Defending Banksie

August 31st, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Guy McCallum blogs:

There are politicians in this world who clearly just don’t get it. It is not always because they are incompetent or corrupt, though we can pronounce these two conditions as leading causes. No, I think it is chiefly because they are scared witless by the fact that they know they have lost touch. And so much do they value their own hides that they won’t admit it, and sadly, won’t admit to the change of heart they know is necessary.

This week, and in particular, we have learned that this is not . He changed his mind on marriage equality (and by all accounts, over time), and while he might have been seen to be uncomfortable about it in front of the camera, he was most certainly undaunted by the prospect of others seeing his change of heart.

Along comes Duncan Garner of 3 News to ruin what was for a lot of people, a moment in history. He, in my view, unfairly criticised Banks for his position on marriage equality, which seemed to surprise people. Then Garner, holding onto the past with a death grip, wouldn’t let us forget the unfortunate comments that Banks had made a substantial amount of time ago, without a much deserved context.

Garner then questioned whether Banks was a joke, for doing something as heroic as changing one’s mind, in extending legal rights to a section of society that has long deserved them.

One must wonder why gutless politicians won’t ever admit they’ve changed their minds for the good. They do so, apparently, at their own peril.

Instead, they prefer the slow death of seeming evermore out of touch and on the way out to the hard questions they might get if they were just honest. Just look at the People’s Phil Goff who could not steel himself to admit that he was once a neo-liberal, while he crusaded about as Labour’s social democrat. If he had the courage to say he’d changed his mind, maybe he’d still be in the front row of the opposition benches.

My mission in writing this is point out why Garner got it wrong. I think the emotive inclinations that so many in his profession give into, led him astray. For changing his mind, Garner seemed unwilling to forgive whatever it was that Banks must have done to him. In doing so, Garner teaches us a rather valid lesson here – that a grudge can work its mischief upon its master if should they overlook the rational thinking processes that almost everybody has.

John voted for marriage equality because it was the right thing to do. He has very little to explain in this regard. Though, as I write this, there are politicians who voted against marriage equality, now frantic about what they should do next to avoid being lumped in with crazy Colin Craig. Wondering, that is, how to explain their failure to act with courage to those who expected more of them.

Doing something because it is right requires tremendous strength of mind (endurance I would say) which is not easy to find. Its the high road and the narrow path. On the other hand, being negative about someone’s change of heart under these conditions is too easy, and something easy as such is cheap as well.

I wish that every member of Parliament would have the same courage that John Banks and those others put on display, for whom voting in favour of marriage equality was an intrepid but rewarding journey.

I was thrilled when I heard that John was voting for marriage equality, which was a few days before the decision was made public. I know he thought long and hard about his vote, and talked the issues through with a lot of his friends – as Paul Hutchison did also.

The comments John Banks made in 1986 will always remain on the record. But his views have changed over time – this is not a sudden about-face, but a journey.

When John was an MP in the 1990s, one of the researchers who was a reasonably good mate of his was Paul Sherriff. Paul happened to also win Mr Gay Wellington. Now I’m not arguing the “he has black friends so is not racist” card, but am pointing out that even in the 1990s his views were not the same as in 1986. Also he could seperate out his views on the issue, from how he treats individuals.

When he was Mayor of Auckland, his Chief of Staff was Stephen Rainbow. This is a job appointed by the Mayor himself. Stephen is gay, and John and Stephen had an excellent friendship and working relationship. Through Stephen, he saw a couple in a loving stable and happy same sex relationship.

Without that exposure to a loving stable same sex relationship, it is possible John may have never voted for the first reading of Louisa Wall’s bill. Our experiences help shape us.

As I said in the Listener profile, I was anti homosexual law reform when I was a 17 year old at school. It was the experiences and friendships that I developed at university that caused my views to shift quite radically on that issue. I believe it is a good thing when views genuinely change over time – something to be celebrated not ridiculed.

Now I am not suggesting today that John’s views are in any way the same as mine on social and moral issues. What I am saying is that I do believe he accepted the case that allowing a loving same sex couple to marry, is actually good for the institution of marriage.

I salute him for his vote (though I do wish he had articulated his reasons publicly) on both bills this week.

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71 Responses to “Defending Banksie”

  1. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Banks hasn’t voted for marriage equality, unless the law has been passed?

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  2. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    It’s not marriage equality,it’s redefining marriage.

