A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Two new blogs

First up my Stoke Newington neighbour and Labour comrade Matt Cain is now blogging, and has a go at Compass here.

Secondly Derek Draper now has a personal blog so that he can rebut some of the incoming fire he is taking from Guido.

I have to say I find it very distasteful that Guido has sought to undermine Derek's professional reputation in a job that has nothing to do with his political life, quite apart from the stream of probably libellous comments about Derek's family and personal life that Guido allows to be posted by his commenters. There's quite enough legitimately for anti-Labour bloggers to attack/disagree with about Derek's politics and past without the very personalised way in which Guido has sought to undermine Derek's work life in recent days.

It doesn't really encourage people to contribute to debate on the blogosphere if you feel that by doing so you set yourself up for character assassination that might damage your ability to earn a living.


Blogger Letters From A Tory said...

Oh great, that's the last thing we need.

As if Derek Draper isn't boring us all to death with his schoolboy antics, he's now got another outlet for deliberately winding people up in a desperate attempt to appear relevant.

9:47 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Paulie said...

Luke, you're missing the key point about Guido.
He's not interested in improving debate.
He's one of that class of libertarian that thinks democratic politics is not the right way to run things.
For him, it's unregulated markets or nothing. His blog is a very effective instrument in pursuit of this goal.
What baffles me is the number of useful idiots he has outside his own bizarre political clique.

10:13 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

Paulie is right.

10:16 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I see.

I've never met anyone with those views in "real life" hence my confusion!

How come he used to be in the SDP?

10:19 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Matthew Cain said...

Thanks Luke. So much for my quiet entrance to the blogosphere!

I'm not sure that Guido has had the destructive impact on the mainstream media he sometimes claims but he does seem to have exacerbated a culture of 'print first, then ask' which is deeply damaging.

10:50 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Max said...

Why would anyone sane choose to work with a proven greaseball like Draper?

For the Labour Party to entrust their communications in his hands is indicative of collective terminal dementia.

10:53 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Old Holborn said...

Draper earns a living from blogging?

You jest, surely.

He only gets 725 readers a day

10:54 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Plato said...

Mr Draper has smeared another prominent blogger as a racist. I think that's pretty reprehensible and could have had/indeed may have a very major impact on that journalist's integrity/credibility.

If he stuck to promoting Labourlist and stopped being the story then there would be no mischief to make.

wv hypolosy - perhaps the study of double standards?

10:57 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Plenty said...

Why can't LabourList get on with offering sensible politics and moving on the so called New Labour vision which at the moment is dead in the water - instead of indulging in schoolboy politics. The very fact that there was a song and dance about it yesterday has only given blogs like GUIDO more publicity. Had GUIDO not the tools for co-conspirators to get in contact with him, his blog would not be that popular....

Have to say prefer John Prescott's blog than LabourList....


11:08 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Chris O'D said...

I've never met anyone with those views in "real life" hence my confusion!

'Keyboard Warriors' sums them up.
Go to the spectator blog - they have such fun agreeing with each other

11:19 am, February 13, 2009

Blogger Shamik said...

Where are those people in "real life" who believe Gordon Brown is doing a good job?

12:30 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

They were 51% of the voters in Enfield last night.

12:33 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous Phil C said...

Maybe they were voting on local issues and not Gordon?

12:45 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If so, then any concerns they have about the govt didn't put them off voting Labour implying they were not major.

12:47 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Bishop Brennan said...

"I've never met anyone with those views in "real life" hence my confusion!"

I think that's probably because people like you don't live in 'real life' - certainly Labour Ministers don't (hence their inability to comprehend public disgust at their troughing on allowances, etc.).

The reality is that, outside narrow Labour circles, people are asking whether the welfare state behemoth you have created is necessary, sustainable or even benefits anyone other than the most criminal or lazy elements in the UK. People are p***ed off with a crap education system, a crap police 'service' and a crap 'justice' system - one that your targets and nonsensical notions of 'social justice' have completely screwed up.

I don't see Labour coming up with a coherent answer to these problems, because you're too blinded by PC baggage and a belief that the state can solve all the world's problems to see it. Sadly, I suspect the same applies to the Tories.... those of us who are lucky will emigrate before things get too bad... remember, Argentina was the world's richest country in 1900 - only to be screwed up by socialists. There, sadly, lies the UK's fate.

1:06 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Draper is a psychotherapist how come he's said to earn a living as a blogger, and now with Labour/Labourlist?
Is it that he isn't good enough at any of them to make a decent living?

1:08 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Shamik said...

Well, of, course, there is one way for Gordon to put his popularity to the test...

Leadership contest, general election; does he have the cajones? Does he ****!

1:16 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Obnoxio The Clown said...

I've never met anyone with those views in "real life" hence my confusion!

Labour Party activist since 1988 - firmly on the moderate wing of the party. National Secretary of Labour Students 1995-6. Parliamentary candidate for Aldershot (2001) and Castle Point (2005). Hackney Councillor (Chatham Ward) and Labour Group Chief Whip since 2002.

Where in that lot do you see anything approaching "real life", Luke?

1:40 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Phil C said...

It's a bit of a self-selecting sample, no doubt with a low turnout. You can take it as a vote in favour ofthe Government if you like but personally I think you are deluding yourself.

