Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Derek Draper: Man Going Overboard in Every Sense

Iain Dale is now it seems being copied in on Labour Party NEC correspondence! His latest post HERE runs includes this email and document:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Message from the NEC Chair and General Secretary

*To: National Executive Committee

Dear colleague

Cath Speight and I thought it important to keep you fully informed of
the response we have given to the press today regarding Derek Draper and
Labourlist. Please find the information below.

In addition, Cath has asked that we re-iterate for colleagues that if
contacted by the media please refer them to the Labour Party Press
Office on 020 7783 1393.

Best wishes


Ray Collins, General Secretary of the Labour Party,

"As you will recall from November's NEC Away Day, last year Derek Draper
volunteered one day a week of his time to Labour HQ on an unpaid basis.
He subsequently left Victoria Street to set up the Labourlist blog.
Since then he has offered advice and opinion on an adhoc basis which
ended in March of this year and will not be sought in the future.

"I receive advice and opinion from many Labour Party supporters in my
work as General Secretary but I decide what advice I take or seek and
act in a manner appropriate with my values and those of the Party which
certainly does not include smears or personal attacks. I want to
reiterate that Derek Draper does not hold a position or role with the
Labour Party and this will remain the case.

"To make clear Labourlist is an independent left-of-centre website and
blog. The Labour Party did not fund its activities. What the Party has
supported is an effort to promote left-of-centre bloggers more generally
by bringing interested supporters together at a series of events.

"I absolutely support the Prime Minister's view that scurrilous rumour,
gossip and personal attacks have no place in politics and no place in
the Labour Party."


Knowing a good few of the people who sit round the NEC table, representing Unions, constituents, the PLP or whatever I must say that as a reasoned analysis Iain's thoughts make a good hissy fit:

The mendacity is truly remarkable. Nothing to with us, guv, he seems to be saying. And yet Draper's bloggers breakfasts were held at Labour Party HQ and he was personally asked by Collins to take on the task of setting up LabourList. He says Draper's role ended in March. Really?

Perhaps UNITE may now follow suit and end its funding for LabourList. I've already been sent a couple of emails sent to Derek Simpson urging him to do just that.

"Mendacity", just like "smear", is getting over-used in some quarters. But hey, this is an utterly mendacious smear of the good name of Ray Collins, and the many decent people of good faith comprising the NEC. I can assure Iain that their reaction will be more like Frank Field's - though not generally as treacherous and defeatist - than that of some of Draper's Labour Students' sock puppets. The Draper Youth.

Thinking ahead I think that other serious parties would do well to identify and root out their own McBrides. Most of us can name one of our own or someone else's for the accolade of our home region's mini-McBride.

And surely Iain isn't really advocating the cutting of funding of Labour List? That has not been the problem. Except that is in Draper's spats and feuds which most other participants and observers discouraged. Conservative Home is funded. Doughty Street was funded. Total Politics is funded. Labour List should be a candidate for funding in the same way. The problem begins and ends with Derek Draper.

Unite should make funding after the end of this week dependent on Derek being thrown overboard in his natty life ring. Anyone else who thinks they can have Party control over something and also claim it to be authentic and independent needs to be kept away from the succession.

And finally, whoever does take over SHOULD NOT arrogate or be assumed as a spokesperson for grassroots Labour or Labour movement or Labour blogging. We did not elect of select Derek at all, never mind to be a mouthpiece for us. The New Editor(s) should earn their stripes, not be handed them like some kind of Brownie points.


tory boys never grow up said...

See post below, just censored twice on Dale, in case you are interested.

Oh well at least we know who funds Total Politics - none other than Lord Ashcroft the brave defender of free speech who is not scared to take action against those websites involved in defamation

Wonder if he might turn his attention to those British bloggers who are not above the publication of the occaisonal bit of defamation - Guido's comments on McBride and alcohol might be a good place to start my Lordship.

benchilltory said...

from political betting

Labour already has a left Guido - his name is Chris Paul. The problem is that he’s a humourless obsessive nutcase!

by MBoy April 15th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Newmania said...

At least you are allowed to comment Tory Boy I am banned from Sadie Smith and Liberal Conspiracy merely for expressing views with which they do not agree.


Labour lost is funded by the Labour Party no-one is funded by the Conservative Party , its not quite the same thing , that’s why it is more closely identified with the Labour Party and obviously was the toy of the Party .
Conservative Home was set up more or less in opposition to the Conservative Party in a sense you really can to compare then and anyway Labour Lost does not let anyone else comment so its far more an internal Party sort of thing .
I think they ought to give you the job Chris you get on my tits but I `m sure its all good stuff for the troops I do not think anyone but you believes this is not Brown, hardly a departure is it .

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Mr Peanut said...

Benchilltory - steady on old chap.

RetailGuuy said...

Doverwatch is saying it's not the best thing Ray Collins could have done as it was his idea to start with. He should have been more honest and said that Draper crossed the line.