Hackney is “not so crap”, according to tongue-in-cheek survey


Hackney - Credit: Archant

Hackney has shed it’s “crap” status according to a new book that rates the worst areas in the UK.

In the 2004 edition of Crap Towns, the borough was rated 12th worst place for having a high burglary rate, an A&E “worse than Soweto” and the fact Hackney Council’s fraud department was being investigated for corruption.

Now, in the 2013 version, it has escaped from the top 50 and features in a special section called “not so crap” - thanks in part to vocal feedback from outraged residents.

The vibrant borough was praised for changing from an area “famed for warring estates and knife crime” to one which now embodies “the worst aspects of gentrification” for its vintage boutiques, French-style cafes and pop-up art galleries.

The write-up also acknowledges Hackney for being a place where “you are never more than six feet from a babycchino”, there are graphic designers with “too much, too silly facial hair” and girls “dressed up like pin-ups from the 1950s, sipping soya lattes while loudly extolling the benefits of a plant-based diet”.

It takes a swipe at being a place where people define themselves as creative and “everyone is either working, or trying to work in the media”.

It also referred to a Gazette article where “pissed-up hipsters have been causing friction by taking dumps in local resident’s gardens” in Dalston.

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However, the borough was criticised for being a place where Britain’s “ever-rising levels of inequality” are pronounced. The write-up pegged the average house price as £470,000, mentioned that schizophrenia and delusional disorders are apparently five times the national average and the number of people citing mental health conditions for being unable to work amongst the highest in the country.

It also alleged that the borough had some of the worst poverty in the UK with thousands of children going to school hungry.

With that, the entry concludes, comes “clouds of self-hatred” and middle-class guilt”.