the pork-bolter
No 67, April 2005

Give us back our freedom!

IMAGINE a country where ordinary citizens could be be detained for as long as the authorities fancied without the right to a trial or even to hear the evidence against them.

Imagine a country where people were forced to buy an ID card containing personal information on everything from their mortgage to their medical records, just to allow them to live their own lives in their own home town.

Imagine a world which was being physically destroyed by the greed of a small ruling clique of very rich people, whose stranglehold on the reins of power and the media was so tight that they felt free to carry on regardless.

Yes, that’s right. It’s this country, this world. And while we’ve been trying to draw attention to all this non-stop for the last seven and a half years, things are now getting seriously scary. The new 'control orders' brought in by New Labour are so extreme that even Prince of Darkness Michael Howard and his Tory party felt obliged to oppose them, along with all sort of establishment figures whom the likes of us don’t usually count as allies (Independent, March 2).

Former High Court judge Lord Thomas said: "Security is no justification for the breach of the fundamental principles which underpin our democratic system. No deprivation of liberty by ministerial say so, no midnight secret knock on the door, no gulags whether in Siberia or in Guantanamo."

Former Tory attorney general Lord Mayhew warned: "Provisions that commit such wide incursions into liberty as these do need to be examined by other minds as well [as the police and security services]." And Labour peer Baroness Kennedy condemned the way the government spin doctors dressed up the full horror of the proposals with talk of "concessions", helpfully played up by Her Majesty’s Press. She said: "The Home Office practice now is to bring forward new legislation which is absolutely abhorrent and totally disgraceful in its abuse of civil liberties and then, when there is uproar, replace it with something only slightly less abhorrent and tell us a major concession has been made."

Meanwhile, as all the propaganda in the media focused on spurious claims of hundreds of Al Qa’ida operatives roaming the streets of Britain, a hint of the true target of these police state laws came out. The Scotsman reported on March 5 that when Tony Blair was asked whether the Government would use the new house arrest powers against G8 protesters in Scotland in July, Mr Blair said: "I couldn’t rule it out."

With ID cards also being imposed on us and the government proposing yet more "anti-terrorist" laws after the general election, the idea of traditional English freedom is looking pretty extinct. But the good news is that in spite of all this there are still people out there, even here in Worthing, who are prepared to stick their heads above the parapet and stand up against the tycoons and the tyrants. Here’s some stuff we know about, that’s coming up:

* Saturday April 30. "Critical Mass" cycle ride against Climate Change and the G8. Meet Steyne Gardens, Worthing, at 2pm.

* Tuesday May 3. "Standing Up for Liberty". Special meeting on the assault on civil liberties and what we can do to fight back. Including contribution from new Worthing branch of NO2ID, the anti-ID card campaign. 7.45pm, upstairs at The Downview, Tarring Road, Worthing (opposite West Worthing station).

* Thursday May 5. "Don’t Vote - Remember What Happened Last Time!" Campaign to boycott the elections in protest at the way democracy has become a farce and politicians do what they like once in power, regardless of public opinion. Contact via www.worthinganarchists.cjb.net

* July 6-8. G8 meeting in Scotland. War criminal George W Bush, his obedient poodle Tony Blair and the leaders of the other richest countries in the world in the G8 are meeting behind massively high security at Gleneagles, Scotland, and thousands of angry people are going to be gathering outside to let them know what they think of them... Contact Worthing’s Shut The G8 via www.freewebs.com/shuttheg8.


SINCE the events of September 11 2001 in New York, there has been a school of thought suggesting that George W Bush’s adminstration may have allowed the attack to happen in order to provide the justification for draconian restrictions on civil liberties at home and a series of aggressive wars abroad. In the light of that, it was a little worrying to read this in the Independent on Sunday on March 6: "Government sources are indicating that it would take just one terrorist incident for the present uproar about house arrest, control orders and civil liberties to evaporate."

You have been warned...


‘I am a police officer and I don’t want this!’

