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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 15. 1969.

Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor

All Letters Submitted For Publication Must Be Signed With The Writer's Own Name. No Pseudonyms Will Be Accepted Save In Exceptional Circumstances.


When will Salient again become a publication mildly representative of student opinion"

First, the double spread, very pretty, but the beauty of the poor cover is impossible to read.

Second, the tendency to focus on one issue, arbitarily deemed of vital concern to the majority of students, for approximately 80% of an Salient "V.U.W. Student' News paper".

Please Mr. Editor, give us some edifying tales, reviews, safe sanitized homogenized and pastuerized verse, faculty and club news, and juicy gossip. Because I hate polltics, especially student politics, petty politics and pseudo-politics (and so do at least ten other people I know).

I am sick of O. G. and pals, drawing their net (how tiring) for more weary sympathies for the repressed-Student-leftist and friend-of-the-worker—as if they give a tinker's cuss whether "workers" and students see eye to eye, ear to ear, hand to mouth, pay rise to pay rise, brand political perspective to broad political perspective, etc.. etc., etc.

A little light humour and wit would work wonders for Salient. If, however, it continues to print the present unmentionable, then Salient dies, suffocated by the unbearable stench of the excrement.

Salient dies not from the heart but from the nose!

Louise Follick.

As a non-student reader of Salient I appreciate the Quality of current literary, art and film reviews, and the penetrating appraisals of out-of-the-way cultural affairs, which are ignored by the dalies.

In a fit of temper last year, I dubbed the two local papers — "Blundell's Bugle" and "Riddiford's Rag"; my tamper has gone, but the melody lingers on, and I hope This oral lampoon nicks fast, and gains currency.

They deserve plenty of caustic criticism; their impudence and boorish standards are a scandal. Crammed with folios of foundation garment and furniture ads, and leavened by piteos pap which passes for criticism and feature writing, numberless opportunities for informative journalism pass them by, unheeded. They give an abysmal service to readers in a capital city who want something more than weather reports, London-centred cable news, sport and classified advertisements.

As a student I wrote for Salient, and — a few reservations aside—its quality now seems better than ever. Many people outside the university have expressed pleasur at the standard of some reviews and cultural futures, and it would be a shame if its distribution became haphazard with copies being wasted.

About 10-30 people I know— who live in the provinces—would be delighted to be on your mailing list, given opportunity. Your advertising manager should pursue such circulation, as it is meaningful to his clients.

True, students pay for the printing; but surplus copies should never be burnt or otherwise wested, as off-campus readership is clearly bneficial to the university. A continuing liaison is better than an annual "Open Day".

I also suggest that two or three honesty-box street stands be constructed, brightly painted and labelled for use in the city. Boxes in the station area, Lambton Quay and Courtenay Place (with a one or two-cent price tag) would be a sound overture towards better public understanding of university affairs.

Providing the student body agreed—the revenue from street tales could be paid into a fund for the establishment of a literary or journalistic scholarship — or similar awards.

Brian Bell.


Like more than few other people I am getting rather tired of one of the contributors to your paper. Mr. Owen Gager. It is well known that he makes more noise than anyone else on this campus in proclaiming himself a Trotskyist and an intellectual. Yet from observations of this individual over the last twelve months one cannot but reach the conclusion that his conception of himself differs somewhat from his reality, A Trotskyist is above all a revolutionary and yet there is very little to suggest that Mr. Gaper is any more revolutionary than a flat beer. And his activities as an intellectual range only from a nagging pedantry to spiteful gossip.

His attitude towards the Socialist Club is typical of his general political attitude. Initially he tried to prevent the affiliation of the club to the Students' Association and to obstruct its activities. When this fulled he alternatively feigned lack of interest and toyed with sectarian to deface a large poster that the club had on display But in spite of his opposition the club continued to develop its activities and organisation, and although these are still rather small scale if was enough to throw the ineptitude of Mr. Gager's own miniscule Spartacist Club into sharp relief. Even Gager had to admit this and he has since joined the Socialist Club.

But at bottom this was only belated recognition of the fact that students gravitaing owards socialism and Marxism were no longer gravitating toward him. He entered the Socialist Club simply in order to rescue his former position. He has simply taken up what he hopes will prove to be a more strategic stance from which to assail those who initiated and organised the Socialist Club, with the same old unsubstantiated smears—"the fake left", "pseudo-Trotskyists". "Pabloite revisionists", "stained with Stalinism", "vulgar Marxists", and many others. His latest article (Salient 14) carries the implication that the Socialist Club is some kind of hippie outfit, and in the Salient before that he linked it with Hitlerite activity.

