Resignationwatch: why unethical, probably illegal, behaviour is OK in Key’s govt

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, May 2nd, 2012 - 129 comments
Categories: john banks, john key, scoundrels - Tags:

For the first time in 3.5 years, Lockwood Smith didn’t preside over question time yesterday. The hapless National backbencher Eric Roy took his place resulting an awfully convenient farce. Key refused to answer questions, going so far as to say he wasn’t responsible for who is a minister. But, like the sudden slew of ministerial announcements, Key’s evasiveness will not distract the media, which smells blood.

Key’s position – that his chief of staff has asked Banks whether he broke the law, Banks says he didn’t, so Key has confidence in him – simply isn’t sustainable. Key has a duty to do more than take the (second-hand) word of Banks that he didn’t break the law. The Prime Minister has a positive duty to ensure that ministers of the Crown are living up to the highest standards, not just legal but ethical. Key himself said in the past that simply acting legally (and it’s still not clear that Banks did) is insufficient for a minister – “The issue has never been one of legality as much as ethics. The criminal code is the bare minimum standards for society. For MPs we expect behaviour well beyond that.”

And the problem for Key and Banks is that, in sticking to a mere legal test, which Key has refused to inquire into beyond getting a reassurance from Banks second-hand, they are admitting that Banks acted unethically. When the two of them say that the Local Electoral Act is loose and could be tightened, they are saying ‘it was wrong to do what Banks did, but we think he skirted within the law’.

Does anyone believe that it is OK for a minister to exploit loopholes to try to remain within the law, knowing that his behaviour is unethical? Even Banks and Key are conceding that Banks behaved unethically.

Key is sticking to a legal test in this instance because he is banking on the Police being as useless and slow as ever on electoral law.

The simple fact is that Key can’t afford to take Banks’ portfolios off him and potentially trigger a by-election that would see the Right lack the votes to pass legislation without the Maori Party for at least 3 months. So, he’s going to play this stupid ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ game for as long as he can and hope the media gets bored (cf the Richard Worth affair).

How long he can hold the line as more information, such as phone records, emerges remains to be seen. But the more Key stretches the bounds of creditability to protect Banks, the more damage he will do to his office as Prime Minister and to his government.

129 comments on “Resignationwatch: why unethical, probably illegal, behaviour is OK in Key’s govt”

  1. Wyndham 1

    Why are we not seeing any media personnel interviewing Dotcom ? Is there some legal constraint since he is on bail ?

    Just asking.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Maybe its one of his conditions of bail to not do interviews? He certainly has been speaking to the media e.g. to John Campbell – although not appearing live.

    • Treetop 1.2

      Not sure of the content, but last night Campbell said that further info on Campbell Live on Wednesday night. Probably more on the paper trail.

    • xtasy 1.3

      As far as I understood from Campbell on TV3 the other night, there are serious objections by the FBI, thus consequently also the NZ Police, to allow Dotcom to speak out on these matters. It may not be directly linked to charges, but there is apparently a danger or concern that Dotcom may make comments that could compromise the course of justice in the case he has to face. That makes sense too, but of course it would be great if he was allowed to speak up. Otherwise they may simply have enforced a condition he does not discuss certain matters on the media, which live TV is, which is about the same anyway.

  2. Salsy 2

    Id really love to see the opposition now start to show the similarites between Banks lobbying the govt for Overseas Investment approval to buy Coastville and Shanghai Penqxin’s dontations to the Nats and subsequent (highly contestable) approval to purchase the Crafar Farms. Kiwis need to be warned that this government supports corruption and deals that benefit themselves – at the expense of all of New Zealand. Question is, looks like a pattern here – what else is going on?

  3. captain hook 3

    Kweewee isa typical post modern.
    only his own truths count.
    words like scruples, morals and ethics are thus defined out of existence so his inner accounAnt can do what it wills which is take anything that isnt nailed down immediately and come back later for the valuables.

  4. freedom 4

    At least with a by-election in a forgone seat like Epsom the opposition parties don’t have to worry about trying to win the seat they can simply use the opportunity, via the increased media attention and the heightened awareness of a misled public, to let NZ know some of the facts of life about the affairs of state in NZ. From counterfeit budgets to underhand miming permits there is enormous potential to educate the public at this juncture.

    • Hayden 4.1

      underhand miming permits

      We’ll be knee-deep in dog muck, thieving kids and crusty jugglers.

    • jaymam 4.2

      There should be a by-election in Epsom which Goldsmith will win and take the seat that is rightfully his after his huge campaign in the last election, with assistance from me!

  5. Lanthanide 5

    “Does anyone believe that it is OK for a minister to exploit loopholes to try to remain within the law, knowing that his behaviour is unethical? ”

    This would more correctly be written as:
    “Does anyone believe that it is OK for a minister to have exploited loopholes to try to remain within the law, knowing that his behaviour was unethical?”

    Stop putting this into the present tense. The offences, if any, are all in the past, quite a while before he was MP or minister.

  6. Julian Haworth 6

    Eric Roy’s role as speaker at question time yesterday was a scandal. Hard to say which was worse, his incompetence or his bias.

