How many more laws are they going to pass? How many more lies will they tell? How many new rules can they invent? How many more checks are they going to carry out on us? How many more cameras can they point at us? How much more are they going to steal from us? How many more weapons are they going to use against us if we dare to even think about defying them? How many more prisons can they build to hold us in?
For the last 12 years, The Porkbolter has been charting the totally frightening rise of a police state in the UK. Below are just a few of the latest horrors to attract our attention – for each issue we publish there are piles of similar cuttings and links that never make it into our limited space.
But what are we going to do about it – not just us, but everyone who feels the same way? We have the feeling it's time to start looking at stepping up the resistance to the tyranny that is taking hold of this town and this country – before it's too late.
A good place to start may well be a weekend event being staged at the Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, on Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1.
Says the website for the Gathering Against the Prison Society: "As the economic crisis hits deeper and people get organised and angry, the state needs media diversions like the War on Terror, escalating political repression, paramilitary policing, new prisons & immigration detention centres, biometrics, surveillance, relentless imperialist incursions – all to maintain the class divisions that ensure continued economic exploitation.
"The UK State, leading others, is about to proceed on a major prison building project, whilst more and more our societies already resemble open prisons. It all has to go."
*** POLICE in the UK are looking at using a new taser that fires wireless electric shock projectiles up to 30 metres, causing an excruciating painful shock for 20 seconds, the Home Office has confirmed (Guardian, August 24). Said an 'alarmed' Amnesty International: "This is effectively a shotgun that fires electric-shock bullets."
*** IGNORE a ruling by the European court of human rights and keep on adding the DNA profiles of tens of thousands of innocent people to the national database, chief constables have been ordered by the Association of Chief Police Officers. (Guardian, August 8)
*** ONE law for them... Former Worthing police chief Sharon Rowe has eventually resigned, having been suspended on full pay for 10 months after being arrested for alleged shoplifting. She was never charged, despite evidence, and now looks set to get a £28,000 a year pension with a £150,000 lump sum (Worthing Herald, July 23).
*** PRISONERS in UK jails are working for some of Britain's best-known brands for as little as £4 a week (Guardian, September 9), with the likes of Virgin Atlantic, Monarch Airlines and Travis Perkins profiting from the forced labour of people not covered by the minimum wage – and axing properly paid posts as a result. Welcome to the master blueprint for a future Britain – an island of slave labourers working at gunpoint for the Totalitarian Capitalist World Reich.
AS SHADOW Minister for Children, you would have thought Worthing MP Tim Loughton would want to have something positive to offer the young people of his constituency. A vision of how their lives could be improved under Tory rule, perhaps? Some kind of hope for a brighter, better future in which they could fulfill their potential and contribute their talent and enthusiasm to society as a whole?
But no – he just wants them all flipping burgers at McDonald's for crap wages.
The baseball cap said it all in the photo accompanying the Worthing Herald report on August 27. Somehow it seemed to fit so well with Tory Tim's over-fed and pasty features. Yes, you really could believe that he enjoyed daily breakfast, lunch and supper under the sign of the Golden Arches - until you remembered that he works (in his spare time from being our MP!) in a lucrative job up in the City where the stuffed suits find more refined fare with which to overfeed their smug faces.
But Tim was certainly prepared to swallow McDonald's propaganda, if not their nosh.
He was convinced the burger chain was now "environmentally friendly" and impressed by the "healthy food options". Continued the report: "The MP added he was pleased to learn about the company's training initiatives. 'It's no secret that work-based training offers a valuable alternative to more traditional education models,' he said." So valuable that no doubt Tim wishes he'd taken up Milkshake Studies at the McDonald's Wage Slave Academy, rather than boring old traditional Classical Civilization at Warwick.
And we suppose he's already got all three of his kids signed up for an McApprenticeship as soon as they leave school. Why follow Daddy's footsteps and become a fund manager with Montagu Loebl Stanley when you can 'Have a Nice Life' in the neon 'n' plastic world of corporate cardboard-flavoured fries?
In order to make sure the kids of today turn out knowing their place in the world and not questioning the merits of classical capitalist civilization, it's obviously important to keep them under tight control and surveillance. An article in The Guardian education section on August 4 tells how school students in Essex walked out of a classroom after finding CCTV cameras had been installed overnight.
"Ideas can't be expressed freely if we're all being monitored," said one of them. Unfortunately, that's probably the whole point.
