Collins paying own way

Confession time – when I heard that Judith Collins was suing Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little and Radio NZ for defamation I wondered if it would be better to let the matter drop.

Such is the low esteem in which most politicians are held, it’s not easy for them to prove their reputations have been damaged and I thought the suit was a waste of time and money.

But Stephen Franks has changed my mind:

Such plaintiffs serve the public interest in upholding the integrity of public debate. If there is no sanction for lying in the exercise of free speech, a kind of Gresham’s law may prevail. The person determined not to lie may be destroyed by the colour and effectiveness of ever bigger lies.

It’s very easy for MPs to insult someone’s integrity but that doesn’t make it right. It could be seen as a form of bullying and the best way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.

They are probably hoping she’ll back down, but she’s said she’s continuing with the defamation case and she’s using her own money to do so.

Even if the Cabinet manual allows for public funding of law suits of this nature, I don’t think it would be the best use of scarce funds and am pleased the Minister will be paying her own way.

6 Responses to Collins paying own way

  1. robertguyton says:

    “When I heard that Judith Collins was suing Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little and Radio NZ for defamation I wondered if it would be better to let the matter drop.”

    Your intuition was right, Ele. Trust it.

    “But Stephen Franks has changed my mind.”

    Good grief.

  2. homepaddock says:

    Letting bullies win because it’s less trouble is the easy way but not the right way, Robert.

  3. Gravedodger says:

    However it would suit Robert and his fellow travelers to allow thugs such as Mallard and Little to continue to fling untruths, half truths and any other mud in the hope it will stick to something, aided and abetted by an unquestioning mainstream media with no fact checking or investigation. Certainly with no repercussions but J C is about to make a change there and all power to her arm.

    Clearly the Latest polls indicate among other things that such tactics have no positive for the left wing parties indulging in such negativity.

    What a strange world we live in where ‘churnalists” have their excuse for “News” on page one and the truth, if it is ever published on page 3,4, or 5.

    Very few commenters thought Chris Cairns would win either but that was another matter. The Judges decision comments on the Indians could equally apply to Mallard and Little as to reliability.

  4. Bushbasher says:

    Cynics are seeing the Collins move as a way to avoid questions in the House.

    Stephen Franks has something to say about that, too

    http://www.stephenfranks.co.nz/?p=4241

    Boag, Pullar..Another Nat Spat, really.

  5. robertguyton says:

    It will be interesting, Ele, for you to revisit this post at a later date to check to see if your intuition was correct.
    I believe you’ll find that it was.

  6. inventory2 says:

    I agree Ele; and the feeling of liberation when you deal with a bully is fantastic; and I speak from recent experience 😉

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