Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Labour: Draper's Nothing to do With Us, Guv. Honest.

This is an email which has just been sent to the Labour Party National Executive Committee. Methinks Mr Ray Collins, the General Secretary, has been feeling the heat, just a tad.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Message from the NEC Chair and General Secretary

*To: National Executive Committee

Dear colleague

Cath Speight and I thought it important to keep you fully informed of
the response we have given to the press today regarding Derek Draper and
Labourlist. Please find the information below.

In addition, Cath has asked that we re-iterate for colleagues that if
contacted by the media please refer them to the Labour Party Press
Office on 020 7783 1393.

Best wishes


Ray Collins, General Secretary of the Labour Party,

"As you will recall from November's NEC Away Day, last year Derek Draper
volunteered one day a week of his time to Labour HQ on an unpaid basis.
He subsequently left Victoria Street to set up the Labourlist blog.
Since then he has offered advice and opinion on an adhoc basis which
ended in March of this year and will not be sought in the future.

"I receive advice and opinion from many Labour Party supporters in my
work as General Secretary but I decide what advice I take or seek and
act in a manner appropriate with my values and those of the Party which
certainly does not include smears or personal attacks. I want to
reiterate that Derek Draper does not hold a position or role with the
Labour Party and this will remain the case.

"To make clear Labourlist is an independent left-of-centre website and
blog. The Labour Party did not fund its activities. What the Party has
supported is an effort to promote left-of-centre bloggers more generally
by bringing interested supporters together at a series of events.

"I absolutely support the Prime Minister's view that scurrilous rumour,
gossip and personal attacks have no place in politics and no place in
the Labour Party."

The mendacity is truly remarkable. Nothing to with us, guv, he seems to be saying. And yet Draper's bloggers breakfasts were held at Labour Party HQ and he was personally asked by Collins to take on the task of setting up LabourList. He says Draper's role ended in March. Really?

Perhaps UNITE may now follow suit and end its funding for LabourList. I've already been sent a couple of emails sent to Derek Simpson urging him to do just that.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

What utter bollocks!

Even Alex Hilton, the well known Tory sympathiser, says:

"It was launched at Labour HQ and Mr McBride's old colleague Charlie Whelan provided Mr Draper's funding from Unite's political fund, the trade union he now works for.

They then pursued the unsustainable charade that the project was independent of the Labour Party. "

I have not been Alex's best mate since the "Thatcher is Dead" episode, (by the way I hope he has made a full recovery from his nasty illness) but let's not pretend, for one moment, that Labour List was not designed and directed by the red right hand of Number Ten Downing Street.

Plato said...

I wrote to Mr Simpson a couple of weeks ago as an ex-UNITE member to complain about the last vicious attack on Guido.

He read it but never responded.


wv fusties :)

Obnoxio The Clown said...

One thing I genuinely do not understand about LabourList, and if anybody can explain it, I would be eternally grateful:

Why is LabourList funded AT ALL?

I run a blog. It costs me nothing but my time. Guido, Iain, other bloggers all do it and MAYBE make some pennies out of advertising or whatever, but why does LabourList require funding at all, and why does it require what seems to be fairly significant funding?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Martin said...

Has Guido been shut down? I keep getting database error reports??

BrianSJ said...

Tory Boy has some interesting information on where LabourLost might have its offices.

Nothing from Ray Collins on his dealings with McBride et al on their Wednesday meetings?
Is McBride's membership of the Party to be reviewed/revoked?
Ditto Draper.

Rexel No 56 said...

Guido is down! Can anyone reassure me that there is an innocent explanation?


Jimmy said...

Your pound of flesh is slightly over sir, shall I wrap it or put some back?

Anonymous said...

As someone who actually attended the meetings at Labour HQ I can confirm that they were about the Labour-leaning blogosphere and social media in general, and definitely NOT just about LabourList, which to be honest was hardly mentioned at some of the events.

Chris Paul said...

What is it with these words "mendacious" and "mendacity" Iain? Are you trying to smear Ray Collins? Or smear the Labour Party?

The idea that Draper is anything other than a volunteer in this is rubbish. He shouldn't have been given house room even on that basis is my view. That kind of energy and ideas we really can do without.

The idea that the NEC would approve in any way of his carry on is rubbish - even though they presumably didn't demur when they got a report that we'd be trying to keep up with technology.

Why would you want UNITE to stop funding the LL blog Iain? It isn't the LL blog that has caused this trouble. Barring DD's silly spats that has been remarkably free of attacks. Not even attacks at the Iain Dale level of intensity.