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  3. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Many in the media (not just Garner) seem to try and make something out of changed political stances, they have a bunch of names to apply, like u-turn and flip-flop.

    I agree with Guy – being willing to change your mind based on experiences, advice and evidence should be applauded.

    If some of your views don’t change over the course of quarter of a century then you would make a very poor politician.

    I think quite a few political minds (and non-political) have changed significantly even over the last decade, on this and on other issues.

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “As I said in the Listener profile, I was anti homosexual law reform when I was a 17 year old at school. It was the experiences and friendships that I developed at university that caused my views to shift quite radically on that issue.”

    Is this the longest coming out in history?

    OT Banks is MP for Epsom and is without doubt representing his electorate and its views.

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  5. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    A sad indictment on our dumb and dopey reporters. So we are all trapped by our views of quarter of a century ago?

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  6. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Banks hasn’t voted for marriage equality, unless the law has been passed?

    If Banks were to vote differently later on this bill then there would be justified eyebrow raising, and a suitable explanation would be essential.

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  7. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    From the article:

    John voted for marriage equality because it was the right thing to do.

    There are politicians who voted against marriage equality … wondering how to explain their failure to act with courage to those who expected more of them.

    Ah, I understand. If you do something that the author approves of, it is “the right thing to do”. If you do something the author doesn’t approve of, you “fail to act with courage”.

    Got it.

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  8. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Banks: a lovely gay friendly hero.
    Craig: “Crazy”.

    Another excellent well thought-out opinion with many examples that touch on the many facets of this issue. Not.

    Courage? Please. Why is courage needed when it seems the majority of NZers apparently support you and when the media cheerleaders shoutdown opponents as bigots and rednecks. Courage. Spare me.

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  9. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    It’s people like Chris Finlayson who have the courage and conviction to disagree with loud voices of the social influencers who mock him from across the House and behind his back.

    [DPF: And Chris is one of my good friends, and I respect the way he voted, even though of course I disagree with it. Tolerance of diversity of opinion is important]

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  10. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    If a politician is unable to publicly articulate his reasons for voting one way or the other then he should not be in Parliament.

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  11. Urban Redneck (234 comments) says:

    As Laurie Guy wrote in the Herald earlier in the week: Significant data on male homosexual behaviour is available through New Zealand Medical Journal articles and the New Zealand Aids Foundation website. The Aids Foundation and the Aids Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago have conducted biennial surveys, the Auckland Gay Periodic Sex Surveys, for the past decade.

    The 2010 results covered the sexual behaviour of 1527 gay men in 2008. On the commitment side, the survey indicates that the most common number of sexual partners for gay men over the previous six months was two to five. Just 38.8 per cent of those surveyed had a partner of more than six months’ standing (i.e. relationships with some level of commitment).

    However, 52 per cent of these men had also had sex in that period (six months) with other partners. So despite the rhetoric of love and commitment, most male gay couples are not in a genuinely monogamous relationship.

    This data confirms many international studies the clearly show that male homosexual relationships are not monogamous, and the government mandating that such relationships can be defined as a marriage is indeed an abomination. A study in the 80’s by Bell & Weinberg, and published by the Indiana University Press called Sexual Preference: It’s Development In Men & Women revealed that only about 2% of homosexuals are monogamous or semi-monogamous, which by the parameters of the study, means that they’ve had only around 10 partners in their lifetime.

    Male homosexuals in particular are better described as pan-sexuals, hedonists in every sense of the word, and redefining marriage to include their licentious lifestyles is not going to change that one iota.

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  12. wf (442 comments) says:

    Garner is not a pleasant TV personality. I am totally over so-called reporters ridiculing everyone because they change their minds. (Instant mute TV in this house) Most of us do over the years, it’s a process of maturity.

    Anyway what’s with TV3? Garner looks deformed with his big head.He has a chipmunk look about him anyway, but this makes him look like an earthworm in one of my kids books.

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  13. greenjacket (466 comments) says:

    What a surprise – Duncan Garner trying to stir up false outrage and making it all about him.

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  14. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Man Urban Redneck you really are worried about the gays getting some. Is there something you want to share?

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  15. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    John Banks may very well have changed his mind over time and congratulations for him having the intestinal fortitude to do so so publicly and on such a contentious issue.

    He also set aside the public perceptions of him to vote very much along the ideological lines of his party. In doing so he has shown all of New Zealand that ACT remains the ACT party, not the John Banks party.