    • Agreed. He was wrong so many times. So many rulings on points of order were clearly wrong. He has a serious comprehension skills deficit. Where the frig was Lockwood?
      I had to look twice to ensure it wasn’t Charlie Sheen in the chair.

    • Blue 6.2

      You know the Nats are desperate when they resort to this level of farce. Dumping Lockwood as Speaker for a day because they needed someone who won’t hold them to account beggars belief. How do they think they can get away with shit like that?

      Oh right. The last four years have made them think they could make Moonbeam the Speaker and the media would praise them for it.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    “Does anyone believe that it is OK for a minister to exploit loopholes to try to remain within the law, knowing that his behaviour is unethical? Even Banks and Key are conceding that Banks behaved unethically.”

    If it has been acceptable behaviour generally in local body elections to hide the source of donations to skirt around the rules, then it might not be unethical behaviour in the sense that Banks might not have been doing anything unusual compared to others. As I have mentioned before, Brown shows a large donation from the trust set up to collect donations. So, he might well know who donated to the trust, but just has to declare a donation from the trust in his return. So, if Banks had been running a trust, and asked Dotcom to donate it, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion at the moment, although Banks would have known who the donor was.

    Thus, it seems that rather focus on the players who might be using the rules to their advantage, it is necessary to focus on adjusting the rules.

    • freedom 7.1

      all of that might be nothing more than legally accurate perniciousness but why lie about it?
      He makes a statement, changes his story, lies about it some more, blames it on bad legal advice and continues to ignore the fact that “i don’t remember” is not the same as “no comment”.

      if politicians want to be manipulative unethical pondscum, they at least could do so with some pride.

    • felix 7.2

      “then it might not be unethical behaviour in the sense that Banks might not have been doing anything unusual compared to others.”

      Yep, if “ethical” meant “doing what someone else has done before whether it’s right or wrong” then you might have a point.

      But it doesn’t, so you don’t, and that’s the saddest bit of interpretive dance I’ve ever seen.

      Hey I’ve got one: “It might not be unethical behaviour in the sense that he basically got what he wanted at the time”.

      Or how about: “It might not be unethical behaviour in the sense that it took a while for anyone to cotton on to it”.

      Even for you that’s a limp effort. D-.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.1

        It depends on where you believe morals arise from. If you believe they are absolute, you might have a point. But then you would need to show how they can be absolute.

        If you believe morals are relative, then they are relative to the normative group an individual associates with. So, as I said, within the context of which it was happening, it might not be unethical at all. In fact it might be considered extremely ethical in that the parties concerned are taking action to protect the identity of their donors.

        Look at it another way, if the law was changed so that media organisations had to divulge their sources, would you object if the media organisations constructed artificial means to technically obey the rules in order to protect their sources?

        • felix 7.2.1.1

          “If you believe morals are relative, then they are relative to the normative group an individual associates with. So, as I said, within the context of which it was happening, it might not be unethical at all.”

          You’re now arguing that if Banks was associating with gangland murderers it would be ethical for him to commit murder.

          Stop digging tsmithfield.

          • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1

            yeah, but what is “wrong”?
               
            Shouldn’t it be expected that we reexamine and improve on every ethical theory since the Socratic dialogues before we can suggest that fiddling donations so a candidate can claim them to be anonymous (even though he solicited the donation himself) is just a little, teensy weensy bit dodgy from an ethical standpoint?
               
            And what is a “cheque”? Does a cheque even exist? It has no value, and is 99% identical to every other cheque, so really if the cheque doesn’t exist then there was no identifiable donor for money that appeared in the campaign bank account.
                 
            Nope. TS is correct – before we can even begin to call Banks a dodgy-as-fuck probably corrupt tool, we need to solve the eternal questions of the ages. NOBODY TALK ABOUT BANKS UNTIL WE’VE AT LEAST SOLVED CARTESIAN DOUBT. 

            • alwyn 7.2.1.1.1.1

              My God. This discussion takes me back to the days of Bill Clinton and his immortal statement.
              ” It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.”.

            • tsmithfield 7.2.1.1.1.2

              “Shouldn’t it be expected that we reexamine and improve on every ethical theory since the Socratic dialogues before we can suggest that fiddling donations so a candidate can claim them to be anonymous (even though he solicited the donation himself) is just a little, teensy weensy bit dodgy from an ethical standpoint?”

              I think it is fair enough to call it “wrong”. However, to be consistent, you also have to call any other behaviour designed to achieve the same ends (e.g. donations routed through a trust) “wrong” as well. If it is standard behaviour for local body politicians to do this sort of thing, then they are most of them are as dodgy as fuck, or they are operating within a system of ethics they implicitly agree to.

              • felix

                “you also have to call any other behaviour designed to achieve the same ends (e.g. donations routed through a trust) “

                No, having a trust set up to allow anonymous donations is not the same thing as saying “Yes, I’ll happily accept your $50,000 donation, but please give it to my trust so I can pretend it’s anonymous”.

                Try again.

                • tsmithfield

                  “No, having a trust set up to allow anonymous donations is not the same thing as saying “Yes, I’ll happily accept your $50,000 donation, but please give it to my trust so I can pretend it’s anonymous”.”

                  How about “Yes, I’ll happily accept your $50,000 donation. You can deposit it in my trust account and I promise not to look.”

