The unmitigated audacity of John Key and John Banks
This is how a politician owns up to a mistake,
Acknowledgement: Radio NZ
Then there are politicians who continually blames others or claim to “forget”, when it’s obvious they are lying.
John Key’s talent for blaming others for his own stuff-ups is fast becoming becoming legendary,
Key’s habitual finger-pointing currently extends to blaming Solid Energy’s debt crisis on it’s Board; management; coal prices; global financial crisis, and uncle Tom Cobbly. He takes no responsibility for his own Ministers demanding higher debt gearing levels and dividend payouts which helped plunge Solid Energy into a financial hole,
He’s [John Key] blaming the previous Labour Government, including former state owned enterprises minister Trevor Mallard who encouraged the company to expand in 2007, and citing a Cabinet paper supporting that stance.
“They can’t wash their hands of the fact that from 2003 on, they were intimately involved with the plans that that company had,” Mr Key said.
It was put to the PM that Solid Energy seemed to have been working with a “pretty high-risk” strategy. He responded by saying that all of these things were operational matters — he added that “if National’s to blame, then so’s Labour”. He said that the management and the board are responsible for the balance-sheet.
Board at fault for Solid Energy debt, not Govt – Key
Mr Key denied the Government was responsible for the company’s woes, despite encouraging the board to take on debt in 2009 and expecting it to pay a dividend.
They made some investments in core assets and those didn’t work out either, and the coal price collapsed.
Acknowledgement: MSN News
So everyone was to blame for Solid Energy’s collapse – except National which has been in power for four years and bled the company dry with demands for high dividends.
Then there are times in politics that politicians make utterances that are breath-taking in unmitigated audacity,
Acknowledgement: Radio NZ
This is one such instance – John Banks, whose memory was so “bad” that he forgot his close relationship with a rather large German multi-millionaire; a helicopter flight to one of the biggest mansions in New Zealand; and who forgot $50,000 cheques for donations for his electoral campaign.
John Banks says he never lied about internet billionaire Kim Dotcom’s $50,000 donation to his 2010 mayoral campaign but says he erred in not answering questions about the affair more openly.
But Mr Banks denied misleading the public about the donations and events around them, including a helicopter ride to Dotcom’s mansion which he has said he cannot remember.
“I didn’t lie. There’s no reason to believe that I lied. I simply couldn’t recall.”
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald
For someone with “nothing to hide” ACT leader and former Auckland mayor John Banks is doing an awfully good job of creating the impression there are some things he would rather keep to himself.
He has refused to confirm he solicited a donation from internet billionaire Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign and refused to confirm he asked that the $50,000 donation be split into two $25,000 payments.
He has also said he does not remember who donated money to his mayoral campaign, does not remember discussing money with Dotcom and his staff and, till yesterday, could not remember flying to Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion in Dotcom’s helicopter.
Either Mr Banks is suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s or he thinks honest answers to the questions raised by the revelation that Dotcom was an undisclosed donor to his campaign will reflect poorly on him.
Acknowledgement: Dominion Post – Editorial: Bad memory or poor judgment?
John Key and John Banks are now attempting to compare David Shearer’s omission for declaring his New York-based bank account.
“People make mistakes. I make mistakes and when I do, I try and tell people I’ve made them. It’s just that you don’t get cut any slack from the Labour Party when you say you’ve made a mistake, but when they make one they don’t want anyone to have a look at it.”
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Key weighs in on Shearer’s $50,000 ‘oversight’
And John “I-can’t-recall” Banks added his own 2 cents worth,
“Shearer is on record as saying those who suffer from a memory lapse aren’t fit to hold office. Shearer’s hypocrisy is staggering.”
Except for one thing – and here’s the rub:
David Shearer himself disclosed and admitted his own mistake,
“Frankly I was horrified that I’d overlooked it and I moved straight away to correct it. When I myself found that (bank account) error I made the move to correct it, I didn’t wait for anybody else to find it.”
It is one thing to stuff up; come clean; apologise; and not try to blame others.
It is entirely another matter when one continually blames others for his mistakes or has such problems recalling events that they become a laughing stock.
Perhaps Mr Key and Mr Banks should take a lesson from David Shearer’s book; own your mistakes; don’t blame others; and don’t make facile excuses.
It’s not politicians who make mistakes, that the public loathes. It’s when they try to avoid responsibility for their errors.
Especially when Key and Banks demand responsibility from the rest of us,
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key
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