Stringer, Slater throw Bible back at Craig

John Stringer and Cameron Slater continue to jointly fight Colin Craig, throwing some Biblical references back at Craig.

Last Wednesday Colin Craig made two announcements. The first:

The first of the 2 major announcements today is the publication of a booklet that outlines the dirty politics agenda and what they have been up to in recent weeks.

The first false claim is that I have sexually harassed one or more persons. Let me be very clear I have never sexually harassed anybody and claims I have done so are false.

The second false claim being bandied about by the Dirty Politics Brigade is that I have made a pay-out (or pay-outs) to silence supposed “victims”. Again this is nonsense.

Again in a similar vein is the false allegation that I have sent sexually explicit text messages or “SEXT’s” as they are known. Once more this is not true. I have never sent a sexually explicit text message in my life.

The fourth false claim that we highlight in the booklet and that was being spread about by the Dirty Politics crowd was that of another alleged “victim” of sexual harassment.

The second announcement was that Craig would take defamation action against John Stringer, Jordan Williams and Cameron Slater:

The second announcement today is that we will be taking legal action for defamation against the Dirty Politics Brigade. It does not serve this country well to have a group of people who influence public opinion through a web of deceit and media manipulation.

We identify in the booklet 3 key people in the campaign against me. Each of these will be held to account for the lies they have told. Formal claims are being prepared and I expect these persons will have formal letters from my legal team within the next 48 hours.

The booklet distributed by Craig referred to Stringer as:

  • the ‘Judas’ within the Party.

CraigBookletCoverAmongst the claims against Stringer:

Stringer must have therefore thought it a “Godsend” when the allegations of sexual harassment against Craig began to emerge.

Two days later Stringer had a letter from a lawyer published on Whale Oil by Slater that said:

COLIN CRAIG: DEFAMATION ACTION

  1. We act for Colin Craig and have been instructed by him to prepare defamation proceedings against you.

Stringer has returned fire. Today Slater published this cartoon signed by Stringer:

unnamed

The Bible bashers continue to square off.

Both sides seem confident in their righteousness. They can’t all be right.

Legal action via media

There’s been a number of prominent examples of people using legal action in parallel with media campaigns.

This week Colin Craig launched a media blitz before even filing defamation action, and he has continued to work the media as much as he can via follow up interviews and social media promotion.

If his claims against Jordan Williams, John stringer and Cameron Slater hold up then it will have been a nasty campaign against Craig.

But why would Slater in particular make accusations he couldn’t back up knowing that Craig had a history of legal action? Slater has a lot of experience in legal actions so will have been well aware of the risks and what caution was prudent.

And the way Craig has used the media as his main form of attack questions his credibility in some ways. He seems to be more intent on fighting a PR battle using the threat of defamation as one of a number of tools.

It looks more like grandstanding than defending his integrity.

The timing may be influenced by Craig’s obvious ambition to get enough support in the Conservative Party to be reinstated as leader.

Is he playing to the party audience? To some extent that must be his aim.

But when legal action – presuming he follows through with defamation proceedings – is overwhelmed by a media blitz then it appears that legal resolution is not the main aim.

And if it gets to court the public campaigning may be taken into account in making any judgement of possible damages.

Craig has drawn more attention to what has happened and what has allegedly happened than anyone else, and he continues to do this via media.

Even if, despite all the self generated publicity, he manages to get a favourable court decision that will probably take too long for him politically.

He appears to want to be Conservative leader soon and to contest the election in 2017.

Sure if his claims are correct he has reason to feel aggrieved but his political comeback seems to be his primary focus, and legal threats look to be one of a number of means towards an intended end.

This looks very political, so that plus Craig’s media blitz must raise questions about the potential effectiveness of any threatened legal action.

Craig can reasonably be questioned what his priority is, resurrecting his political career or his personal integrity.

Is this legal action via media? Or media action with legal threats thrown in?

(Note to Craig: you have a right of reply)

Craigs’ media statement

The Craigs’ media statement on the release of their booklet about the Dirty Politics Brigade and an announcement that Colin Craig would take defamation action for a total of $1,550,000 against Jordan Williams, John Stringer and Cameron Slater.

Colin and Helen Craig Media Statement re: Dirty Politics Brigade
29 July 2015

Colin:
Thank you for coming. My wife (Helen) and I will be making statements after which I will be taking questions from the media.

It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party. I did so because it had become clear to me that there was a strategy (involving some characters identified in the “Dirty Politics” book) to remove me as leader of the party.

Standing down enabled me to better understand the strategy being run against me and gave me time to plan and respond. We have made good use of that time.
There is in this country a group of people who believe that they can manipulate political outcomes. They have been labelled the Dirty Politics Brigade and last year in his best selling book “Dirty Politics” author Nicky Hagar shed some light on who these people are and how they operate.

