Monday, March 30, 2009

Where Labour People Come Together?

I just paid my first visit to LabourList in several weeks, in the expectation that they might be discussing the Jacqui Smith porn issue. After all, it's a site where "Labour people come together", so I thought the topic might at least get an airing. I should have known better. Draper is happy to go on a 5 Live phone in this morning to talk about it yet censors it from his site. Oh dear.


Anonymous said...

And here was me thinking this was going to be another story about tax-funded-porno.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

To be fair, Iain, it's not "Where Labour People Come in a Sock", is it?

Old Holborn said...

He was just being told to shut up on Womans Hour as well

Anonymous said...

Labour MPs and Labour appointed public officials. Although off subject I think it is important point to consider. The current affair of MP pay should be considered in relevance to the pay of public officials. Their current pay easily exceeds MPs pay, Health, Council, Quango, easily start at 60k and then head upwards at an alarming rate.

However it needs to be remembered that it is this breed of Labour MPs that has seen this expolsion in pay of public officials. So they only have themselves to blame.

Plato said...

Can't wait for Listen Again then, never saw you as a Woman's Hour listener OH.

Just shows that one shouldn't make assumptions!

Is Draper the only gob Labour has? He's impossible to avoid.

Anonymous said...

Good news - Jacqui Smith has already thought up a way out of this mess

Bardirect said...

I suspect that Draper isn't really being put forward for all this on behalf of the Labour party but that they are all laying low and he's the only "rant a quote" the media can now get hold of.

Does he get "appearance money" or the like to supplement his highly successful psychotherapy practice?

Anonymous said...

I think, under the current circumstances, Draper has to be regarded as the acceptable face of ZaNu Labour.

Desperate Dan said...

Porn? Don't you know its an "adult" film? That merely means its got an 18 certificate.

Anonymous said...

It's typical Labour - if you check out some of the Labour Blogs they do exactly the same (ignore the truth and the issues that show them for what they are and rant on about all Tories being working-class hating toffs - here's a good example:

Draper is an excellent example of the mindset of the average Labour drone.

Conand said...

titus-aduxas said...

'I think, under the current circumstances, Draper has to be regarded as the acceptable face of ZaNu Labour.'

That's a bit worrying for them I imagine.

Conand said...

Just noticed this on PoliticsHome:

'Clegg: Parties can thrash out expenses reform themselves'

Oh for goodness' sake! Guffaw guffaw

Alex Ross-Shaw said...

Iain, do you actually have any evidence that he's specifically censored it from his site?

WakeyWakey said...

Have you ever known such a creep as Derek Garraway? He spends every waking moment planning ways to engratiate himself with New Liebour politicians. He hangs on to their shirt tails like a jack russel hangs on to a stick. What an utterly loathsome individual he is.

Unknown said...

The major problem for Labour is that labourList is supposed to be independent, so they cant be seen to censor him or pull him if he is invited on programs where he makes an utter ass of himself.

The other thing is that LabourList doesnt appear to contain any average Labour voters at all! Most of the comments seem to be by Tories.

golden_balls said...

was this just a fleeting visit or do i sense a thawing in the cold war ?

Iain Dale said...

LabourBoy, well, there is no mention of it there. If this had been a Tory MP, no one would seriously think that it wouldn't rate an article on ConservativeHome, would they?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
davidc said...

i think the daily mash puts this all into perspective

Lola said...

Where Labour people 'come together'. Yeah, well, perhaps that's what Jacqui and Mr Smith were researching?

Jimmy said...

Iain, perhaps you should have a chat with the author of the 1.42 blog post on this site. It's useless complaining about cheap shots and petty politics. The porn thing is embarrassing and being honest about it we'd probably be giggling too if the boot were on the other foot, but this is ten quid, not embezzlement.

Iain Dale said...

Jimmy, there isn't a post at 1.42...

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

" but this is ten quid, not embezzlement."

OK then, at what level does it become 'embezzlement'. £20? £40? £4000?.

I gues you'd believe in someone becoming a little bit pregnant, too.

If it's theft, it's theft. Full stop. How many other instances of 'only ten quid' are there? If people can be prosecuted for shoplfting goods to the value of much less than a tenner, why are MPs and their spouses exempt?

And you think it's perfectly OK for the well-paid Timneys to have their other 'entertainments' paid for by the taxpayer? I guess you do.

Jimmy said...

Well of course if he was seriously attempting to obtain public funding for his hand shandy then yes I grant you the sum would be immaterial but I wasn't aware that this was being seriously suggested. He's been caught watching porn by his wife in the most public and humiliating way. I can see that's funny. That's all it is though.

