Liz Jones: "I Am Quite Shocked At How Small Minded People Are"

It seems as though everywhere she goes, trouble follows Liz Jones. She left London, she claims, "to get away from gunfire, feral children, and aggression," and yet her life in her new home, Exmoor, is apparently just as terrible.

As I mentioned earlier today, Jones' mailbox was shot up earlier this week, and Jones believes it was done by one of her neighbors, who all seem to hate her for reasons she can't quite understand. "I'm disappointed and shocked because I have never been nasty about people personally," she claims in the Daily Mail, "I am quite shocked at how small-minded people are."

This, of course, after Jones has spent a good deal of time mocking her new country neighbors in her columns, picking on them for everything from their poor dental hygiene to their drug use to their intelligence levels. "She portrays us as a bunch of toothless inbreds who eat only basket meals and rum baba and spend our spare time being cruel to animals," says one farmer, who then decried the attack on Jones' mailbox.

Jones defends her swipes at her neighbors by claiming that there's a bit of truth to all of them: she called them toothless, she says, because her "gardener, Brian – a man who has become like a surrogate father to me, concerned as he is about my isolation and inability to drive in snow – has had most of his teeth out." She goes on to explain that she was only trying to say that the younger men had moved out of the country and back to the city, to find work, but her explanations sound a bit similar to "but my best friend is toothless! I love toothless people!" and it's not hard to see how her neighbors might misinterpret her nasty little digs, even if she has, in her mind anyway, a point to back them up.

In any case, Jones, per usual, positions herself as the victim: "I'm the stranger, the single woman starting over (I doubt if I'd be attacked were I a posh man), but not one person has invited me round for tea, or even come to say hello. Is it insularity, boredom or fear that makes them treat me so? I wonder how someone who doesn't employ so many locals would be treated if they moved here." Perhaps if Liz had bothered to take a second to actually, I don't know, invite her new neighbors to tea instead of expecting everyone to come calling for her, she might have met some of them. And perhaps, instead of just acting like hiring local people makes her an instant member of the community, Jones should have recognized that her actions weren't enough to make up for the hurtful words and reputation slams she delivered against her new neighbors on a weekly basis.

I don't think anyone should have shot up Liz Jones' mailbox (or egged her car, or tp'd her trees, or whatever the nasty neighborhood attack of the moment might be), but Jones doesn't seem to understand that unless people know you, they aren't going to "get" your hilarious little jokes at their expense. She can mock her community to bits; but unless they're in on the joke, it's no surprise that they aren't laughing.

And also: feral children in London? Really?

Liz Jones: My Terror Over Gun Attack On My Exmoor Home [DailyMail]