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Issue 12 - November 1998

EYE SPY MORE BIG LIES

"If you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear." This smug little mantra is the only "argument" that anyone we come across can ever muster in favour of Big Brother and his surveillance state. Needless to say, it doesn't impress us. With Catch 22 logic it is basically saying that anyone who objects to being treated like a criminal must secretly be some sort of criminal and therefore not entitled to have any objection! You lot out there who come out with this crap! Yes you! Do you actually believe it? Do you really think that nobody can honestly be against Big Brother out of principle, because they value freedom and privacy and don't like being spied on?
Does your "nothing to hide" theory also take in nice respectable folk like Worthing councillors? Because things are now getting so porkin' bad that even that bunch of Town Hall toadies are getting worried! The Worthing Herald reported that, in a discussion of New Labour's police state plans for curfews on our children, John Lovell "highlighted concerns about practicality and liberty." Peter Bennett "said it was a sad state of affairs and Lib Dem Chris Sargent said this was inappropriate for such a safe town as Worthing and trampled on people's liberty". Added the report: "A requirement for a thorough audit of crime and disorder problems led to Mr Sargent stating this should have been done before the town's CCTV cameras were installed. Without knowing what kind of crime there really was, and where, the 'cameras were a waste of money'". He's right, of course - CCTV in places like Worthing would be a waste of money and would never have got Home Office cash in the first place if they really had anything to do with protecting the public from burglars, muggers etc. (Mr Sargent's comments reveal that nobody even bothered checking if they were needed for that purpose. Now, why would that be ...?)
The truth about the real agenda behind CCTV - and a sinister and frightening truth it is too - has now slipped out into the public realm, for those willing to see it. "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING" was the front page headline of The Daily Mail on October 15. The story was that the state is now actually going ahead, in an East London trial-run, with the Mandrake computer system that scans CCTV images at 1,000 faces a second and recognises individuals from its databank. There's no point in wearing a disguise or growing a beard as it can see through the lot. The implications of this are terrifying. Our faces recognised and every movement monitored and logged by computers wherever we go - in the streets, in shopping centres, car parks, railway stations, you name it. But wait! Of course! We forgot! As a Scotland Yard spokesman told The Independent: " If you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about." (Sounds familiar!) And, naturally, "the only people entered on to the system will be convicted criminals" another cop assured The Daily Mail. For the present, maybe. But do they really expect us to believe it is sheer coincidence that photo ID is being increasingly demanded by the authorities - for driving licenses, for example? Or that children now have to have their own separate passports - with regularly updated photos!? This tracking of the population is the real reason why CCTV has been installed Worthing and everywhere else - it's nothing to do with preventing pathetic acts of vandalism on the Town Hall flower beds! And the evidence is already there to show that it is not just "criminals" that interest Big Brother - far from it. The Guardian reported on September 21 about a new Europe-wide computerised surveillance plan "based on a novel concept of policing, defined in British documents to Brussels over Public Order Conflict Prevention." These documents state that "conflict may be defined as any act that is contrary to the general public's perception of normality ... It has the potential adversely to affect the status quo." This approach will result, says The Guardian, in "an unprecedented police surveillance operation to gather and share intelligence on all "sizeable groups which may pose a threat to law and order" that cross EU borders to attend pop concerts, environmental and other demonstrations and sporting events."
What was that phrase again? "If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear." It's sounding a bit hollow now, isn't it? Go to a football match, a rock concert or rave, try to protect the countryside, express an unauthorised political opinion, do anything whatsoever that doesn't fit in with official police-state "normality" and you're fair game for organised harassment and intimidation that would certainly be against several laws if it wasn't being carried out by the people who make them up! The people who've really got something to hide are the lying police chiefs and politicians who are stealing our freedom and privacy from us on the sly, while pretending to be protecting us from crime. And if that doesn't give you something to fear, we suggest you go and get your porkin' head examined!

FREE TEA FOR THE FOLK OF WORTHING!

