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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Draper's life after politics
Derek Draper
Draper was one of Labour's bright young things
When Derek Draper opened his mouth and boasted of his connections to the people with power in New Labour it proved the end of all his political ambitions.

The former spin doctor to Peter Mandelson lost his job in 1998 in the fallout from the so-called 'Cash for Access' affair.


My big mouth and the accompanying aura of cronyism were enough to make the mud stick

Derek Draper
Writing in the Daily Mail, he says he is training to become a psychotherapist in San Fransisco- a far cry from being a mover and shaker in the Labour machine.

Now he claims that his lack of diplomacy is evidence of an already lost ambition to be, at least, in government and at most in Number 10.

Bouts of depression followed Draper's demise and even a successful career in advertising was not enough to tempt him to stay in London.

The reformed spin doctor is now a church-goer and student who says that therapy helped him find his way back.

"Work dominated my life. Virtually the whole circle was devoted to work and the socialising that accompanied it," he writes.

It has been a salutory experience for a man who drove a convertible Mercedes, drank champagne at the Groucho Club and mixed with Labour's big noises.

And then the scandal struck.

'Money-grabbing'

"My big mouth and the accompanying aura of cronyism were enough to make the mud stick and the my position as the 'outsider-insider' came to an embarrassing end," he writes.

Peter Mandelson
Mandelson was Draper's boss
"For me though Lobbygate was the end of a process of disengagement from politics rather than the beginning.

"Had my fervour for a political life been as strong as ever I would have kept a sense of discipline that would have forestalled a slide into a lifestyle of heavy partying and money-grabbing."

He says that beyond the trappings that came with being with power was a strong sense of lost personal freedom.

And the more he saw of "modern politics" the less authentic he felt it to be.

"It meant giving up the sense of being who I was; the right to be that somtimes confused, occasionally contradictory, fallible person that most of us are, but we expect our politicians not to be."

Draper says that if he does want to come back to London he doubts he will return to advertising.

Instead he says he want to build a psychotherapy practise.

See also:

02 Aug 98 | UK Politics
Lobbyist escapes disciplinary action
08 Jul 98 | UK Politics
Lobbyist denies 'secrets for sale'
05 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Toughen lobby codes - Draper
07 Jul 98 | UK Politics
Draper accuses Observer of entrapment
11 Jul 98 | UK Politics
Draper sold meetings with Mandelson
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