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.

Slater speaks on behalf of the National party and on leaders

In ONE PARTY, TWO BOARDS, ONE LEADER Cameron Slater seems to be presenting himself as an alternate leader of National, speaking on the Party’s behalf.

Here’s one guarantee:  National will never enter into any kind of coalition or cup-of-tea agreement with the Conservative Party while Magic Hands Craig is still roaming the political scene.  He will need an electorate seat or get to 5%.  Either of those has the same chance of me winning the Miss Universe competition.

I’d be very surprised if National co-operate in any way with a Colin Craig led Conservative Party. But unlike Slater I’m not in a position to guarantee anything on behalf of a party.

Talking of leaders, or in this case potential leaders, Slater continues his ongoing attempt to diminish the prospects of a National leader of the future in EXPLAINING IS LOSING, PAULA.

In contrast to CRUSHER’S BAAAACK in which he promotes his pet choice for leader of the future

Judith Collins has a hard hitting column in the Sunday Star-Times showing her mettle again on law and order.

He goes on to explain:

And if Judith Collins was still Justice Minister, as she should be, the law would be changed.

Unexplained is why Whale Oil didn’t feature this:

Jarrod Gilbert: Collins’ defence of police offending indefensible

So common is political foolishness that it has become barely remarkable. But wrong in principle and crooked in logic, Judith Collins’ effort last week was a special example.

In a newspaper column, Collins expressed outrage that charges relating to the Red Devils Motorcycle Club were dropped due to what Justice David Collins described as “serious misconduct” and possible “serious criminal offending” by police. She bristled at the suggestion that any action be taken against the offending police officers.

Judith Collins is of the view that police can break the law in performing their duties based on the rationale that their job is dangerous and important. She was defending, among other things, the police forging a court document.

Gilbert concludes:

In instances like this, we should be grateful for the separation of state powers and an independent judiciary.

Judith Collins’s view on this is frightful. A former justice minister should not need reminding that the integrity of the justice system is paramount. And that the police are not above the law.

The party Slater appears to speak on behalf of, National, has one leader, one ambitious demoted MP and one political activist/occasional journalist still hoping he hasn’t done any damages to that MP’s chances of resurgence into leadership contention, or ignoring or oblivious to the taint he exposes her to.

Has Freed morphed into Whale Oil Media?

There’s signs via at Whale Oil that suggest a major new media enterprise (Freed) has morphed into a bit of rebranding as ‘Whale Oil Media’.

This became apparent in EXCLUSIVE: THE POEM COLIN CRAIG DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE:

WhaleOil Media can reveal…

WhaleOil Media understands…

…has provided WhaleOil Media

…which WhaleOil Media will…

It is also prominent if you do any site searches:

WhaleOilMediaSearch

And in the FACE OF THE DAY post today Slater’s wife shows that she signed a letter to Education Minister Hekia Parata as ‘Whaleoil Media Education Reporter”.

WhaleoilEducationReporter

The Whaleoil Media Education Reporter seemed to be disappointed she didn’t get special prompt attention from a Minister.

There’s still no sign of any progress with Freed since their website recruitment drive in November/January – they were seeking an ambitious list of staff (a minimum of seventeen staff listed) but I’ve heard they failed to attract suitable candidates.

Slater’s last mention seems to be this from May 10.

What can you tell us about FREED?

FREED is coming, but we won’t launch it until we are good and ready and have everything we want in place. Good things come to those who wait. We will launch on our timetable and no one else’s. That said if you know anyone who is keen on investing in a new media outlet to challenge the duopolies in media in New Zealand then we want to hear from you.

Is the timetable ruled by finances? Compare the launch claim (July 2014)…

Mr Slater will not confirm Mr Lentino’s involvement but says one private investor has contributed a six-figure sum for the site.

…and a response to “a $600,000 right wing attack blog” (October 2014)…

$600,000? That isn’t even 7 figures…WRONG again.

