“Ignorance gets us nowhere”, it’s National’s new slogan and it certainly applied with Key’s feigned ignorance in answer to questions on Banks’ corruption last week. Key’s behaviour is jeopardising our reputation as a democracy that doesn’t tolerate corruption. And he’s got a lot of questions still to answer.
Two particularly interesting angles are what exactly Banks told Key’s office and the donation from SkyCity.
Key has never been specific about what Banks told his chief of staff other than that he complied with the law – which the Police found to be untrue. Did Banks tell the CoS that he had received no donation from Dotcom and SkyCity, that he couldn’t remember any such donations, or that he had returned those donations but he had not broken the law?
Banks denied having known about the donations at all, and that is presumably what he told Key’s man. The evidence, of course, shows that Banks was intimately involved in receiving the donations – although the focus has been on the Dotcom donation, it was the SkyCity donation that Banks received in person from the CEO. What did Banks tell the CoS about this?
And, then, there’s the questions of the other anonymous donations – there are a dozen or so large anonymous donations, all of them are the same size as at least one other anonymous donation. This was clearly a strategy to hide politically risky donations. Who were those other large donors; whose donations did Banks cover up?
And finally, what is in Banks’ statement to the police? Does Key know, if not why hadn’t he asked or required Banks to make his statement public?