Stop beating ourselves up and be proud of our city!
My first introduction to the town of Hastings involved me trying to avoid getting my face smashed in.
I remember it well. Decamped to the south coast for a six month training course I was living in a boarding house in the relatively picturesque enclave of St Leonards-on-Sea, just to the west of the main town.
On my first night in the area, my new friends and I decided to venture into the centre, wandering down into the aptly named Warrior Square train station.
I politely let a man go before us, down the small tenfoot leading into the back of the station – and was pretty glad I did.
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Because, as he emerged into the grim-looking carpark at the other side a group of boozed-up idiots, who were sitting on top of a car, jumped off and decided to beat the living crap out of him.
Old Harold with the arrow in his eye had it easy.
Naturally, me being the hero that I was, I legged it before they could grab me and called the coppers from a safe distance, like I was retiring from a particularly thuggish firework.
My enduring memory of the town now is the sad old bag lady who used to push a pram full of icky-looking dolls along the seafront and the drunk legless man who was pulled from one end of the town to the other by an equally inebriated woman.
I've no idea why my dad followed me down there.
All of which is an incredibly long-winded way of saying: If Hastings and its neighbouring Bexhill can be nominated for the UK City Of Culture 2017 then so can we.
If we ever stopped beating ourselves up for long enough to get over our inferiority complex we might actually realise we have a lot to offer.
Seriously, you can point to any one of the eleven-strong list of contenders and nitpick about their short comings.
Southend's MP David Amess had a cheeky dig at its rivals this week saying some of those who have put in bids were "absolute dumps" which "wouldn't know culture if it was put in front of them" – although, to be fair to the honourable member, he wouldn't slag off Hull when pressed on the radio, saying he had family in Hedon and Hessle.
Still, it's a bit rich coming from a man who represents a town most famous for a having a wooden plank sticking a mile out to sea and being the birth place of angry bald consumer botherer Dominic Littlewood, the host of Don't Get Done, Get Dom. Similarly Portsmouth and Southampton are hardly Rome and Paris, I had a girlfriend once from Leicester with a wonky eye and Aberdeen and Dundee are in Scotland. Our perennially bitter Celtic cousins wouldn't know culture if it was deep fried and served with a reduced life expectancy of 20 years.
But let's not worry ourselves with the shortcomings of others.
In football cliché talk, all we can do is focus on ourselves and let the others look after themselves.
Let's look at what we've got to shout about.
We've got the spectacularly successful Freedom Festival, which is as good a free cultural event as any I've seen across the country.
We've got Hull Truck, The Ferens with its Hockney, DaVinci and Open exhibitions, the Albemarle Centre, John Godber, Hull New Theatre, Fruit, The Adelphi, the country's best young comic Lucy Beaumont and movie star Eleanor Tomlinson whose latest film was at the top of the US box office last week. Not enough for you? How about Norman Collier and his chicken walk, Reece Shearsmith, Philip Larkin, the Larkin Toads, the Marina and Mick Ronson, more free museums than you can shake a stick at and cool fishy stuff at The Deep.
And that's just the headline grabbing bits. This city is alive with comedy, local gigs, youth groups, artists, exhibitions, am dram groups and recitals run by selfless volunteers most nights.
These people might not necessarily sit back every night and think: "What a wonderful cultural contribution I'm making."
They're probably just having a laugh. But it all counts. And it's something we should be proud of.
So let's stop hiding our light under a bushel and stop being ashamed of being clever and arty.
Because, at the end of the day, we're just as good as anyone else. Especially Hastings.