Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 18. July 30, 1968
Letters To The Editor
Letters To The Editor
Sir—Conrad Bollinger has recently contributed one of his once-over-leftly souffle histories of "reds" at Victoria this time on "reds" on the staff of Salient. These histories appear from time in various publications at Victoria and appear to gain little in either acuracy or historical perspective in spite of the passing of time. He has this to say about my term as editor:
"Entering with the firm intent to make Salient as one-eyed right as he was sure it had always been one-eyed left McIntyre soon found that things weren't as simple as that. Working with a group heavily imbued with the red tradition he came to accept it as not only necessary but desirable."
Bollinger does himself less than justice. He was certainly of the red bloc but his sense of humour, good sense and ability prevented him from adopting its tactics. When Salient looked like excaping from their control most of the staff reds were not prepared to work with an editor who believed that ramming the communist Peace Movement, the World Federation of Democratic Youth (a communist front organisation), the communist world student organisation and articles journalists with communist leanings writing in various left wing publications into Salient was becoming on imposition and a bore. The reds demonstrated at editorial meetings that their answer was disruption and abuse but Bollinger, after writing a few articles as a try-on which I permanently postponed, could not resist restoring good relations. Meetings to make up the paper were prolonged or badly attended and steps had to be taken to do without red "help" in order to get Salient out at all.
The assertion that I came to accept the red tradition as "not only necessary but desirable" is nonsense if it refers to the kind of political handout with which the university reds had overloaded Salient, but if it means that it is necessary for a university newspaper to be outspoken then Conrad Bollinger and I have once more ended up reluctant allies.
Salient in 1968 is very close to the concept I had of it during my term as editor and I am sure that its present staff do not see themselves as one eyed right.
Lots of fun
Sir—If Mr C. A. Fyson were exceptionally literate he might have noticed that there were some differences between the letter on Trotskyism he signed and the reply he received. Naturally, it is to be expected that be should have a mental block about the dissimilarities between his letter and the reply to it. Since our letter spelled out concisely the reasons why Mr. G. A. Fyson and his friends are fake Trotskyists.
What he really objects to about our reply is that it showed up his letter as a joke-that it deflated the false pseudo-legal rhetoric of Mr Fyson's solicitor friends to point out that when it came down to fundamentals the signatories were abject supporters of the Cuban government. Mr G. A. Fyson has never read the major position statements of the Spartaeist League. I doubt if he has ever read a book of Trotsky's He has never even read the crucial policy statement of his own 'organisation'-the proceedings of the 1951 congress of the Fourth International. But he has the intellectual shamelessness to set himself up as an authority on who is and who is not a Trotskyism. This might appear to be complete moral dishonesty; but I prefer to think that Mr Fyson and his friends, rather than being dishonest were merely having a little innocent fun.
It really is funny when Mr Fyson follows up the original joke by suggesting that the question of whether a letter and the reply to it should be published in the same issue has something to do with the question of whether he is or is not a Trotskyist. I congratulate Mr Fyson on his sense of humour; I could never aspire to such peaks of inanity.
Sir—Do I perceive a murky threat to relieve me of my current status as King of the Centre Pages? Could it be that some other bearded bug wishes his name to be inscribed (for those with vertically-arranged eyes or appended page-turner-rounders) in the midst of those hallowed leaves? And well he might, for how many times have I, sir, upon viewing further aborted masterpieces in these pages not registered violent complaints with you? And have we not agreed that there are other offset printers within somewhat less than 500 miles who know how to print a photograph?
It seems that like all wellpaid craftsmen these days your printer either lacks any artistic qualities or is a retired journalist, which means, roughly the same thing. In short, I wish to make a public disclaimer, to the effect that photographs published in Salient with my name in, or around them, are reproduced in such a way that they rarely bear any resemblance to my own lovingly-produced works, either living or dead.