Salient.The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 4. April 6, 1955
"Impertuable Drivelling Idiocy" — Polemic Attacked
"Impertuable Drivelling Idiocy"
The article by "Polemic" demanded that you delete the words" "an organ of student opinion" from "Salient's" front page. For that reason,' if for no other your action will meet with student approval.
For surely no student of VUC is capable of the "impertuable drivelling idiocy" that manifested itself in "Opinions Politic." Polemic's opening sentence provides an apt and accurate description of the entire article—"a pitiable effort!"
By arriving at novel conclusions, by being unconventional, is not, Polemic should heed, to be superior, is not to be clever. He castigates Eden, criticises opponents of the South African Government's apart-held policy, and condemns Communist aggression.
The diatribe on the Prime Ministers' Conference manifests the nineteenth century opinions of an ex-trente reactionary. He infers that we should have refused to compromise in Persia, without realising that Britain had but two alternatives either re-enter Persia as a subordinate partner, or lose all Interest in British interests in that country. The position was somewhat analagous in Egypt. Polemic must put himself to sleep by reading Kipling's verse and singing "Britannia Rules the Waves." One wonder if he was awake when he wrote the article.
His indictment of Eden was wholly unwarranted. Polemic would do well to study Eden's life instead of merely learning how to spell his name. Few politicians have shown his consistency or character; his career has been the very antithesis of the "yesman Polemic describes. From his resignation as Foreign Secretary in Chamberlain's Government to his sharply conflicting attitude to the Americans over Formosa. Even the BBC is accused of "ballyhoo and fan worship." Is Polemic's critical faculty so intellectually bankrupt that the BBC's objective treatment of world news is beyond his comprehension? Then the fatuous charge that every conference at which Eden is present is a "positive menace to world peace." No mention is made of Geneva!
The zenith of Polemic's perverted outlook is reached when he terms the forced evacuation of Sophiatown as a "triumphant progress." Apparently he has yet to observe the policy of racialism upon which the South African Government is based. He deduces its outward "benevolence"; he Ignores its philosophy and its aims.
"Breach of Trust"
Let us hope that we will not have to suffer in the future the opinions of a person whose opposition to Communism and dislike of Eden have become so uncontrollable as to degenerate into irrationality. "Salient" is a university newspaper. It is the Editor's duty to ensure it is one in fact, as well as in name. To allow a contributor to unleash an unfounded personal attack behind a nom-de-plume is not only deplorable but is cause for us to ponder whether the Editor has been guilty of a breach of trust.
Gordon V. Cruden.
[The front page this year shows that "Salient" is a newspaper, not an "organ of student opinion"; we must assume that the students are in[unclear: ellectually mound] and their opinions non-existent until more decide to express these opinions through our columns. Until that time "Salient" remains a newspaper. Polemic as a contributor presents his personal opinions and does not necessarily reflect or oppose this nebulous "student opinion."
The point that "Salient" is a university newspaper we doubt; judging by the interest taken in it and the use made of it. It is not the Editor's task to "ensure that It is one in fact"; that responsibility rests upon the readers and contributors. When the Editor beats his head against a brick wall in a futile attempt to gain some tangible expression of student opinion, he is willing—indeed has to—accept whatever opinions offer. A breach of trust. Sir? To allow an opinion to be presented does not constitute a breach of trust. Polemic's reply follows.
The articles headed "Opinions Politic" are merely "opinion," and their whole object is to arouse interest—even heated criticism—among students on matters which should command their earnest attention. That object has, it appears, been achieved—at least in part.
(Our edition—1947—of the COD shows no trace of the word "imper-tuable". Polemic also has not yet crossed tongues with it. After making enquiries, we are assured that the word is a compounded one and is "pregmant with meaning".