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None so blind

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, September 17th, 2012 - 75 comments
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So, this is what Key is reduced to: refusing to read the Police Report on John Banks so that he can avoid answering questions on it. Key’s circular position is that Banks will remain a minister as long as he has Key’s confidence. The test: Banks’ll continue to have Key’s confidence as long as Key trusts him and Key has to believe whatever Banks tells him.

In the real world, of course, you lose confidence in someone when they tell you one thing and everyone else tells you the opposite. But because Key refuses to examine the veracity of Banks’ statement, refuses to even look at the evidence, he can continue to pretend to believe him.

It’s all fake. All Key’s shifting semantic games are fake. He doesn’t believe a word of it.

The truth is, Key is too weak to fire Banks. He knows that, if he does, Banks could do anything – most likely, resign from the House and leave the Right with 60 votes, a tie with the Left (plus the Maori Party) and unable to pass any of its agenda.

That leaves Key weak and twisting in the wind in interview after interview.

There’s heaps in the Police Report to keep this going for weeks. I predict Key will stonewall until November, then he’ll sack Banks and trigger a by-election to be held very early in 2013. It’ll be a purely cynical attempt to get Banks out of the way with as little disruption to the government’s legislative time table as possible.

But what will happen to Key’s public image in the meantime?

75 comments on “None so blind ”

  1. Jenny Michie 1

    The longer the public get to see this side of John Key, the better.

    • CnrJoe 1.1

      yes yes yes

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Bank’s oath of to parliament, did he forget anything?
        Is Key saying Worthless or Wong did something criminal,
        if that’s the standard? Banks is not just any MP, he’s
        a Minister?
        Key, unlike Banks, did float down the river in a cabbage boat.

    • Dr Terry 1.2

      Over the years of his tenure as PM Key has not only got away from anything for which he ought be held to account, he has emerged triumphant from the lot, still pretty much as popular as ever. Like many in his Party, Key is constantly rewarded for bad behavior. We have to ask ourselves about the integrity of many New Zealand voters. What on earth is there remaining that he could do to come into disfavour?

    • Dr Terry 1.3

      Regrettably, the public seems only too happy to see these images of Key, who is so “winningly” smug and “gung-ho”, if you get my meaning. He always gives the impression that sheer murder and mayhem (which may have happened, figuratively) would not rattle him in the slightest.

  2. Carol 2

    Even many in the MSM clearly don’t really believe this version of Key’s, but I can get you another opinion gambit:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7687702/Key-fends-off-calls-to-sack-Banks

    Kate Chapman begins her article:

    Prime Minister John Key’s support for ACT leader John Banks is becoming increasingly untenable after he conceded there were a range of views on whether the Epsom MP had lied.

    So when Key’s I can get you alternative opinions line is shown to be a stalling tactic, how many will buy it when he continues to use it for other issues?

    • Blue 2.1

      “The prime minister said he wouldn’t handle the Banks donation scandal any differently if his Government had a nine-seat majority and didn’t depend on the ACT leader.

      “When you are prime minister all you can really say is that a minister enjoys my confidence if I can rely on their word. If it’s proven otherwise, then fair enough. In the end there are no charges.” ”

      Oh, the lies, the lies. It’s amazing he can say shit like that with a straight face. Plenty of practice, I suppose.

    • freedom 2.2

      Is John Key suggesting that the NZ Police have alternative findings available on their investigations. Surely that should be raising a few questions

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    A bizarre position from a Prime Minister, that in the 60s and 70s might have been called a “Catch 22”. Can’t comment because I haven’t read the copper’s report and I can’t read the report because I refuse to.

  4. Tom 4

    In Key’s defence … he has never claimed to be an intellectual giant.

  5. mac1 5

    There were a range of views during the 1981 Rugby Tour, too. John Key can’t even remember what his views were then. So he says.

    And now? Key says he will trust what a man tells him who hides information, who tells stories different from what other credible witnesses say but which cannot be tested in court because of time, who blusters and flusters his way through. But, he will not investigate or read a document.

    A pattern of lies. Lies by omission. Lying by never answering the question asked. Lies by diversion. Lies, deceit, dishonesty.

    The whole of parliamentary integrity, of faith in our system, of democracy itself is damaged by such behaviour. The taint attaches to all who take part in, believe in, or would believe in our system.

    • Tom 5.1

      OK, he has never claimed to be a moral one either. He was a trader.

      • Maggy May 5.1.1

        John Key was a trader you say, I would say he was one of the original financial terrorists that have caused so much ill feeling and damaged confidence world wide in the monetary system.

