the pork-bolter
ISSUE 107, SEPTEMBER 2012

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Exposed: real agenda at Worthing High

Head and chairman of governors both members of national pro-business group

FEELINGS are running high over the bid to turn Worthing High School into an Academy, a controversial and unpopular move which could be forced through any time now. And concerns are hardly likely to be lessened by government minister Michael Gove's announcement that academies will, in future, not even have to employ qualified teachers.

Parents and staff at Worthing High where there has been a one-day protest strike have been enraged by the way headteacher Alison Beer and chairman of governors Tony Cohen have dismissed their opposition and refused meaningful dialogue. Such has been the duo's anxiety to avoid their critics that they even switched a governors' meeting away from the school in South Farm Road because there was a protest outside, fleeing to the safe refuge of Mr Cohen's Nsure business premises.

The pro-Academy clique have been quick to dismiss opposition to their plans as "political". Worthing Herald columnist Ian Hart, for instance, admitted publicly he was a Worthing High governor in the May 31 edition of the paper. A couple of weeks later, on June 14, he felt emboldened to weigh in on the controversy, declaring: "I do get the feeling some people are opposed to it for merely political reasons and nothing to do with the future education of our youngsters." Mr Hart, a commentator whose views, as The Porkbolter has previously pointed out, could kindly be described as very right-wing, obviously hopes readers will fail to spot that he may have his very own "political reasons" for supporting the bid.

And, indeed, the whole policy of transferring our schools out of public control and into the hands of unaccountable business-style organisations is nothing if not political in origin. There are even a number of organisations in existence whose sole purpose seems to be to promote the gradual conversion of public education into state-funded training for the future workforces of those wealth-creating heroes of "the business community".

One of these is Education and Employers, which explains on its website (http://www.educationandemployers.org) that it is "committed to deepening relationships between schools and colleges and employers". Its Taskforce Trustees, chaired by David Cruickshank, chairman of Deloitte LLP, include Don Robert, chief executive of Experian plc; John Griffith-Jones, chairman of KPMG; Sir Richard Lambert, former director general of the CBI; Terry Duddy, chief executive of the Home Retail Group; Sir William Castell, chairman of the Wellcome Trust; Rod Bristow, chairman of Pearson UK and Peter Dart, director of WPP plc. Former trustees include bosses of Rolls-Royce, Rothschild and HSBC all the sort of people who have made Britain the marvellously egalitarian place it is today.

Education and Employers has also set up an Expert Group of Governance, which declares on the website: "Enhancing the partnership between education and employers in the governing of our schools and indeed through the governing of our schools is clearly an important and substantial matter." Since the whole organisation seems geared up to facilitate a business takeover of our children's education, it perhaps comes as no surprise that the Expert Group of Governance is so blatant about its agenda openly admitting that it aims to use the governing of our schools to open the doors to private companies and their requirements. But more startling for Worthing people is that our little town seems to be somewhat overrepresented on the Expert Group it only has 20 members and two of them are from here. And who are they? None other than Tony Cohen of Nsure, chairman of the governors at Worthing High, and Alison Beer, headteacher at the very same Worthing High!

The Porkbolter asks the Worthing public to consider which side in this controversy is the one with the real hidden political agenda...

* Opponents of the Worthing High academy bid are urged to sign a new petition at: http://epetition.westsussex.public-i.tv/epetition_core/community/petition/1952

Worthing High Academy Action Group can be contacted at worthinghighacademyactiongroup@hotmail.com


MP blessed by 'grace of God'

HOW lucky are the people of East Worthing and Shoreham to have Tim Loughton as their MP! Take, as an example, Tory Tim's statement on his website on why he opposes Gay marriages. He writes: "From my personal perspective, when I entered into a Church of England marriage with my wife 20 years ago this July, and with my father presiding as the local rector, it was a tremendously special and solemn occasion. It was characterised by the part of the Church of England marriage service which defines marriage as: 'a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God."

With all the sleaze and immorality in public life, most MPs would be wary of issuing such statements, for fear that it would set them up for public humiliation if their vices were ever exposed. But Tim's forthright message surely proves once and for all that his personal life is wholesome and beyond reproach - and for that, if nothing else, his constituents should be truly grateful. Amen.


Worthing firm's drugs shame

WE WOULDN'T have thought it possible, but the reputation of Worthing's biggest drug dealer has sunk even lower into the dirt. GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn in the USA for mis-selling drugs. The Guardian reports (July 26) that it "sold the antidepressant Paxil for unapproved use on children and pushed Wellbutrin for sexual dysfunction and weight losses, uses for which it was not approved... The company also lavished entertainment on doctors, such as golf lessons and fishing trips, to entice them to promote its medicines." We fully expected MP Tim Loughton, very keen on morality (see above) to have something to say on the issue, but a search of his newsletter revealed only an item from 2010: "I recently met the Directors of GlaxoSmithKline, the large pharmaceutical company, to discuss the new 'patent box' tax incentive introduced by the Treasury. The new proposal will lower corporation tax on profits generated from UK owned property. GSK were very happy with the idea..." We bet they porkin' were!


