It’s a sad day when things get hot for a party leader for being questioned in a sauna

Couldn't this have  been filmed by the Fox bunch?

Couldn’t this have been filmed by the Fox bunch?

Sir John Kirwan – gone as coach of the Blues and Alf did nicely, thank you, on some punts with his mates.


Alf is tempted to put some money on Colin Craig being a goner fairly soon.

Mind you, he has not been given any inside tips on this matter.

He is reliant on the news media and is bound to say this means he is listening to journalists,and journalists are at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to public trust.

For what it’s worth, therefore, consider this:

Conservative Party board members are reportedly planning to roll leader Colin Craig, with at least three asking Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) chief executive Garth McVicar to take the job in the past week, it’s understood.

It’s been speculated Craig will be walking into a coup when the board meets tomorrow, with members growing increasingly annoyed at the reputation Craig was imprinting on the party.

This was reported yesterday, it should be noted.

It might be all over by now for Craig.

But why?

Rumours of unrest within the party have been swirling since March, when it was understood board members attempted then to have him replaced with McVicar, a former party member who stood in Napier at the election.

McVicar left his role with the SST ahead of the 2014 election, to stand for the Conservatives in Napier. He came third, behind Labour MP Stuart Nash and National candidate Wayne Walford.

McVicar has since returned to the SST and on Thursday night, ruled out another tilt with the Conservatives.

But he confirmed he had received at least three calls from board members over the past week, to scout his interest in being the leader.

“A number of the board members have rung me, hoping to keep me in the loop and hoping I might reverse my resignation, but I’m standing tough… I had my try, but I won’t muck the SST around again.”

McVicar was asked if Craig was still the best person to lead the party.

It’s instructive that he expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Craig’s grip on the leadership.

“I don’t if he was ever actually elected leader, or whether it was just that he founded it and put the money in and automatically that meant that he was leader – I really don’t know.”

He also said he would not have done an interview in a sauna, similar to the one Craig recently appeared in on TV3’s Newsworthy.

“I didn’t see that, [board members] sent me a link to see what was going on, but it’s not something I would do. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Hold on.

Is that it?

Questions are raised because a bloke was interviewed in a sauna?

Mrs Grumble saw that interview and liked the cut of Craig’s jib.

It he stood for election in Eketahuna North, she cackled, Alf could not take her vote for granted.

It was not altogether obvious she was jesting and Alf was further aggravated that no-one will interview him anywhere, let alone in a sauna, although if that’s what it takes…

But as Stuff reports, the sauna interview was not the first time Craig has appeared in an unusual situation in front of the media.

He posed for a now famous photo shoot with Fairfax Media, posing reclined in long grass. He also, controversially, refused to rule out the existence of chemtrails and questioned whether the 1969 moon landing occurred.

Alf had not realised those matters might be controversial although he does remember Mrs Grumble counselling him against publicly expressing his opinion that the 1969 moon landing was fabricated in a Hollywood studio.

Just one thing gives cause to pause about Craig’s fate.


He is reported to have donated more than $4 million to the party he founded.

A more recent report says Craig’s days as Conservative Party leader may be under threat with a party board meeting in Auckland today expecting to discuss it after the recent television appearance by him in a sauna.

But Mr Craig said none of the board members had expressed any unhappiness to him and he would expect some notice about a leadership vote.

“I don’t have any knowledge either of a motion or of the numbers,” he said.

“If there is an agenda to replace me as leader, I have no idea who would replace me as leader.”

It was a hard job and it was an unpaid job.

“I have had no notice of [a vote]. It would be a surprise. It doesn’t mean it can’t be tabled for discussion but I would expect some notice.”

This report had him responding to television reports that he could be facing a coup

…after recent television appearances that some members believed were embarrassing.

TV3 reported a party insider saying that Mr Craig’s appearance in the sauna [clothed] was the last straw: “There he was in the sauna, talking about God, and about former press secretary Rachael McGregor with sweat dripping off his nose. It was kooky Colin and crazy Colin all over again.”

Craig defended the appearance.

He said politics was more than the dry nuts and bolts of policy and people wanted to know politicians as people.

Fair enough..

And Alf would like to think one can talk about God anywhere.

If the Lord had intended we forget about Him when we get into a sauna, He would never have given us the fire that heats the water to make steam.

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