Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 6. 1971
salient Rip-out news
salient Rip-out news
Law Students Urged to Boycott Classes on April 30th.
The Law Faculty Club Committee has called on all Law Faculty students and staff to boycott lectures on Friday April 30th, as a gesture of support for the National Anti-war Mobilisation on that day.
At the first meeting of the newly-elected executive on Thursday April 15th, a motion to this effect was passed unanimously. A further motion calling on staff and students of all faculties to support a boycott was passed with one abstention.
Letter on S.A.L.
An article entitled "A True Life Confession Trots Eat Shit" appeared in Salient of 21/4/71. This article purported to be the "inside story of the Socialist Action League as told to Salient" by a former member of the League who (a) made a loan to the League of $80 (b) contributed $4 a week to party funds (c) spent weekends typing and mailing at "H.Q." and (d) resigned the week after "Harry North." As I am the only person who conforms to each of these particulars, twisted though they are, I conclude that the writer wished to give the impression that the article was told to Salient" by me.
I have at no time been connected with any article appearing in Salient, nor would I wish to do so as I consider that the present editor is a bloody prick, devoid of manners, good taste, literary ability and elementary standards of journalistic ethic, and it would seem unlikely that any former member of Socialist Action would wish to be associated with such shit (the editor or the article) either.
The latter part of the article presents a Stalinist viewpoint peculiar to a certain member of the English Department whose knowledge of "Scientific Socialism" (Marxism to you) is largely confined to Friedrich Engels' "Condition of the Working Class of England in 1844" which, however excellent it may be as reading for students of Charles Dickens, hardly qualifies him as a Marxist.
Although I have left the Socialist Action League I remain in general agreement with the revolutionary transitional programme of the Fourth International, the World Party of Socialist Revolution founded by Leon Trotsky.
Like some crap from the John Birch Society Monthly the article is a lying twisted fabrication from begining to end; a dirty fucking smear, which can only be of grave disservice to the New Zealand revolutionary movement as a whole, and which says little for the Leftist posturing of the editor of Salient and others connected with its concoction.
Wright on, S.A.L.
This is to certify that I was the author of the article "Trots eat Shit" published in Salient.
I make this declaration because the article has been taken as genuine by members of the S.A.L., who have accused various ex-members of having written it.
I believe it is obvious that the article is fictional from the fact that it is labelled as "a true life confession."
However all the statements in the article that purport to be facts are in fact true, as is evident by the fact that S.A.L. members took them as such. These facts came to my knowledge from a number of sources.
As is well known, members of S.A.L. are sworn to total secrecy about the internal affairs of the League, but from my experience it is evident that this secrecy is not observed.
I have reason to believe that S.A.L. has been infiltrated by various other groups, since reports of their meetings have reached me within hours of a meeting.
I wrote the article in the form it took because an earlier form of the article as straight reportage was declined by the editor of Salient, as were 38 other articles written by me for Salient this year. In view of these rejections I have adopted the practice of writing pseudonymous or anonymous articles. I was anxious to see the material in "Trots eat Shit" in Salient because it is in the interests of students to know what is involved in membership of the S.A.L.
The lunchtime debate "That New Zealand is ripe for revolution" could have been good. The topic lent itself to a clearcut division of sides and forceful argument. Neil Wright offered a plausible if over-optimistic affirmation; Conrad Bollinger attempted an academic reply. The subject had good potential for cutting interchange between both sides.
Audience interference ruined the chance for any serious discussion. The usual egotists were there: Cruickshank with his weedy, penetrating voice; Arnold with his throaty roar; Women's Lib members with their high-pitched screams. Together they rained their usual stock of interjections on the hapless speakers over-used four-letter words, tired puns on the term "maiden speaker," mere earpiercing noise. Their disruption was sufficient to turn what should have been a serious topic into a shouting spectacle.
With unfortunate ease a mere dozen individuals were able to divert attention from the arguments of the platform speakers to their own ego-starved selves. They had no intention of presenting a coherent case. No floor speech came from any of the protesting interjectors. In all no worthwhile contribution from these people whatever. In the endless stream of heckling, only one vaguely clever interjection was forthcoming and that an old pun on the name "Wright."
It could have been a good debate, but the actions of a selfish few allowed it to degenerate to the tedium of yet another 'forum.'