David Cohen writes at the NBR about some lessons for Colin Craig:
A jury has found that the onetime Conservative Party leader Colin Craig defamed Taxpayers Union founder Jordan Williams. The country has found out a lot more about Mr Craig’s style of office management and questionable poetic skills. So what was in the widely covered case for the media to discover?
Mr Craig’s whopping loss – the jury ordered that he pay a plump $1.27m in total – has been described as a classic defeat for the onetime political aspirant who has spent a significant amount of time in recent years launching his own defamation actions against some critics.
Indeed Mr Craig first came to many people’s attention in 2013 when he threatened a satirical news website with legal action after claiming it published a story designed, as a lawyer’s letter put it, “to make him look ridiculous.”
On the face of it that action only seemed to underscore the proposition being argued against, as well as suggesting Mr Craig had no idea about the purpose of satire.
A year later, of course, he was at it again with another defamation suit, this time against the Green Party’s Russel Norman for having effectively accused the Conservative Party leader of being a conservative in his views on homosexuals and women – at which point the expensive arguments seemed to be getting inexplicably ridiculous.
In life as in law, though, arguments are sometimes not about what they’re about.