This afternoon, Colin Craig released a pamphlet on the alleged actions of the 'Dirty Politics Brigade'. Newsworthy has written a comprehensive textual analysis of what will go down as one of the most mind-boggling political documents of our time.
This is best read in conjuction with the pamphlet, which is available here.
They say don’t judge a pamphlet by its cover, but of course we do it anyway.
Colin Craig’s cover is rich with symbolism. On the left, Craig slumps in deep melancholy, his skin sallow; his eyes haunted. He wears an overcoat and an open-collared shirt, apparently too tired to bother with the usual political formalities. It’s a powerful image: one that says ‘I’ve been severely wronged’ and also, in the first of many Biblical references, ‘Doesn’t that remind you of Jesus?’.
The main problem with this page is the juxtaposition of Craig’s face and the words ‘Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas’. It suggests Craig has a Dirty Politic and a Hidden Agenda. A more appropriate title would be ‘The Passion of the Craig: My Suffering at the Hands of the Dirty Politics Brigade’.
Unremarkable at first glance. A headline and a list of four chapters. Standard pamphlet foreplay. Then, at the bottom of the page, a loud foreshadowing of the villainy to come. “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” the text reads, followed by the words, all-caps: ‘THE NINTH COMMANDMENT’.
This is no ordinary dispute. No petty airing of grievances. Here we see that Craig’s persecutors have not just broken the laws of man, but of God. The Bible says those who bear false witness must sacrifice a female lamb or goat, or two turtledoves or two pigeons, or a tenth of an ephah of fine flour at the Temple. Only that will redeem the evildoers, who we are about to meet in...
Sorry, this isn’t actually where we meet the villains. Instead we get a quote from George Washington, who wrote the Bible.
“Truth will ultimately prevail where pains are taken to bring it to light,” he says. Amen.
The villains are actually coming up on…
Williams. Slater. Stringer. Colin Craig recites the names out loud as he lays down to sleep.
Williams. Slater Stringer. He repeats the words until they’re dead and heavy on his tongue. His vision blurs around the edges. His head feels like it’s full of bees. A madness settles in his soul.
Williams. Slater. Stringer. Why would they do it? Why? The blogs. The destabilisation campaign. The damned attack dossiers.
Williams. Slater. Stringer. Stringer. That name. Craig ruminates on the “Judas” of his Party; the man who bore false witness inside his political sanctuary.
Williams. Slater. Stringer. Williams… Slater… Stringer. The words are venom. But he must swallow the poison to feel peace.
Colin Craig’s bedroom.
Craig stares straight ahead for five hours before finally settling down to sleep: his eyes open and unseeing, his gaze fixed inward.
By Newsworthy Executive Producer Jono Hutchison
Hayden is taking some time out. I’ll handle things for the next few pages.
This is a very confronting page. Colin Craig stares straight at the reader, unflinching in his gaze - despite a menacing target right beside his head. Is the target printed on the wall, or is this meant to be an image seen on the screen of a drone pilot? My guess is that it’s printed on the wall, because I imagine a drone screen would have be fuzzier and black-and-white, with a lot more information for the pilot’s reference. But that leads me to another question: did Colin Craig pose in a photo shoot specifically for this image? I think yes.
“What appears to the public to be random revelations is nothing of the sort, there is a clear agenda in place.” Not the best grammar. Try this: “What appear to the public to be random revelations are nothing of the sort; there is a clear agenda in place.”
Ok I’m going to lay off the grammar for a while. There are lots more issues on this page and it’s not my job to edit the whole pamphlet.
In the middle of the page there is a strange blue box that says “COMMENT: Craig has only ever had one sexual relationship which is with his wife [Helen] of over 23 years.” This seems less like a casual comment and more like a humblebrag. Helen’s name is included in square brackets, presumably to counter anyone who was planning on retorting “But he didn’t specify who his wife is… maybe it’s someone else! Gotcha CC!”
The bottom section of this page introduces what is referred to as “Lie #1”. This is a strange use of a hashtag and I just can’t see #1 trending any time soon. Anyway, it also features a creepy stock photo and a fact-box “definition” of sexual harassment. The definition is sourced in the references to “http://www.justice.govt.nz”, which is quite a big website. The full URL would have been more helpful. Points deducted.
There’s quite a lot of writing on these pages. This is all getting too complex. A few highlights:
Hayden here. I’ve calmed down now.
These pages are the meat in Craig’s allegation sandwich. They begin with the eye-catching announcement ‘A lot of expletives have been deleted from this dialogue’ and go on to detail an exclusive interview between ‘Interviewer’ and a Dirty Politics Brigade insider known as ‘Mr X’.
Everything that follows is cloaked in secrecy. Who is Interviewer? Who is Mr X? Could they be the same man?
‘Interviewer’ is very defensive in the face of criticism of Colin Craig. When ‘Mr X’ says Craig’s support is shaky, he or she responds:
“That’s an interesting opinion but Craig says he has been getting pretty positive feedback from supporters”
He or she is high on Craig’s character:
“Craig has always been honest in the past. If he is honest this time it means he has been defamed. What if I were to tell you that Craig is thinking of going public not only with the full story but also that he is planning legal action against Stringer, Slater, and Williams?”
Could Interviewer be Colin Craigterviewer?
When Mr X is asked whether Craig can recover his political career, he responds:
“No chance … well OK there is a chance but only because he [Colin Craig] is freakish under pressure and he seems to be largely unphased by this whole thing … its weird that. You can never say never …”
On why Craig is being targeted despite not being in Office, he says:
"He gets votes and the media love him so that qualifies him to be a target.”
Mr X is very damning of Craig’s political enemies:
“For sure, she swallowed it hook, line, and sinker and then went crazy doing whatever she could to pull Craig down … Stringer could not have done it without Rankin.”
So is Mr X in fact Mr Craig?No, but this is weird.
This work stands alone: the perfect conclusion to the perfect political pamphlet.