    All of those people joyfully dancing on it’s grave might find themselves looking very silly indeed if it turns out to be empty…

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  16. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    I don’t think Banks should be blamed for changing his mind.

    But I do think Garner is right to highlight Banks’ homophobic redneck past. Yes it was 25 years ago. But please remember, he was advocating that homosexuals should be thrown in prison. There will always be people like Banks who stand in the way of progress. We need to send a message to them that there will be an ongoing political cost if they choose to do this. The politicians who are today voting against equal human rights for gays need to know that they will go down in history as being on the wrong side of history.

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  17. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    UR:”Male homosexuals in particular are better described as pan-sexuals, hedonists in every sense of the word, and redefining marriage to include their licentious lifestyles is not going to change that one iota.”

    OMFG, what a complete load of shit. So, every single male homosexual is a hedonist. You sir are a moron. In fact, morons look to you and think fuck me, hes stupid.

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  18. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    bhudson:

    Just curious. If John Banks had done the opposite – that is, if he had supported the idea of homosexual marriage 25 years ago, but changed his mind over time, and no longer supported it – would you still congratulate him for having the intestinal fortitude to change his mind publicly and on such a contentious issue?

    Just curious.

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  19. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Plenty of women married to philanderers. Can’t they be married either? The eligible group is getting very small – fertile (therefore young), hetero, faithful, churchgoing…Whatever next?

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  20. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    graham,

    Yes. If he had been as vociferous in his support for in the mid ’80s as he was in his opposition – canned quotes and all.

    Just as I have great respect for Chester Borrow’s very clear position at the outset – that to him it was a question of faith and he could not support it. A very open and honest position and to be respected even more that he kept it with dignity as a personal position, not some modern-day crusade.

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  21. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Thanks for clarifying that bhudson, and glad to hear it. Good on you.

    I have not really followed this that much – been busy with other things over the past few months – but I think I would probably take the same position as Chester Borrows (just based on what you have written). I personally am against gay marriage, partly because of my faith but also for other reasons. But as you have written about Chester, I tend to see that as my personal position. If I was in Chester’s position, would I have voted against it? Yes. But if (as seems likely) the bill does make it into law, would I mount a vendetta, a crusade against it? No.

    Interesting to see that Chris Finlayson voted against it.

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  22. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    bhudson … you have respect for Chester Borrow’s position because he was true to his faith? He should be vilified for imposing his ancient superstitious dogma on other people who he has never even met. And – in due course – he will be. Just as Banks is rightly vilified today for being such a redneck 25 years ago. Just as we look back with disdain on all those who have stood in the way of equal human rights.

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  23. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Banks is just a useless blowhard.

    Always has been, always will be.

    Talked the talk loudly but never walked the walk. Always a compromiser.

    http://truebluenz.com/2012/08/29/john-banks-has-there-ever-been-a-more-useless-political-prick/

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  24. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    Banks hasn’t been on the road to Damascus, he got rolled by the remnants of the Act party. In fact he got rolled twice in one week.
    No doubt he’ll talk about it when his lawyers have got the story straight and he can be exonerated.

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  25. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    willtruth, you don’t get it. This was a conscience vote. Are you saying he shouldn’t have voted as his conscience led him?

    And what do you think about Chris Finlayson voting against it?

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  26. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    willtruth,

    It is a faith he has a right to hold. You might have noticed that he did not seek to force his views down others’ throats. If you cannot have respect for others holding their views in a reasonable manner, then it is a very tough ask to expect them to have any for you and your views.

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  27. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Does anyone know who came up with the brilliant euphemism “marriage equality” ??

    He or she is as talented as John Ansell…

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  28. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “Yes it was 25 years ago. But please remember, he was advocating that homosexuals should be thrown in prison. ”

    Which was in fact the law of the land “back then”. So we was hardly some radical anti-gay. I know it probably seems like the dark ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth to some of you but the New Zealand I grew up in was in many ways not a nice place.

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  29. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “You sir are a moron. In fact, morons look to you and think fuck me, hes stupid.”

    I’m voting that best insult of the day, possibly the week. Missing a comma and an apostrophe but no one is perfect.

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  30. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Graham, I am saying that there is something wrong with his conscience if he thinks that it is OK to deny equal human rights to gays. I think there is something wrong with Chris Finlayson too. I’m sure the people who voted to throw gays in jail were voting in accordance with their consciences too.