"I AM a Police Officer and I can tell you straight I don’t want a police state as I have to live in it as well".

That was the emailed message sent to The Porkbolter on March 4. It warned of some "very alarming" changes in the police being introduced by New Labour, involving police wardens and PCSOs, comparing the current situation with that in Nazi Germany, where the normal police, who refused to submit to direct Nazi Party control, found themselves in competition with new Special Police. "These Auxiliaries in the end out numbered the Real Police and took over as the new Political Army for that Party," warns our correspondent.

He adds: "The Police Service as we know it is being slowly privatized through the back door and we have to ask ourself who is going to benefit from this. Will it be the individual person who lives in the UK? Not at all, it will be a great deal worse for them. So will it be the country as a whole? Again no, it won’t. So looking at it from a logical perspective, the only group of people to gain from this enterprise is of course the Politician.

"Now by privatizing the Police the politician you might think won’t have any control over it. Well, there is a new breed of thinking in the Labour Party what I call ‘Nationalized Privatization’. This new way of control has already been going strong for some years and no one has even noticed it. The politicians privatize a company, say the Police, they then have as managing directors their own party’s politicians. They run it, they control it, and they tell it who to investigate - and for sure no politician will be standing in Court asking questions for perverting the course of Justice. If the Company is ridiculed in any way by the Public then the Party can distance itself from it, explaining that it’s a private company and they have no connection with it.

"I myself am a Police Officer and I can honestly say that the labour Party has caused the Problem with the Police. Since they have come to power they have increased every Police Officer’s paper work by ridiculous amounts. This has been deliberate and calculated in its execution, with their propaganda machine on full throttle informing the masses that they are indeed cutting our paper work. Their whole aim was quite literally to fool the public into not caring if new Labour Party Police came into being. They caused the problem, got the reaction, and then gave the masses the answer. The future for the Labour Police is still in the making and I can see a Police Service sponsored by the Labour Party and policed for the good of The Labour Party."

* Three days after we received this email, The Guardian reported (March 7) that the Government was planning to use private security firms like Securicor and Group 4 to police the new draconian house arrest control orders "in an attempt to save money".


Ballgate - chief was ‘mistakenly overpaid’

WORTHING Borough Council never even considered prosecuting former chief executive Michael Ball over the election expenses scandal, it has been forced to reveal.

One of our readers wrote to the council under the Freedom of Information Act to try and get to the bottom of the issue. After trying to avoid answering by wrongly claiming he had to provide his full home address (we let him use our PO Box), the council’s corporate lawyer Julie Watson eventually replied: "As soon as it transpired that Michael Ball had been mistakenly overpaid Election expenses, it was brought to his attention and he immediately repaid the sum involved. Accordingly there was never any consideration given to a prosecution, as this was not appropriate, and it was not referred to any Committee for a decision."

"Mistakenly overpaid"? How strange! The evidence at the "Sherylgate" tribunal clearly stated that Mr Ball and a colleague had "claimed election expenses for which they were not entitled" and that the police had been consulted. Since when did anyone call the police over a simple administrative bungle?

More questions will shortly be winging their way to the Town Hall...


Roof protest was legal

A GLORIOUS legal victory has seen a Worthing anti-war protester cleared by a court after joining a rooftop protest at Brighton arms manufacturer EDO/MMB. The prosecution had alleged three people had attempted to disrupt ‘lawful business’ by draping a banner from the roof and intimidated workers by threatening to drop the banner on them. Weekly noise demos are held on Thursdays from 4-6pm at EDO/MBM, Home Farm Rd, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, near Moulsecoomb station.

‘Lies’ at Dome cinema

ALLEGATIONS of "a culture of bullying, lies, deceit and inefficiency" at the Worthing Dome cinema were made at the recent employment tribunal. (Worthing Herald, February 10) Former Dome staff members will be dishing the dirt on all the latest news on the story, and how it ties in with other issues in Worthing, on Tuesday April 5, upstairs at The Downview, Tarring Road, Worthing (opposite West Worthing station), from 7.45pm.

