Monday, January 22, 2007

Carnival Of The Hypocrites

I've really tried to ignore this, I really have. But ...

Let's start with the Sun.

Bigotry Brother

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.


Anonymous said...

"Just imagine how this would have played if Shilpa 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."

So for the sake of your comparison,a succesful English Middle Class actress in CBB instead, say Kate Winslet, would have lost out in the media war with Jade Goody? That doesn't seem likely to me.

Anonymous said...

No, the point that is being made is that the three women would have been just as spiteful, hateful, jealous and cruel to the imaginary 'Sally Smith'.

The fact that she would be white would mean that it would be called what is is: bullying, no racial element.

Or are you suggesting that being bullied (in the course of which your tormentors use a racial epithet or refer to your colour) is in some way so much worse than 'normal' bullying..? And causes Govt ministers to feel the need to spout off to the media about a tedious, pointless little tv show...?

Anonymous said...

Eight 'Asian' men attack 15 year old English schoolboy in playground with a hammer. No reaction from press or politicians.
Muslims preach hate and promote murder in mosques revealed on Dispatches: Undercover Mosque programme. No reaction from press or politicians.
Three slappers are nasty to an Indian woman on Celebrity Big Brother...
Now, 'hypocirsy' is to be expected from The Sun, but is there a word to describe how the establishment ignores physical attacks and the promotion of such attacks on English people while acting as if something really bad has happened when a foreigner is made upset by bullying?

Anonymous said...

Jade cannot be racist because her father was black,,2-2005390138,00.html

Anonymous said...

It's a great shame you had to spoil this piece by peddling your own brand of middle-class snobbery. Working class people generally don't need grammar schools to give them "beautiful English and good manners". We acquire these virtues from our parents. Perhaps middle-class people aren't exposed to these virtues at home and must therefore get them from their school, I don't know. I emerged from a state comprehensive with a hatful of 'A' levels several decades ago, long before grade inflation took place. But don't worry Laban, I won't sully your vision of 1930's, "everyone in their place" vision of Britain with my coarse, comprehensive school ways, I live in a more open-minded country.

Anonymous said...

No anon (above) you live in a fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

"No anon (above) you live in a fantasy world."

Care to explain why?

Methinks you need to actually mix with ordinary English people instead of basing your perceptions on the stereotypical rubbish you read in the media and see on TV. Do you think my 'A' level certificates are faked? Have you noticed a problem with my English?

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the peeved anon with a chip on his shoulder is but he clearly hasn't been reading this blog very long otherwise he would not be jumping to the wrong conclusions.

Anonymous said...

As I read on another blog, (can't remember where) to be a racist is the modern equivalent of being a Witch.

Once branded, you have no chance to defend yourself, and have to be burned at the stake.

Anonymous said...

Definition of chutzpah: India, with its Caste system, complaining of racism in Britain.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in the first anonymous elucidating why he thinks Laban has a 1930's, "everyone in their place" vision of Britain.

Your acknowledgement of grade inflation marks you out as someone who recognises that education is not as it should be. I think you and Laban would agree on that.

Let me lay out three educational positions:
1. children should learn to speak received pronouciation (or an equivalent).
2. children can and should learn a command of English
3. children will naturally acquire a good command of English reagrdless of what educators attempt.

Supporting (2) does not imply a support for (1). It seems to me that your condemnation of Laban is based upon a the assumption that he supports (1). It seems me that there are many educators who believe (3) and consequently oppose implementing (2) on the grounds of it being "anti-working class".

Opposing this last POV is hardly being being lost in a romantic dream of a mythical past. I should have thought the Romantic label belongs to those who would claim, in the face of evidence like Jade Goody, that children will naturally acquire a good command of English.

Blithering Bunny said...

>So for the sake of your comparison,a succesful English Middle Class actress in CBB instead, say Kate Winslet, would have lost out in the media war with Jade Goody? That doesn't seem likely to me.

Not only likely, it happened. Remember Kathy Burke attacking Helena Bonham Carter for being so upper-middle class? The media gloried in it. (Kate Winslet would probably be different, but that's because she has - despite Titanic - established an alternative Film-Four image).

Laban said...

Working class people generally don't need grammar schools to give them "beautiful English and good manners".

True, anonymous. But the point of the post wasn't to imply that only grammars teach good manners, but to point out that for many commentators, having good manners = middle class, being like Jade = working class.

(It helps with the hatful of A levels though. In the age where schools select by postcode, a child from a poor area is likely to end up in a poor school.

You may have been fortunate and your comp may have been OK - my old school wasn't too bad for the first few years as a comp. After that the slide was dramatic though. I think it's just come out of special measures.)

Anonymous said...

I recall Helena Bonham Carter's comment and felt it was true. All she said was that there was a kind of attitude to you in the medi if you came from a middle class background. Yet the reaction was as if she was slagging off the working classes, which she patently wasn't.

I sympathise with many of those poor kids who are from broken families and have had no support or guidance, my heart goes out to them, but the likes of Jade I have no time for. With £8 million she does not have any excuse.

Anonymous said...

Ah the old Grammar school debate. Just why did Labour decide to close a system that has produced two prime-ministers in favour of a system that only ever produced factory fodder?

As one of those that was destined to be factory fodder, I feel the answer to that question would reveal the truth behind the motivations of the Labour elite.