Today is a good day because this is the day we start to fight back against the Dirty Politics Brigade who have been running a defamatory strategy against me.
The first of the 2 major announcements today is the publication of a booklet that outlines the dirty politics agenda and what they have been up to in recent weeks. There is a copy here for each of you to take away after the statements today.
Although I was broadly aware of the dirty politics agenda, I have after all read Nicky Hagar’s book, I had not expected to have such close and personal attention from them.

In our booklet we reveal that there has been a campaign of defamatory lies to undermine my public standing, a campaign that in the Dirty Politics Brigades own words they describe as a “strategy that is being worked out”. I shall briefly cover some of their lies so you have a taste of what the booklet contains.

The first false claim is that I have sexually harassed one or more persons. Let me be very clear I have never sexually harassed anybody and claims I have done so are false.
The second false claim being bandied about by the Dirty Politics Brigade is that I have made a pay-out (or pay-outs) to silence supposed “victims”. Again this is nonsense. Take for example the allegations around my former press secretary. Let me be very clear, the only payment I have made to Miss Macgregor since her resignation is an amount of $16,000 which was part payment of her final invoice. It was a part payment because I disputed her account which I had every right to do. Claims of any other amounts being paid and especially the suggestions of large sums of hush money being paid are utterly wrong and seriously defamatory.

Again in a similar vein is the false allegation that I have sent sexually explicit text messages or “SEXT’s” as they are known. Once more this is not true. I have never sent a sexually explicit text message in my life.

The fourth false claim that we highlight in the booklet and that was being spread about by the Dirty Politics crowd was that of another alleged “victim” of sexual harassment.

It is here that that many of you, the media, started to get suspicious and to “smell a rat”. A number of you in private conversation with me expressed concerns about a smear campaign and doubts that the story as it was unfolding in the media was true. While I am grateful that many of you chose not to run the “other woman” story I do wish that the same good judgement had been exercised earlier with other false allegations.

[I trust that you will be co-operative in retracting and correcting false reports that you may have posted/reported.]

The second announcement today is that we will be taking legal action for defamation against the Dirty Politics Brigade. It does not serve this country well to have a group of people who influence public opinion through a web of deceit and media manipulation.

We identify in the booklet 3 key people in the campaign against me. Each of these will be held to account for the lies they have told. Formal claims are being prepared and I expect these persons will have formal letters from my legal team within the next 48 hours. Due to the serious, deliberate and repetitive nature of the defamatory statements I will, for the first time, be seeking damages in a defamation claim.

The first defamation action is against Mr Jordan Williams. I will be seeking damages from him of $300,000.

The second defamation action is against Mr John Stringer. I will be seeking damages from him of $600,000

The third defamation action is against Mr Cameron Slater. I will be seeking damages from him of $650,000

Today the line is drawn. Either the dirty politics brigade is telling the truth or I am. The New Zealand public need certainty about the truth of these claims. This is about who is honest. Is Colin Craig telling the truth or is it the Dirty Politics Brigade. Let the courts judge this matter so we know whom to trust.

Helen:
This is about who you can trust ….. and you can trust my husband, he is a good and trustworthy man. In the nearly 28 years I have known him, Colin has proven himself to be a man of integrity and honesty, one who owns his faults and doesn’t dodge responsibility. And that is why I again choose to stand with him today and why he has, and will continue to have, my full and unwavering support.

For those of you who will wrongly assume, once again, that I have been dragged into making a media statement by Colin you are, once again, wrong. I am here today because there are important things which I want to say for myself.

Indeed, I have to say, I find it very surprising that some commentators have criticised my choice to speak out. We have good women in this country and a good woman knows how to stand with her man when he is under attack.

The last 6 weeks have been a very difficult and surreal experience for us. It has not been fun to be victimise by those responsible for a series of false allegations.

I have been astounded with each new allegation and wondered what absurd thing they could come up with next. I did not expect politics to be easy but I did hope it would centre around fair debate of the issues. Such a determined campaign of defamation was not something I ever expected and I do wonder how the Dirty Politics Brigade can sleep at night.

On a more positive note, however, there have been our many dear supporters. I did want to again say thank you for the wonderful love and care we have been shown as a family. To family, friends and the many hundreds of supporters whom have taken the time to contact us I want you to know it has made a difference and encouraged us more than words can easily say. We so appreciate you and can’t thank you enough.

That is all I have to say today and I won’t be answering questions. Thank you.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1062974263713507&id=146745782003031

3 News video of the media conference, report and a copy of the booklet: Colin Craig takes ‘Dirty Politics Brigade’ to court

Note that Craig begins with “It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party.”

