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Home   Kent   News   Article

Guardian writer Stuart Heritage criticises Kent for 'not having proud identity' in column

28 April 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Kent has been savaged for "not having a cultural identity" in a scathing national newspaper column.

Guardian writer Stuart Heritage told of his "agony" at being from the county in a strongly-worded article.

He described a visit to one town as "like spending an eternity having red-hot knitting needles jammed underneath your fingernails".

A visit to Strood was described as like spending an eternity having red-hot knitting needles jammed underneath your fingernails

A visit to Strood was described as "like spending an eternity having red-hot knitting needles jammed underneath your fingernails"

Heritage described how he is jealous of people who come from areas as "well-defined as Scotland or Cornwall", because Kent "doesn't have a proud identity".

He wrote: "Kent doesn't have a major football team to rally around. All its decent bands legged it up to London at the first sign of promise.

"In terms of food, Kent's biggest claim to fame is the gypsy tart, a dessert you can now only purchase if you're prepared to spend the entire duration of the transaction relentlessly apologising for your racial insensitivity.

"Orlando Bloom is from Kent. And one of One True Voice. Remember One True Voice? Of course you don't. But, by Christ, that's all we've got."

He went on to claim that to "grow up in Kent is to foster a gnawing inferiority complex whenever you watch a gameshow" and studio audiences react poorly to contestants from the county.

Guardian writer Stuart Heritage claimed Kent does not have a cultural identity

Guardian writer Stuart Heritage claimed Kent does not have a cultural identity

Heritage admitted to liking "specific pockets" of Kent, including the North Downs and Canterbury - but said spending time in Strood is "like spending an eternity having red-hot knitting needles jammed underneath your fingernails".

"As a region, it's more or less just a disparate collection of stuff," he wrote. "It's a sprawling suburb of London, and that isn't something to be proud of.

Does Kent have a cultural identity?

"Now, if London wanted to gain independence from the UK, if it wanted to unmoor itself from the mainland and maraud around the oceans like a big grey Pac-Man full of dirt and idiots, that would make perfect sense. It's more or less a city state as it is.

"But set Kent free and it'd be at a loss. It would stand there, cheeks puffed out and hands in pockets, for a minute or two before trying to non-consensually glom on to Essex just to have something to do."

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