        But we find Financial Terrorism is legal, the rules werte written by the Banking terrorists themselves.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          But we find Financial Terrorism is legal, the rules werte written by the Banking terrorists themselves.

          And that is the truth that most people haven’t woken up to yet.

        • David H 5.1.1.2

          Well he did spend a few years attacking the NZ currency to make his PERSONAL fortune!

      • Dr Terry 5.1.2

        Tom, is it not possible that a trader might act with integrity (or sense of morality)? What does it say if a person actually needs to make a claim of morality?

  6. irascible 6

    To get around the embarrasment that is his relationship with serial dissemblar, Banks, Key will revert to type posing and mincing at every opportunity of a photo-oppportunity. I predict posing topless while coating Bronagh’s back with sun tan lotion while at home in Hawaii for an expose in a Woman’s Magazine.. (sorry done that already. )
    Failing that he’ll announce a visit by a minor royal or corgi breeder.

  7. freedom 7

    It’s ok Mr Key, this country is crammed full of people who behave this way every single day. They sit there knowing they have done wrong but look left right up and down wanting to shift focus onto someone anyone anything that will take the heat off of their wrongdoing. They use every trick in their vast arsenal to dissuade and deflect attention from whatever damage their actions caused.

    The difference here Mr Key, is that i am talking about preschoolers.

    • Dr Terry 7.1

      freedom, your remarks are an offence to preschoolers. We are not dealing here with a country crammed full of of people who misbehave. We are dealing with a single person who happens to be the Leader of our nation. Let’s stick to the particular.

      • freedom 7.1.1

        🙁 I will go stand in the corner and my profound apologies to the preschoolers, most of whom would do a better job running the country

      • freedom 7.1.2

        I will go stand in the corner and my profound apologies to the preschoolers, most of whom would do a better job running the country.

        • freedom 7.1.2.1

          Excuse the double post. Lprent might want to know…the site thrice said post failed then i switched out of mobile theme and saw the post was there after all. also the site whilst in mobile theme scrolls downpage automatically as soon as i try to enter text. in this non mobile system it is jumping all over the place. also. These few words took over five minutes to enter as each time you touch the edit box the cursor jumps to somewhere off screen. 🙂

  8. ak 8

    There’s a tipping point approaching as the bought fourth estate struggles to retain the last shreds of credibility and is forced to withdraw its digit from the dyke of sanity.

    They got away with crucifying Helen for signing a painting for charity and sitting in the back of a speeding car, but that was on the back of mysogenistic hate – and the latest insanities are too glaring to be hidden even by the synthetically-generated bennybash emotion.

    Hocking off a profitable public business to your fatcat mates is one thing. But claiming to have not read a document you signed, and refusing to read evidence that everyone is jamming in front of your eyes, are steps too far.

    The eel has jumped the shark, and is writhing under the first sunlight in years.

  9. ianmac 9

    The longer that Key is in denial the harder it will be for him to eventually extract himself because his current denials can be quoted back to him.

    And how many Cabinet Ministers have been stood down without criminal convictions? So how does Dr Smith for example, feel about his standing down compared to the non-Banks stand down?

    Banks cannot be dismissed from Parliament and even if stood down from the Cabinet he could still vote as Dr Smith does so why not sack him from his Ministerial post?

    • Treetop 9.1

      “… so why not sack him from his Ministerial post?”

      Key would then need to admit to himself that Banks had lied to him and that Banks has been economic with the truth to the whole country.

      Time for Key to wake up as it is obvious to most people that Banks has given more than one version to the same question or refused to provide the answer, (reasons for this is self preservation and lack of a moral character).

      There better be more than one UNTOUCHED copy of the Banks police file as the file may not be able to be located.

      Banks reflects on Key and I have no faith in Key’s handling of a dodgy minister he does not have the COMMONSENSE to cut loose.

  10. tc 10

    Albatross !

  11. Lanthanide 11

    I wish the media would report some actual facts here.

    Something like “John Key continues to back John Banks, despite the police report showing that John Banks broke the law and then lied about it”.

    Much meatier than the vacuous he-said-she-said that goes on here as others have noticed.

  12. cup of tea anyone? hopefully one john drags the other down.

  13. Matthew 13

    Question – Can Key trigger a by-election by sacking Banks? Im pretty sure Key cvan sack Banks from the Coalition of Evil, but Banks retains the Epsom seat until he either quits or is un-elected in 2014. Key has no power over Banks at all, as the only action he can take weakens his own position.

    • lprent 13.1

      Correct.

