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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 6. 1971

Revolutionary Debate

Revolutionary Debate

The lunchtime debate "That New Zealand is ripe for revolution" could have been good. The topic lent itself to a clearcut division of sides and forceful argument. Neil Wright offered a plausible if over-optimistic affirmation; Conrad Bollinger attempted an academic reply. The subject had good potential for cutting interchange between both sides.

Audience interference ruined the chance for any serious discussion. The usual egotists were there: Cruickshank with his weedy, penetrating voice; Arnold with his throaty roar; Women's Lib members with their high-pitched screams. Together they rained their usual stock of interjections on the hapless speakers over-used four-letter words, tired puns on the term "maiden speaker," mere earpiercing noise. Their disruption was sufficient to turn what should have been a serious topic into a shouting spectacle.

With unfortunate ease a mere dozen individuals were able to divert attention from the arguments of the platform speakers to their own ego-starved selves. They had no intention of presenting a coherent case. No floor speech came from any of the protesting interjectors. In all no worthwhile contribution from these people whatever. In the endless stream of heckling, only one vaguely clever interjection was forthcoming and that an old pun on the name "Wright."

It could have been a good debate, but the actions of a selfish few allowed it to degenerate to the tedium of yet another 'forum.'

hung-up debator