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Issue 5 - March 1998

BALLOT BOMBSHELL!

YOUR campaigning Pork-Bolter is throwing down the gauntlet to the smug and self-interested clique that runs Worthing Borough Council. We aim to mobilise support for a massive gesture of no-confidence in our so-called "representatives". Our message to the people of Worthing borough is STAY AWAY from the Borough Council polls on May 7. Don't give your vote or consent to any of the creeps who will be looking for a ticket to hop on board the Town Hall gravy train at your expense!
The situation in Worthing is just a smaller version of what has been happening locally. After years of blue-rinse brigade old-school-tie Tory rule, many people will have been genuinely pleased to see the Lib-Dems take over the reins. But what has happened over the last few years? Like Tony Blair's New Labour they have turned out to be just as bad as the last lot. The council still wants to build a motorway over our beautiful South Downs behind Cissbury Ring, it is still prepared to sell our heritage to business and property developers in the Goring Gap, Titnore Lane and East Worthing. And the way it has been bulldozing through its plans to privatise the borough's council housing department has been nothing short of shameful.
At the end of the day, anyone who thinks that putting a cross on a bit of paper is going to make a difference is sadly deluded. Time and time again history shows us that it gets us nowhere. Remember, if voting changed anything, they'd ban it! The council will be urging you to go out and vote in May, to give them the mandate and credibility they need. We are asking you to stay at home or go down the beach or do anything except bolster their illusions of grandeur by taking part in their sham of an election. Will more Worthing people vote or boycott the poll? Will our campaign attract more support than all the other parties put together? It's the Pork-Bolter versus the rest! And we'll see who's won on the morning of May 8.

NO SECRETS IN WORTHING

LIKE so many snout-faced types, we have been following with great interest the discussions at Westminster about the role of masons in the police and the courts. We can't help feeling that the whole affair stems from a simple misunderstanding and we are distraught at the upset that the tone of the debate will undoubtedly have caused to so many of Worthing's most well-known and respected citizens. Surely Chris Mullin MP can't be serious when he accuses the Mason Community of being secretive and in some way shady? Men of their social standing and influence? Never, we say! We are quite sure that if only he would abandon his over-confrontational tone and ask them politely, the Masonic leadership would gladly provide him with a full list of its members.
In Issue 2 we were proud to let the world know that Worthing man Ian Lay, District Judge, had become Provincial Grand Master of Sussex Freemasons. And in the same spirit, the Pork-Bolter has already written to Worthing Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Worthing Magistrate's Court and Sussex Police asking them to let us have a list of all freemasons (if any!) in their establishments. We are confident that they will oblige, we will publish the names in the next issue and then this whole unfortunate storm in a teacup, threatening to undermine people's faith in Democracy, can be consigned to the pig bin of history.

CASH BEFORE COMMUNITY

THE SHOCKING truth about Worthing Borough Council's high-handed attitude to public opinion has been revealed in its own agenda papers. Since October, The Pork-Bolter has pig-headedly led the challenge to the council's plans for the privatisation of all the borough's council housing. We have always been against this in principle - the scheme amounts to selling off one of our town's most important social assets and will mean higher rents and fewer rights for today's council tenants and also future generations.
But what has really got on our trotters is the way that the council has been out to sell us all a pig in a poke, bombarding tenants with one-sided propaganda making out that housing privatisation is the best thing since sliced bacon. Questions we have asked here and in the West Sussex Gazette have been blatantly ignored by Sheila Player of Worthing Homes, who has squealed on and on about the legendary openness and democratic commitment of her council. So what about this quote from the Special Housing Services and Policy and Resources Committee meeting of January 28?
Worthing Council says:
"It is also important to balance the need for full democratic oversight against the bureaucratic delay that this would give rise to."
This really gives the game away, as does the bit about appointing "specialist consultants needed to ensure that a substantial majority of tenants support the detailed transfer proposal." It is plain that for the council, public opinion is not something to be listened to before they make important decisions, but an obstacle to the schemes they have already hatched behind closed doors, something to be ironed out and manipulated by consultant spin-doctors in case it causes any delay to their Master Plan. They are keen to rush it through because if they can sell off our council housing before April 2000 they will be able to keep all the money! After that, 20% goes to the government. And that's what this is all about - a short-term cash injection. Nothing to do with making life better for council tenants in the long run. The real reason the council wants to sell off its homes is to get a big windfall to pay off the £17 million debts. But be warned - any improvements promised to the tenants by the new company will be provided by borrowing alone and, of course, the loans will eventually have to be repaid - with interest! Tenants should wise up to the fact that they are not being GIVEN anything and even if the existing tenants enjoy limited rent rises and various improvements in the first five or ten years, eventually rents will have to be increased to pay off the loans in full. And people needing a home in the privatised future - including today's youngsters - will undoubtedly be paying much higher rents much sooner than that! A good move for the people of Worthing? We don't porking think so!

