Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 16 July 16, 1968
Letters To The Editor
Letters To The Editor
Petti Rewop-Rewob sinned, List
Sir−It seems that Petti is a Mudled and Doubtful grew, for where in the chroniculaions of Hexatriximenia,Pandemonium, Duodecimo, Organigram, Niddlenoodle, Hunchforthworthness, Saskatchewan, Littermate, Acapulcone, Rednalrednow, AuhagSigolochysp, Waikikamukau, Anakraxet, Parapedago, Chicoutimi, Tantamount, Nathanometer, Euthanasia, Notschibikitschibi, Micumbergolleyinafoudebolley, Ocarina, Sparadrap, Whiriligig, or Mazinta can be found a Political (or Other) Gesture, my or may not I ask?
As for Yonder, it is not in the Hundred Acre Wood but on the left thigh, in the Isle of Batrony, where no Piglets, Undergraduates, or Police are, even disguised. Perhaps the Petti one has grown into his muddle-puddle because of the insinuous gruntings of a so-called review in your recent newspaper by Niel Wright, of K.K.'s efforts.
In the 57th edition of Winnie the Pooh, in which Pooh and Piglet go hunting and nearly catch a Wonzle
"Hallo!" said Piglet. "what are you doing?"
"Hunting," said Pooh.
This is an example of Lets Some Action. And in which we are introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and some Bees, . . . "he said goodbye to the last branch, spun round three times and flew gracefully into a sortie-bush . . ."
This is Bower Power. so let James Mitchell (whoever he may be) and his collaborator end their days searchings in the chroniculations of the above-mentioned for Political (or Other) Gestures Undergraduates, Policemen Hundred Acre Woods, tiddleypoms, proprnsities, paper Tiggers, coup d'oeil, and yonirableflames, or none are to be Found, unless lies in themseleves are politics.
Sparadrap does not live!
Sir—Since the person who authored thearticle "Another Change for Wedderspoon prefers to remain anonymous I would, through your offices commened him for his diligent research into my character. It he can only rely on hearsay and not factual objectivity to discredit me then he has done me a great honour as a human being who makes mistakes as much as the next man. Instead of pulling me to pieces in the select quarters of his underground lie factory he has revealed by unconscious omission that gossip and rumour are his only tools as a mongrel dog yapping arround the hooves of a thoroughbred horse. If there is an ounce of self-re spotting manhood left in him then would he be man enough to substantiate his charges against me in face-to-face confrontation.
It is Interesting to note that I was rung through toll call by one James Mitchell and read extracts of the article in question prior to publication, plus additional matter which strangely enough did not appear. I asked Mr Mitchell who was responsible for the script, but he would not tell me. It is a pity I did not have a tape-recorder at the tune phone conversation took place.
Questioned as to whether I received financial support from the National Party during the Palmerston North by-election I denied it and suggested that the declaration as to my campaign receipts and expenditure be checked by Salient through the Registrar of Electors in the said constituency. Why was this not reported in the article and has such an examination been made? If the writer hopes to be a journalist some day he would be well-advised to check his facts and not rely on the word of mouth evidence of three unidentified persons. Perhaps it would not have suited his pitiably distorted mind?
Questioned as to whether had been court-martislled in the army and sent to the "Ardmore military Penal Detention Barracks" as a rsult of It of it (correctly called the Services Corrective Establishment for your information). I advised Mr Mitchell to check with Army I Head Quarters as to my military record and he would find I had no court-maritial convictions. Did the "person" who wrote the article mention that. This is a serious allegation to make or even imply and I would invite the "person" responsible to come down to Army Head Quarters with me when I am in Wellington. He has protected himself to some extent by infarring that I said it to Forums. This is incorrect and he knows it. I have never been court-martalled or sent to S C.E. as a result of it and have never said so, Sometimes I wonder as to the mentality of such a stupid question by the type of individual who.tenders it.
Questioned as to whether I had said I was a Catholic and whether I had said I was a Jew I requested Mr Mitchell to check as to my baptism with the Presbyterian Church. Has this been done and why was not my comment reported?
At to the allegation that I called Thomson a "fascist" I have denied using the term. I respect him as a decorated officer even through I may disagree with his views on occasions.
P. J Wedderspoon. (Abridged)
[Salient standsby its original article—ed.]
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.
. . not a paper ?
Sir—Whilst browsing through past issues of Salient, I was particularly impressed with the large contingent of reporters listed on the staff. 29 reporters were named in the April 23 and 30 issues. Last week's issue (June 18) showed a list of 15 reporters (two names being published twice). I can only associate Salient's recent lack of spontaneous and informed reporting of Internal activities as a result of this decrease.