…to last month (May 2015):

…if you know anyone who is keen on investing…

…to Product of the Month (June 2015):

LAST DAY!!!!! – WHALEOIL’S PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

To raise funds as well as respond to demand, Whaleoil will run a monthly product special (when we run one!).

Has the million dollar ‘Freed’ morphed into a more modest ‘Whale Oil Media’?

Slater flails with cabal denial

Cameron Slater lays the denials and diversions on thick in THE DELUSIONS OF SMALL PARTIES AND THE STUPIDTY OF THE MEDIA perhaps Vernon Small touched a sensitive spot.

Vernon Small is the latest mainstream “journalist” chasing shadows and inventing scenarios to try to explain the collapse of the Conservative party.

Apparently there is a cabal of Nats working to destroy the Conservative party.

And notably he doesn’t deny doing a dirty on Colin Craig, he just makes dirty excuses.

This is tin foil hat stuff….and Vernon along with a couple of other nutters miss the salient point.

A party is not a party if or when the leader is taken out and it collapses in on itself. It is a cult.

Is a blog a blog if the leader tries to run it like a cult?

The salient point is that Craig and the Conservatives were struggling to make the grade anyway. And yes, there’s claims that Craig has self inflicted serious damage.

But it’s still of interest if a National cabal is deeply involved in a dirty hit job, regardless of the inevitable of the outcome.

Not so with the Conservatives led by a weirdo and political spastic in the form of Colin Craig.

The thing is he admitted to “inappropriate behaviour” and most people now know what that is…and he won’t survive it when it finally comes out.

I also happen to know that there is at least one other victim out there with similar circumstances…so Colin Craig is just a ticking time bomb.

Guys like this never have just one victim no matter how hard they try to keep everyone silent.

I also happen to kn ow that this is classic Slater and his dirty Modus Operandi – hint, claim, threaten far more serious revelations some time in the future, with a lack of substantiation.

But what they don’t have is a real party; it is nothing more or less than a cult of personality, except in Colin Craig’s case a lack of personality.

The cult thing again. How would Whale Oil manage without Slater?

If the removal of one fool brings down a party then it wasn’t a party. The Conservative party just found that out.

Trying to excuse the dirty deeds. The Conservative party was a significant Party with many people seriously involved and many more serious supporters. That Slater didn’t approve doesn’t diminish it’s party-ness.

Politics is a dirty game, and grubby at the best of times. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a political retard. But the bottom line is no one brought down Colin Craig other than himself through his extremely poor and disgusting behaviour toward women

That’s partly correct, Craig is largely responsible for the mess he and his party are in. It would have been easy to precipitate their demise openly and with honest disclosures. But Slater seems to fall back on one way, the dirty way.

There is no conspiracy in his dirty deeds, now admitted. Vernon and other tin foil hat wearing idiots should actually think before opening their gobs and prove just how out of their depth they are in this beautiful game that we play.

Tough talk. perhaps Slater could think things through before opening his gob. What he does and how he does it impacts on much more than his own interests. That his actions and methods are widely seen as the work of a National cabal proves how ugliness can spreads wider than the muddy pit of dirty politics.

Notice that he didn’t deny the ‘National cabal’, instead launching attacks and diversions. That’s standard tactics in dirty politics too.

Craig has brought down a party that was always going to struggle to succeed, regardless of his misdemeanours.

Slater is a loose wheel that could do far more actual damage, he could easily bring down a successful major party.

And potentially do that deliberately to try position his friends and clients to try and lead the next wave. While Key remains his ambitions are futile, and he’s made it clear he is not averse to dumping on Key – and dumping Natio0nal out of Government – if that’s what it will take to achieve his goals.

That Slater has reacted to the cabal claim suggests he’s a bit more sensitive to exposure than he lets on.

Questions for Rachel MacGregor

Important aspects on the Colin Craig/Rachel MacGregor story remain unanswered, with many murked by claims and rumours.

MacGregor is refusing to comment on claims and rumours involving her and Colin Craig. NZ Herald have reported on this in Impasse not my fault: Craig.

