14 October 1969
There’s a letter from Mike Smith and Pete Cresswell in the current issue of Guild Gazette taking to task the editor for the feebleness of his position on student participation:
Dear Comrade Editor,
As left-wing layabouts we should be used to the ludicrous insults of ranting moderates, but when our own student newspaper is reduced to arguing that we are dangerous because the editor thinks we do not wash, we feel bound to protest.
We should be complimented by the fact that he cannot find any other criticisms of us. However, when you call for participation, you seem to ignore that over the past year it has been when people decided to participate that the system has closest to collapse.
When nearly 1000 people participated in a mass meeting of Guild and decided to take positive action over the University’s role as a slum landlord, then the Executive’s reaction was to reverse all the meeting’s decisions.
This incident quite clearly showed the relationship between reform in our own university and the action you advocate we should take outside.
The present structure is incapable of representing the feelings of the great mass of students. You suggest that students go along to their A society reps and that they make speeches in Guild Council; yet again and again when this has been done Council and the Executive have ignored these pleas and just done what they like.
Your plea for participation, seen in the light of your refusal to advocate any meaningful change in Guild structure, is really no more than a request for students to take a polite yet subservient interest.
Yours fraternally, Mike Smith and Pete Cresswell
Faculty of Arts