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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

From the Gutter

From the Gutter

Dear Sir,

In Don Franks' report of the Young Socialists Educational Conference in the last issue of Salient, he gave a totally false account of my talk on the situation in Vietnam. I have outlined my basic position in an article which the editors tell me will printed elsewhere in this issue of Salient, but there is one point in particular I need to emphasise.

Franks implies that my position is that "the principal conflict is between the Vietnamese proletariat and their 'Stalinist misleaders'". This is a slander against the Trotskyist movement that has been spread by various people in the antiwar movement, such as the Chairman of the Wellington Committee on Vietnam, Mike Law.

When I spoke to Don Franks afterwards, he admitted that the Socialist Action League did not actually characterise the Vietnamese Leadership as "Stalinist betrayers", but that did not really matter because some individual in Australia called Bill Logan did so, and this was the "true Trotskyite" position anyway.

When people like Franks are reduced to such distortions of the views of their opponents, surely it is a sign of the weakness of their own position.

One also wonders how much longer students are going to put up with the gutter journalism and the downright dishonesty for which Don Franks and the Salient editors are acquiring such a reputation.


George Fyson.