the pork-bolter
No 60, April 2004

Tormented by Tetra

LIFE has become a nightmare for dozens of Worthing families, thanks to a sinister new police communications mast put up at Worthing Football Club’s ground in Woodside Road. The Tetra (Terrestial Trunked Radio) system uses low frequency radiation, of the kind developed during the Cold War as a crowd-control type weapon! Headaches, sleep deprivation and various illnesses have affected people living in the area ever since the Tetra mast started transmitting at the end of February. Said one resident, Andy Davidson: "I have not slept since the Worthing mast was switched on. I can sleep for 2 hours but wake up as if it is the start of the day. I never get any value sleep from the REM phase. I am so very, very tired." But despite a series of high-profile meetings, protests and media reports, there is no sign that anything is actually going to be done to halt this microwave menace.

Worthing is not an isolated instance. A wave of grassroots protest at the controversial Tetra system has been sweeping across the South of England over the last few months. Local groups have been springing up all over the place, with pressure mounting on councils to deny the masts planning permission. In some instances, O2 Airwave has been found to have put up masts without permission, or by exploiting legal loopholes, in its rush to pick up the £3 billion it’s getting from the government contract. In Rogate, West Sussex, residents staged a vigil to stop a Tetra mast being turned on.

And here in Worthing residents have demonstrated outside the Town Hall and picketed the town centre shop run by 02 - formerly BT Cellnet - calling on the public to boycott its products. Said a campaigner: "There is real concern and anger, particularly among the people unfortunate enough to live right next to the Tetra mast, which is in the middle of a high-density residential area. "They know the mast has been switched on and is beaming something into their homes, because their TV reception went the day the mast was turned on and things like baby monitors aren’t working any more. And people are wondering what those signals are doing to their bodies. At a meeting on March 4 several residents revealed they had been having identical health problems - sleep disturbances, headaches, itchiness and children suffering nosebleeds." Researchers from the Protect Sussex From Tetra campaign have pointed out the Tetra signal operates using a signal component at 17.6Hz, very close to ‘beta’ brainwaves at around 16Hz. The beta waves are those used by the brain during its waking phase, thus probably explaining the sleep disturbance.

Needless to say, O2 Airwave is taking the usual responsible corporate line of denying anything is wrong with its system at all. It claims people are imagining their illnesses and tells people complaining of TV interference that they should buy more up-to-date sets - even though some of those affected have brand-new equipment. Meanwhile, official bodies like OFCOM and local police authorities are also unsympathetic - but then that’s hardly surprising when it was the government that engineered the whole deal, cashing in by selling the current police frequencies to the mobile phone industry. Once again, big profits for big players come before little people and their insignificant little lives.

* Web links:

www.worthingnotetra.org.uk

www.protectsussexfromtetra.org.uk

www.no2tetra.org

www.mastsanity.org.uk

www.powerwatch.co.uk


Small voices of despair

"Another sleepless night - waking every two to three hours, and problems with headaches on waking." JM, Worthing.

"My girlfriend and I attended the meeting on Thursday 4/3/04 and were shocked at the health implications of the mast. We were unaware that it had been switched on and now I know why I'm getting bad headaches." MT, Worthing.

"The government are always going on about children and the future. If they are going to ruin the world now with these masts, what kind of future is that going to be for children, children don't want cancer, death and illness, they want a better world than some adults have created for us!" AP, Shoreham.


Titnore meeting at last!

PUT OUT the flags! Sound the trumpets! Party in the streets from dusk to dawn! Worthing Borough Council has finally arranged a public meeting where people can express their feelings on the planned West Durrington development at Titnore Lane! It's on Monday April 19, so make a date in your diary and be there! The venue is the Pavilion Theatre on Worthing pier. Not exactly handy for the good people of Durrington, is it? Less so when the starting time is 6pm - hardly enough time to get home from work for most of us. Of course, events at the Pavilion usually start at 8pm, rather than 6pm, because the council is selling tickets and wants as many people as possible to attend. In this instance, however... All the more reason to be there and in good voice, we reckon

UPDATE APRIL 11: Time now changed to 7.30pm by council!


