The decision in the Auckland District Court today that John Banks will stand trial for signing a false declaration of his donations signals the beginning of the end of the Key government which increasingly resembles the last days of the Shipley government, only worse as shambles has been replaced by corruption.
Key blusters on as he loses two Ministers, saying he’s still got their “party” votes and nothing has changed. Yeah right. Oh and of course he says there is the Maori Party, except these days they must be wishing they hadn’t been so eager to give their confidence vote to Key and National as there is precious little else of the government’s programme they wish to support as they haemorrhage support among the tangata whenua.
Today’s decision also puts the famous tea party conversation between Key and Banks, where they stitched up what turned out to be an essential deal to provide the present Government majority masquerading as a mandate, into a new perspective. The dog-whistle went out to National voters in Epsom – hold your nose and vote for John, to make sure that we can reduce your taxes at the top end and sell Government’s high-dividend assets.
Epsom’s blue brigade obliged. They might not be so obliging, if Banks were found guilty at his forthcoming trial and was required to stand down from Parliament. If Paul Goldsmith for example were to stand at a by-election and win, then Parliament would have one less party, one less seat and the National government would have one less vote for Sky City, asset sales, employment law changes to remove worker rights, GCSB, and so on. Readers can add for themselves what I have left out.
Watch for the shifts on iPredict as this starts to sink in. I’ll make a few predictions of my own. We may well be facing an election sooner than the end of next year. Don’t be surprised if John Key is not National’s leader at that election. If Banks tries the delaying route from court to court, so much the better. It only makes National’s chances worse as their bedfellow becomes ever more toxic.
Key insisted all along that Banks had not broken the law and that he accepted him at his word. What a fool. Banks is clearly in complete denial – so apparently has been Key.
One final word of thanks and appreciation – to Graeme McCready and his support group, and to the various judges who have heard the submissions and the evidence. Finally justice has been seen to be done. They deserve our thanks, and McCready our support.