I think sometimes people forget that John Banks made his political bones under Muldoon, but lessons of the old tusker are on full display at the moment as he meets new allegations of dodgy campaign funding with the kind of aggressive black is white response that would make piggy proud.
It’s been revealed that Banks took fifty thousand dollars for his campaign from Kim Dotcom. Given the subsequent furore around Dotcom, the would be slightly embarrassing in its own right but it’s been considerably exacerbated by the fact it came in
three two separate payments – as requested by Banks so he could keep the donation anonymous.
This may be illegal as I believe the the test for whether the donation is anonymous is the candidate’s knowledge of the donor rather than the wish of the donor to go unnamed (but I’m no big city lawyer – anyone who is please feel free to comment). However it certainly raises a whole lot of questions about what other donors Banksie is hiding and what favours might be attached to those donations.
And remember, Banksie is John Key’s majority.
In some ways this is part of a trend I’m seeing on the right toward small-time cronyism and backroom handshake deals. They appear to be moving away from the slavish worship of neo-liberalism and multi-national capitalism and towards the kind of deals-for-mates, personal-connection politics we’ve seen them embrace before – in Muldoon’s day.