Friday, 5 August 2011

In praise of my (not Liz Jones') GP surgery

I made a solemn promise to myself that I would not, under any circumstances, blog about Liz Jones again.  And here I am breaking that promise.  Why?  Because once again it seems she is running down my home town – once again totally unfairly – and I’m fed up of it. 

This time it’s our GP surgery that gets it in the neck.  Apparently they didn’t jump and give her an instant appointment when she demanded jabs for her trip to Somalia.  Let’s just bear in mind she isn’t their patient: she has a GP, a private one in London (in Chelsea, just so we’re assured it really is a nice smart expensive one).  She also tells us (not quite sure why) that she has a private gynaecologist and two, yup, two therapists. Somewhere along the line I must have missed something because, last time I looked, she was moaning she was totally broke…but hey ho.  This is Liz Jones LaLa land, right?  Oh, and let’s also bear in mind that, given few Exmoor residents whizz off to Somalia at the drop of a hat, they very probably didn’t have the vaccine in stock. 
But anyhow - other people have tried to explain the general workings of the NHS to her.  I want to talk about this particular surgery.  Like most NHS practices, it's busy, hugely busy.  It covers a huge geographical swathe of Exmoor.  The phones ring pretty much non-stop yet the receptionists are unfailingly polite and helpful, as are all the staff.   These guys have looked after my family unstintingly since we moved to Exmoor 13 years ago. They have gently held my hand through bouts of depression (yup, I'm one of those ghastly people who are a total drain on society cos of my feeble-minded mental illness); they have helped my son  (oh, sorry, my "snotty kid") grow up fit and strong.  My husband is sickeningly healthy but, even so, they haul him in every so often and check him out to make sure he stays that way.  
I know these people and they are not just consummate professionals, they are good people.  All of them.  They work damn hard and they don’t deserve to be ridiculed, patronised and blamed by a spoiled brat of a journalist.  The receptionists are not "jobsworths" – far from it.  They have to make tough, informed judgment calls every moment of the day. They err on the side of caution too.  When I was bitten by my dog, I phoned up to check if I needed a jab at some point: the receptionist demanded I went in immediately to have it checked out. When my son woke up with Bell’s palsy, they saw him straight away and then packed him off to hospital for tests (turned out he had Lyme Disease). Yet..hmm.. they didn’t jump when Liz stamped her foot and demanded her travel jab?  I wonder why? 

I’m sick of it.  Pun intended.  Really sick to the stomach with it.  I know Liz Jones wants to get out of Brushford but her house is still on the market so she’s stuck with us and, more’s the pity, we’re stuck with her.  I could tell you stories about her which would make your toes curl but – you know what? – I can keep my mouth shut.  Unlike Liz Jones, I try to think about the effect my words have on other people.
While she’s prattling on about her “rock star” I leave well alone.  Though I would just say nobody round here has seen him – no, not even her next-door neighbours.  But, anyway, Liz, you just keep talking about “him” and your trips to Italy, festivals, whatever. Keep wittering on about your dogs  pissing all over the furniture. Keep prattling on about your face-lift and your designer clothes and your ‘issues’.  Just leave your slanted, prejudiced view of my home-town out of your warped life-view and shut the feck up about the decent hard-working people in my health centre.


Btw, on a lighter note, there’s a hilarious satire of Liz Jones on Twitter, raising money for Somalia – follow @LizJonesSomalia

Also,  while I'm here, please will someone, anyone, buy her house?  Look, I’ll even provide a link.  Actually it is stunningly lovely.  And no, btw, I’m not a stalker! I knew it before she moved in ...
It's okay, Liz, I don't need thanking for the free ad!  But, if anyone buys it through seeing it here, donate my 'finder's fee' to Somalia, eh?   


37 comments:

Sessha Batto said...

If I win the lottery I'll buy it in a heartbeat . . . sight unseen even ;) So, let's just hope moving all the mirrors and fixing the fountains does the trick!

zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

I love the rant.
really I love it.
xxx
viv

Milla said...

she is such a silly cow. Did you see that great put down of her following her NHS rant by some doctor, argh name? Brian??? Sorry. It was doing the rounds, viral, of the internet so you will have seen it. She is too tiresome for words and embarrassingly self-important.

Mark said...

I loved the Kellet article and thought you would too - in a 'go on, stick it to her' sort of way.

Twitter campaign is good too

rosiescribble said...

I think you should write more ranty posts. This is brilliant!
Don't get me started on Somalia. As I may have mentioned, perhaps a couple of times, I travelled to Africa last year. For this I needed vacccines. My local NHS were very helpful about what I needed. The point I would like to make is the people I visited are dying young and many of their children don't survive birth because they don't have the luxury of vaccines. And they don't have a National Health Service. Neither I, nor Liz Jones or anyone else in the Western world is really in a position to complain.

Marcheline said...

I have no idea who Liz Jones is, but that is one gorgeous house... wow!

Also kind of curious how Liz Jones is mainlining her opinions into your life... does she have a radio or tv show in your area? Is she a town official? Or are you reading her blog? Since I don't know who she is, I don't have a point of reference.

Calico Kate said...

