Having followed the Colin Craig vs Cameron Slater High Court trial in Auckland, I’ve come to the conclusion that it should have never been allowed. There are too many weird things that don’t make sense about it and I try to stitch it all together in this post coming out with a real elephant in the [court] room. Human uniquenesses have merged to flashpoint and injustice is probably inevitable no matter the result. It’s a live trial that requires caution from me in saying what I do here, but say it I do . . . it should be stopped, taken from the legal arena; moved back into the human arena; and ultimately that’s in the hands of the Judge.
The Colin Craig vs Cameron Slater trial is unusual in many ways and is more than just a couple of proud and angry men having a go at each other in court – “he said – he said” sort of thing. It’s unique for many reasons but there are little clues that I’ve picked up that something different is occurring with this one. It might be that I’ve not got it all right (I don’t have any inside information) but the general thrust of my thesis here I think will be born out to be true . . . we’re ‘not dealing with a full deck’, particularly with Colin Craig but also with Cameron Slater.
Before I launch into details and the various clues I wish to explain this “full deck” statement – it can be used in a negative, condescending manner. I don’t intend it that way at all. I mean specifically and only that there are human uniquenesses in both gentlemen that society as a pack tend to sideline. I noted that one of the Whale Oil people slammed the New Zealand Herald’s appointing a comic to cover the trial. This criticism is indeed valid as I’ve found the way that Steve Braunias has covered the trial to be quite inappropriate, even condescending, and certainly less informative that it could have been.
I’ve mentioned before that neither men are well liked – Cameron for his obnoxious ways (particularly from long past events when he was establishing his online personna) and Colin for his conduct with and around Rachel MacGregor and/or the Conservative Party (for some). This puts both protagonists on the back foot in the media, and will prevent open discussion of the matters around the water cooler in anything but hushed voices or little more than quick snippets. It will have the same effect of dropping the “Holocaust” subject into animated analysis of conspiracy theories, or just casually inserting the name “Jesus” into free-flowing philosophical discussions. As far as I have seen, people don’t want to be known to read WhaleOil or to have ever voted for ‘a weirdo’ like Craig.
This post is more about Colin and his uniquenesses than Cameron but Cameron is a challenge for many. I’ve got a lot of time for him – sure his early days as a blogger were a little rough, and he’s paid a high price for that with many simply not giving him the time of day now.
But he’s got a good mind and has the balls to speak out what others daren’t. In this case it may have come back to bite him a little but he’s developed a following and has been steady at his WhaleOil blogging business now for years. He deserves the success he enjoys.
His black and white, no nonsense ways are legendary. Most of the time you know exactly where you stand with him and he has credibility to die for in some circles. His fearlessness borders on recklessness, and watching him develop his brand and business has given me enormous encouragement in my investigative blogging, but he is certainly divisive and unliked. He is the sort of guy that if you are in the same business you have to read but will do everything you can to avoid helping with backlinks or public acknowledgement that you take a feed from him!
Colin is the centre of this show. He started it (in court that is) and he’s the Plaintiff who is representing himself. Clearly he’s not a lawyer but he has every right to do what he has done – sue a blogger for telling porkies and causing him harm . . . but he’s clearly different. He’s awkward, socially. This is instantly clear from seeing him in person. He’s obviously talented and capable (you don’t make money like he seems to have without having a brain and being able to use it) but he’s gained and then lost key support in his political endeavours very badly. From what I’ve been able to glean thus far, I think that he’s got some serious problems with his case because as I’ve noted before, I can’t see major defamation in what Cameron has written but I certainly can see it in how he responded. If asked to predict (and I was last night) I’d be predicting a big cheque due to Cameron Slater at the end of the day . . . but that’s not the point of this post.
