Saturday, April 11, 2009

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You...

Plato (Correction: It was ConHome who first pointed this out) has just pointed out that I wrote THIS post speculating about the launch of a cyberwar by the Labour Party on the very day that someone (presumably Draper) registered http://www.theredrag.co.uk/ - 4 November 2008.

I've just finished doing interviews for Sky and the BBC News Channel on the subject and while I was on air at the BBC news came through that Charles Clarke has called for Damian McBride's head. In addition, the Labour Party Press Office has been trying to get Labour politicians to go on air and take the line that this is all a storm in a tea cup and the apology should be the end of it. Trouble is, so far they haven't been willing to find anyone to take the bait.

In addition, Nadine Dorries has gone public. One of the emails concerns her and she is demanding a personal apology from Gordon Brown and the head of Damian McBride.

Yesterday I predicted that McBride wouldn't have a job on Monday. After Charles Clarke's intervention, I'd say that prediction looks even better than it did yesterday. Mr Draper, meanwhile, has done to ground, thereby showing all the courage of the Prime Minister he serves.

28 comments:

Tom Dexter said...

Draper rises from the sea

There is no doubt these were silly juvenile ideas but that is all they were, juicy email evidence or not
By Derek Draper

You may have read about some emails I was sent in January and be wondering what is really going on. I am actually on holiday but I've taken an hour out to hit the keyboard and explain. Behind the hyped-up headlines the story is pretty simple. I've wondered for ages why the right wing have a near monopoly on websites that feature tittle tattle and teasing of their political opponents. But I felt strongly that such gossip wasn´t suitable for LabourList and kicked around the idea of setting up another blog, Red Rag, where such stories might be published.

I mentioned this idea to a few friends asking if they knew of any good gossip that was doing the rounds. Some of them said they weren't interested, but one of them, who works in Downing Street, responded by sending back some details of stories that were being gossiped about in Westminster. In truth these were a bit juvenile and inappropriate and some were in bad taste though I have to admit some were also brilliant and rather funny. As anyone involved in politics knows, though, people come up with lots of daft plans that don't make it off the drawing board. That's why if you visit Red Rag you will see there's nothing there.


Now, my Downing Street friend has admitted the emails were juvenile and apologised for sending them, and for any embarrassment he´s caused. The idea that this was some great smear campaign gives me and my internet work far too much credit and the idea that it was a big project orchestrated in Downing Street is ridiculous. The emails sent to me from my mate in Downing Street were the whole extent of his involvement, and they couldn't have taken more than an hour or so to write. Now people are trying to drag others into this to keep the story going. I can assure you that it was all just a batting around of ideas. Are we really going to judge people for having silly ideas, even if they then put them in emails to mates?

Imagine if all your emails suddenly became available to people wanting to damage you. That is, of course, the other question that needs to be asked: how were these emails obtained? Was criminal activity and hacking involved? Believe me, these are issues I will be looking at when I return from my holiday. "Blog wars" are one thing but hacking into people's emails is surely a step too far?

In the meantime there is no doubt that these gossipy stories were a silly juvenile idea but that is all they were, juicy email evidence or not. I regret having had the original idea even if it didn't go anywhere, but doesn't what's happened show the nature of these right wing blogs? They will stop at nothing to attack Labour people – it's me this week, who will it be next week? And they have the gall to talk of smears.

Let's not forget that the reason we are being attacked in the first place is because of the fact that we criticised the racist comments on one of these sites. And, incidentally, they are furious that my friend in Downing Street emailed me about that too, calling my attention to it, but I am glad that he did.

At the end of the day, though, the lesson is that we should leave tittle tattle and gossip to the right wing blogosphere. We on the left should concentrate on ideas, policy and campaigns, which is what LabourList, whatever is thrown at us, will continue to do

Curbishlyauto said...

Draper rises from the sea

Slithers from under a stone on the edge of a rather smelly cess pit.

golden_balls said...

Oh another post on this subject
someone poke me when normal service is resumed

cheers

Doug said...

I still wouldn't be surprised if there were no repercussions. This Labour lot have no shame. As Fraser Nelson points out McBride could be given the job of street sweeper but will still be central to Brown's strategic planning.

As Guido points out the Telegraph has been doing Labour spin job today but I was wondering where is Iain Martin? Is he on holiday or have they tied his hands behind his back?

Simon Gardner said...

OK. I’ll bite.

What could anyone possibly say about Dorries that could conceivably be actionable?

Plato said...

Well I believe him.

Siberian Tory said...

Oh come on Golden Balls! Normally I'd agree with you but we're talking about a situation which may well decapitate the Labour election machine!

It's terrible news for Labour and will derail their election plan. Any negative campaigning by them from now on in is neutralised. We can calmly point to this event.

Today is the day Guido Fawkes with a little help from Derek Draper destroyed Labour's election strategy.

Plato said...

I wonder what David Prescott, Tim Allan and Old Wegg-Prosser are doing today?

:)

Old Holborn said...

Derek has "apologised" on Lobotomylist

The idiot.

Old Holborn said...

"Imagine if all your emails suddenly became available to people wanting to damage you"

Labour passed a law allowing this just last week, Derek, you window licker

motuproprio said...

It really seems an awful lot of fuss about some schoolboy standard silliness. Much more interesting is the hacking or leaking of No10 emails.

David Boothroyd said...

If Nadine Dorries wants a public apology for things that were not said, why is she refusing to make a public apology to Ben Goldacre for what she accused him, quite wrongly, of doing?