Where in Worthing can you go for a decent cup of tea or coffee and only have to pay if you want to? What cafe will let you bring your own grub in to eat with your drink, provides loads of alternative information and even a play area for children?
The answer is the new Anarchist Teapot open now a 6 Buckingham Road, opposite Allied Carpets and just off Montague Street. Inspired by the phenomenon of the same name in Brighton, this is a squat teashop run by a collective of local Worthing people, most of whom are already involved in various groups working for community and environment. To find out more, just pop in from 10am-ish to 6pm every day - but don't leave it too long or it might have been evicted!

SNOBS WITH A MENTAL BLOCK

Every community has its bunch of selfish anti-social gits who give it a bad name, and up-market High Salvington is no exception. This was plain for all to see at a public meeting hosted by the West Sussex Health Authority at St Michael's Church Hall in Hayling Rise on October 7. The meeting was about proposals to replace Homefield, a mental health facility on the Worthing Hospital site, with a new unit on the Swandean Hospital site at High Salvington. The mob-handed attendance of NIMBYs of the High Salvington Residents Association reduced what should have been a serious meeting to a farcical stream of red herrings and what less porcine journals would call pig ignorance. One snotty resident after another trotted out bigoted views, comments and questions about the dangers of mental ill-health being treated in High Salvington, rather than in the plebby parts of Worthing where they obviously think this sort of problem belongs. The bile pouring forth from "concerned" residents fell into three broad areas. One was the fact that the site is near the A27, the suggestion being that patients would get knocked down crossing the road or would somehow cause a "nasty accident". The second featured children using roads around Swandean "unaccompanied" (as they obviously don't near Homefield or elsewhere in Worthing ...). There was some tale of men hiding in bushes near the Vale School, without any suggestion that they were sufferers of mental ill health. Finally there was the statement that "there are no amenities in High Salvington". Nobody was prepared to say exactly what amenities they were referring to or indeed how the "normal citizens" of High Salvington had managed all this time without them! This was selfish scare-mongering at its worst and the residents involved should think hard about what they are doing. After all, on this showing, it won't be long before many of them are in need of mental health care themselves!

ENEMIES OF PROGRESS?

On Wednesday September 16, BBC2 broadcast a programme called Living With the Enemy documenting a week spent by Conservative councillor Dee-dee Dobel from Somerset, whose heroin is Margaret Thatcher, with a group of New Age Travellers about to be evicted from a site here in Sussex, near Brighton. Worryingly, at the end of the week Dee-dee's antagonism towards the group's way of life had not been softened, but had increased. Interviewed back in the comfort of her posh manor house, she expressed extreme concern that New Age Travellers' children would be brought up to believe they should continue their chosen way of life and that they would have the freedom to do so. She began her sentence with the telling phrase "If we allow those people to have children..."
Disregarding the alarming echoes of Nazi eugenics, as well as the typical ruling class assumption that they are in a position to "allow" or disallow anything of the sort, we would like to complete her sentence correctly. "If we allow those people to have children they will pass on vital life skills - setting fires, drawing water, building shelter, thriftiness - respectful use, not abuse, of Nature and the natural community; they will make minimal demands on resources and minimal impact on the environment and through them we may save the Earth." On the other hand, if we continue to "allow" Dee-dee and her kind to reproduce, they will continue to fill doorways with the homeless, fill prisons with the desperate, fill the streets with the delinquents, cast out the confused and fill the pockets of the already rich, the greedy and the ruthless. They will strip the planet of its resources, tarmac over Nature and deprive children of real life in their relentless pursuit or retention of a lifestyle that literally costs the Earth.

PORKY PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH

How to make a politician look a prat:
    (No action required!)

