Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


Rudd’s complacency comes under pier pressure

So… John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, comes to town a couple of weeks ago, and this gives Amber Rudd MP horrible flash-backs of judging a local dog show at the St Leonards Festival whilst Jeremy Corbyn addresses a mass audience at the other end of Warrior Square. She instantly rushes to the newly-privatised pier to send out a Twitter “don’t-pee-on-my-territory” speech which trumps her pre-election own goal “A little bit above £100,000” guestimate of the cost of a house in her  own constituency. HOT’s Erica Smith watches the movies.

The result of Amber’s pier appeal? Local residents who haven’t been born with silver spoons in their mouths get together on the pier to reply.

I asked Sabina Arthur what spurred her and her fellow constituents to respond to Amber’s Twitter Pier Speech. She said: “I was shocked by Amber Rudd’s video, it felt like she was not only mocking John McDonnell but all of the people in Hastings who want to work towards improving life in this town for everyone.

“She could have chosen to highlight that she is aware that work needs to be done, that she’s listening, but instead she chose to dismiss and laugh at us. It wasn’t difficult to find others who felt the same and I re-wrote the script, researched some facts from government reports and got someone to help us to film it in a couple of days.

“Her video was quite rightly ridiculed on social media and I wanted to create a tongue-in-cheek response, recreating a lot of her script and staging, but with facts about some of the issues affecting the town and where the funding we’ve received here had actually come from, because she seems to want to take the credit for all of it.

“There is a lot to celebrate in Hastings, we have wonderful culture here and some thriving small businesses, and despite its problems, our pier won the prestigious Stirling prize last year. We’re not talking Hastings and St Leonards down, as we all love it too, but alongside the celebration of what’s great in Hastings, we need our politicians to acknowledge the problems – if our own MP can’t do that, how is anything ever going to change?

“Amber Rudd is either completely delusional or is deliberately trying to mislead about what’s really going on in Hastings, either way, she’s not fit to be our MP.”

In the film, Sabina and her fellow Hastings and Rye constituents remind Amber Rudd of some important facts about our town:

  • 44% of pupils in Hastings achieve expected levels in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2, 10% below the national average.
  • 50% of pupils achieve A* to C in both English and Maths GCSE, compared with 63% in all of England
  • We have 6% unemployment in Hastings, compared with 3.4% in the rest of the South East.
  • 17.5% of people who work are in receipt of in-work benefits compared with the South East average of 8.3%.
  • Local people have continued to donate to our foodbank, which has seen an 82% increase in usage during the Conservative government’s universal credit roll-out.
  • Punctuality has fallen as low as 67% on some train services to the capital this year.
  • The £8m investment that East Sussex County Council put into Hastings library, thanks to a community petition presented to the county council in 2006, took place four years before Amber Rudd became an MP.

Sabina would be delighted if people chose to share her video clip – and Amber Rudd’s one – on social media. “We all love Hastings but we need an MP who will both embrace the positives in this town and work on the problems, rather than ignoring them.”

Posted 11:09 Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018 In: Politics

1 Comment

  1. Ms.Doubtfire

    Brilliant video Sabina and friends……well said….loved it!!!

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018 @ 17:00

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