But as posted here, Craig still acting as Conservative leader

Craig still acting as Conservative leader

To all intents and purposes Colin Craigappears to be still acting as leader of the Conservative Party, even though he resigned as leader and automatically dropped out of the party Board over a month ago.

Craig announced a press conference this afternoon on Twitter:

Press Conference
Wednesday 29 July at 2:00pm
Level One, The Spencer on Byron Hotel
9-17 Byron Avenue,Takapuna

Please be advised that Colin Craig will be holding a Press Conference at the above time and date. Colin will be making two significant announcements, and he will take questions at the end of his address.

He will also be available for interviews afterwards.

Bev Adair-Beets
Media Liaison – Colin Craig

His Facebook looks like he is still campaigning, and he still has an authorisation message.

He linked to this from his twitter account where he is still presented as “Leader of The Conservative Party of New Zealand”:

CraigRwitter28-07-15

On the Conservative Party website Craig is still listed as leader:

Head Office

Conservative Party HQ

Party Leader

Name: Colin Craig

Email: Via Press secretary

Cell phone: Via Press secretary

Press Secretary for Colin Craig

Name: Bev Adair-Beets

And that same Party press secretary is listed on the Press conference promo as “Media Liaison – Colin Craig “

It appears that Craig’s resignation as leader on June 19 made little difference to him leading the party.

xx

“A Whale Party would have sensible, centerist policies”

Whale Oil is still kicking over the debris of the Conservative party train wreck – Behind the Scenes of the Colin Craig Catastrophe – where John Stringer laments are quoted.

In the thread (a sparse thread, interest is dwindling) a couple of comments raise the issue of an alternative right leaning party.

Cavalier:

Now that the Conservative Party is dead, NZ needs a political party that represents voters who lean to the right. With National now firmly occupying the political centre-left, there is a vacuum only partly occupied by ACT who many distrust as being too far out.

Mainstream Mike:

Yep. And why not a Whale party? For the Auckland elections, and the general elections.

Conservatives are dead; ACT is dead; Labour is dead; NZF is a joke; the Greens are worse than a joke.

Cam doesn’t even have to run for office. The example I’m thinking of is Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement: built from nothing by Italy’s biggest blogger. Now it decides the government.

A Whale Party would have sensible, centerist policies: low taxes, lower benefits, gun rights, no unions, no affirmative reactions, retire public debt by selling state assets. M5S (Five Star Movement) gets 25% of the vote. A Whale Party could easily do the same.

2.5% would be challenging enough for a new party, 25% is a fantasy of Craig proportions.

Besides I suspect Slater has aims of closer to 50% by getting Judith Collins installed as next National leader. He has already begun campaigning towards this by trying to hasten John Key’s retirement or defeat.

I’m not sure the “sensible centerist” and “Whale Oil” are a natural fit, that’s about as discordant as “Colin Craig” and “conservative”.

And while ‘sensible” can be debated I’m a bit doubtful that “low taxes, lower benefits, gun rights, no unions, no affirmative reactions, retire public debt by selling state assets” are exactly ‘centerist’.

Plus it would take a lot of sales of these…

small

…to finance a serious party bid.

Stringer: “some other king hits to come” against Craig

Ex Conservative board member John Stringer was interviewed on CTV News last Monday. He said there were more serious allegations yet to come out about Colin Craig and it was just a matter of time they were published by media.

…there are some other king hits to come yet and I want to send a challenge out to the people still supporting, after all the allegation, there is more to come. Colin Craig has got more to come.  It’s coming out and it will come out.

Stringer says that media already have documentary evidence but are waiting on legal issues to be dealt with.

Chris Lynch: You quit because you want to want to say more about Colin Craig. Why? Why now and what else do want to say about Colin Craig?

John Stringer: Well Colin Craig’s not being truthful. There are a number of falsehoods being perpetrated. One of the really significant things is that Colin Craig has been suspended by the party, yet is using the confidential party database to write letters to members defaming me and others. He’s done that three times now, and that will be subject to a complaint to  the privacy commission.

JohnStringerCTV

Lynch: So that’s obviously a major concern for you. What else is it about Mr Craig, because I would have thought his political career is almost over.

Stringer: Well this comes back to the central concern that the Board had right at the beginning, that Colin Craig has no political acumen or any judgement, and after all this nonsense over the last two weeks Colin Craig still thinks he can lead the Conservative Party having resigned, having come off the board and being kicked out of the party.

Craig claims the kicking out of the party is invalid.

Stringer: I mean he doesn’t seem to have any awareness that his political currency is bankrupt.

There was a discussion about the current status of the Board. Then:

Lynch: You say the reason why you resigned from the Board so you could speak out about Colin so let’s just go back to that. So he’s been using the membership database to what, to spread what?