But that is nothing out of the ordinary for this sectarian windbag. The need to bring forward evidence to substantiate one's claims, the need for clarity of exposition and for consistency of thought—none of these rate high on his scale of values. What does rate highly on this scale is his own "cleverness". But here also—and fared badly. All he has got to show from his "revolutionary" efforts to date is a defunct fan club.

M. H. Fyson.


Hats off to the students of Victoria.

The article in "Forign Affairs" by Clark Clifford. Secretary of Defence under President Johnson, makes it clear that their splendid support for the demonstrators against the war in Vietnam has had a substantial effect on the history of world events.

They helped prevent the militarisation and commitment on any large scale, of New Zealand youth in this war of American aggresion.

They played a significant role in forcing the chiefs of the U.S. military/industrial complete to take the first (as yet minor) steps to pull out of Vietnam and end the frightful carnage there.

In so doing, they aided the cause of freedom and national liberation in S.E. Asia.

They will not regret it. Self-government, higher living standards, better health and education in these Asian lands, even though requiring revolutions for their achievement, do not threaten New Zealand, but on the contrary provide us with expanded opportunities for trade and cultural exchange.

That the students did this in the face of the sinister growth of Brigadier Gilbert's secret police, and the possibilities of victimisation and discrimination in their future careers, speaks volumes for the moral courage, as well as the moral judgement of today's generation of youth.

Ron Smith.

Those words

"Salient" faileth not in supporting Brian Bells convictions that the currency of everyday speech and everyday literature should be the same. Reasons? Just look at this random selection of titles culled from your lost issue (14). As a pure minded citizen I think that these things that stand out to blatantly and shockingly should he brought in the attention of all righteous thinking people! Read, pause, think citizen!

"Inside Illingworth"—"Homosexualproposals" "Up the Wall"— "The politics of frustration" "Committee Briefs" and eek! "The End". For absolute baseness one can go no lower in muck than "The business" of a demonstration. My God is nothing sacred in you students?

Andy McEwan.


With typically childish glee, "Outside Left" has "discovered" that there is no difference between a ceremonial burning of The Reporter and Nazi book burnings. I would like to ask "Outside Left" two questions:

(a) Can he not distinguish between the token burning of a few copies of a magazine, and the Nazi's wholesale burning of all copies of the books they wanted no-one to read?

(b) Does he make the same objections to the burning of their draft cards by youths in the United States today?

"Outside Left's" principal raison d'etre seems to be to titillate his sycophants at the expense of those of us who are genuine socialists. Actually his malicious cockle, rather than annoying us, simply makes us yawn.

G. F. Fyson.

Females wanted

I Beg to inform you that I would like to correspond with a young girl (17 to 20 years old) of your university.

I am French and I will follow studies to Laval University in Canada, next July. I speak French, of course, English and Spanish and will study diplomatic administration.

I like intellectual activities, music of today, sports, friendship, reading and travelling.

New Zealand is a wonderful country and I hope to visit it and stay if I have facilities after my studies in Canada.

I shall prefer a young student who knows German or French, but if they cannot, it does, not matter.

I hope and think that relations are fructuous between foreign students.

Savramenga Gerald.

22, Boulevard Vaubau,


New Caledonia.

No dances

I Am brassed off and to are quite a few other freshers I know. Why aren't there any dances this year so that students can meet others easily. Surely the Students Association could use some of our $13 for a few dances on Friday or Saturday nights.

S. J. Thomson.


I Wish to correct several typographical errors in my article "Once History. Now Mythology" in the June 25 issue.

The phrase in the final paragraph "everybody might as well do their own thing about their own incomes" should not be included in the sentence in which you printed it, but in the succeeding sentence, where it should end the sentence prefaced by the word "otherwise".

The phrase "genuine student work unity" should read "genuine student worker unity".

In the phrase "this is not to say that growth should not be exported" the word "exported" should read "export-led".

There were other typographical errors in my article, but I would appreciate the three listed above being corrected, since they materially affect the meaning of the article.

Owen Gager