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:

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.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Draper Needs Anger Management Therapy

Tribune’s Rene Lavanchy reports back from yesterday’s official press launch of DraperList, where Draper lost the plot shouting at the Guardian’s David Hencke
“Justify the headline in that fucking story! Go and change it before you become the laughing stock of the lobby!… Doing Guido Fawkes’ dirty work…”

In the Independent this morning the headline is

Sparks Fly as Draper Meets his Tormentor
By Henry Deedes

Derek Draper yesterday became embroiled in the sort of fracas Westminster hasn’t seen for many a year. The editor of the much-vaunted DraperList website was hosting a “Bloggers Breakfast”, an event aimed at discussing Labour’s internet strategy attended by Peter Mandelson. Proceedings were civil until The Guardian’s political journalist David Hencke entered the fray.

“Draper squared up to him, jabbing his finger, insisting he’d end Hencke’s career,” says an onlooker. “It was quite nasty.” The row was about a Hencke piece accusing Draper of “spinning” his qualification to imply that he had obtained an MA in clinical psychology at the world-renowned Berkeley branch of the University of California. Draper went to the Wright Institute in Berkeley.

Draper, a qualified psychotherapist, rebuffs the claim. “People can say what they like about my politics but if they question my professional reputation it is more serious,” he said. “It made me angry and I didn’t have a problem with showing it.”

One account says that Draper had to be restrained by a horrified Labour press officer. Now what was it that Draper told that blogger’s fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference last year? The quote was:

If you want to be a superstar blogger and get the headlines yet lose Labour the election, you can just f**k off.

Psycho-therapist heal thy self.

Guido has more bad news for Derek – Guido has more evidence coming that Draper has misled people as to the source of his qualifications. Come on Derek, serve that writ or “you can just f**k off.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Draper : I Didn’t Go to Berkeley

David Hencke has got Draper to admit that contrary to the impression he gave him for a recent Guardian profile, his qualification comes not from the world famous Berkeley, but from a small private institution called the Wright Institute in California.

According to the report

Unlike Berkeley, the privately owned Wright Institute, according to its website, does not offer full-time degrees. Instead it is aimed at graduates who want most of the week off for other activities. It says: “Our new masters’ programme is designed for students who want a high-quality graduate education and prefer to attend classes on weekends only.”

This course is remarkably good value by American standards, for just $6,525 you too can get a masters…

UPDATE : Draper says this morning that he didn’t go on this particular course, his course was full time. He says he never said he studied at Berkeley, University of California, he said he went to Berkeley, California. To study. Different you see. Yet on his professional website it mentions nowhere that he studied at the Wright Institute, just “Berkeley, California”. It is all the Guardian’s fault and he is going to sue. Stop digging Derek. You will be laughed out of court.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Same Old Draper, Spinning Lines Once Again Exposed for Exaggerating His Credentials

Derek Draper boasts of having an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Guido wondered if his education could perhaps be applied usefully to the occupant of No. 10, Downing Street. So Guido thought it would be a bit of a laugh to track down Derek’s Master’s dissertation and see if it had any pearls of wisdom that could be applied to the state of mind of the Prime Mentalist.

A quick bit of Google research brought up a recent profile (July) and biography in the Guardian written by David Hencke. In the largely sympathetic article we learnt that Derek is a reformed character and no longer the legendary unsavoury spinner. Even a bitter old foe like Roy Hattersley has been won round:
He is Like a Character in a novel. There is always a whiff of danger because you don’t know what he is going to do next

The spin doctor turned psychotherapist has returned to the Labour fold … Hattersley, who recently lunched with Draper, says: “I believe he is now a changed man. He’s got older, is more measured. I don’t whether it is because he is now a psychotherapist or his marriage but he has changed. He will be an asset to the party.”

Helpfully the Guardian biography includes his CV:

Born August 15 1967 in Chorley, Lancashire

Education Southlands high school, Chorley; University of Manchester, economics; University of California, Berkeley, MA in clinical psychology

Family Married to GMTV presenter Kate Garraway. One daughter

Career 1990-92, constituency secretary to Nick Brown; 92-96, researcher for Peter Mandelson; 96-99, director of lobbying firm GPC Market Access. Briefly a columnist for the Express and presenter on Talk Radio; Currently a psychotherapist with a practice in London.

Having now discovered where he got his qualifications Guido contacted the registrar of the prestigious Berkeley campus at the University of California to track down the dissertation. He, and the academic librarian, were unsuccessful in finding the dissertation. Strangely the registrar could find no actual record of a student called Derek Draper:
Because the information you provided did not match any records in our database, we asked the school to research your request. The school was unable to locate either a degree or enrollment record for the subject of your verification request.