Stringer: Well he’s written a letter about me to the entire party membership. Ah on Saturday he put a ballot out, only to select members. All the people who’ve criticised Colin have been deleted and they haven’t got a ballot saying ‘please come back Colin’. I mean that’s been distributed using the party database. Now that is absolutely wrong. It breaches both the Electoral Act and the Privacy Act.

He shouldn’t be using our intellectual property, and our our property, to perpetrate his private citizen opinions about members of the Conservative Party.

In an interview in response to this Craig said “Um, we’ve got hundreds, probably well over a thousand responses in already, um that’s giving us a flavour. Certainly the vast majority are supportive.”

And on the re-election of a Board: “…and that’s our standard process in the Conservative Party, we’re a party that believes in referendum, we’re a party that believes in the right of people to decide, that’s the way we elect our board”.

Lynch: You’re still a member of the Conservatives.

Stringer: Absolutely.

Craig claims Stringer was thrown out of the party by the Board Chairman just before resigning. Stringer disputes this.

Lynch: Surely their brand is now tarnished. Why not just take yourself off?

Stringer: Well I think we can survive once Colin Craig’s been removed. I mean there are some other king hits to come yet and I want to send a challenge out to the people still supporting, after all the allegation, there is more to come. Colin Craig has got more to come.  It’s coming out and it will come out.

The Conservative Party and the leadership and governance, look just remember, eleven of Colin’s governing officials have resigned because of his behaviour, and because we’ve seen the documented allegations about him that are still to come out.

That should send warning bells and red flags to the party membership.

Lynch: You are saying tonight there are more allegations, serious allegations against Colin Craig to come out?

Stringer: There are. Yes several of the Board members have seem those documented. That’s why they resigned. Nobody resigned from this party because I spoke out in the media following other members speaking out. Colin Craig is untenable as a political leader of anything.

Lynch: But here’s the rare thing, we’ve got a man who put his money where his mouth is, so essentially can’t you say that he was the person who started the Conservatives. So in a way, isn’t he, the Conservative Party is Colin Craig in a way isn’t it?

Stringer: I’ve never accepted that. It’s always been about, I mean Colin said at the last conference ‘I sit here as leader at the behest of Board [the Conservative Board selects their leader]. The Board suspended him from the party, and he’s been kicked out.

Lynch: But you have to accept the fact that Colin Craig and the Conservatives go hand in hand. When you think of the Conservatives you think of Colin Craig. You can’t get away from the Colin Craig.

Stringer: I accept that point yes, but there’s a future for a Conservative Party without Colin Craig, and that’s what I’m trying to achieve.

Lynch: Is there?

Stringer: I think there is, yeah

Lynch: Why do you say that with such certainty given everything that’s happened?

Stringer: Well because our constituency is consistent. We got almost four percent in the last election, we got a very good result in the first election in 2011 when we’d only been going a couple of weeks, I mean that shows that there is a hard core Conservative constituency in the New Zealand electoral spectrum, and that won’t go away because of Colin Craig. They’re committed to the principles and values of our party.

Lynch: All right John you say there’s more serious allegations to come out. Who will make those allegations then, and how will we, when will they come out?

Stringer: Well, I know that the media have got them and they’re waiting to release them. However we’re trying to resolve the legal issues around the confidentiality.

Colin Craig wants to lift the confidentiality. Why hasn’t he lifted it? What is he hiding?

If he wants it lifted it, he’s already breached that confidentiality with Rachel MacGregor, so my challenge to Colin Craig tonight is Colin, just release all the information.

If you’re innocent of all these claims, you’ve got nothing to hide. You’ve breached it already. There’s nothing to be lost.

Craig has done an interview in response to this – see Craig still trying to rescue the Conservative Partyand claims:

I am in a position where I can’t talk openly and freely about all the allegations that have been made. Ah we have requested the ability to do that. Um and it would be great to be able to do that. But that’s what we’ve asked for but we haven’t got agreement from the other party to do that so until we have that ah we are a little bit hamstrung in terms of what we can actually respond to.

So Craig blames MacGregor – but has been doing a lot of responding anyway through the media, absent any specific details.

It appears to be tied up by lawyers. Craig seems to be betting on the lawyers keeping it quiet.

There have been indications by other media that there’s more.

Cameron Slater keeps threatening more damning revelations, and not just related to MacGregor – are other issues involving Craig also legally gagged?

Both sides seem to be playing games with this both in the media and with lawyers – high stakes games when the future of Craig’s political career in particular is concerned, but also the for the future of the Conservative Party which must be badly damaged by all of this.

It’s hard to see the Conservatives with Craig recovering anywhere enough to match last year’s election result again, let alone achieve the essential 5% under MMP.

It’s also very hard to see the Conservatives without Craig recovering.

And they continue wrecking the Conservative carriages while the party train wreck is already off the rails.