It's also a very lucrative business to be in. The managing director of school CCTV firm Classwatch said 94 schools in the UK already used its high-definition cameras in their classrooms at a cost of £1,345 a year for the lease of two cameras in each room (the same schools that 'can't afford' to provide books for kids). The large photo on the Guardian page features an image of CCTV cameras mounted on walls, with the centreground filled by the looming sinister outline of a dark shadowy figure. We can't see his face, but the silhouette shows he is wearing a baseball cap. Who ever could it be? Here's a clue – the chairman of Classwatch is none other than Tim Loughton MP – Big Mac Brother himself.
One councillor actually admitted after the vote they were scared they would 'get into trouble' if they opposed Tesco's greed-fuelled expansion. These so-called representatives are either totally gutless or they are all getting treble Clubcard points for toeing the line! (or both, maybe...)
Compare the scaredy-cat councillors with the up-for-it activists who held up work on the Tesco site with a plucky lock-on protest picnic on September 22 (see http://titnore.wordpress.com).
Who do you think is standing up for the people of Worthing better – the politicians or the protesters? And yet while one lot claim thousands of pounds in expenses, the others get little thanks and loads of hassle from the cops. There's no justice in this world!
There was the death of a 14 year old girl who had died shortly after receiving its Cervarix jab (Guardian, September 29), plus a 17 year old left with brain damage (Telegraph, October 3) after having the vaccine.
And there was the front page news that its anti-depressant Seroxat (see Porkbolter 54) can cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women. With the case being compared to the Thalidomide scandal of the 1960s, a series of legal actions against GSK is starting in the USA, claiming the Worthing firm knew or should have known about the problem at least ten years ago. The Guardian (August 8): reported one expert's verdict that for pregnant women on Seroxat the rate of birth defects and miscarriages is doubled.
Meanwhile, GSK is also cashing in on the swine flu scare in a big way, producing antiviral Relenza and vaccine Pandemrix. Experts from the University of York have questioned whether taxpayers' cash is being wisely spent on stockpiling Relenza and although Pandemrix has now won its licence, The Guardian reported (September 26) that side-effects include: "headache, joint pain, muscle pain, pain and redness at the site of the injection, fever and fatigue". We reckon we'd rather put up with a dose of swine flu, but then where would that leave GSK's profit-margins? As a Reuters report noted on August 24: "The pandemic of H1N1 swine flu has been a bonus for GlaxoSmithKline." A bonus at our porkin' expense!
The Argus reported on July 13 of controversy surrounding "plans by housing association Worthing Homes to build a BMX track, basketball courts and a five-a-side football pitch on land off Maybridge Crescent, in Worthing." Although "residents have reacted angrily" and many had written in to complain, the plans were subsequently passed by Worthing Borough Council – surprise, surprise! Some points to highlight:
1. The Argus noted that "both patches of land are currently used by people as an informal play area and a dog walking area" but that did not stop it referring to the areas as "wasteland". This faithfully reflects the stance of Robin King, chief executive of Worthing Homes, who declared: "We've got a number of these redundant spaces." So space where people can relax and do whatever they like is "redundant" is it, Mr King?
2. The report reveals Sussex Police "backed the scheme, praising Worthing Homes for speaking to and listening to locals about the plans". Readers may recall that it was police warnings about "security" that provided a handy pretext for Maybridge Keystone Club to fence off the 'wasteland' next to their premises for potential development.
3. Although they are not mentioned in the Argus article, it seems Maybridge Keystone Club were also somehow involved in this new land-grab, as news of the permission to Worthing Homes was proudly announced on the club's Facebook site.
Having already established in our last report the link between the Keystone Club and the security firm awarded the town centre town wardens contract, a picture starts to emerge of the way that this town is run as a cosy little club for the enrichment of a minority elite. Worthing Borough Council, Worthing Homes, Sussex Police and so on work very closely with various private companies, from security firms to builders, who are awarded various lucrative contracts which channel an endless river of taxpayers' money in their direction... and the rest of us lose out, in every way, time and time again.
* To get some perspective on this broader issue, it's useful to look at the history of land enclosures in Britain. An excellent article on this very subject can be found in the Summer 2009 issue of The Land magazine. Subscriptions £10 from The Potato Store, Flaxdrayton Farm, South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5LR.
Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no McCrap in our public spaces, thank you very much.