Sexual harassment

Should Family First be renamed Misogyny First?

Three wives, numerous mistresses, nearly a dozen victims coming forward, but Bob McCoskrie’s Family First re-tweeting in Donald Trump’s defence.

One of the most extraordinary days during the Williams v Craig defamation trial was when Colin Craig was lining up cronies to try to defend the indefensible in his treatment of Rachel MacGregor.  The various witnesses – mostly Conservative Party officials and staff -all coincidently sung off the identical song sheet: “inappropriate” nothing more, nothing less. They even all had the same spelling mistake in their briefs of evidence.

They were forced to read the “You are wonderful” love letter with the “You have the most beautiful…” line.  They all refused to accept that it was ‘sleazy’ or evidence of sexual harassment when questioned by Williams’ lawyers. They merely parroted Colin Craig’s favourite word ‘inappropriate’.   Read more »

Dodgy Unions of the UK – Unite union

We have our own dodgy unions here, but they are a shadow of the dodginess of UK based unions.

Look at Unite union, the supposed protector of the workers and their sexual harassment issues:

More than half the female officers in Britain’s biggest union claim to have been bullied or sexually harassed by fellow officials or members in their workplaces, a leaked internal study has found.

The report about the treatment and working conditions of female representatives at Unite also concluded that a quarter of employed officers believe allegations of bullying were not handled well by the union when they were reported.

Titled Women Officers in Unite, the report cited an official who said she felt increasingly isolated at work because of male officials talking among themselves. “I have to sit among colleagues who refer to our secretaries as the girls … [They] think it is correct to refer to black people as coloured, talk about chairmen, refer to women as a piece of skirt,” one female officer said.

One woman told interviewers she was “sexually assaulted by a senior officer in the past”. The report did not go into any further details of her case and did not explain whether the woman reported the assault to police or the union. However it is understood that incident took place in 2007 before Unite was formed through the amalgamation of three unions.

Some of the worst examples of intimidation came from members in external workplaces. One woman reported she had been told in a meeting that she needed “a good ****”.

Another respondent blamed the union’s senior management for failing to commit to inclusivity. The report quoted her as saying: “The old-boys network is alive and kicking unfortunately in Unite, where it is who you know and where they come from that matters.”

The findings are contained in the 39-page internal report about the working lives of the union’s 74 female officers, who support the union’s members and elected shop stewards on shop floors and in offices. It was commissioned by Unite’s officers national committee (ONC) in February and presented to senior management in May.

Unite’s executive is considering the four-month-old findings.

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There is that word ‘ inappropriate’ again


Colin Craig loves to use the word’ inappropriate.’ He claims that what he did was ‘ inappropriate ‘ but that it was not sexual harassment. We the general public, are expected to believe that inappropriate is to sexual harassment, what paddling is to swimming. Both involve the same thing but one is more involved or serious than the other.


In Australia a junior minister Jamie Briggs has quit the front bench after an incident involving a female public servant. He described his actions as inappropriate but not illegal.

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Shelley Bridgeman says wheeling out political wives is ‘demeaning and humiliating’

A good observation by Shelley Bridgeman about Monday’s shameful press conference by Colin Craig.

By wheeling out his wife in times of strife, Colin Craig was observing a tradition beloved of male politicians.

He was merely using his nearest and dearest in an attempt to sanitise his image. In a statement, his wife, Helen Craig, said: “I do not often speak to the media but I choose to stand with my husband here today in full love and support of him”.

If those words sound familiar, even somewhat plagiarised, it’s probably because of the Tammy Wynette song Stand by Your Man – the lyrics of which make me feel a little queasy:

“You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times
Doin’ things that you don’t understand
But if you love him, you’ll forgive him.”

Then, of course, the famous chorus goes: “Stand by your man, and show the world you love him”.

It’s difficult to believe that politicians are still taking inspiration from a sentimental song that has its origins in the 1960s.

How can anyone think such a retro approach to indiscretions and blind loyalty is the best response in the 21st century?

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Conservatives in disarray as board resignations mount


It seems no one can countenance the weasel-words of Colin Craig any more, as 5 board members quit yesterday.

The Conservative Party is in meltdown mode, with six board members resigning today after Colin Craig’s admission of inappropriate conduct with his press secretary.

But the disarray could mean Mr Craig gets the leadership back.

The party’s board had 10 members. Christine Rankin has resigned, along with Mr Craig’s brother, Andrew.

“I don’t have any concerns about that,” said Mr Craig. “I have a wonderful relationship with my brother.”

