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Issue 11 - October 1998

RON'S BIG EGO-FESTIVAL

Rotary Chief Tries to Ban Worthing's Green Bank Holiday Bash
A SURPRISE comedy act was top of the bill at Worthing's Eco-Festival in Homefield Park. But Rotarian clown Ron Noakes didn't turn up to make people smile. He was trying to get the event banned at the last minute! Not only was this astonishing attack on Friends of the Earth completely ignored by the local mainstream media, but they couldn't even bring themselves to report that this unique and newsworthy festival had so much as taken place. This is the disgraceful truth behind events at Homefield Park on Monday August 31, hidden so far from the thousands of Worthing people who will have seen and enjoyed the superb environmental showcase laid on for their benefit by hard-working volunteers.
The background to the shameful episode was of many months of uncontroversial and painstaking preparation. Following last year's Eco-Festival, organisers once again went through all the proper procedures to hold the event on a corner of the park on the same day as the Rotary Club. Everything had gone to plan, the weather forecast was good, volunteers were just beginning to set things up for the bank holiday fun, when in walked Ron Noakes, chairman of Worthing Rotary Fair. Witnesses say he had obviously taken an instant dislike to the alternative goings-on shaping up for the festival and projected bad vibes before he even opened his mouth. This is perhaps not surprising, for we have since found out that he is an ex-copper and the state-enforcers-in-blue are already well known to our readers (and the world as a whole) for their fun-busting frolics. When he did speak, the verbal diarrhoea lasted for 20 unsavoury minutes, culminating in the immortal rant "I work for 24 hours a day, you lot just claim the dole!" Wrong, Ron! Firstly, many of those involved have full-time jobs, secondly if you really worked 24 hours you would undoubtedly be dead, which while arguably not a bad thing in itself would have made it impossible for you to be standing there picking fights with common unwashed swine!
Ron, supposedly representing a charitable organisation, then made even more of an authoritarian fool of himself. He and his mates told FOE volunteers they couldn't sell their vegetarian food because there was a burger van on the Rotary Fair site (although the burger man himself did not object) and later tried to stop Brighton's Anarchist Teapot cafe stall from selling food by calling in Health and Safety inspectors - who promptly issued them with a certificate to say they could carry on! Wrong again, Ron! He still had not had enough and also accused FOE of stealing wheelie-bins from his fair. In fact they had been donated by a council Rotarian! Wrong yet a porkin' gain, Ron! Final act of self-humiliation was to physically run away from a FOE he'd woken up too early in the morning, thus earning himself the nickname Rocket Ron. These Ron-doings were matched by certain other Rotarians, with reports of threats to have lorries drive over people's tents and attempts to stop Eco-Festival stall-holders coming into the park. But the event went ahead and was a total triumph for FOE's Sophie and Niki, and their tireless team of co-workers. If it had doubled in size since last year, it had more than doubled its attendance, support and popularity. When else in Worthing can you listen to pedal-powered music, learn circus-skills for free, listen to story-telling, eat healthy food, get clued-up on healing, watch children get excited about a whole lot of green-flavoured stuff ...? The atmosphere was only spoilt by the arrival in the park of the convoy of massive lorries pulling the Rotary Club floats. An intrusive, noisy, noxious, crap-belching, environmentally-unfriendly waste of time and space. Ello, ello, ello! Sounds like someone else we know!

ROTARY ARM OF THE STATE?

IT'S not just the Eco-Festival that Ranting Ron and his chums want to police. They've also got it in for car boot sales! Revealed the Worthing Guardian in the week before the Eco-Festival: "The Rotary Club of Worthing is the first organisation to adopt a code to stop car boot sales being used to sell counterfeit and stolen goods ... The organisers are expected to write down the vehicle registration mark, record and verify the seller's name and address, ensure the seller displays his/her name on the stall and make this information available to the police, trading standards or the Benefits Agency if required." And there in print is Ron himself, declaring: "We do not want any bargains being offered at the expense of creating a victim of crime." Victim of crime, indeed! Ron is just helping out our old mate Big Brother in his manic crusade to have total control over everything - and in this cast to tax every last penny anyone scrapes in, or to deduct it from their social security! Ron obviously is still a copper at heart and wants to make the Rotary Club a volunteer arm of the state, a sort of Dad's Gestapo keeping us all in line. This might all seem a bit strange for people used to thinking of the Rotarians as nice harmless people who raise cash for charity. But there has always been a dodgy side to the organisation. It is not a little local group, but an international organisation based in America (of course!) and explicitly, according to our dictionary, for "professional and businessmen". There is also known to be a certain overlap in membership with the Masons, whose attitudes the Rotarians ape. At the end of the day, it's down to the local Rotarians to make their position clear. They can stick with Ron and make enemies of half the town, or they can make it publicly known that they don't want anything to do with his police state mentality and just want to carry on raising cash for good causes. We look forward to their response!