2:07 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


However abnormal my own life as a party activist is, it does force you to interact on the doorstep, over the phone and at advice surgeries with a very large number of ordinary members of the public -I canvassed over 10,000 people personally during the 18 months before the last general election, for instance. Because I've stood in Tory seats in Hampshire and Essex the people I've met can't all be written off as Hackney lefties. And not once do I remember the extreme libertarian views prevalent on the blogosphere being put to me.

2:13 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

"Leadership contest, general election; does he have the cajones? Does he ****!"

The question, Sham, is do you? Or any candidate you'd back?

Personally I've never understood why you don't just go blue, but that's a whole different story...

2:19 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have been debated in Parliament!


2:28 pm, February 13, 2009

Blogger Shamik said...

Yeah, great question Tom! Why don't I stand for the leadership...


The real question shouldn't be why I'm in the party, but why an ex-Trot anti-war type like yourself should have joined in 2003 when a party like "Respect" under Galloway would've been closer to your heart than Labour under Blair; where's the logic?!

3:39 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous Dave H said...

Shamik, can I just point out that Tom is the loyalist here, and you are being disloyal to the party.

There were enough ulta-Blairite MPs to force a leadership contest if they had wanted one. They either thought Brown was the right man for the job or THEY didn't have the cajones, as you put it.

I suppose it can't be much fun being a Blairite when even Peter Mandleson has realised that it's gone out of fashion! In fact, the only people in the party who share your position seem to be a cabal of political heavyweights of the quality and reputation of Siobhan McDonagh.

Luke always praises the virtue of loyalty. It's at times like these that you can see which people really are loyal to the Labour party, and those to whom loyalty is something only ever demanded of other people.

4:19 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous Dan J said...

Folks, if you are going to go all US pop culture on us and 'bring the Spanish' (to paraphrase Aaron Sorkin), you have to get it right. C-O-J-O-N-E-S.

Though of course Tom and Dave H are merely quoting Shammie's original mistake and show expert analysis otherwise.

5:07 pm, February 13, 2009

Anonymous T_i_B said...

If Derek Draper is the future of Labour blogging then the Labour party is going to be in big trouble.

Labourlist makes all the usual Blairite mistakes and is becoming the laughing stock of the net.

11:13 am, February 14, 2009

Anonymous T_i_B said...

If Derek Draper is the future of Labour blogging then the Labour party is going to be in big trouble.

Labourlist makes all the usual Blairite mistakes and is becoming the laughing stock of the net.

11:13 am, February 14, 2009

Anonymous stephen said...

I think that's probably because people like you don't live in 'real life'

Well I am not a politician or engaged in political hackery, and I am certainly a trenchant critic of New Labour, but I haven't met anyone in 'real life' that has Guido's extremist libertarian views. I think most people understand that there is a necessary role for the state to play in the regulation and provision of public services. There certainly isn't a groundswell of public opinion for the abolition of the NHS.

12:56 pm, February 14, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

New ComRes Poll: Labour now 16 points behind, and only 3 ahead of Lib Dems. Meltdown imminent.

I blame Draper.

7:52 pm, February 14, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it bizarre that when one man and his dog turn out in council by-elections that no one - and I mean no one - could give a flying fxck about, Luke tries projecting it as a national picture.

At least when the good people of Crewe and Nantwich returned a Tory he had the sense to write it up as a one off protest vote.

Why the difference?

And defending Draper undermines your own blog. Do you now condone deliberately misleading people with CVs etc?

8:27 pm, February 14, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Luke, -
I am advised that Derek Draper, the owner and operator of LabourList has recently embarked on a campaign to ensure that Guido Fawkes removes racist and homophobic “hate speech” from his website


I should note that while Guido was not personally responsible for posting these comments he did immediately remove them, however Derek Draper is still calling for both Labour and Conservative-leaning blogs to cease linking to Guido’s site.


I note that in a recent article celebrating this victory over racism Derek Draper makes reference to his political enemies as “window lickers”, a well known and derogatory term referring to the mentally disabled.



I call upon you to remove Labourlist as well as Draper’s personal blog from your blogroll until he removes this vicious hate speech from his website and issues a public apology.

9:12 pm, February 14, 2009

Anonymous no boom just bust said...

The childish Draper antics are no more than a smokescreen to try and deflect people away from the horrendous poll results for Labour;and of course the snouts in the trogh antics of its senior ministers Jacqui Smith last week and to-day apparently Darling.

No more lectures about greedy bankers please.

1:24 pm, February 15, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I don't know why anyone bothers to read Guido in any case - what's the point? Does it tell you anything about Tory right-wing extremists which you don't already know?

Libertarians are bonkers. remember that when you read anyone connected with them in any way and you won;t go far wrong.

10:29 pm, February 15, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

With the defection of David Freud does this mean that the conservatives are happy with the current welfare reform package? I personally don't like the idea of privatizing the NHS and I don't like the idea of these officials being offered a place in the lords for being un-loyal.

Isn't it about time that we started to question how people are nominated for a place in the lords. Shouldn't we be considering the idea that the nation should be able to elect people from the community to also sit in the lords....

11:33 pm, February 15, 2009

Blogger Hughes Views said...

Off topic but you might be interested in this week's Radio 4 Book of the week. It's Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire by Iain Sinclair. Available to "listen again" to (or even for a first time!) at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/book_week.shtml

10:10 am, February 16, 2009


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