Monday, March 23, 2009

Jade Goody of Bermondsey

Every paper today seems to have the face of Jade Goody on the front page today, following her death at the weekend. I've certainly got nothing to add, but one thing that has really bugged me in the last few weeks coverage has been the constant reference to her selling her dying moments to the press in order to ensure that her kids get a good education.

Of course I've got nothing against her wanting to give her children a good start in life but there's a sub text here - the suggestion that you can only get a good education by paying for it. Perhaps also a suggestion that in places like Bermondsey, where Jade grew up, comprehensive schools can only turn out people who have never heard of East Anglia. Or less subtly, that working class people are thick (although it might be possible to rescue a few of them if they are removed from their social environment).

The thick proles line was certainly pursued by The Daily Mail in an infamous 2007 article about Goody's old school: 'Here come the kids out of Bacon’s College, Rotherhithe, South-East London. Their faces were mostly deep inside sinister hoods and they were arguing all the way along the pavement. Jade walked home this way. Bacon’s was her school. She learned a lot in there. How to become a millionaire was the best. She almost certainly could get herself defined as a moron. Look the word up. She qualifies' etc. etc. (shamefully The Daily Hate is actually printed just behind the school in Surrey Quays, but I bet their journalists never set foot in the area unless they are on a search and destroy mission).

The fact is that Bacon's is very good state school which aspirational parents from far and wide would kill to get their kids into. Perhaps Jade's dad could use Goody's money to buy a house in the catchment area, then they can get a good education for free!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true. And there's also the assumption that if you do pay for their education, then your kids will come out well-rounded, mature and smart individuals. If only.