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Issue 33 - Yule 2000/New Year 2001

PLOT TO POISON OUR WATER!

A SINISTER plot is being hatched to contaminate our drinking water here in sunny Worthing with a poisonous chemical. The noxious substance can affect various parts of the body, causing a variety of complaints from headaches to cancer, kidney failure to heart attacks. It impairs IQ and increases infant deaths. It accumulates in the body over time and contains impurities such as mercury, lead, cadmium, radium, polonium, uranium and arsenic. The threat to spoil our healthy local South Downs water is all down to money and power - as usual! The chemical is an industrial effluent produced in large quantities by the fertiliser industry, which could find no commercial use for it. Putting it in our water is a convenient way to sell it which avoids the high cost of safe disposal. The businesses flogging this nasty stuff have funded research to clean up its image and hoodwink the public. Institutions, laboratories and professional associations have been pressurised to support and endorse its use. Research exposing toxic effects has been suppressed or denied publication, with researchers denied funding or publicly vilified and taxpayers’ money has been used to set up a government quango to promote the poison and prepare the ground for its compulsory introduction into your body. The New Labour government, notorious for its boot-licking fawning to Big Business, appears determined to go ahead with this mass medication "if necessary by subtle means", as Frank Dobson admitted to The Dentist in July/August 1998. And the name of this dangerous poison? If you haven’t already guessed, it’s fluoride. Yes, that’s right, the stuff that’s good for your teeth. Except it isn’t. It actually damages them. Explains The National Pure Water Association: "Tooth enamel is often discoloured and corroded by over-exposure to fluoride in childhood. Dentine becomes progressively more brittle with repeated exposure to fluoride over time. Topical application of fluoride (toothpaste etc) have led to the increasing incidence of ‘occult caries’, a condition in which apparently sound enamel conceals chronic internal decay leading to tooth disintegration." If you’re as gobsmacked as we are by this latest threat to our health, you may want to bite back and get your teeth into campaigning against the extension of water fluoridisation to this area. Write to the National Pure Water Association (12 Dennington Lane, Crigglestone, Wakefield WF4 3ET) or visit their website http://www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk for some more information to chew over.

A poor sort of ‘prosperity’

WORTHING has been officially designated a deprived area by the West Sussex Health Authority, the Worthing Guardian revealed on December 15. While the smarmy useless prats who run the council bleat on about the town’s ‘prosperity’ and making it a "centre for business" and want to chuck cash away on novelty water spouts, thousands of residents are living in poverty and illness. The report revealed that Worthing Central is the most deprived ward in the county, with Worthing Heene in fourth spot. Life expectancy for new born children in parts of Worthing is also the shortest in the county. Dr Sheena Parker of the NHS is quoted as saying: "Conditions such as poor housing, unemployment and associated social deprivations are strongly linked to greater health needs. There are those populations more deprived and disadvantaged than other parts of the county and where there is poverty there is illness. There is more disease and people do not live as long.

MP snubs the spirit of Christmas

IF you’re a pregnant woman on a donkey with no roof over her head on December 24, don’t expect any sympathy, let alone rent-free use of a stable, from West Worthing’s MP Peter Bottomley. For this Christian gentleman has registered his support for the unpleasant Government campaign telling people not to give money directly to homeless people, in case they irresponsibly spend it on making their lives a little more enjoyable. A Merry Christmas to you too, Mr Bumley, you’re a kind-hearted gent and no mistake!

Hot deal for church

WHILE devout Christian anti-smut campaigner Steve Stevens continues to pontificate on pornography to all who will listen (The Worthing Herald, November 16), the Church itself is taking a somewhat more flexible and financially-orientated approach. Reported The Guardian (November 30): "The Church of England has written to all 13,000 parishes in the country asking whether they would like to have mobile telephone aerials concealed in their steeples. They are being lured with suggestions of annual rentals for aerials of £5,000 and a share of operating profits." Operators say they need 1,000 new aerial sites and 50,000 cell sites by 2004 to cope with the current expansion, which revolves around mobile internet connections. This means that churches, as well as selling their spires to Mammon, will be relaying to their flocks everything from the foul heresies of atheists to the satanic temptations of internet pornography. Meanwhile, the massive dose of microwaves being beamed out by the money-making masts should ensure that it is not only church-goers’ Sunday dinners that are cooking nicely during the Vicar’s sermon...

Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO GET FROM WORTHING TO SHOREHAM IN LESS THAN AN HOUR AND A HALF.
  1. WALK!

Big Brother marches a step closer

REGULAR readers of this newsletter will probably be fed up to the back teeth with our warnings of an approaching Big Brother state in Britain. One or two of you have even written in to say that we are exaggerating when we accuse the powers-that-be of wanting to impose by stealth a totalitarian control over the whole of the population. It’s only criminals that are targeted, you have told us. "If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear". So what do you lot have to say about the story that broke in the national press on December 3, then? It was all there in The Observer under the headline: "Secret plan to spy on all British phone calls." It explained: "Britain’s intelligence services are seeking powers to seize all records of telephone calls, emails and internet connections made by every person living in this country. A document circulated to Home Office officials and obtained by The Observer reveals that MI5, MI6 and the police are demanding new legislation to log every phone call made in this country and store the information for seven years at a vast government-run ‘date warehouse’, a super computer that will hold the information." Privacy expert Lord Cope was quoted as warning: "Vast banks of information on every member of the public can quickly slip into the world of Big Brother". And he’s a Tory. Still think we’re a bunch of irresponsible alarmists? Or are you beginning to see that, thanks to media-induced public indifference, George Orwell’s 1984 nightmare is on course to become hard reality only 20 years or so behind schedule...

