Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Here's the Article on Jacqui Smith LabourList Didn't Want You to See

Yesterday, I took Derek Draper to task for failing to publish on LabourList a single article on the hot political story of the day - Jacqui Smith's expenses. I made the point that it was impossible to imagine ConservativeHome not covering a similar story on the Tory side. Draper hit back and posted THIS piece, pointing out that they had included links to Mirror and Guardian articles in their lunchtime email. He also said...
None of our posters or readers have posted anything today on the subject or on the specifics of the Jacqui Smith case, if they we'd have had no hesitation in publishing them.
This turned out to be untrue. Two minutes after Draper published his post, Labour Party member and blogger Shamik Das submitted an article on Jacqui Smith to Derek Draper and his deputy, Tom Miller.

His email was sent at 16.05, but as of 7.30am this morning - more than 15 hours later - it strangely hasn't appeared. Shamik isn't a happy boy, and has emailed me to ask if I'd be interested in publishing it. Delighted to oblige.

The lurid revelations over the weekend about the Home Secretary's latest expenses bungle raise serious questions not just about her or even the Government but of the political class as a whole.

Trust in our elected politicians has never been lower, nor anger at their indiscretions greater. It's one thing to make genuine mistakes during the good times; quite another to actively be "on the fiddle" - as many people will see it - during the worst economic downturn this nation's ever seen.

A poll in this morning's Telegraph confirms the level of public distrust in our elected representatives: more than three-fifths (61 per cent) of those polled are less trustful of MPs than they were before the current expenses row blew up and nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents believe the system of allowances for second homes is wrong in principle and should be scrapped.

The greatest indicator of public loathing, however, is the two-thirds who think MPs' salaries and expenses to be too generous by half - a proportion bound to increase when next a poll is published following the announcement this afternoon of a 2.33 per cent rise in their basic wage to a staggering £64,766, though the freeze on Ministerial pay will most certainly be welcomed.

And it isn't just the perceived financial impropriety that so appals taxpayers as the fact that many MPs simply do not believe what they are doing to be wrong. So out of touch with their constituents are they - especially in these recessionary times - that they actually believe the taxpayer should pick up the tab for bath plugs or pay-per-view films.

For the Home Secretary to state that she inadvertently signed off the expenses claim for Raw Meat 3 and By Special Request - not to mention two, yes two screenings of Ocean's Thirteen - simply will not wash. This is the modern-day Home Secretary of the United Kingdom we're talking about, not some Colonial satrap in 19th-century India; it would be nice to think she'd have the common sense to check line-by-line the contents of what she's signing for.

We're forever being told that politicians aren't in it for the money, that they genuinely care about what they're doing and believe what they're doing to be right, and while the vast majority of MPs undoubtedly go into politics for all the right reasons, forsaking greater financial remuneration in the private sector, it is the alarming ease with which they forget where they've come from and how their constituents live that is the most depressing aspect of this sorry affair.

Cover-ups add to the degree of public anger, with many callers to phone-in shows and the like outraged by the attempts of certain MPs to suppress these embarrassing facts, be they bawdy backbenchers getting down and dirty in Commons work rooms or Tory blue-rinsers billing the taxpayer for their childcare; as so often in the past it's the botched concealment of damning evidence as much as the offence itself which lead to our rulers' downfalls.

The sight of MPs going to court to prevent newspapers from revealing the truth is contemptible, lowering them to the level of washed-up celebrities and diminishing not only themselves but the their offices.

Journalists often receive a kicking for the sensationalist, hypocritical nature of some of their reporting, yet it is they the public must thank for exposing these scandals, and with the government now mired in sleaze from top to bottom, bearing all the hallmarks of the dog days of the Major administration, it is the Fourth Estate who now stand head and shoulders above the establishment as the guardians of probity and propriety.

I might disagree with a few lines of that, but it's well written and deserved to be published on its own merits. Perhaps Mr Draper might like to explain why he felt it was unworthy of publication.