NOT CUT-OUT FOR POLICE WORK

LAST month we revealed that Sussex Police Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse wants to be able to flog off, to the media, video footage of the public shot by those loveable CCTV cameras now installed in all our towns. But we reckon he could make a lot more money selling the global rights to the endlessly entertaining activities of his own bungling boys in blue. Latest outbreak of high farce was in Billingshurst, where a Police Special from the Steyning station spotted a figure in a High Street shop one evening, reported the West Sussex County Times. Without further ado, he immediately sounded a full-scale alert and brought reinforcements dashing to the scene from all directions. The suspect turned out to be a life-sized cardboard promotional cut-out of TV personality Angus Deayton.
default "It's a biggie, Sarge! There's 500 Angus Deayton cut-outs down here and they've all got unauthorised veggie burgers!"

HURRAH FOR THE PROFITEERS!

HOW proud were you to hear that Worthing has been declared "the most profitable town in Great Britain" by a global information company (whatever that might be)? About as pleased as you were to see that chip shop bloke from Goring celebrate winning £2.6 million in the lottery, probably. Because these two events had one thing in common. Not that Worthing's streets are "paved with gold" as the Worthing Guardian pathetically claimed, but that 99% of us won't see a penny of all that lovely lolly. That's what you expect from the lottery - after all the whole thing is a Robin Hood in reverse, stealing from the overdrawn to make one or two lucky sods filthy rich for life. But there seems to be a blind spot when it comes to understanding what lies behind the word "profit". Where does all this profit that is being made in Worthing come from exactly? Does it drop out of the sky up on the Downs and trickle down the hillside in plastic pipelines feeding straight into the businessman's bulging bank accounts? Does it get washed up with the tide under the pier and then collected up in bin bags and converted into share options? Errr. No. Not exactly. We made it for them! All that talk of "flexible workforces" and "efficient labour units" boils down to the fact that the longer we work and the less they pay us, the more of this wonderful profit stuff they make - and keep for themselves! Councillor Chris Sargent blurted on in the papers about "business excellence", adding that the council was "making every effort to attract 21st century companies to the town to share in our success". What, by letting them build factories over green spaces like Goring Gap? By pandering to their every whim? By putting the interests of Big Business before the interests of Worthing people? What exactly is the price of all this profit?

PORKY PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH!

How to turn a Rotarian into an eco-warrior:
  1. Wait for him to say that the A27 bypass would help Business
  2. Point out that Worthing is more profitable than towns with a bypass
  3. Wait a sec for his tiny mind to tick over and take this in ...
  4. Lend him your climbing gear and watch him go!

BIG BROTHER DOWN YOUR STREET

A DANGEROUS precedent has been set by Sussex Police. It wants to put up CCTV cameras in a residential area, namely the Whitehawk Estate in Brighton. This represents a major step towards the abolition of privacy. When are you now safe from prying state eyes? Police are already using various surveillance techniques to film "suspects" in their own homes. If that is OK for the detection of crime, how long will it be before they are arguing that it is also necessary for the "prevention" of offences such as domestic violence or child abuse? Where will you draw the line and say NO!

YEAR OF THE PIG

HAPPY Birthday to us! It is now one whole year since the first issue of The Pork-Bolter hit the streets of Worthing. We're really pleased with the way things have come along since then, but there's a lot more work to do. Priority number one is to keep The Pork-Bolter appearing regularly and we thank all those who have helped us to do that over the last 12 months, with written contributions, financial contributions, practical help or just encouraging words! Task number two is to ensure that even more people in Worthing can read The Pork-Bolter. This is where all our readers can be of help. We know that there are already many of you who photocopy and distribute this newsletter in your own circles. It would be great if even more of this went on. Everyone knows someone with access to a photocopier. Go on, ask them! And don't worry if you don't have anyone to give your copies to. Why not just leave them somewhere public where they will be found? Or just push them through a few letterboxes down the road. Even if only ten people handed out ten copies each, that would still be another 100 Pork-Bolters in circulation! Let's porkin' go for it! Who knows where we will be in another year's time?

