Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972
Ah hah. But what was it really all about, Keith Jackson aside for the moment. The truth of the matter is about damn all. The party conference is an embarrasing horny excrescence on the arse of the Parliamentary Labour Party. This is because the conference represents nothing but itself, not the Labour Party and certainly not the electorate at large. In the first place it's gerrymandered all to hell because it's one of the easiest things in the world to become a delegate if you know someone who knows someone. For some years a delegate.
For instance the aforementioned Hirshfield represented the Seamen's Union, when in point of fact, like a certain character in HMS Pinafore he had 'stuck close to his books and never gone to sea', and fat good that did him. So there are some very odd representatives of this or that union at the conference. This year Mike shared representation of the Ice Cream Workers Union with Sir Francis (Wog Flogger) Kitts. Strange bedfellows. There is also another reason which relates to the consensus politics practiced by all New Zealand political parties, and I want to come back to that in a moment. In the meantime suffice it to say that all those young hopefulls who go along to the conference to influence party policy would be better advised to try that from a seat in parliament. How they go about that is another matter but it will involve them in a number of interesting party games like moveing the Substantive Motion tor the Umpteenth Time, Follow My Leader, Stabbing the Friends, and cringing. If they can last that course they deserve to get into parliament. So let us have done with the Labour Party Conference. Into a burlap sack it goes and into the canal. Heave. Splash. Right, now we can talk about politics.