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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 9. 9 May 1972

Labour Don't Want us at all

Labour Don't Want us at all

Plunging on with "Salients" writer who seems intent on proving that the dream is not, in fact, over, we are told that "If you support their (ie young politicians) candidacy they will push your ideas". If this was not straight bullshit, it would almost seem as though the writer has received a tip from the inside—otherwise how could he know something the rest of us don't? To test the hypothesis try Dave Shand on the idea that if students are ever to be a real force for social change they must first be united, hence the setting up of University Clubs admitting only students who are graduates should be prevented because such clubs are elitist and divisive. Next point "Those who say there's no difference between National and Labour either, haven't looked closely or just can't make up their mind." Apparently the main difference is that Labour is more desperate for voters and vote — catching policies." Therefore "we are told, they want us" Without wanting to increase the degree of alienation present among students on campus, nevertheless must be said,"sorry, the Labour Party doesn't really want you at all." In fact, your support is a liability and its not worth chasing because your actual votes count for fuck all anyway. What the Labour Party wants is that wavering middle class voter who will be chased up the hill of state aid to private schools and down the dale of deliberately ambiguous attitudes policy towards the war in Indo-China. It all adds up to the fact that a voter who sees no difference between Labour and National is politically astute. And it is interesting to note that even "Salient's" writer who is presumably advising radicals, does not attempt to make out a case for a difference between Labour and National on the grounds of policy or principle. Instead he resorts to a pragmatism whose form at least would do Norm Kirk proud, while its content can again be related to Labour Party pragmatism in that it entails a program that simply will not work.