Friday, 2 November 2018

Jaywick kicks up a storm in US politics

One of the publicity shots for Benefits by the Sea
Hard to believe that Jaywick is now causing shockwaves in the United States' midterm elections. Just watched the recording of Have I Got News of You and a picture of Jaywick was one of the picture quiz items. Host Victoria Coren, Paul Merton, Ian Hislop, Judge Rinder and Janey Godley had a lot of fun with the image. The picture of Jaywick, complete with potholes and dilapidated homes, came from the Facebook campaign of Nick Stella, a Republican ally of Donald Trump. Over the picture of the Essex village it announced, "Only you can stop this from becoming reality." Today's Guardian has a feature on the furore. 

Stella's campaign has caused predictable outrage in Essex, with the locals pointing out that the US has plenty of dodgy trailer parks it can photo, and in any case the Jaywick road has now been covered in tarmac and many improvements have been made to the village since it was declared the most deprived neighbourhood in the UK in 2005 and then featured in the TV programme Benefits by the Sea. The locals are right. Jaywick might have had its problems, but it has a lovely beach and a lot of potential now the council is putting some investment into the place. It's not ready to be part of the US rust belt just yet.