      The only thing that Key can do is to kick Banks out of the cabinet and therefore probably drop Act from the coalition (since there are no other people in the parliamentary Act party to take up the cabinet position that is probably in the agreement). However there are several other things that could be done. Parliament has it’s own procedures for censuring or even removing a MP for conduct that diminishes parliament. John Banks looks to me like he is doing exactly that..

      • aerobubble 13.1.1

        Exactly. Banks had to swear an oath when he entered parliament, and now it turns out
        from the Police investigations that he is dubious on electoral details.

    • Lightly 13.2

      but the likely outcome is everyone would tell Banks to leave – especially if the vacancy coincides with the summer break.

      he would be both useless and a loose cannon on the backbenches

    • Lanthanide 13.3

      It’s worth noting here that the specifics around Banks leaving parliament were around him being convicted for a crime that had a possible sentence of at least 2 years in jail, even if the punished he received was no jail term or less than 2 years.

      Banks is lucky that there’s a (stupid) 6 month limit on bringing charges for the law he broke, so managed to wiggle out of that tangle.

      • BernyD 13.3.1

        Lucky or engineered, I’m betting on the later

        • Lanthanide 13.3.1.1

          Nah, his deer-in-headlights look about the whole thing shows that his entire strategy was not to get caught in the first place.

          • BernyD 13.3.1.1.1

            I wouldn’t be so sure, they’ve been stonewalling for the investigation.

            They knew the statute of limitations was 6 months.
            This must be well kown and standardised behaviour from Banks.
            He doesn’t read anything in case it incriminates him.
            Doesn’t make hime Honourable, certainly doesn’t make him a good representative in parliament.

            The facts are (both John Key and John Banks are openly admitting this) …

            He got away with it because John Banks doesn’t read documents before signing them.
            This way he has no reponsibility whatsoever for the things he endorses with his signature.

            And the smug deer in the headlights look is just for sympathy.

            • mike 13.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s so weird how the rest of us peasants do have responsibility for things that we sign, regardless of what we might say about having read it or not.

  14. Dv 14

    Interesting Key say the voter will decide about Banks.

    They will also decide about Key

  15. mike 15

    “Key denied suggestions Banks had become New Zealand’s Silvio Berlusconi.

    The former Italian prime minister had corruption charges against him thrown out in February because the statute of limitations had expired.

    “Last time I looked, I didn’t see him at a ‘bunga bunga party’,” Key told Newstalk ZB, referring to the lavish sex orgies Berlusconi allegedly threw.”

    So… the absence of sex orgies negates the comparison regarding expiring statutes of limitation. Nice one Key, your blokey jokey charm wins again.

    “Key said police may not have been successful even charges were bought against Banks.”

    Carol suggested that National’s ‘higher standard of ethics’ was “Don’t break the law.” I said no it’s worse it’s “Don’t get prosecuted.” More confirmation from Key.

    The opposition should be demanding that Key sack him very loudly.

    • mike 15.1

      “Prime Minister John Key says the voters of Epsom will decide whether they can trust their embattled local MP and ACT leader John Banks at the next election.”

      “Key today said he would not “second guess” the people of Epsom and their views of Banks.”

      Haha and he’s trying to wash his hands of the decision. If Banks is foolish enough to run again then sure they will decide if they want him as their MP. But they didn’t vote on whether he should be a minister, that’s Key’s decision. And it’s his alone as to whether he should sack him.

      Clutching at straws.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        But they didn’t vote on whether he should be a minister, that’s Key’s decision.

        And the National supporters who voted for him last time around was Key’s decision as well.

  16. muzza 16

    It’s all fake. All Key’s shifting semantic games are fake. He doesn’t believe a word of it.

    It’s all fake. All political shifting semantic games are fake. We can’t believe a word of it!

    FIFY

  17. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/key-backs-banks-over-dotcom-donations-ck-128455#comment-582350

    MY COMMENT – (yet to be published)

    Gosh!

    Perhaps Prime Minister John Key (MP for Helensville) would be prepared to present the following petition to the House – in order to get this sloppy local electoral law fixed?

    (That’s if John Banks doesn’t? 🙂

    “That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the findings of the Police investigation into the allegations that the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO, submitted a false donation return in respect to the Auckland Council Mayoral election 2010 – that it was not unlawful for the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO to sign and transmit his candidate’s declaration of expenses without first personally checking and verifying that the information provided (by another party) was accurate.”

    errr…… I was a complainant, who alleged John Banks committed electoral fraud, and I an NOT a Labour Party member?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

    • mike 17.1

      “TAURIMA: Why wouldn’t you read the police report?

