Waking up this morning to the hashtag #LizJonesReports scattered all over my Twitter feed, I was in no way surprised to find out that the Mail's resident fuckwit had broken her own record of stupidity by penning a horrendous article about the last movements of Joanna Yeates on the night of her murder.
With a story demanding such a high level of tact and sensitivity in the writing, it's gobsmacking that the Mail would select a woman whose last work was a 1000-word article about Kate Middleton's dress advocating cruelty to silkworms to write something so potentially inflammatory.
And inflammatory it was. Rather than going down the informed and professional journalistic route, Liz instead takes on the role of a morbid stalker by following Joanna's last known movements and recording them as an opportunity to springboard her own vanity to new levels. In an increasingly disturbing account, Liz remarks that she 'wish[es] she had spent... her last hours on Earth somewhere lovelier', after purchasing a veggie burger which contains 'no burger, and no bun either'. The entire article smacks of her own arrogance as she insinuates that Bristol (which I'm sure she's never entered before on account of the scarcity of both quinoa and alfalfa) in some way caused her death by being, in her view, deprived.
In one of the most awful wild assumptions I've seen in documented history, she laments, 'I almost buy that upmarket pizza, the choice tells me that Jo wanted a lovely life, something above the ordinary.' And to think I gave the woman enough credit to think she wouldn't trivialise a young woman's life to the extent that she compares her aspirations to a Tesco's Finest margherita.
Understandably, the outrage has been voiced across Twitter as well as the Mail's comments. I've pasted the article below due to the sneaking suspicion that it may disappear quite soon. That said, I'm surprised anything Liz Jones writes has been taken that seriously, when just last week she branded tap water 'dirty' in the same article as a complaint about overpopulation destroying the planet. Apparently the population will be 10bn by 2050. And who will provide all the Evian?
***Quoted from the Mail website on 17/01/11
It's Friday night and I’m in the Ram bar on Park Street in Bristol.
This is where Joanna Yeates spent her last evening before she set off up the hill, past all the twinkly shops and bars (a Habitat, a Space NK beauty emporium; Bristol is nothing if not upwardly mobile) towards her death.
The bar is OK but ordinary. The wine list, chalked on a board, says ‘Lauren Perrier’.
I wish she had spent what were probably her last hours on earth somewhere lovelier. The food is awful (I ask for a veggie burger and it comes without the burger – and without the bun!) but the young women behind the bar are sweet with huge, wary eyes.
Alex is working her way through uni, where she is studying English. She comes from London and her parents are now terrified something is going to happen to her.
She was working in the bar on the night of December 17, when Joanna was having a drink before heading home. ‘I don’t remember her,’ she says.
‘It was so busy that night. I used to walk home but I always get a cab now.’
Lyn, with white blonde hair, who was also working here that night, says she is ‘more fearful now, I’m more nervous. It’s just so mysterious’.
I leave the bar at 8pm and retrace Joanna’s steps. Even though it’s January, the streets are packed. There are a couple of women joggers but they are with boyfriends or husbands.
I walk past the beautiful university building on my right, with Waitrose on my left. I wander the bright aisles, full of young women rushing round after work, leaving with carrier bags and expectation.
I head up the hill towards Clifton, the leafy part of the city. It’s quieter now, and darker. I find Tesco, and go in. I almost buy that upmarket pizza; the choice tells me Jo wanted a lovely life, something above the ordinary.
There is one police van on the green as I turn right into Canynge Road.
I bet Jo’s heart lifted as she reached this junction, looking forward to the feeling only a Friday night near Christmas can give you.
As I near her basement flat, at No 44, the road is quiet. Earlier in the day there had been an ITN news van here but it has gone now. I’m reassured to see two policemen standing vigil at her iron gate, either side of a small, discreet pile of flowers in varying degrees of decay.
I tell them I’m spooked, walking here. ‘Don’t be spooked,’ one says. ‘Residents are campaigning to get brighter street lights installed.’ So the antique, lovely ones are to disappear to be replaced by ugly ones because of something even uglier.
That afternoon I had gone to the lane where Jo’s body was found. It was horrible and windswept. I don’t know what I had expected but not this.
There was no ceremony here, no policeman, just that lovely face on a now dog-eared poster. I got the feeling the world is starting to forget Jo, that she’ll become just another thumbnail on the Avon and Somerset Police website, along with the faces of the other murder victims no one can recall.
I’d have expected the cars to slow down here to show respect but they sped past, carrying people on their way home from work. The lane is narrow. I can’t see how a car stopped here and a man struggled with a body without being beeped at and told to get out the way, as I was.
There were no messages with the flowers, just one card, still sealed in its Cellophane. The person who left it hadn’t bothered to scrawl a note.
Leaving Jo’s flat, I return to my car. My satnav takes me to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The theory is the killer took the long route from the flat to where he dumped the body to avoid the CCTV cameras. Perhaps he also wanted to avoid the 50p toll.
I don’t have 50p and try tossing 30p and a White Company button into the bucket. It doesn’t work.
There is now an angry queue behind me. Isn’t it interesting that you can snatch a young woman’s life away from her in the most violent, painful, frightening way possible, take away her future children, her future Christmases, take away everything she loves, and yet there are elaborate systems in place to ensure you do not cross a bridge for only 30 pence?
Finally, a man in a taxi jumps out, and runs to me brandishing a 50p piece.
‘Not all men are monsters,’ he says, grinning. Maybe not. But one monster is all it takes.