He may well say that he and his deputy haven't been at their computers since 4pm yesterday and that if Shamik had had a bit more patience, they'd have published it in their own time. If so, it rather reinforces the point I made about LabourList when it first started - that Derek Draper severely underestimated the time it would take up.

UPDATE: Shamik tells me that although the LL post was timed at 4.03pm, it didn't appear until much later - well after he sent his email - which, incidentally, has still not been replied to. Indeed. LL hasn't been updated now for 19 hours.

Despairing Liberal has made the point that I have not commented on the Eric Pickles drinks party. Indeed not. I wasn't there. Unlike Tim Montgomerie, who has indeed addressed it HERE on ConservativeHome.

Similarly, he complains I haven't commented on the Boris programme on Channel 4 last night. Indeed not. I haven't seen it. I'm not taking the Arsene Wenger defence, but do people really want me to comment on a programme I haven't seen? However, I have Sky plussed it, and will no doubt comment on it when I have seen it - which won't now be until next week as I am in Cardiff for three days from tomorrow.

UPDATE 2.35pm: Delighted to report that Shamik's article has now been published by LabourList. A mere 21 hours after he submitted it. All's well that ends well, then.


TTGZ said...

Sorry Iain, but you've just disproved your own argument. The blog post was submitted two minutes AFTER Derek wrote his post? So you agree that his post - at the time he wrote it - was accurate?

And now you try to claim that because it wasn't published overnight, it's been censored? 14 of your 15 hours were outside of normal office hours. Does this mean I can email you at 2AM and expect a response by 7AM?

Praguetory said...

Criticism is one thing, but Shamik mentioned the Timney/Smith's taste in adult movies. To suggest that either would have taste in anything other than straight porn is a step too far for Labour's spin-doctors. Personally, I think it's Jacqui wot watched em.

Alan Douglas said...

Almost all the comment on LabLust is negative towards them, but this one stands out :

"Derek, I've finally found someone willing to sponsor your "website"

Granted, they are a soap manufacturer and you won't touch the stuff...but hey, better than taking hard working union members money without asking eh?"

ALan Douglas

Kipinat said...


Or, 55 working minutes later the article (which is not exactly great) is not yet up on Ultra Boils (anag.) . . .

Jacqui should resign because she is a very poor Home Sec., not because of a slip-up on expenses. In any case, she does look like a case of electoral toast.

strapworld said...

On the question of MP's Expenses.

Andrew Pierce of the Telegraph mad a very important observation last night on the Sky Newspaper Review.

When talking about Gordon Brown's latest letter request an early resolution to the problem. Pierce pointed out that when MP's debated this last year(was it November?) Brown did not turn up to vote. He had his chance then to lead. But, as always, bottled it!

Brown's behaviour in all this must never be overlooked!

T England. Raised from the dead. said...

Derek Draper is like one of those Iraq army men who right up untill the tanks were rolling into baghdad claimed they could see no reason they would lose the war.

I think for Draper to have such a delusional mind at this time must be a great comfort to him & his mentaly unstable leader.

Plato said...

Did you hear Nicky Campbell insult Guido on R5 at 0700 this morning?

Not everyday you hear the main anchor on national breakfast radio call a guest a fac*st.

I think it was his Carol Thatcher moment. Only it wasn't in the Green Room.

Good article and Derek was fully occupied posing as at least sock-puppets on order-order yesterday evening.

What a numpty.

Scary Biscuits said...

Iain, is LabourLust becomming the itch that you just can't help sratching?

golden_balls said...

rather a long winded blog in my opinion.

Every blogger has a life even yourself. I can recall a certain instance when Brown made a rather good speech to congress it was on every news program. i asked why you hadn't commented on it and you replied you don't like to comment on things you hadn't seen.
A rather feeble excuse in my opinion.

It took you afew days if my memory is right before you blogged about it.

