Let's start with the Sun.
January 20, 2007
SANITY has prevailed. Thank Heaven for that.
Jade Goody went into the Big Brother house appearing to be simply a fun-loving working-class girl canny enough to have made millions from her 15 minutes of fame. It was all a meticulously manufactured lie.
She has left the house with her true personality laid bare: A vile, pig-ignorant, racist bully consumed by envy of a woman of superior intelligence, beauty and class.
Incredible as it may seem, last night’s vote was the most important in Britain since the last General Election.
OK, it’s just a reality TV show. But it became a referendum on whether our nation, with the eyes of the world on us, was prepared to back a home-grown yob over a dignified Indian actress.
We weren’t and the result has restored faith in the British public.
Hopefully Jade will now slither back under the rock from where she crawled before her debut on Big Brother in 2002.
As for her two spineless, sniggering sidekicks . . . let’s hope they join her.
"a fun-loving working-class girl", eh ? Otherwise known as toilet-mouthed, ignorant-and-proud-of-it slapper - the authentic middle-class idea of a working-class girl, all the chav stereotypes in one.
Two giant hypocrisies here. First the usual what-does-this-tell-us-about-our-society nagombi. In Hari Kunzru's words "it holds a mirror up to national attitudes".
The bad deeds of Brits reflect upon us all, "us" being the native Brits; the bad deeds of others tell us nothing about the "other" community, whichever it be. Last week also saw a fifteen-year old boy in a hospital bed, held down by a gang while his head was smashed with a hammer - but that, of course, is the work of a few isolated thugs, while Jade and Danielle lay bare, in Trevor Phillips' words, "the dark heart of private prejudice that all too often sits behind the public veneer of tolerance". Dark heart ? That sounds like racist language to me.
Jermaine Jackson's delineation of the girls as "white trash", accurate but as racist as anything Jade's come out with, seems to have slipped off the radar. And Vir Sanghvi reports from India that :
The rest of the housemates comprised what the Indian press has gleefully taken to describing as white trash: a gay singer from a teen band, a disgraced beauty queen (she slept with the judge and now sleeps with football players), a columnist for the popular press, a small-time American TV star of yesteryear etc etc.
Chandan Mitra, in an interesting piece, points out that :
Very often Hindi films caricature Englishmen in a bid to elicit some laughs from viewers. How would we like it if Whitehall were to take this lampooning as an affront to Britons and register official complaints with our Government ?
Secondly the class thing. Columnists have been falling over themselves to point out how superior a middle class person is - if she's not British.
I've seen so much stuff on the theme of "Shilpa is beautiful, cultured and intelligent, speaks six languages and can cook. Jade, by contrast, is an ignorant slob. No wonder she hates the fragrant, classy Shilpa, who she can never emulate and who is so far above her."
Just imagine how this would have played if Shilpa Shetty was plain Sally Smith, a working class girl who'd emerged from grammar school with a hatful of A levels, beautiful English and good manners.
We'd have heard acres of stuff on the lines of how "the authentically working-class Jade" was slapping down the pretensions of a middle-class wannabe.
Cultural theorists from ex-polytechnics would be wheeled out on Radio Five to explain that "what Jade is doing is defending traditional working-class culture against someone who, although from her own class, is rejecting that culture".
Unlikely parallels would be drawn between Sally and Blair's Labour Party, each having sold their soul for capitalist gold. Jade would be a Guardian heroine.
Implicit in all of this would be the notion that to be authentically working class is to be an incontinent, foul-mouthed lumpen, not only ignorant but glorying in it - a travesty of working class people.
Guardianista Alan Bissett, would be at the front of the queue to support Jade.
It was Jackiey Goody - the Lenin to Jade's Stalin - who first shook the upper layer of the Big Brother House. With her exit came Jade's ascent, and their working-class coup was complete.
Jade's anger is not unjustifiable - there is no justice in a world which affords Shilpa such opportunity and those of Jade's ilk so little ... (only free education, healthcare, libraries, sports facilities - the sort of stuff 90% of the world's population don't get - LT)
Working-class women loved Jade because she represented their emancipation and spirit.
If only Shilpa had been white !
UPDATE - the Dumb One nails it.
Still, there is one other factor: the totally surreal debate over what one of those chavs actually said to the Indian lass. Liberal witch hunters allege that he told her a p***, while the chav in question maintains that he merely called her a c***.
The distinction might not be obvious the folks in the real world, but to Liberals it is all-important. The first version of words sealed his reputation as a Liberal hate figure, while the second is proof positive of working-class authenticity. Indeed, as much effort as Liberals are currently spending denouncing the chavs for their alleged racism, they spent previously telling us obnoxious behaviour was the hallmark of genuine working class culture.