Beautifully observed as always Jane.
Sickeningly gorgeous house! Obviously doesn't deserve it.
CKx

Rob-bear said...

I say, who was that pathetic looking wench with her cat? Was that the infamous Liz (with the Welsh surname -- pity the Welsh, please)?
Looks so appallingly sad. Probably explains her writing.
I caught the Kellett piece too, Well done, that.
Sorry, for you, that her house hasn't sold yet. Maybe people have come to realize it is cursed, by her and her dogs.
BTW have you organized the going away party for her — the one you'll hold when she is well and truly gone?

Sally said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

I read the original article hoping desperately it was a spoof but alas, no, there really are people THAT spoiled, over-entitled and insensitive in the world.

toady said...

As Milla says 'silly cow'
Sorry can;t have an original thought today.

Joanne Mallon said...

Marcheline, count yourself lucky that you don't know who she is...

Expat mum said...

I think she writes the way she does purely to get a reaction. She can't come up with anything inspiring, funny or even informative to say so she just takes the piss or rips into people for effect. Half the time I'm sure she knows she's writing garbage, but hey - if the Daily Misogynist pays, then why not.
I've just come back from Africa, and half the jabs I needed had to be done more than a week before I went. Not quite sure she'd done her research. Perhaps she'll get some awful lurgy...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I know I lead a somewhat sheltered life but I don't know Liz Jones! I'm also quite glad I don't. Can't be doing with over-opinionated wannabe high profilers whom this woman obviously thinks she is.

Hope someone buys her house soon and you're rid of the riff raff.

CJ xx

accidentalmente said...

No idea who this Liz Jones... but reading your post and Brian Kellet's I've lost all interest in this woman... :)

Ma.Ste. said...

Jesus...

Anonymous said...

Oh,no, PLEASE dish the dirt on Liz! I think that she has been so toxic about so many people for so long that the world really deserves an expose of her. As it is, we get a version of her life that she's clearly distorted--I for one also think she has an imaginary boyfriend in the way that my son once had an imaginary friend, say. Her epic rudeness not just to the people in your neighbourhood but towards "feral children," mothers, celebrities, and . . . well, anybody but Liz Jones, is in desperate need of a comeuppance; and it would be nice to know if some of her exploits were true or bogus: picking up the mail and food for shut-in neighbors during a period of snow, for instance, sounds utterly implausible. Does she actually DO any of the positive things she claims she does locally? Do friends visit her, as she claims, granted that she's also said she HAS no friends (easy enough to imagine)? She takes pride in being rude to anyone whom she thinks of as lower in status--shop assistants, receptionists, and so on; I can imagine that there are tales to tell. And just because no one calls her bluff and reveals things about her, SHE CAN CONTINUE TO BE RUDE AND DISHONEST, ENDLESSLY. It will not stop or diminish. She is utterly free, as it stands.

Silence empowers her. It really may be a case of "All that it takes for evil to prevail is for good women to remain silent." Liz Jones isn't mega-big-time evil, but she's reckless with other people's contentment and with their reputations (and she certainly tried to trash your local clinic, for instance).

Months, perhaps years ago, I posted something critical about Liz Jones, wondering whether the nastiness she was ladling out about your area had hurt tourism--she certainly was rude about the restaurants and shops. Imagine my surprise a few days later when the phone rang in my kitchen here in Los Angeles with the gentleman who owns the farm and B & B right by Liz's home on the other end of the line. He seemed to appreciate my concern about whether she'd damaged the local economy, and we had a WONDERFUL time trash-talking her.

From what he said, it sounded as if she was so rude and impossible that she was more or less walking around with a sign that said "KICK ME" pinned to her rump. Perhaps kicks are in order when someone provokes others, causes harm, and feels free to spread rudeness wherever she goes. And telling the truth about someone is not the same as being rude or cruel; it's telling the truth. She clearly has little editorial supervision--no one at the Mail seems to have a hand on the brakes--and, granted the freedom to insult and wound that she enjoys, it's only just to those who have been harmed, those whose reputations have suffered, to tell the other side of the Liz Jones story. As the Quakers say, there are times for silence, but there are also times to "speak truth to power." And she has too much power, granted her ability to lash out in the Mail.

Anna
Los Angeles (as you will have guessed. And yes, I'm coming to that B & B next time I'm in the UK.)

Sallys Chateau said...

Good for you for putting your feelings across so eloquently and using your writing skills to defend 'real'people,the internet is riddled with 'nobodies' like LJ. Carcassonne beckons lady !!

HER ON THE HILL said...

Goodness, tho I too am pleased to report that I have never read one word the stupid bitch has written (and never will), I fear she sums up where too much of British 'quality' journalism has gone - i.e down the pan. I wouldn't waste a moment of my life reading such self-opinionated, self-important high and mighty bullshit. Shoot the editor, I say. Closely followed by her less than charming wholly unedifying self. Is that rude enough?

Exmoorjane said...

Huge thanks for all the comments... Anonymous, no - I won't say more because it could hurt other people - not Liz Jones. I'm most certainly not protecting her.

Anonymous said...