Hacked Off said...

Dolly Dripper is just not fit for purpose.

The Penguin

Kipinat said...

@ er, Kipinat, 8.11

The article is better than most of the guff on Oral bi-lust (anag.). Sorry for rudeness towards the Author.

golden_balls said...

shall we expect a blog about the eric pickles fight ? to allow a brawl in the houses of parliment is shameful and embarassing. If he can't control a drinks party without violence ensuing then how on earth can he manage the conservative party. hmmmm

Display Name said...

@GoldenBalls 8:35. AFAIK it was in the corridor outside the event. In which case, how do you expect to head a family when a complete stranger urinates up your garden wall?

WakeyWakey said...

Nobody reads Liebour list anyway so it doesn't matter what Mr Dolly Garraway punlishers.

javelin said...

Draper is a washed up liar. He will be gone soon and the sooner he's gone the the better politics will be. IfBrown had any sense he would purge politics of his kind.

Anonymous said...

Goldenballs, even last night, commentators were reporting that the pair "had left the party".

If Pickles didn't see them leave, how is he to stop them arguing in a corridor, away from the party?

I mean, it's not like he took them into his private office and had sex with them, is it?

golden_balls said...

@headless 853am

He is responsible even in the corridor lol If you ply people with drink and violence ensues you can't then deny involvment.

from reports three people were arrested one was a non pass holder how he/she got in i have no idea.

he should apologise im surpised anyone should say differnt.

On a different note do mps actually pay for rooms being used for this drinks party or is this another perk of the job

obviosuly i'm saying this without the full facts being available and i hope no one was seriously hurt.

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes, this is all quite unlike you Iain - for example, you would always have a story when a Tory politician is being embarassed or when there is Tory infighting, just as you didn't for example when Ken Clarke was taking over economic policy from George Osborne. Something you are still strangely silent on.

Oh. Also I just remembered. Last night there were very interesting revelations about the highest Tory in the land, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (Eton and Oxford) on the TV - yet not a whisper about it on your blog.

How puzzling this all is.

Victor, NW Kent said...

It is hard to find much fault with anything that Shamik Das has written there.

The political class, in which I must include you Iain, has almost no concept of very angry people are over this expenses matter.

It will now lead to another daft panicky settlement where all MPS well get a big increase and second home allowances will be abolished. Great for McNulty and other London MPs and bloody ruinous for MPs from Skye, Penzance and Caernavon.

WV is suggestive, almost, =loubduce

JuliaM said...

"If so, it rather reinforces the point I made about LabourList when it first started - that Derek Draper severely underestimated the time it would take up."

That's not all Dolly underestimated, frankly...

JuliaM said...

And is 'golden_balls' Draper himself?

The spelling's bad enough, not to mention the grip on reality...

George said...

@TTGZ (comment #1): Nice try, but no one sleeps for 15 hours. Surely there would have been time to post the article within that time frame somehow.

Besides, successful people like Donald Trump only sleep 4 hours a day.

JuliaM said...

"The political class, in which I must include you Iain, has almost no concept of very angry people are over this expenses matter."

Indeed. Go check out the 'Guardian' and 'Times' this morning - three columnists in the ‘Guardian’ (the latest getting an almighty kicking in the comments is the egregious Polly Toynbee) and David Aaronovitch in the ‘Times’ have published ’so what?’ articles on this.

The comments are overwhelmingly negative.

When even your tame journalists can't protect you, the jig's up, is it not?

Plato said...

And it appears that at least one of the videos Mr Smith was watching isn't perhaps what Ms Smith was expecting at all.

Still I'm sure he confused it for the latest Jamie Oliver video. The chap with the plate has me intrigued.

You couldn't make it up

Hacked Off said...

I've made Polly "Hoon Of The Day" on the strength of her deluded wittering.

The Penguin

Houdini said...

