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The Princess Diana report...

Eddie Mair | 12:43 UK time, Thursday, 14 December 2006

...read it and let us know what you think. Much more on the air at 5pm.

Comments

  1. At 12:57 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    Alternatively, one can read the overview which is a great deal more readable, and tells most of us what we already know - tragic accident!

    Anyone want to tell Mr Al Fayed?

  2. At 12:57 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    That will take a while to read, so for now I will only say that the guy on the radio this morning seemed rather deluded.

  3. At 01:00 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    Its far too long. I haven't the time today.

  4. At 01:04 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    I'll let you know my reactions to it in a week!

    Now for those of you who subscribe to the Nesletter, you will have noticed that Eddie has a new feature.

    You can now read along with Ed.

    Here is today's read along with Ed :-

    That's not all. The Chapman brothers will be talking to Nigel, and here's a preview for you of a big report we're running tonight. This is the cue. If you're bored (unlikely, I grant you) you can read this along with me during the show...

    "South America is not the first place you think of if you're looking for the men who fund global terrorism, but the PM programme has found evidence of money laundering on a massive scale, some of which pays for terrorism in the middle east. The tri-border area, where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, is a lawless region where drugs trafficking, gun running, and counterfeit goods are rife, but it is also the global centre of a multi billion dollar industry where money is moved around the world anonymously. A PM investigation has found documents showing the suspicious transfer of millions of dollars to the middle east, and tracked down one man accused of funding terrorism. Reporting from Paraguay, Andrew Bomford."

    The newsletter can be found here, providing I receive it of course.

    http://www.pmblog.co.uk/newsletter.html

  5. At 01:06 PM on 14 Dec 2006, ian wrote:

    If you can't be bothered to read it, "The butler did it"

  6. At 01:09 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Simon Worrall wrote:

    There's 872 pages of it. How long have I got?

    Nice floor plan of the Ritz though....

    No index.

    No single executive summary.

    Good grief!

    Si.

  7. At 01:48 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    ‘They’ would not accept an Egyptian, naturally tanned, having curly hair as stepfather
    for the boys

    Who is curly hair?

    I've read the report and it seems fair and clear enough, although it comes across rather like an Agatha Christie novel.
    I think it is a sensible conclusion that there was no evidence of any foul play but the entire report was littered with statements from people who were basing their opinion on speculation and hearsay. Plus. if the entire basis of the conspiracy theory is that the Royal Family did not want a muslim man as a step-father of the future King, then why didn't they kill Diana's previous boyfriend (Hassan Kahn, was it? something like that) whom she dated for 2 years?

    Either way, I doubt that this will keep the Daily Express quiet.

  8. At 01:49 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Interesting that the Princess was embalmed in Paris before the post mortem could be carried out in London.

    Surely refrigeration would have been a more appropriate process to preserve evidence?

    I haven't found much in the way of evidence Henri Paul was drunk either.

  9. At 01:51 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Andy Mann. wrote:

    I could have told 'em all that for half the price!

  10. At 02:06 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Okay, this is not going to make me popular ... but I stick by the conspiracy theory.

    The interview this morning was appalling. Mr Naughtie was rude, openly scoffing whilst his interviewee was speaking, and making catty remarks.

    When you book Mr al Fayed for an interview on this subject, you know exactly what he's going to say. He's 100% consistent, so unless you have a novel tactic up your sleeve for getting past his dogged repetition of outrageous sounding allegations ... what's the point?

    Personally, I do not like what I know of Mr al Fayed. Never having met him, this opinion is based largely on reports from people I know who have actually worked for him.

    The only subject on which he and I share any (though not all) ground at all is that the crash was deliberately caused for political and constitutional reasons.

    I'm not convinced he has pointed the finger of blame in the right direction though. Nor was I fan of Diana.

    Fifi

  11. At 02:14 PM on 14 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    hey I got my newsletter today! Thank you!

  12. At 02:23 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Chrissie the Trekkie wrote:

    I'll let you give us the Janet and John summary on air, Eddie. I'll get the sack if I sit here downloading and reading a 5.3Mb document that is not 100% work related.

    I still feel sorry for Mr El-Fayed. Everyone talks about Diana, but he lost his son in this crash too! (And also his chance to be the father of the husband of the ex-wife of the heir to the throne.... I'm sure he'd have loved that too. )

    I bet there's plenty of people out there who will scream whitewash - then offer to let you have Elvis's phone number and proof that the moon is 25 miles away and no one has ever landed on it.

