Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 10 May 28 1968
Sir—Mr Gager is entitled to his opinions, but he might have a little more regard for reality when he expresses them.
A political writer in a university paper is free to be lopsided in his judgment. A politcal editor, as Gager is billed, should pay more heed to balance.
He, as one member of the Labour Party, is free to be as divergent from the norm as he chooses.
Might I say as a person who chose willingly to join Labour in recent times, that I did so with the belief that I could throw my lot in with my contemporaries who were endeavouring to contribute to a stronger, better equipped Labout Party, consequently a valuable opposition and alternative Government.
It is from this point of view that I find Gager's gratuitous insults superufluous, to use an understatement.
I was sorry I missed the Labour Party Conference ( I returned from the Cook Islands for its tail end) but I gained the impression that the changes which occurred at conference show Labour is being changed by its youth, closer assessment of policy making procedures and a greater potential to fill the policy vacuum Mr Blizard alleges of Labour, and with which Gager claims a preoccupation.
In the effluent poured out by Gager, I find more than one insinuation which disturbs my sense of accuracy.
"But the universities have run out of radical ideas after their radical splurge this conference and it will take them some time to think of some more."
Not everyone shares Gager's somewhat hazy perception of radicalism.
Not everyone wishes to divert their energies from policy making to coping with the superuflous factionalism implicit in Gager's view of Labour.
And as for the policy making—the prospect of assisting with it has drawn me to Labour.
As Political Editor of Salient in 1964, I was urging greater attention to policy formation by the Labour Club.
In 1968 I feel the opportunities to participate in policy formation for the universities are greater than ever before, and I detect signs that they are willing to respond to the challenge.
Outbursts like Gager's, impede our chances to do so.