Friday, May 4, 2012

Grabbing at straws...

The Herald's open season on John Banks continues, and this morning's "allegation" is really a straw-grabbing one; check this out:

A document from John Banks' mayoral campaign shows that a former National Party board member who is now an MP was a fundraiser for him.
Coromandel MP Scott Simpson is listed as "National Party liaison", offering "assistance with fundraising", on the sheet from one of the original campaign meetings.
Mr Simpson said he had no knowledge of the donation that has plunged Mr Banks, now leader of the Act Party and a minister, into a political storm.

This is pathetic stuff from the Herald. It's public knowledge that John Banks is a former National Party MP and Minister. It's public knowledge that Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) is a centre-right political movement whose members share similar political views to those of the National Party. And it's public knowledge that John Banks was the C&R candidate both when he won back the Auckland mayoralty in 2007 and when he lost the first supercity election in 2010.

Scott Simpson may be a National MP now. John Banks may be an Act MP and a Minister in the John Key-led government now. But what the Herald and the Labour Party don't seem to grasp is this; neither were MP's in the run-up to the local elections in October 2010; they were private citizens, just like the rest of us.

Labour and a compliant media continue to run anti-Banks stories in the hope that mud will stick, and that the more that they repeat the lie that Banks is crooked, the more people are likely to believe it. We'll say this; John Banks may be eccentric, outlandish, polarising and divisive, but we believe that he is fundamentally honest; or should we say, as honest as a career politician can be. To be sure, Banks has obfuscated this week, and one of life's great ironies has been to hear the Crown Prince of Obfuscation, the Rt. Hon Winston Peters lecturing on the subject.

Labour is walking a tightrope here. Trevor Mallard has been given to go-ahead to run the attack, and unfortunately for Labour, Mallard's reputation as the Politician Who Cried Wolf precedes him. Mallard, ably assisted by former Labour Party president Mike Williams has tried his damndest to win the prize scalp of Banks, but like most of Labour's campaigns, it is now in grave danger of backfiring. The public has showed Labour what it thinks of mud-slinging at the last two elections, and if David Shearer is serious about Labour's new direction, he should call off the dogs.

And lastly, the New Zealand Herald. It was once such a fine newspaper; now all we can charitably say about it is that the sooner it goes to tabloid format the better. For all intents and purposes Granny Herald is a tabloid dressed in broadsheet clothing, and those who made it New Zealand's best daily read must be turning in their graves.

The police will decide in due course whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute John Banks. And there the matter should rest.


Judge Holden said...

"John Banks may be eccentric, outlandish, polarising and divisive, but we believe that he is fundamentally honest.."

So you explain is inability to tell the truth and grossly unethical conduct how then? Or is that statement just the squawking of a partisan hack?

Keeping Stock said...

I can't possibly make that judgment on myself Judge. Readers will make that call for themselves as you have; but they'll also make up their own minds about you, as I have. Have a nice day!

Keeping Stock said...

Act? Act?? Judge; I've voted Act as often as I've voted for the Greens, the Mana Party and Winston First...

Nostalgia-NZ said...

It's very transparent that you're hanging your hat on the police inquiry to deflect the other controversy, I don't even think you're fooling yourself with that one.

Anonymous said...

After having put up with the Herald's ridiculous red-bannered "democracy under attack" bullshit and hearing all the delighted little squeals from the right wing bloggers at that coverage, it is rather nice to watch you all whine and whinge as that egregiously idiotic and borderline nutter John Banks twists in the Herald's editorial breeze.

Robert Winter said...

Ons should always assume that people are trustworthy. I wonder what it must be like not to start from that perspective. And, until, now, whilst I vehemently disagree with many of Mr Banks' views,. I don't think that I've ever had reason to distrust him.

Now, there are grounds to consider whether:

a) he is suffering from chronic confusion, of an order that should lead him to a quieter life or

b)he is "being economical with the truth". The bizarre story today of where the cheques were banked simply adds to one or other of these explanations.

I think that most reasonable people now accept thst this is a mess, is damaging others, and is not something that the governing party can support for much longer.

Keeping Stock said...

I agree Robert. And to your credit, you've been far more candid on this than those from the Left who have already convicted and sentenced Banks without giving him a trial. As I said in the post, Banks is (and always has been) eccentric (I remember a North and South story from at least fiften years agon entitled Is John Banks Mad?), and clearly he has obfuscated over the last week. But dishonest and corrupt? Let's let due process decide that.

James Stephenson said...

It's blindingly obvious that the Harold is determined to extract whatever measure of revenge it can for the teacup raids.

I don't really give a flying f for Banks' career, he is after all the reason I didn't vote ACT this time around, but to hear the Labour Party and Winston the crook beating up the issue of "standards" is really, really, vomit-inducing.

Nostalgia-NZ said...

It's not about 'dishonest and corrupt' or about premature decisions about the police inquiry, though it could be those things later - it's about the flip flopping of a Minister and how confidence could possibly be taken from that. It's the justification of the measure of public confidence in this Government that is concerning now.