Sunday, September 23, 2007

Labour Bans 18 Doughty Street Cameraman From Conference

I've just had a call from my colleague at 18 Doughty Street, Ben Jacques, to say that he has been refused entry to the Labour Party Conference. He is there to film fringe events and interviews conducted by Mark Hanson, who has been admitted with no problem (but then again, he is a Labour Party member). Ben's pass application was submitted several weeks ago, along with his payment. Dorset Police called to check his details so the Labour Party must have processed his application. We don't know yet whether they took payment.

When he went to collect the pass he was told he couldn't have it as they had only a limited number of media spaces and he wasn't "a priority". When asked why, he was told: "You're not as big as the Mirror". Or likely to be as supportive, I suppose.

So this begs the question, if they weren't going to let him in, why did they process his application in the first place, and why did they let him travel 180 miles to be refused entry?

So we now have the wonderful position of having a reporter there but no one able to film him. Great.

UPDATE: Sorted. We have found someone with an existing pass who can use a camera.


Man in a Shed said...

That'll be the wanting to connect with the public Labour party then.

Stalin would be proud !

I guess as your camera man doesn't have a bag full of envelopes with £75 to hand out to people they have to worry about what people he films might say.

Still he hasn't been arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism act yet - so he should be grateful really.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

This sounds rather familiar...oh yeah cause its exactly what the Conservative Party did to me and several others last year. (It turned out I was not in the UK so I could not have gone anyway.)

Tapestry said...

he can use a video camera can't he.
or is that banned as well?

Unsworth said...

Ideal opportunity for him to do a piece to camera describing the fiasco.

But, given NuLab's terror of anything which isn't stage managed and completely controlled, it's hardly surprising.

Remember Brighton?

scotch said...

Actually it *asks* or *raises* the question.

love from grammatical scotch

Anonymous said...

Brown's Britain- the media is welcome, so long as it does things Brown's way.

Anonymous said...

Control freaks.

This is par for the course. The whole conference has been stage managed to ensure that it is little more than a love in. Gordon does not like to be contradicted.

Let's hope some angry member of the public doorsteps him, as happened with Tony Blair.

Anonymous said...

That sucks!

Anonymous said...

The Left is essentially totalitarian. Your outrage does you credit, but it hardly surprising that a Left party (even in the UK) wants to remove sources of opposition as they strive to level all existing structures and build their utopia.

Just be grateful that they have so far been prevented from gaining absolute control - it is still possible for example to question the competence of the Labour cabinet without getting arrested.

I would not advise openly questioning Leftist assumptions in a taxed funded establishment however - those lies are how they pay for their mortgages.

Chris Paul said...

As Andrew Dodge points out the Tories do the same kind of thing. Posturing and drama queening around suggesting otherwise does you no credit.

Surely every organisation running a conference does? Decide who gets press passes etc?

Never been to conference in Bournemouth but there are surely plenty of places - including 70% of the fringe venues - where there is no pass controlled entry?

Oh and have you corrected your entirely incorrect report that I didn't report the Grell verdict? It was 24 hours on from your first notification that your piece was wrong last time we asked.

Any joy? Or are you just controlling what gets published to your own satisfaction ...?

PS why did you man travel without knowing he was going to get in? More fool him.

Perhaps he can compare notes with Ms Nad Dorries and her experiences?

Nich Starling said...

All very pathetic of Labour. It's not the actions of a grown up party. I wonder if their own version of 18 Doughty Street, which Dizzy has blogged about, will get access ?

Anonymous said...

Are you going to report from just outside the secure zone, in the style of a journalist reporting from South Africa about the latest Mugabe developments? I hope so. Media censorship should be circumvented.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising at all. This is not a political party conference, it's a Gordon McStalin rally. He's already managed to ban the unions from saying anything awkward. Tomorrow the five year targets will be announced, to rapturous applause. The only surprise is that cameras other than McBBC ones should be allowed.

Anonymous said...

Oh Diddums "!! If you are moving from being a blogger to being a 'journalist' you will have to understand how the game works.

