I’m sorry. Very sorry. I’m really sorry about all the terrible, nasty things I’m planning to say about you over the next several months.
Please accept my unreserved apologies for the mockery and insults I intend to direct towards you in a short while.
I know you’re just a simple man with a simple plan, and you just want people to know the truth about the things you stand for. It must be hard to be taken seriously when, as soon as you open your mouth, people like me start thinking “Chemtrails! Moon landings!”
So I’m sorry about that. I’m also sorry for wondering why you seem to like talking so much about the sex lives of other people. I’m surprised that a busy and successful man like you has time to worry about who is sticking what where. But I’m sure you have your reasons for that, so I’m sorry for finding it weird and creepy.
I’m also sorry for thinking bad things about you. You want so desperately to be taken seriously, and to have influence on the direction this country is taking. You are convinced that you have something to contribute to politics, though I’ll be damned if I can work out what it might be.
And then this. This! Getting your lawyers to threaten defamation proceedings against a politician because you didn’t like what he said about you. Do you ever get advice from anyone sensible before you do these things? And, no, I don’t mean God. Those conversations are generally one-way, or at least I hope so.
I don’t blame your lawyer for sending the letter to Russel Norman. I imagine he probably did his best to talk you out of it. I imagine he probably said something like: “Colin, if you insist that I write this letter, then of course I will. I am obliged by the rules of my profession to follow your instructions. But threatening another politician with defamation is a really dumb thing to do. It will end up going badly for you, and you’ll come out of it looking like a complete clown. It will be The Civilian all over again, except this time it will be much more serious. The Greens are a major political party, and they will humiliate you. Russel Norman can’t afford to be seen to back down, and then what are you going to do? Sue him? Dear God, you’d have to be a crazy man! Don’t do this, Colin, I beg you. Think of your reputation! Colin, don’t make me write that letter!”
Or at least I hope that’s what your lawyer said. I’m sorry if that’s not the advice you got.
Colin, what exactly did you expect your opponents to do? Did you think none of them would ever misrepresent your views and policies on important issues? I’m really, really sorry if this comes as a shock to you, but politics is a ruthless business full of ambitious ego-driven people. To paraphrase a famous All Black, it ain’t tiddlywinks.
Boy, the debating chamber is going to be hard work for you. If you do somehow find a way to convince enough voters to put you into Parliament (“Chemtrails! Moon landings!”), you won’t find Chapman Tripp much use when the likes of Winston Peters or Trevor Mallard start tearing you to shreds in the House.
I’m sorry if that’s not the news you wanted to hear.