CTV News Story – John Stringer Interview – Conservative Party:

Craig still trying to rescue the Conservative Party

Colin Craig is still trying to resurrect what’s left of the Conservative Party. He has travelled to Christchurch to respond on CTV News (Canterbury Television) to an interview by the now resigned board member John Stringer.

Craig promoted this interview via Twitter and Facebook so he must think it does his cause some good.That’s very debatable.

The interview introduction:

On Monday you may remember we spoke to former Conservative Party Chair John Stringer. He made some extraordinary claims Colin Craig’s got more to hide.

Stringer: I think we can survive once Colin Craig’s removed.

After all the allegations there is more to come.

There’s more Christmases to come to, and at least we can rely on them happening.

Just remember, eleven of Colin’s governing officials have resigned because of his behaviour.

Colin Craig is untenable as a political leader.

In the meantime Craig is trying to ignore the allegations and promises of more revelations and continues to try to patch up the damage.

Interviewer: And Colin Craig is with us now to defend those allegations. Welcome to the program. Thanks for your time.  “Colin Craig is untenable in anything”. What’s your response to that?

Craig: Well Mr Stringer’s got his own opinion. Um. I don’t think that’s a very valid opinion. Ah it’s not for him to decide. Of course at the end of the day ah for the Conservative Party decided by the Board and the members.

CraigCTV

Interviewer: John Stringer said to me there are more king hits to come, there are more serious allegations to come. Do you have any idea of what he may be on about?

Craig: No not at all, and I think um that’s just game playing. He’s been very public and outspoken about his criticisms of me, I’m sure if he had anything else to say he could say it.

Stringer is not the only one to claim concerns about more details and other ex-board members have apparently been shown more. And he’s not the only one to threaten there will be more revelations.

Interviewer: There are many in the media circles and both on the the left and the right who are saying your political career is completely gone. What’s your response to that, because they’re right to a certain degree aren’t they?

Craig: Well I don’t think they are. It’s not for them to decide, and naturally I haven’t made it for me to decide either. Ah we’re going through a process where we’re consulting with members and supporters and they’re giving us feedback as to what they think.

Um, we’ve got hundreds, probably well over a thousand responses in already, um that’s giving us a flavour. Certainly the vast majority are supportive. How that works out is still to be decided.

There’s a notable change in his language here – “We’re going through the process”, “we’re consulting”, “giving us feedback”, “we’ve got hundreds…”.

Craig was reported to have sent out a “personal letter” to about 10,000 party members but he is obviously doing this with others and with access to the party member’s database. (NZ Herald Colin Craig asks for forgiveness)

CTV Interviewer: Well here’s the deal. The Conservative Party doesn’t effectively have a leader, it doesn’t really have a board, you are rudderless and leaderless, there ain’t no party Colin.

Craig: Well I think that’s an over-exaggeration. The reality is that ah…

Interviewer: Hang on, do you have a leader?

Craig: No well obviously not…

Interviewer: Do you have a board?

Craig: Ah no but we’re in the process of…

Interviewer: So that’s not an over-exaggeration…

Craig: …but we are in the process of electing one…

Craig resigned as leader and is no longer on the board, but still refers to “we are in the process”.

Craig: …and that’s our standard process in the Conservative Party, we’re a party that believes in referendum, we’re a party that believes in the right of people to decide, that’s the way we elect our board.

With no board in place they will have to elect a new board. But when a board is in place their constitution gives the board  considerable power over who can subsequently stand for the board – they control nominations – and the board selects the party leader, not the members.

Craig: Sure we’ve had to bring it forward by about two months, but the reality is it’s a process we’ve gone through before, it’s a process we go through again. It’s just not that big a drama.

It’s surely a major drama if the party leader resigns and the whole board resigns. And it’s not a process they have gone through before. When Craig first started the party he appointed an interim board that then appointed him as leader. They then presumably set up their constitution that gives the board substantial power.

Interviewer: I want to bring you back to the press conference you held a few weeks ago now. It was bizarre. Do you look back it now and think you could have done it better.

It looked bizarre, and I’ll tell you why, because you stood there, well you were sitting down, and you essentially said you were sort of sorry but we didn’t really know what you were sorry for, because you were saying there were those serious allegations but you had to say sorry because there was inappropriate behaviour.

So what I’m trying to get from you tonight is, the spectrum, and that line, where is that line and where did you cross it?

Craig: Well look I think that’s an obvious question that people want to ask. I am in a position where I can’t talk openly and freely about all the allegations that have been made.

Ah we have requested the ability to do that. Um and it would be great to be able to do that. But that’s what we’ve asked for but we haven’t got agreement from the other party to do that…

But he had a media conference about it, and he has continued to talk to media about it, allowing himself to defend himself but remaining legally constrained (according to him) about detailing what he’d actually done wrong.

