the pork-bolter
No 37, May/June 2001

HOW ABOUT SOME REAL DEMOCRACY?

TENS of thousands of Worthing people won’t be voting on June 7 - and it will have nothing to do with apathy. The simple truth that the politicians will not and cannot face is that most people have seen through all their lies and false promises. And citizens are increasingly refusing to believe in the whole farce of so-called "democracy", which is nothing more than a pathetic charade designed to give the impression that we freely choose to be slaves to their political-industrial greed machine. It is now painfully obvious that there is virtually no difference in the policies of the main political parties. They are all pro-business, pro-privatisation, pro-globalisation, pro-arms industry, pro-GM food, pro-America, pro-centralisation, pro-Free Trade, pro-EU, pro-growth, pro-profits - you name it. This is fine if you agree with this neo-liberal capitalist consensus. You can afford to sit back and decide who to vote for on the basis of their haircut or the details of their taxation policy. But what can you do if don’t want the NHS to be privatised, if you don’t want Sussex to be covered in executive housing estates, if you don’t want more motorways driven across the South Downs, if you don’t think that the Earth and all life on it is an expendable piece of collateral damage in the quest for infinite economic "progress"?

It’s a free country, isn’t it??

ONE way you can voice an opinion outside the mainstream "consensus" is to protest in the streets - or at least you used to be able to. Now, it seems from the Mayday protests in London, if you dare to demonstrate against the status quo you can expect to portrayed by Her Majesty’s Press as an axe-wielding psychopath, threatened with being shot and trapped for eight hours by tooled-up riot police for daring to turn up.

On footpath to total tyranny

STRANGELY parallel to the Government’s clamp-down on protest has been the footpath ban in West Sussex. Pointless enough in the first place (there is no foot and mouth in this county), this "emergency" suspension of our ancient rights descended into utter absurdity when it turned out that town paths and twittens had been included in the original blanket ban. You could have been fined £5,000 for using the railway footbridge off Tarring Road or the path between Ilex Way and Sea Lane in Goring. This lunacy perfectly illustrates the fact that the notion of "law" has no necessary link to "justice". We just have to do what we’re told, however stupid we know it is. The question is, how far are each of us prepared to go along with it? Would you obey a permanent footpath ban? Would you carry a ID card at all times? Would you give a DNA sample for the police database? Would you comply with a nightly curfew? Would you report your neighbours to the thought police? Where exactly would you draw the line? At what point would you refuse to obey?

When 0.27% is a majority!

A TYPICAL example of the false mandate claimed by our rulers comes from West Sussex County Council in its propaganda mag Connections. As we have noted previously, the council has been heavily criticised for switching to a quasi-totalitarian "cabinet" system, where decisions are made behind closed doors by powerful officers and the top members of the Tory elite, without most councillors having a clue what is going on (nothing new there, mind you!). But apparently a majority of us are in favour of this corrupt set-up. It’s there in black and white - the headline in Connections declares: "Cabinet system gets your vote". In much smaller print we find that the "poll" in question attracted a mere 3,046 responses, of which 1,982 supported the new system. The population of West Sussex is around 730,000. That means a splendid 0.27% of the population voted for the proposals, while 99.73% didn’t. Another triumph for British democracy!

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

IT’S Time to Go Veggie is the title of a talk to be given in Worthing on Tuesday June 5 by Juliet Gellatley, founder and director of international charity Viva! and one of Britain’s highest-profile animal issues campaigners. She will be talking about foot and mouth and everything in between. Why are animals diseased? How does it affect you and your family? How can you have a healthy, nutritious and safe diet? There will be a chance to ask questions, with a short film and refreshments available. The meeting is at 42 Marine Parade, Worthing seafront (above Paiges), at 7.45pm.
* * *

ACTIVISTS in Brighton are currently working on a brilliant-sounding plan to open an alternative, non-commercial social and community centre in the town, The Cowley Club, which will have its own bar and host gigs, meetings etc. And there are plans for a benefit gig in Worthing in September to help raise funds for it, plus other good causes. Anyone (bands, DJs, individuals) who wants to help with the gig should contact The Porkbolter asap. You can write to the Cowley Club itself at PO Box 616, Brighton BN1 6BA.
* * *

TOURISTS will be flocking to Worthing thanks to Stagecoach’s generosity. Innovative Railbus tickets allow adults or children to travel anywhere within a zone for just £1 on top of their train fare. If you travel to Brighton you can get all the way to Newhaven on it. In Worthing, however, the zone extends only from the station to the pier, for which the return bus fare is £1 adults, 50p kids. Result: No saving for adults, 50p more for kids! What a porkin’ bargain!
* * *

ARE they finally learning? Long-term readers will recall our indignation in years past at the warm welcome given by the council to Worthing’s rating as the most profitable town in Britain. But this time around the first place met with subdued acclaim from the borough’s spokesman, who even pointed out that business profitability and people’s prosperity were not the same thing. Whatever next?

Now play the Mayday game!

HEARD about the Mayday Monopoly protests in London? Wish you had been there? Now you can re-create all the thrills in your own living room, thanks to a special version of the original board game. Under the new "super-realistic" rules, anyone who lands in Oxford St is not allowed to leave the room, even to go to the toilet, until Jack Straw says so.

Water the grass roots - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOTLER is an indendent newsletter for Worthing, run by people labouring under the misapprehension that democracy is about people and communities being allowed to decide how to run their own lives and not being ordered about and patronised by a bunch of self-important prats in suits. If you want to ensure a copy of issue 38, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £3 to cover costs. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. You can also pay a visit to our website at http://www.eco-action.org/porkbolter or send e-mail 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. Remember, if voting changed anything they'd surround the polling stations with 6,000 riot police.


Free non-election poster with this month's issue... Guaranteed to deter canvassers from all political parties.

WARNING: THIS IS A STRICTLY NON-VOTING ZONE. ANY POLITICIAN CALLING HERE IS LIABLE TO BE CLAMPED


Voting is for victims. It's about time we reclaimed control of our own lives, our own communities, our own futures!

back to main index

main index