    Bhudson. What he is doing is much much worse than forcing his views down other people’s throats. Saying that you think gays should not have equal human rights is bad enough. But he is actually voting to keep a law which denies them equal human rights.

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  31. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    Urban Redneck – This data confirms many international studies the clearly show that male homosexual relationships are not monogamous, and the government mandating that such relationships can be defined as a marriage is indeed an abomination.

    If the first part of this is true, then they will have to divorce won’t they.
    Which brings up another point small point – Will we ever know? Since the bill is supposed to give ‘equality’, will any statistics be keep of heterosexual marriages against gay weddings, or divorces recorded separately, or will that be against the Human Rights Act to continue any distinction after a law makes all equal?

    But regarding the actual thread –
    one hell of a lot of words about Banks, but none by him, so who knows what he thinks?

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  32. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg. Just because it was “the law of the land back then” doesn’t mean we should forgive him for standing in the way of reforming such a terrible law. If people don’t want to get vilified for voting against progress then they should not vote against progress.

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  33. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    willtruth,

    He is representing his conscience. And others’. Just as other MPs who voted in favour did. Democracy in action. And the result (in my view) reflects our society today. Which is as it should be.

    But it doesn’t mean that people should not be able to hold faiths. And, for as long as they do, those faiths are likely to have some degree of representation in Parliament. Which is also as it should be – all of society has a right to representation.

    Edit: No one should have a right to impose that only people supporting their views can be in Parliament. That would be a dictatorship – a tyranny

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  34. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    bHudson. I’m not saying he should not be able to hold a faith. I’m all for freedom of religion and free speech. I’m just exercising my free speech and saying that it is a stupid faith, and I think it is particularly stupid to impose it on others. And the more people who point out how stupid it is hopefully the sooner it will die out as a faith and there will be no more stupid politicians casting such stupid votes.

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  35. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “He is representing his conscience.”

    Bullshit.

    When asked why he was voting “for” he said “because I am”.

    He is just a waffling cynical self serving gutless charlatan.

    No good to any political party.

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  36. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Red,

    That comment referred to Chester Borrows. But don’t let the truth get in the way of your rant

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  37. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    willtruth:

    I’m all for freedom of religion and free speech.

    … hopefully the sooner it will die out as a faith.

    Yep, good to see you are really standing up for freedom of religion there.

    Does rather seem that you, like the author of the article, are of the opinion that:
    – if someone does something you approve of, it is “the right thing to do”.
    – if someone does something you don’t approve of, they are “stupid”.

    I notice that DPF manages to respect the way that different people voted, even though he may disagree with it. Maybe you should learn such tolerance, willtruth.

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  38. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    kowtow (2,700) Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    It’s not marriage equality,it’s redefining marriage.

    It’s not redefining marriage, it’s “Christians wanting to redefine marriage equality as redefining marriage”.

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  39. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    David Garrett (2,520) Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Does anyone know who came up with the brilliant euphemism “marriage equality” ??

    He or she is as talented as John Ansell…

    Lew at kiwipolitico has a good take on that:

    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/08/framing-marriage-equality-to-win/

    One of the great battlegrounds in the Culture Wars is over names, and marriage equality won this hands down. This framing was not the incumbent: early battles were waged for “marriage equality” to supplant “gay marriage”/”same-sex marriage” as the preferred term, and it was successful. One example of this was by Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, who appeared on the TV show Back Benches and suggested the change in terminology, insisting that “I didn’t just do gay parking or have gay dinner”.* This groundwork was laid long ago — there’s a substantial discourse about this piece of terminology, and all Robertson and others did was articulate it effectively. But that was important to do.

    “Marriage equality” frames the cause as being about non-discrimination, a universal civil right nominally guaranteed in law and accepted (again, nominally) by a vast majority of people. It’s also an emotively-neutral term, which in this case worked to exclude stereotypically negative or controversial words — words like “gay” and “(same)-sex” — from the frame. These terms may not be generally offensive, but they do retain some valence as insults and evoke an “ick” factor in some people. Largely for this reason, opponents of marriage equality continue to use “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage” almost exclusively. (In other contexts these terms, and stronger terms, were used within the campaign to shock or challenge, or were owned & celebrated — I certainly am not suggesting that such terminology be erased from the discourse.)

    However I don’t really think it’s John Ansell’s cup of tea. He’s more into dividing and polarising than being diverse people on board.

