Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has set his lawyers on Green co-leader Russel Norman, demanding an apology and retraction of comments Dr Norman made at the Big Gay Out.
Mr Craig has asked Dr Norman for a public apology, claiming the statements were defamatory.
The letter from Chapman Tripp says the offending statement by Dr Norman which screened on the television news related to how Dr Norman perceived Mr Craig's views on woman and gays.
Mr Craig has previously claimed women in New Zealand were promiscuous, and he opposed the gay marriage bill. [Not sure why the article stuck this in and missed out Russel Norman's actual comments ~ Lucia]
Mr Craig said he had taken the step of getting his lawyers to assess the claim and seek a retraction and apology because he believed the comments were inaccurate and were widely broadcast.
He said Dr Norman's comments did not reflect his views.
"I can't believe he would think [I believed] a woman's place is in the kitchen. If you look at our party policy and the way I've lived my life it's pretty clear our policy is that a woman should have choice. If they want to be in the home - and I would not limit that to the kitchen for a moment - they should have that option. If they want to be in the paid workforce they should have that option. It couldn't be more wrong.
Many commenters on KiwiBlog were right behind Colin Craig's legal action, seeing it as a good opportunity to expose the hypocrisy of the Greens.
While I defended Colin Craig's right to legal action last year when he was satirised by The Civilian, I have to say that a direct attack on what Norman said, made in a humourous way, would have been a better way of handling this situation. I'm sure ZenTiger can help in that regard.
Personally, by lawyering up, especially if it continues to be a trend for Craig, is going to make him look weak. Or as co-blogger Andrei said yesterday on KiwiBlog:
... I would be of his core constituency but no way would I vote for a man who goesAndrei's crossed out, "crying to mummy" phrase was picked up by NewsTalkZB's Larry Williams yesterday, indicating either an incredible coincidence, or a monitoring of political threads by media commentators. I'm guessing the latter.
crying to mummythe courts every time somebody offends him with schoolyard taunts
Further reading the NZ Herald article, I see this is a trend for Craig. Oh dear.
Mr Craig is renowned for calling in his lawyers over comments made about him - satirist Ben Uffindel was a previous target after a blog post written about Mr Craig. Mr Craig said he had so far sent about six letters relating to defamatory statements and about two complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. He said he had received apologies for each of them.This is my advice to Colin Craig:
Related link: Colin Craig sets lawyers on Green co-leader ~ NZ Herald