It might be worth noting that Wellington Barracks, just a couple of minutes walk, literally, from HOP, has masses of accommodation that MP's could use.

Just getting in there before Brown or whoever says it would take time to organise State provided accommodation in the capital near to Parliament.

no longer anonymous said...

Can we please try and avoid mentioning Draper for at least a week?

Unsworth said...

I really cannot understand why anyone believes anything that Mr Zero-Credibility-Part-Time-Shrink Draper says or writes. He's a proven liar - why believe his latest witterings?

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes, no longer - let's talk instead about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (Eton and Oxford-Bullingdon), co-conspirator with Darius Guppy and close friend of David Cameron (Eton and Oxford-Bullingdon).

Mark Thompson said...

I think Derek Draper is now damaging the blogosphere and he needs to be replaced as the editor of Labourlist as I have posted about here.

I will be interested to hear what Draper's excuse is for not publishing Shamik's thought provoking piece.

Old Holborn said...


If you want to know who was thumping who, speak to Kerry McCarthy MP

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes, dream on Mark Reckons. BTW, your link doesn't work.

Very, very funny here the extent to which you all swallow Iain's hypocritical humbug.

Plato said...

Mr Despairing

Why don't you get a blog of your own?

I'm sure it'll be very popular.

Perhaps you could invite Canvas, TTGZ and Chris Paul to write for it too.

Martin S said...

Thank God you were here, eh, Iain! Being able to help the Labourlost disenters out when Derek and Clive can't be bothered to publish blogger's blogs on their non-blogging blog must give you a certain degree of satisfaction!

Well done!

Unsworth said...

@ Plato

A sort of 'Toxic Blog', then?

Yep, I'd vote for that.

golden_balls said...

I do hope ian responds its a little silly to bemoan the lack of posting on one site to then go awol on your own.

Twig said...

"Expenses rules have to change, and fast. But our politicians are basically decent. The bile hurled at them damages us all"
Polly Toynbee/ CIF

WV: myteat
those cheeky little WV elves are at it again.

golden_balls said...

its now being reported that two people involved in the brawl at the pickles party didn't have passes how on earth did they get in ?? hmmm

Stan said...

Your average MP - Tory or Labour -earns £60,000 a year and reclaims more than twice this amount in "expenses".

Is it only me that thinks spending more than twice your salary is symptomatic of bad budgeting? If MPs can not manage their own budgets properly how can we trust them to manage the nation's?

Either they are rubbish at their job or are they conning the taxpayer - which is it?

Anonymous said...


As a point of interest, which lines do you disagree with?

Pete said...

"I made the point that it was impossible to imagine ConservativeHome not covering a similar story on the Tory side."

And to back you up, Con Home Diary refers to the CS gas incident at Pickles party...

Anonymous said...

goldenballs, is English your second language?

Conand said...

Lazy Draper isn't interested in the quality of an argument, he just measures how much further damage will be done to his disintegrating party.
Anyone interested in freedom should head over to one of the sites where conservative people come together.
(Taxpayer funded tissues available on request. Iain Dale doesn't necessarily endorse the previous sentence.)

davidc said...

'DespairingLiberal said...

Yes, no longer - let's talk instead about Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (Eton and Oxford-Bullingdon), co-conspirator with Darius Guppy and close friend of David Cameron (Eton and Oxford-Bullingdon).'

and why not ? he is amusing and writes an intelligent article - see todays d. telegraph

'The Jacqui Smith affair highlights Labour's misguided attitude to public spending, says Boris Johnson.'

Oldrightie said...

Is the viewing of sex more depraved than the destruction of our economy and our culture? Just asking.
Personally I believe the greatest depravity of all is socialist dogma. It hides so much more than we ever see.

Anonymous said...

Slightly O/T but can anyone explain to me how the PM can claim £17k on ACA for a second home, when he only has one; his constituency home? Wasn't the reason Jacqui Smith didn't take a grace and favour apartment exactly because doing so would have prevented her claiming ACA on her "second home" ie her constituency house? Why is the rule different for the PM?

golden_balls said...