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  40. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    It has been good to see John Banks evolve on the issue of gay rights, in the same way that someone like George Wallace evolved on issues of race in Alabama. We should think more, not less, of him for it.

    Equally pleasing is the sight of a man who voted the way his party expected him to, rather than sell out for ephemeral political expediency, as his predecessor did on so many occasions.

    I disagree with the government redefining marriage with this legislation, but I do admire Mr Banks for voting the way he has.

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  41. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    what a hopeless piece of writing. Banks has no integrity and the spine of pool of water. Watching the blundering lapdog turn tricks for the Nats makes my gut churn

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  42. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    In other words Duncan Garner has lost his journalistic objectivity.

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  43. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    Banks would even give a reason why he had such a staggering change of heart
    maybe he forgot…..again

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  44. Nookin (3,344 comments) says:

    Rouppe

    Garner is a journalist? When did that happen?

    Garner gets his rocks off by point scoring. He is not and has never been objective. He is certainly not a journalist as I understand that term.

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  45. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    Asked why he was supporting it, he replied: “Because I am.”

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  46. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    graham. Good grief. Criticising a faith and hoping that it will die out is not in conflict with freedom of religion. I am not burning anyone at the stake. I am not throwing anyone in jail. I am just expressing my opinion. Burrows is the guy who actually voted to restrict other people’s human rights. Banks is the guy who not only advocated throwing gays in jail because of his faith, he actually voted for it! I am not the bad guy here.

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  47. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    I will defend to death the right of Burrows to have stupid opinions. He has the right to say and even vote in whatever way his conscience dictates, without any state interference. But I reserve the right to call his opinions stupid and hope they die out. As they undoubtedly will, thank goodness.

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  48. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    I decided not to renew my ACT membership after Banks lied publicly. If he cannot remember the helicopter ride to Dotcom someone should complaint to CAA that he should not have his pilot’s licence. As the ACT AGM I spoke to him about homosexual marriage. He told me privately, “If I supported homosexual marriage the voters of Epsom would fucking sodomise me”. I wonder how he will vote if Street’s bill get drawn.

    I could easily accept Rodney Hide or Don Brash voting yes but Banks has voted against his own so called principles and ignored the people of Epsom. There is no way he would have polled his constituents.

    I guess he now thinks on the sixth day God made Adam and Steve.

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  49. Nostalgia-NZ (5,211 comments) says:

    RandySavage

    I don’t think Banksie qualified for a conscience vote because he either has compounded memory loss or simply tell porkies. I don’t think he can be criticised for what he did 25 years ago, but forgetting his performance of 6 months ago might be a bit premature.

    Chester Burrows, whether one agrees with him or not, is straight up.

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  50. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    And as you express your opinion, so does Chester Borrows. He is standing up for what he believes in – as is Chris Finlayson – and you are criticising them for it.

    You talk about “restricting human rights”. Exactly what rights are you talking about? As I understand it, all couples in New Zealand, whether married, in a civil union, or in a de facto partnership, are now entitled to pretty much the same rights as each other, apart from adoption. So what rights are you specifically concerned about?

    Quite a few Ministers stated, when the Civil Union Bill was passed, that marriage was “only for heterosexuals” and that the Marriage Act would remain unchanged. Tim Barnett stated “The Civil Union Bill is an acceptable alternative; marriage can remain untouched.” Chris Carter said “I accept that marriage has a traditional and religious heritage, which is why our churches are so protective of it ….Having said that, I utterly reject the idea that the State cannot create an alternative way of recognising couples—be they straight or gay—…” Margaret Wilson stated “The Marriage Act applies only to heterosexual couples. The opponents of the Civil Union Bill feel strongly that that should remain so. The Government respects that view, which is why there is no proposal to change that Act.”

    So, human rights are not being restricted, and a few years ago everybody was quite happy with the Civil Union bill as an alternative to marriage. So what’s changed?

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  51. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    25 years is a long time. God knows I’ve changed my mind in that time. For instance, which Transformer is coolest is no longer a high priority in my life. If I was held to account for comments I made about Transformers 25 years ago, I’d be a laughing stock! A LAUGHING STOCK!

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  52. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (2,509) Says:
    August 31st, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I decided not to renew my ACT membership after Banks lied publicly. If he cannot remember the helicopter ride to Dotcom someone should complaint to CAA that he should not have his pilot’s licence. As the ACT AGM I spoke to him about homosexual marriage. He told me privately, “If I supported homosexual marriage the voters of Epsom would fucking sodomise me”. I wonder how he will vote if Street’s bill get drawn.