There appears to be a blockage in Colin Craig and former staffer Rachel MacGregor’s plan to waive their confidentiality agreement, despite both parties agreeing they want to go public.

The blockage appears to be caused by Ms MacGregor, who has not responded to requests for comment.

On Monday, she said she wanted Mr Craig’s consent to waive confidentiality so she could correct “clear factual inaccuracies” in his public comments.

In her statement, Ms MacGregor sought Mr Craig’s assurance she would not be taken to court if she spoke out.

Ms MacGregor, who now works in PR, has been mostly silent since resigning in September, apart from a tweet on Monday which said Mr Craig was “trying to frame her as his mistress”.

MacGregor initially claimed she couldn’t speak due to the confidentiality agreement. Now she remains silent despite the agreement apparently being waived.

But there are questions about MacGregor that should be answered, and these aren’t covered by the confidentially agreement.

Did MacGregor play any part in supplying Whale Oil and other media with copies of communications between herself and Colin Craig, either directly or via an intermediary?

The quantity and the nature of the communications, especially the personal nature, suggest they could only have originated from either Craig or MacGregor.

If the communications were passed on without her involvement, knowledge or approval that’s a significant issue – who did it, and why? They will have known it would impact significantly on MacGregor.

If she was involved it would make a mockery of her claims of complying with confidentiality. So is MacGregor a willing part of the game?

Or is she innocent collateral damage in someone else’s bigger game?

There are also claims/rumours associated with this that need to be out in the open.

What association if any does MacGregor have with Jordan Williams?

If none or only personal then that’s a private matter, and it would largely deal with rumours if this was clarified. But if rumours linger without being addressed they won’t go away – this whole issue has been surrounded by rumours for nine months already with some having just come to the surface.

If there is an association then this raises a number of other questions that deserve some sunlight – the sort of sunlight that some see fit to shine on Colin Craig.

There are well known links between Williams and Slater. If there are also links between Williams and MacGregor then it’s fair to ask what might have be going on.

If any of those mentioned above clarify and answer any of the questions asked and issues raised I’ll append their statements to this post.

Whale Oil – responsible media or dirty game player?

When Whale Oil broke the Colin Craig/Rachel MacGregor story last Friday –  EXCLUSIVE: THE POEM COLIN CRAIG DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE  – prominent use of the label ‘WhaleOil Media’ was used.

Perhaps this was a new branding push.

Perhaps Cameron Slater was making it clear they were publishing the story as journalism so protection of the source of the leaked evidence could be claimed.

The story opened with serious allegations against Craig (which Craig has denied).

WhaleOil Media can reveal that Colin Craig failed to tell the Conservative Party’s Board that he previously faced serious allegations of sexual harassment from a former staff member in a complaint laid with the Human Rights Commission. It is understood that the claim lead to a confidential payout which until recently the Board were unaware of.

The story doesn’t name “the former staff member…

WhaleOil Media understands that no sexual relationship resulted, but Colin Craig is alleged to have pursued the staffer including sending a large volume of text messages, letters and inappropriate touching.

A source, which was supporting the victim as the events unfolded last year, has provided WhaleOil Media with some of the letters and text messages.

…and claims to be protecting the identity of “an innocent victim”.

Editor’s note: comments on this article will be moderated carefully.  Remember that we are dealing with an innocent victim which WhaleOil Media will not be naming.

I don’t know what the point of this was except perhaps to appear as responsible media, Slater isn’t that naive to think the staffer’s name wouldn’t come out. The identity was immediately recognisable as ex press secretary Rachel MacGregor and her name has been widely published in connection with the story, including in subsequent Whale Oil posts.

This initial post breaking the story appeared to be going to deliberate lengths to appear as responsible investigative journalism.

However this is the Whale Oil that just celebrated a ‘Decade of Dirt’. And this is the Slater that said on TV: “Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people at all levels.”

And it didn’t take the dirty game playing to start. The following morning Slater posted WILL THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY SURVIVE COLIN CRAIG?

