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Issue 13 - Yuletide 1998

As West Sussex bans dodgy GM foods, the message from the public is clear:
DON'T MESS WITH NATURE!

GENETICALLY Modified food has been banned from schools, children's homes and old people's homes across West Sussex. The move follows a letter from The Pork-Bolter written in October questioning the council's position on GM. We never got a reply but actions speak louder than words!

The Government, hand-in-hand with greed-crazed American producers, has tried to whitewash this major health scandal, pretending there is nothing to worry about. But the proof of the mutant pudding is in the eating and it has not gone unnoticed that GM food is banned from the catering menu at the House of Commons! It is also extremely telling that even true blue West Sussex County Council is well aware of the potential risks. The big question now is whether parents whose children are protected from GM food at school will continue to risk their future by feeding them dangerous GM ingredients at home. And will irresponsible stores continue to sell GM stuff? A report in the West Sussex County Times on November 27 said the council were told the public "had considerable reservations over the foods, with 77% in a recent survey coming down against the commercial growing of GM crops. Potential risks included unforeseen side effects due to allergy and toxicity. In 1989, 37 people were killed and 1,500 left permanently disabled after eating a genetically modified supplement." A growing rejection of the GM experiment has also been noted by Monsanto, the notorious US multinational behind many of the products. Its spokesperson Ann Foster admitted to The Guardian on November 25 that its own report "shows that there has been ongoing collapse of support for biotechnology and GM foods. And it also reveals that, post the BSE crisis, consumers lack confidence in scientists and regulatory bodies. Indeed, the report found the British public to be the most sceptical in Europe about scientific progress." Will anyone really be surprised at this? Ever since the days of the original Luddites we have had in this country a healthy tradition of seeing through the big lie that is technological progress. Genetic engineering is the worst of the lot (so far!), tampering with the very essence of life itself. We are always being told these foul experiments are all for our benefit, but with the Israelis now developing genetic weapons that kill Arabs but not Jews (Hitler would have loved the concept), they are now looking increasingly likely to result in the complete destruction of the human race. That's why they call it the Appliance of Science!

HOW TO ENJOY A GM FREE CHRISTMAS


POLICE STATE STITCHES UP FANS ...

EVERYONE is innocent under law until proven guilty. That's the way it is in this country, isn't it? No. Not any more it isn't. The Government has announced further proposals to enable it to take draconian measures against people it doesn't like without even having to prove they have done anything wrong. The immediate target is football supporters (always 'hooligans' in state-speak), presumably because nice liberals also think they're all the scum of the earth and aren't going to cause a stink about their basic rights being stolen from them. But you can bet your life that it won't stop there and once the precedent has been set, the law will be quietly extended to cover anyone else the state fancies. Reported The Guardian on November 28: "Under the proposals, courts could issue international banning orders for up to 10 years against those who have been arrested for football violence." It added that unconvicted troublemakers could be subject to banning orders on the basis of "information presented to the police". What?! Even more absurdly, "the period of time during which committed offences are considered football related should also be extended, from less than five hours to 72 hours either side of a match." Mathematicians will have worked out that 72 hours is three days. Three days either side of a match? With games on Sundays and Mondays nowadays, as well as Saturdays and Wednesdays, that's the whole porkin' week nicely stitched up!

... AND FOOTIE TAKES TO THE STREETS!

NO sooner had we heard about Big Brother's new war on football fans, than we received a defiant leaflet from a bunch of Worthing football fans. This kicks off with the delicately-phrased plea: "Can we have our football back please mistah? It seems to be wedged firmly up your fat corporate arse!" and continues in the same vein, contrasting the commercialisation of the modern game with its origins. "The Shrove Tuesday game at Ashbourne near Derby has been dated back to 217AD, at least. Football was a real riot in centuries past, reclaiming the streets of medieval England. The authorities didn't control it, so they tried to stop it. Let's get football back on the streets, where it belongs! Stop the traffic and kick a ball around!" With all this in mind, these fans are planning to hold an Olde Street Football match in Worthing town centre. This was originally pencilled in for December, but a seriously depleted squad, plus the seasonal risk of frozen pitch/balls, has resulted in a sensible postponement. Meanwhile if anyone wants to help plan this project we can pass on messages/ideas/contacts. And watch this space for news of the re-arranged fixture. It'll be a crunch match!

IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE, COULD IT?

THERE must be times when all of us imagine we are living in a nightmare world, a world where power and corruption rule the roost, where the public are continually ripped off, lied to and manipulated for other people's private gain and those who pretend to protect them simply stand by and watch, with a wad of fresh banknotes protruding from their back pocket. And then we wake up in our own bed, realise where we are and say to ourselves "Thank God I live in Worthing!" Two recent events brought this to mind. Firstly, there was the revelation in The West Sussex Gazette on November 12 that Arundel's Town Clerk James Dean has had his right to practise as a solicitor suspended by the Law Society. Now we're great fans of Mr Dean's Hollywood career, mysteriously cut short in its prime, and we have no idea whether or not the allegations of dishonesty are true. But it is quite telling that such a suggestion has even been made! Arundel is so close to Worthing geographically and yet morally the atmosphere must be a thousand miles distant. We ask in all seriousness - could anyone ever imagine that one of our fine public servants in Worthing, a high-ranking member of the council for instance, could be in any way corrupt? The thought is so absurd and hurtful that we frankly feel soiled and guilt-ridden for even having raised it in print. The second recent happening was all the hoo-ha over Judge Gee also accused of dishonesty, but whose trial was dramatically abandoned when he declared himself a broken man unable to go through with the proceedings. The likelihood of a judge or magistrate here in Worthing behaving in the same way is virtually nil, as surely is the likelihood of any of these fine characters being members of some nasty, secretive Masonic Lodge (although we might have been able to be more certain on this latter point had they ever answered the letter on the subject we hand-delivered to Worthing courts on March 9 this year).

PORKIE PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH

How to be a Criminal and Get Away With It! *Of course this does not apply if for some reason you are not a judge.

CAFE THAT'S DRIVING 'EM TEAPOTTY!

THEY say a week is a long time in politics, but a month represents several eras for Worthing's new community cafe, The Anarchist Teapot. Since our last issue it has been and gone from two premises in the town centre and we have no new address to pass on at the time of writing, though we'll slip in a Stop Press if the situation changes. The popular new game of Hunt the Teapot has provided hours of fun for thirsty punters looking for their free cuppa and the most helpful playing strategy we have heard so far is to sidle up to one of the Big Issue vendors and ask them for a clue. Meanwhile, the Teapot Team asked us to say that if anyone in Worthing has an empty shop, office, flat, shed, cardboard box, etc. that they can use for a while, please get in touch with them - even if it's only available for a month, that'll be twice as long as the last tenure!

A MULTIPOX ON HOLLYWOOD

WORTHING council is determined to push on with its plans for a lucrative development at Teville Gate, involving a multiplex cinema. Two points to stress here. Firstly, multipox cinemas are the silver screen version of digital TV - more channels and less choice, under the iron thumb of Big Business. How about a guarantee that independent British or European films will be shown on just one of the proposed nine screens, instead of the usual cultural excreta of American coca-colonisation? Fat chance. The other point concerns The Dome, Worthing's inconvenient piece of cinematic heritage being left to rot by the same apparently movie-mad council. As an astute letter in The Worthing Guardian pointed out on December 3, any individual letting a listed building fall to pieces would find the borough council descending on them like a ton of expensive hand-made bricks. But who polices the police?

POLICE MAG? LET'S HAVE A PROPER GANDER

AN outraged Worthing-ite wrote to us after receiving through his door the latest edition of Patrol, the Sussex Police newspaper, and discovering some nauseating prose in praise of police surveillance of the population in what he describes as "this other porcine publication", including the boast that "live pictures from 218 cameras in 20 town and village centres are being monitored 24 hours a day from Sussex Police stations ... The cameras don't just deter criminals, they help to keep you safe." This issue has apparently gone out to every home in Sussex. How nice of us all to chip in to pay for this KGB-style police state propaganda!

