It’s been a long time since I posted on here, but I do pop in from time to time to read what other people are saying. And I see that every so often the Liz apologists appear, tell the majority of us that we shouldn’t be reading her if we don’t like her then disappear again. Apart from telling us that she is “funny” and a “brilliant writer” who “loves animals”, they don’t have any lucid argument to put about what they see in Liz Jones, her diary and her other articles. I’d like to put the case for those of us who read and criticise, and would be interested if you can say anything more to justify your position for a change.
Back in the days when Liz was married to Nirps, when I started reading her diary, I admit to having briefly felt some sort of sympathy for her. She was married to this cheating type who took advantage of her at every turn. But her own behaviour gradually made me see another side of her. It was with the disintegration of the marriage, and particularly her move to Dulverton, that I lost all sympathy.
Liz Jones moved to the country, buying a house out of the price range of the majority of her readers, thinking she would instantly fit into the country way of life. But instead of bending to adapt herself, she tried to impose her own values on those around her – telling the hunt what she thought of them, condemning farmers for rearing animals for meat and the like. She “rescued” far too many animals for one woman to look after – especially a woman who claims to work an 80 hour week and was often not at home, leaving other (often barely mentioned) to do the hard work. She had dogs and cats that were not house-trained and was unable to ride her horse properly. All this information comes from a combination of her own writings and the evidence of local people. When she eventually decided to sell up – citing financial troubles – she had to sell a house that stank (if all we hear about her animals is true) but was nowhere near the hovel she claimed it to be. It took her a long time to sell up, and when she eventually did so the locals were pleased to see the back of her. Although those locals who were owed money by her will probably never see a penny of her debts.
Alongside this, Liz’s own accounts of her dealing with other people – screaming at people, complaining at the way she is treated when she has just told us how unpleasant she has been to others – hardly garners any sympathy. She has a lifestyle that appears to be way beyond her means. Although her reported salary is huge, she overspends continually and won’t give up her little luxuries (special coffee and toothpaste, beauty preparations and designer clothes among other things. Not to mention the expense of her menagerie). She expects to buy the affection of other people with expensive presents and begrudges the fact that she can’t hold onto friends despite this. She contradicts regularly. The “Rock Star Boyfriend” who has never been seen with her has a hard time of it the way she reports her dealings with him (although most of these dealings are not face to face). Then she writes about being single and how she is happier that way. Happy is one thing she patently is not. She is also a hypocrite – a “vegan” who happily wears leather and eats dairy products. Where does the leather come from, I wonder? Her kindness to animals extends to keeping very sick pets alive far beyond the point when they should be put to sleep. As a long time animal owner myself I know how hard it is to let go, but I also know it is much harder for an animal to be kept “alive” when there is simply no quality of life left. Our duty of care to our animals includes knowing when to make the very hard decisions.
So why do I, and others, continue to read this badly written, inconsistent, output? Well as someone recently said on here, it is like a car crash. Horrible to look at but draws one to it. And because we read her words and are able to analyse them, we feel in a position to criticise. She lays herself open to criticism by the very fact of the way she reports everything. Publishing personal emails (in the case of those from her “boyfriend” after he had specifically asked her not to. If he exists, it is surprising that he continues to have any dealings with her when she refuses to obey his requests). Making unpleasant remarks about her mother, who is in no position to answer back. Do you remember her saying she was glad her mother had Alzheimer’s so she couldn’t give away Liz’s real age to Nirps? It beggars belief.
People research all varieties of things, and not always because they like them. But a scientist who carries out research into cancer doesn’t have to like the disease, merely to know as much as possible in order to try to eradicate it. Comparing Liz Jones to cancer is pretty extreme, I realise, but if one doesn’t know one’s subject it is not possible to make any valid critique.
I have, however, yet to find any evidence that Liz Jones is witty, funny or a good writer. Your arguments are not arguments because they don’t provide any evidence whatsoever of your claims.