(Which was, just in case anyone has forgotten, disclosing confidential information given to a Select Committee. The 'confidential information' in question had been published by the committee on the Parliamentary website)

Paul Halsall said...

I do tend to think attacking J Smith's expenses was doing the government more harm than this spat will. I suppose the thing is Tory MP expense stories are going to be as bad.

Wouldn't it be nice to actually fight an election on whether Government spending in the current, umm, financial crisis is a good idea; whether we should become more entwined with Europe or leave the EU, and how to restore civil liberties.

I see different sides on all these issues, and might even be tempted to vote Tory (although more prob Lib Dem) if the Tories took a strong stand on the specifics of restoring New Labour attacks on freedom.

What I am not interested is in who's putz has spots on it.

Oscar Miller said...

Motopropria @3.01

Smearing political opponents with obscene and tasteless lies is not "schoolboy silliness". Labour came to power with a promise to clean up politics and end sleaze. They have ended up wallowing in dirt. When caught out they try to laugh it off as trivial. I think you'll find the public don't find this remotely funny or trivial. And just like Nixon you're trying to deflect attention from your own corruption onto the people exposing the corruption. I think you'll find that trying to smear the messenger will be no more effective now than it was then.

Clive said...

So Nadine's calling for an apology for something virtually no one has heard? Perhaps the MP for Mid Narnia would do well to consider the words of Matthew 7:3 and "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Given her previous conduct in public, perhaps giving an apology to those she has wronged would garner more sympathy.

I'm also genuinely interested in what legal recourse any of those mentioned in the emails actually have.

Plato said...

Clive - just looked at your Blogger profile.

Clearly you have no agenda on this one.

*pfft*

I've voted for almost every party so am no Torybot but Labour have self-destructed on this one big-time and they deserve everything they get.

Conand said...

@Paul Halsall

I agree. The problem is that the Primeminister and his minions in #10 are intent on shutting down debate: In parliament, in the media and on the internet.
Maybe Brown is well aware that his government is inept and vicious and that is why he didn't reduce the #10 spin machine and have more regard for parliament, as he promised.

Clive said...

Plato,

Clearly you have no agenda on this one.

Amazing what false conclusions you can draw from a 1-line blogger profile, isn't it?

In answer though, yup, I genuinely don't have an agenda here. Personally I've abhorred the whole damn Project since not long after John Smith's death. That's damn near 15 years of disillusionment and dashed hopes.

People like Draper and McBride are talentless pondlife, but I somehow doubt that Labour has a monopoly on such people. At the same time, it is a bit rich seeing people like Paul hailed as the great moral crusader. Perhaps you missed his podcast of January 2006 where he drunkenly likened Mark Oaten to a paedophile? Or maybe you didn't bother reading the comments on his blog that spouted homophobic bile, vitriol criticising the mental health of public figures etc?

As far as I can see, the whole damn lot are engaged in a race for the bottom and the stench of hypocrisy from all sides is overwhelming.

If some good comes of this whole sorry mess, maybe it is that there can be a future focus on open debate of issues that affect all of us, rather than each side striving to out-tabloid the other.

I'm not optimistic though, not by a long way.

Pam said...

Details of registration redrag.co.uk as follows:

Domain name:
redrag.co.uk

Registrant:
Pushpinder Khaneka

Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant's address:
73 Fortess Road
London
London
NW5 1AG
GB

Registrar:
GX Networks Ltd t/a 123-Reg.co.uk [Tag = 123-REG]
URL: http://www.123-reg.co.uk

Relevant dates:
Registered on: 16-Apr-2004
Renewal date: 16-Apr-2010
Last updated: 27-Mar-2008

Registration status:
Registered until renewal date.

Iain Dale said...

My mistake. It is www.theredrag.co.uk

Pam said...

Registration details of 'theredrag.co.uk':

Domain name:
theredrag.co.uk

Registrant:
Ollie Cromwell

Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant's address:
The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their
address omitted from the WHOIS service.

Registrar:
Easily Limited t/a easily.co.uk [Tag = WEBCONSULTANCY]
URL: http://www.easily.co.uk

Relevant dates:
Registered on: 04-Nov-2008
Renewal date: 04-Nov-2010
Last updated: 04-Nov-2008

Registration status:
Registered until renewal date.

Pam said...

Re the above - not sure that Nominet will be too pleased if someone has used a nom de plume to register a domain name. Ollie Cromwell?? Not even subtle.........maybe it ought to be reported?

Minx said...

Is it me or can anyone else get onto Guido's blog? wonder if they have got to him?

Pam said...

Minx, the BBC have posted a link to Guido on the page below, so it MAY just be overloaded. Hopefully.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7995044.stm

Minx said...

Of course Pam, thanks, just getting this all the time:

Error establishing a database connection

Unsworth said...

@ Clive

"it is a bit rich seeing people like Paul hailed as the great moral crusader"

Who did this? Who mentioned 'moral crusade' - apart from yourself, of course. But presumably you regard this sort of behaviour by senior Civil Servants as being perfectly OK.

And "open debate of issues that affect all of us". Like what? Or do you think that you ought to be setting the agenda?

subrosa said...

The media are never going to confess the blogosphere is where the real news is. Why should they? If they did then they wouldn't have a job.

But most of us know the blogosphere is far more transparent and honest than any TV news programme of newspaper.

subrosa said...

Ooops that should have been 'or programme'. Apologies.