The ACT Party has today announced that it will be launching a thorough investigation into how former Auckland mayor and National Party cabinet minister John Banks became the parliamentary leader of its supposedly libertarian party.
Concern has been building in ACT’s ranks for some time about the leadership, which appeared to have come about accidentally when the attempts of former reserve bank governor Don Brash to revive the party ended in disaster, leaving John Banks – who previously had no association with ACT – as its only parliamentary member.
Since then, Banks has embarrassed his constituents on numerous occasions, becoming embroiled in a series of awkward controversies, the most notable of which involved donations he had accepted from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Banks also stated that he believed the account of Earth’s creation as literally told in the Bible’s book of Genesis, and warned about the dangers of “young Maori and Polynesians” breaking into Auckland homes because they receive too much benefit money.
But according to party insiders, the final straw came last week, when it was revealed that Banks held shares in Talent2, the designers of the botched Novopay software, at the same time he sat on a committee considering signing a contract with the company.
“That day we had a board meeting” said ACT Party President John Boscawen. “And more or less the moment we came in, we all sat down and looked at one another like ‘What the fuck are we doing? Why is that man our leader?’”
“It was a pretty good question” said Treasurer Lindsay Ferguson. “So that was the whole genesis of this, really.”
Boscawen made the announcement in a speech to media this morning.
“I would just like to announce that our party has been doing a lot of soul searching recently” he said. “And as a result of that, we have decided to launch an investigation into how John Banks became the leader of the Parliamentary ACT Party. I won’t be taking questions this morning, but I just want you all to know that we’re very embarrassed by the last two years, and we’re just as eager as you are to find out how it happened.”
The investigation elicited a sigh of relief from ACT constituents, in particular ACT on Campus, which had been left feeling confused and slightly violated by the bizarre goings-on of the 2011 election.
“ACT on Campus welcomes this news” said president Taylor Woodward. “We’ve been wondering for a very long time how John Banks became the leader of this party, and it’s good to see that we’ll finally get some answers.”
“We’re pretty sure he’s not even libertarian” he added.
Even John Banks welcomed the investigation.
“I, too, am eager to know how someone like me, who has little to no understanding of the movement my party was founded on, whose record on social liberties is embarrassing and who denies the science of Earth’s creation, could ever be made the leader of this once viable institution” said Banks. “I will be fully cooperative with the investigation and will not accept its findings.”
John Boscawen reiterated this afternoon the importance of the investigation, and said that it would hopefully be the first step to helping the party heal.
“It is extremely important for us to know how our party, which was once home to great minds like Roger Douglas, became a place filled with clueless has-beens like me” said Boscawen. “And I hope that, if this investigation is successful, we can look at constructive ways to get me out of here.”