Derek Draper said...

iain, this is totally pathetic. if we get a post at 4.05pm we sometimes publish that day and sometimes wait until the following morning so that we can highlight it in our lunchtime list and we have something new. its called editing. as it happens we have at least two posts on mps expenses today, one by shamik, another by richard lane. you can put richard's up on your site too if you like

JuliaM said...


If you want to know who was thumping who, speak to Kerry McCarthy MP"

Good grief, they weren't fighting over her, were they..? ;)

TeRLocK said...

Err... Despairing Liberal - exactly what new evidence came from last night's Ch4 doc on Boris that wasn't printed in the biography on him in 2006?

JuliaM said...

Hey, Draper, would you like to buy a shift key?

I've got two on my keyboard, you're welcome to one of them...

JuliaM said...

"Err... Despairing Liberal - exactly what new evidence came from last night's Ch4 doc on Boris that wasn't printed in the biography on him in 2006?"

None whatsover. But DesperateLiberal is in 'panic parrot' mode at the moment.

*sqwark! Bullingdon! tweet Tories! sqwark!*

TeRLocK said...

And also... Derek, there still doesn't appear to be any article on Liebourlist - at least put these things up before responding!

Martin S said...

I see the parasite bloggers are here in force, again!

"Iain, you should cover... Iain why don't you..."

If you know how a blog should be run, if you think this blog isn't run like you would run a blog, why don't you run one, instead? Several could get together and run their 'Not Iain Dale's Blog, Blog' and I am sure it would have dozens of hits by the end of the year.

Or as the wv would have it, puzant.

Plato said...

Mr News


I do find it very strange that people whose profiles are almost always blocked or empty on Blogger are the ones who tell Mr Dale how to run his free online content space.

Why on Earth anyone would spend their time moaning about the content of a blog is beyond me. If you don't like its editorial stance - don't read it.

It's not exactly hard to:

a) start a blog
b) find one that you like
c) do something else such as getting life

TeRLocK said...

Thatsnews / Plato,

Whilst I agree with the sentiment, it may be a tad hypocritical for the point to be raised in the comments section of a blog entry that criticises the editorial stance of another blog ;-)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Draper calls Iain "mate" in his missive.

Are you two "mates" or has Derek been economical with the truth? Or is he just the sort of dick head that calls people "mate"?

Oceans 13 Raw Meat3? I know I must be behind on these things, but that's a gay movie. Is Richard Timney gay or do they just like watching crap movies with lots of gay men in them?

Plato said...

Mr Terlock

It is indeed - I have no problem in saying that I think Mr Dale called this wrong.

Let those who 'edit' Draperlist impress their readers with their content - or not as the case may be.

Cynic said...

I have given up on LAbourlist. It's so easy to poke fun and wind up contributors with double barrelled names and Pimlico or Chelsea addresses who lecture the masses on the Proletarian struggle. It has all spiralled down to become deeply deep[ly boring.

Comrade Tony Woodley spent some time lecturing on it one day and many of responded with questions for him, not least about secretly funding a web site and then using it for Union propaganda.

I wrote to Draper and complained that Woodley had never answered any of the points made and was told that he would be posting again to answer these and would write back personally. Still waiting for a response on that or on my complaint re Drapers use of the term 'windowlickers' right back in the first week.!!!

They really don't get this medium and I suspect that Ministers are now looking at Draper and wondering who authorised this cluster f*** in the first place.

golden_balls said...

ian has mentioned this blog as being a community

do you just people who agree all the time to make comments

Paul Halsall said...

I read Guido's spreadsheet of MP expenses. There are all pretty much in the 132-143K range.


Some seem very odd.

Why does Philip Hollobone have one 40K. Does he really need NO staff?

Why is Dennis Skinner so low?

