the pork-bolter
No 80, June 2007

Snakes alive! Is Worthing facing deadly python peril?

A SHOCKING discovery on Worthing beach was reported in The Argus on Monday April 16. Explained the newspaper: "A family beach outing turned to terror when a giant serpent suddenly appeared from the sea. Brian Hammersley was taking his three-year-old Drew for a paddle when they were confronted by the 14ft-long python."

Fortunately, the python turned out to be a bit on the dead side, so it wasn't all quite as terrifying as it might first have seemed. However, the report adds: "Pythons suffocate their prey, which ranges from mice and rats as hatchlings, to rabbits and small pigs in adulthood."

Small pigs? The very thought sends a shudder twisting around Porky Pie's curly tale and has prompted us to launch a no-holds-barred exclusive and exhaustive investigation into this whole python mallarkey, all conducted solely within the four walls of the Porkbolter sty (apart from an urgent visit to the off-licence) to ensure a negligible carbon footprint.

We have come up with a number of top theories for our readers to ponder over:

1. The snake was on its way to the town hall to stand as a Tory candidate in the recent council elections, only to be run over by that annoying beach patrol buggy thing.

2. The snake was the famous giant serpent that, according to local folklore, lives under Cissbury Ring, guarding its buried treasure. Our Yesteryear Correspondent Teddy Beest tells us that in the 15th century there were reports of children disappearing into what appeared to be rabbit holes on the Ring, but may in fact have been part of the serpent's elaborate human-trap. With children today preferring online gaming to nice walks in the countryside, it is possible that the serpent decided to seek out an abundance of young flesh by moving down to the seafront, only to be run over by that annoying beach patrol buggy thing.

In fact, Mr Beest suspects that over the centuries the snake did occasionally venture a little further afield for its food source. In 1848 there were reports of a serpent "of biblical proportions" lurking around one of the pedestrian footbridges over the recently built railway line, leading the Heene Improvement Sunday School for Godliness and Discipline to warn its children "ne'er to dice with snake dangers on Jacob's Ladder". Mr Beest believes that this controversy may have led to the invention of the famous board game Snakes and Ladders, possibly later patented under an assumed name by famous writer Oscar Wilde, who was living in Worthing "round about that sort of time, probably, I think", according to our well respected local history guru.

3. Put it this way, if you found a dead cockroach under your fridge, would you walk away happily imagining that this was the one and only cockroach ever to have scuttled into your kitchen. We think not! So why assume there is only one 14ft python in Worthing? Could it be that the town is actually teeming with them and that Mr Hammersley's startling discovery represents just the tip of the iceberg? It seems quite likely that the snake arrived on the beach via a sewage outlet. How many more of them are living in our sewers? Remember, rats are one of their favourite snacks, so they wouldn't exactly go hungry, would they? It's likely they would also sneak up to the surface from time to time. These days there is plenty of debris to feed on. Nobody is picking up their litter any more because they are all illiterate! Have those bin bags outside your house really been ripped open by foxes or seagulls, or are we talking about something substantially more slithery? And what's that strange hissing noise under the floorboards? Water in the pipes or a four-yard long murderous reptile ready for its dinner?

4. Is it possible the snake was working on a top secret political mission? Snakes are notoriously good at hypnotising people, as proved in the authoritative 1967 film Jungle Book. It could have been planning to approach decent Worthing people on the beach, or barbecuers at Goring Gap, and persuade them that it was a good idea to sell off the Aquarena for luxury flats, allow Tesco to build seven more hypermarkets in Durrington and quadruple the salaries of the local council bosses. Remember folks, snakes are liars! Don't fall for the old forked tongue fraudulence! Beware of brainwashing from slimey lowlife and always think for yourselves!

5. Final theory. The snake never actually existed. It was just a metaphor.

* If you think you have spotted an enormous python in Worthing, it would probably be a good idea to tell someone. The council's pest control department can be contacted on 01903 221064. Don't forget citizens, if you suspect it, report it!


