the pork-bolter
No 40, October 2001

War a load of twaddle!

SO what’s this war all about, then? Why exactly are we wasting billions of pounds of our badly needed resources raining destruction on a small, impoverished country thousands of miles away from our own glorious land of disintegrating railways, crumbling health service and teetering economy? If you want to know the answer, the last place you want to look is on the telly or in the papers. You can kiss goodbye to any small traces of truth that may once have accidentally leaked into their news flow. There’s a war on, you know. It is their patriotic duty to fly the flag (in this case mainly the Stars and Stripes), reassure the public and not rock the boat with any awkward questions that might undermine Mr Tony’s war effort. But anyone who really does believe in freedom and democracy will not stop asking questions just because it is inconvenient for those in authority. And they will not allow their memory to become so short-term that they gullibly swallow every convenient half-truth and distortion presented to them by opportunist and manipulative spin doctors. For instance, on October 8, the morning after the bombing of Afghanistan began, the BBC reported Foreign Secretary Jack Straw as saying the war was being waged on behalf of the poor starving people of that country, suffering under the Taliban regime. This was a new one to most people. Surely we all knew what the war was about - it was a response to the attacks on New York and Washington, wasn’t it? If that hadn’t happened, there would never have been a war on Bin Laden and Afghanistan, would there? Errr, well not quite. A crucial investigation published by The Guardian on September 22 - and strangely not picked up by the BBC, ITN or The Sun - showed that it was in the pipeline anyway. At a meeting in Berlin in July - two months before the supposed "cause" of this war - the Americans threatened to launch military attacks on the Taliban if they did not hand over Osama bin Laden. Ex-President Bill Clinton also confirmed (The Guardian, Sep 26) that the USA had already tried and failed to get bin Laden. He said: "I authorised the arrest and, if necessary, the killing of Osama bin Laden and we actually made contact with a group in Afghanistan to do it." So much for the world changing on September 11! That event may have speeded up US attacks on the Taliban, but it was clearly not the cause, as they pretend. Another well known "fact" is that the British public support the war. Or do they? David Miller of the Stirling University Media Research Unit (david.miller@stir.ac.uk) has uncovered a systematic "misreading" of opinion polls. While the headlines, even in the liberal Guardian and Observer, chose to highlight support for specific action against the terrorist groups behind the US attacks, they failed to report other poll findings that reflected people’s reservations. When asked about "massive air strikes", a majority were opposed. Adds Miller: "Public opinion on the causes of the current crisis is also notably at odds with most media cheerleading. In the YouGov poll, a majority blame the US (62%) and Israel (52%). Fully 70% agreed that ‘in the past, the US has been far too arrogant and selfish in the way it has treated the world’s poorest countries.’ None of these responses made it into print." "Truth is the first casualty of war" is an old adage, but no less relevant for that. We urge our readers to take care over what they believe in the weeks ahead. As a dissident in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 points out: "It’s always one bloody war after another and one knows the news is all lies anyway."

Gather for Peace!

in Montague Place,

Worthing

at 2pm on Saturday, October 13

and 11am on Sunday November 11

non-sectarian, non-partisan events.

all welcome.


Some interesting links

No To War

Stop The War

Indymedia UK


Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO BECOME A GREAT WORLD STATESMAN LIKE MR TONY BLAIR
  1. Do what you’re told.
  2. Look smug.
  3. Talk total rubbish at all times.

