A RECENT report from two university psychologists showed that being a political activist makes you happier (The Guardian, March 2).
And that was certainly the case for everybody involved in the battle to save Titnore Woods when the impossible happened and on March 15 Worthing Borough Council rejected the developers' planning application for 875 homes at West Durrington.
The fact that the war is clearly not over yet should not detract from our celebration of a truly magnificent victory.
The determination of everyone involved, from the protest camp diehards to the many supporters across the borough, literally forced the council to listen to them.
The councillors, particularly planning chairman and serial expenses claimer John Livermore, were clearly frightened to death by the anger of the hundreds of people packing the Assembly Hall, by their total refusal to 'play the game' by the rules, by this eruption of raw, seething people power...
For us this is a sign of things to come. The people of this town, this country, this world, have put up for too long with being treated like rubbish by the powers-that-be.
We are ripped off by bankers and businessmen, lied to by politicians, used as cannon fodder in wars to make the rich even richer, forced to watch while they destroy our living planet in their endless selfish greed.
And if we dare to complain about it, we are regarded as nothing more than criminals and risk being beaten up by police thugs with the licence to kill.
But their empire is beginning to crumble. Their financial scams are coming unstuck, their oil supplies are peaking, their fibs aren't fooling anyone any more.
And now new heroes are stepping forward - just normal run-of-the-mill people like all of us, but people who can tell right from wrong and are prepared to stand up and give it to them straight.
These heroes are not going to swallow the spin and the hype - they think for themselves and trust only what they have seen with their own eyess.
They give the authorities the respect they deserve - none at all!
And, in the months and years ahead, there are going to be more of them surging forward than ever before!
(For illustration see printed copy or pdf)
BONNET. Bee resides in here.
CHEEK. Of the bare-faced variety.
X-RAY SPECS. To see through politicians' lies.
EAR. Kept firmly to the ground at all times.
MOUTH. Rarely shut. Occasionally foul.
COLLAR. Gets hot under here.
SHOULDER. Maintained in cold condition for dealing with bandwagon-jumping party hacks.
ELBOW. Plenty of grease.
RAINCOAT. Not a fair weather supporter.
THUMB. Handy for victory photocalls.
INDEX FINGER. Kept firmly on the pulse.
MIDDLE FINGER. To deliver appropriate message to powers-that-be.
LITTLE FINGER. More integrity here than in whole of Houses of Parliament.
POCKET. Hand always in here for good political cause.
VELVET GLOVE. May conceal tougher interior.
GUT. Source of most trusted feelings.
*****. Plenty of these, particularly if she's a woman.
KNEES. Unbendable in the face of authority.
BEST FOOT. Maintained in forward position.
BACK FOOT. Even when this is in operation, the activist never gives up.
It's never exactly been what you would call a progressive-minded paper, but its tone in recent weeks has been downright disturbing.
First of all there was the editorial comment on March 25 referring to the incident in which some robbers ('armed' with guns that couldn't fire) ended up fleeing from police into the Vale School in Findon Valley.
This minor incident, in which nobody was hurt, was tastelessly compared by the editorial writer to the infamous Dunblane massacre of 1996.
He (or she) added: "Without wishing to appear over-alarmist (ermm... hello?), the Herald says lessons must be learned from the ease with which the Vale school's security system was breached. And if extra resources and more vetting of people accessing the school at ALL times is necessary, then so be it - and all schools should follow suit."
This tirade sparked an excellent letter from Andrew Lawrenson of Ferring (April 8), condemning the Herald's "knee-jerk reaction". He wrote: "If these criminals had, in fact, been armed and intent on violence within the school premises, do you really believe that 'extra resources and more vetting' would have prevented them from doing so? What would you suggest these 'extra resources' should be? Armed guards, watch towers, receptionists trained in mortal combat? Or would you like to see every parent, delivery driver, or visitor CRB checked and body searched before they enter school premises? Do we really want to follow in the steps of the USA, where inner city schools in places like Washington DC have no windows, armed guards, re-inforced steel doors, automatic lock-down and isolation facilities...?"
But The Herald was not listening. In the very same edition (April 8) it ran an unbelievable editorial comment on "the regular invasion of Worthing Council land by travellers/gypsies".
The writer fumed: "Why is there such an unwarranted length of time in getting these trespassers removed without all the bureaucratic and legal expense involved. It seems that when it comes to claiming priority treatment on the question of 'human rights' (nice touch, the inverted commas - obviously there is no such thing as actual human rights in the Worthing Herald's mindset), the itinerants are always first in the queue."
The comment goes on to call for faster methods of removing travelling people (or should that be 'people'?).
> Most chilling of all, though, is the heading: "Speedier solution to gypsies needed". Solution to gypsies? What - as in the Final Solution favoured by Adolf Hitler?
It may be news to the Herald but Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, and protected from discrimination by the Race Relations Act (1976, amended 2000) and the Human Rights Act (1998). Could the Herald's editor end up in the dock on race relations charges?
TOURISTS will be flocking to Worthing and boosting the local economy thanks to an amazing new landmark to be installed by Worthing Borough Council, reports our fabrication correspondent Freddie Fib.
The town will soon boast its very own lunar-powered water feature, to be sited on unused wasteland south of Marine Parade.
The giant outdoor 'pool' will be fitted with the very latest in wave machine technology, which harnesses the natural powers of the environment to create a stunning and ever-changing aquatic ambiance, explained Luke Pineapple-Bung of consultants Sheister and Ripov, who have been working in partnership with Worthing Borough Council on the project.
In an astonishing feat of eco-engineering, the state-of-the-art scheme will even use zero-carbon lunar power to create an unusual receding and returning cycle along the edge of the water - the firm has dubbed its cutting-edge process Ebb and Flow TM.
Mr Pineapple-Bung said the first-class new tourist draw, which is to be marketed as "The Sea", could even rival Worthing's other big attractions, such as our fine assemblage of Tesco stores, the upper floor of the Guildbourne Centre and the mini-roundabout outside Blockbusters.
Borough tax payers will only have to pay £4 billion to Sheister and Ripov, who say the project could be completed any time now - as soon as the council's cheque has cleared.
* Point of information - they didn't.
Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no post-election optimism here.