Craig v Slater Day 9 (media roundup)

Another day of Colin Craig questioning Cam Slater in the Auckland High Court.

First out of the gate was a Stuff reporter called Harrison Christian. ?Which is funny, when you see what he reported on.

Craig, Slater clash on ‘speaking with God’

Colin Craig and Cameron Slater have clashed at the High Court in Auckland over whether it’s possible to speak to God.

The former Conservative Party leader and the Whaleoil blogger are suing each other for defamation.

“Not one of my Christian friends ever talks about speaking with God,” Slater said on Thursday while being cross examined by Craig, who is representing himself.

“And none of them certainly speaks about getting messages from God, and I thought that was weird.”

Slater was referring to a letter Craig wrote to his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, on Christmas Eve 2014, in which he claimed he’d received instructions from God to “look after Rachel”.

The two men are both Christian, but appear to have differing views on the nature of prayer.

“As a Christian yourself, isn’t prayer a practice in the Christian religion?” Craig asked.

“I certainly have never had a conversation with God,” Slater replied.

“Isn’t prayer speaking to God?” Craig said.

“It requires two parties to have a conversation,” Slater said. “I started wondering what accident did you have?[*] Considering one of the poems was [titled] Two of Me, I wondered whether you’d actually been speaking with yourself.”

Craig’s letters to MacGregor were peppered with religious references and contained prayers.

Slater said he didn’t believe Craig’s relationship with MacGregor was consensual, but possibly the result of a power imbalance.

“If I was a female employee getting letters commenting on my breasts, saying how beautiful I was, I wouldn’t have gone to the Human Rights Commission; I would have gone to the police.”

A sexual harassment complaint MacGregor brought against Craig in 2014 was settled confidentially.

Craig also asked Slater if he accepted it was possible for people working together to develop more than just a professional relationship.

“If they think with their nether regions and not with their heads it can happen,” Slater said.

[*] That’s not what was said, but WO is?showing it as it was reported. ?This is the actual quote

“Isn’t prayer speaking to God?” Craig said. ?“It requires two parties to have a conversation,” Slater said.?”I started wondering what accent did [God]?have? Considering one of the poems was [titled]?Two of Me, I?wondered whether you’d actually been speaking with yourself.

The same reporter later filed this updated piece ?

Judge scolds Craig and Slater in the High Court

Colin Craig and Cameron Slater have each been scolded by a judge in the Auckland High Court.

The former Conservative Party leader and the Whaleoil blogger are suing each other for defamation.

Craig, who is representing himself, was cross examining Slater on Thursday, when Justice Kit Toogood took exception to his methods.

“Mr Craig, you need to bear in mind there is not unlimited court time,” Justice Toogood said.

Craig had been repeatedly asking Slater the same question, which was “unhelpful”.

“Cross-examination is not an exercise in trying to persuade a witness to your point of view. It is soliciting evidence.”

When Slater again insulted Craig while answering a question, Justice Toogood interjected again: “Mr Slater I said to you before, I don’t need editorial comment. Answer the questions and confine yourself to the answers please.”

The judge was unhappy with the slow pace of the trial, telling both parties they needed to “think about duration”.

“You will need to understand we can’t just conjure up court and judicial time out of the air.”

The judge-alone trial is set down for three weeks, but could go on longer.

Earlier in the day Craig and Slater had clashed over whether it’s possible to speak to God.

This is an NZN piece on NZ City

Politicians despicable, Slater tells Craig

Blogger Cameron Slater has told a court his posts are so popular it makes him a target for attack from people, such as former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.

Whaleoil founder Slater, in a series of posts in 2015, alleged former Conservative Party leader Mr Craig sexually harassed his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

Ms MacGregor resigned suddenly two days before the 2014 election, having worked closely with Mr Craig from about the time he founded the Conservative Party three years earlier.

Mr Craig is suing Slater for defamation over his blog posts, while Slater is counter-suing Mr Craig over allegations the former politician made in a 12-page pamphlet he sent to 1.6 million homes trying to defend himself.

Slater says he was just doing his job as a journalist when he posted the allegations.

Under cross-examination by Mr Craig – who is representing himself – at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday, Slater said people such as Nicky Hager in his book Dirty Politics had regularly attacked him because he was influential.

“That is why I’m targeted and continue to be targeted by people such as yourself,” he told Mr Craig.

Mr Craig later asked Slater if his blogs were a political force that influenced votes and altered political outcomes, to which Slater replied “yes”.

Slater said modern politics was a game that had only just graduated beyond the barbaric violence that often accompanied Ancient Rome’s political life, saying “politics is a dirty game, played by dirty despicable people”.

He said he did not hide his opinion in his posts and on some issues could be considered a political lobbyist.

However, he said he was never paid for blog posts but did receive income as a consultant providing media training or helping clients, such as politicians, prepare for hostile question and answer sessions.

Mr Craig titled his 12-page pamphlet sent to more than one million homes “Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas”.


Finally, a RNZ piece that I missed yesterday

As for today: another day of Colin Craig questioning Cam Slater, although there is an expectation it won’t be all day. ?Mr Craig will wind up his questions, and then there will be an opportunity for Brian Henry to ask a few, followed by the Court.

Then Cam Slater’s witnesses will take the stand. ?Matthew Hooton is scheduled to be the first.

As you might have gathered from Cam’s wife, while he’s on the stand, we can’t discuss the case with him in any way. ?It’s made the last few days extremely boring. ?Imagine personally knowing and being with the captain of the All Blacks every day and you can talk about anything except rugby.

I can’t even describe what I think he’s doing well, or not doing well, in case he reads it on the blog. ?Hopefully we can have a catch up after today.