…so until we have that ah we are a little bit hamstrung in terms of what we can actually respond to.

But he has continued getting whatever media coverage he can get and has written to all party members asking for forgiveness – with no details able to be given about what he did.

What we did respond to was the big, the mischievous allegations that were out there. Those had to be sorted out.

They are far from being sorted out.

“We” again. He responded by resigning as leader. He also admitted inappropriate behaviour – but also implied that his party secretary was also behaving inappropriately, which she couldn’t address due to the confidentiality agreement that Craig admits he broke.

The whole party board resigned over the following week, with some of them citing evidence of the inappropriate as a reason for that.

And then Craig wrote to party members vaguely admitting being imperfect and seeking forgiveness for ‘something’.

Interviewer: Well talking about mischievous, I guess you would say that John Stringer continues to make allegations but at the same time doesn’t. Have you spoken to him since the interview on CTV news, and if not why not?

Craig: No look I haven’t. Um I don’t have any ongoing correspondence with Mr Stringer at the moment. Ah my last correspondence with him was formal. It was simply saying look, you’ve made a lot of allegations, you need to retract those, they’re baseless. Um he hasn’t come back to me formally in any way on that.

That sounds like a letter from Craig’s lawyer. What baseless allegations? plenty of vague statements from both Craig and Stringer with scant specifics.

Interviewer: You’ve sent out a letter ah to current members.

Craig: And supporters.

Interviewer: Asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness from what though?

Craig: Well look um, I’m not claiming to be a perfect leader, and there are some things that people have raised, and some of those criticisms that people have raised along the way.  Some of the way, maybe my answers in interviews.

Has he forgotten about the inappropriate behaviour? Has no one raised that at all? Apart from the board that resigned, at least two members claiming that Craig had falsely claimed that no one had raised his behaviour before he resigned.

Um, there’s always this thing of can your leader in a political party be perfect. Um I wanted to make it very clear to the membership and to supporters, I’m not a hundred per cent perfect person, and I don’t want them to think I am.

I want to know that they’ll support me, ah in who I am, whether I make the odd mistake or not. No I’m new to politics. I only started this three and a half years ago.

Four years ago (since August 2011 publicly). He also stood for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010, five years ago. He has contested three major elections since 2010.

I haven’t always got it right, and I think it’s very transparent to go back to people and say “What do you think?”

Without them knowing key information that is pertinent to him in relation to the Conservative Party. There’s only one fact that’s publicly known, his party press secretary suddenly quit her job two days before the 2014 election saying that Craig was a manipulative man. And last month Craig admitted “inappropriate behaviour” with her.

But after having arranged legal confidentiality he’s acting as if his vague admissions and vague denials are now being transparent.

I’m not in this for myself, I’m in this to represent people. If they feel I can do that I’m happy to put my hand up.

He’s doing far more than putting his hand up. He appears to be doing all he can to continue with his political ambitions.

He’s not a messiah but he has been a naughty boy.

Interviewer: The trouble is, the brand Conservative Party is Colin Craig. Colin Craig and the Conservative Party many would argue is now tarnished because the Conservative Party builds it’s reputation on family values. The allegations are, what we do know so far, you know there’s a former press secretary, nice female blond, inappropriate behaviour.

It doesn’t set the best example for a party that relies on the family values brand though does it.

Craig: Look and I understand that concern and people are raising that ad they’re saying well look, this is something that, you know, that makes you untenable. And some people are thinking like that. Not the majority um but obviously it’s a concern and I recognise that.

He’s talking about a claimed majority of a claimed approximately a thousand members – out of a claimed membership of ten thousand. A majority of about 10% is not a majority.

And I think that’s the importance of going out to members and going well, I’m not saying I’ve been a hundred right or perfect at all times.  “Do you still support me or not?” And I think that’s a very transparent and honest process. It’s what I agreed that I would do with the previous board, um and when we get that feedback it will be up to the board to consider.

The only board member that he appears to have been dealing with at that stage was the Chairman. Stringer claimed that Craig wouldn’t meet with the available board members – in fact it was claimed that while Craig was having his media conference there were board members expecting him to be at a meeting with them at about the same time.

In the interests of transparency will Craig advise how much of the previous board agreed with him that he should do what he is now doing?

“When we get that feedback it will be up to the board to consider” – “we” again. Also in the interests of transparency will Craig advise what involvement he will have in seeking candidates for the new board and what influence he might have in who is allowed to stand for election?

Interviewer: Do you feel embarrassed at all about the fact that the majority of your board said ‘see you Colin Craig, we don’t want anything to do with you’?

Craig: Well I think you’ve got to remember that I had stood, no one resigned prior to me standing down. Once I stood down the board needed to take it forward. A number of those board members have talked to me about why they resigned. It’s more complicated than Mr Stringer would have you believe.