Surely what you really want is for them to make future funding conditional on Derek being thrown overboard in his designer life ring? Made for the job.

Hacked Off said...

Guido is back, I think his set up is simply swamped by traffic and he may have to consider additional bandwidth or whatever is required.

This would be the same Labour Party whose Treasurer, Mr. Harriet Harman, knew nothing about Loans For Peerages, and who accepted £650,000 via stooges from sone dodgy bloke oooop Noooorth which McBroon declared illegal and promised to pay back. Has it been paid back and / or confiscated by the Electoral Commission?

The same Labour Party funded by the Trade Unions it arranges to be given millions in public grants?

Surprise! It stinks!!

The Penguin

Chris Paul said...

PS Obnoxio ...

Conservative Home had funding as did 18 DS. And Total Politics. Labour List is more comparable with these in requirements than with your sorry drivel of spew now isn't it?

(Is this a bit harsh? Ed: NO!)

Dr Blue said...

"Plausible deniability" was Oliver North's great contribution to "terminological inexactitudes" and other such circumlocutions to get people out from their "temporary local difficulties."

I suspect Comrade Draper is about to be airbrushed from the Labour Party's records.

Iain Dale said...

Chris Paul, exactly how are 18DS and Total Politics comparable to LabourList? Your ignorance baffles me sometimes.

Plato said...

Just been reported on R5, he is was welcome as Ebola now.

Bets on Charlie Whelan next in the cross-hairs?

Plato said...

I appear to be suffering from a Denial of Grammar attack.

Don't know how many here read The Devil's Kitchen, here is a little joke for Mr McBride.

JuliaM said...

Or in other words: "I did not have blogging relations with that man..."

I Squiggle said...

Obnoxio the Clown: Very good point. It is continually reported that LabourList is funded (in part?) by UNITE i.e. by Draper’s old mate Charlie Whelan. Which begs the question, by how much? Server costs (minimal) or DD salary/expenses? (!). There must be a member of the union out there who is wondering just what their dues are being spent on?

I presume that eventually it will show up in the union accounts. But not for a while, their latest are to the year end 2007, so not until they publish the 2008 will any bits show up (if at all?). They publish an ‘extract’ on their website:

Page 5 is worth a look:

We are required by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 to include the following declaration in this statement to all members:

“A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring or have occurred, in the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct.

The member may raise any such concerns with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, The Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State (*) and the police.

Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of rules of the union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.”
* That’s alright then.. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What a load of numpties the members of UNITE must be to fund the glamorous lifestyles, inflated egos and vaunted ambitions of this bunch of ratbags.

Bardirect said...

I think that the proper interpretation of the 1st paragraph of Collins letter relates to ending the adhoc/one day a week services to the "Labour parteh" but not his involvement in the "independent" Labourwrist, so by all means keep banging on about Draper resigning, retiring or retraining.

drevetailimin said...

What will poor Derek do for a living now?
First his "qualifications" (+: are exposed as being a little bit suspect, and now the Hoon has brought disgrace upon UNITE.
No wonder McMental had such an affinity with him, everything that both touch turns to ****

Scipio said...

Anyone who was at Crewe and Nantwich for the bye-election will be well aware that this kind of activity is how the Labour Party like to operate. McBrid is a sympton of the problem, not the cause of it!

Trend Shed said...

He mentions the NEC away day in November last year.

Dizzy also states that Red Rag was registered in November.

I'll bet a tenner that Red Rag was discussed at the NEC away day.

The Grim Reaper said...

Trevorsden said "What a load of numpties the members of UNITE must be to fund the glamorous lifestyles, inflated egos and vaunted ambitions of this bunch of ratbags."

Two points in response to this:
(1) I doubt the members are the ones who decided to fund LabourList. It was inevitably the big boys of the organisation who made such a decision.
(2) The aforementioned big boys are also a bunch of numpties and ratbags. Draper and UNITE management - two peas in a pod.

Sally Roberts said...

Poor Old Dolly! Looks like he's persona non grata everywhere. AND the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists are looking into his conduct too it seems!

James Higham said...

Nothing to with us, guv, he seems to be saying.

Did you expect any different?

Old Holborn said...

@ Chris Paul

The Old Holborn Blog is funded entirely by rich anarchists and the proceeds of selling freeze dried Gorilla bush meat to Nigerians in the Kings Road.


thespecialone said...

Why would anyone want to pay union dues to UNITE? Derek Simpson is a typical lefty. Do as I say not as I do. Dont UNITE members pay for his mansion and other extravagances that he enjoys? Wonder if they wanted their money to pay for Labourlist???

Nikostratos said...

