the pork-bolter
No 70, October 2005

Titnore turmoil on the telly!

TITNORE Woods protesters made national TV when they blocked a road with a burning effigy of John Prescott on Sunday September 4. The Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme on ITV captured the defiant scenes and broadcast them later in the month, forcing Prescott to acknowledge the Worthing campaign on the telly.

Angered by the way public opinion has been ignored on the issue, protesters have now called for a "Vigil for the Death of Democracy" at the roundabout linking Titnore Lane and the A259 Littlehampton Road, next to Northbrook College at 2pm on Saturday October 29. An article on the South Coast Indymedia website said this new protest had been called by the previously unknown campaign group Titnore Emergency Action (TEA), with others already pledged to support it.

The September 4 drama followed a rally held by longstanding campaign group Protect Our Woodland! (POW!) against plans to build 875 new homes on fields and ancient woodland off Titnore Lane, West Durrington, Worthing. Outline planning permission has already been granted by Worthing Borough Council for the scheme, which would see more than 200 trees being felled in the last remaining ancient woodland in the area. A plea for the decision to be called in for a public enquiry was rejected by the office of deputy prime minister Prescott. Now council planning bigwig Mike Bleakley says (Worthing Herald, September 8) he expects work to start "early next spring".

Angry locals gathered in numbers in Northbrook Park in Durrington to hear speeches by representatives of POW!, local amenity groups such as the Worthing Society, Sussex Wildlife Trust and former county councillor and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Chris Hare. Most of them then joined a procession down Titnore Lane itself, to show "John Prescott" the woods whose death warrant he appears to have signed. In the heart of the woods the crowd came to a halt and gathered around the effigy, which was set on fire to cheers and chanting and the annoyance of queues of motorists.

Said one of the protesters: "We hope this sends a message to Worthing council and the government that local people are not going to sit back and watch property developers trample all over their countryside and their heritage. They have thwarted the democratic will by pushing ahead with this scheme and they are going to meet with spirited resistance every inch of the way." More info here


Vigil for the Death of Democracy

2pm, Sat October 29

Northbrook College roundabout

A259/Titnore Lane

Durrington, Worthing

(5 mins Goring-by-Sea station)

Called by TEA

(Titnore Emergency Action)


TEA says trouble is brewing!

Statement from Titnore Emergency Action posted on www.indymedia.org.uk

TEA warns Worthing Borough Council, the West Durrington Consortium and the Somerset family that they are really in hot water over the Titnore controversy. Trouble is brewing locally, with people’s patience now severely strained and growing numbers being stirred into action. These residents are no mugs and would be off their trolleys if they allowed their sweet heritage to be milked for profit by developers taking lumps out of the countryside. TEA urges all those behind the development not to let the bad feelings stew further and to abandon it now before the situation boils over.


Sheltering corporate greed?

"ALTHOUGH residents are trying to oppose new house building at every turn, Shelter is calling on the government to build even more homes," reported the Worthing Guardian on September 9. It reported that the charity wants the government to "urgently commit to building an extra 12,000 new social rented homes at an additional cost of £224 million a year." Of course, it can only be a coincidence that, according to its own website, Shelter’s "corporate support" involves partnerships with the likes of Grainger Trust Plc "the UK’s largest residential property investor" and big developer Crest Nicholson, which declares: "Just as Shelter is committed to helping people in need find somewhere they can call home, Crest Nicholson is committed to building homes for all." Ahhh. How sweet.

They want to steal our seafront!

THE WORTHING Society has called for the Aquarena swimming pool on the seafront to be saved. The council is planning to axe the popular venue and sell off the site in what seems like a giant conspiracy to turn the whole of Worthing seafront into a privatised luxury flat complex for rich outsiders*.

* Nobody gets rich on Worthing wages!


Housing battle in brief...