Beach House battle

WORTHING Borough Council’s disgraceful decision to allow bowls players to park all over the grass at Beach House Gardens this summer (see last issue) is being legally challenged by Worthing Society. One of its members told us: "It is believed that this action is ultra vires as it offends the Worthing Local Plan and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted) Order 1995 relating to Temporary Uses. This should not be allowed to proceed as it is to the detriment of the town’s and visitors’ families in the school holidays, being a popular and safe area for recreation in proximity to Peter Pan, the paddling pool and the sea. Preserve our amenities at all costs!"

Musings of a media tart

TONY MAYES, Worthing Advertiser editor, does not seem to have enjoyed our small piece on him in the last issue of The Porkbolter. He reckons we have libelled him by refering to his opinions on gypsies when he in fact said "travellers". And there were we, stupidly thinking "travellers" was just a euphemism for gypsies used by people who don’t want to get in trouble with the race relations officials...

Mr Mayes also picked up on a stray mention of "media tarts" in our last issue (which was certainly not a reference to him or anyone else on the jet-setting Worthing Advertiser!) and decided to run with it in a big way, declaring "here’s one media tart who..." (blah blah blah etc etc). So now it’s official. Tony Mayes is a Media Tart and that’s not libel coz he wrote it himself! Just to celebrate this announcement fully, we have decided to launch a new regular cartoon strip, showcasing Mr Media Tart’s wise words to the Worthing public, which you can see if you get hold of a printed version.


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

STRANGE goings-on in relation to the Lancing Parish Council by-election on Thursday March 17. We received an email with attached images of two leaflets apparently going out to Churchill ward residents. One was for "your independent candidates" Peter Fraser and Fred Lewis and the other declared "Vote Conservative,Vote FRASER Peter, LEWIS Fred." Eh? Was this some kind of early April Fool’s Day spoof? Any info gratefully received!
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WARNING! Extreme fundamentalist Christian propaganda is being pushed through letterboxes in Worthing, claiming that Darwin and everybody since has got it all wrong. It urgers readers: "Don’t swallow evolution - the big lie." And the source of this eccentric viewpoint? The Worthing Guardian’s "Christian Comment" (February 25). And no, they don’t ever run a Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or Atheist Comment.
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HOW convenient for Worthing Borough Council that it delayed so long on Asda/WalMart’s plans for Worthing College in Durrington that it has now gone straight to the government and a public enquiry. No tricky political decision to be made before the local elections in May...
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BRIGHTON has a new crusading news-sheet. It’s called Rough Music after the traditional noisy way Sussex people would deal with anti-social members of the community, before the police force was invented to take the law out of our own hands. Write to it c/o The Cowley Club at 12 London Road, Brighton or email this address
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WHY WOULD anyone think a journalist’s work was all a clever ‘set-up’ job by intelligence agencies? Explore the spooky coincidences haunting freelance hack Andrew Mueller in a special Porkbolter report.
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"EVERYTHING is beautiful" is the title of a new Worthing poetry project that reckons "everyone has a duty to express themselves with absolute disregard for the standards that society or the media sets for us". You send in your poems, they are published unedited and a booklet is distributed free of charge. Contributions by April 30 to this address
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LIFE on disability benefit goes on as before for the woman with mental health issues featured in the last issue. No space for the full update, but we were left wondering: 1. Why somebody in urgent need of money should be sent a non-cashable Giro? 2. Why it should need the efforts of two outraged police officers to persuade the DSS to eventually stump out the right sort of payment...?
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"PEOPLE like you are joining Adur and Worthing Conservatives" declares a leaflet that dropped through Porky Pie’s front door the other day. We somehow porkin’ doubt it!
THE PORKBOLTER is an independent newsletter produced by a small group of Worthing volunteers possibly now enjoying their last few weeks of freedom before being placed under Permanent House Arrest for daring to cock a snoop at the Powers That Be. 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.

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

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