                  Because, that is what a trust account is basically set up to do.

                  So, are you an absolutist or a relativist with respect to morality.

                  In your view is Banks absolutely wrong, or just wrong in a relative sense?

                  • BLiP

                    . . . How about “Yes, I’ll happily accept your $50,000 donation. You can deposit it in my trust account and I promise not to look.”

                    Or, how about “Yes, if you want help with that it will look good if you give me some money – yes, fifty-grand will about cover it. Instead of making one $50,000 deposit into this bank account, make it two $25,000 deposits. That way I can cover my arse by pretending I don’t know you. Happy Birthday, BTW.”

                  • felix

                    How about “Yes, I’ll happily accept your $50,000 donation. You can deposit it in my trust account and I promise not to look.”

                    That’s the same example I gave you idiot.

                    The distinction I made is between someone donating without your knowledge and someone donating with your knowledge while you look the other way.

                    Everyone knows that the Banks/Dotcom affair is the latter. No-one is seriously arguing otherwise, not even Banks.

                    You’re trying to equate the latter and the former.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “That’s the same example I gave you idiot.”

                      Nah, its you who fails to grasp the subtle difference between pretending a donation is anonymous and “promising not to look”.

                      In the former case, an individual might know that the money has been deposited, but use the entry of the trust donation to claim anonymity. In the second case, the individual would never actually know that the funds had been deposited, so could accurately say that the funds were from an anonymous source.

                      According to the news, staff members don’t have to tell candidates about donations, even if they know who they are from. We can’t be sure, but it may well be the system that Banks has operated under.

                      Either way, the effects are the same. So, I don’t see any real difference on ethical grounds.

                    • felix

                      “Nah, its you who fails to grasp the subtle difference between pretending a donation is anonymous and “promising not to look”.”

                      That’s not what I was talking about at all.

                      You’re pretending there’s no such thing as an anonymous donation. I’m not.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      tsmithfield you nonce.

                      You’re still going from a hypothetical way you could use trusts to breach anonymity to an assumption that that’s what everyone used them for.

                      You need evidence at this point in order to argue that what Banks did was functionally the same as what everyone else was actually doing.

                      You need to show that everyone else wasn’t using the trusts legitimately, ie having their staff handle all the fundraising, putting the money in the trust, and not talking about it with the pollie. At the moment, you are just assuming that everyone else was using the trusts as a swindle. But that’s the thing you rely on to claim an equivalence.

                      It’s the classic question beg. assume they are rorting, and use the fact that they are all rorting to say that what Baks did was whipsy pixie, look at the rabbit, ethimical.

                      Pants to that.

                      Show some evidence, and you have an argument.

                      Until you get that evidence, all you’ve got is an argument that says that if Banks did it differently from the way he did it, he would have rorted the system in a different way and he might have got away with it. But that would still fall over because you’d still have Dotcom saying he offered Banks the money, and Banks told him how to make it look anonymous, and then rang him up and thanked him.

          • tsmithfield 7.2.1.1.2

            “You’re now arguing that if Banks was associating with gangland murderers it would be ethical for him to commit murder.”

            Yes. Thats an unfortunate, but necessary consequence of relative morality.

            So, Felix, would you be an absolutist or a relativist when it comes to morality.

            • felix 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Good thing no-one but you thinks relative morality is in any way relevant to Banks and his lies then, isn’t it?

        • s y d 7.2.1.2

          there is a difference between morals and ethics…..at it’s most basic, morals are beliefs whilst ethics are a system of behaviour. You can have whatever moral postion you want, but your conduct should be based on an agreed set of ethics…so while Jonh Banks may think he is morally correct (and above the law) he has acted unethically (at the very least)

          • tsmithfield 7.2.1.2.1

            “there is a difference between morals and ethics…..at it’s most basic, morals are beliefs whilst ethics are a system of behaviour.”

            Actually, I think a system of ethics is derived from moral beliefs.

            Anyway, taking your argument:

            If ethics are a system of behaviour. And if the system of behaviour for mayoral candidates allows them to take steps within the rules to conceal the identity of otherwise known donors, then Banks has been behaving ethically, hasn’t he?

            • felix 7.2.1.2.1.1

              lolz.

              The “system of behaviour” definition of ethics you’re using in the first part of your last paragraph carries no value judgement. It essentially states that “ethical” means “relating to matters of ethics”.

              In the last part of your paragraph you switch to a different definition that means “a morally correct behaviour”.

              Sorry mate.

              • tsmithfield

                “In the last part of your paragraph you switch to a different definition that means “a morally correct behaviour”.”

                Nah. What I have said is that if, as SYD argues, ethics is an agreed system of behaviour apart from morality, then any behaviour that fits within the ethical system is by definition ethical.

                As I stated earlier in that post, I believe ethics are derived from morality, not apart from it. But then that goes back to whether you believe morality is relative or absolute.

                You avoided answering my earlier questions I had for you:

                “So, Felix, would you be an absolutist or a relativist when it comes to morality.”

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  The moral of the story is that John Banks has acted unethically.