The prevelance of politics, personal Criticisms, and Owen Gager has reduced Salient to a dull, uninspiring periodical. which might well be published monthly for the amount of topical news it covers.
Why wasn't Prof, England's obituary published sooner? why isn't the Varsity Radio Show mentioned?
I feel that Salient's function as student newspaper is not being realised by the present staff, who seem more Interested in exploiting Salient as a means of egotistical elevation. Recent issue are a discredit to Salient, which has been, and coud again be recognised as the best N.Z. students' newspaper.
G. J. Nesbitt
An art . .
Sir—In an Art Review which appeared in your issue of June 25th, the following sentence appeared:
"Elements representing our physical material and commercial involvement are contrasted with the organic, spiritual and etheric forces in a free and creative way within the idiom of the medium, but not as illustration."
Reviewer Helen Kedgley deserves some sort of award for this extraordinary comment. She should eschew such esoteric obfuscation.
M. C. Mitchell
Sir—I have failed. I did not look for suport, but merely hoped that some students would perhaps examine the potential danger of Asian expansion Into the countries of the Pacific, Surely, Asia cannot indefinitely support her seedling millions, nor will her countries continue much longer to tolerate agricultural conditions that leave her population, for the most part, at little more than starvation level, With continued aid, we help to improve the economic Status in Asia, yet. at the same time, we also contribute to an increased population as a result of the improved living standard.. What happens when numbers get out of control? They overrun Other regions around them and keep on overrunning in a sort of chain reaction until they have managed to obtain enough land to support themselves, What happens to all those who have given aid? One need only look at Kenva or the Congo to see what gratitude is given in return European effort and industry.
If in the defence of one's country it means to be branded a racist then I must submit to this abuse.
P. J. Kelly
Sir—I can't feel sorry for Roderic Alley in his state of complete confusion, because he has only himself to Name. If he had read the literature on the concept of sovereignty from Bodin to Rhees and later authors he would know that it is notoriously imprecise except in certain legal contests which do not touch on the concerns of my Salient article.
Regarding nation-states the question is not one of belief, as Mr Alley imagines, but of fact. A nation state, by the 19th-century doctrine which is still operative, must be a state which incorporates all of one nation and none of another. A nation must be defined by objective as well as subfective criteria—language, religion, history, physiological characteristics, even eating habits, dress, social customs, political style and suchlike, as well as sentiments. Not all of these criteria, of course, can be satisfied in all cases. Japan perhaps comes nearest to meeting the nation-state specification, Lapland spreads across the Scandinavian countries. Portugal would Come close but for the many Portugese outside the state. All other countries are in varying degrees remote from this conception-most of the newly-independent ones greatly so (I used the terms "nations" and "societies" in parts of my article instead of "governments" because I wanted to emphasise the role of nongovernmental bodies in the global system.)
I made no assumption that "as states become more co-operative and 'modern' they become less nationalistic". Evidently Mr Allery doesn't know that nationalism is an ideology or creed (linked, of course, with the myth of the nation-state) and that not all states are affected by it— fortunately, for it is surely the most destructive attachment that has so far afflicted human societies. I don't think I need add more to Owen Gager's remarks about internationalism (a far less emotive term).
If Mr Alley doesn't think that "Barriers such as the Iron Curtain on rusting away" between the relatively rich countries then he has a curious view of our changing world. But here he is rather confused, because he accepts "the decline in tension in the cold war". Unless language is to.be purely whimsical, this must mean that alignment and non-alignment both have diminishing meaning as this process continues. As for the erudeness of my classification (I used the term "rough"). surely Salient is not the place for graphs, tables and other means of elaborating what is already plain to most observers: that the rich countries are getting richer and the Poor ones relatively poorer and that, as I said, this process is "jerky and uncertain".
Mr Alley uses the term "military" in relation to alliances to emphasise "the business of killing people". But there have been alliances as far back as the time of the ancient Creeks which were economic and cultural as well as defensive and there is nothing contradictory about that. Whether a UN which included China would be better able to deal with trouble in Asia is a matter of guesswork.
All in all. then, Mr Alley has inded provided a "catalogue of hasty generalisations, ambiguities, and inconsistencies"; but they are all his own.
I should like to take up some of Mr Gager's points, but his graceful support of my main thesis makes me rather want to buy him a drink.
W. E. Murphy