Home > The Body Politic > The unmitigated audacity of John Key and John Banks

The unmitigated audacity of John Key and John Banks


This is how a politician  owns up to a mistake,


Shearer makes no excuse for forgetting bank account

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.

Acknowledgement: TV3

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.

Acknowledgement: Scoop.co.nz

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.

Acknowledgement: TV3

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,


Shearer makes no excuse for forgetting bank account Banks comments

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.

Key said,

“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.”

Acknowledgement: IBID

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.”

Acknowledgement: IBID

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,


Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key




= fs =

  1. Deborah Kean
    19 March 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Unmitigated is certainly the word!
    Thanks for putting it all together…..

    • 19 March 2013 at 5:29 pm

      It was one of the easiest and astest blogposts I’ve yet put together, Debs. The info is now so well known, I don’t have to try hard to find it… 😀

      • Deborah Kean
        19 March 2013 at 5:55 pm

        Which is good that the info is out there!
        Bad that few people seem to care, though…

  2. Deborah Kean
    19 March 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Interestingly though, TV3 are having fun attacking Shearer and defending Banks’n’Key right now!… Disgusting but typical of 3 News…

    • 19 March 2013 at 8:54 pm

      It would be interesting to see how people view Banks on the TV3 6PM news-clip. He came across as somewhat strident. I don’t think he did himself any favours…

  3. Theodore
    19 March 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Hah! Key and Banks can protest all they like. The reality is that Shearer’s fuck-up will be forgotten by tomorrow, but everyonbe will remember John Banks, his lies, DotCom, and that a police investigation was called in over his fraudulent election returns. As for Key, that guy has lied, blamed everyone else, and fabricated so much shit that I couldn’t know where to start. He is one lie away from being caught out.

    • 20 March 2013 at 11:40 pm

      The reality is that Shearer’s fuck-up will be forgotten by tomorrow, but everyonbe will remember John Banks, his lies, DotCom, and that a police investigation was called in over his fraudulent election returns.

      Spot on.

  4. 20 March 2013 at 10:41 am

    Right on Theodore.

  5. Deborah Kean
    20 March 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I heard Banks making a complete prat of himself about it all on Morning Report this morning! I think Shearer definitely made the right decision in refusing to debate him.

    • 20 March 2013 at 11:39 pm

      I heard it as well, Deb. He was ranting by the time RNZ cut him off.

      I think his advisors should tell him he’s just reminding listeners of his own fiasco last year. But hey, that’s just me.)

      • Theodore
        28 March 2013 at 8:44 pm

        Banks is mad. Quite simply mad.

  6. Kev
    20 March 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Perhaps you should’ve emailed David Shearer with your awesome insight to what you’ve put together here as a bow in his arrow for key and banks slight amnesia problem during their own absent minded fiasco.

    • 20 March 2013 at 11:38 pm

      No need, Kev. I’m aware that MPs from several Parties already read my blog (and have made use of some information I’ve researched, in the past). 😉

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