Gotta admit that the Grumble household is bubbling with conjecture about the spin doctor who has fled the Conservative Party camp just two days before the election.
Furthermore we are bemused to learn that Conservative leader Colin Craig was unaware that his press secretary of two years had quit her job. At least, that’s what he is saying.
We are reliant on a report in the Herald for our intelligence on the matter although it seems news of the spin doctor’s departure was first reported by Barry Soper on Newstalk. But Alf does not pay any attention to Soper, essentially because Soper pays no attention to Alf.
The Herald says:
When questioned by media this morning Mr Craig said he did not know Rachel MacGregor had left her job, Newstalk ZB reported.
He told reporters he thought she was having a day off when she failed to turn up for work this morning and said he would talk to her this afternoon.
Ms MacGregor told Newstalk ZB she had left the party as of this morning. Newstalk ZB’s political editor Barry Soper, who broke the news, said she was very upset and had described Mr Craig as a “manipulative man”.
Soper is making a meal of it.
“Colin Craig does campaign on being this wholesome, out-there sort of a bloke, that’s all encompassing, that really is the sort of person we should be looking up to,” Soper said this morning.
“Now if he can’t get his own house in order in terms of staff in the Conservative Party then you’ve got to ask questions.
“It’s really difficult to read too much into it given that there’s simply a very upset press secretary without giving any reasons why she resigned, so it’s really out there. She’s taking public relations advice now, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.”
At this point Alf is bound to say he seriously wonders if Craig will suffer too much from the loss of his spin doctor.
A spin doctor who turns to another spin doctor for advice seems to be lacking something.
Oblivious to all this, apparently, Craig is quoted as saying:
“It’s obviously been a really stressful campaign so Rachel’s having the morning off, and I’m hoping to catch up with her this afternoon.”
If she had indeed resigned, “that would be a shame”, he said.
“All I can see is she’s done a wonderful job, and I’m very grateful for the effort she’s put in.”
He added that he didn’t think he was “manipulative at all”, and that he hoped “she’ll come back and help us”.
“I’ll have a chat with her, hopefully today, and find out what all those issues are,” he said.
Next thing you know, the Conservative Party has issued a statement, saying it “is given to understand” that Ms MacGregor had resigned this morning “although no formal advice of this has yet been received”.
“The party expresses its gratitude for all the hard work and effort that she has put into the campaign,” the statement from Mr Craig said.
“The campaign puts stress on everyone and Miss MacGregor has been part of a wonderful team that have given 110 per cent.”
Someone by name of Bev Adair Beets is taking over as press secretary.
Obviously she had some scrambling to do. So did Craig.
Mr Craig was due to do a live Q&A with One News on its Facebook page from 12.30pm, but One News said at 12.30pm he was running 10-15 minutes late. He didn’t start answering questions until 12.52pm. 3News reported that he had cancelled a scheduled Ask Me Anything on Reddit at 2pm due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
Lots of questions have been left unanswered.
Among them: what exactly is meant by Craig being manipulative, and how come Rachel McGregor has been with Craig for two years but has only now blown the whistle on this aspect of her boss’s (or former boss’s) behaviour?