      KEY: Because it’s not my job to do a forensic analysis.”

      Reminiscent of Dubya Bush’s classic “I’m not a fact checker,” anyone? Read a report? He’s not a CSI scientist for goonessake!

      Lol this is what happens when you persist in defending the indefensible, you have to keep coming up with hilarious gems like this. He doesn’t have to do any forensic analysis, the police did it for him and put it in a report. All he has do do is read it.

      Why should he? Because while forensic analysis is not his job what is his job is to consider and act on evidence that his minister is a corrupt liar. I’m sure Key already knew that and has no problem with it, but the thing is that Banks got caught. While Key’s actual ethical standards might be dog sh*t I would have thought he would have realized that he doesn’t want the public to actually see that.

      But as I’ve predicted here before, a sociopath like Key always believes they can talking their way out of anything, even to the point that they will indignantly defend absurdities. I think Key still thinks he can just wait for this to blow over. Maybe get Paula Benebash to get back to the bashing. And as he does so, NZ will wake up to his character, and the National list MPs will realize that the boat is sinking. That’s what happens when you get sucked in by a sociopath.

      The opposition and the media for that matter should smell blood and go all out for the kill.

  18. I suspect that key knows full well what is in the report and he also knows that banks
    is surplus to requirements if he acknowledges to the public that he has read it,the public
    will demand the ex honourable banks resignation and the heat will get hotter than a
    b b cue,so key is saving his own rear end,regardless of what is right or wrong.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Never mind Banks, Key should be in big trouble himself.

    The opposition just need to frame the Parliamentary questions right and (you’ve heard this before!) listen to Key’s answers instead of trying to drown them out with mindless noise. Challenge his exact words. Then get him for misleading Parliament.

    “Has the PM had any conversations with the Minister (Banks)? Has he / his office had any communication with … about … ? Does he stand by his statements (such as – Bradley Ambrose was guilty, or he’d never heard of Kim Dotcom before XYZ, or he would “look a Minister in the eye”, etc …” – the possibilities are endless.

    (and of course, follow up with OIA requests etc)

    Short, sharp forensic questions required in the House tomorrow. Any halfway decent researcher should be able to collect the ammunition. Whether Labour can hit the target is another matter.

  20. Tom 20

    The situation is unsustainable for the conservative bloc and the longer it lasts the worse the public perception around Banks and Key.

    The best way out for them is an early or snap election, fought on an issue of their choice.

    Some media research companies are currently hiring.

    A straw in the wind ?

  21. Treetop 21

    starlight and gobsmacked it will go something like this: on Marshall’s weekly visit to Tolley, Tolley will be informed or given a copy of the file, the file will get read by Key, Key will then know the extent that Banks has lied.

    And

    When it came to Richard Worth Key had to have been given info from the police about Worth or Collin’s would have been given the info and informed Key.

  22. Fortran 22

    Careful – the Banks affair is a red herring for Key to keep people bitching about it, whilst he goes on perpetuationg other political moves below the radar.

  23. Treetop 23

    Just had a look at comments made by Kim Dotcom on his twitter account, he wants a three way between Banks and Key on Q & A about the donation scandal, posted 22 hours ago.

  24. Murray Olsen 24

    My suspicion is that Banks is worth a lot more than one vote to Key. He’s been around a while now and probably knows where a lot of skeletons are buried. He is also nasty and malicious. Even if he got booted from Parliament, I can’t see Epsom voting for Mana in a by-election, or even for the pinkish Tory lite party, so Key would keep the majority.
    As far as concentrating on a weak minister who needs to be removed, I think the left would be much better going after Paula Benefat. She’s stupid and, if she hasn’t already misled Parliament, almost certainly will. Losing her would lose Key a vote. I think they’re happy with all the focus on Banks.

    • Having helped to organise about 14 anti-Banks protests in the wilds of Epsom – I can tell you that the longer shonky John Key protects dodgy John Banks – the worse it get for Key (therefore National – whose political fortunes are joined at the hip).

      Focusing on Banks is NOT a distraction – in my considered opinion – it is politically VERY important.

      Penny Bright

      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
      http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Dr Terry 24.2

      Always remember that Bennett is but a pawn in Key’s game – she faithfully does the bidding of her master.

    • Tiger Mountain 24.3

      Murray may not have teased it all out, but there is something in his argument that sticks (no pun etc.) regarding the so far inseparable Banksie/ShonKey connection.

