“Colin Craig suffers from the political equivalent of leprosy”

Chris Trotter fearlessly criticises Colin Craig

Again and again, Craig has thrust his hands into the fire of political controversy, seemingly oblivious to the increasingly debilitating consequences.

An experienced politician would never have written – let alone posted to every New Zealand household – a detailed response to the accusations of his political enemies.

If what your opponents are saying about you has gained sufficient currency to require such denials, then it is almost certainly too late for them to do any good.

And yet, this is exactly what Craig did.

Worse, he wrote the pamphlet himself.

Had he employed the services of a professional publicist (who would almost certainly have begged him not to do it) the excruciating embarrassment of the past few weeks could have been avoided.

Insulation from reality is, however, one of the besetting tribulations of great wealth.

Ordinary folk must present a convincing case for spending millions of dollars.

As a highly successful businessman, however, Craig possesses the resources to give his whims and fancies concrete expression.

He is on record, a number of times, that he feels this is, in fact, one of the privileges of being wealthy – that he can use the court system as part of his strategy where others can not.  

In defending his reputation, the Taxpayers’ Union founder, Jordan Williams, has simultaneously driven a stake through Craig’s political heart and mortally wounded the Conservative Party.

Over the weeks of Williams’ defamation action, the nation has looked on, in head-shaking disbelief, as a grown man has been forced to acknowledge, under oath, behaviour that would embarrass a spotty adolescent.

Day after day the public has been treated to example after example of Craig’s appalling judgement.

New Zealand voters are prepared to cut politicians a great deal of slack when it comes to the sins of the flesh (just ask Shane Jones!) but they will not forgive a consistent pattern of bad decision-making.

We expect our leaders to make informed and sensible political choices.

We do not expect them to thrust their hands into one avoidable fire after another and allow them to be burned black.

But even as they write him off as a passing political curiosity, New Zealanders will likely experience a twinge of sympathy for Craig.

From the moment he entered the political arena in 2009, his endearing, almost childlike, faith in the democratic process has touched the hearts of many.

Unfortunately, just like Tom Hanks’ character in the movie Big, Craig’s teenage-boy-in-a-man’s-body pursuit of godly goals has also been the source of considerable mirth.

Craig professed to be shocked by the “dirty politics” of his foes.

It is astonishing that he took so long to realise that there is no other kind.

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None of this is new to anyone.  Except that Mr Craig has been trying to use his wealth to redefine the rules of the game.

In this round, the People told him that they don’t stand for Mr Craig’s version of politics.

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Those were directly from testimony given about me by Mr Colin Craig.

Apart from some of the despicable mayhem in the regions right now, I’m gearing up for a productive year during 2017.

 

– Chris Trotter, Stuff


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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