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Salient. Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 41 No. 3. March 13 1978

Bad Taste Erudition?

Bad Taste Erudition?

Dear Sir,

After having seen you to organise an advertisement in "Salient" dated March 6 1978 in connection with Bob Tizzards's visit, I have been appalled to read the accompanying remarks which I have good reason to believe were written by that master of erudite commentary and downright bad taste, Neil Gray.

In an unrequested and indeed unconvincing paragraph, Gray made a reference to "The year of the blunt Labour knife", describing Mr. Tizard as "The party's prime antagonist". He also took the liberty of helping publicise our ensuing Stem and magnanimously and indulgently invited the University to "Piss-up and politic with the perpetual opposition".

Obscure as they are, Gray's political convictions are his own business, and as such, they should have absolutely no place in the advertising of clubs and associations. Without wishing to follow the point to its distasteful conclusion, what kind of possible justification would any Salient worker have to set an advertisement for, for instance, an overseas students' meeting or social with the expression: "Put on your drinking togs and come and sink with the wogs".

If these cheap abuses of Salient are allowed to persist, our newspaper may as well consider changing its name to something more in keeping with the use Gray and his ilk seem able to put it to.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Lewin,

Secretary V.U.W. Labour club

(It is true that you did see me to organise an advertisement for last week Salient. However, after a discussion with the Orientation Controller, Neil Gray, it was decided to include all activities related to Orientation on the Orientation page, for which Neil was immediately responsible.

Nevertheless I recognise that the content of the paper is still my final responsibility, and when a member of the Labour club saw me on Friday afternoon and asked for the notice to be changed back to its original form, I asked a staff member to do just that. For some reason this did not happen and I didn't pick it up. For this I can only apologise.

As for the "unconvincing" nature of Neil's descriptions, that must remain a matter of conjecture. — Ed.)