USA set to bomb evil Worthing

SHOCKING new evidence has emerged of Worthing’s links to Osama bin Laden. And the "incontrovertible proof" means the town can expect to be the next target for the US airforce. We can reveal that they will not just be dropping bombs but also leaflets - advertising American line dancing classes at the Pavilion Theatre. The link between the world’s most wanted man and the South Coast’s least popular seaside resort has been made by investigative wordsearch fanatic and amateur chiropodist Doris Dorothy of Goring. She revealed how a man she is now sure was bin Laden himself sat next to her at a Car Maintenance for Beginners evening class at Heene Road Community Centre in 1994. She recalled: "He didn’t have a beard at the time, I suspect he has since had plastic surgery on his nose, and his skin was a little darker in those days, but I am 100% sure it was him. He didn’t seem very interested in cars at all and kept asking the tutor how to disable transponders on commercial passenger aircraft." Added Mrs Dorothy: "He did mention to me in the coffee break that he was the head of a secretive worldwide ring of fanatical Muslims aiming to undermine the very core of Western society through a merciless campaign of global terror, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. It was only when he was all over the TV and the newspapers that I decided to come forward with my incredible story." Mrs Dorothy has also discovered a vital piece of paper - a note from bin Laden to the US hijackers wishing them luck on the mission "that I dreamt up all those years ago down The Mulberry." Said Mrs Dorothy: "It must have been blown from the cockpit of one of the planes as they crashed, survived the resulting inferno, got caught in a freak current of transatlantic wind and been finally deposited next to my shed here in Goring. I sometimes just have to pinch myself. This all seems so totally unreal."

Councillors stuff snouts deeper in trough

WORTHING Borough Council’s splendid elected members aren’t too worried about global war or recession - they are planning to double their allowance payments! The pay hike at the town hall will cost the ratepayers of Worthing an extra £80,000 (Worthing Herald, September 27). But they are so confident that we all feel they deserve it that they, of course, won’t bother consulting us as to whether we want to hand them the cash - they will just vote on it themselves, in the best traditions of British democracy! More good news is that we will also be chipping in up to £10,000 to buy laptop computers for "leading councillors" (ie members of the ruling Tory clique). Said Tory executive member for resources Steven Waight: "Each executive member will be asked whether they think it necessary for them to have a laptop to carry out their functions. If they agree, the council will agree to supply one." Meanwhile a public meeting about changes to election boundaries in Worthing, much hyped in the Worthing Herald on September 6, only attracted four members of the public. Councillors seemed surprised at the lack of interest in the latest minor changes to their totally discredited "democratic" system. You’d have thought they would have got the message by now...

How They Rank

Popularity league table of attendance at recent events in Worthing
  1. Fifty Years Worth of Confiscated Pornographic Filth with Anthony Anthonies...42,043
  2. Worthing’s First Annual Big Smoke...112
  3. Doris Dorothy - My Memories of Osama bin Laden...47
  4. Rotary Club Monday Night Paint-Drying Display...6
  5. Worthing Borough Council’s Vital Meeting on Election Changes...4

Winston Sensible’s War Diary

SENSIBLE was deeply moved by the sensitive and well-chosen words chosen by Mr Timothy Loughton MP on the occasion of the destruction of New York’s fine World Trade Center by the unwashed heathen horde. His reflection that "Evil has been taken to new heights" was a highly appropriate comment to place alongside a photograph of one of the aircraft crashing into the lofty skyscraper in the Worthing Herald on September 13 and not in the least bit distasteful.

SENSIBLE was pleased to hear that the BBC had courageously apologised to the United States of America for the untimely outbreak of public opinion allowed to spoil the Question Time television programme immediately following the calamitous events of September 11. The corporation has wisely concluded that it was vastly irresponsible to allow such unauthorised views to be transmitted live. The discussion should, of course, have been recorded and edited before transmission, thus allowing officials to censor out any unwelcome anti-American or anti-Israeli comments in the interests of the freedom and democracy which we are all fighting to preserve.

SENSIBLE was bemused by the attention given by certain sections of the press, notably The Guardian on September 27, to the following report: "Coffee giant Starbucks has been forced to apologise after it was revealed that rescue workers were charged £88 for water to treat the victims of the World Trade Centre attacks." Further outrage was apparently sparked by the report on CNN that a woman fleeing the scene of the disaster, her throat choked with dust, was charged for a glass of water at another venue. Do these whining self-appointed moral guardians not realise that the freedom for Starbucks and other businesses to make money in any way they see fit is the very freedom the democratic world is now united in defending?