    Haha, fucking awesome to hear a Christian using that language. Banks is still Christian right?

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  53. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    That’s one person’s anecdotal evidence. I’d have to know Chuck Bird a lot better before holding Banks to account for what he reports Banks said in a private conversation.

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  54. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Of course you have to hold Banks accountable for what he said 25 years ago…I had to resign for something I did 28 years ago…of course it matters! We all remain stuck in a time warp of values and actions..except if you are Georgina Beyer or another “progressive”…I didn’t even know that word was code for ” far left wing wanker” until I went to parliament…so no wonder I had to go!

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  55. Michael (909 comments) says:

    Banksie was elected standing for a socially liberal party in a socially liberal electorate. Maybe he decided he should represent those views ahead of his own.

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  56. Fletch (6,390 comments) says:

    “Marriage equality”

    There is no such thing.
    What a load of rubbish.
    Liberals inventing bullshit terminology again.

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  57. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Michael” A “socially liberal” party?? Perhaps someone should inform the “everyone should be able to carry handguns” and law and order factions of ACT…

    I always thought ACT was “classical liberal” – which is a big difference – but then I didn’t know what “progressive” really meant…

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  58. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    David G

    Would you agree with, or comment on, the thought that ACT in the build up to the 2008 Elections was trying to be all things to all people? To this onlooker that is what they tried & the resultant friction started the unraveling process.

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  59. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Nasska: No, I dont agree. Much as I would like to take all the credit for three strikes, ACT had had that as a policy for years…also, as I understand it, the focus on law and order is entirely consistent with “classical liberalism”…which means – when boiled down from philosophical jargon – “the right to live one’s life without one rights being interfered with by others, and without one having the right to interfere with others’ excercise of that same freedom” well, that’s my definition.

    The right not to be beaten raped or killed by those who wont obey those rules is utterly consistent with that philosophy.

    ACT was torn apart by Heather Roy’s ambition, and delusional belief that if only she was leader ACT would be the party of government in a flash. Sadly she was aided and abetted by people who should have known better.

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  60. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    fletch

    Stick “equality” before or after whatever the fad is, and viola,you have a new and unassailable right .

    Reading the news from the EUSSR I’m amazed they even have Ministers for Equality.This in the land of the broke.

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  61. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    David G

    Fair enough….Thanks.

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  62. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    “I’d have to know Chuck Bird a lot better before holding Banks to account for what he reports Banks said in a private conversation.”

    Let Banks call be a lair. I will put my record for telling the truth ahead of his. People might not like what I say but let them prove I tell out and out lies like Banks. He can sue me if he likes.

    When the Civil Unions bill was voted on 5 ACT MPs voted yes and 4 ACT MPs voted no. The libertarians try to claim ACT was always a libertarian party. More libertarian lies. If ACT and Rodney had of listened to the membership Muriel Newman would have been number 2 and would have ACT would not have the problems they had with number 7 libertarian Roy.

    I wonder what Banks will do if Street’s bill gets drawn. It could be interesting. He should either vote according to the values he professed to have untill very recently or resign.

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  63. RandySavage (222 comments) says:

    garret thae party is dying the death it deserves. For such a minor party it sure has had its share of criminals,imbeciles and snouts in the public trough
    founded by a washed up failed pig farmer and run into the ground by a pig of a human being
    karma was never so deserved

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  64. Griff (7,727 comments) says:

    The principal object of the ACT Party is to promote an open, progressive and benevolent society in which individual New Zealanders are free to achieve their full potential.

    that individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent rights and responsibilities; and
    that the proper purpose of government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities.

    how the hell does a f undie like chuky fit with this?
    note the word progressive

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  65. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,571 comments) says:

    I love it. Urban Redneck in all his blustering about gays having 2-5 partners in a 6 month period pretty much describes the sexual patterns of a vast amount of sexually active 18-30 year olds who are single! Will Urban Redneck also rally against consensual promiscuity? What century are we in again?

    Chucky is a very confused old man who honestly believed that ACT was a conservative party when he joined. Was it too much of the Koolaid Muriel Newman was drinking that led him to believe that the party would EVER oppose any policy that granted more rights to those currently discriminated. Obviously.

