the pork-bolter
No 64, November 2004

Council bans Porkbolter!

for pornography, illegal activities and violence!

THOUGHT POLICE at West Sussex County Council are barring young people from reading The Porkbolter on this website. We have discovered that the public computers at its Information Shop for Young People in Marine Place off Warwick Street (aka ‘the place’) are set up to prevent users reading most issues of our independent newsletter. A message comes up declaring: “You are being blocked from viewing content of the following type(s)...” And the system then comes up with absurd and unfounded excuses for its censorship, falsely claiming our site features “pornography” “hate” and “illegal activities”. Here’s a summary of why the council’s computers reckon your average 24 year old should not be allowed to read various issues of The Porkbolter:

Issue 63(Police repression, Tetra cover-up, snakes under Cissbury): Illegal activities.

Issue 62(Dome cinema, police curfews, Tim Loughton MP): Pornography.

Issue 61(Titnore Woods, badgers, not voting): Illegal activities, Pornography.

Issue 60 (Tetra masts. water fluoridation, Worthing Animal Clinic): Illegal activities.

Issue 59 (Council cuts, global warming, ‘War on Terror’): Hate/violence, Illegal activities.

Issue 58(Council tax, civil liberties, Peter Bottomley MP): Hate/violence.

Issue 57 (Titnore, local democracy, man stung by bee): Hate/Violence.

You get the pattern. It’s not a question of some kind of ban on anything political, as there’s no problem getting on the Conservative or Labour parties’ websites, for instance. But it seems anyone under-25 is being banned from reading news and comment critical of the status quo. Even a simple google search for “anarchism” was blocked because it apparently equals “illegal activities” (funny, we thought it was a major political philosophy!). As for alleged ‘violence’, the system doesn’t stop the fragile youngsters reading murder stories on the BBC, for instance. Or from playing brutal ‘shoot-em-up’ online video games, like the chap sitting at the next computer to our frequently frustrated young correspondent! Who is behind this insidious censorship? On what grounds are they blocking access to our site? We urge anyone who cares about free speech to help us find out!


FBI shuts down London-based independent media sites

ON THURSDAY October 7 the American state attacked free speech in Britain and Europe by shutting down a London-based network of independent news websites. FBI agents got a court order enabling them to seize two servers used by the volunteer Indymedia network in Uxbridge, closing down 20 sites across the world. Said a spokesman for the International Federation of Journalists, which represents half a million journos across the world: “We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism.” The justification for the seizure was not known, as some kind of gagging order had been placed on Rackspace, the company that provided the servers. The real reason is even murkier. Various theories seem to be circulating, but at the end of the day pure and simple intimidation of dissenting voices appears to be the most likely motive. This chilling attack on our liberty might have been expected to have made front page news in this country. It didn’t of course, which says a lot about the state of the media in what is increasingly becoming a totalitarian capitalist police state.

Complete control of the media is an important weapon for any bunch of dictators. Witness the government’s hounding of the BBC for daring to suggest that the infamous dodgy dossier was, well, dodgy. Or the way the Americans have banned independent news channels from “liberated” Iraq and set up their own propaganda station. While TV shows like Question Time try to make out there’s a meaningful discussion going on, the truth is that only people with ‘acceptable’ views are allowed on the programme - on the panel or in the audience. Anyone who really questions the sinister scam of our so-called democracy does not stand a pig in hell’s chance of being heard over the official airwaves. That’s why people have felt the urge to set up independent news sites to bypass this deliberate block on real information and real debate. That’s why Indymedia was set up and that’s why it was attacked. With global resistance to our corrupt rulers on the rise, this sadly won’t be the last time that the boot of repression stamps down to try and silence the voice of freedom.

* Indymedia’s now back up. Check it out on www.indymedia.org.uk


worthing night walk tale

get out at the multi storey opposite the church bar and head due west past a radio basement bar and pizza joint, across the high street to the goring cycle path, ice cream porticoes, past Barclays bank 1959 along dark street - police crawling for pensioners out of bed, through a residential estate, with sign saying for “active” elderly - plenty of valium, no staff needed, double their direct debit, Dead quiet. Over parallel coast road after seeing Grafton multi storey through a twitten looking for the book shop near Poland’s furniture store and the goring garage my grandpa ran in ww2 turning out cartridge cases.

On turning a corner am weaving between a self speaker, a bag chatterer, looking for an all night garage too. Head to the sea, Saxon building ltd, Normandy court, dog walker not walking, joggers head down towards the pier, turn left at Beach hotel ex-army hospital with fake looking palm trees, dinner now served.

I drift a twitten my mum could die/live here, back to parallel street, black kid babbling in shop stoop - gala bingo silvered windows, Alldays still blazing, eastwards restaurant with one couple, I see a fish bar packed out later, cheap coach tickets to Rome and Malaga, sun burnt out of date, turn right to Grafton multi storey great orange lantern empty, angle grinder sparks on ramp - tarmac repairs, head round to the pier and the Denton lounge with its trio of kit kat eaters, four 1950s sgraffitoes on outside wall. Onto pier - look back at bent orange panorama. Fishermen laugh at my vain attempt to enter the lush club, anorak tourists spin the boards. Lots of pilotless rods spin drift the slushy sea.

Chinese couple argue by the Wurlitzer room two boys kick the gents’ door, Across to Blu bar - a trio of greys mime pizza jazz, fast food muzak. no entrance allowed. Up high street a dark haired girl smokes like a wanna be crew, the real girl crew sits with black boys by another café.

Turn right down to internet café, a pub denies access to a bearded Celt, a tramp with orange sleeping bag sails past, an over-tanned gold wearer sparkles in his elders’ eyes. I pit stop at Church bar - wall to wall football, underage barmaids and an old perv at the bar. Euro teens drink coke and pool cue, I find a copy of the Sentinel - ww2 diaries of weather, Chaplin critiques and parking complaints, I drift past Thai eatery and fundo Christian book shop/Cats charity shop and disappear.


Slipping down an anti-social spiral

EVER sat reading newspapers and felt your head spinning round with the realisation that somehow all this information fits together, if only you could work it out? And when you do get a string of connections together, it all comes round and disappears into where you started, like a snake swallowing its own tail?

Here’s an example...

The mighty Worthing Advertiser reported on September 29 that those nice people at Worthing council were generously spending our money on a special conference for businesses. This would hear about businesses’ “issues and aspirations for the future” and “ensure that business needs are heard”. Because obviously businesses are so much more important than the people who live in Worthing. No need for those poor hard-up folk in suits to cough up a penny, in case you were concerned for them, because “The conference, including refreshment, is free.”

What business meeting would be complete without a glass or two of free wine over a free lunch? And yet, if you are a mere pleb, the authorities are out to nab you if you have had a drink during working hours, as the selfsame Worthing Advertiser revealed on September 1. The “West Sussex drug and alcohol action team” warned that “a member of staff under the influence of drink or drugs will only achieve 67 per cent of their work potential” and urged a slavemaster crackdown to “create a more productive environment”.

One law for them, another for us. And the same theme cropped up in the Advertiser on September 13, with the news that awards are being given to people who report anti-social behaviour. “The brave people who are taking steps to tackle anti-social behaviour should be commended,” said MP Peter Bottomley. We reckon that starting illegal wars, polluting the planet or building all over the countryside is pretty anti-social behaviour, but of course they don’t mean that. The folk in suits can’t be anti-social. It’s scruffy kids on estates they’re talking about.

Hardly a surprise, in this sick and hypocritical world, that a vast 78% of parents fear their children are at risk of being anxious or depressed, according to a Norwich Union survey (BBC website, Oct 6).

And the reasons for their depression and/or anti-social behaviour could well be physical, too. The Daily Mail on October 8 revealed: “Children’s bodies are routinely contaminated by up to 75 potentially hazardous chemicals... Modern lifestyles are partly to blame, with fast food and household goods including TVs and plastic toys increasing exposure. But the persistence in the environment of pesticides and industrial chemicals, some of which were banned a decade before the children were born, is another major factor.”

And who is responsible for this contaminated, plastic, industrial world poisoning our children? Could it be greedy businessmen like the ones recently given a free lunch and a sympathetic ear by Worthing Borough Council?

Oops, we seem to have come full circle!


Good news on Titnore!

WELCOME news of a technical hold-up in the plans to build 900-odd homes on the green fields and ancient woodland off Titnore Lane, West Durrington. Not that it is exactly clear what the hitch is about. The Argus reported on October 8 that the government’s Highways Agency had objected to the housing plan because of likely road congestion - the same concern that knocked down developer Hargreaves’ latest bid to build on downland off Beeches Avenue, Worthing. But the Worthing Herald (Oct 14) quoted the agency as saying it had not actually objected, but was just carrying out “the usual procedure”.

Either way, a useful stay of execution for our countryside seems sure to be the result. Council planning bod Mike Bleakley told the Herald: “Obviously the implication is that until that work has been clarified, we cannot move ahead and make a decision on that major development in West Durrington.” You would have thought this would have all been good news for the council. Like its county council counterparts, it is always telling us that it doesn’t want to allow property developers to bulldoze our natural heritage, but is being forced to do so by the government and its housing quotas.

With a government agency questioning the viability of the scheme, what better excuse for turning round to the Whitehall bureaucrats and suggesting they file their housing quotas in their civil service paper shredders?

But, oh no. No celebrations from the local guardians of our countryside. Mr Bleakley’s reaction to the news in the Argus was: “I have to say it gives us some cause for concern.” And in the Herald, he gave the game away completely, by saying that an A27 motorway across the South Downs would “help unlock all our problems”. In other words, instead of using the Highways Agency’s intervention to argue against more housing being “imposed” by London, the council’s approach is to push for a new road which will then lead to the green light for loads more housing and congestion all across the borough! You can’t honestly say you’re surprised, can you?

* A reader informs us of a heart-warming footnote to the 60th annual Clapham and Patching Summer Show in September, where the winner of the Conservation section was none other than Clem Somerset, whose family is selling off Titnore Woods to the property developers. Unbeatable irony.


Fat Cats going Scot free?

WHEN the G8 group of world rulers meet at Gleneagles, Scotland, from July 6 to 8 next summer, you can be sure they will tell us they are tackling world poverty and hunger. Just before tucking into yet another five-course mid-morning snack and downing another tanker load of Champagne at the tax payers’ expense. A good indication of their attitude is that they have just spent £40,000 on a new Scottish-themed logo, just for this year’s event, which they proudly describe as a thistle with a “modern twist”.

If you’d like to stick a thistle, with a firm modern twist, up Tony Blair’s fat expense account, you might want to team up with Worthing’s very own ‘Shut the G8’ group. Even if you can’t make it to the massive protests up north, which are expected to make May Day look like a Women’s Institute Whist Drive, there’s plenty of work to be done here in Worthing and in Brighton, where a similar group has been set up. The campaigners will be giving a video presentation and talk on Tuesday December 7, 7.45pm, upstairs at The Downview pub in Tarring Road, Worthing. The website at www.freewebs.com/shuttheg8 also has news of a big protest just up the road in Steyning on Friday November 5.


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

WE’VE got traffic pollution, we’ve got sea pollution and now we’re set for sky pollution, with plans by Worthing and Brighton councils to expand the airport they own at Shoreham. Those behind the expansion are seemingly trying to confuse the public into inaction with incomprehensible bureaucratic jargon. Don Turner, chairman of the Joint Authority Task Group, was quoted by the Worthing Herald as announcing: “We’re now going to put proposals back into the private sector arena to get a viable solution to secure the airport’s long-term regeneration vision.” Someone please put him on a one-way flight to Gobbledegook International...

* PEOPLE who want to fight more road and airport pollution are invited to attend the Roads and Airports Action Gathering on November 19-21 at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham, NG7. www.roadalert.org.uk

* * *

NEO-LABOUR are proposing yet more draconian laws affecting the right to dissent and protest under the title Modernising Police Powers to Meet Community Needs. The moves include a ‘super warrant’ allowing the police to search any property associated with an individual, allowing police to arrest people for all offences, a new offence of harassment aimed at stopping protest outside people’s homes, banning or controlling protest outside Parliament, plus extending the use of DNA and other identification techniques.
* * *

WE NEARLY fainted when we saw the horrific headline about our friend councillor Nick John in the Worthing Herald on September 16: “I was abused in the council car park by a gang of Lib Dems”. We’re told Nick is a bit sore about the whole incident and will now be watching his seat at the next election.
* * *

SO FAREWELL then, Russ Whitfield. Having drawn so much joy from watching the police superintendent’s rise to mediocrity, we are gutted to learn he has moved to HQ in Lewes. He told the Worthing Herald that the highlight of his stint in town was “the way we handled various campaigns - anti-war, cannabis and Titnore Lane demos”. Happy memories for all, and a tearful goodbye.
* * *

WE MENTIONED last month the mysterious “POW WOW” graffiti that has appeared over the town. We have since received an anonymous message from someone who claims to know what it’s all about. Apparently it stands for “Prisoners of Worthing Writing on Walls”. If our source would care to expand on that at all, we’re all ears!
* * *

‘IMAGINATION Unleashed’ is the slogan for this year’s Anarchist Bookfair at the University of London Union, Malet St, London WC1 on Saturday November 27, 10am-7pm. Entry free. It’s not just books, it’s meetings, mags, videos and other cool stuff.
* * *

THE campaigning A24 Alliance has called for an inquiry into proposed changes to the north-south dual carriageway, which it warns will turn the road into an “M24 interstate”.

Warning: This is pornography

THIS newsletter has been officially designated pornography by West Sussex County Council’s Department of Public Hygiene and Political Purity. If you have inadvertently read all or part of its content and are feeling unusually aroused and ready for action, you are advised to take an immediate cold shower and then report to your nearest Political Decontamination Clinic for a brain wash ’n’ wax to restore you to a healthy and authorised state of flaccid inertia.

Christmas cheer on the way!

A BIT of badly needed festive cheer is on the way in our next issue which, all being well, will be a double sized Yule Special, featuring a surprise cartoon treat. Bet you can't wait! All of this won't be available on this site, though, due to technological incompetence. Send SAE for a single issue, specifying which one you want, or to get the next six issues through the post send a donation of at least £3 payable to The Porkbolter. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. Send e-mail to 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, no American pigs raiding our sty. Yet.


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

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