the raising of the pension age had 9,688 hits. Senior members of the WASPI campaign who knew this wanted me to take it down for fear the Ombudsman would change his mind. This turned out to be groundless and a lot of people were given advance warning.

More next year on Whistleblowers

Next year as well as following through CEDAW, keeping an eye on pension developments, I will also be taking up more and more whistleblower cases -involving doctors in the NHS, Sellafield and other areas. One case I took up last year was the plight of Dr Usha Prasad, a cardiologist who has been dismissed by Epsom and St Helier University Health Trust after exposing an avoidable death there. The combined blogs in her case have topped over 8000 hits. Expect more of this.

Global reach of the blog

An analysis by WordPress shows that my blog has a very big UK audience – over 264,000 hits out of the 286,840 last year – with the remaining 22.700 coming from overseas. Biggest overseas hits were from the United States ( 6821), Spain (3071) and the Republic of Ireland ( 2143). But on a much smaller scale it also has a global reach covering almost every country in the world, including hits from the Marshall Islands, Greenland, Russia, China, India, Mauritius and nearly every country in South America, Asia and Africa plus Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the whole of Europe.

Next year will be challenging – I already have enough new stories to investigate -plus a some long term investigations which take a while to come to fruition. Please continue to donate to my blog to keep my investigations going.

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Millionaire donors bankruptcy threat to Labour attracts record interest

Just a short note to thank readers who took this website to record levels this week. Not only did it contribute to a  new  high of 3604 in one day, but the  Labour woes story attracted 3848 hits.

Altogether there were over 6500 hits on the website – the majority about the financial killing by Tony Blair’s millionaire donors  who are still lending the party almost £9m. Particular thanks to Paul Staines whose Guido Fawkes website led to 3100 of the 3848 hits ( and two comments from his nibs on the story )and to those who posted a link on the BBC’s Nick Robinson blog and the Political Betting websites, which attracted nearly another 300 hits. Some 17 also came from the Westminster blog on the  Financial Times which commented on the tale.

The second largest hit was on the story revealing three  directors of AssetCo – the private fire fighting company with contracts in London and the Middle East  were quitting their jobs in the wake of the financial crisis that is hitting the firm. Nearly 1700 people read the piece with a large number of hits referred from the Fire Brigades Union, which is fighting the privatisation of fire services, and 91 from Interactive Investor, the website discussion board for anxious shareholders of the company who have seen their shares drop from nearly 70p to 16p at the last count.

Lowest interest is in the plight of the Lib  Dems –  a piece attracted 96 viewers- a rating comparable to their present polling performance.

Record Interest in blog banning Barnet and AssetCo’s fire sale

Last week’s blogs on Tory controlled Barnet’s defiance of Eric Pickles on banning bloggers and the woes facing Assetco, the London strike breaking private fire company, produced record hits for my modest site.

Altogether there were 3293 hits in seven days – with two record hit days of 1,375 and 1021. There were 1324 hits on the Barnet story and 1128 on  the revelation that AssetCo were facing a winding up petition from Revenue and Customs.

Barnet’s refusal to allow bloggers or filmmakers to record their big cuts package was much boosted by decisions by Guido Fawkes and Conservative Home to mention it on their websites. Guido Fawkes led to 1001 visits while Conservative Home attracted 55 visitors.

 The AssetCo story was boosted by being mentioned by the FBU – some 100 referrers – but a lot of the interest appeared to come directly. Mentions by the London Evening Standard and The Mirror produced  20 and 6 hits respectively, suggesting that the traditional media is losing ground to blogosphere sites. They were nearly equalled by hits from Liberal Conspiracy, Broken Barnet,VicKim57 and Left Foot Forward.

Interest in both stories revived hits on an older but updated blog on Brian Coleman, who features in both Barnet and the London Fire Authority. Hits have now reached 2285, with  massive interest in his council allowances,free gifts and expense claims.

So thank you. This week there will be new revelations about Barnet and the plight of AssetCo. So keep watching.