Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.
Odds and Ends
Odds and Ends
The inter-university debating competition was held at Victoria during the August holidays with teams from Auckland. Canterbury and Otago competing against us for the misshapen wooden shield affectionately known as the Joynt Scroll. The absence of student bodies from campus diminished the audience somewhat in quantity, although the quality of the Auckalnd contingent's interjections - "Get yer pants down yer fairy" - were never in doubt.
The first round was judged by a well-known teacher, Jack Shallcrass who was deeply impressed by the versatile Auckland team, given to tequila drinking and tap-dancing on the chairman (who thoroughly deserved it).
When the tequila had worn off, the A Auckland team decided that these tactics would not necessarily win them the competition; their second debate, against Otago, was conducted with unnecessary decorum. Highlight of this round was the debate between Canterbury and Victoria on the subject "That N.Z. should be a rest centre for U.S. troops". Victoria won this debate by outlining a brilliant plan to turn N.Z. into a giant whorehouse and cesspool designed to effect a cultural if not military conquest of the U.S. army. Canterbury was secretly so pleased with this idea that their morale was sapped although their third speaker pointed out that any plan of concerted action by N.Z. women would be sure to fail given their tendency to 'bake it rather than make it".
The final saw the long anticipated confrontation between Victoria and Auckland, debating that "That the first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible". Victoria prepared by reading Hegel, Plato (The Laws not The Republic), Rousseau and Oscar Wilde; Auckalnd's method, Victoria looking haggard and unwashed swept to victory. Best speaker of the evening was the darling of the V.U.W. debating society, Virginia Goldblatt, followed by well-known intellectual Crawford Falconer, with the still youthful David Linney coming home third.
The adjudicator was heard to mutter as he went out the door that this was the best Joynt Scroll debate he had evern seen with the exception of a few. We welcome the shield back to Victoria, its natural home from which it was ruthlessly torn by Canterbury a number of years ago.
On the Beat
While walking up Wadestown Road on my way to work on Tuesday, a police car cruised past me, did a U turn and stopped.
As I walked past, the cop wound down the window and asked me to come over. He then asked my my name and address. I was very surprised -I had done nothing wrong and wasn't even loitering.
I asked if I had to answer the questions and the cop said no. But he added that if I didn't they might think I had something to hide. I asked them why they wanted to know. One of them answered that if a robbery was to take place in the next hour or so they'd be able to ask me if I had seen anything suspicious, and that they liked to know what was happening in their area.
I told them that I thought it was in their line of duty to find information after a robbery, but it definitely wasn't in their line of duty to keep tabs on everyone before they have breached the law.
The situation was ominous indeed. The policeman then made explicit what he had already implied. He said, as if trying to talk common sense with me, that I had long hair and looked scruffy and that for all they knew I could be unemployed, without money, and about to commit a robbery. He said they interviewed certain types of people because they knew they were more likely to commit crimes than others, and as though he was being completely frank about his prejudices, he mentioned Maoris and Islanders.
I was perturbed in the utmost by this admission, and battered his head with various "But you can't'" and "what happened to impartiality", and "You have no right to impose your prejudices", and "the social consequences" and "this type of thing causes"..etc etc.
"All we want to know is your name and address and where you're going", said the policeman, and I said I refused to answer on principle. As I was leaving, one said that if I ever had any trouble, then not to come to the police.
This confrontation was a case of pure harrassment by the police. I had done nothing wrong at all and was only questioned because the policemen had prejudices which they acted upon; and these prejudices are large because I considered mayself to be tidy and business like, not in the least suspicious, striding off to my job like I was.
We are not quite a police state yet and this sort of behaviour needs to be publicised. If the police admit that they are "keeping tabs" on any and every person who they think could possibly commit a crime at some time, then perhaps the police state isn't far away.
Just in case anyone missed the results of the Executive elections, you might be interested to know that the following people are your chosen leaders for next year.
- President: Lindy Cassidy
- Man Vice-president: Neil Gray
- Woman Vice-president: Catherine Patterson
- Secretary: Kevin Swann
- Treasurer: Stephen Underwood
- Cultural Affairs: Gerard Sharrock
- Publications: Gerard Couper
- Accomodation: Peter Gilkinson
- SRC Coordinator: Mark Sainsbury
- Sports: Peter Thrush
The election was noted for the all-time low turnout of 1433 voters.