My take is that Colin Craig has some form of Asperger’s or Autism and that Cameron Slater’s intense, unforgiving, black and white style is and has been red-rag-to-a-bull. It’s the only thing that makes sense of the whole thing. Now I am NOT a shrink and I’m only looking at it all from the sidelines but please hear me out as I go through some of the things that have led me to this conclusion:
Rachel MacGregor’s conduct and testimony is not so simple as, “He’s the bad boy and I’m clean!” There was an unusual relationship between them as far as I can see but it wasn’t the normal boy hits on girl thing. I don’t think that the reality of the time of her employment has come out in public fairly or fully. If Colin was ‘different’ in the sense that I have described above, then this would explain things much more fully than the sensationalism of both the newspapers AND of WhaleOil’s approach. I think Cameron got it wrong in this sense, that primarily Rachel was dealing with a human uniqueness rather than a sexual predator. Rachel’s own words say this if you put them all together. Note also the words that Colin uses, “inappropriate” behaviour and that Rachel did withdraw the complaint. While I can understand people wanting to present their conduct in a light favourable to themselves, I don’t think the facts that I have seen paint Craig to be that which Slater has tried to make out.
Note also the support that Colin has from his wife, and even his family lawyer Madeleine Flannagan. If she/they knows that Colin is at heart a “good guy” but has maybe some uniquenesses, or maybe even a fully diagnosed psychiatric condition then would she (or they) not genuinely want to support her/their man? It must be agony knowing that injustice has occurred against her husband yet also knowing that they out there, “don’t understand him”! Yes, I am fully aware that there are self-interests at stake but this doesn’t preclude some people standing up when there is injustice and falsehood. Indeed both parties in this court case have those around them who are standing by them as the battle in court proceeds.
The response that Colin Craig brought to bear on the perceived injustice was totally out of all reason. One does not see such incredible resourcefulness, commitment and creativity on a daily basis. It is not normal conduct to send something to 1.6million NZ households! This may indeed be as the Defendants say the sign of a vicious campaign of falsehood and vendetta, but it is also the quintessential signs of the condition I have described – something quite logical and sensible to a guy who genuinely feels that he’s been slighted and treated unfairly.
His dogmatic self-confidence, flying in the face of all reason too is another indicator of psychiatric issues like I have described. I push the boundaries many times, as did Cameron Slater too when he was operating on his own. When we have less fear than others around us though, we have to learn to back off sometimes and trust professionals or advisors who can suggest that we “tone it down” a little. Pete performs that role with Cameron. My wife at the time performed that role for me. If Colin has yet to learn this about his uniquenesses it would make perfect sense that he would barge on with a ‘crazy’ mass maildrop campaign or a court case that has little chance of success but also brings a huge risk associated with it. One who can handle risk-taking like Colin Craig is probably not fazed in the slightest by it all, and is probably happy to wander in daily before a judge and put his case while the world mocks. This is indeed what I see.
His political cronies and supporters were shocked and pulled out one by one as they could see the writing on the wall with the allegations and he either missed all the signs or ignored them outright, blindly carrying on as if he owned the show and was King Canute.
The list goes on and on – sauna interviews; subjects of conspiracy; his apparent desire to control others; his own lawyer testifying against him and the largest award against anyone ever for outrageous conduct. These could be the signs of a very mixed up, vindictive, dangerous, evil man – or they could be perfectly understandable when seen in proper context.
The other aspect that is interesting about this case is the involvement of Christians. I’ve mentioned before that scriptures prohibit the taking of disputes between brothers before secular adjudication. Paul was pretty contemptuous about this, which is what these ‘boys’ are doing, so it raises the question that was popular with the “Jesus Freaks” of a few decades ago . . . WWJD? What Would Jesus Do?
In my experience, He tended to cut to the chase pretty darn quick. I suspect that He would sit down with them both and have a little word along these lines:
“Cam, I think you might have got it a little wrong. I know, Colin is a little different. Might be a good idea to give ’em a break eh?” and then turning to Colin, He might say something like, “Cam got it a little but wrong. He’s a black & white guy himself and may have reacted a little over the top. Might pay to let it go eh?”
Then I reckon He’d invite ’em all out for a big feed!
The way I look at this case, Cameron got it wrong by not fully understanding the Rachel MacGregor thing and then through a lawyer’s dodgy communications that set him up, and then Colin overreacted and went way too far in response and will probably have to pay for it, somehow, if the judge sees it the same was as I do.
Most lawyers I know think of legal solutions to human conflict, for that is the job of lawyers [or judges] is it not? In my experience it is a happy day if legal solutions and justice coincide.
Judge Toogood has big shoes to fill.