THE HASTINGS of today is almost unrecognisable in the portrait painted by the FT’s Elizabeth Rigby in an interview with our MP Amber Rudd (page 10).
Anyone reading the piece with no prior knowledge of Hastings would be forgiven for thinking it was a town with no hope and full of no-hopers, full of drinkers and drug users on a downward spiral to nowhere.
Most worrying are some of the comments made by the Hastings MP, including her agreement with the quite frankly innaccurate notion that the locals thought the City of Culture bid was “absurd”.
Of course it is possible to find naysayers on any subject, but the hundreds of people who gave up an entire morning to enthusiastically voice their ideas at the recent City of Culture symposium, the 1,500 who have signed the online petition in support of the bid, and even the pirates who gathered at the town hall last weekend in solidarity, most certainly do not find it absurd.
Ms Rudd claims that she is “incredibly positive” about Hastings, and says that she is disappointed with how the town was portrayed by the journalist, however her reasons for deciding to stand for Hastings are revealing: “I wanted to be within two hours of London and I could see we were going to win it.”