Friday, February 06, 2009

Will Iain Dale and Derek Draper please just grow up

I would never in a million years trust a Tory to defend any of our basic liberties, but I don't think Iain Dale is a racist.

Nor would I, to be honest, trust a member of the Labour Party to respect individuality and the right to freedom of expression but I don't think Derek Draper is the spawn of the devil.

The pair of them have been fighting all week about Iain's defence of Carol Thatcher's unfortunate turn of phrase.

Now, I wouldn't have used that terminology, nor do I like it. Others may take a different view. It would be good to debate these issues in a civilised fashion.

Instead we have an unsavoury and unseemly collection of hissy fits beteween Dale and Draper which seems to be polluting the entire internet. It seems to me that Draper is doing his best to stoke the fire and Dale is only too willing to be wound up.

It's gone from blogs to the media to Twitter.

Please can it just stop.

The internet is big enough for both of you. It's not some jungle where one of you has to be the King. Some of us actually like reading both of you when you are not trying to score points off each other. Can you not just draw a line under all of this and move on.

LibDig This!


Hywel said...

And no-one really cares anyway!

I'm a politically, reasonably frequent political blog reader and I was unaware of this until I read this post

Stephen Glenn said...

You go girlfriend.

Go Caron! Go Caron! Go Caron!`


Sorry just thought I was in the Rikki Lake studio or something.

Unknown said...

I agree, Hywel. It's just that it seemed like I couldn't go anywhere on the internet last night without coming across one or other of them stropping.

Stephen, you are funny:-)

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you.

Now that the full details of what Carol Thatcher actually said are emerging (not very nice) it's perfectly clear that she knew her language was offensive when she used it. Therefore, Iain Dale should apologise for his initial post where he defends her right to use a word which is a racial slur. Iain Dale got it very wrong and he should admit it and move on.

I am disgusted by the ignorant and vile comments that commenters are leaving on his blog. It appears that every nasty BNP and racist Tory has come out of the woodwork to comment on Iain Dale's blog. It's awful.

I actually think it's right and proper that Derek Draper has challenged Iain on this matter. Whatever you may think of Derek Draper, he's making a valid point. Good on him.

Jennie Rigg said...

"Some of us actually like reading both of you"

Really? For serious? You masochist!


Unknown said...

Actually, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, Jennie. Dale occasionally makes me laugh but I've never really got Draper.

Unknown said...

Canvas, there's challenging, which is fine, but publishing private e-mails, petulant Twitter updates, hissy fits here there and everywhere. I'm just bored. Enough already.

I'm with Shami Chakrabarti on this whole issue - ie yes it was a bad thing to say, but she probably shouldn't have been sacked. Will Young, also, with his culture of timdity remark was also fab on Question Time.

Anonymous said...

Is where I can leave my suggested hamster name?.....

Unknown said...

Neil, you can bet your life that our sweet, not very bright little bundle of fluff will not be called either Iain or Derek:-)

I wouldn't dream of being so prescriptive and you can make suggestions for the hamster name anywhere you like, but the original post is here:

Derek Draper said...

its a new story, we follow news

don't you care if a key blogger turns out to be an apologist for racism?

Unknown said...

I think that if you are keen on stamping out racism on the internet, there are some fairly virulent and unpleasant examples of it around - anything to do with the BNP for a start and the English Democrats sound pretty dodgy to me.

I wouldn't choose to start with Iain Dale. He's acknowledged his own errors in his initial take on the story and it is perfectly legitimate of him to say that he doesn't think that Carol Thatcher should be sacked.

The Director of Liberty said much the same thing on Question Time the other night.

This just seems more about picking a fight with a prominent Tory blogger than actually doing something about racism to me.

And what was with the publication of private e-mails? And following all his followers on Twitter?

And please don't say "he started it" or it will sound depressingly like the playground.

If you want to criticise, fair enough, criticise on your blog, but I don't think that your actions have done your cause any good whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Caron - Iain Dale made a bad mistake by defending the use of racist language.

If Iain chooses to ignore this fact, then fine, what can you do? But it doesn't make it right.

What Carol Thatcher said is very hurtful to many many people.

Iain Dale has a moral responsibility to his web community - he should apologise
Iain is blinded by the name 'Thatcher'. It is simply unacceptable behaviour and offends all fair minded people.

Unknown said...

Canvas, you posting is one of the reasons I am not in the Labour Party. There is no respect for individuality and unless you conform to some narrow definition of ideological purity.

If you take your comment to its logical conclusion, you are saying that I can't possibly be a fair minded person because I don't accept that Iain Dale is a racist.

However hurtful and offensive I migiht find that, I still publish your comment because I think you have the right to say it.

I think the term Carol Thatcher used was simply not appropriate. If you watched Question Time the other night, you will have seen Shami Chakrabarti explain very movingly how hurt she was when a uni friend used a similarly objectionable term. She took the time to explain her feelings and that person learned and never used it again.

A much more useful approach than that adopted by Derek Draper.

I am much more offended, by the way, by Peter Hitchen's comments in last week's Mail on Sunday which were completely homophobic, than by anything Iain Dale has said. Why is nobody going after him?

And finally, I think Mr Draper would do well to read and learn from this article by Jennie:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a member of any political party in the UK. As a dual national I can vote in the UK - and I will vote. In the USA I am a member of the Democratic Party.

*** > "you are saying that I can't possibly be a fair minded person because I don't accept that Iain Dale is a racist."

Who ever said Iain Dale was a racist? I certainly don't think he is. Iain Dale was blinded by the name Thatcher to the point of defending the use of Carol Thatcher's racist language. Surely Iain as a fair minded person must now realise that it was a mistake to do so.

*** > "I am much more offended, by the way, by Peter Hitchen's comments in last week's Mail on Sunday which were completely homophobic, than by anything Iain Dale has said. Why is nobody going after him?"

Iain wrote a brilliant article about this subject - even if the comments left under his post were truly awful and offensive.

This has nothing to do with 'individualism' - it has to do with fairness and zero tolerance to racism. I'm not concerned about Carol Thatcher getting her contract renewed. Most employers would consider the use of racist language on work premises 'gross misconduct'. That is up to the BBC to decide. I'm concerned about Iain standing by this statement he made:

"The logic of the BBC's argument is that the very mention of the word 'golliwog' is considered racist. Utterly preposterous."

It is not preposterous. Iain's lack of judgement is preposterous and he has a moral duty to take back those words.


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