Derek Draper said...

iain, i know you pride yourself on being accurate, so take a look at the following

this is the labourlist daily email which goes out to thousands of people

it is a key plank of what we do, and is becoming increasingly popular among labour activists

you will see we highlight the guardian leader on jacqui smith and you will also note our zero of the day are "All those MPs who think it's OK to exploit the expenses system"

i also draw your attention to our daily quote which says:

Sleaze is eating away what's left of Labour's authority. Increasingly, voters feel MPs are only in it for themselves, and every new horror threatens another Labour seat. Of course, the Tories are as bad. But Labour supporters expect better of the people's party, and to be seen as sleazy as the Cons is cold comfort.
Kevin Maguire
Daily Mirror

on the wider issue all weekend we had the following post, in the name of LabourList:,2009-03-27

and last week one of our posters posted this:

none of our posters or readers have posted anything today on the subject or on the specifics of the jacqui smith case, if they had we would have no doubt published them

i guess they trhink there are more important things going on

you owe us a correction, mate...

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

"Seriously attempting"? Don't be silly - she put the claim in and it was paid last year. It's not an 'attempt' which has somehow been thwarted - it's straight theft. As is the cost of the other movies which these people have obtained using our cash. Has she paid that back, too? Why should we pay for their evening's entertainment?

Or do you have a different concept of theft?

Now what's your opinion about the necessity for two washing machines for one home? Just how big is the Timney Residence and how many people live there do you suppose?

Unsworth said...

@ Draper

Why should we believe you?

And are you really a 'mate'?

force12 said...

Is it the rutting season?

Melvin Cragsbury (a pseudonym) said...

Just like non of the centre right blogs - including you Iain - covered the shameful display by Eric Pickles on Question Time last week, trying to defend why the taxpayer should fund his second home...when he only lives 37 miles from Westminster.

Jimmy said...

"Or do you have a different concept of theft?"

It's actually a legal term of art. I think your concept may be different.

Iain Dale said...

Derek, In case you hadn't noticed, we are far from mates.

I didn't mention the email because I don't get it. And to quote a couple of left wing newspapers is hardly providing grassroots comment is it?

Now, answer me a question. Have you had articles submitted to you on Jacqui Smith. If so, why have you not published them?

You wouldn't be censoring, would you?

Think very carefully before you answer.

Jimmy said...

"You wouldn't be censoring, would you?"

Unless you regard any form of editorial discretion or quality control as censorship then that doesn't really follow does it?

michaeljflexer said...

Dear Iain,

Can I get this right? Is the insinuation that because LabourList isn't repeating the news soundbite about Jacqui Smith's husband charging adult flicks to expenses, Derek Draper is therefore committing some gross act of censorship?

It's not very interesting outside the tabloids, is it?

As I understand it, the broadband package was a genuine expense and same films (adult and non-adult) were billed from the same supplier and got mistakenly added to the expenses.

The only reason it is a 'news story' is because it involves porn. There is an important debate to be had around MPs' pay and expenses. There is also an important discussion to be had around politicians and trust. There is nothing important in a salacious expenses error. If you are interested in husbands getting caught watching porn by hard-working wives might I suggest trying the Sun's agony aunt photo casebook rather than LabourList.

You'll probably find that 'Porngate' doesn't make the Financial Times or the Economist either. Goodness, this censorship conspiracy runs deep, eh?

On a separate note, I read your great interview with Ken the other week; thanks for letting me know about it. I frequently read and enjoy your blog, whilst coming from a very different place on the political spectrum from you. Please don't lower yourself to this tittle-tattle.



Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

"It's actually a legal term of art."

WTF does that mean in English?

Jimmy said...

That is English. Are you having difficulty with the adjective "legal" or the phrase "term of art"? In either case you'll find a dictionary will help.

ScotsToryB said...

@ Canvas

The more I read your comments the more I understand your visceral hatred of Tories. You attempt humour yet there is always an insidious theme. There remains an obvious attempt to belittle by association to the, I hesitate to use the phrase, yet it is all I can think of under the circumstances, definition that is this: 'it pertains to the prurient interest'.
I do not expect you know or understand the reference but feel assured you will find it via google.

As you may find the following via google:

'If ever there was a manner of death that totally overshadows the person's life, it was that of Milligan.'

Reminds me of a certain Dr.Kelly.

That is if you ever reach the evolutionary requirements to use google. ( I was tempted to add, 'you little shit' but will probably be banned by Iain for same so did not).


Anonymous said...

Just found out from Guido's site that one of my local MPs (Lyn Brown, West Ham) has claimed over £15,000 for a second home (2007-2008).

