There has been much puzzlement, and not a little anger, with the recent activities of Derek Draper who, in following Iain Dale's Twitter feed and then deciding to follow everyone who follows it, has impressed upon many that he doesn't really get it. Alright, it should be said that, from his perspective, there is little to be lost by annoying a bunch of Tories and Lib Dems. One presumes that he is learning something from this.
It is interesting though that his appearance coincides with Labour proposals to monitor and retain our e-mail correspondence. Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist - who needs one when you have Guido and his band of cranky, foul-mouthed renegades - but I'm astonished that nobody has suggested that the two are linked.
Naturally, access to the e-mail addresses and written thoughts of millions of citizens would give any who had it a unique perspective on the way we think, would allow them to accurately determine political allegiances and to eavesdrop on internal party communications. How could anyone believe that our Government, or a Government of the future, could ever abuse such a database? Who would believe that such data could be lost, stolen or even sold? Perhaps, as a Revenue & Customs official, I shouldn't answer that question...
Alright, I'm not being entirely serious, partly because I just can't believe that such a thing would happen. However, if you create a tool, it is not unreasonable to think that someone might use it.
Returning to Derek Draper though, his rather blundering efforts thus far have providing some entertainment. I for one don't presume that he has some Svengali-like influence over the Labour Party's e-campaigning - let's face it, he's had a rather overblown sense of his own importance for some time.
So, let him build a reputation. If it is a positive one, he'll become a counterbalance to the blogging legions of the Right. If it is negative, he'll achieve a degree of notoriety, and a solid if unspectacular readership base, until someone better comes along. The blogosphere needs a credible multiplicity of views, and for all of his failings as displayed so far, if he helps to provide a platform for new, fresh voices, we may end up owing him a small debt of gratitude.