The Joanna Yeates case is still quite raw in most people’s minds, and the Newspapers have being very careful about treating the issue with the upmost care and respect. That is except for the Daily Mail of course. The Mail assigned the issue of the on-going story to Liz Jones, who, after Melanie Phillips, is probably one of the most mental writers at the paper. She’s heavy handed. If you asked her to knock your front door, she’d drive her car through your front window. If you asked her to light your stove, she’d chuck a petrol bomb on it. Not very delicate basically, and if there is one story you need a delicate writer for, it’s the Joanna Yeates case. If I was assigned with the task of finding a writer to do an opinion article for this saga, I’d only ask Liz Jones if both Robert Mugabe AND Rod Hull’s corpse were unavailable.
The headline sets the tone nicely;
- Is lovely Jo becoming just another thumbnail on the police website?
Straight away you know it’s going to be quite the piece, after she manages to both patronize and dismiss a dead woman in one sentence. Top reactionary journalism tekkers.
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.
Yeah the thing is Liz, I assume that she hadn’t planned to get murdered. You can’t really live your life under that caveat.
‘Oi Dave, fancy going up Nags head for a pint?’
‘Rather go to an upmarket cocktail bar to be honest.’
‘Well incase I jumped on my way home, I want my last drink to be somewhere a bit classy.’
The food is awful (I ask for a veggie burger and it comes without the burger – and without the bun!).
Lolz!!111!! Oh Liz, I do love how you immerse anecdotes in a story about a dead girl. Not a dry eye in the house!
Alex is working her way through uni, where she is studying English. 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.
Brilliant. What an insightful contribution that was, Liz. Thank God you included it.
Liz Jones has what can only be described as a D-Grade GCSE grasp of the English language. Some of the prose she uses are mind-boggling in their stupidity, and they come thick and fast throughout the piece:
I wander the bright aisles, full of young women rushing round after work, leaving with carrier bags and expectation.
I almost buy that upmarket pizza; the choice tells me Jo wanted a lovely life, something above the ordinary
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.
‘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
This woman is a writer. A writer. Just let that fact sink in.
The Pièce de résistance of this article comes towards the end when she has to navigate the tricky toll entrance to the Clifton suspension bridge:
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?
WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT! So because the police can’t catch a murder, the council have no right to charge you to use a toll road? Fuck it Liz, chuck in a sweet wrapper, and old boot, a fag butt; if the police can’t catch murderers, then I’m not paying to use a toll!
I literally don’t know what the point of this article is. It really should be called ‘LIZ JONES PISSES AROUND IN BRISTOL FOR A DAY – Watch as she orders a burger; but it doesn’t turn up! And share the hilarity as she gets into an argument with an automated toll basket!’
There is a lot to laugh at the article, Liz Jones’ standard of English, Liz Jones’ article structure, Liz Jones; but there is also quite a vile theme to it, which is optimized by this paragraph:
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.
How would you react if you were Joanne Yeates family or friends? Liz Jones here is essentially saying ‘there’s a good chance they’ll never catch the killer and the police will forget about the case soon enough. Chin up, eh!’ Leaving the stupidity of Liz Jones’ ‘mad writing skillz’ aside, the article is just a horrendous, vile, abhorrent piece of work with no moral foundation whatsoever. It can only be written with the sole intention to upset or offender the reader. It sums up The Mail’s remit perfectly. ‘If it’s current affairs; we’ll exploit it!’
But then it’s the Daily Mail. What were you expecting?
BEST USER COMMENT
- If young women insist on going to pubs on their own to get drunk, they must expect the consequences! And then, on their way home, buy some more booze, adds insult to injury! When will Western women wake up to the risks they are taking, and realize that male predators are on the constant look-out for these soft targets? It’s no good women complaining about male chauvinist pigs etc. Men haven’t changed much since stonehenge. It’s the women that have, and they must accept the possible and horrible consequences.
- Paul Holbourne, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 16/1/2011 13:31
You, sir, are an oxygen thief.