      Paula Bennett has compiled (look at meeee…) surely the largest number of rather off nicknames for one minister in many a year, MO’s “Benefat” being the latest. But there is no technical case for her removal once Labour chose to drop the ball on the the electorate court case.

      • Murray Olsen 24.3.1

        I think Bennett is a real weak link and can be rattled easily. As Terry says, she’s just a pawn, but is a pawn in a crucial seat. There may not be a case yet, but with enough pressure and research, I think one will come up. Sure, go after Banks, but I can’t see Paula getting his level of imperial protection somehow.

  25. STILL trying to get my considered opinion published on the NBR 🙁

    THIS time?
    _________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/key-backs-banks-over-dotcom-donations-ck-128455#comment-58235

    “As the PM has said, this whole issue is a political “beat up” by Labour, because John Banks winning Epsom kept national in power, and saved us all from a lunatic left wing Labour/Greens government.”

    (Comment made by Lindsay Fergusson – former NZ Business Roundtable heavyweight)

    Actually Lindsay – I was one of those who made an official complaint to the Police alleging electoral fraud against John Banks – and I am not a member of the Labour Party.

    As you know – I’m an ‘anti-corruption’ campaigner – who stood against Banks in Epsom to help draw attention to the FACT that ‘one for all’ had yet to apply to the current (and former) Leaders of the ACT Party, regarding their signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme Registered Prospectuses which contained untrue statements and were never charged (by either the former Securities Commission, the Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or the NZ Police.

    Why is that, do you think Lindsay?

    How is John Banks ‘fit for duty’?

    Could it be that this minority National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs and is dependent upon the pivotal vote of ‘dodgy’ John Banks?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

  26. Herodotus 26

    Helen Clark must be currently having a chuckle over breakfast.
    Now let’s see if Labour cannot mismanage this one, comparing keys stand of hehavior in 2008 to his current expected level. If they cannot inflict some damage then labour deserve watching key for another 4 years then be one of a very select group to retire undefeated.

  27. Steve 27

    It appears nothing John Banks signs is worth anything, the Hujlich kiwisaver investment prospectus or his return. On both occasions he told investigators he had not read it and so got off.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/6555638/Petition-stalks-Banks-Brash

    • Carol 27.1

      Well, Go Penny!

      Seems Labour MP Twyford has taken up your cause!

      Labour MP Phil Twyford has tabled a petition calling for an investigation into the decision not to proceed with charges against John Banks and Don Brash as directors of the Huljich KiwiSaver scheme.

      The petition now must be considered by the Commerce Select Committee, made up of nine MPs of which five are from the National Party. The petition has drawn a firm response from the Financial Markets Authority that such an inquiry is unnecessary. Its predecessor, the Securities Commission, was responsible for the decision not to prosecute.

      Banks has been on the end of Bright’s activism before. In a statement he said: “I would never comment on anything this person has to say.”

      Thanks for the link and heads-up, Steve!

      PS: 5 Nats to 4 on the Committee means Banks & Brash will be protected.

      Oh, wait. That’s an article from back in March. So what’s happened re-the Committee?

      • Tiger Mountain 27.1.1

        Well it took a while to ping one Augusto Pinochet but it did happen eventually. And it does matter that evil people anywhere are bought to account. I am not conflating Banksie’s crappola with the dictator of the long thin country’s crimes for a moment, but “Don’t let the bastards wear you down” is the point.

        So full marks to Penny Bright for being tenacious.

  28. peterlepaysan 28

    Anyone remember Key being called “slippery John”?

  29. georgecom 29

    At time like these I love quoting John Key:

    “It is no longer acceptable or credible for Helen Clark to assert a facade of confidence in her Foreign Affairs Minister and to fail to ask the plain questions of him that she has a duty to the public to ask. Faced with today’s revelations, Helen Clark must stand Mr Peters down as a Minister. That is what I would do if I were Prime Minister.”

    one needent say anythign else thank perhaps, “Really John?”

    • mike 29.1

      I wonder if a PM has a duty to the public to read a police report that says one of his ministers is a corrupt liar? I wonder what we should think of a PM who refuses to do so for political reasons? I wonder how tame and well trained the MSM in NZ is for not beating Key up about this? I wonder how tuned out the general public is that they can’t see what a slimy shyster John Key is?

  30. Gruntie 30

    So why is Shonkey so blind to Banksies obvious misdemeanor – sure he needs the vote, but I smell a rat- maybe he can’t throw the first stone because he himself has used the same shonkey tactics? Worth digging I reckon

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  • Speech to APEC business event
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