Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lucia Conservative Colin Craig vs Green Russel Norman

Hmmmm, not sure that lawyering up everytime opponents mischaracterise you is a good idea.

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 goes crying to mummy the courts every time somebody offends him with schoolyard taunts
Andrei'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.

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

5 comment(s):

CoNZervative said...

I disagree Lucia. I think there is a growing Chorus amongst the liberal political elite and the MSM attempting to meme Colin. He needs to protect his brand, especially in election year, and this is the only way he has to defend his reputation from those who just make stuff up. All he's asked for is a retraction and an apology (which is as much a message to the public as Norman). It's not so much a case of "dealing with it" as sending a signal, that this kind of bullying is unfair (and it damages his political prospects). I'd do the same.

Andrei said...

We need a voice in Parliament for the socially conservative constituency but it takes a lot more than founding a party called "Conservative" to rally people to gather under this flag.

If anyone is to do it they need to talk about the things that matter - families, education and so forth.

Instead it has been distraction after distraction - how on earth did Colin Craig allow himself to be tricked into talking about the moon landings in 2014? Why isn't he talking about his policies on reducing family breakdown etc etc

Does he actually have any real ideas.

Anyway after the next election and the new Parliament is safely ensconced we will suddenly find that euthanasia is on the agenda, I'd put money on it.

And I'll just about guarantee you that this is a topic that will not be discussed in depth during the campaign and if it does appear in any party manifesto it will be buried somewhere deep inside the Greens one - this is something that will be sprung on us without discussion - IF WE ALLOW THAT.

So I suggest to you my friends when you go to election meetings this year pin the candidates down on this matter. Make them state their position publicly before the election and don't allow them to prevaricate or slime out of it

Andrei said...

I think there is a growing Chorus amongst the liberal political elite and the MSM attempting to meme Colin

Yes there is, no doubt about that, and if he wants to lead the Conservative movement within New Zealand he will have to learn how to counter it all by himself.

Just look at the way John Key deflected an attempt to cast him as a rich out of touch elitist living in a plush mansion in such a way that the charge exploded in the face of the one who had made it, yesterday.

That's how it is done

Lucia Maria said...

Hi John,

The problem is that in trying to protect his brand, he's creating an unintended reputation which can be illustrated by the picture in my post.

Harriet on KiwiBlog said that Tony Abbott was considered a type of man who believed that women should only be in the kitchen and gays should stay in the closet, or something like that. I don't recall hearing about Abbott sending in the lawyers. From my Googling, it looks like he appeared on a cooking show with his wife and daughters instead - putting himself in the kitchen.

While I can understand why he's doing what he's doing, I just think it's a bad idea. It's like if you are being bullied in the playground, maybe the best way to handle it is to punch the bully rather than calling in the teachers, you know what I mean?

Lucia Maria said...

Yep, totally agree, Andrei.

Did you see John Key's comment that The Conservative pulled out from the Big Gay Out? He basically said that if he didn't support gay marriage, it wouldn't have passed. He'll probably do the same with euthanasia, even if it comes up as an opposition bill.

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