Speak ill of as “a ruddy awful paper” (8)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'speak ill of as a ruddy' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this defines the answer.
'awful paper' is the wordplay.
'awful' becomes 'bally' (I can't explain this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'paper' becomes 'rag' (rag is a kind of paper).
(Other definitions for ballyrag that I've seen before include "Browbeat, boss around", "Browbeat, hector" and "Intimidate".)