PORKY PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH!

How to win an election:
  1. Form a political party or buy one second-hand
  2. Get loads of rich people and huge businesses to give you money
  3. Use the money to tell voters about the wonderful things you will do for them if elected
  4. Get elected and drink champagne
  5. Pay back all the favours you owe rich people/huge businesses and laugh at the thick voters!

MAI-DAY FOR THE EARTH

WHAT'S going wrong with Worthing and the world is that multinational companies just don't have enough power! Laws to protect the environment ought to be stopped, local authorities should have fewer rights to make decisions and citizens should not have any say over what businesses are allowed to get up to in their community!
If this sounds OK to you, you probably won't want to object or do anything at all to oppose the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (known as MAI) which is being negotiated at this very moment. The aim of MAI is to allow multinational companies to sue governments or councils if they think their freedom to make profits is being impinged. Warns the World Development Movement (25 Beehive Place, London, SW9 7QR): "The MAI will transfer rights from citizens to multinational companies."

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

WHAT is the link connecting a very high-profile Worthing person with the CIA, Far Eastern child labour camps, tax fraud, police corruption, male prostitution and the death of Diana? Please write and tell us - we'd love to know!

BIG BROTHER, BIG SPENDER

OUR lords and masters are still merrily spending our taxes on spy cameras to keep swine like us under observation and control. Latest wonderful idea from Sussex Police and Worthing Borough Council is a £40,000 "rapid deployment camera" for the town. As usual, the point of this is supposed to be to "fight crime in Worthing". You might well wonder how are the police going to know where crimes are about to be committed, so they can "deploy" their camera to the appropriate location. But don't worry about it too much, because the real reason is nothing to do with crime - it is to help create a Big Brother police state in which the population is too scared and submissive to complain about anything or challenge the slick, gift-wrapped tyranny of our pseudo-democratic business state. A clue to this effect comes from the massive funding that spy cameras are receiving from the government - that same body that can't possibly afford more beds for the NHS or books for schools. Our council is hoping to get the whole £40,000 for this latest mobile camera, which will transmit its images via dangerous microwave signals, from something called the "Home Office CCTV Challenge Competition". A competition! How jolly! And what good fun it must be demolishing piece by piece what's left of freedom in this town.

WE WON'T GET NO EDUCATION

WELL done all those involved in the action at Northbrook College supporting the NUS National Education Shutdown on March 4. All the sites were involved - West Durrington, Broadwater, Union Place and, notably, Shoreham. The protests were all about £1,000 a year tuition fees being introduced by the Government as part of a sinister long-term onslaught against the right to free education which has not been deflected by the passing of the government baton from the Tories to New Labour. Said a spokesperson for the Northbrook College Student Union: "The aim of the picket is to raise awareness of the students' plight. The Government's plans to introduce fees are part of the Teaching and Higher Education Bill currently passing through the Houses of Parliament. The anger of parents and the public can force a rethink on the legislation. The plans can be reworked." Latest figures have confirmed the impact of tuition fees, particularly on what are called non-traditional students. For instance, University applications from students over the age of 21 are down by as much as 18 per cent, with the true extent of damage not likely to be known until the take-up of places. Said a NUS spokestudent: "We said tuition fees would destroy many people's ambitions to got to university and we are clearly right."
It is not just students who are up in arms. Teaching staff showed their support by wearing badges on the day. And this is an issue which should worry everyone, particularly those who have already got their educational qualifications and had theirs paid for! Education is for the good of the community as a whole and should not be dependent on the ability to cough up £1,000 a year. The Pork-Bolter urges Northbrook students to keep protesting until this nasty little scheme is dead!

PORK SCRATCHINGS

WORTHING'S Tory twosome, MPs Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton, are not just the dynamic, caring, well-adjusted, responsible, loveable chaps we already knew they were. They are also psychic! That is apparently why they weren't in the House of Commons for the very important Road Traffic Reduction (UK Targets) Bill on Friday January 30. Despite national commentators doubting until the last moment whether the Bill would get through, our paranormal pair just knew there wouldn't be a vote! (Well, that's their story ...)
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WORTHING Day for Animals is being held at the Richmond Room next to the Town Hall in Stoke Abbott Road from 10am to 3pm on Saturday March 31.
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THE CAMPAIGN for National Park status for the South Downs continues. Although the formal consultation period is now over, it is not too late to have a say by writing direct to John Prescott at the House of Commons, London.
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Who can put a financial value on human life? The Government can, apparently. According to local councillor Alison Clarke, quoted in the Shoreham Guardian it works out whether it is worth spending cash on preventing road deaths by making "a calculation of the immediate costs of the accident as well as the contribution to the national economy which would have been made by the victim." Nice to know that you're valued.
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BRIGHTON'S SchNEWS has published its third book, SchNEWSannual featuring back issues, photos, features and 16 pages of contacts. Send £6 and sae to them c/o On the Fiddle, PO Box 2600, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 2DX.
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ROAD Raging: Top Tips for Wrecking Roadbuilding is an excellent tool for anyone seriously opposed to new roads and the greedy businesses behind them. Send £4 to Road Alert, PO Box 5544, Newbury, Berks, RG14 5FB. There is also a web site to check out - http://www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/campaigns/ef/rr/index.html
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RESIDENTS of Tarring, one of the few old parts of Worthing left intact by post-war property developers and their town planning chums, are understandably enraged at plans to put up a massive fence around the bowling green next to the church. Access to the park next door has already been blocked by a locked gate. Write and complain to borough council leisure manager John Thorpe at Portland House, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HS.
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LETTERS of support are being urged for The Portsmouth Three, some peaceful hunt sabs wrongly accused of an attack on hunt vehicles after a rather strange incident in Hampshire. Write to the Defence Campaign, Portsmouth HSA, Box H, 167 Fawcett Road, Southsea, Hants, PO4. Violence against hunt opponents is increasing at the moment and sympathisers are being asked to go along and help sabs protest against this obnoxious pursuit, which would have been banned a long time ago if it were not the favourite passtime of the rich and powerful.
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SO WHAT'S THE PIG IDEA? The Pork-Bolter is a totally independent but somewhat pig-obsessed newsletter, founded in October 1997, allied to no political party and with the aim of defending the ordinary people of Worthing against all the bastards trying to rip us off, grind us down and keep us in the dark. Our name comes from an ancient nickname for Worthing people dating back to its fishing village days, so remember - you are all Pork-Bolters! We welcome information or articles from our readers as well as any feedback on what we've written.
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JOIN THE PIGWIGS - SUBSCRIBE If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 6, 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. Copies of issues 1,2,3 and 4 are also 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 We look forward to hearing from you!
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OFFICIAL WARNING The Pork-Bolter hates the countryside. We must do because we don't believe in torturing animals (eg: PIGS), keeping the plebs off the land and treating farm workers as feudal vassals. Also we don't drive Range Rovers.
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