Time is critical here.  What will happen now is that Colin’s opponents want to make sure that he won’t worm his way back into any position of true influence, and the only way to achieve that is to start a steady drip feed of documents to the media to ensure Craig can’t recover from today’s blow.

A threat “to start a steady drip feed of documents to the media”. That doesn’t sound like WhaleOil Media, that sounds like Slater using the media to play his dirty game. And he immediately dealt this hand:

There is simply so much more to come.  There are financial issues, contractual issues, sleight-of-hand with loans, GST rebates and other strategic trickery.  And that’s all before the nasty stuff, like letters written by a married man to beg another woman for an affair.   And then no longer begging, but putting pressure on this woman financially.  TXT messages.  Unsolicited and unwanted.  Some so lewd they are SXT messages.

There have been more threats to reveal embarrassing information, along with ‘advice’ to Conservative Party board members on what they should do.

It became clear that Slater’s game was to try and destroy Craig’s political career completely.

A  it of irony in CRAIG STILL TOYING WITH HIS BOARD LIKE AN INSIGNIFICANT LITTLE PLAYTHING:

The board has been played… again.

Slater has been hard out playing the board.

And he continued with his threats, for example on Saturday in CONSERVATIVE PARTY BOARD MEMBER BREAKS HIS SILENCE:

If this carries on much more I predict death by a 1000 cuts as txt, sxts and more musings from “Creative Colin” make their way into the public view.

Colin Craig’s political aspirations are over, at every level including local body government.

The only person who doesn’t think that right now is Colin Craig. Let’s see what he thinks after a week of drip fed information about his untoward behaviour.

I know one thing though…people who do what he has done don’t just do it to one person. Let that sink in for a little bit.

Threats to drip feed information. Plus serious insinuations of wider issues.

And it continues. On Sunday a highly ironic post – HERE COME THE THREATS FROM COLIN CRAIG.

Colin Craig is going legal, it is his usual tactics…the tactics of a coward and a bully.

As is usual he wants to use his wallet to intimidate people, to cost them a great deal of money defending themselves…in order to silence them.

He says he is going to announce what he intends to do about “scurrilous” publications.

Sound familiar?

Good luck to Craig, trying to deny what is documentary evidence, that he has signed.

If he wants to open emails, board minutes, the party’s financial records, and where they overlap, those of Centurion, the chat server logs and  relevant personal details to discovery then so be it. Confidentiality will fall away instantly once he initiates legal action. Public interest will ensure that.  It will be interesting to call all current and previous board members and material witnesses to give their unvarnished side of the story under oath.

Good luck with suppression orders too.

Colin Craig proves yet again that he is a political retard.

And Slater proves yet again that he is a dirty political game player more than he is a journalist. And that Whale Oil may be occasionally ‘media’ but is predominately a means of playing the dirty games.

Slater journalism is is a means to dirty ends.

Who orchestrated the Craig/Conservative hit job?

Colin Craig and his party are in a mess and it’s largely of their own doing. But there’s questions that seem to have escaped scrutiny.

Timing

It’s been claimed that parts of the story surrounding ‘inappropriate behaviour’ have been around since Rachel MacGregor’s sudden resignation two days before last year’s election. She was obviously very unhappy about something and she wasn’t sharing her decision with Craig – he was surprised to find out via media.

So why has it suddenly been pushed with specific details published and promises of more to come? Why specifically now?  Was it timed to coincide with a coup attempt or has the leak launch just happened to coincide with the attempt to kick Craig out of the leadership and party?

Source of the leaks

Craig has been slammed for breaching a confidentiality agreement.

Rachel McGregor has claimed she speak up with her side of the story because of the confidentially agreement.

But someone who must have been close to MacGregor leaked detailed information and evidence to ‘Whale Oil Media’ and to journalists from other media organisations.

Information that originally at least only MacGregor could have had copies of, on paper and in electronic form.

So who has leaked to Cameron Slater and others? How did they get the information? And why have they leaked?