That became a very hostile and very open environment where you weren’t safe from, you know, disclosure of anything you might have written. That’s a hard environment to operate in.

He hasn’t taken any responsibility at all for the whole board resigning. He has implied that it was the fault of others after he stood down.

His degree of denial of responsibility is incredible.

Interviewer: In a way though you’ve lost one of your greatest and most outspoken and highly publicised members, Christine Rankin.

Craig: Mm.

Interviewer: Does that hurt you?

Craig: Well I think, it does matter to me, of course it matters to me, and ah there’s a discussion that I want to have with her at some stage about that.

“I gave my brand to Colin Craig … I feel very let down,” she told Radio NZ. She said there was no future for the party if Mr Craig remained on board.

She had lost confidence in Mr Craig “a while ago” and challenged him after hearing about his conduct three weeks ago (reported by NZH on June 23).

The interview then closed.

It appears to me that Craig may have sought this interview as a right of reply, and in any case he travelled to Christchurch to do it.

He advised twice by Twitter that he was doing the interview:

Colin in Christchurch. Meeting with members and supporters and for an interview at CTV. Thanks for the wonderful…

And also on Facebook including a photo of him at the interview.

Colin in Christchurch. Meeting with members and supporters and for an interview at CTV. Thanks for the wonderful support shown today. Christchurch has always been to good to us and we know it will continue to be in the future.

The following afternoon (yesterday) he tweeted a link to the interview.

Colin’s Interview on VTV .. Christchurch ..

So Craig seems to think this interview was good for him. How out of touch with reality or in denial can a person be?

Here’s the interview on Youtube:

Postscript: I had no idea who the interviewer was and didn’t think that was important through the interview, his questions and Craig’s responses were what mattered. It was a useful interview and is worth having on record, especially if Craig manages to revive his train wreck party.

Afterwards I checked out the CTV site and identified the interviewer:

Chris Lynch is the host of NewstalkZB’s morning show, currently rated number one in the Canterbury market. Chris also writes a column for the Christchurch Star and is anchor of CTV’s First at Five daily news programme.

Good one Chris.

Conservative brand badly damaged

In response to the latest news in the ongoing Conservative Party train wreck – a dispute over who has been suspended, Colin Craig or John Stringer – David Farrar comments in Still fighting over a dead party:

So both Stringer and Craig want to be leader. I don’t think they realise how much damage the fight has caused to the Conservatve brand. Before this happened, I would have given them a reasonable chance of making 5% next time. Now I think they would struggle to get even 2%.

Conservative Party election results:

  • 2011 – 2.65% (59,237 votes)
  • 2014 – 3.97% (95,5985 votes)

Even if they eventually sort their mess out a bit looks almost certain they will fail to maintain their 2014 level of support and while there will be some loyal support remaining 2% looks generous.

Shawn Herles suggests what they need:

A conservative party that wants to be successful needs a leader who is young, photogenic, a damn good speaker, above reproach ethically, and, like John Key, comes across as a pretty normal bloke, the kind of guy (or girl) you would want at a BBQ.

Naska offers a reality check:

Quite a tall order. Finding some hip young go getter with a magnetic personality who coincidentally wants to regress NZ socially by about a 100 years is not going to be easy.

That’s harsh on the party but it reflects more on where some of the Conservative supporters want to go, backwards – Redbaiter comes to mind.

Deadrightkev remains staunchly optimistic:

Its not over yet DPF.

My money is on the Conservatives getting over 5% at the next election and with Colin Craig at the top to boot. He will be kicked around by the MSM, Slater and his dads army but Craig will climb back on top IMHO.

While Craig keeps piling money and effort into his political project it won’t be over as an attempt, but as a credible party it has gone backwards big time recently.

Peter J partially gets back to reality:

They have (or had) some good policies, but even the best policy wont carry a party through a disaster like that which we have seen unfold.

But what policies? They still has very few published policies, and those they have are sparsely detailed. Here is the whole of the Conservative Party’s published policies (‘Issues’) under the banner ‘Conservatives – Stand for Something’.

TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR CRIMINALS

Call us crazy, but the way we see it a politician’s job is to follow the instructions voters give them.

If we’re elected it’ll be because you wanted us to give the Government a backbone, to insist they reform the justice system as you instructed. We want justice for victims of crime and harsher penalties for those who do the crime.
How loony is that?

Criminals will be made to do hard work; there’ll be no time to moan about being hard done by.

But it’s not just us calling for tougher sentencing; over 90% of you instructed the Government – via a referendum – to harden up on criminals. You were ignored.

If you’ve had enough of this arrogant and toxic behaviour from politicians – it’s time to show them the yellow card.
On our watch referendums will be binding, justice will prevail.
Anything else is just crazy talk.