If you are still keep a foot in the 'righty polemicist' camp, then you can't expect to be welcomed with open arms as a journalist committed to truth and justice.

You have to decide whether you are a 'hostile witness' or an 'impartial observer' - you can't expect to be both. Maybe you don't know that there's a difference ?

Have a word with Jeremy Paxman - he might be happy to enlighten you with the distinction..

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 8.40. Sigh. Just don't get it do you. Firstly, I'm not going to the Labour conference. Secondly, I am not a journalist and have never pretended to/wanted to be.

The 18DS reporter there is a Labour Party member and co-editor of LabourHome. The cameraman mentioned is not a Tory. Satisfied? Thought not.

Anonymous said...

I can see the tanks and rockets promenading down The Mall, with Sporran McStalin standing to attention on the balcony of Buck House.

The royal family have been put down at Balmoral, whilst the remains of Dave and the Mingster will eventually wash up on the beach of some remote Scottish isle. They were of no further use.

You did not know that when you voted for Maggie in 1979 you were also voting for Sporran in 2007.

Welcome to neoliberalism.

Welcome to the future.

barry monk said...

So Gordon Brown tells Andrew Marr on TV today that he wants NHS care to be "more personal" (his words not mine)

So how can that be achieved when our hospital tells GPs that it wants them to no longer refer to consultants by name ( Dear Mr Smith, Dear Dr Spratt, etc) even if that is their, or their patients wish; indeed for some departments such as ENT and orthopoedics it isn't allowed at all anymore.

Meanwhile Brown's health minister Lord Darzi thinks that local hospitals should be shut and replaced by regional superhospitals, where he plans that operations should be done by robots.

More fatuous nonsense from the supreme leader, it seems.

BJ said...

It happens all the time. I used to a be a local hack in a conference town. I applied for press accreditation, had my application countersigned by a Labour MP, supplied my three previous addresses, my car registration number, and never got accreditation. I just wasn't important enough.

Anonymous said...

You know, you keep getting annoyed that ths lot have no integrity and little honesty. Have you not been watching? They will do anything they can get away with

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I don't think many are pretending that the Conference is anything other than an extended Party Political Broadcast.

Of course it's managed, and I suspect the stranglehold is greater under GB than it was with TB.

More sinister will be the "guidance" notes given to the local plod, who will dutifully keep all detractors safely away from the Bogeyman and his henchmen.

I personally am praying for another Walter Wolfgang debacle; that subliime piece of cinema verite when the mask of humanity slipped, for a moment and even the thickest of the thick realised just what was going down.

Anonymous said...

Come on Iain, when 18DS was started you kept crowing about how it was going to be a Tory TV station, a UK equivalent to Fox News. Now the tune seems to have changed, rather conveniently whenever the left seem to block whatever you want to happen.

Iain Dale said...

Ken, with respect, I did nothing of the sort. I spent most of my time denying it was Tory TV. I admit I said it would be as far to the right as the BBC is to the left, but that is not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, perhaps if he'd applied for his pass earlier than several weeks ago the pass people might have let him in. The deadline was 31st July to get it posted out.
Anything after the deadline is really luck of the draw whether you get in or not.
Perhaps 18 Doughty Street should act like more of a professional organisation and actually apply on time.
Quite frankly, if I was with the pass office and had to deal with a late application from a tin pot wannabe TV channel and media passes were rationed (incidentally, more media are usually there than other passholders combined), then I wouldn't have issued 18DS with one either.

Anonymous said...

Iain, maybe my use of 'Tory TV' was incorrect, but I don't think the general sentiment is. the launch was very much built on the idea that it would be on the right, and that even if the Tory party didn't like it, it would be because it was being attacked from the right. If I was the Labour Party, then I'd have let you in - after all, it's not as if the events aren't in the public domain more or less anyway. But at the same time, it isn't as if they need the coverage on 18DS either. And you can hardly blame them for having the idea that it would be to launch hatchet jobs, regardless of whether it would be true or not.

Anonymous said...

Very regrettable. Everything I've seen on 18 Doughty has been professional, polite, and very civil.