I predict this will die down as story. The #20,283 max for London homes is, as far as I can see, equally spread across party.

TeRLocK said...

Anyone think Shamik fancies a role in Raw Meat 4?!


(from his blog)

Anonymous said...

just look @ Eric Pickles...
Whoever thought that Pickles was a good idea in the first place!? DC?! sheesh.

He is going to be a huge liability for DC and his modern Tory Party - just wait and see. Pickles was an absolute joke on Question Time last week. It was a shocking performance.

I'm sorry -but- just look at him! yes, it's rude of me to point out his physical imperfections (fat) ...
Do you think that people who look like that will ever be taken seriously. It's not like he is ugly - then he would have no choice and I wouldn;t comment. But Pickles is fat. He is fat because he chose to be fat. His decision.

I'm not going to say "who ate all the pies" - but Pickles should get his act together !

What about the NHS?! Does he not care that his laziness and neglect will cost the taxpayers more money?! What about personal responsibility?!

just wait and see...I'll be happy to say... I TOLD YOU SO! >> Pickles is not top drawer material.


Mark Thompson said...

Desparing Liberal - I am well aware that Iain does not always address issues as well and I have posted about that on my blog too in the past. I am not "swallowing his hypocritical humbug" as you put it. I have thought for a while that Labourlist is not functioning as it should and I am now starting to see why.

As for my broken link - yes, I don't know what's going on with my links today. It is here anyway:


Someone from Labourlist has also stopped by to comment on it now too. I think it is Draper.

Shamik Das said...

Many thanks for all your kind comments on my article, which has now made it onto Labour List!

Just a footnote: the Home Secretary and her husband have claimed for their kitchen sink. Yes, they've claimed for everything, including the kitchen sink!!

One can forgive honest mistakes, but this is wrong, just plain wrong; you'd think a couple on a few hundred grand a year could afford to pay for their own f***ing kitchen!

Chris Paul said...

So, someone submitted a post AFTER Draper made a statement saying no-one had done so. This was not untrue as you state. It was true. In fact it was still true two minutes later. And it is still true now. No-one had submitted an article at that time. And Shamik Das appears to be part of a conspiracy. In that you apparently knew he was about to submit something. In fact from your witterings you might think you thought it had already been banged in.

PS: The stuff about believing posts have been 'clocked' is pretty iffy. What is it about SD's blogpost that makes it fit LL btw? And does SD have receipts showing when his email was actually received if you're going to be like that?

Chris Paul said...

PS Shamik's blog appears to be about cricket, not politics.

John M Ward said...

Thanks for the update, Iain.

It could be that it has been nothing more than Draper's failure to understand just how much attention he needs to pay to the running of LabourList, and perhaps this item might have appeared there a lot sooner if he had been more clued-up.

Then again, I might be being too charitable toward him…

John M Ward said...

Oh, Shamik, that is just priceless! Including the kitchen sink — literally!

Dear oh dear… As they say: you really couldn't make it up!

Jimmy said...

It does seem a little hysterical to talk about censorship in this context.

For future reference this is what censorship looks like.

Martin S said...

And Shamik Das appears to be part of a conspiracy

Yeah. That's right. A conspiracy.

Of course. A conspiracy. Yeah.

That'll be the answer.

Dr Evil said...

This gentleman's post was refreshingly honest. It's pretty much what the famous 'articulate man in the pub' is saying about politicians. What they are saying about Jackboot Jacqui herself of course often turns the air blue. The anger is quite evident. But since when do oiks and plebs in pubs count for anything?

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain, I have never understood where your obsession with seeing political blogs and websites being updated at least 278 times a minute comes from. No sane person who has a job to hold down is seriously going to have time to read that much. You're making a fuss over nothing here.

JuliaM said: "Hey, Draper, would you like to buy a shift key?"

Shift keys for computers are a luxury which Unite cannot afford, it seems.

Anonymous said...

In the hope that this may amuse some: