I wasn't going to blog about the Liz Jones piece in the Daily Mail, especially after it went viral on places like Twitter, largely because I couldn't think what could possibly be said about such a horrifically misguided effort. But I like Liz Jones's writing. I like her, although I have never met her. She does appear to be a bit bonkers, yes, but in a good way, and it makes her stuff interesting. At first I thought the article was taking the piss - Liz was not impressed by the pub, the Bristol Ram, where Joanna Yeates had a drink on the last night of her life, apparently because they couldn't spell "Laurent Perrier" correctly, and Joanna must have been aspirational because she bought a top-of-the-range pizza from Tesco. I was laughing at first. But Liz Jones does not do irony. And a murder is nothing to laugh at. And when Liz Jones wrote that she put a button in as payment of the Clifton bridge toll, I knew she had lost it. You might try not to pay the full amount in a place like that, if you had no change and were in a hurry, we have probably all done something similar - but you wouldn't write about it in a national newspaper. And even so, do these people not have editors? What were they all thinking of? Liz Jones wrote that if measures were taken to improve the safety of public spaces this might mean, unfortunately, that the nice antique street lamps would be replaced by ugly modern ones (irrelevant anyway, because Joanna Yeates was apparently killed in, or abducted from, her own home by someone she opened the door to and therefore presumably knew).
Lots of people have had fun with this piece. One tweet I enjoyed pretended to be Liz Jones in Anne Frank's attic, saying "hmmm, I would put in a master bedroom and wet room here". But it is not fun. If I were Joanna Yeates' family I would at the very least be getting the Press Complaints Commission involved. No-one has yet been charged with the murder. And it is time someone was. The Mail claims, mostly correctly, to have its finger on the pulse of Britain. Not this time. Of course not every murder victim attracts public sympathy. Women are murdered and the media take no notice, often because they are poor, black, prostitutes or all three. But not this time.
You have got it very very wrong, Mr Mail.