the pork-bolter
No 39, September 2001

The Great Housing Rip-Off

NEW statistics have exposed the shameful extent of the housing scandal in Worthing and West Sussex. Despite decades of allowing greedy property developers to build all over our countryside - with even more to come in Titnore Lane, Durrington, despite outraged local opposition - we are still being cheated out of the right of a roof over our heads. Figures from the National Housing Federation show that an income of £46,793 is needed to get a 95 per cent mortgage on an average priced home in West Sussex. Obviously this is way beyond what most individuals, or even working couples, earn around here - have a look at the job ads in the local papers for the pitiful reality of low-wage Worthing. Even the authorities are getting worried by this huge gap - but only because it affects nurses and teachers and others it needs to operate its system and look after the rich. It is so telling that the state only cares about people in their economic role as "key workers", not as human beings in need of a home for themselves and their families. So why isn’t more housebuilding providing the solution? Because the new homes are being built for profit, not as a service. Developers prefer to lure in executive London commuters and second home owners to lucrative posh developments rather than provide local families with the homes they need. And with Worthing’s own council housing cynically privatised by the borough council three years ago, we are all at the mercy of businesses who know that shelter is, along with food, the one product we have no choice in paying for even if we have to work ourselves into the grave to do so. Quality of life in Business-Run Britain? Don’t make us laugh!

Thumbs down for freedom

IT just gets scarier all the time... Not only can you not walk around Worthing town centre without being monitored by the Sussex Police State, but now you can’t even go and look something up in Worthing Library without Big Brother peering over your shoulder. Yep, believe it or not, the newly refurbished reference section in Richmond Road is equipped with CCTV cameras. So don’t research anything the all-seeing all-knowing authorities wouldn’t approve of... Here’s another one. A new trial scheme being inflicted on Worthing will mean shops may demand a thumbprint from you when you go to spend your hard-earned dosh on their goods. Reported the Worthing Guardian on August 10: "Police have supplied 70 Thumbprint ID Scheme kits free to Worthing Shopwatch members - and now the stores may at their discretion ask customers to supply a print of their thumb which will be recorded on the back of the cheque or credit card sales voucher for reference." Note, the initiative comes from the Government via the police rather than from the shops themselves, the supposed "victims" of the "crimes" the measure is supposed to be stopping. While the state is always happy to amass data on its number one enemy, the public, shops may not be so happy with the result on trade. As police told the Worthing Guardian: "We hope it will put people off coming to Worthing." (sorry, forgot a bit "...with cheque and credit card fraud in mind.")

Joint effort simply spliffing

WORTHING’S first ever Big Smoke, held on Bank Holiday Monday at the "Field of Dope", Beach House Green, has been hailed a big success. Said an unofficial organiser: "More than 100 people turned up - and yes we could be bothered to count them - despite fairly low-key publicity in advance. The sun was shining, we all made some new friends and had a chilled time. There was a "Guess the Weight of the Dope Cake" competition which went down a treat. Best of all, we had no hassle at all. This has definitely got to be an annual event now, so put it in your diary - same place, on August Bank Holiday Monday 2002. And we’ll make it bigger and more spectacular now we know there’s the enthusiasm for it locally and people are going to show up!

Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO HOW TO GET A HOME IN SUSSEX
  1. Act like a complete banker and get rich.
  2. Work flat out for 80 hours a week to pay for a 0.5-bedroom studio bijou bedsit timeshare.
  3. Squat your local MP’s second home.

Benefit gig

The Ego-Warriors are proud to present... the porkbolter gig fund-raiser for the Cowley Club (Brighton social centre) and The Pork-Bolter 8PM THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 2001 @ The Lounge Bar, Bath Place, Worthing (by back door of Woolworth’s, was Frog Pond). Punk band Becomes the Water of Death + SUPPORT ACTS, DJs FREE ENTRY!

Tell McBlair to burger off!

