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Piers and jeers: my open letter to Labour in Hastings & Rye

August 7, 2014


Dear Jeremy and Sarah,

I get it.

I understand that you want to advocate for Hastings (and Rye) and be seen to do so.  And not just because there is a General Election a few months away.

It is of course right and proper that scrutiny should be brought to bear on funding decisions – whether in the NHS or from Central Government funds like the Coastal Communities Fund.

But I hope that I am wrong in discerning a pattern in the way that you have campaigned both in respect of the recent Maternity proposals, and also in response to the monies awarded after the tragedy of the pier fire in Eastbourne.  You seem to want to set Eastbourne and Hastings against each other?

As you know, I am no fan of the Tory part of the Coalition Government.  It seems pretty clear that the Prime Minister and Chancellor’s visit to Eastbourne had a political capital dimension to it?

But I am told that you, Jeremy, did not write to David Tutt in Eastbourne to express your sympathy about the fire when other District Council Leaders in East Sussex were quick to do so.

Rather, you took to the airwaves blaring your criticism of the Conservative Party.

That is of course your choice.  And it speaks volumes about the way you conduct your politics too.

If I might be so bold, I think Labour is sailing close to the wind on the ethics of monies for piers.  I remember not too long ago a big GMB Union donation to Hastings Pier that came just at the same time as a major photo opportunity for Labour’s parliamentary candidate (who is backed by the same Union)?

If the people decide against Labour in Hastings & Rye next year, it will be, in part, due to the tenor of campaigns such as this.

Just saying.


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