  13. At 02:54 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Simon,

    Follow Stephen's link in message #1. Thanks Stephen.
    xx
    ed

  14. At 03:00 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Actually Jonnie (4) the terrible thing is I have now edited the introduction to the piece. To play along at home now, THESE are the words...

    "PM has found evidence of money laundering on a massive scale in South America, and the US says some of it pays for terrorism in the middle east.

    The border area where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet, is a lawless region where drugs trafficking, gun running, and counterfeit goods are rife. It's also the global centre of a multi billion dollar industry where money is moved around the world anonymously.

    A PM investigation has found documents showing the suspicious transfer of millions of dollars to the middle east, and tracked down one man accused of funding terrorism. From Paraguay, Andrew Bomford reports:"

    It is, it must be said, a very busy news day. We're debating whether to lead the programme with Diana or Tony Blair - but there are two or three other stories which on other days would also be credible lead stories. Which means that tomorrow, there will be no news at all.

  15. At 03:09 PM on 14 Dec 2006, John Cooper wrote:

    instead of discussng this, which is really old news, I would prefer to see a wee thread about the fact the sitting PM has just been interviewed by the police...

    Lets see - a dead princess and conspiricy theories being disproved

    or

    Sitting PM interviewed by police over corruption allegations...

    Much as I love the light hearted and irreverant tone to the programme, I hope that the PM comes above Diana today.

    (Would it be too tastless to ask how much she donated to the party to be nominated the peoples' princess?)

    regards
    John

  16. At 03:26 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    A little something to lighten the day.

    I'm sure it would never happen -- but if Jim and Eddie ever got arrested after Hogmanay and slung in the cells this may what the officers would hear :

    http://www.pmblog.co.uk/edandjiminthecells.wma

  17. At 03:29 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    Nothing suprises me.

  18. At 03:56 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Stella Farret wrote:

    There was none of this fuss over my Aunt Cora.

  19. At 04:04 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Hillman Hunter wrote:

    If Lord Stevens had reported that Diana's car had been set off course by a ray gun fired by aliens disguised as Parisian traffic lights or that it had skidded on a shaft of moonlight and the car was destroyed because it was actually made magically, but with a low crash resistant design, from a pumpkin from the Ritz Hotel garden created by an evil fairy godmother from MI6, then there would still have been people out there saying... "Told you so"! :Summary: Car - 90mph - drunk driver - wall - no seat belt = death by accident.

  20. At 04:11 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Oh dear, I can tell exactly what'll happen. Those like me who think it was an accident will accept this ad say things like "Enough's enough. It's a shame that three people died, but when a car going at least 60mph crashes into a concrete post and you aren't wearing a seatbelt, it's not a surprise that you may be fatally injured. The fourth occupant (the bodyguard) was only saved by the airbag. I find it very difficult to believe that conspirators (whoever they may be) would rely on a method of assasination that relied on so many fluke factors."
    On the other side, those who believe in the conspiracy theories (which seem to mutate during the telling of them, showing little if any internal logic) will be up in arms, claiming that "It's a whitewash! It was the CIA Mossad, MI5, MFI, Prince Philip, etc...."
    btw, I think I'm right in saying that Mohammed al Fayed added the al to his name himself. He was born Mohammed Fayed. The al is similar in connotation to von in germanic languages, and denotes a certain "aristocracy"...

  21. At 04:15 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Fifi (10)

    Out of interest how do YOU think the crash was caused then?

    Oh, and I was a fan of Diana, not that it's relevant.

  22. At 04:37 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Joe Palooka wrote:

    Cheers Eddie! I've just clicked PRINT by mistake!

  23. At 04:38 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Froggers,

    I'm pretty much all the way with Fifi on this one, though it does seem a pretty uncertain way to commit murder, and if it was my assignment, I think I'd try to find a way with more certainty of fatality.

    Again, as in so many occurrences, "Que bono?" is a question worth asking.

    Houb Salaam
    ed

  24. At 04:39 PM on 14 Dec 2006, bababooey wrote:

    Read it??!! You must be joking. I'll have a flick trough over the christmas holidays.

    I'll listen to your abridged version.