    PORK SCRATCHINGS

    WHAT can you do against the mighty machineries of official propaganda? Worthing's ruling Lib Dems are currently patting themselves on their backs because they have managed to con council house tenants into voting in favour of their cash-generating privatisation scheme. But then it's easy to persuade anyone of anything if you only tell them half the story. How many tenants were able to see through the glossy bullshit and work out that they were in fact being asked to vote for higher rents and fewer rights, we wonder? Still, we are sure that the head of the new Worthing Homes "charity" will plough ahead with complete selflessness and would never dream of paying himself anything like the obscene £60,000 plus annual salaries being reported from other parts of the country. And all tenants will surely live happily ever after. Watch this space!
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    REGULAR readers will be aware of our deep-seated admiration for Peter Bumley, MP for West Worthing (to such an extent that many suspect his initials had a part in the naming of our newsletter ... but keep that one under your hat). You can imagine then just how some of our crew felt while demonstrating outside McDonald's (do you really need to ask why?) on Friday October 16 when the Great Man himself passed by and took a leaflet! This highlight of a successful activity was capped only by the following bizarre exchange ... OAP (to leafletter): "Shouldn't you be at school. love?" Leafletter: "No, I'm 31."
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    ON the subject of the evil empire of McDollars, we smell a McRatburger in plans for a Teville Gate multiplex cinema (in addition, that is, to the obvious dodgy motive in the council's refection of the bid to restore the Dome cinema ...). The big bucks project is to include a "family restaurant" on the site. What will this turn out to be? We just can't begin to guess! Will independent Worthing caterers be invited to tender for this prime spot? Or does some unwritten law specify that an establishment dedicated to screening unfulfilling crap American films must also serve unfulfilling crap American food? Incidentally, we were surprised to see planning chief Mike Bleakley calling for people to write in supporting the plan (Worthing Guardian, October 15). As top council officer, isn't he supposed to be impartial? Or are we just being hopelessly naive again?
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    THE hunting season is on us again and the people who stole the countryside from our ancestors are ready to enjoy their favourite hobby of torturing and slaughtering wildlife. Who's going to stop them? You? Why not contact Worthing Wildlife Protection and find out how you can help (without doing anything remotely illegal of course because that would be ... well ... against the law!). Worthing Wildlife Protection c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing, BN14 7NZ or email porkbolter@eco-action.org and we will pass your message on.
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    FANCY an entertaining daytrip on Sunday January 10? The End of the Road Reunion, marking the protests against the Newbury Bypass, is being staged on that date and a bunch of anti-roads ne'er -do-wells from hereabouts are planning to arrange a coach to take Worthing merry-makers along to join the fun. Numbers will be limited so book your place now! Write to: Newbury Trip, c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing, BN11 7NZ or porkbolter@eco-action.org
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    THE REBEL ALLIANCE is a new Brighton-based forum for people fed up with our current greed-driven society. It meets every last Wednesday of the month at 7pm upstairs at the Hobgoblin pub, London Road, Brighton (next on November 25).
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    WHO'S AFRAID OF A SEASICK PIG? The Pork-Bolter is a totally independent newsletter produced by and for ordinary people in the town. Our title comes from the nickname that used to be applied to Worthing folk back in the days before dual carriageways, multiplex cinemas, Rotarians and spy cameras, when this was just a humble village full of drunken fisherman. Academics are still hotly debating the exact origins of the cult of Pork-Bolting, and The Guardian entered the fray on October 3 by heading a list of obscure superstitions with the nugget that: "It is bad luck to say the word 'pig' while fishing at sea." This confirms our original hypothesis of a "superstitious dread of pigs" and represents a significant victory over the camp claiming some connection with non-vegetarian cures for sea-sickness. The big debate burns on ...
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    TAKE YOUR PIG If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 13, simply send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope. To get the next 6 issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Any extras always needed and gratefully received. 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 Or leave us a message with the nice people at the Anarchist Teapot since you'll be popping in anyway. The latest issue of the Pork-Bolter will also be there, but since you've got it already so you probably don't care.
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    OFFICIAL WARNING We would like to advise unsuspecting Worthing citizens that the new so-called Anarchist Teapot cafe deprives them of their traditional right to pay modern and sophisticated prices for hot beverages in the town. They may also find themselves exposed to ideas which are at odds with the Government's perception of normality and therefore commit an offence under the 1995 Breach of Conformity Act.

    and finally ... complete collapse of the global economy We were going to do a massive piece in this month's Pork-Bolter looking at the implosion of the capitalist financial system, but then we realised it wasn't anything to do with Worthing and obviously won't affect anyone here at all. Sorry for even mentioning it.


    DON'T GET ANGRY, GET ACTIVE!