                • felix

                  “What I have said is that if, as SYD argues, ethics is an agreed system of behaviour apart from morality, then any behaviour that fits within the ethical system is by definition ethical. “

                  Ah, so you want me to look at the “if” in “if, as SYD argues” but ignore the enormous unstated “if” in ‘if his behaviour was the norm’.

                  No thanks.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “So, Felix, would you be an absolutist or a relativist when it comes to morality.”

                    Why do you keep avoiding this question?

                    • felix

                      I’m not avoiding it. Why do you keep asking it?

                    • tsmithfield

                      You either don’t want to answer it. Therefore, you are avoiding it since it hasn’t been answered. Or you haven’t noticed it. In which case you are blind.

                    • felix

                      I didn’t see it it the first time, because you edited it in after I’d replied.

                      The next time you asked, I ignored it because I decided to talk about Banks and his dodgy dealings rather than get sidetracked into whatever you want to talk about.

                      Now I’m just watching to see how attached you’re going to get to your latest theory but I have to be honest with you; I’m not taking this convo very seriously.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.3

          You’re talking as if Banks has a line call which might be a mm on one side or the other.

          He doesn’t. His ass is hanging out by a country mile and he knows it.

    • alwyn 7.3

      When is Len Brown going to front up on his fiddles with donations. He seems to have kept a very low profile in the whole affair. His details are obviously of much more interest than Banks’ are as Len is the mayor and in a position to fulfil any promises he might have made in order to get support.
      The law allows him to know who donated to his trust fund but then to only list a very large donation from the trust fund to his campaign. What is he trying to hide about his fund raising?
      I wonder if any money went through his trust fund from people who have now got ratepayer funded positions from the mayor?
      Can we expect an announcement of principle from Len that he is releasing all the details of donations to the fund? It is surely the only ethical thing to do.

      • felix 7.3.1

        What you want to do is go and ask him about it and see if he flinches.

        Maybe he’ll deny it. Maybe you’ll have do do some investigating. Maybe he’ll go batshit mental like Banks did.

        Could be a story in it. Go hard.

        • alwyn 7.3.1.1

          I tried that but his reply used a lot of words I didn’t understand.
          The all were short words that started with c… and f… and b……. and so on.
          I asked my mother what they meant but she, not Len, flinched and then dragged me off to the bathroom and washed my mouth out with soap. I wonder what Len meant?
          Actually I would have thought a professional MSM to be doing the questioning but I guess we don’t have such a thing in this country.

      • Treetop 7.3.2

        When it came to the check from Sky City, Brown did not list it as being anonymous. Had he done so this could be seen to have caused a problem for him further down the track. Brown is no fool even though he was painted out to be one in the mayoral race. Brown obviously was aware of rumours regarding Sky City and was unaware of how they could playout. I have to give it to Brown for being a long term thinker.

        I wonder what Bank’s reaction was when Kim Dotcom hit the news in January?

        The problem I am now having with Banks is that were the anonymous checks scandal to have come to light before the 2011 election Banks would not of been able to stand as an Act candidate. For Key to not see that Banks is under investigation (regardless of the alleged offence prior to entering parliament) Key is in denial of majority public opinion, that Banks should be stood down. Key needs to show leadership when the public do not have faith in one of his ministers. Key cannot determine what the outcome will be of any investigation or further evidence coming to light. Key has to seriously consider the outcome were Banks found to have misled the house, lied to the PM and lied to the public.

  8. Johnm 8

    Not surprising really. John Key made his 50mill Dinero pile working in the financially unregulated London office of the Ponzi Scheme outfit Merrill Lynch as a currency speculator part of the global capitalist casino which is now disintegrating. Doing some minor deals with the much smaller operation of Sky City must be small change to our John. Banksie is emulating the same spirit which is the worship of money by money junkies.

  9. infused 9

    I always wonder where your brains where when the taito phillip field saga happened…. funny how it didn’t matter then…

    [The Standard was established in August 2007. 6 months after Field was expelled from the Labour Party. When Field was convicted, Eddie wrote “a good outcome. That man betrayed everyone who ever supported and trusted him.” -take a week off for making false accusations because you’re too lazy/dumb to check your facts. Zet]

  10. ianmac 10

    A few years ago the question of MPs spending blew up from maybe just one incidence. Soon it was all over the news and shock horror about flowers to golf clubs. “But that was the way it was always done.” The product was a clarifying and transparency of spending limits.

    Now the loopholes, donations, donors (or as Banks calls it donators) have blown up courtesy of John Banks. “But that was the way it was always done.”
    The product under Key’s higher standards will be….?

  11. Keith Ng expresses the situation very well:

    But you know what? “Technically not illegal” is fine as a threshold for “not being thrown in jail”, but it is not fine as a threshold for “fit to hold public office making and executing laws”. This isn’t even about holding politicians to higher ethical standards – it’s about fundamental respect for their domain: the public and the law.

    If a member of Parliament and a Honourable Minister of the Crown conspired to mislead the electoral monitoring body and circumvent electoral law, in order to hide the source of a donation from the public, legality is not the issue. John Key isn’t deciding whether to throw him in jail, but whether he wants this guy as a minister. Is the bar really set so low that deliberately misleading election officials and the public, and explicitly disregarding the spirit of the law is fine, as long as it’s not technically illegal?