TONY BLAIR is quite happy for greedy multinational corporations to exploit children to make even more profits. That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from the revelation (The Guardian, August 30) that McDonald’s is to sponsor part of the Labour Party conference in Brighton, only weeks after it was convicted and fined for child labour offences in Camberley, Surrey (The Guardian, August 1). But then it’s hardly news that Mr Tony is in the pockets of the corporations. Safe with another huge majority for another four or five years, Mr Tony is rapidly dropping all pretence at being a caring, democratic-minded Man of the People and is showing himself to be one of the leading enforcers of the global business dictatorship for which Margaret Thatcher did such splendid work in the 1980s. The latest chilling example of the new openly capitalist Mr Tony came, appropriately enough in The Times - a perfect symbol of how the old British establishment is now one and the same as the dollar dynasties typified by its media monopolist owner Rupert Murdoch. It reported (July 31) a speech in Brazil in which Blair called for "reform" of the EU before Britain would join the Euro. But this is not a "reform" of the type that involves a better deal for Europe’s citizens, less money wasted on the EU gravy train, greater accountability or democracy or anything worthwhile like that. Oh no, this is "reform" in the old Thatcherite sense of the word, as is plain to see by Blair’s choice of words. For instance, he wants "economic reform" involving dropping of trade restrictions (unpopular with greedy multinational corporations), reforms "to modernise Europe, increase employment and promote growth" (more privatisation, bigger profits for big business). The report lists Blair’s key aims as "opening up European monopolies to greater competition" (eg: from US multinationals using cheap Third World labour), "cutting the cost of investment" (cutting wages), "increasing employment through labour markets" (forcing people off the dole and into very low-paid work) and "boosting innovation in industries such as biotechnology" (ensuring the EU cannot halt the advance of the Americans’ Genetically Modified food conspiracy, despite massive public opposition across Europe). We would like to say that Tony Blair has sold his soul to Big Business - but it was probably genetically engineered by them in the first place! * Several protests against New Labour and its capitalist agenda are being staged in Brighton during the party’s forthcoming conference. Most interesting are plans to "Gatecrash Labour’s Party" - meet at The Level at 1pm on Sunday September 30. For more details phone 01273 298192 or e-mail gatecrashing2001@yahoo.com

Hastings - a correction

IT’S not often we have the chance to be happy about anything announced by the Government and now it seems our euphoria last month over the apparent scrapping of the Hastings bypass may have been premature. Said an article by Ros Coward in The Guardian (August 17): "Hastings itself will soon be included in another study: the much wider south coast multi-modal study, covering Southampton to Margate. Campaigners always feared the ultimate game plan is for a south coast motorway; this study might revive it." More info on the SCAR website - http://www.scar-uk.fsnet.co.uk

Spread the SchNEWS

ANYONE who has seen a copy of Brighton’s weekly radical newsletter SchNEWS must have noticed the incredible way in which they cram so much information on to two sides of A4 paper. So imagine the amount of stuff they have managed to pack into the 300 pages of the SchNEWS Squall Yearbook 2001. Here we have not only more than a year’s worth of SchNEWSes under one cover, but loads and loads more stuff from the on-line Squall news service and other contributors. Where can you start? There’s photos of all the big protests and some of the smaller ones, cartoons, a massive contacts list, stuff on hunt sabbing, outwitting the police, GM crops, peace camps, Mad Pride, the World Bank, surveillance society, the Bilderbergers (the secret elite of world capitalist leaders exposed by Jon Ronson on TV earlier this year - also check out www.bilderberg.org), bio-diesel, Zapatistas, Indian farmers, West Papua, road building, Star Wars... sorry ran out of space. The book costs £7 (plus £1.50 p+p) from "Justice?", c/o on the fiddle, PO Box 2600, Brighton, E Sussex BN2 2DX or buy it at Brighton Peace Centre in Gardner St.

