the pork-bolter
No 6, April 1998

HERITAGE BETRAYED

A SUSPECTED hidden agenda at the Town Hall is putting at risk the future of Worthing town centre's most important remaining historic building. That was the shock message to arise from a vital public meeting held on March 26 by the people who are trying to save The Dome, the oldest running cinema in Britain and possibly the whole of Europe. The consensus of the 50-odd people there was that it will be nothing short of a disaster if the 1911 building, which is basically in good nick (though in need of a few new seats) is lost for ever. And it was equally clear from the platform and floor alike as to which group of people represent the biggest threat to its survival - Worthing Borough Council. The failure of our pathetic council to respond to the needs and concerns of the community is becoming painfully clear to more and more people in this town. Furthermore, it appears that its notoriety has reached even further afield! Nick Young of Worthing Dome Preservation Trust reported at the meeting he had been talking to a local government specialist on The Times in London who told him that "Worthing is the most officer-led council in the country". In other words, it doesn't matter which party is in power (see VOTE FOR NOBODY) because the undemocratic elite in charge remains essentially the same, year after year, decade after decade. The disgraceful story of The Dome is essentially this. It is owned by the borough council, which doesn't want to pay for its renovation and upkeep and is eager to get rid of it. Until September, it is open to bids from anyone who wants to buy it, preferably to keep it as a cinema. But the suspicion aired at the public meeting is that the council isn't really interested in its preservation at all, but has its own hidden agenda for redeveloping that part of the seafront. Fuelling this theory are the facts that:

* The council won't maintain the Dome properly and seems to be waiting for it to fall down.

* The council won't give the Trust any straight answers about its vision for the area.

* The council is cagey about its plans for a multiplex cinema in the town, now the Durrington scheme is dead.

* The council won't give the Trust the backing it needs to apply for lottery funding.

* There is nothing about the site in the new deposit draft local plan, despite an earlier version where the Dome was shown intact.

* The wording of the English Heritage listing of the Dome changed mysteriously from "cinema" to "complex".

Chris Slade of the Trust said of their dealings with the council: "We feel as if we've been banging our heads against a brick wall." So why doesn't the council do something for our town's heritage? Would it really be happy to see the Dome fall apart or burn down in the night, as suggested at the meeting, so it could sell off this highly marketable site to help meet its famous debts? What will happen in September if no deal to save the Dome has been agreed? Will it become a carpet warehouse or a drive-thru burger joint? You can contact the Dome Preservation Trust c/o 33 Eriswell Road, Worthing, W Sussex BN11 3HP.


Free the Masons!

OUR CAMPAIGN TO liberate Freemasons from their ill-deserved reputation as a corrupt and greedy bunch of fellows has run into some early trouble. Readers may recall that we wrote to a number of local institutions, inviting them to clear the air and provide a list of Freemasons in their ranks. We were confident that they would do so, in the spirit of Her Majesty's Government's current drive for openness in these matters. However, we are shocked to have to tell you that this does not seem to be the case. As we went to press, Sussex Police and Worthing Magistrates Court had NOT EVEN REPLIED to our letter. And the two local councils which did reply weren't very forthcoming about masonic links. Wrote Jane Robinson, West Sussex county press and information officer: "Thank you for your letter concerning Freemasons within the County Council. I am afraid I am unable to give you this information as the County Council does not keep a register of either members or officers who are Freemasons." We also received a letter from top Worthing Borough Council man Michael Ball (the chief executive, no less). He began: "Although the Council has rules which apply to officers and Members regarding the declaration of membership of organisations such as the Freemasons, no declaration has been made. I am therefore unable to provide you with the information you require." We have written back to Mr Ball, asking whether he means that a) the rules say you have to declare if you're a freemason and we can conclude that either there are no Freemasons on the council or there are but they're illegally not admitting it or b) the rules say you don't have to declare if you're a freemason and one can conclude pork all. Mr Ball's letter concluded on an eccentric note. He asked The Pork-Bolter: "Is your organisation lifting the veil of secrecy about its membership?" Secrecy, what secrecy? How can a newsletter be secret? Perhaps what Mr Ball really means is that he is not personally acquainted with any of the people behind this initiative - a rare phenomenon in a town where a small chummy circle of The Great and Good has been used to having its own way without any real opposition for far, far too long.

Learn to Luv Big Bruv!

BIG BROTHER arrived at Worthing High School in March when spy cameras were installed. The reasons for this draconian move, according to the Worthing Herald, are "to safeguard pupils' safety and protect the site out of school hours". The £14,000 it all cost has come from West Sussex County Council and the Government. Being charitable towards the county council, we could suggest it is only guilty of wanting to protect its property and has simply not given any thought to the damaging psychological effects of bringing up children in a high security prison camp. But as far as the Government is concerned, something very very dodgy is clearly going on. It has already been funding spy camera schemes for towns all over the country, including Worthing and other sleepy, virtually crime-free market towns like Horsham and Dorking. Even Steyning and Storrington have been considered too dangerous to walk through without 24-hour surveillance. There is more to this than "crime prevention". This is an attempt to completely change the nature of our way of life and redefine human liberty within tight new constraints. A recent report on children's behaviour showed that those kept inside, by parents afraid mostly of traffic, grow up with an unhealthy "battery chicken" mentality, whilst "free range" children are psychologically much healthier. What will future generations turn out like if they attend Big Brother schools, walk along Big Brother streets and probably soon have Big Brother inside their own homes, "protecting" them while they sleep at night. The answer is that they will be fearful, submissive, bowed-down, dehumanised, spineless wage slaves - in other words the ideal population for the sweat shop tyrants who hold the reins of power in England, Europe and more or less the whole world. Remember, in Orwell's 1984 the totalitarian state prided itself on making its subjects LOVE Big Brother, rather than fear him. Getting schoolchildren used to the idea of being watched over by spy cameras is working on the same principle. Parents of Worthing High School children, current and future, should not allow them to be subjected to this cynical exercise in brainwashing. And if they won't do anything, the pupils themselves should make a stand. The Government has been telling us recently that there's no place for bullying in schools. We could all start by giving a kick in the teeth to the biggest bully-boy of them all, Big Brother!

Vote for Nobody!

IN last month's Pork-Botler we urged anyone with an ounce of sense to STAY AWAY from the borough council elections in protest at the authority's smug and elitist attitudes. But now we have been informed that there is, after all, someone of a suitable calibre that we can recommend our readers to vote for on May 7, going by the name of NOBODY.

NOBODY is different.

NOBODY will put the interest of ordinary Worthing people first.

NOBODY will make a stand against the privatisation of Worthing's council housing heritage.

NOBODY will make sure the council is answerable to the public.

NOBODY will tackle the tyranny of traffic and make the roads of our town safe for everyone, from children and old folks to cyclists.

NOBODY will force councillors called Sheila to answer valid questions put to them in newspapers by newsletters bearing pictures of pigs.

Isn't this all just common sense? Your feelings, your needs and you potential to play a full part in Worthing's life are constantly undermined by the pathetic political parties that creep and crawl for your vote. NOBODY believes in you.

NOBODY can do for you what you should do for yourself. So do yourself a favour and VOTE for NOBODY. If NOBODY gets in it'll be a much better borough for all of us to live in.

Factfile: Worthing people are lucky enough to be ruled by all three of our wonderful political parties. The borough is Lib Dem, the county is Tory and the national government is crap.


Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO SOLVE THE CRIME PROBLEM
  1. Put spy cameras on the streets.
  2. Put spy cameras in schools.
  3. Put spy cameras everywhere you can think of and a couple more for luck.
  4. It doesn't now matter how many crimes anyone commits - they're all already serving life sentences in a high-security prison camp!

