the pork-bolter
ISSUE 85, APRIL 2008

Profiteers plot to take over health services

THE MASSIVE protests that took place all over West Sussex in defence of our local health services could hardly have sent a clearer message to the authorities. We all regard the NHS as a precious birthright and will never stop battling to ensure it is handed down to generations to come.

But the powers-that-be will be laughing in our faces just a few miles over the Downs from Worthing this month, when they meet to discuss how to transfer health services across the world into the hands of greedy multinational businesses.

The conference called 'Public-Private Investment Partnerships in Health Systems Strengthening' (catchy title, that!) is being held from Wednesday April 9 to Friday April 11 at Wilton Park in Wiston, the Foreign Office's secretive rural venue for all manner of dodgy chin-wags involving government, military and business bosses.

The preview document, which we found on the Wilton Park website, declares it is being staged in co-operation with the Global Health Group, UCSF Global Health Sciences of San Francisco, and The Health Redesign Group Inc, with support from BUPA, Crown Agents, Eversheds, Ovations Health and The Rockefeller Foundation.

The agenda preview explains: "The conference will develop the concept of what we are calling public-private investment partnerships (PPIPs) that go beyond private investment in hospital buildings and maintenance, such as that characterised by Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs), or the contracting out of selected services to the private sector, which is common in many countries.

"PPIPs encompass private capital investment in hospitals, clinics and other facilities but take this a step further to include ongoing private management of clinical and support services."

Planned speakers include April Harding of The World Bank in Washington DC; Ken Anderson, former commercial director general at the UK Department of Health and now managing director of the UBS Investment Bank (say no more!); Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, an international director of KPMG International, and Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu, who is to speak on ‘China's Reform Agenda' (wonder if he'll mention Tibet?)

When you consider that in March the same venue hosted a conference on ‘counter-insurgency' (ie: putting down any resistance) with contributions from the brutal Colombian government, renowned for its use of death squads, the Wilton Park agenda is clear: hard-core global privatisation enforced at gunpoint.

By the way, funny how you never read about its activities in the ‘mainstream' local or national media, isn't it?


Holy timber! Why Worthing has really missed the boat

WORTHING has spurned a literally heaven-sent opportunity to save itself from the rising tides of climate change. That's the view of the local head of the controversial Church of the Immaculate Deception.

The charismatic one-eyed thong-wearing Rev Aubrey Mansell believes that the tonnes of wood that washed up on the town's beaches in January were sent by God himself to enable residents to build themselves an enormous ark and escape impending flood disaster.

He said: " I had a dream that the Lord would save this town from The Great Inundation and when I saw the piles of timber on the foreshore all those weeks ago, I couldn't believe my eye.

"I knew that this was His way of helping us. With no problem at all, we could together have built a mighty ark, big enough to hold every man, woman and child in Worthing - plus a few of the more edible family pets. But what did we do? We couldn't see the wood for the beach, we removed the plank from our own eye without spotting the biblical mote in the very nostril of Divine Salvation and now we are all doomed to the depths of hell!"

The Rev added that if readers wanted to apologise directly to God, cheques should be made payable to A Mansell.


Prison island ruled by robots

A PRISON camp island ruled by robots - that's the nightmare future awaiting each and every one of us, judging from the flood of alarming recent developments.

* Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), already in place on roads out of Worthing, is also being used at local rubbish tips.

* Metropolitan Police made 3,000 requests for passenger journey data from Oyster cards in 2006, it emerged. (Guardian, March 13)

* A computerised mind-reading technique has been developed. Enthused a scientist: "Imagine a general brain-reading device that could reconstruct a picture of a person's visual experience at any moment in time." (The Guardian, March 6). Yes, just imagine.

* Worthing taxi marshalls have headset-mounted video cameras, with footage made available to police (W Herald, February 14)

* A trial at the University of Washington involves total tracking of people's movements in the computer science building. "Two hundred RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) antennae have been fitted into the ceilings and individuals taking part in the trial wear RFID tags around their necks and on their possessions", reported The Guardian on March 13.

* Fingerprinting is being imposed on all domestic passengers using Heathrow's new Terminal 5. Reported The Daily Telegraph (March 8): "The controversial security measure is also set to be introduced at Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow's Terminal 1, and many airline industry insiders believe fingerprinting could become universal at all UK airports within a few years."

* In ten years' time, bosses may be implanting microchips into workers' brains to "monitor and control behaviour", says the Chartered Management Institute (The Guardian, March 14).

* 100,000 workers at the 2012 London Olympics site will be forced to undergo biometric screening, including palm-print reading and face recognition, to get to work. Biometric screens are also being considered for the 9 million spectators. (London Lite, March 5).

* British scientists are developing swarming, decision-making robots the size of sugar cubes that "will be able to assemble themselves into much larger machines". Rescue operations and other benign uses are being mentioned, as if military or police-state applications were a complete and absurd impossibility!