PORK SCRATCHINGS

RESISTANCE is growing to the proliferation of mobile phone masts around West Sussex. While they have long been considered an eyesore, and we have exposed their role as state surveillance device (see Issue 4), the health hazard caused by microwave signals from both phones and masts has been publicised of late (they cause tumours) and prompted new anger, with planned masts at Lancing Business Park and Wisborough Green currently being furiously opposed by locals. Trouble is though that the government has fixed the rules so councils can't stop the masts going up. Is direct action once again the only option left?
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SO poor old Northbrook College have been stopped by the government from turning their Broadwater campus into a retail park. As they rack their brains over what on earth to do with the site we have a helpful and novel suggestion - why not build a decent college?
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HOW lovely to hear of Worthing's favourite air polluters, Daewoo, driving round and round the M25 to raise money for Children in Need. Maybe next time they could skip the driving bit and just hand over the cash to a good cause - preferably to help asthma sufferers.
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AN INVITATION is going out to all artists (writers, painters, film-makers) to form an Activists Arts Collective for stunts on our streets! Contact James c/o The Pork-bolter porkbolter@eco-action.org. Meanwhile, winter trespasses on the South Downs are being staged on January 17, February 28 and March 21, meet Brighton station at 10am. No dogs please!
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HOT news from the hunting scene concerns Rob Curson, master of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt. He fell from his horse and appeared to sustain back injuries. Hunt sabs were happily on hand to administer first aid (or was that last rites?), but Mr Curson had to be air-lifted to hospital in a police helicopter. Still, it's all part of the traditional fun, what? For details of future activities including Boxing Day and New Year's Day outings, hunt opponents can contact Worthing Wildlife Protection c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing, BN14 7NZ. Or email The Pork-Bolter and we'll pass your message on. For more information on hunt sabbing see the Hunt Sabs Association website.
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SO Newbury Bypass opened in the end, even if they had to carry out the ceremony in secret in the middle of the night. But the protests continue on Sunday January 10 with The End of the Road Reunion. More information on the Third Battle of Newbury website. Transport is planned from Worthing. To find out more and book your place contact us or schnews@brighton.co.uk. Closer to home, rumours continue to circulate that the road-builders still intend desecrating the South Downs at Cissbury Ring. Can anyone tell us why else Highways Agency bigwig Laurie Haynes was recently driven along the A27 from Chichester to Brighton in his chauffeured car?
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IT'S hard enough being homeless in the best of circumstances, but why are the guests of Worthing's Byron Road Hostel breathalised every night and chucked out on the streets again if they have had so much as a drop of ale? The spirit of those fun lovin' Puritans evidently lives on in our town ...
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LOVERS of pagan tradition note: a torchlight procession and apple tree wassailing will be staged in Tarring High Street on Tuesday 5 January at 8pm with drinks and musical merriment in The Vine pub afterwards.
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P_P_P_PICK UP A PORK-BOLTER! If you want to make sure of getting a copy of Issue 14 simply send us a stamped 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. Copies of back issues are 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
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OFFICIAL HM GOVERNMENT WARNING: Members of the public may have gained the impression from various unauthorised sources of late that their health and well-being is under threat from the development of GM foods, microwave radiation from mobile phones, pollution from motor traffic, disturbed weather caused by global warming, BSE from beef, etc ... etc ... Do not worry. While the Government has been advised by its legal department not to state categorically that there is no foundation in these allegations, at the same time it must be stressed that our primary duty is to serve the needs of our sponsors in the Business Community and, as usual, we intend taking no notice of anything you plebs have to say. Merry Christmas!
and finally ... MAKE 1999 THE YEAR YOU FINALLY STAND UP TO THEM!