Derek Draper is an arrogant sod

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 14, 2009

Category: The Political Weblog Movement

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
10:59 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Sometimes people miss key updates to previous posts (waves to BBD), so I’m putting a little alert here to draw your attention to breathtaking arrogance that rivals even Dale’s best efforts:

“i am building a site for 60 million people, not 60 bloggers” – Derek Draper

More here.

Draper treated my comment like dirt. Draper treated me like dirt.

He seems to think that this is unimportant in the face of his mission to convert the entire population to New Labour and draw them to his website, but we’ll see.

UPDATE – You may wish to keep an eye on the comments under this post, especially if you’re the creative type.


  1. Justin says

    The thing is, Tim, we're talking about a man who treats democracy like dirt: like accountability, honesty and civility don't get a look in.

  2. Manic says

    Just what we need; another corrupt carpet-bagger stinking up the joint and positioning himself as a pioneer of e-democracy.

  3. Will Rhodes says

    I said there and will say everywhere – 'From what I read on that site it is nought but a place for being told where to scratch the X on the ballot'.I would have though that they would put more into it – bejeebus – the Labour party are the party of power and still have a dire blog like that!They could have just signed up to so many already to go, and would work with minimal effort.I will keep commenting until they add me to the Z-list – I will keep blogging on my site as to why both Tory and Labour are not worth our votes – and I was a party member for years!Idiots they are.

  4. Andreas Paterson says

    Tim, as a Labour party member who quite likes the idea of Labourlist and would prefer this whole thing not blowing up into a pointless internet feud, can I ask what it would take to heal this rift before it gets out of hand?

  5. Manic says

    Hi Andreas.I'm sure many people like the idea of LabourList, but there's a whopping great chasm between that idea and the reality of what Mr Draper has delivered.Little-to-no research has gone into it. In fact, it appears to be something I've been warning folks about for quite some time; the spread of unprincipled tactics that begin with outsiders like Draper watching Dale and Staines and thinking; "Ah, that's how it's done."Thus the appalling level of comment censorship hidden behind a pile of deleted 'abuse', coupled with the same author dealing with any objections to that… with genuine abuse of his own! Classic Dale and Staines. Ditto for the spouting of meaningless numbers, like the whole country is sitting up and taking notice.'Feud' is not a word I would use. 'Mission' is more like it.If your interest is in a grassroots channel, you and others needs to know that Draper is not a safe pair of hands for this project or anything like it.Take for example his appalling attitude to other people's creative work (which also matches that of Staines especially). If he succeeds to any extent, his channel will be a decisive one for many new political creatives on the left, and their material will therefore be shared on his terms (which appear to be very much like those of legendary carpet-bagger Eric 'eBaum' Bauman).Take as another example his use of Schillings – Schillings! – without the first clue about what this might mean to other bloggers. I seriously suspect that he chose them on the basis that his wife has hired them in the past. I very much doubt that he has looked into the background at all, which is why he couldn't respond intelligently to my initial comment and instead filed it under 'trash'.As for what might fix things, Draper's dug himself one hell of a hole. He's already proved his insincerity, and any belated answer to my comment or apology for his behaviour at this stage is unlikely to be convincing… especially as he appears to have subjected me to this treatment without having the first clue about my past work.(I don't want to know that a man will apologise because his rudeness/actions might cost him something. I would rather believe that he would apologise because it's the right thing to do. Otherwise, it's just me and maybe a few others that he won't treat like dirt, and I can't see myself being very happy about that.)Maybe he can start by going away and doing some real research… but he'll still have issues with arrogance and corruption.And this only addresses his problem. The problem with the current Labour grassroots gap online is (*gasp*) a grassroots one.Take me for example; I refuse to do any work for this government or the Labour Party while Jack Straw is in the cabinet. This stance relates mainly to a small and insignificant piffle about the use of torture in the 'war on terror' (a term that David Miliband has developed a rather sudden distaste for, days away from an admin change in Washington).Labour cannot expect to engage with the wider leftish online grassroots movement (that predates the current Tory batch by years) without addressing subjects like torture and Iraq.(And even now might be too late, as they will be seen to be too weak to challenge that dimwit Bush and his neocon chums.)There will still be distaste for some policies and tactics, but at least Labour won't be facing widespread abandonment and open hostility from former/potential members and voters.They will, I expect, turn around to find a massive grassroots movement that's been ready to go for quite some time.And they won't have to rely on people with extraordinarily elastic principles to conjure one.