Identity of the leaker

I’ve been informed “from reliable sources” of the identity of who has leaked to Slater. This person must presumably have some connection to MacGregor. They also have interesting (in this context) political connections.

They also have a history of close ‘Dirty Politics’ connections with Slater.

I haven’t seen any fuss about this from the left. They seem to be preoccupied with celebrating the Conservative train wreck. If the Slater revelations were targeting a party on the left their would have been an immediate ‘Dirty Politics’ outcry. The apparent lack of interest in this aspect of the Conservative hit job is curious.

If my source of the identity of the person who leaked to Slater is accurate then it should be of significant political interest beyond the Conservative Party.

Cactus Kate at Whale Oil?

Cactus Kate was implicated with Cameron Slater and Whale Oil in ‘Dirty Politics’. She has since removed a lot of her blog content.

Therefore a post at Whale Oil under her name raised an eyebrow or two – LET’S HOPE THEY COME HERE TO BE ONE OF US, INSTEAD OF TURN US INTO ONE OF THEM.

Greg Presland spotted it:

mickysavage

Cactus kate has blogged at that blog for the first time in yonks. I wonder how that attempt to get the National Library to delete copies of her website is going?

However the posted has now been ‘corrected’ with this notice added:

Correction/amplification:  This story went out credited to Cactus Kate, when it was meant to go out under Cameron’s name.  This is a back-office error that has now been corrected.

That’s a feasible explanation, Cactus is alphabetically close to Cameron (if the select authors from a list, I have to log in here).

And it’s a fairly innocuous post.

Prentice, Bradbury and Slater feuds interspersed with Standard history

There seemed to be a bit of a lull in the Lynn Prentice (The Standard) versus Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog) feud but it has flared up again with the two trying to demonstrate who is the most bitter and obnoxious. The ongoing Prentice versus Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) feud is also in the bizarre mix of history and hissy fit.

In an otherwise interesting history of the origins of The Standard – A short history of The Standard – Maoriland Worker – Prentice managed to lace it with vitriol aimed at Bradbury and Slater.

In fact he made his attacks on Bradbury the main focus of the history.

There were some ridiculous statements by Martyn Bradbury at The Daily BlogBombast earlier this month continuing his snide comments about this site. His claims that the Labour activists founded the original Standard back in 1936 are bullshit. He gets there by ignoring the history of parent publications and where they formed from.

Clearly the bombastic author of that post was written by someone who spent his education in obtaining a master of  ill-informed juvenile ranting rather than learning much of history of the local labour movement (or much of anything else). So I dug around to see what I could find on the net about The Standard 1.0 and it’s parent publications to give that Mr Bombastic some remedial education in the local history that he is so clearly lacking.

Why the hell Prentice laced what could have been a great historical reference with feud fodder is hard to fathom.

A bit of history about The Standard follows, then a shot at Slater.

This can be seen quite clearly in the distortions that are the history of the Whaleoil blog. Because of its obsessive need by a broke (after his insurance disappeared) Cameron Slater’s need to please his larger funders of money and influence, the site would wind up getting into trouble doing the types of stories that please those funders. This is why Cameron Slater spends too much time in court. They’re still doing it today as far as I can tell.

Then a blast at both Bradbury and Slater.

The Standard 2.0, was deliberately designed by authors and myself who run it to be more like the early Maoriland Worker than Whaleoil or The Daily Bombast.

We haven’t taken money from any organisation including the PR industry, political parties or even from unions like the Daily Bombast does.

The repeated references to ‘Bombast’ in relation to someone else are ironic.

A bit more history and back to the feud.

We can do it with no tolerated external interference apart from obeying the current law (something Cameron Slater apparently has issues with) and the odd polite request from organisations we respect like unions or leftish parties.

And his conclusion includes a double barrelled blast.

Having learnt the lessons of the past (and those of other blogs in the present), that is what we intend to continue to do. That is what having sense of the history does for you. You don’t fall into the same operational organisational traps that the Bombast (set up and still supported by union funding) and Whaleoil (apparently mainly arsehole funding) appear to have tripped into.