YOUR FIRST $20,000 TAX FREE THEN A FLAT TAX

In Wellington they’ve always got some hairbrained scheme in mind to spend your money. Seems like only yesterday that the honourable member for Wainuiomata thought it might be a top idea to reincarnate the Moa.
Bless.

The only other reason we need to pay so much tax is to fund the Government’s vote buying programme; which clearly is proving to be more expensive than first thought. This is where they try and turn as many hardworking kiwi families as possible into beneficiaries.
It doesn’t get any more cynical.

Bit of a tip – it’d be cheaper, not to mention more transparent, to just tax us all less in the first place. If for example you were earning $20,000 per year, you’d pay no tax, and be $2520 better off. That’s nearly $50 a week in your back pocket. After that everyone pays a flat tax.
So that’s our plan.

Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t afford a tax cut. Especially if they’re from Wellington. It’s not their money. The Government just needs to stop spending our wages and salaries like drunken sailors.
We’ll put real money in the hands of those that need it and know what to do with it. Letting anyone else spend it for you is just lunacy.

ON OUR WATCH REFERENDUMS WILL BE BINDING

At the heart of the democratic system is the principle of the citizens initiated referendum. It’s when a single issue is thought to be so important, all voters are asked to make their opinion heard.
Pure democracy.

Getting it and keeping it – it’s why wars get started.
In New Zealand since MMP started five such referendums have been held. Each and every time the wishes of the people were crystal clear. Each and every time the results were ignored by successive Labour and National Governments.

They’ve ignored what you think on anti-smacking; on tougher penalties for criminals, and asset sales.

When an overwhelming majority of us voted to have less politicians, guess what happened? That’s right. They ignored that too. Call us old fashioned, but this sort of arrogance needs to stop.

What really worries us is this: what else are they looking to ignore?
To think they won’t is madness.

ONE LAW TO RULE US ALL

The fact that in this day and age Maori are treated as 2nd class citizens and victims drives us nuts.

Since 1867 Maori have been segregated by special laws and separate seats in Parliament, and how’s that worked out do you think?
Exactly. No good has, or will come from using a race based system to govern. Nor incidentally, does it come from repeating mistakes.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same old thing over and over, but expecting a different result.
Our wild and crazy thought?
Try something new.

It’s time to bring closure to the claims process and look to the future.
We stand for equal rights and representation for all New Zealanders, plain and simple.
Let’s change a broken system.
Nothing loony about that.

That’s it. There’s very little to stand for, apart from a lot of looniness.

John Stringer gives up Conservative Board

John Stringer has given up his attempt to put together a new Conservative Party Board, for now at least.

TVNZ reports John Stringer quits Conservative Party board membership.

John Stringer has resigned as a board member of the Conservative Party.

His resignation has been received by the Party Secretary, Nathaniel Heslop who says Mr Stringer remains a supporter of the Conservative Party, its principles and policies.

The party will hold board elections later this year and in the meantime a provisional board has been established.

So that makes it all of the Board that has now resigned.

Stringer may have decided it was too difficult to fight against the resources and determination of Colin Craig.

The Conservative Board bull

The battle of the two Conservative Party Boards seems to be unresolved, although Colin Craig appears to have control of the party officials and the party resources including the membership database.

So Whale Oil Media continues their campaign against Craig. Cameron Slater has posted 20 FAIR QUESTIONS FOR COLIN CRAIG which in the main seems to be a padded out list of threats of more revelations, eventually.

There are going to be a lot of people quite disappointed with him when the truth finally reaches them.   And that may not be for some time.

But apart from Stringer and the genuine board, nobody is in a hurry.

That doesn’t look like how responsible media or journalists should operate.

However one of the questions is important relating to the current battle of the Boards.

The one Board member who didn’t resign, John Stringer, appointed new interim Board members in the weekend. Colin Craig has claimed Stringer has not authority to do that because the Board had suspended him from the party on Thursday.

Slater asks:

When you said publicly that John Stringer had been “suspended” by “a duly constituted meeting of the board headed by then-board chairman Brian Dobbs” (NZHerald) why did you not disclose that it was simply a phone call between Brian Dobbs (who resigned the next day) and Nathaniel Heslop (who had already resigned)?

Unless Craig can demonstrate that Stringer has legitimately been suspended using proper and fair processes then Craig’s dismissal of the Stringer Board and his attempts to set up an alternative Board have little credibility.

Both Stringer and Craig seem to be waging a PR battle via proxies – Stringer appears to be informing Slater to promote his agenda and Craig appears to be using the party officials to promote his agenda.

But there’s a lack of facts and a lot of bull.

The Conservative Party looks far from transparent and and far from democratic. Unless the Board bull can be seen to be properly sorted out then I don’t see any viable future for the party.

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