the pork-bolter
No 47, August 2002

Wood you believe it?

Campaigners rally with message of hope for Titnore

A NEW era of hope is dawning over the future of Titnore Woods in Durrington, threatened by property developers and their bulldozers. Well, there is if you believe Worthing Borough Council anyway, with the new Liberal Democrat regime announcing it will be pushing for the area to be included within the new National Park's boundaries to protect it. Whether or not these fine words will turn into anything more tangible is being questioned by some cynics - more of that shortly. But one group of opponents to the development is keen to take up the mantle of positive thinking that has been conjured up by the local authority. Ye Olde Friends of Titnore have announced that they will be sending a special delegation to the home of landowner Mr Somerset on Sunday September 1 - and they want as many people as possible to come with them. Their purpose is not to pelt his home with cow dung or pour weedkiller over his front lawn, but merely to communicate to him an excellent idea they have dreamt up. They will be handing over a special scroll inviting Mr Somerset to enter into a covenant with the people of Worthing to preserve the future of Titnore Woods "for our children, our children's children and our children's children's children". The idea is that Mr Somerset, for all his potential money-making land deals, must in essence be a decent fair-minded man with a keen love of the countryside and concern for the welfare of the people of Worthing. It may not have occurred to him that he could quite easily decide not to flog the land off after all, and instead set it aside as a wildlife haven, a green oasis on the fringe of urban Durrington, opening up access for the good people of the borough, nurturing endangered habitats, perhaps even encouraging the return of traditional Sussex inhabitants like red squirrels or otters (there is a stream through the woods). Such a gesture would ensure that the name of his family is not tainted and tarnished forever by unsavoury associations with miles of tarmac and concrete and vanloads of riot police ensuring that the profitable destruction of our environment by the likes of millionaire crook Gerald Ronson can go ahead uninterrupted. No, instead the name Somerset could even be given to the new green jewel on the Sussex Coast. Imagine - Somerset Woodland Trust... Somerset Squirrel Sanctuary... Somerset People's Democratic Organic Nature and Wildlife Eco-Paradise. There could be a statue of Mr Somerset himself at the entrance to the park at the south end of the now grassed-over Titnore Lane, designed to include a nesting box for small birds under each arm, to symbolise the nurturing and caring nature of the man who saved Titnore Woods - for ever! Anyone who wants to help Ye Olde Friends of Titnore deliver this message of hope to Mr Somerset should gather at the Coach and Horses pub on the A27 Arundel Road - right at the western edge of Worthing's built-up area - on Sunday September 1 at 1pm. Fancy dress is described as "optional", with a wildlife or woodland theme suggested, and the usual banners or whatever would probably also come in handy for this symbolic occasion. Meanwhile, confusion still reigns over the council's "we'll get Titnore included in the National Park" statement. One Durrington resident tells us he actually went along to a full council meeting on July 25 to find out what was specifically proposed and found confliciting stories and very little detailed knowledge from council leader Sheila Player and senior colleague Bob Clare. And, for all the publicity in the press, the issue wasn't even on the agenda... Campaigning group POW! (Protect Our Woodland!) has issued its own comments on the proposed National Park inclusion. It is urging its supporters to call for the whole Titnore area to be included in the National Park. "On the 19 August 2002 the Countryside Agency will advertise the draft AONB revocation orders. There will then be 28 days for us, the public, to make any objections direct to the Agency. Clearly if the Titnore Lane area isn’t included those objections will be made loud and direct." POW will be handing over its petition to the Mayor of Worthing on the steps of Worthing Town Hall at 4pm on Thursday September 19 and invites supporters to join the occasion. * POW! has a website at http://www.worthinga27.freeserve.co.uk or you can write to it c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. Or get an update at the next open meeting hosted by worthing eco-action upstairs at The Downview, opp West Worthing station on Tuesday September 3 at 7.45pm.

Ye Olde Friends of Titnore invite you to join their friendly delegation to visit that nice Mr Somerset on Sunday September 1, 2002. Meet 1pm, Coach & Horses, A27 Arundel Road, Durrington


Simon Jones Four

THE trial in Worthing of four supporters of the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign following a protest last December has been adjourned until September. The adjournment was sought by the Crown Prosecution Service to allow them to comply with their statutory duty of disclosure. The next hearing is set for 2.15pm on Tuesday September 3 at Worthing Magistrates Court, Christchurch Road, Worthing. Anne Jones (Simon's mother), Emma Aynsley (Simon's girlfriend at the the time of his death) and Sean Currey (who was working with Simon when he was killed) are expected to be giving evidence at the trial. The trial is expected to last five to six days. Farah Bishnani, Crispin Dowler, Sarah McLaughlin and Carly North, all of Brighton, are being charged under section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (consolidation) Act 1992 following the protest at Euromin’s Shoreham dock, where Simon Jones was killed in 1998. on 3rd December 2001. All the accused face a maximum sentence of six months in jail if found guilty. More info from http://www.simonjones.org.uk

Mayor is a Mason

THOSE Worthing citizens who imagined that the victory of the Lib Dems in May's elections would lead to an entirely different type of person taking over the reins of power in the borough are directed to The Worthing Guardian of July 5 in which we learn that cuddly new Lib Dem mayor Eric Mardell is a Freemason. Can anyone let us know the name of the last mayor of Worthing who wasn't either a Freemason or married to one? We'd be fascinated to know.

Freedom not on syllabus

REMEMBER the bit in the film of Pink Floyd's The Wall when the kids fall off the end of a conveyor belt into a machine that turns them all into identical sausages? Well, education's becoming more and more like that in real life, particularly for the unfortunate students of Boundstone College in Lancing. A report in the Lancing Herald reported on the latest hi-tech wheeze to impose total control. It explained that the pupils "will find themselves registered electronically as part of a new pilot scheme. The Lancing school is one of four in the county to try out the new system, which will include swipe cards for the pupils and instant electronic monitoring to ensure pupils do not miss lessons during the day. It will also allow parents to check if their child is in class via the internet." Headteacher Richard Evea and Sally Greenwell, West Sussex cabinet member for education and the arts, were very upbeat about the scheme, which is, of course, funded by central Government, with Mrs Greenwell claiming it will "ensure children are in school and able to get maximum benefit from their education." What nobody seems to be questioning is the psychological effect that living in this kind of environment is going to have on young people. Cynical, suspicious folk like ourselves are beginning to wonder if this is all part of a deliberate conditioning process. Get young people used, at an early age, to being monitored by CCTV cameras at school and college and they are never going to question the principle later in life. Get them used to having all their emails intercepted and their phone calls listened into, to their (school) bosses and parents being able to trace their movements every second of every day and they are going to have no notion at all there even can be such a thing as a right to privacy. The concept of freedom will, as George Orwell once warned, simply have died out. Meanwhile, a more subtle move towards keeping young people in their place was revealed in the main front page article in The Observer on July 21. This detailed a complaint by the very unpleasant Institute of Directors that "exams have become too easy and too many pupils are pushed into sub-standard university courses". The big question here, it seems to us, is not whether the IoD is right or wrong in its claim, but why it is bothering making it - and apparently spending six months preparing a report on the subject. Why is an extreme capitalist business organisation so concerned about the pass level for pupils' exams? It’s not as if the skills learnt in GCSEs are going to be directly relevant to the way people perform their jobs when they start work. The answer, we suspect, is that the IoD simply objects to the larger number of young people receiving academic qualifications and university degrees. Why? Because qualified people have expectations. They form this silly idea in their head that they have something to offer the world, that they've got a brain and want to use it. Crucially, qualified young people are not generally going to be very enthusiastic about settling down to a life of subsistence wages tedium in a bottling factory or a call centre. And that, we think you'll find, is what's pissing off the business fat cats at the IoD.

Crime of the Month

"THREE 12-year-old children playing a James Bond game with a plastic toy pistol were surrounded by police from three patrol cars, arrested, fingerprinted and required to give DNA samples," reported The Guardian on August 3. The report added: "Northumbria police, who also issued the two boys and a girl with a formal reprimand, the juvenile equivalent of a caution, said guidelines issued by the Home Office in April gave them no choice. "The reprimand by a senior officer carried out in the parents’ presence two days after the arrest, will stay on police records for three years, but the prints and DNA will be kept for life." You couldn’t make it up...

Y CCTV?

CCTV cameras are totally useless in preventing or detecting crime. That’s the conclusion reached by a Worthing trader with first hand experience. Duncan Stewart of Duncan Stewart Textiles in Ivy Arch Road wrote to the Worthing Herald (June 26) explaining that despite the presence of a camera there has been a spate of thefts and damage. He added: "The police were called in regarding the break-in and gave us a crime number and we have heard nothing since. Upon asking if we could see the CCTV film, we were advised it was not possible and in any event unlikely to have caught anything on film. It appears that although the Ivy Arch traders have paid towards the camera and its upkeep, they have no rights whatsoever to see what may have taken place on any given day." So if CCTV cameras don't fight crime what are they for? Better ask George Orwell - or the headteacher of Boundstone College...

War a bunch of liars!

SOME readers may recall that last year (October 2001) we pointed out that the war against Afghanistan was not really the response to the events of September 11 that it was made out to be - the military action had already been proposed by the USA several months previously. Well, as Bush and his obedient poodle Blair edge towards another war - this time against Iraq - it will be worth keeping mind an incident reported by The Observer on August 4. This involved US Under Secretary for Arms Control John Bolton admitting on BBC Radio 4 that the business about weapons inspections, which up to now has been the excuse for any talk of waging war on Iraq - was totally irrelevant. He revealed that US policy "insists on regime change in Baghdad and that policy will not be altered, whether inspectors go in or not." In other words it is US policy to depose with force any government in the world it does not like and replace it with one that will go along with the American capitalist agenda. Not exactly news to students of modern history but a bit of a bombshell if you’ve been naive enough to believe all the hype about "democracy" and "freedom" being beamed at us through the media. So when some new pressing reason for a war on Iraq turns up in your paper or on TV over the next month or two, to try and brainwash people into supporting a conflict that nobody wants, please do us a favour. DON’T BELIEVE A PORKIN’ WORD OF IT!

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

FORMER Tory councillor Rikki Orridge really plumbed the depths of bad taste in his anti-cannabis rant in the letters pages of The Worthing Herald when he suggested that the ill effects of the weed could be gauged from the appearance of Chris Baldwin, pro-cannabis campaigner and now Rowlands Road shopkeeper. Mr Baldwin, as many readers were aware, is disabled. Happily Mr Orridge has now apologised in print for his cruel comment so there's no need for any further reference to it.
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WATCH out! Plans are afoot to encourage the police to come along and steal your beer in Worthing! Plans to ban drinking in the streets have been dredged up again. A report in The Worthing Herald on July 11 seemed to think this issue was all about "drunken behaviour in the town centre", somehow ignoring the obvious fact that most sloshed people on the streets at night have spent the last few hours in a pub! Is it somehow worse to be drunk on a few cans bought from an offie rather than on over-priced lager from a tarted-up sports bar? Watch this space for news of a mass drink-in to challenge this nasty little proposal!
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FAIR Trade campaigners from Worthing joined an estimated 10,000 strong "lobby queue" outside the House of Commons. They called for the urgent reform of global trade rules to stop global Big Business trampling all over farmers in the third world. Contact the Worthing branch of the World Development Movement via their HQ on 020 7738 3311.
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POLICE are believed to be launching a major investigation at the Worthing Herald offices in Chatsworth Road after a concerned member of the public noticed that every single humorous anecdote had gone missing from the weekly "Monty" column - for the ninth time in two months.
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THE next meeting hosted by Worthing eco-action will be at 7.45pm on Tuesday September 3 upstairs at The Downview pub opposite West Worthing station.
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ARE the Tories really as opposed to the use of cannabis as they make out? We couldn’t help wondering after spotting the builders’ sign outside their Worthing HQ of those grand masters in the art of masonry BE High and Son (geddit?). Members of the public should be careful who they share a smoke with in the Union Place area... or they might end up looking like Rikki Orridge.

Crime - a clarification

THE Minister for the Moral High Ground issued the following clarification yesterday: "Drinking lager in Victoria Park in Worthing is a crime. Drinking champagne in your massive back garden in West Chiltington is not a crime. Playing with a plastic gun in the street, no matter what your age, is a crime. Dropping bombs on men, women and children in Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine is not a crime. Protesting against the death of a worker is a crime. Allowing people to be killed while working for you is not a crime. Straying on to a road while trying to save ancient woodland and wildlife is a crime. Building a road that destroys ancient woodland and wildlife is not a crime. I hope this is now clear. God Save the Queen. Good night."

Brings home the bacon!

THE PORK-BOLTER, set up in 1997, is a local independent newsletter named after an old nickname for Worthing people. This dates back to its fishing village days and is thought to refer either to a superstitious fear of pigs (recently revived in the Titnore Lane area) or a bacon-based remedy for sea-sickness. 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.

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


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