But equally earth-shattering is this blog-post from Brian Edwards - he opines:
You’ll understand that I was not a fan of the current Mayor of Auckland then and continued not to be a fan, until very recently. On numerous occasions I expressed my dislike of him publicly, though rather more circumspectly.
I disliked him as a talk-back host on Radio Pacific. His world, it seemed to me, was divided into ‘good people’ and ‘bad people’, a view I thought simplistic and untrue.
I wasn’t much impressed when he was Mayor of Auckland from 2001 to 2004 either and did my bit to see that he wasn’t re-elected.More recently, during Jim Mora’s The Panel, I described him as ‘that dreadful man’.
Indeed. The antipathy between Banks and Edwards is long-standing, and of some significance. That makes what follows particularly newsworthy - read on:
I was surprised therefore to find myself and Judy invited some months ago to a private lunch which turned out to be composed entirely of John Banks supporters and some of his advisors. Citing a favourite saying of my ex-father-in-law, I said to Judy, ‘We’re among friends, but they’re not ours.’ But it turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon and Mr Banks did not appear to be bearing any grudges.
Ten days ago I was one of five speakers at an Auckland Mayoral Fathers’ Breakfast at Sky City organised by Parents Inc., the organisation founded by Ian Grant. Each of us had seven minutes to give an inspirational address on fatherhood to the 750 men present. The Mayor of Auckland, formally hosting the event, spoke first.
I’ve heard a lot of speeches in my time and few have been memorable. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the seven minutes in which John Banks held that audience in the palm of his hand, enthralled. He did not, as his advisors have suggested, talk about his own traumatic childhood. He talked about the troubled kids he has met in the course of his job; kids on drugs, kids in trouble with the law, kids in borstals and prisons, lost boys and girls. A common theme, especially among the boys, he observed, was the absence of a father in their lives. These were boys without role models, boys who didn’t know how to be men. Fathers mattered and fathers had a responsibility to teach their kids the difference between right and wrong.
Delivered entirely without notes, the short address was spellbinding, extremely moving, and entirely met the inspirational criteria laid down by the breakfast’s organisers. When he returned to the table, I said to him, ‘If you could talk like that during your campaign, you would certainly be the first Mayor of the Super City.’
Now let's not forget the Brian Edwards is red to the core; a former Labour Party candidate in Wellington, and a close personal friend of Helen Clark, as well as being her biographer. That puts Edwards' words into an ebtirely different context. And he's not done:
John Banks is a polarising individual, admired by some, hated – not too strong a word – by others. For my part, I have not changed my view of the man I attacked on The Ralston Group, the talk-back host I deplored on Radio Pacific or the Mayor of Auckland in his previous incarnation. But either he has changed or I have. I suspect it’s the former. Certainly the person I have got to know in the past fortnight is a very fine man indeed. Or maybe there are two John Banks, two sides to the one man – the father and the politician perhaps. I’d be happy to have the father continue as Mayor.
This is a remarkable piece from Brian Edwards, and we commend him for writing it. He is receiving plenty of adverse comments on his blog from enraged leftists.
More importantly though, this is a crushing blow for Len Brown, until recently the darling of the left. WhaleOil likens it to a spike. We can't help but wonder how well Edwards' words will have gone down in Phil Goff's office.