|In politics and the media there are few things more disturbing than witnessing a once high-profile politician whose time has passed desperately fight his inexorable slide into oblivion.
In this excerpt from his talkback show the increasingly callow John Banks provides a disgraceful display of gutter opportunism on Radio Pacific, stirring up his meagre redneck audience with attacks on gays.
Take his 2 March rants for instance... 7:36am: Banks: This is a con that I wanted to raise with you this morning. We're going to be talking to his excellency Bishop Tamaki, head of the Maori Destiny Church, a highly-regarded and much admired, respected maori elder. We're gong to be talking to him about the government funding a Maori Warriors for Safe Sex campaign. I can't help but laugh when I say this because I've got in front of me a postcard of the Maori Warriors for Safe Sex campaign, united against HIV. Now I'm very, very pleased that Maori homosexuals are getting together and uniting against HIV. I think that's laudable and we should support that. But it's a very, very funny postcard that they're putting out. I've never seen so many dead beat losers in one photograph in all my life, that is outside a labour party conference, as these Maori Warriors for Safe Sex.
Now it's come about because apparently many of the tribes up and down he country are very worried about the number of Maoris who are hiv-positive. Now the Maori race is generally what you might describe as heterosexual... good people who believe in men and women getting together, having children and raising children. But they've now come to agree that a small minority, and it seems to be getting larger by the year, are homosexual and are practising unsafe sex. So they've got together with support from the Government and funding from the Government to have a campaign up and down the country, Maori Warriors for Safe Sex, and apparently all these warriors in this picture, with their tongues out, their legs spread about and wearing grass skirts, we're told, are homosexuals. And now they are committed to safe sex. That's good. isn't it? 7:49am:
Banks: The government would hate that, wouldn't they? They'd hate me giving some praise and support for Bishop Tamaki. Well, let me say this, I think that Bishop Tamaki is doing God's work in his way, and maybe in some perverse way the AIDS Foundation are doing God's work for the people of the AIDS Foundation, who knows? These days it's so blurred it's hard to be judgmental. 7:58am: Banks: Greetings, Ken. Caller: Just two things, John, first things first, I heard your interview with Pastor Tamaki, Bishop tamaki. Boy I was angry with what, what I heard you read about that AIDS council or whatever it was. How dare they sully the tradition and the reputation of the Maori warrior. When you think of the Maori warrior of the new Zealand wars, the Maori warrior of the Pioneer Battalion of World War One, Maori warriors of the Twenty-eighth Maori Battalion, and they, they class these homosexual Maoris as warriors... that's a blight, and untrue and disgusting as far as I'm concerned. GayNZ.com; Radio Pacific - 31st March 2006