by Andrew Geddis

We might think the participants in the Craig v Slater defamation decision got what they deserved ... but for the fact that one of them continues to have to relive something she would far, far rather put behind her. 

The finally decided defamation proceedings in Craig v Slater must be the stuff of judicial nightmares. A complicated fact pattern involving two deeply unsympathetic parties. The application of finely balanced questions of law, which are upset part way through your deliberations by a new decision from a higher court.

Should Simon Bridges use the party hopping law to force Jami-Lee Ross from Parliament? You can make up your own mind up on that, but he can if National's caucus wants him to [update: unless Ross' seat becomes vacant because of his mental health].

[Update: According to media reports, Jami-Lee Ross has been taken into mental health care (i.e. has not voluntarily committed himself for treatment).

Jamie-Lee Ross has levelled a very serious accusation against Simon Bridges - which has yet to be confirmed. But its the way his actions are hurting our Politics we need to really worry about.

When Jamie-Lee Ross re-enacted The Joker’s “everything burns” scene from The Dark Knight in his press conference at Parliament, much was promised. Simon Bridges, we were told, had instructed him to divide up a $100,000 donation from a businessman into smaller, non-disclosable amounts.

As a society, must we let obnoxious provocateurs have a public stage? How do we decide when others must bear the burden of their speech?  

Up until about a week ago, I and most of New Zealand hadn’t the faintest clue who Lauren Southern or Stefan Molyneux were. Having better things to do than mine the seamier veins of the internet, I still haven’t really engaged in any depth with this pair of Canadian alt-right provocateurs’ “message” (such as they have one beyond “let’s make a buck from owning the libs”).  

In the wake of the publication of Dirty Politics back in 2014, the New Zealand Police undertook multiple unlawful breaches of Nicky Hager's privacy. They've now apologised for that - but the important thing is to make sure it does not ever happen again.

Readers able to remember events of more than a fortnight ago (or, events prior to Fortnite, for that matter) will recall the 2014 election campaign and those never-quite-peak-cray days of Dirty Politics.

What narrative emerged from Radio NZ's bosses revisiting the Economic Development select committee room? Nothing definitive ... but there's more to come yet, I think.

In terms of political theatre, not much beats a select committee hearing when there is the smell of scandal in the air. If that scandal involves potential political interference in a state-owned media organisation like Radio NZ, drama levels lift yet another notch.

Should we just make up some Russian spies so we can kick them out because the rest of the world is doing it? Or, would that be a less-than-ideal politicisation of intelligence information? I report, you decide.

The Government is taking a lot of heat for not expelling any Russians. That seems like an odd thing to for people to get worked up about, but there you are.

You can judge how the issue has unfolded by the fact that in a space of 24 hours, Simon Bridges has gone from grave statesman "we must stand as one on this issue" mode:

Carol Hirschfeld's resignation as head of content for RNZ shows that "Honesty Is The Best Policy", while Claire Curran's decision to set up a cafe meeting reminds us all to "Look Before You Leap". Let the clichés commence ... .

Outside of the National Party’s caucus room, there are two sets of people who will be very glad to see Carol Hirschfeld and Claire Curran caught up in a political whirlwind of their own making.

A bunch of legal and political studies academics think the proposed Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill (or, party hopping law) is a bad idea. Here's why.

Today a group of 19 legal and political studies academics submitted our joint view that the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill is poor policy that should not be enacted into law. 

Wearing a wig is not a form of expression. Depending, that is, upon the sort of wig it is. And why the person is wearing it. Maybe. Hope that clears things up for you.

The Court of Appeal handed down its decision yesterday on whether, under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, Phillip Smith has an expressive right to wear a wig.