Mistaken identity

IS there no limit to the cynical opportunism of the powers-that-be in trying to turn Britain into a police state? The dust had barely settled on the thousands of dead bodies in New York before some bright spark in Whitehall saw the chance they had been waiting for. Jets hijacked by (probably) Middle Eastern people crash into big buildings in America. Therefore people in Worthing should have to carry ID cards before they can be treated at hospital. No, you’re right, it didn’t make any sense at all, so much so that they have had to drop this scheme - for the time being. But it’ll be back and it is up to us all to make sure it is strongly resisted every time it is wheeled out. More info from: Statewatch, Po Box 1516, London N16 OEW (www.statewatch.org); Privacy International, PO Box 3157, Brighton BN2 2SS

Privacy International site

optional-identity site


Support Neil Bartlett

NEIL Bartlett, from Angmering, is currently languishing on remand in HMP Lewes charged with making phone calls disrupting the business of four animal abusing companies and one environmental polluter. Needless to say, the authorities regard making such phone calls as a major crime, while torturing animals or destroying the planet are praiseworthy examples of enterprise. The maximum sentence is seven years per charge, making a possible total of 35 years. Neil is considered to be such a dangerous user of the telephone that bail has been refused time after time. A trial date has not been set. Neil welcomes letters of support which should be sent to FW7083 Bartlett, Hospital Wing, HMP Lewes, BN7 1EA.

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

LOVELY to see that Govia, the new train company taking over from Connex in this area, have got their priorities right. The trains may run late and the toilets may not work, but passengers have been delighted to see that the traditional re-painting of the trains in the new corporate colours is well underway. This time the old slam-door carriages are being painted shades of green to recall the good old days of Southern Railways. They needn’t have bothered with the paint. If they stripped away the layers on their antiquated rolling stock they should find the original paintwork still intact underneath.
* * *

REASSURING words in the Worthing Guardian (September 21) from Sussex Police’s assistant chief constable Nigel Yeo about Captor, the new mis-labelled "pepper spray" (it is in fact a gas made from the chemical Nonivamide) now issued to his officers. He coos: "The public have absolutely nothing to fear from Captor." Two paragraphs later we learn: "Officers who have been sprayed describe the stinging experience as nasty and painful and their eyes are forced shut." Nothing to fear?
* * *

WHERE were you on September 11? Several members of The Porkbolter team were up in London protesting, appropriately enough, against the horrors of war outside the DSEi arms fair in the Docklands. Notably, while various football matches and other big events were postponed out of respect for the dead, the arms fair was not affected and went ahead as planned. No doubt business was positively booming and the weapons industry is looking forward to making a real killing in the months to come.
* * *

The next meeting hosted by Worthing eco-action will be on Tuesday November 6 at 7.45pm at the Downview pub, opposite West Worthing station. A guest speaker will reveal some of the less well known agendas behind the current war in Afghanistan, followed by discussion and socialising. See you there!
* * *

FREEDOM lovers from Worthing are heading up to London on October 20 for the 20th annual Anarchist Bookfair, which is being staged from 10am to 7pm at the Camden Centre, Euston Road - near King’s Cross station. This is a big free event, which outgrew its previous venue and will feature stalls, meetings, workshops, videos, cds, web access, food, bar, creche and evening social.
* * *

OUR benefit gig on September 20 proved a big success. Thanks to all those who helped arrange it and particularly the excellent grunge-punkers Becomes the Water of Death. They’re playing again at The Tunnel Club in Marine Parade, Worthing, on Thursday October 18, from 10pm. Keep an eye out for them. They’re porkin’ excellent.

Warning: Enduring Misery

The Ministry of Infinite Justice announced this week that due to the international situation the right to smile had been suspended. It said: "This is a small price to pay for the enduring freedom and democracy that will be assured by the Glorious Jihad Against Terrorism and Various People We Don’t Like."

The Pigger the Better - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent newsletter for Worthing, first produced exactly four years ago and named after an olde worlde nickname for Worthing folk dating back to the days when nobody round here was quite sure if America really existed or cared much if it did. If you want to ensure a copy of issue 41, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £3 to cover costs. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to The Pork-Bolter. 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. You can always pick up up a free copy of The Pork-Bolter from the info stall in Montague Place, Worthing, most Saturdays from 1pm.

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright. No bomb shelter.


and finally ...
Beware - truth is the first casualty of war!

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