the pork-bolter
ISSUE 99, YULE 2010-2011

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Worthing stands up to the Fat Cats

WORTHING is getting to its feet and is ready to fight off the attack on its communities being launched by the Tories, Liberal Democrats and their Big Business mates.

A series of protests have already broken out in the town, with a larger one planned for Saturday December 18 - and this is only the beginning!

You may have heard the incredible (but true!) fact that a staggering four fifths (18 out of 23) of the Con Dem cabinet are millionaires. Perhaps that’s why they are finding it so easy to smugly inflict such savage and cruel cuts on ordinary people without apparently having the slightest idea that it might make us a little... angry! The sight of furious students smashing up the Tory Party HQ in London seems to have woken the whole country up. Are we really going to let the Tories get away with this?

Two protests in Worthing have highlighted the way the Fat Cats are still being allowed to tax dodge and profiteer to their hearts’ content even while the rest of us are being told we have to suffer. The first, on October 30, targeted the Montague Street outlet of Vodafone, who, Private Eye revealed, have been allowed to get away with not coughing up an eye-watering £6 billion in taxes.

The second, on November 13, focused on Boots, in the same street. BBC Radio 4 revealed that they have moved their official HQ to a post office box in Switzerland so they can get away without paying proper UK taxes. This low-down tax avoidance means about £86m a year is being lost to the public purse. And is the government doing anything about it? Nope, it just looks the other way and tells us we have to make sacrifices to pick up the bill for the Fat Cats’ greed.

Thousands of people will be losing their jobs. Vital public services will be cut. Those who cannot find work are to be punished with what amounts to slave labour or the threat of starvation. Only the rich are to be allowed a proper education with the massive hike in student fees. The NHS is coming under attack from privatisation. We are all going to have to work until we drop dead because the state doesn’t want to pay us the pension we’ve earned.

It’s time for us all to stand up and defend our future - do we really want our children and grandchildren to be nothing more than wage slaves for the ultra-rich?

A good start would be to turn up for the Worthing town centre protest (below) on December 18. See you on the streets!


Anti-cuts protest - Sat December 18

No to privatisation! Resist tuition fees!

Make the Fat Cats pay!

2pm, Montague Place, Worthing town centre - festive fancy dress optional!

worthingsolidaritynetwork.blogspot.com


21st century feudalism

DID you know that at the turn of the 13th century, the average income of nobles in England was roughly 200 times that of an ordinary peasant? Shocking, eh? At least until you consider that Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Homes, earns more than £38m a year, Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco nearly £18m and Reckitt Benckiser of Bart Becht £92m. The lowest of these is more than 1,000 times as much as today’s Worthing ‘peasant’ gets - so much for the end of the feudal system!

A recent Compass opinion poll recorded that a staggering 99% of the British public believe top executives are overpaid (The Guardian, November 9). The trouble is that the remaining 1% control the country and don’t give a flying pork what the rest of us think!


Selling out to the supermarket mafia

WHAT lengths would Worthing Borough Council go to, in order to lick the (errr..) boots of Big Business?

Would they try to stitch up the public they are supposed to serve so they can make the town an easier place for greedy corporations to make money in? Yep, you bet they would, and we have just got hold of a fascinating document to prove it. Never before made public, the confidential paper dated May 2, 2002, details the shocking sell-out that Worthing council was prepared to enact to help Asda (aka WalMart) get a toehold in town.

You may remember that the plan was to build all over the playing fields of Worthing College in Bolsover Road, Durrington. And these documents reveal that the council was planning to offer up the well-used and popular Palatine Park in Palatine Road to the college, to make room for the unwanted supermarket.

Needless to say, the council never bothered asking residents if they were prepared to lose this precious facility as a sacrifice to the increasing fortunes of The Waltons, the American owners of the WalMart empire. But the document shows that detailed plans were proceeding, behind closed doors, to take the park out of public control. The points listed on the plan include:

* “Management of Palatine Park to be by the college on long-term agreement, nature of which to be decided.”

* “Maintenance to be by college.”

* “The college will fund netball (4)/tennis (5) courts (overall dimensions 79.25 x 36.58m) with floodlights.”

* “Reconfiguration of football pitches (elimination of 1/both cricket squares?) and reinforcement of 1? football pitch.”

* “Consideration of other potential facilities such as Petanque.”

In the end the supermarket plan was defeated, thanks to massive and well-organised opposition, Asda/WalMart were kept out of town (for the moment!) and the park survived. But the same behaviour continues to this day. Recently, councillors shed tears for poor little Tesco when they discussed a road scheme that has blighted people’s lives in Durrington.