Town celebration of Camp Titnore's first birthday

HOW long is a protest? Half an hour? An hour? An entire relentless afternoon? An astonishing, gruelling, all-day vigil? Well, the Camp Titnore protest against the destruction of ancient woodland and the green gap in Durrington has been going on for a whole porkin' year! The achievement will be celebrated at 2pm on Saturday May 26 in Montague Place, Worthing - bring balloons, cakes, cards, etc. There may also be celebrations at the camp itself. Check online here, at Protect Our Woodland! and Southcoast Indymedia or phone the campers themselves on their new number, 07913 534083.


Suffocated by Wi-Fi electrosmog

A DANGEROUS modern "electrosmog" is putting our health and our environment at risk, it is rapidly emerging.

After the evidence in our last issue about passive mobile phone use, the national spotlight has now fallen on Wi-Fi, the microwave fields that allow people to log on to the internet without being plugged into a phone line.

Reported The Independent on Sunday (April 22): "Britain's top health protection watchdog is pressing for a formal investigation into the hazards of using wireless communication networks in schools amid mounting concern that they may be damaging children's health." It added: "Virtually no studies have been carred out into Wi-Fi's effects on pupils, but it gives off radiation similar to emissions from mobile phones and phone masts. Recent research has linked radiation from mobiles to cancer and to brain damange. And many studies have found disturbing symptoms in people near masts."

After we sent a link to this story to readers on our email list (just ask if you want to be included on it!), we had response from a woman in East Worthing. She wrote: "That's interesting about the Wi-Fi - I got a wireless set up at home about four months ago and have had to stop using it because after about 20 minutes it gives me headaches, and after that I get pins and needles in my feet and hands and I start to feel really light headed and sick. I've gone back to a wired connection. I could feel when it was on or off, even when not in the same room.

"The headache feels like there's a sort of electrical thing going on between my ears, and it's very painful between the eyes, like there's pressure building there. It's actually very similar to a problem a friend of mine had a few years ago with a Nokia phone, she had the same headaches and also a metallic taste in her mouth, when she changed phones it was OK again.

"It's a very strange thing because it's not all Wi-Fi that does this to me, I can sit in a hot spot and feel fine, but my home set up is really unpleasant, maybe because it's at such close range. I do also get the same symptoms if I visit Lyons Farm Sainsbury's so maybe there's some kind of Wi-Fi thing going on up there too - I went there a few months ago for the first time in a about a year and had to leave sharpish.

"When I can feel it, it's like the air is heavy and thick, and I find it hard to think clearly, it's quite hard to put into words. I heard on the news today that some expert is recommending that children don't hold Wi-Fi devices on their lap, there's definitely something very wrong with Wi-Fi."

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that both bees and birds are being affected by the electrosmog from mobile masts, as it is believed they use electromagnetism to navigate (Independent on Sunday, April 29). This has already led Eastbourne's council to block a new mast because of fears about the bees (IoS, May 6). Any chance that Worthing will wake up to this as well?

Have you had any experiences of Wi-Fi or other types of radiation? Let us know via porkbolter@eco-action.org or porkbolter@hushmail.com


Volunteering for police state

STRANGE things have been happening in Worthing lately. Back in March, metal detectors appeared at Worthing railway station in what was described as a "crackdown on knife crime", although "drug-sniffer dogs were also on hand to detect illegal substances being carried by passengers." Said the report in the Worthing Herald (March 22): "Although officers have no powers to force people to be scanned, Insp Ancell said plain-clothed officers were watching for passengers actively seeking to avoid the detectors." So you have the right to refuse but, if you do, you will be considered a suspect and arrested and searched anyway? Then on April 17, motorists driving into town were being pulled over by the police and questioned as part of a 'census' on traffic movements. Again this was supposedly voluntary - but what would have happened to anyone who declined to stop, we wonder?

The sly 'voluntary approach' is also being used to impose car-tracking and road-pricing on drivers, after the massive e-petition raised against the idea, revealed The Times on April 16. Cash incentives will be offered to those prepared to go along with this police state measure. This has worked with Oyster travel cards in London, which track people's journeys (and even who they are travelling with). Boasted Neo-Labour transport adviser David Begg: "No one was forced to get an Oyster card, but the incentives were gradually increased and now more than ten million people have one."