That’s a bit of a shame because it would have been a good historical reference without the vitriol.

And it seems to have provoked a vitriolic response from Bradbury:

Your magnificent pettiness Lynn helps explain why the Labour Party had such a pitiful election last year. You have the social skills of a cancerous tumour.

When I say ‘The Standard is a Labour Party Blog’, I don’t mean that MPs feed Standard Bloggers information for black ops purposes. They are in no way shape or form similar to how the Nats use Slater. I’m sure there is pressure and terse words at the way the Standard conducts itself at times, but nothing more than that. When I call The Standard a Labour Party blog, I mean in the sense that…
-the original Standard in the 1930s was set up by Labour activists
-the latest incarnation in 2007 was seeded by the Labour Party
-And like the Labour Party, the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others.

Grow up

Bradbury has a valid albeit overstated point saying “the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others” but he obviously has a bit of difficulty playing well with others too. He could follow his own advice and ‘grow up’ but it doesn’t look like happening.

Prentice has achieved quite a lot with The Standard, but respect of himself and of the Labour left are not part of his successes.

Prentice and Bradbury represent the largest two political blogs on the left in New Zealand. Slater represents the largest on the right.

We are poorly served in political debate online by the three of them. No wonder the general voting public is turned off by politics.

UPDATE: And Prentice blasts back.

You have said that before in the post that I responded to. Is that all that you have? Parroted slogans?

You are wrong in all of your final three assertions. As I said in my post, you could do to learn some actual history rather than making up silly myths.

– The original Standard was setup by unionists, and run by them for 50 years from the Maoriland Worker to The Standard 1.0. Sure there was Labour party activists involved throughout (once the Labour party got formed). You’d kind of expect that to happen because they were also labour movement activists. People don’t fit neatly into the discrete labels that simple fools want to slogan them into.

– The current Standard was similarly set up by labour movement activists. Some were Labour party members, many were unionists, some had no party or union affliations. This is also not unexpected in a site from a labour movement that was pretty damn diverse back in 1910 and has been diversifying ever since.

– We tend to respond to your pettiness and snideness with pointing out the facts, in this case in 2000 odd words. If I creep a little terseness in because I doing it to educate a lazy fool, then you can hardly blame me. Fix your own stupid attitude and you’ll get less attitude from me. I’m getting really tired of having to respond to your stupidity.

“Fix your own stupid attitude” could equally apply to Prentice.

Where exactly is the backing for any of of your assertions. When did you invent these? Or are you just parroting someone else’s opinions – like Cameron Slater? Because that appears to be what you are becoming.

Ironic. The three of them can be as bad as each other.

Futile protection of the victim of Craig allegations

Cameron Slater and ‘Whale Oil Media’ have made a futile point of not naming the victim of Colin Craig’s alleged sexual harassment in EXCLUSIVE: THE POEM COLIN CRAIG DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE.

Editor’s note: comments on this article will be moderated carefully.  Remember that we are dealing with an innocent victim which WhaleOil Media will not be naming.

This was also attempted in the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story but is just as futile.

It was very clear who the story refers to, and other media have inevitably named the victim.

The Whale Oil article refers to:

“a former staff member”

“relied on one element of the claim, a series of unpaid invoices or a dispute in relation to the employee’s hourly rate”

“the staffer”

I’m not aware of there being more than one former employee or staffer of the Conservative Party. And the staffer I know of left in sudden and controversial circumstances:

Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation

The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received.

The Party expresses its gratitude for all the hard work and effort that she has put in to the campaign. “The campaign puts stress on everyone and Miss Macgregor has been party of a wonderful team that have given 110%” says Colin Craig.

That was two days before last year’s election. Craig was apparently advised of the resignation by media.

NZ Herald reported Colin Craig’s press secretary quits, reportedly calls him a ‘manipulative man’.

