If it’s Craig or Brown flush it down

Personally I think both Craig and Brown are finished politically but only Len Brown seems to have accepted that fact as he has stated that he will not be standing again. The two men are an interesting study in how to handle a scandal. Len Brown didn’t even try to deny his affair. He immediately fronted up to Campbell Live and apologised for letting everyone down. In contrast Colin Craig went down the denial route. That is not my poem he claimed. It was inappropriate behaviour not sexual harassment he retorted.

Just one of the bad eggs that need to be exited

While their approach to being caught out was totally different what they have in common is that they both failed to react in the way one would expect.

Trump in America has made his own political rules and has shocked the Media and others for refusing to play the game of politics along traditional lines. Both Craig and Brown have demonstrated the political hide of a Rhino. No matter how humiliating the revelations and no matter how numerous the calls for them to quit politics neither of them did.

Brown clung on to power despite the sniggers and lack of respect that followed him for the remainder of his term as Mayor. Craig eventually made a show of stepping down but continued to financially support the party. No one has replaced him and he keeps talking about coming back, so it seems that the leadership seat is being kept warm.

len brown

Even when a newspaper called for Brown to stand down he clung on. He didn’t bother denying that he was a lame duck mayor, he just didn’t want to give up the salary and knew that there was no legal way to force him out of the job even though a council employee doing the same thing would be fired. He also protected his family and wife as best as he could from the consequences of his actions and asked the Media to please leave them alone.

Colin Craig in contrast used his wife as a shield in what must surely be one of the most cringe worthy moments of political television. It was so bad that a satirical sketch was made of it. He also went on the offensive legally. Before the scandal he had used legal threats to try to make people do what he wanted or to punish people for saying things about him that he didn’t like.He successfully forced TV 3 to include him in a political debate but that was a rare success as he dropped his defamation case against Russel Norman and also his defamation case against the Civilian.

Additionally he has a history of failing to make good on his threats. He still for example has not filed a defamation case against Jordan Williams despite saying on television that he was going to do so immediately.

On top of all this Craig spent hundreds of thousands of dollars sending a defamatory pamphlet all over New Zealand. As ironic as Nicky Hager using Dirty Politics to write a book about Dirty Politics, Craig used a Dirty Pamphlet that defamed everyone inside it to claim that he was a victim of defamation.Even better he included an interview with the mysterious Mr X which was later revealed to be totally made up. Craig was both Mr X and the interviewer and not someone who personally knew Cameron Slater at all.

Here is a list of Craig’s legal cases so far:


  1. Williams v Craig
  2. MacGregor v Craig?
  3. Craig v Slater
  4. Slater v Craig
  5. Craig v Stringer
  6. Stringer v Craig Counterclaim CHC (withdrawn )
  7. Stringer v Craig
  8. Craig v an ex-Centurion Employee (for “liking” a post on the conzervative blog)
  9. Craig v Slater in Small Claims Tribunal (thrown out)
  10. Slater v Craig ditto (thrown out)
  11. Craig v Slater poem

and follows defamation actions in 2014 against

13. The Greens and Dr Russell Norman

14. Ben Uffingdon at The Civilian

15. TV3 among others


The actions of both men have led me to make the following observations about political scandals.

  1. It is better to confess and apologise as it shuts down the Media attention faster than if you deny and attack legally those who have exposed you.
  2. If you don’t care what the public think or expect and cannot be legally removed just weather the storm and keep your bottom glued to the leadership chair.
  3. Don’t ever put your wife in front of the cameras.
  4. You cannot win elections,leadership positions or respect in a courtroom.
  5. Legal cases just keep the scandal fresh in the public’s mind and give your targets the opportunity to add to the scandal in their efforts to defend themselves.

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