MP'S SENSIBLE IDEA SHOCK

ENCOURAGING news of Peter Bumley, MP for West Worthing. The town's populist hero (known in the grey outside world as plain Bottomley) is co-sponsoring a Bill in Parliament aimed at reducing traffic speeds in towns! Good to know he's been absorbing out little words of criticism and is now embarking on the right road (i.e. one that doesn't threaten to kill you every time you try to cross it!). No doubt he will shortly be resigning his directorship of Appian Traffic Technologies Ltd, in case any ungenerous souls think there is some conflict with easing traffic problems and promoting car parks.

PORK SCRATCHINGS

WONDERS will never cease! Remember those new "anti-terrorism" laws brought in on the back of the Omagh bombing, laws that seem to be aimed at allowing the police to finger anyone they don't like without even having to give a good reason? Well, among the rebel MPs who voted against the tide of self-righteous cant that carried it through were none other than the Worthing Tory duo Tim Loughton and Peter Bumley. We're not sure why (would they have thought it OK if it had been the Conservatives pushing it through?) but it seems churlish to detract from a laudable stand. Well done chaps! We won't blame you when we all get locked up by the Though Police for being sarcastic about the Rotary Club.
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CYCLE BAN: A RIPPLE OF DISCONTENT: When is a cycle ban not a cycle ban? When it's on Worthing promenade, according to the Worthing Herald. And when you're an ice-cream salesman making money out of riding there, and pay the council for a "concession", it is suddenly no longer dangerous for you to be there. You know it makes sense.
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KEEN followers of world affairs will have noticed that the key element to our Government's foreign policy remains the same whatever party is in power. We always have to do whatever the Americans tell us to. But evidence from The Independent on Sunday on September 6 suggests this special relationship intrudes a little closer to home. It appears that before Bill Clinton's manhood got entangled in the Zippergate scandal, he had time to phone Tony Blair and "personally intervened" in the UK controversy over Genetically Modified foods. Clinton has "close links" with Monsanto, the massive US multinational behind GM experiment and they helped fund his 1996 election campaign. Pressure of opinion is threatening to force our Government to follow France and Austria's lead and ban GM crops for the meantime and so Monsanto, via Clinton, is trying to stop any UK moratorium. Said Sussex's own Norman Baker, Lib Dem MP for Lewes: "It is quite wrong for the British Prime Minister to be conspiring behind the back of the British public about American business interests."
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DID you read in the Worthing Herald about the Worthing couple who get a lot of strange phone calls, because their phone number is similar to the cop shop's? It's not just thick members of the public who keep disturbing them. We learn that the nuisance callers regularly include "police officers asking to be transferred to different departments".
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GENETICALLY MODIFIED HUMOUR - Q: What is a genetically modified couch potato's favourite TV channel? A: GMTV, of course!
NB: Actually, we don't approve of the phrase "couch potato", which is alien and American. What is a couch anyway? Have you got one in your home? The term "sofa spud" should be used instead. Try it out on your friends and wonder why they seem to be avoiding you!
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NO PIGMENT OF OUR IMAGINATION The Pork-Bolter is a totally independent newsletter produced by and for ordinary people in the town. In other words we are not part of an international business organisation based in America and do not go around trying to spoil other people's festivals or dob them in to the Benefits Agency for raising a few quid by selling off their record collection at a car boot sale. Our name is not meant to imply any close links with the police force, but is a piece of history snatched from the mists of time. Worthing folk really were once known as Pork-Bolters, for reasons too obscure to go into every month, so just take our porkin' word for it, OK?
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JUST KEEP PORKING Thank you so much for sharing this issue of the Pork-Bolter with us. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 12, simply send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Any extras always needed and gratefully received. Back issues 1-10 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 We look forward to hearing from you!
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OFFICIAL WARNING The Pork-Bolter hates the countryside. We must do because we don't believe in torturing animals (eg: PIGS), keeping the plebs off the land and treating farm workers as feudal vassals. Also we don't drive Range Rovers.
and finally ... RECLAIM YOUR TOWN, RECLAIM YOUR LIFE!