I turned down some offers today to become a media talking head on the cultural meaning of the late Jade Goody. It is not my specialist subject, so I will leave it to the experts.
But a piece I wrote back in 2007 has somewhat surreally stuck around, by being linked at the top of the references on Goody's wikipedia entry. Gordon Brown found his trip to India dominated by the Big Brother race controversy; I was concerned about the impact on the status of education of a culture which mad not knowing where East Anglia is a route to fame and fortune.
I wouldn't withdraw that, but that doesn't mean that I felt it was appropriate to pontificate about it on television immediately after the death of a 27 year old woman.
Many of the tributes focus on the great deal that Goody has achieved since being diagnosed to promote awareness of cancer screening among young women in particular. The very public nature of her death tells us more about our media culture than about Goody herself. Marina Hyde's scathing challenge to the hypocrisy of Richard Desmond's OK! magazine in publishing an obituary edition before her death was well made. If they had any decency, they would donate the proceeds to a cancer charity. But they don't, so they won't.
I understand that her family have now requested privacy to deal with their loss. It would be nice to think that might be granted.