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Issue 17 - May/June 1999

FACE UP TO THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM

WHAT sort of world would you rather live in? A world where we can all get on with our own private lives in dignity and freedom, where respect and humanity are the keys to a decent society? Or a world where everyone of us is treated like a potential criminal, logged and checked wherever we go, tracked step by step by legions of security cameras throughout the whole of our lives? This isn't a hypothetical question. This is the very real choice facing our society as we stand on the threshold of a new Millennium. Under the noses of a trusting public, the powers-that-be have quietly been putting together the high-tech tools of a police state that makes Stalin's USSR and Hitler's Germany look like Sunday afternoon tea at the vicarage. Earlier this year Tony Blair himself boasted that he was imposing a "harsh and authoritarian" regime on Britain (The Observer, Jan 10). The pace of tyranny certainly seems to be quickening at the moment, along with all the profit-making (out of our pockets, yet again) for Big Brother's best mates in the business community. Revealed the Worthing Advertiser on April 28: "BT CCTV has announced it has won a contract worth nearly £350,000 to further expand the existing CCTV network in Sussex. After the expansion, costing approximately £1 million, 270 cameras will operate in 26 towns throughout West Sussex, including Shoreham, Worthing and Lancing" BT corporate slimeball Vic Williams cooed: "It must be a great comfort to the Sussex community knowing that so much of their area is covered by the friendly eye of CCTV". Presumably it would be a "great comfort" to Sick Vic if his boss at BT stood looking over his shoulder all day at work or his mother-in-law followed him down the pub at the weekend to keep a "friendly eye" on what he was getting up to!

In protest at all this, The Pork-Bolter is staging a double celebrationary Big Brother's Birthday bash. The date of Saturday June 26 marks both the 96th birthday on June 25 of the late great George Orwell, whose warnings in Nineteen Eighty-Four are still being ignored today, and the third birthday, on July 1, of Worthing's very own CCTV system. This year we are focussing on the way the police state is building up a secret computer database of all our faces so it can automatically track us via CCTV. Were you consulted about this? Are they allowed to keep such information without your permission? What would happen if we copyrighted our own faces to stop them? Let's find out! Paint your face with a © or make a © mask or just turn up and join the fun!


WE WIN THE ELECTION - AGAIN!

MORE ballot success! And only apathy stopped The Pork-Bolter from notching up a record-breaking score in May's local council elections. It seems that some of you people just couldn't be bothered to make the effort and help our Boycott the Ballots campaign, thus depriving us of the emotional satisfaction of seeing 70% of Worthing Voters stay away from the polls in disgust. We still won by a mile, though, with the final score standing at PORK-BOLTER 69%, ALL THE POLITICAL PARTIES 31%. Many thanks to all of you who actually got off your political backsides and stayed at home. Incidentally, our statistics department tells us that of 77,157 eligible voters in Worthing, only 12,992 voted for the Tory "winners". This means they will be controlling the town with the backing of just 16.8% of the electorate, one in six, while five out of six (that's 83.2%) didn't bote for them. Perhaps they'd like to bear that in mind ... Meanwhile, could the Lib Dems have perhaps now learnt that if they want people to vote for them as a real alternative to the Tories, they are going to have to demonstrate that they do not, in fact, represent exactly the same corrupt attitudes? (fat chance!)

IS MR CHAPMAN FEELING ALRIGHT?

WHAT a strange man David Chapman is. While it is generally accepted that the main political parties in this country have moved closer together than ever before, with little difference between New labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems, ex-Mayor Chapman sees it differently. He justified his pre-election switch from the Lib Dems to the Tories by announcing that his former colleagues (the ones who privatised Worthing's council housing, want to sell off the Sompting Gap to business, etc) were getting too left wing! Nationally, he is uneasy about the Lib Dems being too close to that wild revolutionary Tony "Bomber" Blair. And he explained to the Worthing Herald (April 22): "The 'leftward' shift, I believe, has now been reflected on a local level, with the local Liberal Democrats harbouring increasinly more "left wing" elements, who could not find elector support if they stood as socialists." Mr Chapman clearly has problems with his lefts and rights and The Pork-Bolter is worried that he might put himself at risk while crossing busy roads on his way to the Town Hall or the Masonic Hall*. We would appeal to anyone spotting Mr Chapman hovering on the kerbside to hold the poor confused fellow's hand and lead him gently across to the other side before he does himself a tragic mischief!
*This is not an inspired guess. The Worthing Guardian, on April 22, reported this mayoral connection, complete with photo of nice Mr Chapman with friendly local Freemasons.
chapman.gif MAYORCARE plc
Imagine waking one morning and finding you could no longer tell left from right. You no longer know where you belong, what you believe. This happened to David. Poor David. He needs your help. Now. A small donation would go a long way to an annual Pork-Bolter subscription. And sad David's political vision could be fully restored.