    Keep up the good work.

  25. At 04:53 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Eddie (14)

    Thanks for that.

    I'd have been mortified but have re-printed the text to take up to the bathroom with my cup of tea.

    it DOES read better now, I grant you.

    It's all terribly worthy and exciting :-)

  26. At 05:03 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: John Cooper

    Mmm! I think it is a bit of a tasteless comment actually John.

  27. At 05:21 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Briantist wrote:

    You don't have to be mad to own Harrods, but it helps.

  28. At 05:21 PM on 14 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    John @ 15 - yes it would be far too tasteless, in any case did not Tony Bleaaggh come up with this moniker himself (or some whizz kid in his office did ) in order to align himself with the grieving British public? Diana herself I beleive called herself the Queen of Hearts, which to my mind is several degrees yuckeir even than people's princess.
    Not a fan of Diana, and in fact not convinced of the conspiracy theory, but there again not convinced that there wasn't one either. It was just so useful that she died...
    However airing this stuff must be very painful for her children - hands up all those who would like to contemplate the idea that their grandfather might have had a hand in murdering their mother? What no takers? How surprising!

  29. At 05:26 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Briantist wrote:

    DIANA - Died In A Nasty Accident

  30. At 05:33 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Chris Easton wrote:

    I find it hard to believe that anyone plotting a murder would use,as a method, something as unpredictable as a traffic accident. The safety features in modern cars frequently allow survival in the most horrific crashes. A flying accident could possibly give rise to a conspiracy theory but to suggest that a car crash was, in effect, a "contract killing", is simply nonsense.

  31. At 05:36 PM on 14 Dec 2006, S.Bury wrote:

    What does the only survivor of the crash say?
    He had been in the army it seems very unlikely that he would willingly have gone in a car with a drunken driver.
    He knew they would be trying to get away from the journalists!

  32. At 05:42 PM on 14 Dec 2006, ajoco wrote:

    I agree with you fifi. I am not necessarily a conspiracy theorist, but anyone who heard Lord Stevens recently on Desert Island Discs would have little faith that he would be likely to report on anything remotely embarassing to the 'Establishment'. He came over in the program as a rather blimpish, almost forelock tugging royalist - Establishment through and through. It's always a cause of curiosity shall we say when the most important witness 'commits suicide' before he is interviewed.

  33. At 05:43 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Jayne Edwards wrote:

    A simple response!

    So why does it still feel so strong and powerful to have our intelligence insulted over the cover-up to Diana's death. The smoke screen of a concert to mark her annirversary will do nothing to end the reality to what we know to be true.

    We can only hope the second Mrs Windsor/Wales has the decency to keep well away.

    Jainee

  34. At 05:54 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    John Cooper, I just want to say about the interview of Tony Blair, that I don't understand why they bothered to do it at all.

    If it wasn't under caution then they could not believe that TB was any kind of suspect in the criminal investigation. The Police Codes of Practice and Police and Criminal Evidence Act requires the police to caution anybody as soon as they begin to suspect a person they are questioning that they could be responsible for a criminal offence. If they do not then nothing said by the PM could ever be used as evidence against him in any subsequent trial. So what was the point of interviewing him? To obtain information regarding others? Surely they should have done that ages ago.

    The very fact that TB didn't have a lawyer present shows that the interview was nothing for anyone to get excited about. Either that or he is a fool. I say that in the sense that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client (well known saying in my trade).

    Mary

  35. At 06:36 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Decembermum wrote:

    Three years and goodness knows how much tax-payers money spent on telling us what most of us have known for years and for what? Mr Fayed will never believe it so what was the point, they'd have been better off putting the money into the NHS or education or something useful.

  36. At 06:39 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I am always interested in conspiracy theories. I am drawn to wanting them to have some substance.

    What I have found remarkable is the idea that a woman who must have been trained in personal safety, would be induced to get into a car driven by someone who is drunk.

    They couldn't trace the Fiat Uno.

    There's a part of me (with no loyalty to Princess Di) that feels that something about this affair doesn't smell quite right.

    Mary

  37. At 07:35 PM on 14 Dec 2006, John Robinson wrote:

    Mention this morning about the appalling behaviour of the paparazzi, but almost silence ever since.
    Why?