    Link is at http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/peek-a-boo-i-cant-recall-seeing-you/

  12. Kia Ora

    John Banks and Rupert Murdoch have a lot in common at the moment. Both are defending shot reputations, with no appreciation for morals and/or conscience despite their repeated assertions to the contrary.

    And both need to resign.

    Rob

  13. It’s ok for the Nats to take someone’s word for it that they didn’t break the law and to treat them as innocent until proven guilty – but when it comes to NZ citizens they give foreign corporates the power to find people of guilty of copyright crime without having to prove they are guilty.

    • Kim Dotcom wasn’t a citizen – he was a permanent resident.
      He hasn’t been found guilty because it hasn’t gone to trial
      The foreign corporate’s haven’t found him guilty – they are the complainant.

      • William Joyce 13.1.1

        I wasn’t talking about Dotcom. I was talking about the 3 strikes internet piracy laws which requires no evidence or a court of law before disciplinary measures are taken against a citizen.
        Only a letter sent from an overseas corporate to an isp saying that a NZ citizen had broken the law. An assertion that can be made without evidence. I.e. guilty until proven innocence.
        Yet Bank gets to be innocent until proven guilty.
         
        Nothing to do with Dotcom.

  14. Dr Terry 14

    I think the law is perfectly clear enough as it stands, any alterations, or “improvements” will be little but delaying tactics. Certain people simply do not want to know about the law right now!!
    Ethics/ Key/Banks/Councils, – whoever conceded that any of these had even a remote concern for “ethics”? (Key clearly believes that ethics can be stretched to mean virtually anything!)
    Today politicians (and others) prefer alternative words and phrases, such as “memory loss”, “standards”, “loopholes”, – almost anything other than sticking with good, old fashioned, “morality”.

    But is anything new under the sun?

  15. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Mr Pulled-Myself-Up-From-The-Gutter Banks found himself incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
    Perhaps he can have the same cell as his dad and etch his name next to his dad’s.

  16. felix 16

    Is it true that Lockwood took the day off because he wouldn’t do as he was told?

  17. John Banks has to go – Our parliament is too important to have ministers with onset Alziemers.

    If you cannot remember going on a helicopter ride having luncheon at a mansion or receiving BIG cheques then I think onset Alziemers is a distinct possibility…

    Time for you to go John for the safety of our country.

  18. captain hook 18

    hubris has got him at last.
    he wouldn’t even go to bat for the people who gave him money.
    they will want a word with him too.

  19. just saying 19

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/05/02/gordon-campbell-on-john-banks-unpleasant-options/#more-2104

    Gordon Campbell has some erudite things to say today. Also, the clips from parliament are very entertaining.

  20. I think Banks may very well be suffering some weird mental illness. And I think Key needs to man up and dump him:

    http://thenzcontrarian.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/john-banks-on-kim-dotcom-i-did-not-have.html

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      When did dishonesty become a “weird mental illness”?

      • TheContrarian 20.1.1

        As I write in the linked article – its his baffling behaviour since being found out that is akin to a weird mental illness. It’s tongue in cheek, dawg.

      • Reality Bytes 20.1.2

        Rather generous benefit of the doubt me-thinks. If he’s not being dishonest, then sadly he is clearly suffering from a very serious alzheimer’s like affliction. Either way the guy is not really up for the job, be it ethical or medical reasons.

  21. tsmithfield 21

    No one has bothered to deal with the example I gave earlier.

    If it is wrong for local body politicians to use various artificial devices to protect the identity of their donors, to protect the privacy of their donors, then what would people say about the following:

    “If the law was changed so that media organisations had to divulge their sources, would you object if the media organisations constructed artificial means to technically obey the rules in order to protect their sources?”

    • felix 21.1

      I’ve dealt with it several times. You just don’t want to see it.

      Banks hasn’t accepted an anonymous donation, he’s accepted a totally known donation and tried to make it appear anonymous.

    • Treetop 21.2

      The Bill of Rights allows freedom of speech.
      Any paper can be sued for making defamatory comments.
      The truth is what is important not the source.
      Look at the shit going down in Britain when the relationship between the media, police and government is scandalous.

    • Matt 21.3

      The only thing that’s an “example” of is a preposterous and contrived non sequitur, worthy of being ignored.

  22. captain hook 22

    eat your egg mate.
    we’ll deal with that question when we come to it.
    and banks is not a journalist.
    he cant even write his own name.
    as hunter s.thompson would say he is just a grubby little ward heeler.

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    Paid up NBR subscribersdon’t believe banks, by what might fairly be described as a fucktonne of a margin:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-online-business-pulse-poll-readers-dont-believe-banks-rh-p-117910

  24. ianmac 25

    Kim DotCom’s open letter to Key tonight on Campbell Live.

    • ianmac 25.1

      I put this comment on Open Mike as well:
      Wow! Not the open letter! Its the very peculiar situation that the PM of NZ knew not even the name of Kim Dotcom until the day before the arrest. On tape. Yet a large circle of others did know him for ages even years. Very weird. If you haven’t seen this on Campbell Live do so. There will be pretty strange repercussions. I bet!

      • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1

        That constituent who went to Key’s electorate office to talk about things related to Dotcom, and the secretary said the issue would be forwarded on, and the reply comes back to the constituent from Simon Power?

        That’s understandable insofar that Power could well have been involved in any Doptcom related stuff due to impending FBI shenanagins.

        But Key not being kept in the loop?

        What the fuck?

        Who’s running this clownshow?

        • Jim Nald 25.1.1.1

          Now, what would be the treatment for pathological liars?

          • calltoaccount 25.1.1.1.1

            Hey, out of tv range, what’s happening…

            • ianmac 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Will let you know when there is a link. In short Campbell asked Key when did he find out about Dotcom. Key said that he had not even heard of him until the day before Dotcom’s arrest. What! Cambell does a careful roundup of all the people who knew about Dotcom including all the media coverage since 2010. Campbell could not get a single person to come on TV to explain how the PM of NZ could possibly not know who he was especially as Dotcom is in Key’selectorate. Some people had gone to Key’s electorate seeking help or support re Dotcom. Not one response from Key over the weeks and months for his constituents. It seems to be watertight! But weird.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Yeah, it’s more weird than anything at the mo.

                Either

                i) Key told a fairly pointless lie when he said he had never heard of dotcom, which raises the question of why tell the lie, and why not front it now and apologise for the mistake. Easy enough right? So the lack of fronting an explantion if it was a lie/mistake, raises the question of ‘was it really ‘pointless’?’

                or

                ii) Key was telling the truth when he said he’d never heard of Dotcom, and members of the cabinet and his electorate office were actively colluding to keep him out of the loop. Which is even weirder.

                • ianmac

                  Or perhaps Key could say that he was thinking about the raid being when he found out about Dotcom. Trouble is he was pretty clear that he had never heard of Dotcom before the day before the raid. Forgetful? Lying? Trying to keep onside with FBI? Kim had given him a huge Anonymous Election Donation?
                  I bet John Campbell won’t get any interviews with Key or other MPs in the future!

                  • felix

                    Yeah he was very clear. His phrasing was very deliberate

                    First I’ve actually heard that name, um, unusual as it is I might add, [sharp intake of breath] ah, was, ah, when I was briefed by the solicitor general that the um theactionsweregoingtotakeplacethenextday

                    Ignoring for a moment that the tenses are all over the place, it’s about as close to the English language as our wee Johnny ever gets and it’s utterly unambiguous.

                    He adds the comment about the unusualness of the name to deliberately reinforce the fact that he definitely didn’t know about Dotcom. He wants the interviewer to know that there’s no grey area, it’s not something that he might have known but just can’t remember right now, because he would never forget such an unusual name.

                    There’s absolutely no going back on that statement for Key. He definitely didn’t know about Kim Dotcom.

                    (I don’t believe a word of it btw, his tells are all over it. He’s lying through his teeth)

                    • ianmac

                      Perhaps there is a very very good reason for Key and Banks to have distanced themselves from Dotcom which is greater than the risk. But now it is unraveling big time, maybe even big time snap election?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The electorate of Epsom would have to fall over for National and paralyse the workings of Government before a snap election could be held.

                      And the Right would lose power in that snap election.

                      So they are going to do everything humanly possible to not head that way.

                    • ianmac

                      I had in mind that the untold story Dotcom/Banks/Key could conceivably be so hurtful that the Government could fall. Perhaps I’m starting to sound a bit like Travelev? 🙂

                • mike e

                  Cycle way wheels fall off, rich immigrant policy back fires ,economy stagnant, people leaving for overseas, cost cutting program costing taxpayers ten times what its saving etc etc

                • ianmac

                  Oops. Wrote this half an hour ago.
                  Or perhaps Key could say that he was thinking about the raid being when he found out about Dotcom. Trouble is he was pretty clear that he had never heard of Dotcom before the day before the raid. Forgetful? Lying? Trying to keep onside with FBI? Kim had given him a huge Anonymous Election Donation?
                  I bet John Campbell won’t get any interviews with Key or other MPs in the future!

              • calltoaccount

                So Key was dotcom’s electorate mp, dotcom wrote a letter to him which was hand delivered to his electorate secretary, and the answer comes back from Simon Power?? I blame the secretary, too much initiative!

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “dotcom wrote a letter ”

                  Nah, it was another constituent, but about Dotcom.

                • Carol

                  So, John Key’s been working hard for his electorate then?

                  Does he actually ever go to Helensville in between elections?

                  • felix

                    Doubt they ever see him at all. According to the Campbell Live story, one constituent was told the issue they tried to bring to their local MP’s office was just a “local matter” and so wouldn’t be getting their “local” MP John Key’s attention.

            • Jim Nald 25.1.1.1.1.2

              This:

              http://www.3news.co.nz/Who-knew-what-about-Kim-Dotcom/tabid/367/articleID/252734/Default.aspx

              Looks like there is a ‘lockdown’ on the PM, Cabinet Ministers – present & former, and public servants erm National’s servants. Either that or our executive government has been reduced to call centres (and none are willing to be interviewed or taking calls).

  25. xtasy 26

    Ha, says John Key, “I am legally unethical”, so what is the bloody problem?

    I have nothing to say, nothing to answer, and Banksie does the same.