I'd love to know where that is, as:
1. Her constituency has the Jubilee Line running through it, therefore it's about 20 mins max from Westminster.
2. When we were both councillors on Newham Council I was invited to a BBQ at her house, which was in the West Ham constituency.

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

OK. Give us some examples of this 'legal term of art'.

Anonymous said...

@Derek Droper

I find it amusing that you keep rattling on about your specious little email that only gets sent to the 100 fake email accounts you've set-up. You need to get out a bit more....

Jimmy said...


If you're interested I suggest you start with the Theft Act

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

So it seems that you do not wish to use common parlance but would prefer to use legalistic jargon.

'Terms of art' are, mostly, restricted to professions and professional uses. Well, it ain't too clever. Any damn fool can make things unnecessarily complex, it takes real genius to simplify.

That is the problem for lawyers. If they persist in talking in their own exclusive argot or jargon it's hardly surprising that they are loathed and despised. 'Theft', in most people's understanding has a clear meaning which may or may not coincide with narrow, often arcane, legal interpretation. Indeed it might be said that 'theft' had a commonly understood meaning long before grubby lawyers started to nuance its meanings.

For those who delight in legalisms the 'art' of conversation is clearly dead.

Alex Ross-Shaw said...

Come on Iain, get a grip lad! :)

More likely (as someone who gets both the Labourlist email, posts on Labourlist and reads it) that no one bothered to write in about it.

I was tempted just so Derek would post it and shut you up! ;)

Jimmy said...

"'Theft', in most people's understanding has a clear meaning"

Which is?

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

Try any dictionary - you seem to be fond of them. Most of the definitions I've seen are remarkably similar - and not stupidly legalistic.

Katabasis said...

Derek - you absolutely do censor on labourlist. A substantial number of my (and others') comments mysteriously go missing on a regular basis. And no, they're not in your wonderful 'trash can' either.

Like Kerry McCarthy, you institute the worst kind of moderation / censorship - that which appears completely inconsistent.

The Grim Reaper said...

Dolly - please find a fire and throw yourself in it. You make me sick.

Chris Paul said...

I'm not sure you cover everything you might cover when it comes to Tory failings or challenges Iain?

I had a pretty robust discussion with Labour people last night about the porn error. But I don't see why anyone would necessarily want to offer a post on spec about this or why DD would commission one.

I would if I were running it. Or write one myself, which I've not done, but here goes off the top of my head:

"Clerical error, hugely embarrassing, but no credible attempt to rip anyone off, just a very stupid error. System needs reforming. All should be published to up the standards. Such a non-story."

Darcy said...

Chris Paul said:

"Such a non-story."

Seriously? Surely you're not making the "nothing to see here" argument again? Forgive me but I think you'll find that a growing number of voters from all sides are sick of that particular chestnut and even the most loyal Labour apologists must be tired of trotting it out.

Ms Smith appointed her husband on an above average salary in a closed competition and he has disgraced himself on more than one occasion. He is clearly incompetent. She should fire him or resign.

The fact that she has not done so suggests that she thinks it is acceptable to hold her husband to a lower standard of behaviour than the rest of us. Coupled with her ongoing expenses situation putting her on the wrong side of the benefit of the doubt threshold, she has lost the credibility which is critical in her position.

Sorry Chris, but you are completely out of touch if you think this is trivial. Putting party politics aside, we need to have Cabinet ministers that we can respect. It is apparent that we have an over-promoted Home Secretary with fatally flawed judgement.

Unsworth said...

@ Chris Paul

So you regard this as a "clerical error"?

Who was the clerk? Who signed off the expenses and why? Who authorised payment and why? How do we know 'repayment' has been made, anyway? Has this woman repaid the other films? If not, why are we to pay for the Timneys' evening 'entertainment' of all sorts - adult or no?

It's clear that you haven't the foggiest understanding of the mindset of these people. You regard their gross behaviour as perfectly normal. So would you be claiming your 'adult entertainment' as a legitimate business expense, too? If so, are you in the porn business?

Clerical error? And this is before we even begin to examine their other claims - such as our purchase of two washing machines in one year etc. Incidentally, I wonder if she has house room for two machines and whether the delivery addresses were the same. Maybe we all bought one for her sister, eh? Do you think she has any other relatives and friends who might benefit from our generosity?


Simon Gardner said...

Had another censored post on Tom Harris MP’s Blog (twice to make sure). This time I really haven’t the foggiest why.

It was merely: ‘Nope. Can’t see the “joke” there at all.’!!!! on his thread about how Earth Day was supposedly silly and should be ridiculed.

Good grief.