    John Stephens was sent to N Ireland and fearlessly did his job. Howsevr, notice the emphassis he put on the words 'at the moment'. And who could possibly believe anything secret services have to say. How does Stephens *know* all the documents wre produced?

    Too many outstanding queations in my view, for this report not to be viewed in the same light as Hutton.

    'The case goes on in people's minds'.

  38. At 07:35 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mad or not, Mary, I'm in love with you (and Sparkles and Fifi and, and, and, all the froggers), but specially with you & Sparky & Fifi. You are so spot on! My nose twitches the same way...something just not right...

    Now, off for that drink with Mr Vitout. See y'all later, and I hope Tea's ready on time.

    xx
    ed

  39. At 07:58 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Oh Ed! You silver tongued devil! Now to get the same sort of response from the other Ed, what a perfect Christmas that would be.

    Mary

  40. At 08:28 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Karl Handy wrote:

    When my girlfriend and I heard the report saying that it was a tragic accident our instant reaction was, in unison, "No sh*t!"

    They were all drunk. They were driving fast. They crashed. Simple.

    Really, is this news for anyone other than Daily Express readers?

  41. At 08:46 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    OK I've decided tomorrow to print out the whole report at work, it's my business so I can use the printer and paper if I want!

    I love a good whodunnit and having had a brief look at the report I am now fascinated to read the whole thing. When I've read it I will post my views as a criminal lawyer on the "evidence".

    Mary

  42. At 09:55 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re madmary (41)

    Problem is with reading it all -- we know the answer.

    It was an accident assisted by the fact that the driver was twice of the UK legal alcohol limit.

    It does make sense.

  43. At 10:18 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    jonnie, being twice the legal limit in the UK is not a sign that the driver was stinking drunk. Many people who are that much over the limit do not crash into obvious targets.

    Was there something wrong with the car?

    Was the driver suffering from some medical condition?

    Did someone in the car interfere with the driver?

    Was there oil on the road?

    What I want to know is what explains the car accident. That's where I would start. The level of alcohol if it were 70 in breath would not in my experience automatically lead me to think that the accident is directly attributable to that factor alone. It wouldn't have helped but it's not enough of an explanation.

    Mary

  44. At 10:23 PM on 14 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    PS to my last comment. I just want to read the report as I'm interested in what happened and why. No more or less.

    Mary

  45. At 10:55 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie from Tunbridgewells wrote:

    It's disgusting - Is this what the Archers have stooped to ?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/archers/gallery/adam_ian_wedding_bts_gallery.shtml

  46. At 11:15 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Jonnie (16)

    Waaahhh! Can't open it! Haven't got windows, I'm a Maccie (OS X)

  47. At 11:45 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    jonnie ftw - what's Andy Hamilton doing in the Archers?

  48. At 11:48 PM on 14 Dec 2006, jonnie from Tunbridgewells wrote:

    Hi Frances, It aint that funny but I've MP3'd it for you.

    They should have been a bit drunker and with a clanging cell door and the sound of empty scotch bottles and the odd birp.

    http://www.pmblog.co.uk/edandjiminthecells.mp3

  49. At 11:52 PM on 14 Dec 2006, Nora Young wrote:

    Just read Chapter one and dipped into the rest. A good example of plain Englsih I feel.
    I also feel incredably sad about this report into Diana's life and death because her final days are so exposed - no privacy - even the state of her body open to scrutiny. We all need to have a boundary - a private space. it must have all been so scary to be seen as game, fair game, for hunting. No hiding place. Such riches, such revelation, so lacking in regard for her. How did she maintain her own self regard ? I feel such a voyeur reading it all. Yet utterly fascinated and I don't like this in myself. I am one of the hunters.
    I know she would have been so proud of ner sons - let's hope they will maintain for each other the right boundaries of personal private space. We all have a responsibility to support them in this. If we ever bought the newspaper, read the reports, watched the news items with that fsacination we have a responsibility. I for one will endeavour not to read or watch on.

  50. At 12:22 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Ed (38), have to point out that I'm the one with the twitchy nose.

    http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/media/images/water-vole.jpg

  51. At 01:24 AM on 15 Dec 2006, jonnie from Tunbridgewells wrote:

    Re Frances and the Archers :-) Don't they look similar though !

    Re Nora: Sorry to be a pain trying and unintentionally destroying Eddies worthy posting.