    Alzheimers is a terrible disease, I know, and I wish that nobody would have to fall for such illness and consequences.

    Then though there is “convenient forgetfulness” and “blinkered self awareness”, same as blindfolded assurance, or whatever you may come up.

    I am sure, Key and Banks feel totally “innocent” resorting to such behaviour. Forget what you knew a minute ago, and you are totally innocent.

    If they would apply this to the courts and persons charged, NZ would have the lowest crime rate in the world, I am sure of it.

    Oh, I flew in a helicopter to Coatesville up north? Never happened, at least I cannot remember it happened. The alcoholic had a binge the night before, slept it off, was confronted, and he claims assuredly: “Come on, do not have me on, I NEVER did that at all”!

    The drug addict or gambler just had a relapse, got over it in the end, and then the “addicts mind” says: “Well it never really happened (like that), did it?” So I do not remember anything at all, you are wrong accusing me. “Barkeeper, get me another beer please!”

    The world is bizarre at times, and politics is even more bizarre. So what an entertaining week we have. Do you remember by the way, what your name is, dear reaer? Don’t worry, it is all OK

  26. Te Reo Putake 27

    Goff is slaughtering Banks in the house (I’m assuming it’s live, just got back from footy practise). Why is Banks even there???

    Edit: this is cruel! They are comparing every clause of an obscure Act to Banks’s failings. Brilliant!

  27. burt 28

    I’ll just repeat my comment from 2009;

    So it looks like Key might be acting like Helen did over Winston Peters – I was told “NO” by the honorable member and I have taken him at his word….

    Funny, it was good enough to keep a govt limping along when Labour did it, even after the privileges committee found Winston to be less than honorable. However I’m getting the feeling that National will not be so well defended for taking this stance.

    Why do myopic supporters of political parties need to be in opposition to see that accountability is something that is constant ?

  28. burt 29

    Eddie

    One more thing, be weary of being cast as a lynch mob member calling for Banks to resign before there has been sufficient judicial process. That, historically, upsets the moderators.

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      Banks needs to resign! Now! Coming before a court and judge has very little to do with it.

      Of course, Banks is going to hang on for dear life for as long as possible. Lovely, really.

      • burt 29.1.1

        CV

        Sure, I think he should have resigned the day the news broke. I said the same of Winston.

        Lets hope the police lay charges rather than sit on this for months then say it’s not in the public interest giving Banks supporters the ability to go all ‘felix’ and claim he wasn’t charged so he did nothing wrong.

        • TheContrarian 29.1.1.1

          What Burt said

          • Te Reo Putake 29.1.1.1.1

            You know, Contrarian, you’re never going to convince me you’re not right wing if you keep saying “what Burt said”. I believe that’s what poker players call a ‘tell’.

      • Jim Nald 29.1.2

        Some of my inside sources tell me there is a bit more of the unravelling to go.
        It’s only Wednesday and there could be some more to be revealed this week so hang in there ….. 🙂

        • burt 29.1.2.1

          Jim

          So perhaps an internal inquiry with terms set by the PM that takes 9 months to conclude is the next step then ????

        • xtasy 29.1.2.2

          Read my comment under “If Banks resigns”, which says the following:

          What Campbell has presented tonight is a good overview of all the connections with Dotcom, who knew about him, had dealings with him, had to make decisions about his applications, had to do some background research about him and then base decisions on what they were presented.

          Also did he present a contractor or developer of sorts, who worked on the Dotcom Mansion, had dozens at least employed, saw economic benefits for the area, and who was set back with owed moneys after the raid on the complex, caused by FBI and so forth.

          There were also numerous submissions AND complaints made about Dotcom to John Key’s Electoral Office over the years, and astonishingly Key claims to not have heard (much) about Dotcom until a day before the police raids early this year. Now that is totally exposing now, because also he has NOT told the truth at all. He must have known about Dotcom and his mansion, projects, as well as related matters well before, at least back to 2010!

          Why then is John Key lying to the public? Has he more to hide? Campbell asked numerous involved persons to come on the program to answer questions. While Key was prepared to throw a barrage of misleading arguments at Campbell re the SkyCity Casino bid for a Convention Centre weeks ago, he seems to be mighty shy now to answer to these new bits of info.

          Remember: Dotcom and family live in the Helensville electorate. What about the donation records for Key, perhaps? There was an election late last year! Was Dotcom not interested in assisting Key and his mates?

          Maybe he was not, but how can the MP for that electorate claim, he knew nothing or nothing much about Dotcom until a day before the raid.

          As Crown Law was involved and informed, what about other agencies, perhaps the SIS, then? The police had built their case, merely on some claimed info from the US FBI, but that would have involved Collins, I am sure, as it was such a high level issue involved.

          Not that much can and would go under the radar in such a case, I am sure. Key, Collins, Coleman, Williams and last not least dear old Banksie have LOTS more to answer now. Get out with the truth.

          While Banksie may have got away claiming he was “as clean as” before, he is now “as clean as a sticky and stained toilet brush”!

        • yeshe 29.1.2.3

          Just like it all began with reporting a simple botched break-in at a hotel in Washington D.C. called Watergate ….

