24 Apr 2013

Craig gives up battle with satirical site

9:23 pm on 24 April 2013

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he doesn't think his threat to sue over a satirical news story has damaged his reputation.

On Tuesday, Mr Craig's lawyers issued the editor of The Civilian website with a legal notice demanding that he remove a story on the site which included a fictional quote.

The story remains on the website, but its editor, Ben Uffindel, has sent Mr Craig's lawyers a retraction and apology statement.

The letter, clearly tongue-in-cheek, is signed with a large smiley face.

On Wednesday morning Mr Craig withdrew his threat of defamation action against the satirical site.

He said he understands it's all satire, but wanted to make a point, and would continue to take court action in situations he thinks is warranted.

Several other websites have run satirical pieces about Colin Craig in solidarity with The Civilian, along with hundreds of tweets.

Political blogger David Farrar says Mr Craig has made himself look silly by threatening legal action - and that's what happens when you take on the online community.

"If you complain and threaten with defamation on something like that, all you'll do is highlight it much, much more. He turned himself into a sort of national figure of mockery by it. So, an incredibly stupid thing to do."

Cartoonist Tom Scott believes Mr Craig needs to grow a thicker skin.

He said political satire is intended to mock, ridicule and pour scorn on the powerful - and perhaps what Mr Craig is really saying is that he's not very powerful and that his views should be ignored.