Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cabinet Office Reveals Dale McBride/Draper Emails

click to enlarge

On 27 March I emailed Damian McBride informing him I was putting in a Freedom of Information & Data Protection request to find out the contents of emails he had been sending to Derek Draper relating to me, over the Carol Thatcher Today programme interview. I was told that he had given advice to Derek Draper on how he should smear me over the issue as a racist. Having never put in an FOI request before I frankly didn't expect much back. On Friday I received a letter from the Cabinet Office, which you can read in full HERE. It demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt that such correspondence took place, although the detail is still lacking in some areas and I shall be following it up. For instance, the first email extract starts...
If you want to wind up the other aspects of Dale's Today interview
This clearly indicates that there was a previous email, otherwise the word "other" would not have been used. And it is that email which I suspect is the really damaging one. I'm asking the Cabinet Office for details of that today.

I am intrigued by the line in the letter which says...
Some of the information we hold identifies another individual. We have not disclosed information about another individual unless we had their explicit or implicit consent or we considered it was reasonable in all the circumstances to disclose it without their consent.

I wonder who this could refer to. Draper? Is that the reason they won't release details of the initial email? Or could it be someone else, like Charlie Whelan or Kevin Maguire?

So to those leftist bloggers who accused me of making the whole thing up, presumably you will now be good enough to admit you were wrong. No, thought not.

37 comments:

Lee said...

Just heard you on Radio 5. Who was that girl/lady and why did I get the feeling that she was talking down to us/me? Why do they think that they know/are better than us? I sure it was not her intention but it was very condesending. You managed to sound quite balanced by the way. Must be age :)

The Penguin said...

Good for you, Iain, keep digging.

The Penguin.

Anonymous said...

It isn't paranoia when they are really out to get you ?

Chalcedon said...

"Disgusingly racist"? Some were extreme, others quite mild and amusing. These guys just don't get reality. They live in some ivory tower totally divorced from real people. Hence their sordid lives trying to infer this and that, suggest this and the other, smearing wherever they go. It reminds me of a slug and it's trail of slime.

David Boothroyd said...

The other individual is pretty bloody obvious, actually - given away both by the context of the reference and the website link at the end of the paragraph to order-order.com.

This disclosure actually disproves Paul Staines' claim that there was any attempt to smear. There simply aren't any smears in it, are there?

Lee said...

Sorry to use this again but have just had Nicky Campbell telling DC that he already earns/has alot of money so he can afford not worry about pay/expenses etc. The same Nicky Campbell who is a highly paid BBC "Journalist" who gets to sit safely in his studio ranting at polititians and taking the side of the everyday person. DC is holding his own. On this subject, where is McBride? Is he back in the village yet?

Anonymous said...

For a response to a FOIA request this is as poor as it gets. In the US, FOIA requests are responded to much more thoroughly, at least that has been my experience. In any case, emails using government computers and servers are often considered public documents outright, available for inspection in full.

dizzy said...

"This disclosure actually disproves Paul Staines' claim that there was any attempt to smear."

No it doesn't. It's pretty clear from this that Draper ran every line that he was given in order to insinuate that Iain was a jackboot wearing Nazi.

Tony said...

Understand your indignation at the time you made the FOI request. Unless you're intending to take action in court I wonder if current circumstances suggest you let it gracefully tail off?

Your significant public exposure of late makes clear, to all who are concerned, what you believe in - and Labour's back street boys have got other problems on their hands right now and for the next 11 months.

Adso said...

Are they accusing of you of being a West Brom fan? Don't have that

Lady Lumely's Handbag said...

Iain,

Not an expert in these matters but could you not trying putting in a request under the DPA, being careful to list just about anyone you can think of who may have, either in email, letter or minutes of meetings have reffered to you by name.

I did this with my employer (a government department)and submitted a very comprehensive list of anyone I thought might be holding correspondence or similar relating to me. They took the full 40 days to respond but...WOW! Revealing is an understatement.

Sorry if this is an inappropriate suggestion. As I said, I'm no expert.

Good luck with everything though.

Grumpy Old Man said...

"Labour's back street boys have got other problems on their hands right now and for the next 11 months."
Exactly. The more stress, the greater room for error. Keep at 'em, Iain

Anonymous said...

Surely you are entitled to know the circulation list of these e-mails. Was it just to Dolly or were other people copied in?

Seems they are giving you the bare minimum to brush it under the carpet.

Mirtha Tidville said...

At least you got some sort of response Iain, well done and at least your realistic about not getting any sort of apology....Let us not forget lefties are ALWAYS right.....

Simon Gardner said...

Speaker to resign - BBC News

Anonymous said...

Nice one but i think we all believed what Labour were capable of, even the yanks can see through them.

"From The New York Times
"Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spectacularly unpopular these days. He is presiding over one of the weakest economies in Western Europe. His government is widely seen as weary, porous and flailing. His own party members spend their time plotting, spreading nasty gossip and openly defying his policies."

Nuff said..

JuliaM said...

Just come up on BBC radio - speaker to resign!

jailhouselawyer said...

Much ado about nothing springs to mind.

ken from glos said...

Wake up Iain, your prediction about Martin was correct.

LOve to know about the "back door" deal done to persuade him to go.

Hope he goes today

Chris Paul said...

The "other" doesn't indicate any such thing. They could've just come off the 'phone, been texting or even met ... It is illogical to deduce that there is another email mention from that, though there may be. Looking at this I must say it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Very slight. Perhaps you're not quite as important as you thought!

