OPINION: Your editorial saying that John Banks would be merely a carcass attracting thrashing attacks if he had stayed in Parliament is obviously true given the reaction of his political rivals last week, before he announced his resignation.
David Cunliffe's pronouncement at that stage, that Banks' resignation was the only moral option, was the dead opposite of what he and his party were prepared to do in similar circumstances.
When he broke the funding rules during his campaign to become leader of the Labour Party, he did not offer to resign the position even though the fairness of his win was then questionable.
He also received a warning from the police during the Christchurch East by-election for an apparent breach of the electoral rules but it did not result in the candidate resigning her newly won seat.
However, the worst example was the breach of the electoral laws in the 2005 election campaign.
The Labour Party did not suggest nullifying the result or fronting up in the courts for its actions. Instead its first action, once back in office, was to pass retrospective legislation to legitimise its illegal acts; not something it was willing to suggest for an opponent.
Banks has been found guilty and will have to take the consequences of that. However, the only real difference between him and many of his political critics is that in his case he actually had charges laid against him.
It is most unseemly for those critics to be getting on the moral high ground when they should really be giving thanks that they have not suffered the same fate for their own actions.
D A McPHERSON
- The Southland Times