Nothing. Derek Draper never studied psychology at Berkeley, University of California. His professional practice website implies he did, though if you read it carefully it says “in” rather than “at”.
Like all good “celebs” Draper has an agent, the CV he sends out to potential bookers says, you guessed it; Berkeley, California. The truth is that a leopard can’t change its spots, he learnt how to spin from Mandelson, like his master he can’t help himself. Derek Draper wants to be Labour’s answer to Iain Dale, instead he seems more like Labour’s version of Jeffrey Archer. A fantasist who exaggerates himself for his own psychological reasons.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Draper’s Champagne Socialism : Do the Union Members Approve?

Guido approves of the decadent way DraperList hands out champagne willy nilly to encourage readers to comment and sign up for Derek’s twitterings. Co-conspirators here are lucky if they get a T-shirt. Just hope the poor credit-crunched minimum-wage-paid members of the union which funds his ego trip – Unite – are as understanding. As these Twitters show, Draper is literally p*ssing their money away for his own egotistical reasons:

just before i go to bed i have decided to give a bottle of champagne to my 1000th follower.
did i really decide this last night? must have been a bit pissed. oh well, a promise is a promise

Hard to see how it serves the workers interests to pay out their dues to Draper’s fans in the form of champagne…

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Downing Street Needs Draper More Than Ever

Derek Draper’s online campaigning skills are clearly not going to win Labour any votes, perhaps the greatest service he could do his party would require exercising his professional skills. Somebody surely needs to re-connect Downing Street to the reality of the High Street. While Gordon lauds “the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order”, shop after shop is being boarded up as retail chains go bust and jobs are lost. It is Gordon’s denial of the truth that is so apparent.

Interviewer after interviewer, as well as Cameron repeatedly during PMQs, has asked him to admit that he was wrong to claim to have “abolished boom and bust”. Gordon can’t or won’t, because he is too psychologically flawed, face up to reality. How can we secure a national recovery when the head of government is in total denial? Gordon clings to the idea that the recovery will have begun by the end of the summer and that he can win the next election by running around like a headless chicken doing anything for headlines, costing billions in economic vandalism and shouting empty slogans. Derek, your leader needs you…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Same Old Draper, Spinning Lines

In the beginning of New Labour there was spin and young Derek Draper was a child of that, in fact he spun so much that he toppled himself in a sleaze defining moment for New Labour. When you speak to Draper nowadays he is, more than most ever so sensitive politicians, keen to set the terms of the discussion, what is on the record, what is off the record, whether he is going to be quoted or whether it is for background.

So it is in this context that Guido reports that when he was tipped that the new site was going to be called “LabourList” and there had been discussions about a “DailyDraper” blog he called Draper who denied the truth of those names. Point blank denial. Which turned out to be totally untrue.

After LabourList launched Derek posted this comment on this blog

you did get the name right guido, so well done!but what became of the daily draper you rwote so confidently about? mole got his whisker’s twisted?

You know, Derek is a compulsive spinner in the, errm, Jeffrey Archer mould. You would think from that comment Guido had got it wrong, alas a co-conspirator draws attention to this website registered last month:
Domain name:
dailydraper.com

Registrant :
Derek Draper
One Lower John St.
London
W1F 9DT

There is only one twisted spinner in this tale Derek…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Draper Site Crashes Live on TV

Saturday, January 10, 2009

LabourList Surfaces

As Guido exclusively revealed (and named) here last month, Draper’s LabourList has finally soft launched. The grand launch was scheduled for Monday, however that clashed with Gordon’s Downing Street Jobs Summit, which meant that it didn’t fit on Mandelson’s media grid, so it was shunted back another month. That in a nutshell is how you will have to view the operating basis of the site. It is a party controlled forum, unlike ConservativeHome, which is a party supportive site. This is going to be a much more controlled environment than Labourhome, which for all its faults, was also more grassroots orientated.

Therein will be LabourList’s major structural fault, however much they may deny this, it is a top-down tool of Labour HQ. On the right ConservativeHome scares, irritates and frustrates CCHQ, Dale is his own man with his own loyalties and Guido is on the whole contemptuous of CCHQ. LabourList will be far more on message. That is deep in New Labour’s DNA.

Guido wishes it well, Labourhome has never really found an editorial direction, LiberalConspiracy still has promise, even if it will never have broad grassroots appeal or the focus of a party structure to sustain itself. LabourList does seem to be heavy with a lot of the same old faces, with no pesky loony lefties, so it is hard to see it being that exciting. We shall see…

UPDATE : Dale has similar thoughts.


Seen Elsewhere

Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times
Stop Bercow | The Times
Speaker Cornered | Times
Britain’s Beheaders | Speccie
‘Underclass’ Is Dave’s Fault | Conservative Women
Civil Liberties/Privacy NGO Hires New CEO | Big Brother Watch
Why I Won’t Join UKIP | Dan Hannan
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? | Ron Lauder
Labour Swing Extends Deep into Tory Seats | Lord Ashcroft


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Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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