A poisonous scam

SOUTHERN Water are wriggling on the hook on the water fluoridation issue. Porkbolter readers who wrote in to complain about the plans for mass poisoning of the public got back a standard letter bleating that it is not down to them and they will ‘only put fluoride in the water if the health authority direct them to’. In fact that was the whole point of the recent government action. The water companies wanted protection from being sued if they put the fluoride in. This way both side can point at the other and pass the ‘fault’ card. The fluoride used in the water is a registered poison - there is a ban on dumping it at sea. But under this latest government/big business scam the polluting industry actually gets paid by the taxpayers for dumping it - in our drinking water! Campaigners are urging people to write to their local health authority demanding protection from this poison. But don't raise your hopes. After all, since when has any form of "authority" really been there to protect the likes of us from anything?

Modified democracy

AFTER all that consultation that showed people do not want them, and all that research that failed to show they are safe, the Government is pushing ahead with imposing GM crops on the UK, as revealed in an announcement by Neo-Labour environment secretary Margaret Beckett. Reported The Independent (March 10): "Her decision was denounced by environmental and consumer groups who have long contended that GM crops may damage the environment and are not wanted by the public. But it was welcomed by the biotech industry." Say no more.

Sounds reassuring

EVER wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and find yourself screaming out loud: "But what does the Government have to say about all this?" The Ministry of Truth recognises that an official spokesperson may be hard to find at 3am in the comfort of your own home (unless you're unfortunate enough to be married to one), so it has produced a cut-out-and-keep government statement to place at your bedside in case of sudden panic. This declares: "The Government stresses there is no concrete evidence to suggest the public are in any danger whatsoever. Irresponsible scaremongering should always be treated with a large dose of salt and the government is committted to ongoing efforts in co-operation with the industry to calm public fears and minimise any adverse affects on the economy." The statement has been fully approved for use regarding GM crops, Tetra masts, MMR, fluoride, anti-depressants, fast food, nuclear power and asbestos.

Plea for help with animal magic

WE seem to have ruffled some feathers, or fur, at Worthing Animal Clinic (a local charity on PDSA lines, providing subsidised vet care for the poor of the local parishes). Back in September 1999 a disaffected former trustee and fund-raiser, who shall remain anonymous, was bold enough to bark in these columns: "Seventy years of hard work to help animals in Worthing could be brought to a sad end by a pathetic bunch of politicians. The committee is packed full of party hacks from the Liberal Democrats who are just not organising enough fund-raising activities to keep the clinic alive and kicking. They haven’t got a clue. That place is going to collapse before the end of the year!"

One of the current best of breed Trustees saw this and, well, it was a red rag to a pitbull. He evidently considers himself a decent enough chap just doing his best but feels they could use some more help. He growled: "It’s now over four years since that item appeared but we haven’t collapsed. In fact we’re very much alive and kicking (as, hopefully, are most of their patients, Ed) and starting to get the Clinic noticed and bring some money in. "Last year, for instance, we held six collections, a sponsored dog walk, and four stalls at local events; we set up a website and a regular slot on the air at Splash FM, and got our name into a fair array of local and national charity directories and websites; we also put our name about as a deserving charity with local solicitors whose clients might have money to leave to organisations like us. "Whether it’s anything to do with what we’ve been doing who knows, but in the past two years we’ve pulled in legacies of £200,000. The current Trustees are working hard and making a difference, supported by our small staff at the Clinic and too few volunteers. "As there are now only five of us doing all this, as well as all the usual ongoing stuff that charities have to do, if anyone out there would like to HELP we’d be delighted to hear from them!"

Budding volunteers can contact the Clinic on 01903 202248. Find out what they’re up to by visiting www.worthinganimal.co.uk


Talk of the Town Hall

WHILE secrecy still surrounds the strange 'Sherylgate’ controversy gripping Worthing Town Hall, we can reveal that the stressed-out chief executive is still making an effort. A delighted young reader contacted us to say he had received an official Worthing Borough Council 18th birthday card - from Sheryl Grady herself! The poor thing had obviously dragged herself in from her long-term sickbed to mail out the congratulations, which feature a cartoon of a disorientated female with frizzy blond hair that bears an uncanny resemblance to Sheryl herself! What a nice personal touch! The wording inside the card fully conjures up all the excitement and expectation involved in reaching the magic age of adulthood. "Congratulations on your 18th birthday!" it declares. "It is now up to you to help decide which politicians will govern the country." Hmmm.. any chance of providing a "none" option?

Meanwhile, another reader has sent us a copy of a Worthing Herald article he has carefully kept since September 21 2000, reporting on the appointment of the new chief executive. It explained how the then Tory council had insisted on only advertising the post internally, despite Lib Dem opposition. And only one application had been received. The Herald only used one photo to accompany the article as well - of acting chief executive Sheryl Grady - even though she had not yet been named. What a remarkable guess! Council leader at the time, Tim Dice, was quoted as saying the process had been devised in order to "give internal applicants a proper chance". The Porkbolter would love to know what the charming Mr Dice thinks of the controversial appointment now, as he looks back on the whole sorry affair...


