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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 12. 1965.

Some Servants

Some Servants

The Commonest political platitude is that the politicians are the servants of the people.

The illusory nature of this is openly admitted by everyone except the politicians themselves.

Some government measures, especially economic, could not expect to enjoy the support of anything near a majority of the people.

Thus, when the issues are clear, it is all the more remarkable that the government should show the contempt for public opinion which it has recently done.

Mr. Shand's pathetic moment of glory over Mandy is a sad reminder that the personal views of ministers can still intrude into administrative decisions.

The reasons for banning Miss Rice-Davies were all in the minister's mind—he will find none in the statute book.

But a far more serious situation was the attitude of the government, and in particular Mr. Holyoake, over the South African statement on All Black tours.

Dr. Verwoerd's statement crumbled before analysis into the racial hatred for which his regime is notorious.

The time called for a forthright statement of New Zealand beliefs. South Africa had made the tour a political issue whether we wanted it that way or not.

World attention was focused on New Zealand and how it would react to the gratuitous insult thrown at its citizens. How would New Zealand react?

Mr. Holyoake issued a statement almost neutral in content, a reiteration of earlier comments.

An Africaaner Nationalist MP said (Rand Daily Mail, 15/5/65): "From the point of view of human rights, there is no difference between Africans and farm machinery."

We would have thought Mr. Holyoake could understand this.—H.B.R.