Something is rotten in Britain. Young men are stabbing each other to death at an unprecedented rate, the centres of many towns are no-go areas on weekends as drunks spill out of bars and terrorize passersby, and Britons are obsessed with celebrities such as Jade Goody, whose funeral last weekend led to scenes reminiscent of the death of Princess Diana.
In a recent article, British talk show host Michael Parkinson heaped scathing criticism on Ms. Goody, calling her “all that’s paltry and wretched about Britain.”
Brought up by drug-addicted parents in a poor neighbourhood of London, she was transformed by the glare of reality television into a multi-million-dollar product whom the public was urged to celebrate, especially after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, Mr. Parkinson noted.
“Jade Goody has her own place in the history of television and, while it’s significant, it’s nothing to be proud of,” he wrote in the Radio Times.
“When we clear the media smokescreen from around her death what we’re left with is a woman who came to represent all that’s paltry and wretched about Britain today. She was … barely educated, ignorant and puerile. Then she was projected to celebrity by Big Brother and from that point on became a media chattel to be manipulated and exploited till the day she died.”
Part of the article says that one of the key problems in Britain’s state is the immense drop-out rate from school. My wife – an experienced teacher, says that this is Margaret Thatcher’s fault – the National Curriculum in the UK was the very worst thing to have happened.