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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Short man in deep water

John Banks is drowning.  Granny Herald's editorial this morning demanding his resignation is the biggest stone shoved into Banks' pockets to date and one that signals he's about to go under.

The law, it bears repeating, states an anonymous donation is one "that is made in such a way that the candidate concerned does not know who made the donation". If Mr Banks did know he was getting a donation from Dotcom, as Dotcom says he did, his position is untenable.
His departure would create a byelection in Epsom that National would need Act to win if the Government was to retain its majority.
Mr Banks must have known the identity of his big donor and did not disclose it. He has lost the public trust and should go.

As fortunate as Banks is that the local government version of the Electoral Act is weaker on everything (incl. foreign donors and anonymous declaration limits) it still leaves Act's lone and ideologically incongruous MP in a bind now that one of his "anonymous" donors has broken ranks.

Kim's reason to reveal the unvarnished facts are quite understandable. Any relationship involving such egos and such amounts inevitably resolve to a performance standard of "what have you done for me lately?" Drawing a line under this unbalanced ledger is proving difficult for both parties to the transactions.

This is the same position in which Winston Peters found himself before the last election when Owen Glenn turned against him when he didn't reciprocate to his satisfaction. Kim Dotcom is in the same - spurned - position. Having given generously to Banks' (unsuccessful) 2010 Auckland Council Mayoral campaign, Kim finds himself relegated to anonymous status on Banks' official donation return and then winds up as completely persona non grata when the government backs the American authorities in pursuing a tenuous copyright infringement case that sees him cast from his mansion (that Banks' had lobbied the Lands Minister to approve Kim's ownership of when he was Mayor) to the inside of a cell in the Auckland Central Remand Prison.

The drama is set to continue until the opposition have his head. Today's questions in parliament:

2. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: What assurances, if any, has he directly received from Hon John Banks regarding donations he received for his political campaigns and when did he receive those assurances?

4. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: What advice, if any, has he received on Hon John Banks’ alleged actions regarding donations from Kim Dotcom?

5. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister for Land Information: On what date did Hon John Banks lobby him on behalf of the application of Kim Dotcom to purchase property in Coatesville, and how did Mr Banks communicate this lobbying?

9. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all of his Ministers; if so why?

The dodgy insider trading-ridden iPredict right now has Banks at varying degrees of toast:

@69% John Banks to temporarily stand down as a Minister before 15 May 2012
@56.6% " before 8 May 2012
@56.6% By-election to be held in the Epsom electorate before next General Election

The problem with these political donations and the practice of enabling anonymous ones is simply that it is all a ruse. The party officials know who donated what despite the smoke and mirrors allowed under the legislation.

The politicians and the parties are the staple diet of sausages upon which our political mess hall relies and which are consumed by the public.

Problem is no-one wants to see how they are made...

The task of funding a political organisation is not nearly as sterile as the public may have imagined.  It is on occasion a dirty business and it does require bending of ethics and crossing all sorts of lines in order to secure crucial funds. So long as no-one finds out and the loop is tight then the "anon" donation will never be compromised. But when it is breached then all hell can break loose.

The money sometimes brings with it a lot more problems than it does solutions.

Remember Labour's past problems...

Recall Winston's shocker in 2008... and the Tumeke! diagram that lost it for Winnie:

As it transpired the only legal threat we ever got was from one of the donors over a mis-identified photo in an earlier version - zip from Winston. Banks is going through the same ugly process of transparency when things unravel.

If you knew how it was obtained and from who and for what consideration you would never want to vote for them - that is often the reality with political funding.


At 1/5/12 6:47 pm, Blogger CosmicRocketCultivator said...

Quite clearly,that man is as mad as a snake! As crazy as a mad womans vengence! As troubled as a rabble-rouser with no more manipulations! As mean as a rat in a hole with only one exit.Poor guy. He only wants to do the best for us.


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