    I agree with your comments and hence my annoyance with 'what I consider to be' rather flippent comments from John Cooper (15)

    Interestingly enough John would have been 11 when she died and has prayers for the 'Sex workers' on his blog. Although I agreed with his would be 'PM Editorial' remarks, the last sentence was a little inappropriate

  52. At 03:07 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    ajoco (32) I suspect that this report will be under such scrutiny that nobody could have toed an establishment line, if there is one.

    I must admit, I don't care very much about this report, but feel a bit ashamed of myself in writing that. It isn't that I don't care that someone died, but it is painful to watch a man (Al Payed) prolong his grieving by insisting the process is prolonged further, I want him to move on. Bitterness is very self-destructive,

  53. At 08:09 AM on 15 Dec 2006, John Cooper wrote:

    Morning all
    Hope your well. Didn't run away and hide, just finishing university exam essayage...

    Interested to see the consensus (or 2 responses to my proposition of what could be possible considered inappropriate questioning) is that my comment would be considered inappropriate. I shall look forward to seeing what Private Eye makes of the report etc next week... beware some may have to cancel their susbscriptions... I'm sure they'll have something much less appropriate.. I just thought it brought the two main stories nicely together in a way which didn't demean the PofW or insult her as she had no hand in the name, twas all Blairs (and his team) doing. Indeed for all the flippancy I look forward to all this coming to an end and the obbsessed (with access) to the media being forced to move on and let her truly rest in peace.

    Just out of interest, what would my age have to do with this? I am genuinly fascinated!

    Regards ever
    John

  54. At 08:54 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    jonnie from TunbridgeWells (45)
    Aaaaah - I don't want to know what radio actors look like - it is never how I imagine them. Why can't they leave me my illusions - if I want pictures I'll watch TV.

  55. At 09:47 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    The entire Archers was so happy last night, it was a pleasure to listen to. Far better than that whining Ruth deciding whether or not to get off with that bloke.

  56. At 10:52 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Oh why did I click on that link Johnnie (45) I'm Anne P (54) I don't like to see radio actors either, or characters from books I love either, & that is that is definitely not Ian as I know him!

    Knowing that this is an issue for me, I have developed a technique of being entirely able to forget reality, & delve back into my imagination for their 'real' visage. After all, what would we do when the actor is changed; it would all be a bit Miss Ellie* which everyone knows was a disaster!

    *Barbara Bel Geddes played Miss Ellie in Dallas, until she left to undergo heart surgery, and Donna Reed took the role in 1984. Viewers never accepted Reed in the role, Bel Geddes returned to the series in 1985, & Reed sued the producers.

  57. At 11:18 AM on 15 Dec 2006, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Definitely not a Diana fan.

    Ed (13):
    I did when it appeared. It wasn't there when I posted. Ta.

    HH (19);
    I agree with your final conclusion. Very succinctly put.

    FFred (20);
    The bodyguard was also the only one wearing a seatbelt that night. He left Fayed's employ becasue Big Mo wanted him to toe the party line, which he refused to do. An honourable man. How rare in big business. And yes, you're right about the 'al' thing too. It led Private Eye to dub him the Phoney Pharoah.

    admin annie (28);
    Her sons have put out a statement which basically calls time on the entire thing and suggests that people get on with their lives. Not that it will alter a thing. I subscribe to the accident theory. I believe the conclusions of this report. Conspiracy theorists will never accept something which doesn't fit the preferred prejudices.

    Rees-Jones gave testimony way-back-when that Dodi was the main agent, because in his desperation to escape the Papps he kept on urging Paul to drive faster and faster. Combine that with Paul's intoxication and there you go....

    I don't believe that Elvis is alive either!

    Si.

  58. At 12:22 PM on 15 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: (53) John Cooper.

    Hope the essay goes well.

    With regards to the last sentence is your initial posting:

    ------------------------------------------------------

    " (Would it be too tastless to ask how much she donated to the party to be nominated the peoples' princess?)"

    ------------------------------------------------------
    I should have probably taken the comment for what it was, however as you asked if it may be considered tasteless, I responded with my view.
    I think the tabloids that gave her the title will be the ones who should answer actually.

    The reason for referring to your age is that you were barely around when Diana made some groundbreaking gestures.

