Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 12. 5 August 1970
Dear Mr Harcourt,
Thank you for your letter of 7th July, and your copies of the paper Salient. I'm surprised at your reference to having written to us for information on our policies. A careful search of our files doesn't show any letter from you with such a request. However, in all human affairs errors take place along the line and it's nothing new for a letter to go astray. But using our T V and Radio addresses was fair enough and good enough for the purpose. Anyway, you must forgive me for assuming that it wouldn't have made any difference what we told you. I'm sure you're only looking for opportunities to write critically about anyone in the political field and that your paper really hasn't the scope to impartially examine any practical political proposals appearing on the political scene here.
It seems you have an almost drug-like obsession with meaningless terms such as Right Wing . . . Nazi . . . Facist . . . Racist . . . etc. For you to devote five pages of your paper to sensationalising a tiny group like the Nazi party does the gravest harm to our assessment of your serious concern for practical N.Z. problems and affairs. Thus you must pardon us not feeling inclined to use valuable time replying to your article. What would be the point in it. We would only earn more of your caustic and slanted comment.
In your article on us it seems you are almost desperately striving to find something you can use to link us with your 'Right Wing' groups and thus slander as useless and almost dangerous to N.Z. anything we support. This naturally prevents you from noticing that we stand for five main Reforms in N.Z. affairs, namely, Taxation Reform . . . to remove the cost, complexity, anomalies and destruction of investment capital and personal incentive from our present taxation system . . Economic Reforms, to remove the frustrations to—and capacity for economic growth in N.Z. . . Labour Reforms, designed to free the labour force from dictatorial union power exercised under compulsory unionism, also concerned to establish equality of responsibility for contract before the law on all sides in labour affairs, and finally, the search for a more modern and practical wage setting system based on productivity standards, instead of irrelevant statistics and just plain destructive economic warfare, as we have today . . Fourth, Social Reforms, that ensures welfarism is devoted to those who genuinely need it while both allowing and encouraging everyone else to develop the human character building capacity to manage their own affairs. Finally, Political Reforms, that will ensure the survival of genuine effective democracy for your generation and those to come after them.
We are deeply concerned that all the extensive printed space in your paper fails to reveal any capacity to either impartially examine any of these subjects or even to credit that responsible people could have any ideas on them that may be of useful benefit to N.Z. Also we are concerned that you, whom we presume are supposed to represent the ideas of youth, especially educated youth, who demand new ideas and wider freedom of thought, should take such pleasure in slandering and ridiculing every group that would attempt to provide different ideas for public examination. Pardon us if we can only assume from your writings that some unknown undisclosed force and group you belong to has such a monopoly of knowledge and ideas, that when you have enjoyably destroyed all we see operating today, and all people who try to improve affairs for your generation, you will then reveal how to produce both Heaven and Utopia from the ashes of your destruction. Your writings reveal, to all who have experienced widely the depths of human problems and who care even more deeply for the future, a callous obsession with sadistic destructiveness so harmful in human association, especially in the realm of ideas. We are comforted only by the knowledge, from personal experience, that your writings and comments represent the views of only a fraction of today's youth.
If any of your University groups are interested in hearing our ideas on the five reforms listed above we will be pleased to come and give an address on these subjects, and once having been given a respectable hearing, to answer their questions on these subjects. If there exists anywhere the capacity to impartially examine the value of our proposals to N.Z. and human affairs you will always find us willing to assist. But we plead for an opportunity to meet open minds genuinely seeking useful ideas, not the unhappy biased, heavily slanted emotional approach to any subject we see so evident in your political writings.
In view of your own attitude to the people you write about I'm sure you prefer us to be frank with you in replying.
Cliff. S. Emeny.