When questioned by media this morning Mr Craig said he did not know Rachel MacGregor had left her job, Newstalk ZB reported.

He told reporters he thought she was having a day off when she failed to turn up for work this morning and said he would talk to her this afternoon.

Ms MacGregor told Newstalk ZB she had left the party as of this morning. Newstalk ZB’s political editor Barry Soper, who broke the news, said she was very upset and had described Mr Craig as a “manipulative man”.

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO HERE

“Colin Craig does campaign on being this wholesome, out-there sort of a bloke, that’s all encompassing, that really is the sort of person we should be looking up to,” Soper said this morning.

“Now if he can’t get his own house in order in terms of staff in the Conservative Party then you’ve got to ask questions.

“It’s really difficult to read too much into it given that there’s simply a very upset press secretary without giving any reasons why she resigned, so it’s really out there. She’s taking public relations advice now, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.”

He admitted news of her resignation had come as a surprise to him. “This morning she said she wasn’t going to go with me to the interviews, I haven’t had a conversation with her yet [about her resignation] so I’ll find out.”

He continued to insist she was simply taking the day off, saying: “I’ve had a number of staff who’ve had rest days in this last week”.

But pushed on her resignation, said: “I hope that she’ll un-resign, of course, because of the great work that’s gone on, but until I have a conversation with her I’m not going to pre-judge what the concerns that she might have are.”

They also reported on a Q & A held that same day.

While he didn’t directly respond to questions about why Rachel MacGregor quit as his press secretary this morning, he did answer one which asked: “Do the ethics you profess extend to your own behaviour with your own staff?”

Mr Craig responded: “Indeed.”

Another asked him: “How the hell don’t you know a staff member quit? Colin please.”

Mr Craig replied: “I was in media interviews for about 2 hours straight. The resignation occurred during that time. Haven’t developed mind reading skills yet.”

However, he avoided such questions as, “What part of your manipulative behaviour was your secretary referring to?”

Barry Soper broke that story and was one of the first journalists after Slater to discuss yesterday’s revelations, saying:

um you know like Cameron said they’re pretty well known to those of us who are involved in politics.So ah it came as no surprise really.

And this morning NZ Herald makes it clear who the likely victim is.

Press aide’s resignation one of issues facing Craig

The circumstances surrounding former Conservative Party press secretary Rachel MacGregor’s resignation are a factor behind Colin Craig’s decision to stand down as leader, board member Christine Rankin says.

Mrs Rankin said there were a range of issues behind Mr Craig’s decision, and Mr Craig’s and Ms MacGregor’s falling-out was one of them.

“Of course it’s an issue for the party,” Mrs Rankin told the Weekend Herald.

Ms MacGregor made a surprise resignation from the party two days before the September election, accusing Mr Craig of being manipulative. At the time, Mr Craig denied any mistreatment of his press secretary.

Both Mr Craig and Ms MacGregor said they could not comment. The pair are thought to have reached an agreement over their dispute.

It would appear that that agreement may have been broken wide open by these revelations. Slater has referred to a l$100,000 or more settlement:

Slater: …he has settled with a former staff member a large sum of money, I’m told it runs into six figures, and this is for allegations of sexual harassment and the complaint was actually laid with the Human Rights Commission.

Williams: What do you know about this settlement? I take it it was a confidentiality agreement?

Slater: Well i don’t know the exact number and a number of other people who are my sources can’t disclose the exact number but everybody says it’s six figures. Now you don’t do six figure sums for settlement of employment matters which is what Colin Craig told the board, and he also told the board a substantially lower amount of money as well.

I think it would be unusual to have a settlement of that size without a confidentiality agreement, something Slater didn’t rule out.

Slater must have been aware that revealing what he has risked a backlash if an agreement had been broken. And it would almost certainly have attracted significant media interest.

And in this case it is so obvious who the victim must be that “an innocent victim which WhaleOil Media will not be naming” is a futile attempt – almost certainly a knowingly futile attempt – to make it appear as if they value the protection of the victim’s identity.

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