Thursday is D-Day
The judge has reserved his decision in the case against John Banks to Thursday. Whatever is the decision, the verdict will impact the election. For John Banks a guilty verdict would be a tragic end to a distinguished career. His seat would be declared vacant. Without John Banks’ vote National will find parliament difficult. The Opposition will be exultant. Trevor Mallard laid the Police complaint. Dotcom will have had his revenge. TV3 gave an indication of how they will cover a guilty verdict. While ACT’s polling does not record the case as being a factor it must be. After John resigned as Leader, ACT fell to zero in public polls.
What if John Banks is found not
The Letter who has known John Banks for 30 years has never believed he would knowingly fill in a false return. Besides, there was no need to do so, a motive was missing. A not guilty verdict will vindicate John. The impact on the seat of Epsom will be immediate. The government will be secure. The Opposition will be seen to have wasted a huge amount of time and money. Dotcom’s credibility will take a big blow. A number of commentators who were so sure John Banks was guilty will realise they have defamed him. A not guilty finding has to be good for ACT.
is not guilty
The media case against John Banks was built around a lunch at the Dotcom mansion, where Dotcom claimed, giving great detail, that donations were discussed. John Banks said he could not remember the lunch, let alone the conversation. “How could you forget a lunch at the Dotcom mansion?” said talk back radio, “he must be guilty”. The evidence given in the trial shows no lunch on the date Dotcom claimed occurred. It is a fabrication. John Banks on that day was meeting with a South Auckland Community Police Officer. Detail after detail has turned out under cross examination to be false. Dotcom’s accountant, who claimed he had flown to Queenstown to deposit the cheques, suddenly could not remember anything when the bank record showed the cheques were actually banked at the local Albany branch, some 1,550 kilometres away. John Banks’ QC has told the court that John is the victim of a conspiracy. The person who needs to worry about the verdict is the German.
How could Laila Harre, perhaps the most extreme left wing MP ever to be a minister, lead a party founded by a German millionaire, who, according to the FBI, is the biggest criminal in New Zealand’s history? Laila was a member of the Harry Holland brigade that travelled to Nicaragua to assist the Sandinistas. Prominent in the Brigade were leading members of the Socialist Action, a Trotskyist communist party. Laila Harre is literally a fellow traveller. The left hate the Trotskyists because Leon Trotsky urged his followers to disguise their beliefs and join other parties and take them over. Now does it make sense?
Possibly quite well. Money by itself does not win elections but it helps. In Europe there are a number of parliaments, Italy and Iceland, where there are MPs representing the Pirate Parties, a plague on everything parties. In New Zealand the “plague on everyone” party is founded by a real pirate. Having a seat means all votes will count. On the record of McGillicuddy Serious, the party could easily elect three MPs. Enough to hold the balance. The Letter has run into some young Maori who think when Dotcom talks about Internet freedom he means free Internet which they think is cool. We doubt the party will be any more successful than Mana at attracting non-voters. The danger is that the wasted vote on the left will count and give the left an extra seat, something that in 2008 and 2011 would have ensured Labour remained in power. NZ voters tend to forget their history very quickly, unfortunately.
It is The Letter’s experience that attempts to rort the electoral system invariably rebound. Right leaning voters may well decide to give more to counteract Mr Dotcom’s $3 million. Dotcom may find himself otherwise detained, in which case we predict Hone and Laila will need to cash the cheque promptly. Pressure is now on David Cunliffe to declare whether he will do an electoral deal with a party funded by Dotcom. Is a government relying on the Internet-Mana party credible? If the Judge rules that the evidence given against John Banks was false, then Hone might find the deal he has done hurts in his seat. Thursday’s court decision is going to be important, and not just for John.
Lastest poll in
Analysis, reported in The Letter, shows that most of the increase in the 2011 non-vote was from the right. Many ACT supporters who thought ACT was going to lose Epsom stayed at home. So Epsom is vital. ACT has now done a commercial professional poll of 300 voters in Epsom. It confirms the telephone and door canvass results: when the National vote splitters are added to the ACT vote, David Seymour is winning Epsom. The fight goes on.
Big tax on
The Greens proposed carbon tax is a big tax on everything. They have admitted what ACT has always said, the Emissions Trading Scheme does not work. Jamie Whyte has pointed out the Greens proposal will not just wreck the New Zealand economy, it will add to global warming. NZ dairying even after transport costs causes less global warming than European dairy. Milk production will move from carbon-taxed New Zealand to no carbon-taxed Europe. While we expect economic nonsense from the Greens, it is a worry that David Cunliffe has not ruled this out. See www.act.org.nz