Prime Minister John Key is firmly in the Green Party camp over political free speech and threatened legal action by Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.
Key this morning told told Breakfast that Greens co-leader Russel Norman should not apologise for comments made about Craig at Auckland's Big Gay Out.
"I don't know the ins and outs of all the comments, but essentially this is politics - it's a rough and tumble," Key said.
"The last week we had Winston Peters saying apparently, I had something to do with Huka Lodge, all of which was not true, but if I spent my life trying to sue people who said things I don't like about me I'd be in the courts every single day.
"It's just the nature of the business, you need to harden up a bit and just accept it."
He was talking after Craig threatened to sue Norman over comments Norman made a fortnight ago suggesting Craig thought a woman's place was in the kitchen and a gay man's place was in the closet.
Norman has not backed down from the comments and said he found Craig's views offensive.
Well, I was all set to write a post on what John Key should have said about this whole issue, as I was not impressed that he was siding with Russel Norman here. Except, re-reading the article for a direct quote about what Mr Key actually said, I can see there is no direct quote. With no direct quote, I cannot see how he is, in the words of the article, "firmly in the Green Party camp over political free speech." Nor can I see how he is saying that Norman should not apologise, as it looks like that part of the article is inferred from what John Key actually said, nothing of which he said that I can find fault with.
Had John Key straight out said that Russel Norman should not apologise, then he would be endorsing the view that politicians should be able to lie about their political opponents without consequence, and that is just a type of free speech that we should all get used to. Thankfully, without a direct quote, I'm happy to assume that our Prime Minister is being mis-represented in this Stuff article. A bit of an irony, given the subject at hand.
However, at the end of the Stuff article, there is this little clanger about what Colin Craig is likely to do with regards to the potential legal action that I cannot see how it could be inferred at all, therefore it must be true:
Craig indicated court action might be dropped if the cost cut too heavily into campaign funds.
"We have to make decisions between ultimately funding election campaigns or litigation," he said.
However Craig also said the legal action could be expanded to include further comments Norman made about him over the course of a number of interviews throughout the past week.
Seriously? Colin Craig wants to dig a deeper hole than the one he is already in, to justify himself? Argghhhh!!!! The old code of pistols at dawn would have better that this!!