Tesco and its chums in the planning department were in such a hurry to bulldoze through permission for its new monstrosity near Titnore Woods that they didn’t do their homework properly.

Work on a new access road near Varey Road has been halted for months because they had somehow forgotten there is a stream that the road has to cross. The road will have to be raised up on an embankment, towering over people’s gardens and living rooms. In the meantime, the footpath will remain blocked for months and the area is a total eyesore.

So did councillors stand up for the residents? Ha! You’re joking! The Worthing Herald (Nov 4), reports that instead “members felt Tesco should not be placed in a ‘ransom’ situation with the landowner” and should be allowed to go ahead!

From the Lyons Farm/Sainsbury’s development on the edge of the Downs (absurdly sited on the wrong side of the busy A27), via the nightmare of the Tesco Extra to the scandalous WalMart/Asda plans exposed here, it is clear where Worthing council’s loyalties lie - not with the people of the borough but with the supermarket sharks who are more than happy to get rich by ripping the guts out of our communities.


Tories’ diet of pure corruption

NEEDLESS to say, the Tories are up to the same stuff nationally as well. Reported The Guardian on November 13: “The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald’s and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of heart government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.” Is that the whiff of a Double McCrapburger with fries on the breeze or the nauseating stench of untold levels of corruption?


There’s no excuse to be poor

TOUGH new laws are needed to combat poverty, writes George Blithering-Chump of the Worthing South Conservative Association, our new guest columnist introduced in the interests of political balance. Yes, it certainly is high time we made it a criminal offence to be poor. I know from my own personal circle of ordinary down-to-earth cabinet ministers, chief executives and merchant bankers, that today only a tiny minoirty of the population are in fact not millionaires. There is certainly no excuse to be earning less than £200,000 a year in this golden age of business opportunity. Anyone below this threshold is clearly both idle and brainless and is making no useful contribution to the Conservative Pa... sorry, the Community. Outlawing poverty would be a positive step. Once imprisoned, offenders would be allowed to give something back to the Big Society they have for too long soiled with their scruffy presence - by putting in unpaid 18-hour a day shifts with local businesses. The further good news is that these businesses would then be able to lay off the expensive, non-flexible staff they are currently lumbered with. These silly little people would in turn be classified poor, receive appropriate punishment and work for free themselves. The voluntary sector revived and business profits boosted no end - so good news all round! Next time, I will be explaining why the NHS is a communist plot to destroy Britain. So toodlepip until then.

Yours, George.


PORK-SCRATCHINGS

CONTROVERSY has swept West Sussex County Council over the departure of chief executive Mark Hammond in rather strange circumstances. Hammond was something of an expert at lining his own pockets, netting £220,000 a year of taxpayers’ money as a salary. His greatest ‘triumph’ at County Hall came in 2008 when he spearheaded the award of a huge contract to French IT giant Capgemini to carry out the council’s ‘fundamental service review programme’ - a deal which was, we stress, in no way connected to his rather sudden departure two years later.
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REMEMBER how the Tories promised to sweep away that Neo-Labour police state stuff when they came to power? Six months on, they’re backtracking already, with the Home Office confirming that “a £2bn plan to allow the police and security services to track the email, text, internet and mobile phone details of everyone in Britain is to be revived (Guardian, October 22). And yes, that was £2 billion.
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ON OCTOBER 12 Worthing Borough Council voted in favour of a motion for 20mph speed limits on all residential roads in Worthing. It might not happen, though, as Worthing say it would cost £500,000 and they do not have enough dosh. To persuade the county council to cough up for this scheme, which would save countless lives, you can sign a petition from campaign group 20’s Plenty for Worthing at www.20splentyforworthing.org.uk/petition
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FINALLY, in the last issue our exclusive Interview with the Future predicted people being rewarded with ‘Big Society Tesco Points’ for carrying out unpaid work. We were joking. It was not meant to be taken seriously. But obviously someone passed a copy on to Windsor and Maidenhead council which is, reported The Guardian> on November 1, planning to issue “big society reward points redeemable in supermarkets, high street shops and restaurants in return for good deeds”. Aaaaargh!


No price but values aplenty

THE PORKBOLTER is a thoroughly forward-looking but nevertheless rather old-fashioned free pig-fixated newsletter that actually believes in values like truth and justice rather than today’s more common motivations of greed and self-interest. To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of £3 or more (for stamps!) payable to The Porkbolter at PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. You can also pick up a copy at ‘Green’ at 63 Victoria Road, Worthing (near the station). Or read it at www.eco-action.org/porkbolter, which includes a regularly updated events section. We also run an email list, which you can join for free (fancy that!) via porkbolter@eco-action.org.

Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no festive greetings coz Christmas has been sold to Tesco.


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

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