Thursday, May 07, 2009

Derek Draper Exiled: Call and Response to Happy News

Derek Draper was "rushed" into making a statement last night, by Iain Dale's pre-emptive and surprising revelations.

Inaccurate and self-serving from the very start. Draper not Dale. Either it was written a couple of weeks ago and Derek is too careless to change it to start "Four weeks" or it's just a case of "time flies when you're having fun".

Here it is in full, followed by my comment, excuse the French, for which I have been scolded at Labour List Nouveau, this is my homage to The Man.


Two weeks ago I posted on LabourList and said I was sorry for my role in the Damian McBride affair. Of course I regret ever receiving the infamous email and I regret my stupid hasty reply. Instead I should have said straight away that the idea was wrong.

I do ask people to remember, though, that in the end its contents were never published by me or anyone else involved in the Labour party and they would never have seen the light of day were it not for someone hacking into my emails and placing them into the public domain. Because of that, what was a silly idea ultimately destined for the trash can became a national scandal. Nonetheless, I should have made clear they were unacceptable from the very beginning.

On a much smaller note I also think I got the tone of LabourList wrong sometimes, being too strident, aggressive and obsessed with the "blogosphere". Having said that I am proud that I was the founder of LabourList. It really was a Labour of love. In just over 100 days there have been nearly 250 contributors, over 500 posts and 18,000 comments. I’d like to think one day I’ll be judged on all of that rather than just one, admittedly awful, email.

What has become clear, though, is that my continued editorship can only detract from what LabourList needs to do now. That is why, after a couple of weeks of reflection, I am passing on the editorship to Alex Smith, who has been a very able Deputy to me from the beginning. I have no doubt that Alex will steer the site to bigger and better things and I urge everyone who wants Labour to have a vibrant, active space on the internet to give him your backing and get involved in whatever comes next.


Come on Derek - No-one hacked your emails. That's just silly spin. Arrogant and irresponsible to the last.

YOU are a Grade A muppet who could not organise the proverbial piss up in a proverbial brewery. YOU are far too garrulous and far to "look-at-me" "aren't I the clever one" to conspire successfully.

YOU sent a provocation to Damian McBride's work email. YOU got the expected response. YOU said you liked it. YOU put the government in the way of danger. YOU put the Labour Party in the way of danger. YOU set the trap that McBride sprang. YOU are responsible. And because of where YOU put yourself and then stayed throughout this sorry affair the Danger and Harm was greater.

And now you've finally gone I'd bet the farm on there being more revelations and more trouble and more embarrassment. Let's hope I'm wrong. But we'll soon see. Guido is probably at the Sunday Times lining something or other up even as I tap.

If you had not put yourself front and centre and then stubbornly stayed there, trapped in the spotlights of infamy, gone to the danger as you did, and then stayed on site for any and all interview bids and your patent excruciating stumble-bumming ... The story MIGHT have got the "Dog doesn't bite man" coverage it perhaps deserved. But you put fuel onto the fire. NOT some made-up hacker who didn't nick your private emails now. YOU.

YOU *inevitably* became the story. That's what YOU do. Like Guido or Dorries or to a lesser extent possibly Dale or whatever. You WANT to be the story.

That characteristic perhaps could have made you suitable to start your own blog a la Dale. Perhaps you can still do that from exile on Elba?

But this is not the characteristic to make a suitable editor of a serious-minded alternative to Conservative Home. And of course trying to mix up serious party blog, personality blog, and attack blog - three of the distinct genres - was enormously foolhardy.

Tim Montgomerie is not generally speaking the story. Jonathan Isaby is not generally speaking the story. Mark Pack is not the story at LDV. Sunny Hundal is not the story at Liberal Conspiracy. Alex Hilton is not the story at Labour Home. Though he is sometimes at Recess Monkey. Which is OK ... because that's his private domain with no illusions of collectivism.

Alex Smith will not be the story. And he probably has more sense than to assume the role of talking head for hire just yet.

But you Derek shouldn't be handing this site over to Alex - to whom the very best of luck - "I am passing on the editorship" indeed?, you shouldn't be so fucking proprietorial about it. You should have been long gone. I'm sure you love Labour and the movement, but has this hanging around been a good way of showing it?

You "founded" the site. But others could have been more sensibly given that responsibility. And you certainly shouldn't have been the founding editor. Because you didn't have a clue about the web, about blogs, about editing, about collectivism. Admit it. Choosing yourself to be the editor-in-chief was the biggest mistake of the lot.

Looking at this drivelling resignation you've learnt very little from the experience. It wasn't one email. It was at least two. And probably hundreds of media appearances that followed.

You should have so clearly not have been the editor. No so much an accident waiting to happen as an immediate scrape in the carpark, before the get go, all set to become a huge multi-vehicle pile up.

Because you are so fucking accident-prone Derek Draper. Because you have a set of "corrupt spin doctor lobbyist" baggage from which there is probably no redemption. Not so close to home. Because you are so very clearly an unsuitable ambassador for the party and for our blogging.

Consider your buttons sliced from your tunic. Consider your epaulettes torn off and they too returned to the regiment. Consider your sword broken over our collective knees and thrown to the ground. Off to Elba.

Well done for starting something. Lighting the blue (or red) touch paper and standing back would have been wiser. Think on for next time. Good luck with whatever you do next. Good luck with your professional travails. And your growing family.

But I'm sorry Derek, it is a case of goodbye and good riddance when it comes to Labour List.

FOOTNOTE: M Dreyfus (thanks Simon) was publically cashiered, but was victim of a stitch up by horrid blogger Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy, just like Mr Draper?


Simon Harley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Harley said...

It's Dreyfus, not Drefus. And comparing Paul Staines to the traitor Esterhazy is just plain wrong.

(First post deleted due to dropping words in the wrong place.)

Plato said...

Blimey Mr Paul - for once I agree with you. Great post.

Chris Paul said...

Hi Simon - The Esterhazy reference is further homage to the Draper mindset, the way he still claims it is some dirty hacker that did him in, and the link to Staines there just irresistable. Plain wrong or no. Of course he doesn't work for the state but he is a man after McBride's heart, having him lecture the world on probity and so on ...?!

And thanks Plato

Bill Quango MP said...

See.. I said they should have made you editor Mr Paul.

Thats News said...

I think I agree with pretty much all you said, here.

ScotsToryB said...

Mr(and I do not say that lightly)Paul, I have been extremely detrimental to you before and that was good.

For someone as biased as you normally come across to be so honest and loquacious against one of your own, to say that he was and remains wrong, to admit that Labour has a heart of darkness that must be excised and never returned to - makes you a bigger man than I ever thought you were capable of being.

I can only hope you continue in this vein.

Good luck.