Friday, January 31, 2014
Banks retains the capacity to surprise
I've made some savage comments about John Banks over the past couple of years - all of them, I believe, richly deserved. He has done and said some spectacularly stupid things and almost single-handedly destroyed ACT. But Banks is nothing if not a complex character, and he still has the capacity to stir admiration. His speech in Parliament this week on education and child poverty, which I thank Keeping Stock for drawing to my attention (via Lindsay Mitchell), helps explain why Banks is still held in grudging respect even by many of his political opponents. (Helen Clark is one who reportedly has a soft spot for him.) It's a powerful, heartfelt piece of oratory of a like all too rarely heard in Parliament, and its eloquence is only heightened by the constant heckling of Hone Harawira - arguably Parliament's most boorish man, despite some pretty intense competition from other aspirants to the title.