McCarten on Banks

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, July 29th, 2012 - 56 comments
Categories: Ethics, john banks, john key - Tags: , ,

Matt McCarten doesn’t pull any punches, comparing Banks to both Phillip Field and Winston Peters:

Penance depends on party of political sinner

Taito Phillip Field had constituents give their labour as a trade-off for immigration help. John Banks asked a wealthy Aucklander for $50,000 and then apparently offered, according to Kim Dotcom, to help with his immigration case.

After the chequebook came out, Dotcom said that his new best friend suggested it’d be best if the money was split into two amounts so he could pretend it was anonymous. It’s pesky when people want transparency.

When Brother Taito was exposed, the National and Act parties screamed for blood. Although our self-claimed martyr pleaded innocence, it seemed God felt a lesson was needed and off to jail he went.

When Brother Banksy’s paymaster got into a bit of bother, it seemed our MP denied ever having met Dotcom, or at least started developing a number of memory blanks. Did he dine at Dotcom’s home three times? Did he even ask for the money, despite two cheques from Dotcom arriving in Banksy’s campaign account the day after? Did he phone up and thank his donor? …

This week the police reported Banks admitted to asking for the money, knowing he received the money and signed his electoral return that omitted the identification of Dotcom’s money. But, because Banks claimed someone else filled in the form, he’s not guilty. It’d be interesting to see what would happen if a fraudster tried that in court.

Apparently if a conservative politician denies they did anything wrong, then PC Plod goes, “Right you are, sir. Have a nice day.” When a Labour politician tries the same trick, Plod humphs: “Whaddya take me for? You’re for the nick, mate.”

John Key, who in 2008 ruled out having Winston Peters in a National-led government because he denied soliciting secret donations Owen Glenn said he gave him, now welcomes Brother Banksy, who did a similar thing, alongside him at the public trough. Everyone knows Banks behaved in a manner that demeans our society. Cops won’t do anything if a misbehaving politician is needed by the government.

While the analogies with Field and Peters are valid, I think Matt is too hard on the cops at the end. Banks had a legal loophole (the six month timeout) to help him off – even if he’s guilty as sin the police can’t charge him. There is someone who can hold Banks to account though, both for his original actions and his subsequent lies. But of course Key won’t do a thing, much easier to attack others and posture about high standards than it is to live up to them.

56 comments on “McCarten on Banks”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    I dunno. I reckon Banksy’s excuse that he didn’t look at the return he signed, or think to ask the guy that wrote it if he knew which donations were anonymous and which weren’t, could have been put to a jury.

    maybe a reasonable person would think that’s kosher, but I think there’s room to think they might not.

    • Fortran 1.1

      And Len Brown did not do it because he put his money through a Trust.

      • mike e 1.1.1

        Fartrain.Len brown told everybody where the money came from a measly $ 250,000!
        Banks $650,000 lost by a wide margin could remember a thing not even that he is a relic of the past.
        Bang for your buck len won hands down
        Banks is corrupt banks are corrupt
        Banks fires blanks.

        • TheContrarian

          mike e, you have an amazingly sophisticated sense of humour. I see you on one page insinuating I am incontinent then I pop over here and you call “Fortran’ Fartrain. If I wasn’t 6 years old I probably wouldn’t find it funny.

      • Bob 1.1.2

        It’s not about Brown
        The issue is J Banks and Mr Smarmy

  2. handle 2

    The six month limit only applied to one of the possible charges. He wriggled out of the other one by claiming not to “know” what was in the form he signed and the police decided to take his word for it. That should have been put to a court.

    But McCarten is wrong in making this out to be partisan. The cops have a poor record no matter which side is in trouble – as Clark’s speeding motorcade showed.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Clark wasn’t driving and so didn’t break the law so WTF are you talking about?

    • Gawd, Banks either telling fibs, or signing an important document without checking it at all (there is no other possibility) is just as serious as Helen sitting in the back of a speeding car?  And both are evidence of police independence?

      What the?

    • prism 2.3

      I think the way to deal with handle’s assertion in future (and any other name that handle may choose to adopt) also Tighty Righty’s, is to introduce it first. Then the moderator asks people not to feed the trolls on anyone bringing up Helen Clark’s car speeding to get her to a public function or any other such past matters. These trolls with their fixation on pimples to be found on the other party’s face, try to deroute discussion from the balloon swellings to be found on the Right.

    • rosy 2.4

      “Clark’s speeding motorcade showed.”
      The drivers were charged and convicted. So no point shown there.

  3. Anne 3

    as Clark’s speeding showed. Piffle. Had nothing to do with her.

