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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 25. 25th September 1974



Ken 'Landslide' Comber-Holyoake, put his 27 vote majority on the line when he decided to speak to the thirty students who turned up for his meeting last week. He lost it

It is amazing that a man like this can get into Parliament and is an indictment of the people of Wellington who elected him. He recites all the good old National Party prejudices, taught him by his father-in-law, Keith Holyoake. "The salary and wage earner must be prepared to do something to stop inflation" he said but when questioned on how the breweries and oil companies are doing their bit he couldn't answer. When told of Sir Clifford Plimmer's recent increase in salary from $22,000 to $50,000 at the same time as making statements similar to Comber's on salary and wage earners he looked sheepish and quickly changed the subject. Competition and free-enterprise were two more areas on which he attempted to speak. He claimed the government was not allowing free enterprise and made smears on Matai Industries and regional development.

Photo of Ken Comber-Holyoake

"Politics in sport" was one of the old choruses that Comber pulled out. He said he supported the Springboks tour and resented government interference in "independent sporting bodies", whatever they are. One of the funniest moments of the meeting was when he said he was spokesman on recreation and sport. It would seem that the National Party recognises the need for some form of government interference in sport after all.

Comber's true colours were revealed when he agreed with his leader's racist remarks on sending Maori and Polynesian offenders back to the country.

Comber has very strange ideas about democracy. A member of the audience outlined the situation whereby students have no real power on university council and hence the demolition of Hunter, prefabs on the Hunter lawn and Von Zedlitz can be bulldozed through without student opinion being heeded. His comment on this was "that's democracy". He resents other parties cornering the environmental cause — "the National Party has vital interest in the environment" he said. Funny coming from a man who thinks the concrete canyon, we call the Terrace, is an achievement.

The only value of Comber's speech was in once more showing up the farce of our parliamentary system. It would be a mistake to think that he is merely one of its worst products — there are many more like him in the Tory party, and for that matter quite a number in that conservative party called Labour.