LIVING in a democracy as they do, at least Durrington residents can rely on their local councillors to represent them as they face the onslaught of the developers and their bulldozers. Except they can’t. Because The Argus recently discovered that one of them, Tory Richard Falk, has in fact moved to the Isle of Man! He is refusing to resign and, surprise, surprise, continuing to claim his £3,000 a year councillor’s allowance (Argus, September 30).
* * *

PROTECT Our Woodland! is urging Worthing folk to put pressure on the council to change its mind on Titnore in a quite legal way. They want hundreds of households to stop paying their council tax by direct debit and instead wait for the council to send them a monthly bill, snarling up the system and getting the message across to the Town Hall. Fancy giving it a try?
* * *

TITNORE Lane even made headline news in the September 2005 edition of the Tories’ ironically named "In Touch" newsletter, although remarkably they avoided any mention of the massive housing development there that the Tory-run council had just approved. Instead residents were treated to a whinge over six-month old Lib Dem comments about putting a travellers’ site there. Now let’s take this logically, chaps. What is the bigger threat? Half a dozen shabby caravans or 875 new executive homes? And, while you’re at it, where the pork is Richard Falk?
* * *

MORE than 100 people packed into a Findon Parish Council meeting to protest against nine new homes being built in the pretty downland village (Worthing Herald, August 11).
* * *

RESIDENTS in the Beeches Avenue area of Broadwater have been forced to start protesting again after developer Hargreaves Homes made yet another move to build 90 homes on the downland north of the A27.

Keeping those consumers under control

PARANOID little piggies like us have long been wary of the various loyalty cards offered to us virtually every time we buy anything bigger than a packet of Polos. And now we’ve been proved right! Reported The Guardian on September 20: "Tesco is quietly building a profile of you, along with every individual in the country". A subsidiary called dunnhumby is collating detailed information on every UK household on its Crucible database - not just those who shop at Tesco.

Said the report: "Companies such as Experian, Claritas and Equifax have databases on individuals and Crucible collects from them all. Any questionnaire you may have completed, any reader offers you responded to, are bought to build up a picture of attitudes and habits. Crucible also trawls the electoral roll, collecting names, ages and housing information. It uses data from the Land Registry, Office for National Statistics and other bodies..." And no, the firm won’t tell you what information on your life it holds.

Meanwhile, more great news for privacy and freedom. Reported the Worthing Advertiser on August 17: "Worried parents can now take advantage of the same technology Italian police used to track down and capture one of the London bomb suspects. In just three seconds, ChildLocate, the leading mobile location provider in the UK, allows parents to pinpoint the whereabouts of their children without calling them. When the phone is switched on, the parent can see where their child is, either on a map on their PC or via text messages on their mobile phone."

Ever wondered why the government is so keen to permit all those mobile phone masts to be put up? We reckon it’s high time we were all tagged by this system and our every step monitored 24 hours a day by the Government and Tesco. After all, if we’ve nothing to hide...


Disagreement is Terrorism

WE HAVE been warning for years that the Terrorism Act - and associated fearmongering - have nothing to do with real terrorism, but simply with state control and crushing of dissent. This was famously confirmed by the incident at the Labour Conference in Brighton, when 82 year old heckler Walter Wolfgang was refused readmittance to the event under the Terrorism Act.

The Guardian’s law section also reported (October 3) that another man was stopped under the same law for, according to the police stop and search form, "carrying plackard and T-shirt with anti-Blair info" with the purpose of the search described as "terrorism". Commented columnist Marcel Berlins: "So now we know. For the Sussex police, at any rate, an anti-Blair slogan is a ground for suspecting terrorism."


Propaganda and the press

HYPOCRISY and newspapers are not words that are totally alien to each other, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by the conduct of the West Sussex Gazette. The paper, which has always presented itself as the guardian of the local countryside, has suddenly launched an "A27 Action Now!" campaign to build A27 bypasses over the errr... local countryside - north of Worthing and south of Arundel. It gushed on September 9: "Free flow of traffic is essential to a free-flowing buoyant local economy". A key figure behind all this seems to be Tory Arundel and South Downs MP, Nick Herbert, whose website includes a news release of September 13 calling for a road-building campaign and hoping that "an alliance of businesses, MPs and councillors of all parties, councils and other organisations could be persuaded to support the campaign, which would then aim to recruit widespread public support via a petition and a website". It also ties in with the West Sussex Economic Partnership’s dubious claim that businessmen in the county are struggling (our hearts are bleeding!) and "to ensure economic survival" we need "a countywide network of priority highway routes with sufficient capacity to connect with national trunk roads and motorway networks". Worthing hack Tony Mayes has also been plugging the same line (see Pork Scratchings). Nice to see the ‘independent’ local press fall so quickly into line with a Tory propaganda campaign...