The hole truth is out there

WORTHING'S underground community is preparing for a battle on two fronts, reports Teddy Beest, our Tunnel Correspondent. Following his discovery of the people living in the wartime tunnel complex around Field Place, Durrington, Teddy had been hoping to walk to France through the aborted tube-metro link, but the adventure was cancelled due to a double-crisis closer to home. The tunnel-folk are concerned at leaked government plans to convert the bowling greens at Field Place into GM crop sites. And they are also preparing for the expected arrival in Durrington of 200,000 "swampies" for the Great Battle of Titnore. Plans are afoot to re-open the tunnel link to Castle Goring, Winston Churchill's secret summer retreat in the war, and work is underway to move closer to the surface many thousands of mattresses, ingeniously rolled in wax paper and stored by the Ministry of War in 1940.

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

RESIDENTS on the Haslar estate in Lancing are fighting to protect a piece of wetland from the bulldozers. Developers have threatened to move onto the strategic gap area many times over the last 50 years and on Friday March 5, with no notice, a huge low loader with a massive excavator turned up and went onto the fields. Said a resident: "They began to systematically trash the trees and flatten the land. We know that we have a family of foxes that live in this particular part of the land and a huge number of birds such as herons, sparrows, robins etc and other wildlife that flourish in this area and they are systematically destroying this." Outraged residents managed to stop the digger for a couple of hours on the Monday and are now trying to find out exactly what is going on. Said one of them: "For now they seem to have stopped work, the contractors said it was just scrub clearance but we know from our records this is exactly what happened last time an application went in. It would seem history is repeating itself." To contact the campaign send email
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THOUSANDS of wild deer across the country face being slaughtered by the Government, because they are getting in the way of cars! The West Sussex Gazette revealed on March 4 that this county is being particularly targeted because we have a healthy population of the beautiful creatures. The government is saying there are too many deer in the UK, leading to road accidents and "general nuisance". Adds the report: "According to government figures, more than 15 deaths a year are caused by cars hitting deer." However, The Porkbolter has discovered that other Government figures (from the Home Office) show that last year across Britain no fewer than 40 people died in traffic accidents involving police vehicles - nearly three times as many as being blamed on the poor deer. So when does the copper-culling season start, chaps? * The Argus reported on February 20 how they found a police car parked outside Worthing Magistrates Court with an out of date road tax disc. The police response? It was just as "administrative error" and they were tax exempt anyway. Talk about "one law for them"!
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THE first ever Porkbolter video has been made and will be shown at Worthing eco-action's next meeting, upstairs at The Downview, opp West Worthing station, at 7.45pm on Tuesday April 6. The video features scenes of anti-war and Titnore protests - and a rather cool soundtrack. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month and the next one after that is on Tuesday May 4. These are public meetings, with an info stall, and all are welcome.
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MEANWHILE, anyone watched a new video release recently? Anyone noticed how the bit at the start about not buying blackmarket copies has changed from warning you that you won't get your money back from a dodgy stallholder, to stating in solemn tones that "video piracy funds terrorism"? Anyone have any idea what the pork they're on about?

Warning: Pirates ahoy!

IT has come to our attention that illegal, counterfeit copies of The Porkbolter are being circulated in town by ruthless terrorist pirates. We urge our readers never to accept a Porkbolter from any individual or establishment not fully accredited with the Porkbolter corporation and able to produce the appropriate retina-scan, DNA sample, bank references and security microchip implant. The replicas, also circulating as an email virus, are very difficult to tell apart from the real thing - except that in the phoney porkbolters you will occasionally find there is a crucial word missing from the end of a

Time to stand up!

THE Porkbolter is a totally independent local newsletter, named after a real historic term for Worthing people. Our task is the humble one of encouraging Worthing people to stand up for themselves against the vast array of rip-off merchants and control freaks who seem to think they have some god-given right to trample all over us. To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of at least £3 payable to The Porkbolter. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. Send e-mail to porkbolter@eco-action.org. e-mail subscriptions are also available.


Save Titnore woods! Stop the development!

Tell the council what you think! 7.30pm, Monday April 19, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing pier.

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no poisons in our tapwater thank you very much.


and finally ...
Reclaim Your Town, Reclaim Your Life!

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