Franks on Defamation

Stephen Franks

Stephen Franks explains why it is that serial defamer Trevor Mallard might be best to eat humble pie and apologise to Judith Collins:

If I were the Hon Trevor Mallard I’d eat humble pie now to extract myself from the hole of  implying that the Hon Judith Collins was complicit in publicising the ACC correspondence of  Bronwyn Pullar.

The Minister plans to sue and fund it herself. She will be entitled to pocket the winnings.

Normally Court serves only the lawyers but for a good lawyer it can be worth being a plaintiff. Richard Prebble made real money punishing some who defamed him. Such plaintiffs serve the public interest in upholding the integrity of public debate. If there is no sanction for lying in the exercise of free speech, a kind of Gresham’s law may prevail. The person determined not to lie may be destroyed by the colour and effectiveness of ever bigger lies.

And the National Party has already gained from Judith Collins’ steadiness under fire. Her determination has helped knocked the ACC claim to irrelevance. Pollling suggests that the public find it as boring as I do.

Most New Zealanders reason instinctively that anyone sucking off “the system”  forfeits their right to privacy, at least in respects relevant to any complaints about the system’s fairness to them.

An unfairness complainer going public should have to accept that the rest of us are entitled to all the information necessary to judge the unfairness accusation in context.


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  • Whafe

    Judith Collins is no ninny, best Trevor Mallard realises this, and realises it fairly smartly.

    Trevor Mallards arrogance knows no boundaries, it has moved him to be a man of not principle, but of muck raking, bullying etc etc etc etc…

    I am confident this action by Judith Collins will indeed bring this sucking on the tit member of the Labour party to the floor…

    Labour seems to still think they know more than everyone else… Out of interest, where is the “Invisible Shearer” ??? Oh that’s it, in hiding AGAIN

    • Pete George

      Mallard’s tactics and arrogance were well known. But yesterday David Shearer seemed to confirm he has been sucked into the same shit heap.

      Is David Shearer already owned by the Gotcha Gang?

      • Whafe

        Let us see if in fact Shearer acts like he has been sucked into the shit heap or if in fact he spurs some change in the Labour squad… Somehow doubt it

      • Pete George

        Yesterday Shearer indicated he has been sucked into the shit heap, defamation or not, he was supporting the Mallard approach to dishonest attack politics. He quacked like a duck.

  • Peter Wilson

    Overlooked is the public reaction is all of this.

    If the public is bored with the ACC scandal, then surely voters will wonder why Collins is contemplating legal action?

    Won’t she come across as a weak politician who can’t take the heat? Most voters don’t really get parliamentary priviledge; all they see is MPs accusing each other of all sorts of thngs anyway, so what’s the big deal outside the house.

    “Suing someone is something only rich people can do.”

    • Whafe

      Peter that is Pinko spin you speak of…

      It is nothing in regards to not handling the heat, what BS…. You Pinko’s cannot accept when one of your own has been a low life, nor will your party bring said low lifes into line…

      Feel the wrath on this one……

    • Notrotsky

      Yes we should just let people tell lies without any repercussions.

      I have it on good authority from an anonymous source that you enjoy being fisted up the chook from Darrien Fenton

    • BJ

      YOU are wrong – SHE is strong. National will grow the faith of the people through their integrity and exposing the lowlife that need to be tossed far far away from the governing body of this country.

      •  Quite so BJ; and Mallard’s biggest problem is that his reputation precedes him; has he unmasked the mysterious American Bagman yet?

    • Gazzaw

      You may think that the public is bored with it but I don’t think so Peter. Most right thinking people do not like to see a woman defamed by a couple of bully boys one of whom has a particularly nasty reputation. I also doubt very much whether the women labour MPs privately endorse Mallard’s actions either. Collins holds a lot of trans-party respect amongst the female MPs. It will be nice too to see Radio Red get their comeuppance and then hopefully we might once again have a national radio station with some real political integrity along the lines of the BBC & ABC. 