        • yeshe 29.1.2.4

          Just like it all began with the reporting of a simple botched break-in at a hotel in Washington D.C. called Watergate ….

  29. So John Key was the last person in NZ to hear about Kim Dotcom?
    Really?
     
    Is that because he
    [ ] has had “no advice on that”
    [ ] has no ministerial responsibility for anything
    [ ] is not responsible for anything in the Helensville electorate
    [ ] only speaks out when friends send him emails
    [ ] was not at the meeting
    [ ] “takes a different view” that Dotcom exists
    [ ] only takes military helicopters to social occasions
    [ ] was busy clearing up the mess Labour left
    [ ] was busy rebuilding Christchurch
     
     
     
     

    • ianmac 30.1

      [] Has an official who can explain the opposite.

    • xtasy 30.2

      HE happens to suffer from amnesia or Alzheimers also, so please be “foriving” and let our trusted health workers deal with him. That given he will most likely be told to swallow lots of pills and will be left to get on with it, same as most other mental health patients in NZ (as I absolutely know)!

      Trust your leader, you are in good (well medicated) hands – for sure! Bot Marihuana, no, no, no, no, that is irresponsible for sure!

      • Jim Nald 30.2.1

        Ok, after ‘blame the lawyer’
        then, blame illness … or make that, illnesses
        so what next to blame?

        • xtasy 30.2.1.1

          Blame John Key to not having listening to him earlier, because Banks feels “addicted” to half truths, could not help himself and needed “guidance’, which Key as his defacto “employer” never offered. Negligence, ignoring facts, issues and the likes, really quite simple. That has been played out in politics all over the world so often, it is the best “defence”! NOT GUILTY! Blame the master!

    • fender 30.3

      [ ] believed his name was Dotcoin, smelt the money and wanted to get his grubby hands on it.

    • felix 30.4

      [] though you were asking about the Australian Dotcom

  30. ianmac 31

    At the start of today’s Question Time Key made a daft (improper) Personal Explanation supposed to be funny/clever that he in effect would never believe anything that Shearer said.
    Karma time coming up?

  31. Lisa 32

    In response to your article above one wonders when personal and professional integrity comes into the equation? John Key appears to be loyal to his colleague. Personal Integrity is defined as “upholding ones values and standards”. Professional integrity is about “upholding the values and standards of a profession”. John Banks, being a professional man will be aware of what is at stake in regards to integrity – professional and personal.
    There is a lot at risk by John Keys decision to support John Banks – John Keys must believe that his colleague is in a position that doesn’t warrant being dismissed or suspended – with John Banks not offering his resignation he believes also – he is protecting himself and standing strong in his beliefs and holding true to himself and his personal integrity. John Keys is making an unspoken statement by supporting John Banks – that professional integrity is intact and that in his eyes the risk of supporting John Banks will be better for the integrity of the party than if John Banks was to be suspended.
    Utilitarianism theory supports developing and expressing integrity – if this were most likely to bring about actions that produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people – it would suggest John Keys feels that if he were not to support John Banks then there would be too many people affected by this decision in a negative way which in turn will have the opposite effect of – greater good for the greater amount of people.
    Has John Banks breached the Code of Conduct that is in place for members of parliament? John would consider the “code of conduct” to guide him to ensure no disrepute has been bought upon the organisation and that John Banks has not been in breach of the code.
    If you consider the government to be an organisation, John Keys is the boss, John Banks is the employee and the country is the stake holders. If this was the case John Keys has a legal obligation to support John Banks and above all this, as an employer ethically you are obliged to support the employee as well.
    John Banks hasn’t been found guilty in the court of law and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. I am confident that John Keys would have considered the potential fallout. If he supports John Banks it is because he is concerned that the situation will cause more fall out for the government by dealing with John Banks before he is found guilty than the fall out potentially for the country if John Banks was considered guilty before he is possibly found guilty.
    The reputation of the government is at stake here. John Keys has the choice of been loyal to John Banks or loyal to the critics out there is the big question. The critics will find something else to comment on – Integrity is questioned.
    The suggestion that Banks has acted immorally at the time doesn’t suggest that if circumstances were different he or any other person biding for parliament would have done differently therefore the question should be asked what has been done by other MP’s or those lobbing for MP positions that could put them in the same position as John banks.
    When it comes to politics bad publicity by the opposition is typical of political behaviour. In an employment relationship outside politics bad behaviour would cost a business profit potentially. In this situation it is put at risk the possible gearing of the existing parties in government. Those critics that are not the supporters of the current parties in government are typically protestors in political situations where ethics is judged. As a result of this the critics would hope that the bad publicity would in turn put at risk the government make up.
    Corporate accountability would at the time suggest that the practice of advising potential donors how they could make an anonymous donation is common practice. If it was not for the publicity that has come about because of the situation that Donor is in would it have been an issue. If this is a known practice then the government and parliament need to consider changing the way individuals who are lobbying for government positions secure funds – what is truly the way to receive funds and what is not. Currently the existing government and its policies have put Mr Keys at risk – Mr Keys has been asked to act in a way that puts the government at risk of being unaccountable due to “hearsay” Until this can be proven of Mr John Banks Mr Keys hands are tied – loyalty to the employee.

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