* The fascistic control freaks at the Association of Chief Police Officers want primary school children - from the age of five! - to be put on the DNA database "if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life" (The Observer, March 16).


Two years up Titnore trees!

IT'S party time again for Titnore Woods campaigners, with the popular treetop protest camp in West Durrington ready to notch up an amazing two years at the end of May! Supporters are being invited to turn up outside Worthing Town Hall at 2pm on Saturday May 24, equipped for a party atmosphere - party hats, balloons and music are all recommended! As well as celebrating the camp's second birthday, the Chapel Road event will serve as a reminder to the council that public opposition to the massive housing development and new mega-Tesco remains strong. By that time, the council may well be looking at the new planning application for the housing estate, which has been threatened for some time, and campaigners will be looking to up the pressure on our supposed democratic representatives, who have a nasty habit of siding with property developers rather than the public.

* Meanwhile, there was a timely reminder that the 900-odd homes planned for the West Durrington countryside need not even be built, with the Worthing Herald reporting (January 31) that there are still 900 empty private properties in the borough. But then, the Titnore development is not really about providing homes for local people, but about fat profits for the usual greedy businessmen.


Happy Second Birthday Titnore Tree Camp!

Party on the steps of the Town Hall in Chapel Road, Worthing

2pm on Saturday May 24


Readers fume at road stance

PASS the sick bag - the Worthing Herald embarked on another of its nauseating motor lobby jaunts on February 28, calling for a bypass across our beautiful South Downs near Cissbury Ring.

Like their close chums in the local Tory Party/business mafia, the hapless hacks at the Herald seem incapable of understanding that new roads destroy the environment. To them, countryside only exists as a sort of real-life screen saver in the car window, with the ‘Herald Comment' warbling on about "wonderful downland vistas opened up to drivers". And the wonderful vista from the downland is of a porkin' great motorway!

So it was particularly satisfying to discover the small item published in the March 6 edition of the Herald. Entitled "Readers vote no for bypass", it revealed that its online poll showed a 63% majority against a new road.

Stuff that up your exhaust pipe!


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

YOU can't get away from it. The wood on the beach really was an example of everything that's wrong with this town - and this country. There's the knee-jerk draconian response (they even sent spotter planes up to look for wood in people's back gardens!), the officially approved lies spread by the media ("the wood's no good now it's been in the water"), the farcical clear-up efforts (wrong type of chipper, workers standing around doing nothing for days, splinters everywhere etc) and of course the crowning glory that the whole gigantic cock-up has been paid for by our council tax! This affair must not be swept into the sea. We reckon there ought to be a public inquiry - no plank should be left unturned!
* * *

HOW come there is always plenty of room in Worthing for new shops and offices, but when it comes to something the public wants, like a new swimming pool, a piece of precious green space has to be sacrificed? With greedy Teville Gate developers Hanson Capital Management pricing the council out of leasing a pool there, the borough has narrowed the options down to two seafront areas. Residents are rightly furious at plans to concrete over Denton Gardens (contact the campaign at dentongardens@btinternet.com), but is the alternative of building west of the Aquarena really any more acceptable?
* * *

CYCLISTS are again reclaiming the streets of Worthing, with a new season of Critical Mass rides. They are now being held on the last Friday of each month, with the next on Friday April 25. Meet 5.45pm outside Assembly Hall, Stoke Abbott Road, Worthing, ready to roll off at 6pm. http://criticalmass.wikia.com/wiki/Worthing
* * *

THE POLITICS of Fear: Terrorism and State Control is the title of a talk being given at Worthing Alliance's meeting on Thursday April 24, from 8pm. The free event is being staged upstairs at The Rest in Bath Place, Worthing (off Montague Street). All are welcome.
* * *

ANIMAL rights supporters are gathering in Horsham on Saturday April 26 for a march and demo at the town's Novartis Primate Research Centre. Meet at 11am in Horsham Park. www.shac.net
* * *

REMEMBER the Climate Camp at Heathrow last year? The 2008 version is focusing on E.on's proposed new Kingsnorth coal fired power station near Rochester, Kent. Dates are Monday August 4 to Monday August 11 with a day of action on Saturday August 9. Info: www.climatecamp.org.uk. And if you want to get campaigning against climate change locally, contact the new Worthing Rising Tide action group at worthing@risingtide.org.uk


Defending our Community

THE PORKBOLTER is a seaside newsletter battling the rising tide of corruption, pollution and control-freakery that is threatening to sweep away everything that is good about life. "Porkbolter" is the traditional nickname for Worthing people, though we have been unable to find out exactly what it means! To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of £3 or more payable to The Porkbolter at PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. You can also pick up a copy at Revolutionary Records in Warwick Lane, Warwick Street, Worthing. We also run an email list, which you can join via porkbolter@eco-action.org.

Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no suspiciously new decking in our sty.


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

back to main index

main index