I’m not going to say much about the death of Jade Goody. I didn’t particularly like the woman; I thought she was ill-educated, aggressive and quite charmless. I have to admit too that I was tempted to believe, cynically, that the announcement about her cancer problem was probably exaggerated to provoke news coverage and boost her earning capacity. Sadly, it seems I was completely wrong and she lost her life at 27, leaving two sons motherless on Mother’s Day. That’s younger than my youngest daughter which is shocking.
For all that she appeared completely dim, I have to say that she had plenty of street smarts and boy did she make the most of her 15 minutes of fame. She ought to have disappeared back into obscurity like the rest of the no-hoper Big Brother wannabees but she refused to go away and the public (or at least a large chunk of them) were seemingly entranced by her ‘Essexness’ or whatever. I don’t know why but there it is.
Her legacy? Well, partly inspired by her condition, many many more young women are now being screened for cervical cancer. And if one woman enjoys a better, longer life because of that, then Jade’s untimely death will not have been without purpose. On the other hand I cannot help but think that many thousands of young people will grow up thinking that it’s ok to skip school, not study and leave school with no absolutely qualifications because fame, celebrity and fortune are not just still available to them but positively enhanced by them being illiterate and ill-educated. Because that’s what happened to Jade and didn’t she receive tributes from the Prime Minister no less and the Leader of the Opposition and many others? So why bother?The trouble is that I suspect her memory, fame and estate may even grow with time, making her lifestyle choices even more appealing. Not so goody.