And in other related news, BBC reporter Brian Wheeler tells this little take on his online diary today...
"That kind of personality-based dirty work is very difficult to pull off properly. It is in danger of backfiring and not just because it might leak as a document."Ten days ago, Derek saiud he would be making a decision on his future as LabourList editor "within a week". [taps fingers].
Wise words. But who is the media-savvy model of rectitude behind them? Well, since you ask, it's Derek Draper, speaking to Marketing Week magazine more than nine years ago. Mr Draper is currently lying low after apologising for his role in the Downing Street e-mail smear plot.
But in February 2000 he had only recently been defrocked as a spin doctor and was eager to impress in his new, and in the event short-lived, career in advertising. He was asked to give his view on an alleged plot by ad agency M&C Saatchi to smear the then health minister Tessa Jowell on behalf of the agency's client, tobacco giant Gallaher. The agency's alleged plan to "undermine" Ms Jowell by branding her "undemocratic and rash" over her stance on smoking never made it beyond the brainstorming stage.
But Mr Draper told Marketing Week he was surprised a big agency like M&C would even go near such an "old-style dirty tricks campaign" in the first place. And he added, reassuringly: "In my experience it doesn't happen very often - if at all. It is probably a symptom of how desperate the tobacco companies are." Quite.