Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
While the big pig trots around a selection of trade link hopefuls, firing from the hip on his latest pet issues, government ministries run around dazed and bewildered at the reports travelling back through the internation press.
Muldoon seems willing to render state administration obsolete. This is an extremely disturbing prospect as it has already sustained severe body blows by the installation of hand-picked think thanks and task forces.
He has now placed the economic machinery of New Zealand in the hands of a selection' of out-to-grass academics and petty bureaucrats draughted from the ranks of the upper-middle classes.
The question needs to be put - is there now any need for state legislature and indeed, even cabinet? Muldoon has every cabinet member so far under his thumb, that the natural checks and balances on a party leader can not now be expected to operate.
Muldoon has shifted any potential leadership threats into the background and given them diversionary portfolios. His deputy leader, chosen of course as a reward for siding with the Muldoonist wing of the National Party (now there is no other) during the Marshall days, is hardly capable of making a power bid for first in the queue at Bellamey's, let alone the Premiership.
All cabinet ministers are noticably silent. All have to justify themselves by cutting their departments budget. All are on trial under the eye of the most reactionary and coercive leader New Zealand has ever had.
Heads of State will probably not take Muldoon seriously while he is overseas, shooting his mouth off with every statement (many of which are not backed up with any proof).
New Zealanders have to take him seriously because he now holds so much power in his hands (he constantly refers to his landslide victory and huge mandate of 34% of the vote).
Robert Muldoon cannot be trusted. In a period of high inflation and economic unstability when small business are tending to go in to liquidation and people feel threatened by immigrants and other dissenting groups; history proves that such conditions encourage the emergency of a tough fascist dictator appearing as a father-centred figure preaching anti-liberalism, anti-communism and anti-intellectualism. Muldoon is such a man. He is a product of a tough and vicious age of history and he shows it every day through his political actions.
A Salient Worker