Why I’m considering legal action against the Guido/Hencke smear

12th February, 2009 7:15 am

by Derek Draper

I have been astonished this morning by a brazen attempt to smear me by Guido Fawkes and David Hencke of the Guardian. What makes this so reprehensible is that it is not about my work here at LabourList or as an ex-Labour spindoctor. I expect to be in the firing line for those activities.

But this is different. This is about my work as a psychotherapist. Every week I see vulnerable people, some with life threatening mental illnesses and it is a disgrace to call into question my professional qualifications on the most concocted and inaccurate of grounds.

I have never claimed to have attended U. C. (University of California) Berkeley. I have always said that I gained an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from a school in Berkeley. What is being alleged is akin to suggesting that if someone says they “studied economics in London” they are claiming to have studied at the LSE. U.C. Berkeley is a college. Berkeley is a town.

The Wright Institute, where I studied is a highly respected college. It is tightly regulated by the American Psychological Association. It happens to be next to the U. C. Berkeley campus, and we could use the U.C. library and gym. but the school is wholly independent.

Furthermore I did not attend the course described by Hencke. Indeed it did even not exist when I went to the college. My course was an M.A. and involved full time study. It also involved training placements involving thousands of hours of supervised clinical work. It is probably one of the most thorough and intense psychotherapy trainings in the world.

Both Hencke and Guido point to an error the Guardian made in a “details box” when they profiled me last summer. But that information never came from me. I didn’t even see it at the time. After all, I am not a fact checker for the Guardian. In fact it was probably Hencke’s mistake.

Several people have told me that Hencke colluded with Guido on this, an attempt to undermine me on the day of LabourList’s launch.

This behaviour is unprofessional and, as I said earlier, reprehensible. That is why I have instructed my lawyers to consider what legal action I should take and to prepare a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.

In a sense all this does is show how worried the right and their gullible partners in the mainstream media are about LabourList. But while they can attack my political activities as much as they like, they should leave my work as a therapist out of it.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • News Video Ed Miliband rattles Boris Johnson on the Marr sofa

    Ed Miliband rattles Boris Johnson on the Marr sofa

    Ed Miliband gave what I thought was his best and clearest Marr interview this morning – including stating in the clearest terms yet that there won’t be a Labour/SNP deal after the election. He was also far more assertive and confident than he’s been in previous encounters. But by far the best session of the Marr show – and perhaps the best clash of the election so far – was Ed Miliband taking on a clearly rattled Boris Johnson afterwards and […]

    Read more →
  • Video Gary Lineker takes the mickey out of David Cameron on Match of the Day

    Gary Lineker takes the mickey out of David Cameron on Match of the Day

    What does a political gaffe “cutting through” look like? Well having Gary Lineker take the mickey out of the Prime Minister on Match of the Day seems like a pretty clear example: Gary Lineker mugs off David Cameron on MOTD #villagate https://t.co/vqvFIfJmsh — Labour Press Team (@labourpress) April 25, 2015 Come on you West Villerhams!

    Read more →
  • News Video Boris appears to concede that Labour will win the election

    Boris appears to concede that Labour will win the election

    Boris Johnson was on Andrew Marr this morning – and he appears to have called the election for Labour: Well that went well…

    Read more →
  • Featured News Ed Miliband says “I’m not doing deals with the SNP”

    Ed Miliband says “I’m not doing deals with the SNP”

    Ed Miliband was on Andrew Marr this morning – and he went further than he’s gone before on ruling out a a Labour/SNP deal. Miliband said: “I’m not doing deals with the SNP” And when pressed specifically on “confidence and supply”, Ed Miliband ruled that out too. Miliband specifically rules out confidence and supply deal with SNP #MarrShow — Ian Katz (@iankatz1000) April 26, 2015 That’s far further than the “no coalition” formulation that has been used before – and […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour plans to cap rents to give “Generation Rent” a more secure future

    Labour plans to cap rents to give “Generation Rent” a more secure future

    Ed Miliband has announced plans to cap private sector rents as part of a package of plans to help those living in the expanding private rented sector. The plans are pretty similar to those unveiled before last year’s European and Local elections (which I praised at the time). They’re also similar to the rent pledges pushed by Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds back in February (which may suggest that the media gives a disproportionate amount of coverage to policies announced by party […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit