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Issue 28 - June 2000

SPY TV - WE ARE PROVED RIGHT AGAIN!

WHY oh why oh why don’t Worthing’s powers-that-be listen to the common sense voice of The Pork-Bolter once in a while? We’ve been telling them for years that the town centre’s Closed Circuit Television system is a complete and utter waste of money as far as fighting crime is concerned. But did they take any notice of us? Oh no, they have just carried on telling everyone how wonderful all their new technology is and how anyone who opposes it must be some kind of criminal. So it is very satisfying to see their smug little fantasy world blown out of the water by the very people their spy cameras are supposed to be protecting! The whistle was blown in an article in The Evening Argus on May 10 which revealed "growing dissatisfaction among businesses in Worthing" about the £0.3 million CCTV scheme. It reported: "Traders say there has been a growing rise in incidents of vandalism, criminal damage and arson attacks in the town centre over the last three years but the people responsible are not being caught by the police. And Boots manager David Taylor said: "I have lost confidence in the system and do not feel that for the money we contributed we are getting value for money. Over the last three and a half years we have had numerous break-ins and incidents of vandalism and I am not aware that anyone has ever been caught regarding these incidents by use of the cameras. All the break-ins at this store have occurred directly under CCTV cameras." Of course, none of this will be news to regular Pork-Bolter readers. We reported back in 1998 that crime in Worthing’s CCTV area had gone up by 19% since cameras were brought in - and that was on Sussex Police Authority’s own figures. So if CCTV doesn’t stop crime at all - and even seems to make it worse - why is it being brought in everywhere? Firstly, there is obviously a public relations aspect to it. While real police presences are cut for financial reasons, the cameras "reassure" the public that they are not being left "unprotected". But there is also a more sinister reason for it, one that explains the millions of pounds being poured into CCTV schemes across the country by Central Government. It is all part of a Big Brother surveillance society being set up, with video images being linked to the massive Government databases increasingly recording every aspect of our lives, from medical records to e-mail messages. And if you wonder why anyone would want to amass all this information on the civilian population, ask yourself why Hitler’s Gestapo, the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi would have loved to have done exactly the same thing. For the corrupt elite in Whitehall, the population of the country is a frightening chaotic entity that has to be constantly cajoled, prodded and threatened to keep it in line. Their nightmare is that one day we will all simply decide we have had enough and stop believing their fibs, paying their taxes and obeying their laws. Needless to say, we strongly recommend you do no such thing. After all, Big Brother knows best and who are any of us humble peasants to disagree? * Saturday July 1 is the fourth anniversary, to the day, of CCTV cameras being installed in Worthing town centre. To mark the occasion, as well as the 97th anniversary of George Orwell’s birth on June 25, we will once again be staging a Big Brother’s Birthday happening in the town. Meet at 3pm in Montague Place, from where we will proceed to the surprise scene of this year’s celebrations.

You too can play Nick’s Party Game!

the pork-bolter
FORGET all those boring local councillors who, once in a lifetime, switch from one dull political party to another and think anybody gives a fig.Larger-than-life Nick John, amateur thespian and local restaurateur, provides much better entertainment value for fans of political dramatics! Now proudly back in the Worthing council chamber as a Tory, Nick will be remembered by many residents as a Lib Dem councillor from 1990 to 1994. And as a would-be parliamentary candidate for the UK Independence Party in 1997. Oh, and as an actual candidate for the Referendum Party in West Worthing that same year (he didn’t win). Rumours that, following an abortive emigration to Australia, he was rather keen to rejoin the Liberal Democrats must surely be mistaken, as clearly conviction and conviction alone has led him to throw in his lot with the True Blues (who, coincidentally, now run the council). However, it is interesting to speculate on what party our hero might find himself joining next, should he once again re-appraise his allegiances. The Natural Law Party maybe, the Socialist Workers Party, the British National Party, or perhaps New Labou... No! We are sure Nick would never sink so low as to befriend that two-faced bunch of unprincipled opportunistic charlatans! Meanwhile, we have devised a cut-out and wipe clean amusement for our readers, which we have called Nick’s Party Game. Hours of fun can be had by dressing Nick up in the costumes suited to the various political parties with which he may one day be associated. But remember, folks, don’t get too excited or your paper-thin politician might be tragically parted from some vital appendage.

No Connex-ion to the rail facts!

BEING a French-owned company, perhaps local rail operators Connex have difficulty with the English language. That’s the most charitable explanation we can come up with for a statement that appeared in the May 2000 edition of Upfront, the private firm’s glossy propaganda sheet."Increased staffing levels provide a better service for customers" boasts a heading above the main front page story. Below we learn that a station manager based at Barnham "is now supported by two area supervisors" based at Worthing and Chichester. Sounds like a step in the right direction? Well, not quite. Railway staff have told us that prior to these marvellous changes the Worthing and Chichester areas each boasted two managers and two duty managers/area supervisors. Now call us old-fashioned, but we are convinced that two and two makes four, whereas the new set-up’s one plus two only makes three. How this adds up to "increased staffing levels" is completely beyond our comprehension. Maybe we’re using the wrong sort of maths! Meanwhile, Upfront strangely carries no mention of the fact (as reported in The Independent on Sunday, May 21) that Connex has cut 120 trains a day from its summer timetable and is set to incur penalties from Government regulators as it bids to renew its contracts.

Havana Brain Seizure

AN APPEAL for help has gone out from a sadly troubled reader of The Worthing Herald. In a letter published on May 11, logically-challenged Scott Newman explained that while, on the one hand, he is jolly glad that Britain fought World War II for "freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest", on the other hand he also thinks that naughty people who actually speak out and protest against the British establishment should "all go and live in a communist country like Cuba or, better still, China..." Oh dear, what a pickle he has got himself into! If you can help Mr Newman sort out his befuddled brain, why not send a helpful e-mail to him at Wellington@nationwideisp.net and, while you're at it, ask him when he's going to send us those free plane tickets to sunny Havana...

Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO FORGE COMMUNITY SPIRIT AND HELP CRIME CLEAR-UP RATES!
  1. PHONE THE ‘JAIL YOUR NEIGHBOUR’ CRIME-BUSTING HOTLINE ON 0800 191984*.
  2. GIVE THEM THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF YOUR NEIGHBOUR.
  3. THE POLICE WILL THINK OF A CRIME TO CHARGE THEM WITH. A RESULT ALL ROUND!
*Free phone line sponsored by Prisons R us plc

Flat future for Litten Tree

THE latest in a proud series of attempts to ruin Worthing in the name of quick profits is the current planning application (WB/00/00421 and WB/00/00422) to demolish The Litten Tree pub, formerly the Wine Lodge, on the seafront and replace it with a seven-storey block of luxury flats. Needless to say, these are not likely to provide much-needed affordable homes for desperate young families in Worthing. Instead they will make ideal up-market retirement flats or second homes for rich Londoners. Meanwhile, yet another popular amenity will be taken away from the people of Worthing. The outfit behind the application is a certain Maine Investments Ltd of 19 Market Square, Horsham. If you fancy a chat, their phone number is 01403 271171.

Working out cause of misery

JUST one in three Britons (36%) enjoy their job, revealed a recent survey. Reported The Daily Mail on May 10: "Longer hours, the nightmare of commuting and worries about job security make us some of the most miserable workers in industrialised Europe." But obviously the picture is completely different here in the happy, profit-friendly paradise of Worthing. A local poll showed that 98% love their job, adore the council and are willing to lay down their lives for economic growth and buoyant share prices. The other 2% are work-shy scroungers and should be deported to Cuba, writes Scott Oldhat.

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

OPPOSITION is getting more militant in the face of the massive wave of house-building being targeted at rural Sussex by the Government and their mates in the construction industry and meekly being accepted by local councils, who, for all their big words, are now busy collaborating in picking out greenfield sites to be sacrificed on the altar of profit. At a march and rally in Horsham on May 13, Tom Newell of Sussex Direct Action called on people to "use any means" to stop the concrete tide (Worthing Guardian May 19).
* * *

KILLING Brighton is the title of a four-page pamphlet just brought out along the coast, explaining how "the spirit of the town is being deliberately crushed by a big business agenda". Get a free copy by sending an sae to Dream Power Pictures, PO Box 521, Hove, E Sussex BN3 6HY. Meanwhile, for your regular news from our neighbouring urban sprawl don’t forget the unbeatable radical weekly SchNEWS (1st class stamp/donation to Justice? c/o on-the-fiddle PO Box 2600, Brighton, E Sussex BN12 2DX or from schnews@brighton.co.uk or, for loads of events, the monthly Brighton FIN (PO Box 2786, Brighton).
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TELLING coincidence of the month. Thursday May 18: The Worthing Herald carries a story about fears of an A27 "overload" after the Labour Government says it will allow 44-tonne lorries to use UK roads from next year. Thursday May 18: A "horrific crash" involving an articulated lorry occurs on the A27 at Patching (front page, The Worthing Guardian, May 19).
* * *

MALCONTENTS and troublemakers of all sorts are bound to want a copy of the new edition of The Agitator, an impressive 68-page directory of autonomous radical groups, centres, bookshops etc in this country and beyond. It’s even got The Pork-Bolter in it, so it must be good. You can get a copy for just £1 plus postage from Haringey Solidarity Group, PO Box 2474, London N8.
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WORTHING.eco-action continues to stage its excellent meetings at 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of each month at 42 Marine Parade (on the seafront above Paiges bar). Following the June 6 meeting featuring the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign against the use of cheap casual labour that led to the death of young Simon at Shoreham Docks two years ago, the meeting on July 4 welcomes a speaker from Mad Pride. Despite its name, this innovative group talks a lot more sense than any conventional politician, as it struggles to combat discrimination against those who have passed through the tender care of the mental health system and sets out to "glorify madness in all its forms". Its new book was "Pick of the Week" in The Guardian last month.

Warning: politicians are not a joke

IN a statement released this week, The Ministry of Obedience warned: "Politics is a serious business. Sniggering at your elected representatives is both unproductive and unpleasant. On a broader level, our research has revealed that unnecessary joking and messing around at the workplace costs employers £6 billion every year. This cannot be tolerated in a profit-conscious democracy. That is why we are aiming to reduce UK laughter emissions by 35% over the next three years. The Ministry is launching a massive Public Information campaign to ram this message home, with the aid of new high-impact slogans such as "Don’t Make Me Laugh - It’s More Than My Job’s Worth" and "Humour - It Just Isn’t Funny".

Laughs of the summer swine - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent community newsletter for Worthing, brought out by individuals from varied backgrounds who have become increasingly cynical about the way power is wielded and maintained on a local and national level. Our aim is to shed some light on the hypocrisy, corruption, lies and profiteering that normally remains hidden behind the PR smokescreen that politicians call "democracy". We’re not trying to persuade anyone to buy anything, vote for anyone or join anything, just to look again at the society you see around you and reach your own conclusions based on what you and the people you know have experienced, not on what the papers or TV tell you is going on. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 29, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Copies of back issues are still available. Cheques/postal orders made payable to The Pork-Bolter. email subscriptions also available. Drop us a line: porkbolter@eco-action.org or PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7NZ. website: http://www.eco-action.org/porkbolter

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and finally ...You read it here first - Worthing is revolting!