Yes, we were delighted to hear that Decoy Farm in East Worthing is for the moment not being considered for the site of a rubbish-burning incinerator, with all the nasty niffs in the air that would have involved (see last issue). And we were impressed by the £500,000 Environment Agency scheme that will divert the nearby Teville Stream, with a filtering reed bed that will be good news for the swans who live downstream at Brooklands and are regularly affected and even killed by pollution.
But all of this fragrance is somewhat overwhelmed by the hideous stench of the sewage that was poured into the sea this summer by Southern Water - and the likely link to reported illnesses. As the Worthing Herald reported at the time (September 6), hundreds of people had to be told to get out of the sea after 38.7 million litres of untreated waste was pumped into the sea at East Worthing for a total of 43 hours! A “technical error” at the works was blamed.
There are no guarantees this will not happen again. No doubt those hardy souls taking part in the annual Boxing Day Dip will be delighted to find chunks of sewage-ripple ice cream floating around their blue and knobbly knees. And what about the Birdman contest (“Worth £1m to Worthing”)? Won’t aspiring Icaruses be put off by the thought of soaring for a few yards only to land slap bang in a slick of used condoms, toilet paper and floating “Ian Harts” (as they are colloquially known in these parts). Are smelly brown swans much more appealing than dead ones?
The whole incident is obviously enormously damaging for Worthing. There is no sign yet of any penalty for Southern Water yet, and in any case we honestly don’t think a fine would be enough. They should simply lose their franchise, in the same way as underperforming rail companies. But, of course, that isn’t going to happen.
Southern Water is a big private business, owned by Greensands Investments Limited, which is itself owned by various bankers and capitalist backers such as JP Morgan Asset Management. It made an operating profit of £271.6m in the last financial year, which is excellent news for the financial vultures who own it. Southern Water does not have a great record for caring about the environment. On October 9 Ethical Consumer magazine (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org) reported that the Worthing-based firm had had been taken to court and prosecuted 40 times in the past nine years for pollution offences. “Last year it was fined a total of £150,000 for sewage leaks and is one of the biggest polluters of rivers and beaches in the country.”
But somehow - under the marvellous plutocratic democracy championed by the likes of the G8 (see below) - it enjoys not only a monopoly of profiting from our water and waste needs, but effectively a permanent monopoly. While its chief executive officer Matthew Wright is in the (oh-so green and eco-friendly) clover on £632,000 a year, anyone fancying a dip in Worthing has literally been left in the shit.
WHILE the planet reels from pollution and climate change and the public continues to pay through the nose for the banksters’ greed, world leaders are to meet in the UK next spring to hammer out ways of dishing out more of the same all round. Yep, it’s this country’s turn in 2013 to host the G8 ‘informal’ gathering of capitalist states, so expect a hefty blast of media propaganda in a few months’ time. It’s not too hard to see through the spin, mind. When the G8 say they are very keen on “growth”, we know they mean profit. Their statement after the 2012 event wheeled out the usual code-phrases like “reforms to raise productivity, growth and demand” (screwing the workforce and the environment) and the need to “protect investments” (the wealth of the ultra-rich). While the PR message will be all about the G8’s saintly mission to feed the world’s starving children, the agenda closest to their heart is “to help boost private investment” (sell us all off to the global plutocratic elite). There has been a long and proud history of mass protests against the G8, from Genoa to Gleneagles, and 2013 promises to be no different. The venue is being kept a secret to try and thwart opposition, though the clever money is on central London. Book the dates June 13-15 in your diary and get ready to take to the streets! STOP PRESS: meet 7pm, Monday November 26, Cowley Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton http://network23.org/stopg8
Many of us can hardly now look at a photo of Savile in the papers without a feeling of utter revulsion. For the star columnist on the Worthing Herald, though, Savile is apparently the victim of post-mortem injustice. Ian “Harty” Hart referred on October 4 to the ITV documentary on the loathsome DJ, which he could only bring himself to say contained “allegations” about Savile. Hart added that “far more significant than the documentary itself is the questions it throws up. The person cannot defend themselves and will he now have his memory besmirched forever?”
So that’s what you have taken from this massive scandal is it, Ian? While the rest of the country has been horrified by Savile’s evil deeds, shocked that nobody ever stopped him while he was alive, demanding answers from those who were in a position to do something about him before it was too late, wondering how far this thing reaches and what other ‘trusted’ persons might have been involved, your thoughts are solely about the reputation of a dead sick pervert being “besmirched forever”?
We would say that this defies belief, except that Hart has got form for this sort of thing. Readers may recall that earlier this year Hart was musing publicly on Facebook about his personal dream guests on a fantasy coach party, in which he concluded: “I will round the ten off with Mr Adolf Hitler. Just to add some humour to the trip.” (Porkbolter Porkbolter 105)
Together with his constant rants condemning the “underclass”, whom Hart blames for all the ills in the world, this does not paint a pretty picture of his personality. But, astonishingly, the Worthing Herald still sees fit to publish his offensive ramblings, week after week after week. Hitler was a laugh, Jimmy Savile is an innocent victim of media allegations. Apparently this is all fine by the Herald, which is owned by Johnston Press, whose managing director Ashley Highfield coincidentally used to work for Jimmy Savile’s employer and protector, the BBC.
* PORKBOLTER FOOTNOTE. Following revelations that the late Jimmy Savile also practised necrophilia - sexual intercourse with dead bodies - we would like to point out that we are in no way suggesting that Mr Ian Hart, an undertaker, had any business connections to Mr Savile, whether formal or informal.
Meanwhile, East Worthing MP Tim Loughton, fresh from his humiliating cabinet sacking. was pretending the investigation wasn’t happening and blamed Beer’s departure on his usual simple-minded 1970s bogeymen of “a small clique of anti-academy activists, backed by militant trade unionists and others who are purely politically motivated”! The Tory buffoon should really stop opening his mouth - it just makes him look stupid.
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