    Griff and David Garrett are right. Roy killed the party, not some libertarian infighting. The party was founded on progressive liberalism and neo liberal economic policies from day 1. I was there from day 1 and the campaign for Prebs was run by a great number of young liberal types, gay-straight whatever. We also won that campaign based on the energy of being a strong grassroots right wing liberal movement, that fitted in well with Wellington at the time. Chuck, enough with the conspiracy theories, you are supposed to be in NZF or at least double bunking with Colin Craig.

    I don’t like Banks but I will trust his word over yours.

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  66. MH (757 comments) says:

    Banks was broken into years ago and found morally bankrupt. Dotcon must have some film of him. He needs a diary. Damned with feint praises. He is an Epsom somerSaulter of the first order. For what he’s Worth, bring him back.

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  67. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Let Banks call be a lair. I will put my record for telling the truth ahead of his. People might not like what I say but let them prove I tell out and out lies like Banks. He can sue me if he likes.

    I’m not doubting you so much as laying down my criteria for accepting witness testimony.

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  68. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    Griff and LMK, if you were ACT member’s in 1990s or early 2000s why do you hide behind a pseudonym? Why not give your names and tell what you did for the party. It appears neither you know the difference between theory and practice. I was asked to join ACT and I did mainly because or ACT’s pro father stance with the Shared Parenting bill. Many other fathers also did and were welcomed into the party. Like most if not all I did not read the constitution. I am telling you how things were in practice.

    If you can read check Hansard. It will show that 4 ACT MPs voted against the Civil Union Bill. This legislation made a lot of difference by giving the same rights to homosexuals in a relationship as married couples. No libertarians in the party got up at a meeting and criticised them. If you two were in the party you must have complained very privately.

    When there was the four way run off for leader 2 of these MPs ran against Rodney but not libertarian Roy. I supported Rodney because he told me and stated in front of members where the 4 were saying what they would do as leader that he supported binding referenda on conscience issues. Once elected he did a flip flop and I left the party.

    Forward to 2008 I asked him the same question at a Family First Forum and the following was his response, “As far as MPs go we are not special and I think that the idea of a referendum on moral or conscience issues is a very, very good idea.” He flip flopped again.

    All parties change and ACT certainly did. There has been a complete take over be libertarians and they have destroyed what is left of the party. ACT to some degree was broad church in the 90’s.

    This I have on audio if anyone wants it. I do not like getting lied to and have been lied to my Rodney and Banks. Banks is called Honourable and he should do the honourable thing and resign as he has been caught out lying publicly. Does anyone on this blog beleive he could not remember his helicopter ride.

    Ryan who do you think is more credible me or these anonymous bloggers?

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  69. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Nothing new – Garner is a Pillock – always has been, so he remains true to form.

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  70. luke_nz (4 comments) says:

    David, I don’t think you know the real reasons why John has voted for the redefinition of marriage bill, and by your own admission you wish he had made clear his reasons publicly. I think you are trying to paint a picture as to why John may have changed his mind… you are speculating.

    A more probably reason is that John represents the Act Party, which is libertarian. As the sole Act MP in Parliament, he may have been pressued into voting on behalf of his party. Another reason is that he may have wanted to send the bill to select committee so the issues you be examined.

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  71. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    Luke, your probable reason sounds quite likely. It would be quite lonely for John in ACT if he voted against the bill to normalise homosexuality and voted to raise the alcohol purchase age to 20. He should either have voted according to his own conscience or polled the people of Epsom who is meant to represent. He he was not prepared to do that he should do the honourable thing and resign as the MP for Epsom and allow those who are prepared to represent the good people of Epsom to contest the seat.

    He should consider now what he will do if Street’s bill on euthanasia gets drawn. Will he do another flip flop.

    In fairness to him he probably did not realise how the libertarians have now almost completely taken over the ACT Party. As I said previously they had a strong influence in 2000 but when the vote on Civil Unions took place 4 ACT MPs voted against it and they were not given a hard time unless very privately.

    Many people never thought Winston would come back but he did. ACT is highly unlikely to survive after 2014 but with Banks still there the chance is zero.

    I would like to hear from one person anywhere that that believes Banks did not remember his helicopter ride -anyone!!!

    John do the honourable thing and state you find yourself unable to vote on moral issues that are against your long held beliefs and resign so someone who is prepared to represent the good people of Epsom can take your place.

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