Stun guns for public

"IN a bid to halt the rising tide of police violence, members of the public are to be issued with a new high-voltage laser device. The new gun will enable citizens to prevent the police from gunning them down in the streets or in their beds for no apparent reason. The laser works by disabling an armed policeman at a range of 25.4 metres, without causing him any damage for which he could then claim millions of pounds of compensation from the taxpayer." (from Private Eye no 1034, August 10-23)

Lancing FC v Capitalism

A NEW source of anti-capitalist subversion has emerged in the Worthing area - the Lancing Football Club Matchday Programme. In its edition for the August 11 game v Worthing United it listed some highly amusing examples of where global big business has fallen foul of the language barrier. "When Kentucky Fried Chicken entered the Chinese market, to their horror they discover that their slogan ‘finger lickin’ good’ came out as ‘eat your fingers off’. General Motors had a perplexing problem when they introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, They finally realised that in Spanish ‘no va’ means ‘it won’t go’. Things weren’t any better for Ford when they introduced the Pinto in Brazil. After watching sales go nowhere, the company learned that ‘Pinto’ is Brazilian Portuguese slang for ‘tiny male genitals’. "

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

RUMOUR has reached us that West Worthing MP Peter Bottomley’s home in Ambrose Place, Worthing, has gone on the market. Thankfully this should not cause too much disruption for Bumley, a leading chum of Lord Archer, as this is not his only home and he has wisely avoided spending too much time in his constituency. But what, if true, would it say about his future after the next election? Meanwhile, Worthing’s other MP, Tim Loughton, continues to reside at a safe distance in Burgess Hill.
* * *

A BIG mobilisation is being staged against the DSEi arms fair in London Docklands on Tuesday September 11. Transport from Brighton at 9am to the Fiesta for Life Against Death costs £4 in advance from the Peace Centre in Gardner St. Phone 01273 298192 for details or go to www.disarm-trade.org. Find out how it went at the next meeting hosted by Worthing eco-action, scheduled for Tuesday October 2 at 7.45pm at the Downview pub, opposite West Worthing station. Then on Thursday September 20 there is our very own benefit gig (see above).
* * *

We are always hearing from Worthing Borough Council about its commitment to "greening" the borough. So it was a shock to see a current leaflet on the West Sussex Vegetated Shingle Project, an important coastal scheme. This boasts support from West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council, Arun District Council, Adur District Council and... what? No mention of Worthing? Meanwhile English Nature has issued figures on the provision of Local Nature Reserves by local councils. Scores: Chichester 8, Mid-Sussex 4, Adur 3, Arun 2, Horsham 2, Crawley 2, Worthing... 0. Can this really be true of our caring eco-friendly council?
* * *

INFO sheet eroding empire (56a Crampton St, London SE17 3AE) reports that an anti-vivisection demo on September 21 "needs 500 people dressed as primates to die on the pavement." Surely all they need to do is call in the cops...
* * *

NERVOUS times for education chiefs as the date of planned anti-CCTV mass mid-morning walk-out from Worthing schools draws closer. The proposed action for Friday September 28 comes as a response to a similar action at Tanbridge House School, Horsham (see issue 38) where pupils became sick of constant surveillance.
* * *

BRIGHTON Permaculture Trust, committed to sustainable development, is holding a weekend introductory course in Permaculture Design for Eco-Living at the Phoenix Centre, Brighton, on October 13 and 14. Contact Fran on 01273 381686 or go to www.brightonpermaculture.co.uk

Warning - don’t complain!

EXPERTS from the Ministry of Contentment say people’s health can be endangered by listening to criticism of Government policies.They warn: "Exposure to negative stimuli such as anxiety over low wage levels, high housing costs, unfulfilling jobs, deteriorating environment or loss of privacy and freedom can have a disastrous impact on a humanoid unit’s well-being and, more importantly, productivity. Our message is simple - be happy and don’t ever complain about ANYTHING or you will contract a horribly painful disease and die a lingering and agonising death. And come out in spots."

Tune in to Pig Brother - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent newsletter for Worthing and not a cunningly disguised paper-thin surveillance camera. If you want to ensure a copy of issue 40, 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.

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and finally ...
Let ‘em know that enough is enough!

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