Is Scott Simpson moonlighting in Timaru?

I learned a great deal of my dirty politics skills assisting Young Nats in Eden electorate like Scott Simpson. One thing we used to do is go around vandalising our own signs so our candidate could get in the local paper about the dreadful vandalism occurring in the election. You can tell the difference between self-vandalism and opposition-vandalism. Opposition vandalism usually entails total destruction whereas self-vandalism is usually witty, drawing moustaches and the like on signs.

Two Timaru District Council candidates have been given a devilish makeover by an artistically-inclined, if somewhat misguided, vandal.

Election signs belonging to candidates Peter Burt and Owen Jackson were vandalised on the corner of Wai-Iti Rd and Wilson St during the weekend.

Each candidate was given a pair of devil horns and a moustache by the orange marker wielding artist.

While the vandalism was frustrating, it was not altogether unexpected, both men said.   

Jackson said he had sent Burt a text message after seeing another one of his signs had been drawn on last week.

“I said, ‘I guess you’re the first’. I don’t know if there’s an award for it.”

Campaigning was not cheap, and it was frustrating to have to replace signage, he said.

However, he joked was planning on keeping the vandalised sign as “a memento”.

Fellow candidate Burt said he was lucky to make it through the 2013 election without any of his signs falling victim to vandals.

Burt should have gone out in the dead of the night and done over his own signs. Plenty of candidates do.

The weekend’s incident was definitely frustrating, he said. He was planning to head down to the site and replace the sign on Sunday.

Idiot, don’t replace the sign, you get sympathy votes from it. I well remember one candidate in recent years boasting to me that none of his signs had been vandalised. I told him to get out there and draw big cocks on them or something, he was missing out on prime local coverage. The next week all of a sudden there was a rash of vandalism…including big cocks.

There is a real skill in doing over your own signs, not the least is the skill in not getting busted doing it.

As I said I learned all my best campaigning tricks from my longest friend in caucus, Scott Simpson.


– Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.