This morning, Labourlist and Derek Draper hosted another of its breakfasts, titled "New Labour, New Media". The event took place at Labour HQ, it was sponsored by Tangent Labs.
Bloggers’ Breakfast: “New Labour, new media”Now lets look at ConservativeHome. Has ConHome ever hosted a special breakfast for Tory bloggers at CCHQ? No. Has ConHome ever provided an event with access to Shadow Cabinet members at CCHQ or elsewhere? No. That is because ConHome really is independent of the Conservative Party. LabourList on the other hand uses the party headquarters for its meetings.
Thursday 12th February 2009
Media Centre, 39 Victoria Street, SW1H 0HA
7.45 Coffee, fruit and pastries
8.00 Chair's introduction - Derek Draper
8.05 Welcome - Ray Collins, Labour Party General Secretary
8.10 Introductory remarks from panel: Lord Mandelson, Douglas Alexander MP, Tom Watson MP, Sue Macmillan and Greg Jackson
8.30 – 9.30 Q & A to panel
9.30 Informal networking over coffee
Of course, there would be nothing wrong if LabourList avoided trying to make the claim that it is independent. However, the fact that LabourList's website is hosted on the same server as official Labour Party attack sites like "David Cameron's Economic Policy can only lead one to draw certain conclusions.
Their own legal and financial statements make it clear that they know they're skating a thin line as they admit they're discussing their status with the Electoral Commission. They claim to be funded by advertising but there are no adverts on the site. They claim to be funded by sponsorship but there is no evidence of who is sponsoring them. ConHome is funded by Stephan Shakespeare, that is a known and transparent fact.
LabourList may not receive money direct from the coffers of the Labour Party, but lets not forget that the Labour Party itself, along with many of its high profile members, have not exactly been "whiter than white" when it comes to funding transparency and following the rules.
Until LabourList comes clean and clears its own name about how it is funded its independent integrity will always be questionable. Is it any surprise so many in Labour blogosphere are slagging it off?