Derek Draper thats so yesterdays news
wasn't he some kind of adviser or summat...

move along now sir move along

Chris Paul said...

Derek Draper is a man going overboard in more senses than the one:

PS Can anyone remind me what Tories said about their version of McBride? The one who slashed tyres and daubed paedo lies? Ian Oakley it was. A good spot from Duncan Campbell in today's Guardian diary. The Lib Dems may benefit there.

Meanwhile their McBridey lite man in Rochdale in the office of Paul Rowen MP may drag his man down with a backlash over smears, dossiers and drunken bullying. Already damaged too over asbestos lies and Gaza spin.

Duncan Campbell reports that after seven months of stone walling David Cameron finally ... no, not apologised ... but expressed regret. Seven months, Convicted of 75 charges of harassment.

Does any party escape having one/some of these creatures?

Chris Paul said...

@ Old Holborn LOL

Chris Paul said...

Draper going overboard clicker:

Madasafish said...

Chris paul
All parties contain unpleasant idiots.

Few employ them as spin doctors.

Except Labour.. deliberately.

Jimmy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamik Das said...

Chris Paul, where these Tory schemers paid six-figure salaries by us, the tax-payer?!

And could any of them be described, in any way whatsoever, as being best mates with DC, as Gordon was with Mc****?

Jimmy said...

"Few employ them as spin doctors."

Heaven forbid

Anonymous said...

Rochdale - !

Yes that's where its all at. Silly of us to miss that. Rochdale. That hotbed of Conservative vipers.

Mr Paul - the story is 'Political assassins employed by Gordon Brown bite the dust'

And this Gordon Brown character happens to be our Prime Minister.

Prime Minister !!

How he got there God only knows but this is the man regularly allowed to take tea with our Queen. Heaven help her the poor woman but she certainly earns her crust for those 15 minute forays.

Savonarola said...

Obnoxio you will have read Mr Paul's riposte to your question. Helpful. Hmmnnn.

LabourList is a Labour/Govt supported publication in all but name. Derek is frontman. Whelan/Unite is paymaster.

Who facilitated?

FFS it has official Labour written all over it. Hence Whelan/Mandelson agreeing to financing.

LabourList is a flop. Visible to all but the blind.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

@Chris Paul: I am absolutely crushed by your comment.

Oh, you're the Labour of Love wanker? The libel-obsessed tosser?

Well, perhaps not, then.

Lexander said...

I hope Whelan is the next one to get his come uppance. Evil man and has a lot of past history. By the way, had a nightmare last night in that Brown was forced out and Meddlesome took over! How long have we got before they are all out?

Mark Griffiths said...

McBride was in a position funded by the taxpayers, and Draper went to have lunch with Brown at Chequers shortly after the launch of SnotRag. It's not just that these two arseholes were linked to Labour, but that the taxpayer has paid for their evil cretinous behaviour. The interests of the state are not synonymous with the interests of NuLabour. Which bit of that don't you understand, Chris Paul?

Simon Gardner said...

What are “bloggers breakfasts”? They sound both disgusting and extremely unhealthy.

Cynic said...

"The idea that Draper is anything other than a volunteer in this is rubbish."

From the outset it is clear that the Party leadership wanted thsi to d=be deniable.

Someone is funding Labourist.

Laboutrlist was quite public so when they wanted to smear they neeeded a coverty vehicle ...hence Oliver Cromwell resurrected to run The Red Rag.

All organised by the same people with Draper at the heart of it and Labourlist packed full of 'talk down to the proletarian masses' articles from Ministers (clearly written by press officers) and breathless hagiography from third rate party hacks and political wannabes.

I am sure that the NEC were appalled ....but since when did they have any real influence on an operation being run out of No 10?

So are you disowning just Labourlist and RedRag Chris, or the site and those from No 10 who pulled the strings...whoever they may have been?

Ctesibius said...

Another Draper lie. At the weekend he said could hardly have spared any time for 'Red Rag' because he was working '99.9%' of his time of Labour List.

Anyone care to square that with the 'last year Derek Draper volunteered one day a week of his time to Labour HQ on an unpaid basis'


Martin S said...

I almost feel some sympathy for Derek Draper. After all, he was called in to do exactly what he is doing. Then when the faecal matter hits the fan, all of a sudden, it's only Draper who is exposed. (Well, plus McBridfe, but I expect they'll have something lined up for him. Thinktank, or something similar.

And people keep doing naughty things like this

Nothing to do with us, guv! Says Labour Party

Unsworth said...

Blogger's Breakfast:

Gauloise Jaune or Disque Bleu, according to taste.