    She was in the back seat of a limousine with her nose knee deep in paper work – the perennial workaholic that she is. There had been a threatened attempt on her life somewhere in or near Christchurch. The police escort were told to get her out of there asap. No, not a lot was said about that aspect of the incident at the time – presumably in case some copy-cat idiot tried the same trick. Instead they used the…. gotta get her to a plane back to Wellington for a football match line instead.

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      Got a link for your rather convenient claim? A source? Hell, even an old newspaper clipping.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        Was Helen Clark driving, Tritey? Under what law do passengers get charged for the behaviour of drivers? Can you see the difference between a traffic offence and a breach of electoral law, or will you need to have it explained to you?

        • handle

          The similarity was claiming not to know what was being done on behalf (in that case driving at 160k). But it has distracted from the real point.

          • Fortran

            Hell – I would know if I was travelling at 100mph – that’s 160kms, wherever I was sitting in a car.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Bollocks. Especially if it’s a well maintained car designed for executives to work in and you were working, i.e, the conditions that actually applied.

            • mike e

              Fartrain that day Helen Clark had her life threatened by retired undercover police detective
              the DPS were probably more concerned about her safety than National voters in south Canterbury who no doubt had great glee in dobbin her in.

        • TightyRighty

          Whats your point? I only asked if Anne had any sources for her convenient claim? Do you always need to be so aggressive? Generally a sign that your argument is weak if you have to attack your adversary by using tangential arguments and completely avoid the original question.

          • Anne

            It wasn’t a convenient claim TR. I can’t help it if you’re uninformed or have very poor memory retention.

            It was reported in all the main news outlets some time after the incident became public knowledge. And I’m pretty sure the source was the police themselves. I don’t remember the precise details except that an incident involving a threat against Clark had occurred, and the police treated it with due seriousness.

            I love the way these RWNJ’s always demand “proof” of something they want to try and discredit or deny ever happened.

          • mike e

            Tighty almihty why do you bother coming over hear and pushing you complete load of tosh!
            You should start dating and get a life your soul mate is expecting a call harriettt on kiwi blog.

        • KJT

          Actually. Teenagers get charged all the time, as accessories, when caught in the car with a speeding driver.

          Though being a passenger in a speeding car pales into insignificance, when compared with right wing thefts, allowing our children to starve and destroying our society.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Teenagers get charged all the time, as accessories, when caught in the car with a speeding driver.

            That’s because the teenagers would be egging the drivers on and well aware of the speed (probably watching the speedo more than the driver).

            • KJT

              And you know that for a fact?

              Or, like the cops you just assume it is the case, because they are kids?

              Did the magistrate tell her husband to drive off after hitting someone? Why can’t we just assume that also?

              To many teenagers, who have become involved with the law, innocent until proven guilty is a sick joke. In fact the overpaid hacks in the employment program for useless lawyers tell them to plead guilty regardless, because the costs and effects of pleading innocent.

      • mac1 3.1.2

        I remember the situation of a gun-toting, threatening nutter which came out later, way after the event.So, Anne is correct in her claim about this factor.

        Edit. And easy to find, tightyrighty.

        • TightyRighty

          Because you say you Remember it, it’s correct? Without any source but the recollections of two labour shills? I’m sold

          • McFlock

            TE, there’s a fascinating new invention called google. If you want to know something you just put in the important words and it searches the entire interwebz for you.
            Try “helen clark speeding motorcade”.
            Rather than pretending you just got out of a 12 year coma. 

          • mac1

            TR, did you go to the source that I found for you and read the Herald report? I am not happy to be described as any person’s “shill.” That report supports the accuracy of Anne’s memory.

            And mine.

            • TighyRighty

              I did and I retract partially. There is no direct link to Helen Clark speeding because of a perceived security threat, that if you read the article was answered with extra staff. Not just a heavy foot. There is a direct link however between Helen Clark speeding and just making a plane that got her to a bledisloe cup test in time for kick off. So while a security threat may have posed an issue, missing a game in Wellington posed a serious problem. At least she filld her seat though, unlike the VIPs at he Olympics it seems.

  4. handle 4

    Bad example sorry. Please suggest another one. Better, tell us when the police have ever charged a politician under electoral laws.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 4.1

      A better example would be John Key conspiring to create an illegal election broadcast.

      • mike e 4.1.1

        or john Key not knowing about all the corrupt practices at the worlds most corrupt investment bank Merrill Lynch Mob sters.

  5. captain hook 5

    so back and forth but the conclusion is still the same.
    banks fibbed and is getting away with it.

