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

  • Comment All we want is an investigation into founding a Northern Irish Labour Party

    All we want is an investigation into founding a Northern Irish Labour Party

    “There also be institutions between both parts of Ireland and between Britain and Ireland that will also respect diversity and work the common ground. Once these institutions are in place and we begin to work together in our very substantial common interests, the real healing process will begin and we will erode the distrust and prejudices of our past and our new society will evolve, based on agreement and respect for diversity. The identities of both sections of our people […]

    Read more →
  • Comment We need a public and transparent inquiry into the scandal of blacklisting

    We need a public and transparent inquiry into the scandal of blacklisting

    Today is the sixth anniversary of the exposure of blacklisting in the construction industry. Workers had always feared that blacklisting took place but it was not until the Information Commissioners Office raided the Consulting Association that the true industrial scale of blacklisting was revealed. There were 3,123 people on the Consulting Associations blacklist and 44 major construction companies used its services. The blacklisted victims had their livelihoods and often their lives ruined. Often they were unable to find work and many […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Tories’ plan is letting older people down – Labour have a better one 

    The Tories’ plan is letting older people down – Labour have a better one 

    This article is written by Rachel Reeves MP and Andy Burnham MP Older people have been let down by the Tories’ failing plan. Pensioners’ living standards have been hit by the Tories’ refusal to act on rip-off energy fees and pension charges, and social care funding has been slashed. No one will forget George Osborne’s ‘granny tax’, which saw 3.6 million pensioners lose an average of £68 a year. And the Tories’ have failed to come clean about the fact […]

    Read more →
  • News 12 target seats Labour are worried they might not win because of the Greens

    12 target seats Labour are worried they might not win because of the Greens

    There are 12 target seats Labour are worried that they could lose in May because of the Greens, Buzzfeed have found. These are all on Labour’s target seat list – the 106 constituencies the party think it could win back – usually Tory/Labour marginals or Lib Dem-held constituencies. However, this doesn’t mean the Greens are on the right track to win them. In the cases where they aren’t, the worry is that the Greens will split the vote on the left, […]

    Read more →
  • News Tessa Jowell still ahead in mayoral race, poll shows

    Tessa Jowell still ahead in mayoral race, poll shows

    The Evening Standard have released the results of their latest Mayoral poll, to see who Londoners would most like to be Labour’s candidate. And it’s good news for Tessa Jowell. Since YouGov last did this poll for the Standard, Margaret Hodge and Andrew Adonis have dropped out the race (the former hasn’t formally backed anyone yet, while the latter has thrown his weight behind Jowell). YouGov asked 1,011 people who they thought the best candidate would be for mayor. They […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit