the pork-bolter
ISSUE 108, NOVEMBER 2012

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Business is leaving us all in the sh*t!

Worthing sea is polluted by firm that made £271 million profit

DESPITE some recent good news on the pollution issue in Worthing, the town has hardly come up smelling of roses.

Yes, we were delighted to hear that Decoy Farm in East Worthing is for the moment not being considered for the site of a rubbish-burning incinerator, with all the nasty niffs in the air that would have involved (see last issue). And we were impressed by the £500,000 Environment Agency scheme that will divert the nearby Teville Stream, with a filtering reed bed that will be good news for the swans who live downstream at Brooklands and are regularly affected and even killed by pollution.

But all of this fragrance is somewhat overwhelmed by the hideous stench of the sewage that was poured into the sea this summer by Southern Water - and the likely link to reported illnesses. As the Worthing Herald reported at the time (September 6), hundreds of people had to be told to get out of the sea after 38.7 million litres of untreated waste was pumped into the sea at East Worthing for a total of 43 hours! A “technical error” at the works was blamed.

There are no guarantees this will not happen again. No doubt those hardy souls taking part in the annual Boxing Day Dip will be delighted to find chunks of sewage-ripple ice cream floating around their blue and knobbly knees. And what about the Birdman contest (“Worth £1m to Worthing”)? Won’t aspiring Icaruses be put off by the thought of soaring for a few yards only to land slap bang in a slick of used condoms, toilet paper and floating “Ian Harts” (as they are colloquially known in these parts). Are smelly brown swans much more appealing than dead ones?

The whole incident is obviously enormously damaging for Worthing. There is no sign yet of any penalty for Southern Water yet, and in any case we honestly don’t think a fine would be enough. They should simply lose their franchise, in the same way as underperforming rail companies. But, of course, that isn’t going to happen.

Southern Water is a big private business, owned by Greensands Investments Limited, which is itself owned by various bankers and capitalist backers such as JP Morgan Asset Management. It made an operating profit of £271.6m in the last financial year, which is excellent news for the financial vultures who own it. Southern Water does not have a great record for caring about the environment. On October 9 Ethical Consumer magazine (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org) reported that the Worthing-based firm had had been taken to court and prosecuted 40 times in the past nine years for pollution offences. “Last year it was fined a total of £150,000 for sewage leaks and is one of the biggest polluters of rivers and beaches in the country.”

But somehow - under the marvellous plutocratic democracy championed by the likes of the G8 (see below) - it enjoys not only a monopoly of profiting from our water and waste needs, but effectively a permanent monopoly. While its chief executive officer Matthew Wright is in the (oh-so green and eco-friendly) clover on £632,000 a year, anyone fancying a dip in Worthing has literally been left in the shit.

G is for Greed: G8 fat cats coming back to UK

WHILE the planet reels from pollution and climate change and the public continues to pay through the nose for the banksters’ greed, world leaders are to meet in the UK next spring to hammer out ways of dishing out more of the same all round. Yep, it’s this country’s turn in 2013 to host the G8 ‘informal’ gathering of capitalist states, so expect a hefty blast of media propaganda in a few months’ time. It’s not too hard to see through the spin, mind. When the G8 say they are very keen on “growth”, we know they mean profit. Their statement after the 2012 event wheeled out the usual code-phrases like “reforms to raise productivity, growth and demand” (screwing the workforce and the environment) and the need to “protect investments” (the wealth of the ultra-rich). While the PR message will be all about the G8’s saintly mission to feed the world’s starving children, the agenda closest to their heart is “to help boost private investment” (sell us all off to the global plutocratic elite). There has been a long and proud history of mass protests against the G8, from Genoa to Gleneagles, and 2013 promises to be no different. The venue is being kept a secret to try and thwart opposition, though the clever money is on central London. Book the dates June 13-15 in your diary and get ready to take to the streets! STOP PRESS: meet 7pm, Monday November 26, Cowley Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton http://network23.org/stopg8


‘Harty’ defends paedo Jimmy

THERE are a lot of people in the world who it would be decent to stick up for, even if this meant flying in the face of public opinion. But one of them isn’t Jimmy Savile, the wealthy and well-connected TV celebrity who has now been belatedly exposed as a serial paedophile sex offender of the lowest order, exploiting his public image to gain access to vulnerable children in order to have his sick way with them.

Many of us can hardly now look at a photo of Savile in the papers without a feeling of utter revulsion. For the star columnist on the Worthing Herald, though, Savile is apparently the victim of post-mortem injustice. Ian “Harty” Hart referred on October 4 to the ITV documentary on the loathsome DJ, which he could only bring himself to say contained “allegations” about Savile. Hart added that “far more significant than the documentary itself is the questions it throws up. The person cannot defend themselves and will he now have his memory besmirched forever?”

So that’s what you have taken from this massive scandal is it, Ian? While the rest of the country has been horrified by Savile’s evil deeds, shocked that nobody ever stopped him while he was alive, demanding answers from those who were in a position to do something about him before it was too late, wondering how far this thing reaches and what other ‘trusted’ persons might have been involved, your thoughts are solely about the reputation of a dead sick pervert being “besmirched forever”?

We would say that this defies belief, except that Hart has got form for this sort of thing. Readers may recall that earlier this year Hart was musing publicly on Facebook about his personal dream guests on a fantasy coach party, in which he concluded: “I will round the ten off with Mr Adolf Hitler. Just to add some humour to the trip.” (Porkbolter Porkbolter 105)

Together with his constant rants condemning the “underclass”, whom Hart blames for all the ills in the world, this does not paint a pretty picture of his personality. But, astonishingly, the Worthing Herald still sees fit to publish his offensive ramblings, week after week after week. Hitler was a laugh, Jimmy Savile is an innocent victim of media allegations. Apparently this is all fine by the Herald, which is owned by Johnston Press, whose managing director Ashley Highfield coincidentally used to work for Jimmy Savile’s employer and protector, the BBC.

* PORKBOLTER FOOTNOTE. Following revelations that the late Jimmy Savile also practised necrophilia - sexual intercourse with dead bodies - we would like to point out that we are in no way suggesting that Mr Ian Hart, an undertaker, had any business connections to Mr Savile, whether formal or informal.


High time we were told truth

HOPE remains that the disastrous and anti-democratic bid to turn Worthing High School into an Academy may yet hit the rocks. Shortly after the expose in the last Porkbolter of the pro-business political agenda being peddled, head Alison Beer resigned! The official line, happily regurgitated by the Worthing Herald, was that this was down to “ill health”. But, as reported in The Argus on September 28, it has subsequently emerged that “she is the subject of a West Sussex County Council investigation, although officials are refusing to say why”. Worthing High Academy Action Group(WHAAG)found out about the investigation via a Freedom of Information request, and said: “It is extremely worrying and we are calling on the chairman of governors to come clean and let us know what’s going on.” But chairman of governors Tony Cohen continued to ignore notions of openness and public accountability by telling the paper that the school would “never” be able to talk about the contents of the investigation.

Meanwhile, East Worthing MP Tim Loughton, fresh from his humiliating cabinet sacking. was pretending the investigation wasn’t happening and blamed Beer’s departure on his usual simple-minded 1970s bogeymen of “a small clique of anti-academy activists, backed by militant trade unionists and others who are purely politically motivated”! The Tory buffoon should really stop opening his mouth - it just makes him look stupid.

Update

Congratulations to Alison Beer, who was forced to step down as head of Worthing High School before the start of the academic year because of "ill health" and not at all because of the investigation. Alison is now feeling well enough to set up her own consultancy business. A miracle recovery! http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/ltd/abc-alison-beer-consultancy


15 years of sticking up for what we know is right

HAPPY porkday to us, happy porkday to us... Yes, it is now 15 years since The Porkbolter started shocking the people of Worthing with a point of view not constrained by the fear of upsetting advertisers, politicians or town hall jobsworths. We’d like to say we’d marked the occasion with a lavish party on Worthing Pier, all fireworks, celebrities and self-congratulation, but sadly this was not the case. Instead we just looked back a little wistfully at the world as we encountered it when we set out in October 1997. Tony Blair had just been elected PM, but we already knew he would turn out to be a two-faced warmonger and the New Labour project just a Trojan High Horse for the usual bunch of corrupt capitalist cronies. Privatisation was an early funny-bone of contention for the pun-crazy new pig-themed newsletter “homing in on a rip-off” in the shape of the deviously planned sell-off of the borough’s council housing, which had previously provided the affordable homes today’s young generation are so badly lacking. We were also warning of the menace of the Big Brother state in the shape of the then-new Protection From Harassment Act and questioned the council’s eco-credentials in their light of their plans for “greenfield development at Durrington”. Having explained the origins of our title in the historical nickname for Worthing folk, we signed off issue number one with a timeless piece of advice to our new readers - “Never, ever run away from pigs!”.


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

RESIDENTS in West Durrington have been told work will start in January on the massive housing scheme for the fields next to Titnore Woods, where the trees were famously saved by eco-campaigners. Given the winter flooding of the site, we trust the bulldozers will be specially adapted to work underwater. Meanwhile, a double threat to the local countryside has emerged with talk of Worthing Rugby Club giving up their Angmering ground for development and moving to “a field near Goring station” (Worthing Herald, September 27).
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WHY do all new developments (like the proposed replacement for the Lloyds TSB complex near Durrington station and the aberration proposed for Montague Place) feature “retail units” (formerly known as shops)? They’re shutting all the time and we don’t need any more. Build homes there and spare the fields!
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WELL done to Worthing Film Club http://www.worthingfilmclub.com for another excellent On Location film festival, with highlights including a screening of The Blair Witch Project in deepest and darkest Patching Woods and the classic 12 Angry Men inside Worthing courts. The club shows films all year round.
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AFTER the arrest of a man in Worthing for allegedly defacing a Rothko painting at the Tate in London, it emerged that the sabotage was carried out in the name of “yellowism”. We wonder if it was in some way sponsored by Southern Water to tie in with the new colour scheme it is phasing in for the sea off Worthing...


All the fury and none of the filth

THE PORKBOLTER is a totally independent newsletter produced for and by Worthing folk and named after an ancient nickname for residents of this town. We remain uncontaminated by corporate sewage and do not employ any floating turds to write for us. You can angle for copies at 'Green' at 63 Victoria Road, Worthing (near the station) and a few other random plaices around town. Alternatively, you can trawl through our website at www.eco-action.org/porkbolter or get hooked by our email list - with regular updates - by contacting porkbolter@eco-action.org You can also follow our Tweets on the net via @porkbolter.

Published and printed by The Porkbolter. No copyright, no secret yellowist agenda.


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

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