Colin Craig is talking about being open to political comeback. Is he that out of touch with reality?
Barry Soper at NZH: Colin Craig open to a political comeback
Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has taken a hammering over the past week but if he is feeling the heat, he is not letting on – and is even considering a possible comeback.
“My concern has always been about conservative causes and serving conservative people. That’s something that matters to me … nothing has changed in that respect.
“If I got a chance to serve people, I’d be very happy to do that.”
Craig said the legal issues surrounding the defamation appeal will be considered before next year’s election and a comeback is possible.
Sounding chipper, he said if he can work with the party he founded, but spectacularly fell out with, he would be very happy to.
“My wife and I poured years of savings and time and energy into it and our love for the party and love for the members and supporters hasn’t changed.”
Earth to Colin: It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.
Craig’s political career is in non-resurrectable tatters. This is in large part due to his own actions, but willingly aided and abetted by Jordan Williams and Whale Oil, who have made sure there is no chance of any comeback.
Leighton Baker, acting spokesman for the Conservatives, was last night cold on the idea Craig might get back into politics with the party.
“The Conservative Party aren’t offering Colin any positions. He’s never made any request to us for a position … and he does not hold a position with us, so no.”
When asked if Craig had damaged the Conservative Party brand, Baker said there was no doubt he had.
“It’s a struggle. The focus is on personalities and Colin Craig rather than the policies we stand for. So that’s a bit sad,” he said.
“Am I feeling positive? I’m not terribly encouraged today to tell you the truth, it’s been a rough day. But we’re Kiwis, we never say die, we’ll hang on for the next breath so we’ll keep on going.”
The Conservative Party can’t take back Craig, nor can they take any more of Craig’s money, without looking even worse than they are now.
Craig is finished in politics.
The Conservative Party currently appear to have no chance of coming back from this debacle, unless they inherit another rich ambitious person who doesn’t have the baggage or risks that Craig has.
A proper Conservative Party could establish a sizeable niche in New Zealand’s political mix.
An improper Colin Craig conservative party has crashed, burned and all that’s possible now is residual smouldering.
UPDATE: Newshub – Conservative Party doesn’t want Colin Craig back
“It’s not happening.”
With those words, the Conservative Party has perhaps dealt a blow to what remains of Colin Craig’s political ambitions.
The party’s founder and former leader hasn’t ruled out returning to politics once the dust from his legal battles settles. But it probably won’t be with the party he spent millions of dollars bringing to life.
“Colin Craig is not a member of the party, he has no position in the party, he hasn’t been offered a position in the party and he hasn’t asked for one, so it’s not happening,” board chairman Leighton Baker told Paul Henry on Tuesday.
“Colin resigned as a member of the party, so he’s got nothing to do with the party anymore.”
The party is struggling and may need to rebrand.
There’s a chance when the next election rolls around, they won’t even be calling themselves the Conservative Party anymore, the brand is so damaged.
“A lot of people have put that to us in the last couple of days, and as a board we’ll sit down and definitely have a look at that,” says Mr Baker.
“But at the end of the day New Zealand still needs a conservative voice, and at this stage we’re going to be it.”
With the election only about a year away, Mr Baker admits there’s even a chance they may not contest it.
“We haven’t sat down as a team yet and discussed it.”
Potential candidates are also a bit thin on the ground, with Mr Baker saying only a “few” of the 50 who stood in 2014 have expressed an interest in having another go.
Not surprising there is a lack of interest.