Draper Back, Forgiven By Some

The Telegraph broke the news yesterday that Guido’s favourite disaster-zone – Derek Draper – is back with his new political publishing outfit Ruskin. Iain Dale must be shaking in his boots…

If Dolly was hoping to launch with a bang, Guido would have recommended publishing a book that will appeal to more than just a particularly dull subsection of the New Statesman readership. Though having said that, those well known cash splashers The Guardian have already bought the serialisation rights to Rowenna Davis’s Tangled Up In Blue – a critique of Blue Labour. Since Blue Labour seems stillborn the book must surely be something of a post mortem. Guido was a little surprised Ms. Davis would be so willing to rekindle her professional relationship with Draper after what she said about her previous encounters:

“When I first met the site’s regular editor Derek Draper and his all-male staff to discuss potential questions for an online survey, he suggested with a grin that I ask “Is domestic violence always wrong?” and then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to set me up with James Purnell.”

And that was before Guido leaked Draper’s emails discussing her merits with his close personal friend, James Macintyre:

From: Derek Draper
Sent: 03 March 2009 15:19
To: James Macintyre; Roger Liddle

what’s the answer, though?

(if you are single you should pop in here on friday morning as we have the delectable rowenna davies here guest editing labourlist for international womens day)

fowrad to a harman led labour party

x

From: James Macintyre
To: Derek Draper; Roger Liddle
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009 15:15:49

He is very tall, handsome in a bookish sort of way. Very █████ and █████.

I am very much single and in need to remedy that. I ███ █████ ███ ██ Friday – who is this woman? Otherwise will have to try and pull Harman..

x

From: Derek Draper
Sent: 03 March 2009 15:26
To: James Macintyre; Roger Liddle

he sounds like a queer

(she says she’s a freelance journalist, quite lefty, very beautiful)

From: James Macintyre
To: Derek Draper
Sent: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009 15:24:35

well you called her delectable then appeared not to know her – anyway i see she is now v v fit – ridiculously beautiful – why she editing it – so you can look at her?

NO BECAUSE I AM LEADING A RADICAL OONLINE MOVEMENTA ND I HAVE ALWAYS EMBREACED THE FEMINIST CAUSE

thanks for emailing the labour woman – please let me know what her response is however negative – even if she says “i have heard he is a total wanker” as i know she will reply to you. x

Needless to say Macintyre was unsuccessful on his mission. Although Draper will apparently be keeping a low profile, he has been seen on the terrace with Gloria Del Piero with increasing frequency of late. Guido would like to take this opportunity to welcome him back to the scene. Oh how we have missed you…

The Huhnt For Yellow October

The Crown Prosecution Service have told the BBC that the Huhne case is “still under consideration” and that no announcement will be made on whether he will be charged before October. After some speculation that Huhne was getting complacent this should put him back in his box just in time for conference. Incidentally Andrew Rawnsley is sitting down with Huhne for 90 minutes at the LibDem Conference next week and wants to hear from you:

“You may want to see him talk about global warming. Or you may have a question about the future of the coalition. Or you may have other points that you’d like to put to one of the most prominent Lib Dem members of the cabinet. What’s your question for Chris Huhne? It can be about his past, the present or the future. It can be about policy, philosophy, power play or personality. Anything at all. You have the microphone.”

Guido is happy to compile your suggestions and send them over…

Friday Caption Contest (London Fashion Week Edition)

This week’s wittiest one liner will win a copy Let Them Eat Carbon, Matthew Sinclair’s devastating take down of all things green and financial.

Good luck.

Bi-Comms Disaster

After his story earlier in the week about pro-Israel lobby group BICOM, Guido was tipped that their CEO Lorna Fitzsimons, the former Labour MP, was in some serious trouble. He was tracking down an email that was accidentally sent out on Monday to some of BICOM’s media list instead of the intended recipients – the donors. Annoyingly Ephraim Hardcastle beat him to it this morning and reveals how Lorna blurted to the world that she has been:

“…liaising with BBC and Sky to ensure ‘the most objectively favourable line was taken…I briefed Jonathan Ford, the Financial Times leader writer for his upcoming leading article… BICOM had regular contact with the Editor at Large of Prospect magazine, David Goodhart, helping to inform him about the forthcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood…”

We have put the whole email online here. It’s standard lobbyist boasting, but Guido imagines the FT editors will take a dim view of any sign of them being influenced by a PR operation. A BICOM source tried to play down the story as “mildly embarrassing”, but it was the comment given to the Mail that really tickled Guido: “A BICOM spokesman denies that Ms Fitzsimons is to lose her job.” If you have to say it…

It is clear that all is not well at BICOM. The cock-up has apparently gone down rather badly, with some wondering how long Fitzsimmons can cling on. Two respected spinners have recently moved on after very short stays at the organisation – the LibDem Ed Fordham lasted just a month as their public affairs chief, and soon to be Head of Press at the Department of Education, Gabriel Milland, just six weeks. What can you spot in such a short space of time to make you run for the hills like that?

Ed Begs For Friends

This was just emailed to the entire Labour supporters email list. There is something quite touching, a little sad perhaps, about Ed asking for mates:

Dear Guido,

When I became Leader of the Labour Party a year ago, I said that we had to be a party that looked outwards, not just inwards.

Over the last 12 months, I’ve been working hard to live up to that, by listening and learning from people all over our country.

I’ve been talking to people in shops, factories, High Streets – and I’ve been using social media too.

Now, Google have invited me to have a profile on Google+ and I want to invite you to join me.

You already use Gmail, so the next step to keeping in touch using Google+ is easy – just add me to your circles.

If you’re not signed up yet, I have 150 invites to share and I’ll be giving them to people who respond to this email. Click here for an invite.

I hope to speak with you soon.

Ed Miliband
Leader of the Labour Party

A nice bit of free advertising for Google.

It seems it’s not just the Tories that they have under the thumb…

Centre Stage Hain, Cheryl on a Train

With a disaster on his doorstep in the Swansea Valley Peter Hain, the Shadow Welsh Secretary, has been hogging the airwaves all morning. Though he is the local MP, he seems to be trying to make  capital out of the Welsh mining tragedy. Guido understands that Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan is on her way to the site from London, feeding lines to the media on the way. She’s on a train. Presumably not a fast one though…

UPDATE: Hain’s office insist he was only part of the press conference at the specific request of the police.

Recovering europhile Danny Alexander admits to Standard

“I think there is no doubt at all that the flexibilities we have, not being part of the euro, have been very helpful to the UK in dealing with the economic crisis we’ve had…”

Sun Launches Politics Page

Coincidence? Maybe. The Mail’s Simon Heffer (Phd) now has a rival politics-on-one-page offering from The Sun‘s Tom Newton-Dunn (aka Neutron-Bomb). Basically all the paper’s political stories and comment, plus their Twitterfeed and a Westminster Hero/Villain of the week feature. This week the Westminster villain is Angela Merkel, who is actually in Berlin. Most newsworthy story of the day is an op-ed from David Laws telling readers to vote Conservative, sort of, whilst promising that the coalition will get rid of the 50% tax rate.  There are more political stories in The Sun than non-readers realise….



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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