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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.

View from the left

page 3

View from the left


Three years ago the West conspired to overthrow the neutralist government of Laos lead by Prince Souvanna Phouma. The motive? To save Laos from Communism. Having brought to power the pro-West Prince Boun Oum and his Svengali, Deputy-Prime Minister and Defence Minister Phoumi Nosavan, the West sat back to enjoy security in, at least, one area. The Royal Laotian military strength was built up whilst the economy of the country was allowed to stagnate.

Now the West, lend by the U.S. are attempting to replace Prince Boun Oum by Prince Souvanna Phouma. The motive? To save Laos from Communism! The wheel has turned a full circle and one might be tempted to proclaim aloud the wonderous ways of fate. However, not being a fatalist, the whole calamitous business has, for me, other morals.

We in the West, if we are going to stop the spread of Communism have got to stop seeing a Red under every palm tree. Our blind, hysterical fear of communism is hiding from us the true nature of the social forces at work in Asia today. The Laotian people, although they can hardly be described as pacific, favour a neutralist line. We destroyed the government that reflected this philosophy and replaced it with one that could hardly be expected to win the favour of the articulate in that country. The people of Laos just want to be left alone. What they will do with their aloneness Is hard to answer. Certainly many things would take place that would be unpalatable to us; nevertheless the triumph of Communism in Laos would be unlikely. The basic attitudes of the people would ensure this. One thing is particularly Interesting In the present situation. The USSR is working, along with the West, to return the neutralist group to power. One would assume from this that the Pathet Lao forces have come increasingly under the influence of Red China. Perhaps the USSR is attempting to demonstrate to the West that her professed policy of Peaceful Co-existence is genuine. Why don't we try to find out? This way we may be able to keep in check the growing aggressiveness of Red China which constitutes one of the major threats to world peace.

The Local Scene

The lack of faith demonstrated by the selection committee of the Citizens organisation in their own prospective Mayoral candidates is hardly likely to inspire the voter with any confidence. Wellington, admittedly faced with a large number of unique problems, is probably the worst planned city in the world. The lack of imagination and drive displayed by the City Fathers (!) Is known to all, yet the same bumbling figures continue to be elected year after year.

Lower Hutt, however, is now probably one of the best laid out, best developed and forward looking city in N.Z. One would have thought that the lesson would be plain for all Wellington voters to see and act upon. Unfortunately most voters are so concerned with the level of the rates that they allow to be returned each year a group which has already demonstrated its incompetence and its concern with the interests of a small business clique. Long may they reign! And long may we go without swimming pools, community centres, trust hotels efficient transport and all other mod cons. After all, progress has to be paid for and we just can't afford it can we Citizen?


Well our troops are off to Thailand to defend the democratic government of Thailand, and I wish them an unpleasant journey. I hope you all read their comments upon their expected pleasure jaunt in the local paper. Most seemed to be looking forward to killing lots of nasty communists, killing, killing—. They didn't mention that they were looking forward to taking part in more competitions to see who could bed the most, the oldest and the youngest women; pastimes that were so popular with our troops in Japan and Singapore in the past. Still the Chambers of Commerce and the moms of the country wouldn't have appreciated such sentiments. But killing nasty communists. Lovely!

Thought for the Week

Being a cynic holds many pleasures. One of the chief of which is that one can keep the conversation from flagging by just saying "Yeah".

Val Maxwell.

Glug, Glug, Glug!

Glug, Glug, Glug!

Question—who is the prominent person on the left-hand side of the cash register? No, it's not Jack Kennedy!