  6. Andreas Paterson says

    Hi Tim, Thanks for your reply.First point I'd say is that Derek's past will always be something of a millstone around his neck, there's not much he can do about it now. I'd like to believe that his intentions for Labourlist are honourable.I've read a lot of your stuff and appreciate your opinions on Dale, Staines and agree with your arguments about selective/retro moderation, sock puppets and such. I'd like to hope that Labourlist won't any of that.On your comment on the Mandelson post, I think it's worth pointing out that the comment moderation on that thread is pretty inconsistent generally, Hopi Sen (a well known Labour blogger and insider) had several of his comments trashed so it strikes me that whoever was moderating the comments was being a bit free and easy with the trash function.I'd also point out that Derek is human, and having found his shiny new website invaded by Tory Trolls was probably not in the best of moods when your emails landed in his inbox.I'll hopefully be running into Draper at the Fabian conference this weekend, I'll try to explain the history of the Craig Murray/Schillings/Fasthosts/Usmanov affair and point out a few of the finer points of blogging ettiquette.All the bestAndreas

  7. Manic says

    Oh come on, Andreas… I have better things to do than respond to this claptrap….Just kidding.:o)Re: "whoever was moderating the comments was being a bit free and easy with the trash function"I was led to believe by Derek that this was his action and his decision all the way. I take your point about his having a bad day with Tory trolls*, but the "boring repetitive stuff" he refers to in this thread was me pressing the point and giving him one chance after another to address the comment:…There is no question that he personally was dodging the issue. Repeatedly. He still refuses to address it, and has so far avoided another issue that I have raised today.I even waited until the next day and then made it ab-so-lute-ly clear how this one guest saw the situation and asked him to confirm if he was happy with matters as they stood:-Me: "So that's it, then? My comment is worthless because you say so,even though you can't say how, and what I think about that is of little tono consequence to you? Is that seriously how you want to leave this?"DD: "Yep"-Good luck with the history and etiquette lesson… but don't be too disappointed if he still lets you down afterwards.Cheers(*It was amusing watching Staines' resident thugs demanding of Draper a freer environment for author/host criticism than Staines would ever allow. Draper, of course, knows little about the history there, so probably failed to make/use that point. Instead he did what Staines has been doing for years; he hid the censorship behind the deleted abuse or justified trashing valid points/questions by grouping them with the abuse.)

  8. Will Rhodes says

    Now I am not 'sticking up' for Derek but I have seen a few times, so far, where he says that he is not a blogger and this is all new to him – for the love of Christ I cannot understand why, then, he is starting a blog from scratch, but still…if he has the balls to carry on with LabourList, maybe we should give him enough time to find out – like we did, the blogging etiquette that there is, I know it took me a while to find it out – yet it is on Google for anyone to see.Lesson 12568(a) sub-section B "Don't insult other, current, bloggers who know a damn-sight more than you; taking into account that their blog is far better than yours even though you know it you want yours to be on a par; better, impartial, independently edited, but have to follow a certain line because of your current backers, funders or prospective funders…or that you have links to a political party.If the site goes live on Feb 12th – then OK, but for the living God, he has to understand that people – of any political persuasion will help, if asked!I detest the current leadership and policies in the Labour party – but I would help him if he were to ask – yet I would expect that he show me some respect for the fact that I know a little more about blogging then he – or those who are moderating the frigging place at the moment.Obama didn't do it over night – he had a lot of help from a lot of people – if you want to use 'New Media' then get your act together and ask!

  9. Paul Canning says

    Timfrustrating to deal with such a/any arrogant a**e, but it's obvious already that this isn't going anywhere.As I commented on The Guardian website, clearly partisan (meaning representing a Party) sites just ain't going to get the traffic.Well that's my prediction …

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