Tory voters are tiny minority

AS A fund manager in the City of London you would have thought that East Worthing Tory MP Tim Loughton would have some sort of grasp of basic maths. However, following the council election results on May 3, he declared to the Worthing Herald on www.worthingtoday.co.uk: "People have given a vote of confidence in the progress that has been made in bringing Worthing into the 21st century." A glimpse at the figures would show Tory Tim that only around a third (35%) of the Worthing electorate bothered to take part in the election, with the majority 65% rejecting all the two-faced politicians and their silly party games. Our calculations also show that only half of the votes actually cast went to the Tories (13,789 out of 26,692).This all adds up to the reality that only one in six of Worthing's potential voters actually voted Tory. Hardly a vote of confidence, is it Tim?


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

CRITICAL Mass cycle rides have become a feature of hundreds of towns and cities around the world in recent years, with pedallers coming together to challenge the domination of the motor car and reclaim the roads for an hour or two each month. They are usually held on the last Friday of the month and, indeed, there is already one in Brighton on that date (see Southcoast Indymedia). But now there is a bid to get one going in Worthing, on the first Friday of the month. To give this fab idea a kick start, meet outside the Assembly Rooms in Stoke Abbot Road, Worthing, at 5.30pm on Friday June 1.
* * *

SO WHAT is the connection between Worthing's GlaxoSmithKline and the school shootings in Virginia, USA? Well, the deranged murderer had been on anti-depressants. The website www.ssristories.com lists 1,500 news stories in which controversial SSRI drugs, which include GSK'S Seroxat (see past Porkbolters) are linked to nasty goings-on: 24 school shootings/ incidents and over 370 murders, for a start. The suspicion is that these drugs can, with some patients, turn mere depression into a suicidal or murderous mania. By the way, if you feel inclined to protest about this outside GSK's East Worthing factory, think again - the High Court has given the giant multinational firm the right to create an "exclusion zone" to keep demonstrators away from its highly profitable and ethically challenged operations (Worthing Herald, May 3).
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FOR THE second year running, a midnight ceremony is to be held at the Midsummer's Tree on Broadwater Green, led by local historian Chris Hare. The tree, which is at least 300 years old and was only narrowly saved from road contractors' chainsaws in 2006, was believed to be the focus of supernatural activity, when a ghostly skeleton would rise up from its roots on Midsummer Eve. There is also the exciting possibility of a repeat low-level helicopter fly-past by Sussex Police. Meet 10pm on Saturday June 23 at The Cricketers, Broadwater. Fancy dress and anti-aircraft missiles optional.
* * *

WITH the joys of a Sussex summer still ahead of us, it seems a little perverse to be looking forward to something happening in November. But we really can't wait for the 'Toffs Out!' march on Tory leader David Cameron's house in swanky Notting Hill, London, on Saturday November 3, just announced by those re-energised lovable troublemakers at Class War. Info: PO Box 467, London E8 3QX or 07986 041207.
* * *

WORTHING Alliance meets on the last Thursday of every month at The Rest in Bath Place. There are updates from various campaigns in town and the chance to sound off about stuff that is annoying you. Meetings start at 8pm, all are welcome and the next dates are May 31 and June 28.
* * *

WEST Sussex County Council has refused to reveal the salaries of its top officials to the public - even though it's us that pays them! (West Sussex County Times, April 6). But it did state that the "salary band for the chief executive was 158,717 to 185,728 and for the six directors 114, 717 to 131,103." Keep coughing up your council tax, folks - you know it's all for a good cause!


Nothing to worry about!

A REASSURING message was issued by the Minister for Health and Profits today. He insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence to back up these alarmist claims and we do not feel that at this stage there is anything to be gained by fuelling the hysteria and instigating any kind of knee-jerk investigation. It is vital for the economic health of our nation that we remain at the forefront of technological progress and are not deflected by irrational fears that can only put at risk future investment in this crucial industry. I can assure you categorically that that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. What was the question again?"


Adder nuff of the mainstream?

THE PORKBOLTER is absolutely the best place to look in Worthing for a combination of local news stories and giant snake theories. 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. Free e-mail subscriptions are also available. Send e-mail to porkbolter@eco-action.org or porkbolter@hushmail.com

Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no such thing as a civil serpent.


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

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