Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 16 July 16, 1968
Sir—After ravelling in the dubious martyrdom of getting the hard word from the N.Z.B.C. on grounds presumably political, Mr Alister Taylor Seems now to envisage himself as New Zealand's answer to 'Danny the Red'—a messiah whose raucous trumpet will tumble the walls of the Establishment, and lead students through the breach into the heardy realms of "student power".
I have studied the Executive Minutes lor the year 1964-1945, when Mr Taylor, as a member of the V.U.W.S.A. Executive, was in a position to voice what he refers to as "the real feellings of students" and to initiate "substantial changes in the system" (Salient July 9). From the Excutive minutes for that period it would appear that Mr Taylor was a capable, if somewhat conservative, administrator. In the records of Executive Meetings which dealt with liaison between the Students' association and the University Council, and the appointment of student representatives to Council committees, there is a notable lack of comment—for or against—from the man who now waxes so eloquent on the need for revolution. It is perhaps significant that the further Mr Taylor has got from serving students in any official capacity (and from the responsibilty that goes with such service), the more idealistic, irresponsible, and vociferous his criticism of 'the system" becomes.
Certainly Mr Taylor's own record of action (or lack of it) when he held responsibility as a student leader does not detract from the validity of some of his present critieisms, but his answer to the problems—creating the issues if they do not already exist and turning the University Administration into "a faceless monster" (Salient, June 11) if necessary in order to whip up emotions and promote aggressive student action-is a puerile attitude and an insult to our integrity. I would refer him and all thinking students to the rather more realistic and intelligent suggestions out forward in last week's Salient by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr D. B. C, Taylor, a man who has had considerably more experience—and responsibility—regarding the problems and the needs of universities and students than has Mr Alister Taylor.
Obviously, however, no-one can deny a student's right to change his ideas as he grows up, whether it is a change from the conservatism of youth to the radicalism of maturity, or vice versa. I would certainly not deny this right to Mr Taylor, who is obviously still developing —in one direction at least . . His hair still grows . . . but his mind has shrunk.
Craig W. Wrightson.
P.S. It may be felt that this letter is emotional and even a personal attack. Such criticism may be valid, but at the same time I should hope that this letter would be published—under the same lenient editorial policy which allows Mr Taylor's distinctive brand of emotionalism to appear on these pages—C.W.W.