VIDEO THAT TV DIDN'T DARE SHOW

A VIDEO treat is being laid on for the public by The Pork-Bolter, in conjunction with Worthing Friends of the Earth and The Anarchist Teapot, on Tuesday June 1 from 7.30pm, upstairs at Paiges on Worthing seafront. We will be screening McLibel: Two Worlds Collide, a true story of free speech versus corporate greed. The TV channels won't show it, so this is a unique chance to find out the truth for yourself and enjoy a bit of socialising afterwards. Hope to see you there!

PORKY PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH

How to stop neo-fascist bombers massacring innocent people for their own twisted political ends!

COUNCIL REALLY MEANS BUSINESS!

HAS anyone else noticed how the meaning of the word democracy is being slowly but surely changed to suit the purposes of the small group of unpleasant people who run this country? Didn't it use to mean something like "rule by the people" and suggest that every individual was allowed an equal say in the way his or her community is organised? Not anymore it doesn't. We now seem to have been tricked into accepting that democracy somehow always has to be tied in with the demands of The Business Community. for instance, there was a charming story in The West Sussex County Times on April 2 under the reassuring heading "Planners bid to cut costs". In somewhat smaller print we find out what all this is really about: "The county council hopes to have better and more widespread input from the business community into its strategic plan, which sets the framework for development in the county and contains policies on key issues such as housing, business, transport, conservation, recreation, tourism and mineral working". Asking businesses for input on key issues such as "business"! Who could possibly imagine what side of the debate they would tend to support? Hmmmmm. Well, actually, you don't have to imagine anything because the same newspaper gave us a good indication a few weeks later, on April 30, in another up-beat sounding article enthusiastically headed "County's soaring economy". Here we are treated to the input, on planning issues, of one of the leading lights of the local Business Community, Ken Caldwell, chief executive of the quango Sussex Enterprise. He is quoted as saying: "For the sixth consecutive year the Sussex economy has outperformed the national average. If the Sussex economy is to successfully recover growth rates some serious constraints will have to be tackled urgently, most notably the inadequate transport infrastructure for businesses along the south coast". Well, well, well, what a surprise! The A27 again. To be built across the South Downs, no doubt! Everyone knows the Business Community could not give a pork sausage about the countryside or the way of life in sussex. They don't care a rasher of bacon for anything except filling their own snouts in the trough of multi-million pound profits. For them, planning policies are, as Caldwell admits, just "constraints" in the way of their personal wealth-accumulating mission. Asking for their "input" into planning affairs is like asking the Paedophile Society for "input" into deciding the age of consent. Beside that, why should businessmen have any extra "input" anyway? As individuals, they already have a vote, like the rest of us. One person, one vote. That's what democracy's supposed to be isn't it? Or are we living in a society in which, like in George Orwell's Animal Farm, "some animals are more equal than others". And in this case the top dogs are the greedy and ruthless fat cats of the so-called Business Community.

THE CHAMBER OF CORRUPTION?

WE Piggy People try to keep you abreast of the ways in which local businesses act as if they own not just the town of Worthing, but all the inhabitants too. But if you want a broader picture as to what these legalised crooks get up to, we can heartily recommend the authoritative magazine Corporate Watch (£3 from Box E, 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RQ). In a packed 44-page Spring 99 issue, this top-class read exposes the International Chamber of Commerce ("perhaps more appropriately known as the International Chamber of Corruption"), probes the oil industry, takes a very close look at Group 4 Ltd and much more stuff. Among the contributing writers is Dave Morris, well known as one of the McLibel defendants.

SNOWBALL SPLATS MUTANT-MONGERS

A PORKIE contingent went over to Brighton in April to help with a genetiX snowball action highlighting the horrific threats posed by Genetically Modified food, still not banned in this country despite overwhelming public concern. Protesters removed (without paying) contaminated foodstuff from Safeways in central Brighton. Nobody was charged (in either sense of the word). One of the activists, Rowan Tilly, is also named in an injunction which sinister GM-giant Monsanto is now going to have to contest in a full court hearing, leaving it liable to a McLibel-style public relations disaster! We've got 'em on the run!

BUREAU-PRATS & THE LETTER OF THE LAW

HOW about this for a bureaucratic Catch 22 situation? A homeless young Worthing couple with a baby told us how they were forced to squat an empty flat because the council would not house them all together as a family. Fortunately, the owner is happy for them to stay on as tenants, and will draw up a tenancy agreement, if the couple can get a letter from the council confirming they will be given housing benefit. The council, however, will only provide this if the couple can produce a tenancy agreement. Which is of course, what they need the letter for ...

WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON JUNE 18?

FRIDAY June 18, 1999, is an important date in the worldwide struggle to stop the whole planet being completely taken over by greedy big business. Timed to coincide with the G8 conference in Cologne, Germany, the international happening will see protests against all aspects of corporate nastiness taking place in financial centres in dozens of countries, including the City of London. Local groups or bunches of friends are being encouraged to do their own thing and the June 18 co-ordinating group for round here is Brighton: phone 01273-698192 or e-mail brightonj18@lycosmail.com. There is also a massive Reclaim the Streets carnival, meeting at Liverpool Street station in London at 12 noon.

PORK SCRATCHINGS

THE UNDEMOCRATIC bureacratic monster that is the European Union is hardly very popular on these shores. But just across the Channel in Normandy they have thir objection too - with an interesting twist. The journal Le Libertaire (25 rue Dume-D'Aplemont, 76600 Le Havre) complains in its May issue that "not a single initiative or decision comes out of Brussels without getting the approval of Washington - or London, which comes down to the same thing." It says that since the days of Mrs Thatcher, Britain has acted as a US proxy in the EU. "One could even add, without too much exaggeration, that Great Britain no longer exists as an independent nation, it is so deeply integrated into the economy and politics of the USA." Strangely enough, much the same conclusion is reached in Issue 2 of Culture Vulture (£1 stamps/PO from Box 39, 82 Colston St, Bristol, BS1 5BB), which focuses on the US-UK Special Relationship, complete with a very useful book list for further reading.
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WONDERING why Rupert Murdoch's Sky is giving away its Digital TV boxes? Private Eye reported on April 2 on the mysterious £160 charge levied on any customer who dares to disconnect their "digibox" from their phone line for any length of time! This turns out to be because the box makes secret phone calls in the middle of the night, sending details of your viewing habits to Sky's computer banks and then on to all those nice junk mail firms who pay good money for this privacy-busting data. Comments to the Eye: "Sky digital subscribers continue to transmit more useful info from their TV sets than they receive through them."
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FIRST Worthing council shut down the Dome cinema because they said it was unsafe (which it turned out not to be), then they pulled the plug on most live theatre at town venues. With the money-men and their Multiplex waiting in the wings, a letter-writer to the Worthing Herald (May 6) suspected a "hidden agenda". What is going on here? Is a Domegate scandal about to engulf Worthing?
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AN OFFICIAL BOMB WARNING - The Ministry of Truth would like to point out that the views expressed in the Pork-Bolter are not shared by NATO or the World Bank and as such constitute an ongoing threat to global unity, peace and economic growth. We therefore consider anyone reading this unauthorised newsletter to be a legitimate target for humanitarian military action and we reserve the right to launch precision airstrikes against any single one of you at any time we fancy and without ever saying sorry. You are advised to put down this newsletter at once and report back to your TV sets for coercive emotional manipulation.
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KEEP UP WITH OUR PIG TALE - If you want to be sure of getting a copy of Issue 18, 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
and finally ... SWITCH OFF YOUR TELLY AND COME AND WATCH OUR VIDEO!