Underwear under scrutiny

MAURICE Morrison, Worthing’s moral crusader and Boer War hero, has issued a statement on the controversial banning of women in lingerie from this year’s Rotary carnival parade. He says: "I applaud the swift thinking action of the young rookie PC who swooped so gallantly to prevent the corrupting influence of Brighton decadence on our respectable town. I will be very willing in future to personally carry out inspections of all floats in advance of the parade, particularly those submitted by women’s underwear companies, which will, of course, require the closest possible scrutiny from someone with a keen eye for detail."

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

FIND OUT what’s going on in town with the monthly celebration of people power known as the Worthing Alliance. It’s all free and open to everyone. Next dates: Thursday October 27 and Thursday November 24, both starting at 8pm upstairs at The Rest in Bath Place, Worthing.
* * *

WELCOME to cloud cuckoo land. According to Worthing’s self-styled media tart Tony Mayes (Worthing Herald, October 6), that’s where anyone resides who thinks building a new motorway across the forthcoming South Downs National Park near Cissbury Ring would be more environmentally damaging than rush-hour queues of traffic on the existing A27. Errr.... right. Meanwhile, we believe we have spotted a massive mistake in Mayes’ comment column in the Worthing Advertiser on October 5. He wrote: "A friend of mine..." Hold it right there.
* * *

FOR ALL the robocop door-cutting antics of Sussex Police, as mentioned in our last issue, Worthing’s popular cannabis cafe was not defeated by the absurdly over-the-top raid, which even set fire to part of the building near the station, in Victoria Road. In fact, it was open again ten days later, throwing a big party with free food to celebrate its astonishing resilience.
* * *

NOT CONTENT with plotting to poison our water with fluoride, Southern Water is planning to force water meters on us all. New houses already have the insidious devices fixed and now anyone moving house will find a meter has been slipped in during the change of ownership. The excuse is the need to save water, but the reality is that the charges will be yet another burden for people who cannot afford it - especially large families - and a potential big step back in hygiene, as baths and showers are rationed in hard-up households. Meanwhile, you can bet there will always be plenty of water to spare for the executive golf courses and private swimming pools (as advertised, for example, for the new posh flats at the Warnes Hotel site near Splash Point).
* * *

CHRISTMAS is coming and if you are repelled by the selection of over-hyped drivel on offer in the bookshops, why not treat your nearest and dearest to a radical education in their Yule stocking? We can recommend three new books out from AK Press (PO Box 12766, Edinburgh EH8 9YE). The Voltaire de Cleyre Reader (£10) collects the writings of a neglected heroine described by Emma Goldman as "The most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced". Chomsky on Anarchism (£11) is a look at the principles that inspire Noam Chomsky, the legendary intellectual best known for his blistering attacks on the US establishment. For Workers’ Power, the Selected Writings of Maurice Brinton (£12) is the distilled wisdom of the libertarian socialist from London. Meanwhile the marvellous Kate Sharpley Library (BM Hurricane, London WC1N 3XX) has brought out a booklet by Umberto Marzocchi entitled Remembered Spain: Italian Anarchist Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (£2).
* * *

WE ARE always quick enough to criticise local papers, so we ought to commend The Argus for its "Justice for Omar" campaign calling for a fair trial of Saltdean man Omar Deghayes and the other British citizens held illegally and indefinitely by the USA at Guantanamo Bay.

Warning: improper opinion

GLORIFICATION of protest could become a crime under new anti-terrorist legislation, the Minister for Free Speech warned today. He explained: "In a democratic country, the oxygen of publicity must not be provided to those who would stand in the way of economic progress and subsequently it will become a criminal offence for newspapers to carry reports of any demonstration or other expression of improper opinion involving one person or more, without formal authorisation from my department." A spokesman for the Grand Lodge of Responsible Editors complained that the new law was completely unnecessary as they had already been complying with it in spirit for years.

No snouts in the trough here

THE PORKBOLTER is an independent newsletter for Worthing, written, produced and paid for by local volunteers and, unlike any other source of local news, not geared towards (or, for that matter, capable of!) making money. 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 heckling on pain of death.


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

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