Tom Watson, the Minister for Mudslinging, is blogging again.
On reflection, this week wasn’t the most relaxing of family breaks to Cornwall. And for those that revel in these things, I can say with some certainty, that at times, it was the most miserable I have ever been.
Still, I did read another book. Perhaps I might add Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz to the list of 25 others, that have interested more book readers than I anticipated last week. (Is it only a week since I published the list? Seems like an epoch.)
The book gave moments of fragmentary pleasure during a dreadful week. As Mahfouz wrote “there whispered in my ear a voice at dawn: ‘Congraulations to you – the time for making your farewells has been decreed.’ Deeply affected I closed my eyes and saw my funeral moving along, with myself at its head carrying a large glass filled with the nectar of life”
Yes Tom, the time for making your farewells has been decreed. Large glasses have been raised by Blairites…
UPDATE : Tom Watson not be attending the government’s big Digital Britain Summit today, he lies his excuse is that despite being the “Digital Engagement Minister” he only got his invite on Wednesday. You can’t hide for ever Tom.
You have to laugh at Charlie Whelan – the poisonous mudslinger bleating that he is the victim of “Tory dirty tricks“. It wasn’t Tories who were planning dirty tricks was it? It was Charlie and his mudslinging pals.
You have been caught doing what you have always done.
Hat-tip: Strathspey and Badenoch Herald
He says he “takes full responsibility”. Still no sign of a letter of apology to Iain Dale or Guido yet…
Guido was too late to get the “Save Draper” campaign going. People don’t realise what a disaster this is – what will Guido do for comedy material?
Labour’s general-secretary Ray Collins has thrown him overboard already. In an NEC announcement leaked to Iain Dale, rather than LabourList, the entertainment provided by Derek was brought to an end.
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.”
Psychologies magazine, where Derek Draper had a regular column, announced today that:
“Derek’s position is being investigated independently by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists to reveal if he really is guilty of the allegations made about him, what the background and details of the story are, and how all of this affects his standing as a therapist.”
Guido doesn’t have any psychotherapy qualifications, so this is not a professional judgement. In Guido’s opinion a man who thinks smearing an innocent woman over mental health issues is “absolutely brilliant” is not fit to deal with vulnerable people. The BACP has been dragging its feet over concerns that Draper lied about his qualifications. It is a fact that Draper was expelled from his course at the Wright Institute (in Berkeley, not at Berkeley).
His desk is already on Ebay…
No severance pay-off. Quite right. James Purnell’s announcement that unemployed alcoholics will be refused benefits must be a double blow. However the government says unemployed alcoholics who seek treatment will be able to claim benefits. McBride should seek help from Draper, he is a sort of psycho-therapist…
It is still there. Another post on the same day (now deleted) accused Guido of being “a silly little public-school toff who ran drugs parties and made a bob or two in the City” – never mind the fact that Tony McNulty went to the same grammar school as Guido. “So Guido Fawkes claims that David Cameron attended raves, presumably the illegal sort. Well [he] should know. Isn’t it fitting that the disgusting site he runs is probably named after the pinnacle of his life’s achievement: The Sunrise rave (second Guy Fawkes edition) on the 4th November 1989.!”
Note that there is an almost puritanical streak in the attack; Guido did drugs and partied in his twenties, the parties were probably illegal. Well it is hardly a secret that Guido has libertine as well as libertarian tendencies. That is a feature, not a bug. Cameron is the same age and probably equally as louche is the tenuous smear by association.
The day they launched their smear counter-attack incidentally was Guido’s fortieth birthday. It was very irritating.
Statement Released by Carter-Ruck Solicitors:
“We have today been instructed by government minister Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich, in connection with allegations concerning him and the emails exchanged between Damian McBride and Derek Draper relating to a proposed website entitled ‘Red Rag’.
“We have today written to the editors of the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail to complain about the publication of the false allegation that our client had knowledge of, and participated in, Mr McBride’s actions.
“We have made it clear that our client has confirmed to us that he was not copied in on any of the emails exchanged between Mr McBride and Mr Draper, nor was he aware of them or their content until their existence was first drawn to the attention of Downing Street by national newspapers, on Friday April 10.
“He still has not seen them. We have further made it clear that our client had no involvement in or knowledge of the ‘Red Rag’ website.”
The Mail should ask to see all the emails between McBride and Watson over the last year as part of the discovery process. Will be worth the money…
UPDATE : BBC reporting Brown has written letters of regret to those smeared.[…]