    Had you been a gay man in your mid-twenties in 1987 when she helped break some of the stigma's about Aids by shaking hands with a victim, and her various other charities highlighting leprosy etc.. etc.. you may have thought twice about your comment.

    No problem though.

    Regarding the editorial situation, in the end the Blair story was the first item, possibly justifiably.
    As for a wee thread on Blair ? That's for Eddie to answer.

  59. At 01:13 PM on 15 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Ed (38) : Ah, you know how to make a girl's day! Come here ya big lug, and have this * big-lug big hug *.

    Mary (41) : I will be fascinated to know what you make of it, with your professional mind engaged. I had hoped Stevens would convince me of the accident ... he hasn't.

    Jonnie (21) : I don't know how it was done. But ...

    * Henri Paul, from the CCTV footage, clearly wasn't incapable of handling a car. The alcohol levels claimed for him would have rendered him incapable of standing up let alone get into a car and drive it. The paper trail proving the medical samples produced to prove he was intoxicated have been 'lost'. And he was cremated with unbelievable haste.

    * The most high-profile crime scene since the Kennedy assassination was not preserved for meticulous gathering of evidence. It was instead scrubbed and sterilised within hours.

    * The most high-profile accident victim of modern times was delayed by up to an hour on her way to hospital, by which time staff were unable to save her life. No explanation has ever been given.

    * The most high-profile accident victim of modern times was then embalmed BEFORE being packed off to London for the post-mortem.

    Just before she died, Diana was becoming a real worry for those who wanted her, in her own words, to 'go quietly'.

    I wasn't particularly bothered, having early on tagged her as a fairly sweet, slightly dim, naive girl who was, after a disastrous choice of husband, just starting in her 30s to do a lot of good for 'unsexy' good causes with her elevated position... but she was a long way from being on my mind as a serious topic.

    We were on holiday in Cyprus when the news came through, so unexpectedly. My first thought was: 'MI6'.

    My SO was off having a swim at the time; when he got back and I told him, his first words were: 'MI6' as well.

    It's possible Henry Paul was 'got at' as he got into the car, rendering him incapable, and somehow forced into a situation in the tunnel that he couldn't control. The white Fiat, if in front of them, could have caused the accident and driven away to be burnt out somewhere.

    The fact that it clearly was routine for the occupants of the car not to wear seatbelts meant that a high speed accident in a confined space would at least cause serious injuries. It's a blunt instrument, I agree, but that was just stage one.

    It is certainly not beyond the secret services to engineer any other factors necessary to produce the outcome required. If it were, there would be no point in taxpayers paying for MI6 to exist.

    All conspiracy theories are not the same.

    Mr al Fayed is well aware of how silly he is making himself look: he's an Arab, and it matters to him. He's sticking with his allegations because he believes them to be true. I don't think he will ever 'move on'.

    Frankly, if any of us believed our son or daughter or SO had been victim of a murder conspiracy, would we 'move on'?

  60. At 04:45 PM on 15 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    While I agree that being twice the UK limit while driving doesn't necessarily make the driver 'drunk', it would have interfered with his reactions. Driving at speed in excess of 60mph on a road designed to cope with speeds of >30mph is a highly dangerous affair, and any driver attempting that particular stretch of road (along which I've driven many a time in the past) at those speeds, late at night (i.e. tired), and having consumed alcohol, is asking for trouble. The slightest mistake in steering would be fatal. He had clipped a car - ergo, his driving was already exhibiting problems.

    It is always hard to accept the banal, but the evidence does favour that this was yet another road accident resulting from somebody who thought he was Michael Schumacher, when he patently was not.

  61. At 12:04 AM on 16 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Ed (38) just got in to find where someone said they loved me! But now I'm going to disagree with Fifi... I think it was an accident & I have watched all the CCTV that there has been to watch. If I was going to blame anyone, I really would blame the photographers who hound the famous without paying any heed to the risks. I don’t think people realise what vile things they call out to people to get a reaction, or what they will do to get a good shot of someone that famous, because it is worth so much money.

