Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today on DraperList

Guido will keep today’s update short:
The National Organisation of Labour Students’ Philip Honour, a campaigner and listed contributor to Draperlist, wrote on Dolly’s Wikipedia entry that “A rumor that Derek has been asked to handover control of Labourlist by influential Labour party insiders is yet to be confirmed.” Guido understands that it was in fact Dougie Alexander who had a frank exchange of words with Derek.

Mencap accept Draper’s apology (as reported in the Indy this morning) over “Window-Licker” abuse and consider the matter closed. On the other hand MIND, the mental health charity which (as reported by this evening’s London Standard) made Derek “Mental health Journalist of the Year 2007″, would rather not comment – even through gritted teeth. Draper’s press handling as skilful as ever.

Guido keeps calling and emailing his alma mater the Wright Institute (in Berkeley, not at Berkeley). Unfortunately, it seems to be just an answerphone at the other end…

And finally: after last night’s premiere of Draper’s Downfall, some unkind Labour wags are calling DraperList the “Volks Blog”. Derek himself Twitters that he is appalled, embarrassed and flattered by the parody. So one more time with the flattery:

LibDem Surpise Speaker is Liberal Democrat Howard Dean

Ed Davey is very chuffed at having secured the attendance of Howard Dean at the LibDems Spring Conference in a fortnight. Dean will be advising them on his experiences of online campaigning and, errrm, losing. Still at least he made an impact on the national psyche, with his famous screeeaaaam. Given today’s polling, perhaps Clegg needs to clear his throat…

Ciao Fella! David Mills Gets 4 1/2 Years Jail Time

+++ IPSOS/Mori : 20% Point Lead +++

Tories +4% to 48%
Labour -2 to 28%
Lib Dems 17%.

The Prime Mentalist’s personal ratings plummet: Two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with Gordon Brown.

UPDATE : From the small print of the poll:

  • The public’s opinion of how David Cameron is doing his job as leader of the Conservative Party has shown a slight increase since last month: 43% are satisfied and 34% dissatisfied, yielding a ‘net’ figure of +9, which is a three point increase from last month (last month’s figures are 44% satisfied and 38% dissatisfied).

  • Similar to last month, around a third (35%) of the public are satisfied with the way Nick Clegg is doing his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and a quarter (26%) are dissatisfied. As in previous months, however, the most frequent response to this question is ‘don’t know’ (39%).

The deal is not yet sealed for Dave and Clegg still can’t make an impact…

Harman Wants Brown to Sail Off into Sunset on "Lifeboat"

Jackie Ashley set the cat amongst the pigeons yesterday with this story:In it she claimed that Gordon was being lined up for an international job as a super-regulator by Angela Merkel. Jackie said the storycomes from quite close to the inner core.” Like the Deputy-Leader’s office? From another member of the sisterhood? Ben Brogan is pointing the finger at Harriet Harman, claiming that “Brown was the victim of a botched spin operation by the party’s deputy leader amid signs that his authority is weakening.” Who better to be a caretaker leader if Gordon goes off into the sunset on a lifeboat or for ill-health reasons than the current deputy leader? She could hold the party together as it takes the inevitable punishment at the polls, performing the same role that Michael Howard did for the Tories. Labour could do worse…

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Defence of Derek Draper

Ever the contrarian, it falls to Guido to defend poor Derek, the pressure must be getting to him, universally criticised even by his own readership.

How else do you explain that after getting a little bit of criticism from some of his readers on his DraperList blog, he abused them as “Window Lickers”. Which is something Guido too has done in exasperation with some of the loonies who leave comments on this blog. The fact is that any high traffic site attracts a fair number of nutters, and unfortunately they are far more likely to leave comments than ordinary readers. Derek has now made amends and given two full apologies, both on DraperList and his own personal blog.

Guido usually has to retro-moderate comments, deleting those he deems over-the-top or are pointed out to him as such, after they are published. Fortunately for Derek he has a £20,000-a-year assistant (paid for by the Unite union) to filter out the bad comments for him. Unfortunately they couldn’t stop Draper leaving offensive derogatory comments and saving him from himself.

Just before Christmas Guido wrote a long piece reflecting on the problem of the Economics of Blog Comments. Derek must have read it – it was in that piece that Guido referred to some of his comment makers as “window-lickers”. Worth re-reading Derek.
Still perhaps having learnt another lesson, he will show a bit more humility on this subject now. Or maybe not…

UPDATE : It is a rite of passage and a tradition in the blogosphere to do a mash-up of Downfall at important moments. Laugh out loud at Draper’s Downfall. It is priceless.

+++ Blair Wins $1 Millon +++

He has all the luck, left Downing Street when the economy was fine, now he wins a million bucks.

Gordon on the other hand…

Jonah Brown Mini-Curse

Guido thought the BMW Mini plant was doomed back when Gordon met the works apprentices. However production struggled on until last Thursday when the curse was doubled. Gordon signed a Mini for a charity photo-opportunity. Four days later:

BMW to shed 850 jobs at Mini plant
Source : FT

On that same day Gordon announced full confidence in Glen Moreno, his appointed chairman of UK Financial Investment Ltd, the government’s bank holding company. Moreno quit that afternoon.

The next day was Friday the thirteenth, truly ominous. He travelled to visit Tata’s Corus Steel plant in the Midlands. This morning the Indian Times reports

Mr B Muthuraman MD of TATA Steel is targeting to save about GBP 600 million this year from production cuts at its UK subsidiary Corus. Mr Muthuraman added that “Corus has cut production … initiated several short term measures in terms of cost reduction”

The accursed one-eyed son of the manse continues to desolate the land…

Brown is Meeting the Pope this Week

Your Holiness, don’t do it, please. Guido is afraid for you.

The curse, the curse….

Tories Want "British Food for British Tables"

The Tories are launching a celebrity strewn campaign this morning for Honest Food, by which they mean clear labelling of country of origin. Fair enough, but it smacks of protectionism, what the wonks call a “non-tariff trade barrier”. The benefits of free trade are that we get the cheaper goods and services from countries exploiting their comparative advantages.

Nick Herbert MP, the new shadow farming minister who should really know better, will be putting the crypto-protectionist case to the NFU conference this afternoon. If only British farmers were more successful exporters they would not be so keen on this idea. They should be exploiting the collapse of the pound to open up export markets.

The campaign video was quite good though:

Guido will be sticking to Kerrygold butter, Irish pork sausages, Italian truffles* and French foie gras – no matter what Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Prue Leith and Anthony Worrall Thompson say.

*Guido recommends the excellent eFoodies for all your caviar, truffles and foie gras requirements. They let you order online and deliver to your door.

Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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