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Bank Stories (5): Pot Calls The Kettle Black

NOTE: The following is Scoop's fifth bank story. Keith has earned himself a double pass to The Bank movie, coming to a cinema near you soon. See... Scoop Interactive: Do You Hate Banks? for info on how you too can bend an ear or two and score a double pass to The Bank Movie.

Pot Calls The Kettle Black

I see on Friday that you are asking people why they hate "Banks".

Well I don't "hate" Banks. I think hatred is a kind of illness that pervades too much of the world.

But Banks, our mayor, does annoy me, and many others. Auckland has never been so politicised, at least in my memory, since Spiro Agnew's visit in 1973. (I was overseas at the time of the Bastion Point kerfuffle in 1977.)

At the Act Convention over the weekend, Banks had the cheek to liken the Wake Up Auckland protestors to Robert Mugabe and his use of terror to prevail in the election there. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. It's more like Franco likening the Spanish republicans to Mussolini.

Banks keeps telling us that it is he who is the angel of democracy. Indeed, in a TV news interview, I saw him state that he got more votes in the Auckland mayoral election than all his opponents combined. The inference was that everyone else should shut up until October 2004.

Well Banks actually got 47,059 votes in a city of 370,000 people. His opponents got 60,666 votes. That means Banks got just 43.7% of the valid vote. Banks' two major rivals got 44.1% of the vote.

Despite what Matt McCarten said (that there was no difference between Christine Fletcher and John Banks), if McCarten had had the same nous as Bruce Hucker (and not stood for the mayoralty), Banks could well have been defeated. Certainly, if we had had Single Transferable Voting (STV; called preferential voting in a mayoral election), Mrs Fletcher would have won comfortably.

Banks, like Mugabe, is economical with the truth. But why oh why does the mainstream media not check when he makes outrageous but easily verifiable statements?

Keith Rankin


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