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. 


Jigsaw said...

I quite agree-having watched it, I thought that was a very emotional and heartfelt speech and was also quite well constructed considering that it was made sans notes of any kind. The interjections from across the house said more about that person than about any political differences. I can't say that I like the man but I certainly have some admiration for John Banks.

Richard McGrath said...

My opinion of Banks certainly increased after watching the video of his speech. I haven't always seen eye to eye with him but respect the success he has made of his life despite humble and deprived beginnings.