Cable TV and secret police

A STRANGE report in the West Sussex County Times suggests mysterious links to the secret state apparently enjoyed by the American firm behind cable TV and phone lines in Worthing. The piece told how one Rick Perry of Emms Lane, Barns Green, near Horsham, was given an OBE at Buck House. It said he was honoured for something described as "services to telecommunications and the country." Then the article added: "The 43 year old Cable and Wireless international planning manager has recently been seconded to undertake Government work, the exact nature of which is secret even to his wife, Chris. She told the County Times: `I wish I knew more about it myself'." So do we, Mrs Perry, particularly after reading elsewhere about the notorious US-run Menwith Hill monitoring station in Yorkshire, through which all our phone calls and communications are said to pass. When Cable and Wireless's predecessor Nynex was causing havoc across Worthing, digging up pavements and roads to lay its cables, many of us wondered why they were allowed to do whatever they wanted in the pursuit of establishing a commercial cable network in the town. If Mr Perry was really serving "the country" rather than the State, maybe he would tell us all (and his Missus) what exactly is going on!

Pedal power to the people!

A WHEEL success was notched up by Worthing Friends of the Earth on March 28, when they staged a children's cycle ride along the seafront from Splash Point to Heene Road to protest at the ban on cycling on the prom and to call for safe routes in the borough. The protesters of all ages carried with them a mobile cycle lane, complete with zebra crossing, to illustrate the theme. Leaflets were handed out to the public and press photographers turned up in force. Well done to all involved! Keep up the (tyre) pressure!

Do they really mean us?

A "CAUTIOUS" welcome has been given by Worthing Borough Council to Government plans to involve the community in council decision-making, reports the Worthing Herald. Apparently chief executive Michael Ball "urged the Government to take note of the Worthing experience which showed local people were reluctant to get involved in many community issues". No comment from yer invisible campaigning Pork-Bolter!

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

A HUGE new theme park to rival Blackpool Pleasure Beach is being planned for Goring Gap, according to the hitherto unknown Goring News Focus, significantly dated April 1. The report states: "Many residents in Goring are surprisingly enthusiastic about the proposals. One Goring Road shopkeeper remarked: "This is what the area has been crying out for, for many years!". The newslettter also reveals that the Goring Conservative Club is to be closed, to make way for a new road and that Tory MP Peter Bottomley has been seen wearing a "New Labour" badge as a joke. Copies of the Focus were last seen in Goring library.
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PRAISE where praise is due and well done to Worthing Borough Council for converting its dustcarts to more eco-friendly City Diesel. A small step but definitely in the right direction.
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WE all know that professionals working in industry and government, central and local, know some pretty shocking things about what goes on inside these organisations, such as on safety and pollution. But if they speak up, they risk losing their jobs. Freedom to Care is a non-profit organisation which supports whistle-blowers and other conscientious employees. It also campaigns for corporate responsibility and legal reforms. Info is available on the internet (http://members.aol.com/FreeCare/Info.htm)
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HAVE you been to Iceland recently? Well, maybe you should think about it, because the frozen food chain's boss Malcolm Walker has made an immensely admirable stand against genetically modified food, unlike other retailers and the Government, which seems to be totally in the hands of the greedy global food industry. From May 1 no Iceland own brand product will contain any ingredients that have been genetically modified. For more info, there is a leaflet available at their shops and a Genetic Hotline on 0990 133373.

Official warning

THE PORK-BOLTER has been officially accredited by Worthing Borough Council as the world's first secret newsletter. It is printed with invisible ink, distributed by invisible supporters and must in no circumstances be read or even mentioned in public. You haven't seen this, right?

The Pig Issue

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent newsletter, allied to no political party and dedicated to standing up for the ordinary people of Worthing, their rights, their heritage, their environment and their future. Sad to say, this makes us quite a novelty in this town! Our name is not gratuitously strange, but REALLY DOES come from an ancient nickname for Worthing people dating back to its fishing village days. We welcome information or articles from our readers as well as any feedback on what we have written. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 7, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £2. Please think about making it a bit more, if you really want to help us. Cheques and postal orders shoudl be made payable to The Pork-Bolter. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. We look forward to hearing from you!

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright.


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