    I wasn't a fan as such, but I did stand outside Westminster Abbey for the funeral, which for some reason I wanted to witness. I still couldn’t say exactly why, but & I think I was probably saying something about how she had been treated. I often thought Diana didn’t behave particularly well, particularly in the way she courted Richard Kay (Daily Mail) but, as Johnnie puts it so well, she did so much to remove the stigma from Aids, I think it is hard to remember what it was like before she was involved, & she was working for a great cause in campaigning against landmines. I lived in London, but some people had travelled miles, & I couldn’t quite buy into that mass hysteria because she was someone I didn’t know. That is not to judge anyone else, but perhaps they had more insight than I because, for me, the symbolism will unpack itself with time I suspect.

  62. At 01:18 AM on 16 Dec 2006, Aphra Behn wrote:

    I spent far too much of last night reading vast chunks of the dratted report and I do have to respond to Fifi in post 59

    * The most high-profile accident victim of modern times was delayed by up to an hour on her way to hospital, by which time staff were unable to save her life. No explanation has ever been given

    Actually, the report does explain that, and explain it in some detail. Essentially the French train their paramedics and doctors to treat at the scene. It is a different approach from the way we do it in the UK, but a valid one. Diana went into cardiac arrest at the scene and her blood pressure plummetted. Her condition took a considerabl time to stablise and only then was she transported to hospital. So we have an unfamiliar set of medical protocols, but they were implemented in a completely standard way. She was very badly injured, with an internal wound to her pulmonary vein (if I read the report right) which was bleeding into her chest cavity, compressing her heart and a lung.


    * The most high-profile accident victim of modern times was then embalmed BEFORE being packed off to London for the post-mortem.

    That's quite interesting actually. The French conducted an external PM, which was standard procedure for the circumstances. In fact the French followed standard French procedures throughout. Decisions which had to be taken by the family or their representatives were delegated to the English who had already arrived in Paris and they understood the process would ensure she was presentable when the family arrived, not a complete embalming of the body. The conversations were technical and took place in French, and the English were clearly in shock. Which is more believable? Locals following local procedures and compatriots being in shock, or locals being in the pay of a foreign secret service? Hmmmm.


    The French quite accurately regarded the whole thing as an accident, and followed their standard procedures, (including clearing the scene afterwards). It seems very likely that the conspiracy theorists would vilify them even more if they had disregarded their standard procedures. "They obviously knew that it was a crime, and disregarded standard processes to cover their tracks and cause more confusion".

    The evidence reported by Stevens simply does not furnish a conspiracy. It also makes it clear that Diana had no intention of marrying Dodi, whatever his plans may have been. Since he was engaged to someone else just 6 weeks before, he'd have had to have been a bit of a slimeball to propose to a better catch that quickly. The report also provides a wide variety of evidence that she was not pregnant at the time, including tests of blood from the Mercedes.

    Let's face it, bad things happen to people all the time. Being rich and beautiful does not protect you from the laws of physics, though it may protect you from other harsh realities.

    Accident. Pure and simple.

    Aphra.

  63. At 01:28 PM on 16 Dec 2006, chLuke wrote:

    I warm to Aphra Behn, if only for the fact that he is one of few who seem to have taken trouble to consult the Report before commenting. His comments are well balanced and concise and as I have neither the time or inclination to read the 800 page tome, will rely on future contributions from him to balance our some of the rather wierd conspiracy theories which are being bandied about. Some people like mysteries - I don't - I like answers and explanations. The suggestion that the plan was to take out a dirty big (armour plated?) Mercedes with a Fiat Uno beggars belief. Unfortunately, the way the French handle these things leaves a good deal to be desired and feeds the conspiracy buffs. In my experience, the simple explanation is invariably the correct one and I still have difficulty getting my head around the 'motive' for wanting to kill her (them).
    We had this conspiracy theory with the John F Kenndey assassination regarding the presence of another gunman. Isn't it strange that everybody can remember where they were when they they heard about the shooting. (I was on the grassy Knoll!)
    Anyway folks, we still have the 'Bloody Sunday' report to come so save some of your ammo' for that - especially since I believe it has cost the long-suffering tax-payer a cool £150 million +.

  64. At 05:31 PM on 16 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    chLuke I'm going to hazard a guess that Aphra is a woman, named after a female playwright.

    Mary

  65. At 05:55 PM on 16 Dec 2006, Chris James wrote:

    No-one seems to have commented on the fact that none of the car's occupants were wearing their seat belts. The drunk driver may have caused the crash, but the deaths were probably caused by the occupants' own foolishness.

