Sunday, 1 November 2009

My one year anniversary

happy-birthday-cake4,565 of you read this blog in October, up over 700 from the month before. When I first started I got about 300 per month but I now get a regular readership of around 150 for every article and then some receive hundreds more if it is of particular interest.

Not bad for something I started on a whim after this incident when I called an ambulance for a homeless man who we'd left lying on our streets all night one cold November morning almost exactly a year ago. At the time I thought the Bush was missing a real news & views service and sadly that holds true still, although this blog will only ever be my own personal musings.

The strength of the blog though, and probably why it gets so many readers now, is you. Most of the stories that get posted here are sent by readers, including those who actually risk consequences by passing me information that some people would rather you didn't know. Anonymity is always respected.

We're now approaching an election, which you're probably already sick of hearing about, that will nonetheless decide a lot about how our Bush is looked after in the coming years. That may be why, for example, the Council has just called a public summit which I will be going to and reporting back from.

Looking back it's been an exciting year to be reporting on the Bush, with some real highlights and sadly many low points. The most popular postings on this blog have the following:

1 with 2051 readers: Ecclestone, QPR and Adolf Hitler

2 with 1908 readers: Why are our councillors in Cannes?

3 with 467 readers: 48 hour tube strike

4 with 428 readers: Hammersmith & Fulham Gazette cuts W12 news

5 with 406 readers: QPR: Fixtures, season and prices

6 with 384 readers: Mind that cyclist

7 with 318 readers: Shepherd’s Bush acid attack man sentenced to life

8 with 303 readers: Hammersmith flooding: it's your problem

9 with 255 readers: Gang stabbing on Uxbridge Road

10 with 244 readers: Gun crime war

So those are some highlights from a year in the life of the Bush. I write this to you now from Burundi, just south of the equator in central Africa where I have been for the last two and a half weeks for work. I work in peacebuilding and regularly travel to regions of the world affected by armed violence and conflict. For the last week I have been over the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where you can buy an AK-47 for $25, regularly see children serving in the army and the security forces regularly demand bribes - because they don't get paid. I was working next to a military base that is co-ordinating the biggest military offensive even Congo has seen for years, with the inevitable deaths, rapes and other assorted catastrophes.

For all the problems we have in W12 - don't ever forget how lucky we are. Here's to another year.

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