The left behind


“Let’s get out. Out, out, out of that circus,” said people when asked about the EU as they enjoyed a Sunday stroll along the seaside in Clacton-on-sea, the place in all of UK where UKIP(UK Independence party) got their one MP from.

And just 20 minutes walk further down the beach you reach Jaywick, the most deprived town in England. Though it is only a 2 hours drive from London it seems like another world.


Photo: Anna Stribolt Rigas
Getting off the bus at the furthest end of Jaywick, you are immediately hit by an atmosphere of strangeness. Seagulls wail above and in the distance you can see the Gunfleet Sands offshore windfarm. Walking around Brooklands – or “The Badlands” as it’s known – many of the streets are not paved, they are merely wide, water-logged paths. There is the odd corner shop and convenience store, but no proper food shops. One pub, the Sheldrake, has four people in it, and an arcade bearing a faded sign proclaims it Wonderland.  Photo: Anna Stribolt Rigas


Shops are closing, houses are on sale, and drugs are flourishing. Something Channel 5 portrayed in a programme called “Benefits By The Sea where they(red. journalists) according to the people of Jaywick painted everyone with the same brush.

“Now my grandson asked me if I’m in the mafia,” said Dick from the local pub when I asked him about Jaywick as he continued to be sceptical about my errand.

“So you are one of those journalists coming here to write about the social losers? Just like these posh journos who came down here and mocked us? Fuck London.. and the EU – the migrants took my job, or the factory got offshored, I don’t care. It seems like it can only get worse around here,”

Once unthinkable, Britains’s exit from the European Union is now a real possibility. Why? The East cost of England reveals some of it.



Photo by Anna Stribolt Rigas
Jaywick. Photo by Anna Stribolt Rigas