Monday, 7 September 2009

Have you met Ms Jones?

If you've ever considered leaving behind the big city rat-race for a life of rural peace and tranquility, you may want to think twice about it, in light of writer Liz Jones' experiences. The Mail on Sunday columnist left North London for a quieter country life in Brushford, West Somerset, but it turns out not to have been her smartest move.

It seems that the culture clash between townie and yokel is alive and well in Somerset, and the locals are not too happy to have Ms Jones living in their midst. Despite the fact that, in her own words, Liz 'puts a lot back into the community' the people of Brushford have rejected her and instigated a campaign of intimidation to drive her out.

In an article entitled 'My terror over gun attack on my Exmoor home' the trembling writer tells about her horrifying ordeal - as her metal mailbox was peppered with pellets. Apparently, this act of merciless savagery has left her in fear for her life and seriously considering another relocation. But she gravely warns that "If I go, a lot of people will be put out of work. My gardener, my groom, the builders, everyone."

So why on Earth would this kind-hearted one-woman-Job-Centre be subjected to such Straw Dogs treatment? It may have something to do with her regular columns in the Mail, and the book she published called The Exmoor Files, detailing her attempts to assimilate into the community.

Some thin-skinned locals have taken exception to her regular commentary on the toothless men, the shelf-stackers with 'learning difficulties' and the propensity for in-breeding in the area. As a consequence, Liz is shocked that people could be so small minded as to reject her, just because she has turned her sneering judgements into a lucrative publishing venture.

But as Janet Street Porter cautions, Liz needs to try exercising a little humility and compassion if she wants to be part of the community. To put it bluntly, Liz ought to heed the old adage - don't shit on your own doorstep. Or your neighbours' for that matter.

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