Picketing the police station

WELL done to the dozen or so supporters of the Worthing Freedom Campaign who picketed Worthing police station in Chatsworth Road earlier in the summer in protest at the draconian Section 30 "Dispersal Order" imposed on the town until the end of August, for reasons which are still unclear. The disproportionate and unnecessary police-state legislation was slapped on us by Sussex Police, with the political backing of the right-wing Tory council. The Argus reported at the time: "Under the order police officers and police community support officers can tell any problem groups of two or more people to leave the area and not return for up to 24 hours. Anyone who refuses or breaches the notice can be arrested and could face three months in jail or a fine of up to 2,500." How could someone be jailed or fined huge amounts of money without having been found guilty of any offence? It only takes one pig-headed prejudiced copper (and there are plenty of them around, in our experience!) to take a dislike to you and you are effectively banned from parts of your own home town without any right to defend yourself! If anyone is committing a crime, there are plenty of laws in place to deal with it, without this catch-all type of legislation which treats us all as criminals. For more info see http://worthingfreedom.blogspot.co.uk In other cop news, Sussex Police's Chief Constable Martin Richards is being investigated by the IPCC (Worthing Herald, July 12) after an accusation was made that he used "undue influence" - further details have not yet been revealed. And a separate report by the IPCC (The Guardian, May 25) revealed that more than 8,500 allegations about corruption had been received about police in England and Wales in three years - but only a measly 13 cops have actually been prosecuted and found guilty.


Cancer in the air?

FANCY a bit of cancer? A waste-burning incinerator could be built in East Worthing, near the existing tip, with West Sussex County Council identifying Decoy Farm as one of its possible waste sites. Among the possible processes is "energy from waste", a jargon term for incinerators, notorious for producing dioxins, highly toxic chemicals which have been identified as the cause of many cancers. The thought of cancer-causing fumes drifting over Worthing is not a pleasant one for those of us who live here and one would hope that our elected representatives would do their best to prevent it happening. Alarmingly, though, it seems that the council let alone the public! will have no control over what goes on at the selected sites. The council report states: "It should be noted, however, that private sector businesses (and, therefore, commercial considerations) will determine whether facilities will actually be built and what types of technology will be used."


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

COULD we be saying goodbye to Worthing's BID (Business Improvement District), the body responsible for the controversial Town Wardens, now apparently termed "Town Rangers" in an eccentric piece of Wild West rebranding? We only ask because the vote is coming up (no, you don't get a say - just businesses!) and the Worthing Town Centre Initiative has circulated a 16-page glossy brochure virtually pleading with firms to give the BID another five years of funded busy-bodiness. Desperate? Certainly. A further massive waste of money? Perish the thought!
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WATCH out people - the Scientific Fun Police are on the way to make your lives as sanitised, grey and lifeless as their boring boffin brains. The aptly-named David Nutt boasted in The Guardian on June 11 that he is working on ways to take the buzz out of booze. He says, and we're not making this up: "I have carried out research on replacing ethanol in 'alcoholic' drinks with a safer alternative, such as a benzodiazepine; ideally these drinks would be impossible to get drunk on." What a barrel of fun he must be at a party!
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NOTORIETY has haunted previous Olympic Games, notably Berlin in 1936, where the state propaganda system relentlessly pumped up flag-waving nationalistic pride, presenting individual sporting achievement as a vindication of its own political rule and using it to conceal from the world the stinking core of corruption, militarism, elitism and authoritarianism at the heart of the regime. Thanks goodness London 2012 was nothing like that!
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CAMPAIGNERS against housing being built on the green fields of West Durrington were dramatically proved right during the recent heavy rain when their predictions of increasing flooding problems for the River Rife came true at Kingston Gorse. And this is before yet another absorbant patch of countryside is concreted over...
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FORGET the Jubilee or the Olympics, we reckon the biggest event in London this year will be the annual Anarchist Bookfair - which features not just books, but magazines, CDs, t-shirts and a packed programme of free talks, discussions and workshops. It's on Saturday October 27, from 10am to 7pm at Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road E1 4NS. http://www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk
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IF YOU enjoy free-spirited folk taking on the council, check out this blog from over Shoreham way: http://adurcalling.blogspot.co.uk


Fishing for Worthing news

THE PORKBOLTER is a totally independent newsletter produced for and by Worthing folk and named after an ancient nickname for residents of this town back in the days when it was more of a fishing village. You can angle for copies at 'Green' at 63 Victoria Road, Worthing (near the station) and a few other random plaices around town. Alternatively, you can trawl through our website at www.eco-action.org/porkbolter or get hooked by our email list - with regular updates - by contacting porkbolter@eco-action.org You can also follow our Tweets on the net via @porkbolter.

Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no moral holes in our political agenda, Mr Loughton.


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

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