Friday, October 12, 2007

looking for Answers

Chris Blackhurst, writing in the London Evening Standard, Oct 09, comments on ‘a grotesque farce that will tell us nothing’. Referring to a recent conversation he had with a law lord regarding the Diana and Dodi inquests currently taking place at the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Blackhurst, the Standard's City Editor, reports that the said law lord complained of the way in which, 'a wealthy man was able to tie a public service up in knots over the deaths of his son and girlfriend’.  He continued, ' the hearing will cost an estimated £10 million of taxpayers money and absorb some of the country's finest legal brains'.

I have to say I am in agreement with the senior judge. If there was a 'conspiracy' to murder the princess. (and it is an if), it is unlikely the perpetrators of such an act left a trail of clues that could easily be uncovered by an official inquest let alone a public inquest brought at the behest of a private individual, whom, it would seem has difficulty dealing with the tragic death of his son and is known for having 'issues' with the British Establishment. Indeed, Mr Fayed, on the opening day of the inquest told the media he hoped the 11 jury members would come to conclude, as he has, that the British Establishment, more especially the Royal Family, (in Mr Fayed's words - a bunch of gangsters) were involved in a conspiracy to murder both his son and the Princess of Wales. (It has to be said the term 'a bunch of gangsters' lends the Royals a glamour or at least edge normally lacking. It conjures up images of the Sopranos. Al Pacino or even Bonny and Clyde. Not your usual take on her Majesty and the extended clan).

This leads me to wonder what world Mr Fayed and his co-conspiracy theorists live in.

I too believe there was a conspiracy to kill the princess. It was a conspiracy of small things. Human errors. A driver whose responses were slowed by an excess of alcohol in his bloodstream, a car traveling at high speed in an enclosed area, chasing paparazzi desperate for photographs and the fact that neither Diana and Dodi were wearing seat belts.

The trouble with conspiracy theories such as Mr Fayed’s is that for their resolution they depend on the most improbable of events. Namely that some sinister group will suddenly step forward, put their hands in the air and say ‘ok it was us - we’re guilty- we did it.’ And if indeed there was a conspiracy to murder the Princess of Wales it is highly unlikely the Royals would be involved. For example who would trust Prince Philip to keep his mouth shut? This is a man who has the unfortunate habit of blurting out the very thing that should not be said in the very place where it should never be heard. Conspiracy theories depend on their not being able to be ‘proved’. That way they run and run and generate income for down-at-luck authors.

The law lord is correct. This inquest is a waste of taxpayer's money. It is very unlikely to find anything new that is relevant. It will certainly not vindicate Mr Fayed's beliefs or those of others who want to see in a tragic car accident evidence of sinister Intelligence Service plots or conspiracies involving the Royal Family. It will only muddy the waters and tie up the media in countless wasted hours of speculation and the public in voyeurism. Hours that could be better spent examining the continuing decline in standards of our once model health service, the state of our education or the increasing gap between 'those who have' and 'those who have not' in New Labour's new United Kingdom.

Copyright (C) Peter Millington October 11