Wednesday, 2 May 2012

John Banks on Kim Dotcom: I did not have sexual relations with that man

It was a little over a week ago that I speculated on John Banks’ mental health regarding his genuine belief that he could lead ACT to electability in 2014.  If this week’s Kim Dotcom row is anything to go by, it looks like I was right on the money.

Because we’ve all seen the news, I’ll sum it up briefly.  Allegedly:

Banks took a few helicopter rides – which he now seems to have forgotten – to visit Kim Dotcom and help with his application to buy land through the Overseas Investment Office (OIO); have dinner with Mr and Mrs Dotcom; and enjoy a fireworks show.  Somewhere along the line Dotcom donated $50,000 toward Banks’ mayoral bid, which Banks asked be split into $25,000 cheques so as to be claimed as anonymous donations.  Banks then phoned to thank Dotcom for the donations.  Banks denies any knowledge of asking for the donations to be split, or of the phonecall.

Which brings us, in a nutshell, to where we are now.

Now, you’ll excuse any omissions in this breakdown because I’m not trying to focus on this issue – despite it being a serious one.  Rather, I’m more concerned with John Banks’ mental wellbeing and his ability to care for himself. 

The general reaction of someone at the centre of a breaking scandal is to avoid media scrum and any situation where there are tough questions to answer.  So it was rather baffling to see Banks – resplendent in his much-loved velvet jacket – appearing with Labour MP David Parker to debate the Budget on TVNZ’s ‘Q+A’ programme on Sunday.

Within five minutes the interviewer predictably turned to Banks and started questioning him over the Dotcom scandal.  Banks appeared surprised, and stated that he was only there to discuss the Budget.  While David Parker looked positively gleeful, Banks insisted he had “nothing to hide” – and then refused to answer any questions, opting instead to either stare at his shoes or look wistfully off into the distance while muttering about Cabbage Boats.

Whose idea was it to wheel a baffled and confused John Banks into an interview, with an Opposition MP, on TVNZ’s finest political programming when he was on the cusp of a scandal involving a fat German facing extradition to the US?

Surely everyone could see that this was a bad idea from the outset, so who let Banks out of the house?  His demeanour was one of bewilderment – as though he’d been discovered wandering outside TVNZ in his bathrobe, flung into make-up, and then hauled in front of the camera … when all he was looking for was his Sunday morning crepes.

If that weren’t bad enough, he then committed himself to an interview on Radio Live Monday.  During this, he mistook a question about his business relationship with Kim Dotcom for an insinuation that he was involved in a homoerotic relationship with a fat German.  As such, he flipped his lid and exclaimed, “But he’s married!”

He has now, at a press gathering in the halls of Parliament, answered “No” when asked if he knew of the Dotcom donation.  But this was not “No” with the roar of innocence but, rather, with the misty distraction of a cataract patient pretending to see friends and family where only a fridge and hat-stand are present.
John Banks’ behaviour has gone from sycophantic and doddering to downright bizarre, and we can only imagine where it will go next.  Are we going to see him marching into Parliament, half shaven, in his wife’s pink terrycloth robe demanding a cure for pancakes? Or will the men in white coats toss him into a home for the bewildered where he can spend his days making things out of papier-mâché and wearing mittens all year round?

Only one man can make that call. John Key
Key faces a tough choice. Does he keep this Banks around in all his insane glory or does he stand him down from his ministerial post and feed him to the public? When Winston Peters was caught in a similar embroilment over his forgetfulness regarding a donation from Owen Glenn, Key lead a very vocal charge to have Helen Clarke step him down stating unequivocally
"Helen Clark must stand Mr Peters down as a minister. That is what I would do if I were prime minister."

Now that Banks is charged with a similar ‘crime’ Key needs to remain consistent.  If he doesn’t his credibility takes a hit and his carefully prepared 2008 claim that he would run his government by “the highest ethical standards” look hypocritical and disingenuous. It’s a tough time to be Prime Minister, particularly when your one seat majority is held by a bumbling Mr Magoo impersonator. 


  1. Agree with all that you said. Though Winston stood himself down. Oh that sounds a bit strange when you think about it.

  2. Yeah he did in the end, that's right. I think Banks should probably do that same - at the very least

  3. I had a rather invigorating discussion with my fridge just a couple of days ago and made the more so by the repartee and humour injected by the hat stand. Of course I remember nothing of it.


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