Legal action Threatened After Email Spat
Labour Party activist Nick Kelly is threatening legal action against cabinet minister Lianne Dalziel for allegedly defaming him in a comment reported in today’s Dominion.
Ms Dalziel labelled Mr Kelly’s recollection of being ejected from the Labour Party Conference for heckling Prime Minister Helen Clark, published on Scoop, as “largely fictitious” (See… Nick Kelly And The Labour Party).
Mr Kelly, who was sacked as electorate chairman for cabinet minister Paul Swain after repeatedly criticising the party’s free trade agenda, sent Scoop a copy of an email sent to Ms Dalziel today requesting she retract the comment or face possible legal action:
Not only have you personally abused me on a public e-mail list, but you have now accused me of lying. On Page two of todays Dominion (5.4.2002) you claim the article I wrote regarding my time in the Labour Party was "largely fictitious" (link to article below)
What I wrote in this article was my account of what happened, and not one word of it was made up. You were not even on the Rimutaka LEC! Frankly I regard you comments as Slanderous. You may not have meant to send that e-mail to the e-mail list, but your comments to the Dominion were public deliberate - I regard that as Defamation of Character!
Unless you give a public apology to me in the Dominion and take back the comment that my article on the Labour Party was 'fictitious" within 7 days, I will have to consider legal action.
An earlier email from Ms Dalziel reprimanding Mr Kelly for his “childish behaviour” and poor spelling was inadvertently sent to a public email list:
“Please learn to spell, Nick. It's embarrassing. The word is article, not artical. I hope you passed on my e-mailed recollection of your childish behaviour on the day in question to the media list to which you sent an article, that clearly relied more on your imagination than your memory!”
Scoop also received Mr Kelly’s reply, copied to the same list:
Dear Lianne (Maggie T) Dalziel,
Whats really embrassing is that the only criticism of my artical that you or anyone else from your right wing little cabinet can come up with is that I made one spelling error. Everything I said happened, happened!
Yes in fact I sent you last e-mail far and wide, most people found it very funny, also that it reflected very badly on yourself. Frankly your nothing more than a power grabbing Tory more interested in keep your own personal status than actually helping the working class that got you into power. You've fundamentally changed none of the new right policies of National - or the last sell out Labour government.
Lastly I wish to remind you that I'm still a member of your corrupt Party, and intend to fight people like you from within, in an attempt to restore Labour to a Party that actually has a conscience (which frankly I doubt can happen till Neo-Liberals like you are expelled from it!!
P.S If the only criticism you can make of this is a spelling error...then I've won!
Mr Kelly’s article also prompted a missive from Labour Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard’s email address, which Scoop received, advising Mr Kelly to “Lay off the halucagens (sic)”.
Among the responses to that email received through the list was this: “Trevor, maybe the halucagens will make your last pay offer to the PPTA more realistic?”