With the ripples of ‘Jadegate’ spreading ever outwards, it seems that the polarising effects of Ms Goody’s loss of control are provoking a catharsis amongst the nation’s moral guardians and Those Who Would Be Blameless.
Times sure have changed. Who can remember ‘Mind Your Language’, ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren hamming it up with ‘Goodness, Gracious Me’?
We’ve come a long way from the days when the word, ‘Sambo’ could be broadcast to belly laughs. ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ now seems like a macabre hostage to politically correct fortune and who, now, would dream of telling their friends about their collection of marmalade motifs?
Anyone looking at the current newspaper headlines might be excused for thinking that the evil of Stephen Lawrence’s murder had returned. In a way it has, for without this backdrop and the ensuing convulsions of ‘institutional racism’ the events of recent days would not have pierced the fragile bubble of ‘multicultural’ Britain. Black and Asian people attest to constant low-level jibes based on their skin colour. A little ‘joke’ here, a mimicked accent there – “what’s the harm”? Shilpa Shetty appeared to perform a complete U turn when questioned about her initial perception of events; she retracted her allegation. Was this the C4 damage limitation machine at work? What’s clear, amid all the huffing and puffing is that Jade, and her culturally challenged acolytes, ‘told it like it is’ in the way that it is. Unfortunately, ‘how it is’ is not very nice if you are black or asian. So Jade, in her dysfunctional way, has given us white folk a view of ourselves that we don’t really like very much. She, herself is recoiling in horror as I write; giving her fee money to charity to atone for her sin. ‘Lo, I beheld my plummeting bank balance and mine eyes were opened’. Money is central to all this. C4 “can’t be allowed to make money on the back of this”. Advertisers disassociate themselves from it. Foreign investors from the Indian subcontinent will withdraw. Black and Asian entrepreneurs will not tolerate it. Moral indignation is one thing. Money though, has teeth. With wealthy Indian megadonors to The Labour Party – no place for this kinda thing in ‘Modern Britain’. No matter, in my view. Though the driving factors may be monetary, Jadegate has established a new line, a new awareness of the effects of ignorance and intolerance. If people are inhibited from crossing that line as a result than that has to be good. God knows, with all the sectarian mayhem going on in the world, anything that gives pause for thought is welcome. Now, I wonder if Hilary will close Guantanamo Bay?