      • Whafe

        I would go so far as too say the woman in the Labour party will hate Trevor Mallards guts, but just never outwardly say it, but times will be a changing am sure.. Rank in file will be under threat…

        Mallard will go down in the end, no doubt about that

      • Captain Crab

        “real political integrity along the lines of the BBC & ABC.”

        You cant be fucking serious! They are just propagandist arms of the establishment and all the govt funded lobby groups they support. 

      • Gazzaw

        I disagree. Both organisations broadcast views ranging from left to right which is totally different to the continual leftwing bias of Radio Red NZ.

    • Peter Wilson

      Possibly a re-read of my comments would add a little clarity.

      I never said she is a weak politician, but that the PUBLIC might see her that way. Clearly WE are not bored with the ACC scandal, but Franks is asserting that the public are.

      (I always smile when people say they are bored with something – yet they are writing about it!)

      All I’m saying is that whatever Collins is – and she’s clearly a strong and capable minister – the public may not see it that way.

      And, in my humble opinion, it could be an error to even talk about legal action.

      Does that make me a red loving lunatic socialist? No, it makes me someone who is not afraid to criticize those that he supports.

      • Euan Rt

        Peter. I don’t really care whether she sues or not, and I think this is what Joe public would be thinking too, but we the public always like and side with a winner. I think this is an easy win for Collins and it will bring both her and National kudos, while labeling Mallard with a ‘real’ label, as a bad politician who lies about people and so is untrustworthy. Most of us, including lefties know this anyway, but this conviction will be a real label that he will have to wear with shame.

      • Whafe

        On this occasion Peter, I don’t think the PUBLIC see her that way at all, what you need to marry it up with is the 2 politicians whom Judith Collins is taking to task…

        Had it been many other politicians, you may well be correct..

    • BJ

      The public’s opinion at this stage has little to do with it. When the Court upholds her case the public will then take notice because as the ACC MInister, when it is proved that the MInister for that organization has integrity, then there will be confidence that any problems ACC has, will be addressed.

  • If she keeps this up I see her as a strong contender as a future leader of National

  • @BoJangles

    A kiwi Maggie !!     Watch out you Pinkos

  • Cullen’s Sidekick

    While I am so keen that Mallard goes down the tube in this episode, I have a nasty suspicion that he may have something up his sleeve. Since Twinkle Twinkle Little star is also involved in this, I am bit worried now.

    • Euan Rt

      I dont think so. It is a simple case, “did they defame or not?”. 
      Sauteed and grilled chicken and duck – yes please!

  • GPT

    There is a point about upholding the integrity of public debate.  How often do MPs make the statement (especially to Winston) “Say it out of the house”.  Now a statement has been made out of the House and it is time to put money where mouth is.  Does anyone know if she is asking for money or simply a declaration (with Mallard and Little to pay indemnity costs)?

    • Grandstream

      funny how Winstin has been pretty quiet on this one….or is he on vacation with the missus ?

      • Gazzaw

        Streetwise enough not to be on the end of a defamation writ.

      • Richard B.

        Mrs Trottman told Mrs Jan Trottman, St Marys Bay, that he needs to stay at home and tidy the house, do the dishes and make the bed while she is out at work.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Typical labour trying to fight this in the court of public opinion. The problem I believe isn’t that the public are bored, they are ambivilent and will wait for the decision. Collins should win, as the accusations were made in the public domain, and (as I suspect) will be found to be untrue. Therefore losing the case mallard and little’s political carreer will be heavilly damaged. Collins will gain great Kudos. If for some reason she doesn’t win, but the facts support her accusations (that they lied)….she still wins!!

    • Pete George

      Funny – over at The Standard they have been talking up every possible scenario as a loss for Collins.

      • johnbronkhorst

        I hope your no trying to surprise me there. The standard are never careful about repeating the lies of labour ministers….Helen Clarke just one example!

  • jay cee

    i’m interested to see how this one plays out. you guys love to think of mallard  is a fool but you don’t get to be around as long as he has without something going for you. i suspect its pay back
    on collins from mallard for david benson-pope. 

    • Fergus

      really, i think mallard has gambled here. and  is now shitting himself because he has been called out. He REALLY didn’t see “law suit” when he started this!!