We put out a release today comparing John Key’s demand that Helen Clark stand Winston Peters down over the Owen Glenn donation, to his own failure to take his own advice over John Banks. We said that during the 2008 Privileges Committee inquiry into Winston Peters’ electoral donations, John Key called on Prime Minister Helen Clark to stand Mr Peters down, stating: “That is what I would do if I were Prime Minister”.
There are some other startling similarities in the statements between the two Prime Ministers over their mutual failures, when the votes were down:
Clark: “I’ve made it clear all the way through this round of allegations that I accept an honourable member’s word as his bond unless I have reason to doubt it. I don’t have reason to doubt it at this point.” (29 July 2008)
Key: “I have to believe what they tell me or how can I possibly enjoy their confidence? I’ve dealt with John a lot over the last couple of years and I’ve found him to be honest.” (30 April 2012)
Clark: “What I have to be assured with respect to Mr Peters as a minister is that he is acting lawfully and I’ve got no reason to doubt his assurance on that” (29 July 2008). “I’m not a private police force” (14 July 2008)
Key: “I know John well, I’ve known him over a number of years, he’s never misled me … if people don’t like it, go to the police, that’s their job to go and do an investigation. (30 April 2012)
Clark: “…there is a distinction between whether someone gives to a party, whether someone gives to a person and whether someone gives to their expenses. On that basis the donation did not appear to have broken any rules” (21 July 2008)
Key: “I’ve asked directly the question, I’ve been given an assurance by Mr Banks that he complied with all the local government regulations and laws and I accept him at his word” (30 April 2012)
John clearly needs Banksy on board. And if the history runs true, this will go on for a while yet.