(Is that right Damian?, have I got that right?, puncture Dale's inflated ego you say??)

Bardirect said...

You are the person whose privacy is supposed to be protected not the identity of other recipients of the e-mails.

No issue of privacy or personal information arises in relation to their identities.

Keep digging.

WV: nowgw!

Anonymous said...

I liked the signature on the letter from Number 10. Don't they employ people who can do joined up writing?

Rexel No 56 said...

Iain

The most interesting part of the disclosure to me is the final paragraph which you exclude from the post:

"We also hold details on the Convention on Modern Liberty on Saturday 28th February in which you are listed as a speaker"

Now, can someone explain to me what the Cabinet Office is doing monitoring the activities of a Liberty conference? Are they afraid of something?

Newmania said...

If it was some sixteen year old activist you`d say ... thats life.
For this sort of thing to emerge from Gordon Brown or his close associates is pitiful and unpleasant and added to what we know about Brown already is one more piece of the revolting picture

Guthrum said...

Well Done Iain

It just goes to show what this Darien Government have reduced this country to

Jess The Dog said...

I sent a FOI request for disclosure of emails sent or received by McBride. I received an obstructive response stating that they were "private" and will not be released. I will appeal now (internally and then to the ICO) to seek disclosure citing the release of emails to yourself.

Hopefully this will all come out in a few months...another ticking Brown Bomb!

Liz said...

Keep digging - it really does sound like the first email you have been sent is not the start of the conversation.

I'm pleased that they released them over FOI - the only FOI requests I've made (a few years ago about the predicted costs of ID cards) were all denied on grounds of commercial competitiveness (this was while several companies were bidding for the contract) and after that, on the grounds that to release the figures would be too expensive!

pop said...

Iain

I haven't seen your original email, but it doesn't look like it has been treated as an FoI request - just a DPA one.

An FoI request asking for the full documents that the extracts are from, and any documents that formed part of the conversation they were from should be your next move.

They have a duty to treat requests as FoI even if FoI isn't mentioned, but you'd have to take that to the info comissioner.

Collins said...

Simplest explanations and all that, but given Draper had spent all day publicly baiting you over your defence of the word 'golliwog' and assuming the email was sent to him, wouldn't it be natural for McBride to refer to 'another' aspect or 'the other' aspect of the interview. It doesn't necessarily mean they'd discussed it previously.

It would be the same if someone emailed you and talked about another aspect to examine about the Speaker's resignation given you've just blogged about it.

The crucial question would be what time McBride sent the email - was it before or after Draper had blogged about the golliwog comments. If it's before, then they must have had a prior discussion.

The other question is what was the subject title on the email to Draper. Guido said McBride had emailed Draper a dossier entitled 'How to Get Iain Dale'. That email you've got doesn't exactly sound like a dossier, but was that the subject title?

Will 883 said...

This was not a FOI request it was a Subject Access Request - i.e. about yourself only.

If you had asked under FOI for all emails relating to discussions about you (or whatever) then you would have probably got a lot more back, albeit with big black marks over some of it.

pop said...

For anyone wondering about FoI - check out www.whatdotheyknow.com

See other requests that have been made and responses all online!

Even make your own and have them tracked.

All made available free by those nice guys at mysociety.org (who also did the number 10 petitions site).

Thats News said...

The should fes up. Or be seen ot be the disgusting hoons that they undoubtedly are.

Jonathan Cook said...

Firstly - even though the media circus has moved on - it is shocking that there was someone in the Cabinet Office, directly associated with the Prime Minister, who was setting put to smear you.

Given "Digital Strategy" leaks - we also know that Labourlist is a Labour party initiative.

Finally the response you received has soooo much omitted from the e-mails, it seems that the FOI response has been conducted with intent to protect Labour politically, rather than providing a full and reasonable response.

Jimmy said...

That's it?

Lord Snooty said...

"This disclosure actually disproves Paul Staines' claim that there was any attempt to smear."

I agree. It seems to me, Iain, that you draw some rather bizarre conclusions from this. It looks very clear that McBride/Draper et al genuinely believed that your stance on the Carol Thatcher issue was dodgy and that Guido supports racist comments through his blog. In other words, they weren't confecting anything that they didn't believe (however erroneously) was true. How then does this count as smearing?

I also happen to agree with them, most strongly in relation to Guido. His usual defence is that he's not responsible for what his commenters say. This is nonsense in at least two respects. First, he has repeatedly put up photos that are highly likely to encourage racist and homophobic comments. (I concede that this is an inference on my part but, unless he is naive, it is pretty clear I would say.) Second, he moderates comments, deleting ones he doesn't like. So I think we are entitled to conclude that he is happy to host and publish any that remain.

Most of all, though, my feeling is that you (and others) have made a colossal fuss about something that, in the general scheme of things, is pretty trivial and insignificant.

pop said...

If Guidos images encourage racist comments, what about the governments?

I can't remember the last time I saw a minister in a school with more than a sprinkling of white faces among the dark ones.

Was Ms Obama supposed to feel at home visiting a school with (what appeared to be) an entirely ethnic roll?

aproposofwhat said...

OT, I know, but since WBA were mentioned, here's a little thing i heard in the pub on Sunday:

Roman Bednar's on the phone to his dealer, and the dealer asks him "How many baggies do you want?"