In Defence of Colin CragSatire by Lyndon Hood
Yesterday afternoon it emerged that Colin Craig had sent a defamation notice to satire website The Civilian.
This made me realise I have not yet explained exactly how much I admire Mr Craig. Allow me to do so now.
Firstly, let's be clear. Contrary to this wild media beat-up, I see no evidence Mr Craig is currently suing the website. In fact, a temperate reading of the lawyer's letter makes it clear that he is not even threatening to sue them. He is just pointing out he could try and sue them if he wanted and demanding restitution for whatever it was they're supposed to have done that's bad. Any other suggestion is scurrilious.
Mr Craig does not embark on frivolous lawsuits at the drop of a hat and anyone who says differently should check their inbox is all I'm saying.
The fact that earlier this year Mr Craig was able to extract rights of reply over newspaper columns by Josh Drummond and Steve Braunias is clearly proof of nothing but his righteousness.
The test for defamation is usually based on what conclusions a reasonable reader would draw. But in this case, the articles are not being read by a so-called "reasonable reader". They are being read by Colin Craig.
I think Mr Craig himself explained it best when he said, "Hur hur hur ... I love cartoons."
Obviously Mr Braunias' assertion – that Mr Craig spent a week, along with Labour MP Su'a William Sio, engaged in a defence of Craig's house from a tireless horde of rampaging homosexuals – could not be allowed to stand unchallenged. It could only be dealt with by a right-of-reply article that did not address the original column in any way.
The question of what – even if we suppose they were misleadingly untrue – could be damaging about assertions made by Drummond or quotes made up by The Civilian is less clear. I am not a confidante of Mr Craig (should I ever have that pleasure my joy will be immeasurable) but I note the common factor is religious sentiment.
I can only conclude Mr Craig finds claims he has harboured or expressed ideas based on a biblical foundation so poisonously contrary to everything he stands for that he has no choice but to get some of the most expensive lawyers in the country to erase such statements from history.
But this is not really the point. Mr Craig – who is not, as some might seek to imply, a religio-fascist alien lizard dressed in the skin of a fourteen-year-old boy – has feelings. Yes, he is almost certainly a human being and his breast harbours human feelings. Or, if not, something very nearly equivalent.
Also: the Conservative Party achieved 2.65% of the vote in the last election. So even if that was most money per vote spent on a campaign with the result of not electing Mr Craig as MP for anything; even if Conservative candidates Larry Baldock and Peter Redman are accused of filing a false electoral return; and even if more actual people were in prison at the time than voted Conservative, Mr Craig's views should be treated with exactly the respect they deserve.
Incidentally, when I said 'breast' just now I didn't mean a female-type breast. I've seen no information suggesting Mr Craig has, or has ever had, female breasts and even if he was once a woman that's no business of mine.
The point is: whether or not his lawyers, while drafting this letter, told each other that he was a shallow mockery of human being, Mr Craig has a right to self-defence.
Now, most of us – at least those who have successfully completed adolescence – realise that there are some parts of us that are pompous, or vain, or foolish and might welcome a playful attempt to point those out, so we can improve ourselves in our own eyes and those of our peers.
But Mr Craig (or as he's sometimes known "Mr Crag" which I imagine is some kind of S codename) is clearly not of the common herd.
Mr Craig is a remarkable individual.
Based on the evidence available, I think what's going on here is Mr Craig is such a total buffoon, so stuffed full of ludicruousness, so completely built of pigheaded idiocy founded upon pompous vanity, that the slightest mockery poses an existential threat to his whole being.
Clearly, he is a comprehensive pillock. A total twit. He recognises that if he were to excise all that is buffoonish and risible from his personality there would be nothing left but dust. If his vanity were to be punctured his whole inner self would explode.
So if Mr Craig thinks it necessary, for his own safety, to remove every hurtful or even slightly disparaging thing anyone has ever said about him from existence, who are we to doubt him? Not I. I wouldn't dare.