  6. As usual a good explanation from Graeme Edgeler:

    If a candidate at a local body election knows the name of a donor who donated $15,000 and then signs the donation disclosure which declares that donation to be anonymous, they have committed an offence. It may not be the serious offence involving knowledge, but at the very least it will be the less serious offence involving a failure to take reasonable care.

    The police investigated John Banks for the serious offence of knowingly filing a false return. They felt they could not prove that because he never read the form he signed, and simply relied on the advice of a campaign volunteer that it was accurate.

    The police did not assess the evidence they found against the less serious offence of failing to take reasonable care to ensure the return was accurate because there is a six month time limit for charges under that section, which had long expired.

    • handle 6.1

      “They felt they could not prove that because he never read the form he signed”

      And their source for that was his word. How convenient.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Signing a legal declaration without reading it does not invalidate the force of the declaration. Someone tell the cops please.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s what I’ve always thought. It’s why good lawyers always tell you to read the fine print.

        • Treetop

          If people in Christchurch (re insurance claims) could get away with what Banks did ,(say he never read a form before signing it) insurance companies would go broke.

        • mike

          “I John Banks hereby declare that this electoral return might be fair and accurate. If it isn’t I’m not responsible because I didn’t read it.


          John Banks”


      • tracey 6.1.2

        What evidence wouls some of you ask the police to rely upon in proving banks claim he didnt read it or fill it out? As this is not a strict liability case its a difficult threshold. That aside banks shld be gone by lunchtime if key really was a kiwi bloke with the requisite testicles.

    • Bob 6.2

      It’s interesting that the candidate doesn’t have to take responsibility
      One could ask should they therefore be the candidate?

  7. handle 7

    Fairfax has a rollcall of some political misbehaviour (not electoral) –

  8. Dv 8

    BAnks also sighed the dodgy Hullich Kiwisaver prospectus.

    Guilty director’s ignorance ‘no excuse’
    ” this week a jury of 12 – the first to try a director of a failed finance company – heard the opposite was the case. After a day and a half of deliberation, the jury of six men and six women yesterday found Braithwaite guilty of making untrue statements in a National Finance prospectus, released in September 2005.”

    So how come Banks is different?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Damn good question and the only answer is that he’s being protected from the full force of the law.

  9. Nick K 9

    McCarten writes harshly of John Banks and we should take this as impartial and balanced.


    • McFlock 9.1

      So are his comparisons with Philip Field reasonable, in your unbiased opinion?

  10. tc 10

    Banks needs to be protected as he’s a dim old man with a track record of deception and convenient memory lapses and plenty of skeletons, some not seem yet.

    There’s no better example of the quality of troughers in Shonkeys govt than dodgy JB.

  11. Georgecom 11

    Field needed to go to jail and indeed he did.
    Banks lied and needs, at least, to be stripped of his minister portfolios.

    Will it happen? Of course not. Why? Simple, Key needs Banks. He will do everything in his power to keep Banks on side.

    The ‘higher standards’ Key purported to bring to Government are long since gone. The Worth affair put them under strain however they were well and truely shattered when Double Dipton was caught with his hand in the pax payers pocket. Nothing Key could do, any move to demote English would have sparked an internal struggle. By the time Pansy Wong was called to account for her (and husbands) misdeeds Keys ‘higher standards’ were simply ‘what he could get away with politically’. So, Banks won’t go.

    Interesting to see the right wing bringing out old stories like the speeding limousine, signing a painting and Clark defending Winston Peters. The reality of the Peters situation is that Clark didn’t push too hard for fear of destabilising her Government. That is the position Key finds himself in. ‘Higher standards’? No, more like self preservation.

    The limousine, painting, Peters situation etc all used to be points of attack for the right wing. Now they are simply defences to justify Keys actions. Shows really how far Key has strayed from ‘higher standards’.

    • tc 11.1

      There were never any higher standards by the NACT, it was just PR spin and election lies just like no GST rises, closing the gap etc etc and let’s not forget the behaviour of Hide (disney with the darling) and Baby ID Garrett those other bastions of morality necessary in giving them the numbers.

  12. jaymam 12

    Can we in Epsom please have a more impressive MP next time? So far we’ve had Richard Worth, Rodney Hide and John Banks.
    As you know I was trying very hard for Paul Goldsmith to be elected, even if he wasn’t (trying very hard that is)!

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      So far we’ve had Richard Worth, Rodney Hide and John Banks.

      For sheer, unadulterated greed, arrogance and hypocrisy I thought those three were quite impressive 😈

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