Why I Hate Brighton

Don't be dazzled by the liberal facade and the peaceful vibe, Brighton in the 21st century is the charmless no-man's-land of the class war. And I've had enough...
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Don't be dazzled by the liberal facade and the peaceful vibe, Brighton in the 21st century is the charmless no-man's-land of the class war. And I've had enough...

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A failed postcard painter from Austria once said: ‘Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it’.

And so they did. Nice one Brighton Tourist Board: you took Hitler's advice and succeeded in fooling all of the people, all of the time. What follows is an insight into a city so sickeningly arrogant, creepily self-delusional and downright ugly that I sometimes wonder if The IRA might like to pop over again for a jolly boys’ outing.

The brochures may forever bang on about such ‘delights’ as the pier, the Lanes, filming locations, the Pavilion, award winning architecture, the marina, famous residents and so on - which all sounds fine and dandy, but becomes downright insulting when you’ve lived here for more than five minutes.

This is more Bad Lands than the Promised Land – trust me.

And the fun starts even before you set foot in the city, by way of the gruesome threesome: Queens Road, Lewes Road and London Road: a trio of clogged up, not so welcoming arteries, and all best given a Hattie Jacques-like wide berth.

The pick of the bunch is unquestionably London Road: a characterless, sprawling mess inhabited by benefit-scrounging peasants, waddling along with fat bags of economy frozen food from Iceland, puffing away on a cheap Mayfair and possessing an aroma not too dissimilar to the spinal column-infected burgers they feed to their asbo’d-up kids. Despite what the Clampets may believe, London Road is universally loathed.

“There’s this assumption that Brighton has a sunny disposition and that we all get along. We don’t. It’s incredibly divisive. There’s a huge divide between poor Brightonians who live in areas like Whitehawk, and places like the nearby Marina, which is just for rich tossers who can afford a boat.”

The Lanes, by contrast, are revered. Everyone loves the Lanes – well, nearly everyone. Word is they’re eclectic and a bit wacky.

Don’t believe the hype though because they’re actually a little bit pointless and pretentious, to the point where you want to puke up in a bucket. There’s a shop selling ‘Vegetarian Shoes’ and another one called ‘Choccywoccydoodah’. Moving swiftly on.....

Most infuriating of all is the growing trend chez Lanes of clothing accessory shops for precocious little brats. This is a modern-day phenomenon that has flourished purely to pander to that most horrid of creatures: The Brighton Middle Class Mum. Moving down here en masse, Middle Class Mum has little to do but spout shit in coffee shops all day and give birth to little toe-rags with laughable names such as Lettuce, Florrie and Dirtbox.

Not content with pushing up property prices in their dogged determination to live here, Middle Class Mum, when encountered, is invariably rude, arrogant and, quite frankly, a pain in the arse. Without such scum, Brighton could well have a fighting chance to redeem itself. Alas....

Contrary to popular opinion, the city only has one pier, not two. The West Pier came a cropper when it lost its bottle and buckled under the pressure one rainy night, and now resembles a wrought-iron car crash of a mess protruding from the stool and tampon-infested waters. However, Brighton being Brighton there exists a preservation society which absolutely adores this mess, Darling, According to these clowns, the carnage continues to cast an ‘eerie beauty’ over the seafront. Lovely sense of humour.

The one remaining pier ain’t no palace either. During the weekday it’s the province of the elderly and infirm: solitary figures waiting for ‘the inevitable’. But come the weekend it’s home to an invading army of hen and stag nighters : Essex geezers mainly, who swan around thinking they’re Ray Winstone - and that’s just the birds. Speaking of which, lest we forget the pier’s permanent residents: scores upon scores of psychotic, kamikaze seagulls who swoop down like a World War 2 dive bomber in the hope of half-inching one of your over-priced chips.

This is more Bad Lands than the Promised Land – trust me.

Peer over, so to speak, and you’ll see the ‘beach’: a sprawling, sparsely-populated mess bereft of the real deal, ie sand. However, we do possess, along side the ubiquitous slot machines, the ever-present attractions of hypodermic needles, broken glass and dog shit. Just be mindful of where you plonk your trotters.

Another thing the tourist board will avoid mentioning is how tricky it is to negotiate one single inch of Brighton without being accosted by thieving, begging, skiving White Lightening-soaked scum whose stench makes you want to wretch; charity workers who prowl the streets like Ted Bundy in search of their next victim, and the hoardes of foreign students who are so loud and obnoxious that they really should go home as soon as possible.

Time, I fancy, to have a word with someone who really knows what they’re talking about - a Brightonian all her life, it’s over to you Mrs B....

“During the 70’s and 80’s Brighton was a lot friendlier. Anything not appealing to the middle classes has been razed. It’s all about making the city look good. Money’s been drained from the outside communities and all for the benefit of those wankers who’ve moved here from elsewhere.

“There’s this assumption that Brighton has a sunny disposition and that we all get along. We don’t. It’s incredibly divisive. There’s a huge divide between poor Brightonians who live in areas like Whitehawk, and places like the nearby Marina, which is just for rich tossers who can afford a boat.”

There’s little more to be said, other than...

Dear Brighton Tourist Board,

We are leaving you because we are bored. We have lived here long enough. We are sick of the sights and bored of the lies. Oh Brighton, Up Yours!

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