I think that you probably know far better than I do what the right thing to do is, come to think of it--so I apologize for urging you to do something else! If you do see her wandering around with "KICK ME" on her butt, though--give her one for me!

And many thanks for what you wrote! Your words about and to Liz Jones, here and in the past, have been a pleasure to read (or hear on the radio).

Anna, still in Los Angeles

Euphrosene Labon said...

Heck of a lot of people commenting here to say they haven't heard of her or read her column but are happy to mouth off strongly.

Says a lot about them too, doesn't it?

Euphrosene

PS Not particularly a fan of Jones, but definitely one for balance and fairness.

60 going on 16 said...

Meant to post this yesterday, Jane, but thought I had better calm down first.

I don't think I need to add anything to the commments about Liz Jones and her totally ill-judged Somalia trip, otherwise my Mac might explode.

However, just want to say that I absolutely concur with what you say about the surgery in question, as it's my surgery too. It is, without any doubt, the best NHS general practice, I've ever attended. (My sister is the pactice manager at a very busy West London health centre, so I have some idea about just how much effort, on the part of individual staff members and the team as a whole, goes into creating and running a first-class medical practice.)

Despite my sister's frequent prompting, I hadn't been registered with a GP, nor seen one for many years, until I registered at Dulverton last spring. I was bowled over with the quality of care I received, particularly from the wise and practical female GP whom I saw - and continue to see.

There is a small and slightly selfish footnote here: had I not registered at the practice and had some immediate but routine tests and a mammogram last summer, I might not have discovered that I had breast cancer until it was too late. As it was, the pesky tumour was detected very early, requiring only minimal treatment. The support I have had from my GP in taking decisions, at every stage of treatment, has been phenomenal.

So, the practice didn't bend over backwards/drop everything to give a self-indulgent, ill-informed, wannajab what she wanted, when she wanted? So what? The staff were probably too busy saving lives and taking care of people who are actually - er - ill.

Alison Cross said...

Hoooeee - this IS a popular posting lol! I was quite sympathetic to LJ when I started reading her column, but after a while I wanted to shake her and point out that if she was skint, then she really ought be thinking of cutting down on all the fancy stuff that she gets for the animals. Perhaps even rehoming the animals? I certainly wouldn't tolerate a dog that pisses on my furniture after this length of time.

I am absolutely DYING to know who the Rock Star is though *nosy cow face*

Her house looks wonderful and I do hope that someone buys it soon.

I think I love your ranty posts most of all!!!!

Three Cheers for the NHS!!!! :-D

Ali x

Ivy said...

Can't make out the famous letterbox on those pcs :(

country mouse said...

If I win the lottery tonight - I will buy her house - but dont worry I wont piss you off and rant about the village or about the doctors ! and i dont have a "rock star boyfriend" either!

Raven Dane said...

This wretched woman has the well-paid soap box of the Daily Wail to vent her vexation of the real world beyond Planet Jones. So thank you for your refreshing, funny and honest blog to redress the imbalance.
This silly, shallow individual has always made my skin crawl from the days she whined on and on about her doomed ( I wonder why! ) marriage in the Mail on Sunday magazine. Self-obsessed to the most extraordinary degree, she seems to think people envy her lifestyle as a skinny, single globe trotting fashionista. Sooo wrong!
And yes, come a lottery win or a film deal on one of my novels, I will definitely buy that house. I love Exmoor and my son, dog and horses will fit right in.

Ma.Ste. said...

Jesus...

Cait O'Connor said...

Bravo Jane!
Hers is a beautiful house but it will need a thorough 'spiritual cleansing' when it is in new ownership.

Bernardine Kennedy said...

I think you know by now that you and I are on the same page.... rant on! B

Plot Tracer said...

Superb article. I get really annoyed at complainers who cant see beyond their own comfort and see public services (and indeed lots of private companies)are understaffed and over worked. If they paid a proper proportion of their salaries/income, perhaps they would not have to sully their arse by sitting in an NHS waiting room for more than 5 minutes...

What is being done to our NHS by the Tories (with the door held open by the Lib Dems) is nothing short of a disgrace.

Pondside said...

I remember your first run-in with this woman - and here she is again. What a great rant, Jane!

combat_claire said...

Well said Exmoor Jane, loving your blog posts as ever.

Eliza said...

Just read the article she wrote. I'd never heard of her. Silly woman should have got her jabs sorted out long before. Why would she think that everyone would drop their caseload for her. If her private GP didn't have the drugs why would the NHS have them just lying around waiting for her! Good rant. A good rant does you good.

English Mum said...

Good for you, firstly for sticking up for our wonderful NHS, and two for sticking it to that foul, witchy-haired harridan. Maybe she'll do us all a favour and stay in Somalia.

Oh wait, but then I'd feel sorry for the Somalians...

Ma.Ste. said...

Jesus...

Midlife Singlemum said...

Ooh your're great when you're angry. ;~)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness me, that is just brilliant! I cannot stand Liz Jones, but feel helplessly drawn to her repulsive articles like one feels compelled to look at an accident. I just just believe she is real, but she just gets worse and worse. Well done you. I loved what you wrote. I imagine she deserves it!