Fears for Tories’ sanity

"FEAR of crime is one of the biggest issues troubling Worthing/Adur residents," storm East Worthing Conservatives in their Winter 2000 newsletter. But who on earth could be responsible for this terrible fear, you ask? The leaflet continues: "Conservative Councillors and MP Tim Loughton have attended Police Community Liaison meetings to raise residents’ concerns about the lack of uniformed ‘bobbies’; no patrol cars based within the East Worthing & Shoreham Constituency and rampaging hooligans vandalising town centres, terrorising foreign students and running riot on local trains." Nothing like pouring petrol on the fire you’re claiming to be fighting, is there chaps?

A dead end approach

NOBODY deserves to have gridlock traffic jams outside their front door day and night and it’s not that we don’t sympathise with the residents of Sompting village. But we do remember how, a few years ago, some of them turned their noses up at offers of support from Worthing Friends of the Earth in their battle against the rat-runners. Direct action ideas such as physically blocking the road were roundly rejected in favour of working with their elected representatives through officially approved channels. Several years on, these law-abiding residents have got precisely nowhere. Who would have thought it?

Insurance firm won’t pay up

GOOD news and bad on the dodgy scheme planned for Thomas A Becket school in Tarring by insurance firm Allied Dunbar, exposed in our last issue. Firstly,the "talk" or hard sales evening was roundly snubbed by parents, with only 16 households signing up. This fell well short of the 40 stipulated by the firm, under the Government’s Sports Match scheme, so they cancelled the event. Fine. Not so fine is that, despite having provided Allied Dunbar with addresses of 16 potential customers and having met the cost of copying the firm’s publicity letter, the school finds it is entitled to not one penny of the £1,000 for new goalposts that was dangled in front of it as a bribe...

Press silence over hunt GBH case

YOU may have noticed in the papers that a man has appeared in court in connection with the running over of anti-hunting protester Steve Christmas (see issues 31 & 32). On the other hand, you may not have, because it wasn’t reported! But take it from us that his name is Martin Graham Maynard, born 17.7.55. He is accused of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, plus various driving offences and should be dealt with at Crown Court in February/March.

Privatising the planet . . .

IT'S just over a year since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) attracted massive opposition in Seattle. But behind the closed doors of the world’s most powerful trade organisation, bureaucrats backed up by their mates in big business have been busy plotting. What they’ve come up with is a few new ways of expanding the General Agreement on the Trades in Services (GATS) . Basically this amounts to a cunning plan to privatise the world’s public services. Everything from water to housing to education to hospitals, and a whole lot more are now ‘barriers to trade’ creating unfair competition that must be put on the open market to the lowest bidder. A European Commission representative singled out the European health service as ripe for ‘liberalisation’ (that’s corporate chat for privatisation), with a US healthcare industry lobbyist complaining that health has "largely been the responsibility of the public sector (making it) difficult for US private sector health care providers." You may think they’d never get away with privatising the NHS. What about the public outrage, the protests? Well, when the new GATS agreement is in force, the privatisers won’t have to worry about that, because as the WTO Secretariat points out, one of the benefits of GATS is helping "overcome domestic resistance to change." What that means is that once a country signs up and decides to open up a particular service to WTO rules, it would be practically impossible to go back on any agreement. Any change of heart - tough. Change of government - tough. Popular protest - grin and bear it. Or face the trade sanction consequences. In effect, the ‘new world order’ way of running the world is being forced on every country and every person on the planet, whether they like it or not. Unless that is, people dare to actually disobey these undemocratic laws that are imposed on us without our consent. But then where would that sort of thinking lead...?

Bob Baines RIP

STALWART local activist Bob Baines has sadly died in Southlands Hospital at the age of 42. He had suffered a stroke at the October meeting of Worthing.eco-action and had been in hospital since then, though apparently on the road to recovery until he suffered a heart attack. Bob who lived in Goring, was a keen cyclist who helped out with a range of local community groups in Worthing, ranging from The Royal British Legion to the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, the BTCV and, lately, Worthing Anarchist Teapot. He was also a regular contributor of information and press cuttings to The Pork-Bolter and we will miss his input and interest. Our condolences to Bob’s dad and his family.

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

A PLEASING update to the missing friends appeal we carried in October’s issue - it worked! Somebody spotted the piece and Kim Wise e-mailed to let us know she is now back in touch with her lost mates.
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WOULD you like to help form a new Sussex Vegetarian and Vegan Social Group? The idea is to hold everything from informal get-togethers and visits to restaurants to cookery demos and discussions. Contact Steve Roper on 01273 581596 if you fancy joining in or lending a hand in getting it going.
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SO much for freedom of movement in the brave new Europe. In reality it doesn’t apply to people, only goods and money. The Daily Telegraph reported on December 8 how the French government had stopped a train full of Italian anti-capitalist protesters reaching the Euro Summit at Nice: "The Schengen Treaty, which allows unhindered passage between the countries that have adopted it, was suspended." Very democratic.
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THERE won’t be a meeting of worthing.eco-action in January, so the next Tuesday night event is on February 6, at the usual meeting room at 42 Marine Parade, Worthing seafront (above Paiges), 7.45pm. See you there!

Pork out for a subscription!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent newsletter for Worthing, which gets it title from the nickname given to Worthing folk in the days when this was still a small innocent fishing village and the idea of putting chemicals in the water, mobile phone masts in the churches or CCTV surveillance cameras on every corner was not even a deranged twinkle in a madman’s eye. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 34, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Copies of back issues are still available. You can get issues 1 to 30 under one cover in The Whole Hog, our special compilation, for a £2 donation. 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

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and finally ... Have a Happy Christmas and a Rebellious New Year!