It says a lot about the morals of this government that they’re willing to continue to rely on the vote of a man who has been found guilty of electoral fraud.
But Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee’s happy with the outcome, with Banks not thrown out until he absolutely has to be (probably August 1, after parliament has risen for the election). Key seems fine with it too (but then he’s backed him every step of the way so far). They and the speaker David Carter should all be publicly telling him to go. Now.
How they can expect any New Zealander to have respect for Parliament and politicians when they happily have someone sitting among them guilty of electoral fraud is beyond me. It shows utter contempt for the integrity of the whole institution.
Our Members of Parliament are our representatives in our democracy. They’re meant to be the best among us, not criminals who coldly calculate their way around the law. How can we expect people who have so little respect for the law to make more good laws?
What really boiled my blood was John Armstrong’s institutional capture. Parliamentary journalists are meant to be outsiders looking in, giving us all the view we don’t get too as we’re too busy with our day jobs.
Not running “Poor John” pieces about how their buddy is a “perfectionist” who will takes this “hard - very hard” as they were just working so hard to try and balance the ledger for having parents who went to prison for backstreet abortions.
In no way was his crime “foolishness” as Armstrong puts it. This was very calculating, working out how he thought he could circumvent the letter of the law – while stamping all over the spirit of it. It was no moment of “foolishness” when he worked out a scheme to get multiple donations of $25,000 so that he “wouldn’t know” which one was which. Bollocks. It was no moment of “foolishness” when he kept having “memory lapses” about being picked up for helicopter ride to the biggest mansion in the country and meeting a character so much larger-than-life as Dotcom.
This was a concerted attempt to avoid the law by a former Minister of Police.
We deserve honesty from our politicians, not fraud and deceit.
With a crime this egregious he deserves the book thrown at him – but being a member of the institutional elite he will probably just get a little bit of
garden leave home detention.
And so we have someone sitting there, guilty, awaiting the noose… and making our laws while he waits.
That doesn’t make sense.
If John Banks has any respect for the integrity of Parliament and the legal system he should see how untenable it is for him to continue to be there as someone found guilty of electoral fraud, whether he believes himself to be guilty or not.
He must resign.