So have Regan Monahan, Melissa Perkin, Nathaniel Heslop and Roy Brown.

Brian Dobbs, the chairman, said he was considering resigning. Paul Young was also considering.  

Laurence Day is overseas on holiday. John Stringer is staying, but faces disciplinary action as the outspoken critic.

That means six have resigned and two are considering resigning. Just two board members might be left, although they could go too.

“I would say no, [the Conservatives are not dead],” said Mr Craig. 

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Surely 6 feet is enough for your political grave


Colin Craig just won’t shut his big mouth.

He continues to speak to media when he states he won’t be issuing any more statements or taking any questions.

His leadership debacle is rumbling on and all he is doing is making his already deep political grave even deeper.

Take this comment to Fairfax:

Craig said he would need to discuss MacGregor’s request to be released from the confidentiality agreement with his lawyers. He was not ruling it out.

“She’s offered the opportunity to perhaps lift some confidentiality and we might not be opposed to that.”

On MacGregor’s statement about inaccuracies, Craig said he had received no correspondence “that anything I’ve said is inaccurate”.

Good grief. He starts by saying he would need to discuss her request and then says he has received no correspondence…did he miss the press release that everyone got? Presumably he also missed the letter from MacGregor’s lawyers requesting release from confidentiality.   Read more »

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.

John Stringer spoke out this morning saying he was sick of a culture of confidentiality being used to cover up what he called abhorrent behaviour.

He also said he wrote a year ago with concerns about Mr Craig’s working relationship with his former press secretary.

Colin Craig said Mr Stringer was wrong with many of the things he said, but could not say what.

“I’ve only seen the interview and there was a lot of content in it, I had not yet had the opportunity to work through piece by piece, but I have listened to it and I’ve taken already some preliminary advice.    Read more »

From the Trenches: Report from the Conservative Party – today’s update [UPDATED]

colin craig hope

So, basically put, yesterday was smoke and mirrors.  Craig created a technical retreat, but doesn’t intend to stand down at all.  He has communicated that to his supporters today.

We’ve run the numbers, and it appears that Colin is not going to go anywhere.  Not unless one of his supporters changes sides between now and the final vote of confidence.

So that really raises the question:  who are these people still backing Colin Craig?   And why do they see benefit in having a party leader who has just paid for someone’s silence in a sexual harassment claim?   Finally, why do these people think that the Conservative Party is best served by Colin Craig?

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Craig still toying with his board like an insignificant little plaything

A furious faction on the Conservative Party board is moving to block Colin Craig’s return to the leadership after he ignored an ultimatum to inform them of sexual harassment allegations.

Craig resigned as leader at a press conference on Friday and said he would “facilitate a review” of the leadership.

It has now emerged he is at the centre of allegations of sexual harassment, manifested in love poems and texts reported on right-wing blog WhaleOil.

Questions about the allegations involving a former staff member were put to Craig at the end of his press conference, but he refused to respond. He also could not be reached for comment later on Friday. It is understood the staff member is Craig’s former press secretary Rachel MacGregor, who abruptly resigned two days before the 2014 general election. MacGregor did not return calls for comment on Friday.

It is understood the Conservative Party board is deeply divided over Craig’s future in the job.

Some board members are understood to be furious that Craig left room during his press conference for a possible return as leader. They are also angry Craig postponed a board meeting, where they expected his leadership to be put to the vote, after many of them flew to Auckland for it.

A board member, who did not want to be named, said the board was “outraged”.

“Colin arbitrarily postponed our board meeting, which he doesn’t have the right to do. [The press conference] is the first we heard of that.

“This review that he’s invented, nobody’s ever discussed that – it’s never come up in conversation. There’s no review as far as any of the board members are concerned.”

Asked if the allegations amounted to sexual harassment, the board member said: “That’s what has been written to us, we understand it was a sexual harassment claim, and we know that that is the case”. Read more »

Will the Conservative Party survive Colin Craig?

via Newstalk ZB

via Newstalk ZB


Oh, they may still run in the next election, and perhaps one more, but they won’t make it into Parliament.  And here’s why.

The Conservatives had a very narrow window to throw all the bad stuff out with Colin, and create a fresh start.

The problem is that the people on the board, by and large, aren’t politicians.   Politicians would never have agreed to a process that lets someone who has just paid to make a sexual harassment complaint to go away to 1) remain in the party  2) to still potentially run for the leadership anyway, and 3) do this over a number of weeks, perhaps even months.   Read more »