  66. At 06:08 PM on 16 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    How erudite you are mary, I now know something I didn't before, which I always like, & google has done a bit more!

  67. At 06:42 PM on 16 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Chris:

    You are quite right about the seatbelts, although it only becomes an issue in the event of an accident, of course!

    Many years ago I was in a car crash in which I would most certainly have died had I not been wearing a seat belt. As it was, I nearly lost a leg. During my hospital stay (I fractured my femur - an unusual injury in such cases) I was in a bed next to an older woman who had also been in a serious crash. She, too, had been wearing a belt, but kept complaining to me and the nurses that, had she not been wearing her belt, she would not have fractured her ribs. She seemed unable to comprehend that, without the belt, she would have died. Some folks are very very strange.

    I would never use a vehicle without seat belts now. I know I owe my life to them.

  68. At 06:53 PM on 16 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    mary that was for you @ 66; Someone leaped in between us after I had posted!

  69. At 08:26 PM on 16 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Helen I'd love to say I was erudite, but I once typed a PhD thesis for someone who was writing about Aphra Benn. I learnt a huge amount about her and her plays though. I thought the PhD was rubbish, but that's another story.

    Mary

  70. At 01:13 AM on 17 Dec 2006, valery p (Tumbleflump Holly-Hippoface) wrote:

    SO and I were in a car crash in Italy in 1981, which necessitated a week in hospital then several months off work on return to Scotland. The car was a write-off but we were extremely fortunate cosidering we were not wearing seat belts.... I always do now, and have a few scars, physical and mental to remind me!

    The abiding good thing that came out of that episode, actually refers back to a thread earlier this week, re romantic proposals of marriage. SO and I had already been together 8 years at that juncture, but it galvanized our thoughts more than somewhat!

  71. At 08:42 AM on 17 Dec 2006, Aphra Behn wrote:

    Mary, you're right. I chose my on-line name for lots of reasons. Typing up a whole thesis on her - how interesting. I confess I know far less about her than I ought, given that I have stolen her name.

    Thanks for the endorsement, Luke.

    A couple of other interesting things came out of the sections of the report which I read. al Feyed's belief is that the Secret Services knew that an engagement was immanent because they had been tapping Diana's phone. Operation Paget interviewed Diana's confidantes and they all said that she did not tell them that she was engaged, and that she did not even hint at it by saying "I have something to tell you". When asked about Dodi, she was very non-committal in her replies. In other words the Secret Service could not have known about an engagement through tapping her calls because it was not discussed on her calls.

    Thet establishment obviously did not object to her having a relationshp with a muslim - she had been going out with another muslim, Dr Hasnat Kahn for two years before her month or so with Dodi. This was a serious relationship. They stayed in each others' houses and he had met her sons. No sign of car crashes then.

    Dodi had been engaged to someone else up until August of 1997, though that is something which Mohammed al Fayed disputes. In fact his then fiancee was in St Tropez with him during the first week that he and Diana were both there at the same time. I'd love to know what she thought of Diana, and what her views are about the car crash and al Fayed's revisionism.

    Dodi and Diana were in Paris at the same time for a weekend late in July, but they stayed in different places in Paris.

    They spent the first week of August together in the Mediterranean then Diana went to Bosnia and went on to stay on a much smaller yacht with a female friend.

    In the middle of August Dodi's now former fiancee gave a press conference about the way she felt that he had treated her.

    Dodi and Diana spent the last ten days of August together in the South of France and then in Paris.

    Dodi and Diana's relationship lasted less than 6 weeks, and they spent less than half that time together. This was not a great love story, it was a holiday fling.

    Anyway, it really isn't that interesting any more. She and Dodi should be left in peace, and al Fayed should be allowed his grief.

    The person whose take on this I would really like is that of Kelly Fisher, Dodi's former fiancee.

    Aphra

  72. At 05:05 PM on 17 Dec 2006, chLuke wrote:

    MM @ (64) thanks for pointing this out and Alphra B @ (71) deepest apologies for the inadvertent sex change operation that I performed on you.
    I have an interest in true crime (or in this case - supposed crime) and miscarriages of justice. I will read any future contribution with interest as so far they have been well reasoned and presented.
    Those who caught 'Have I got news for you' last Friday on BBC 1 will see a different slant on the subject, Paul Merton is hilarious and manages to turn it into a running gag with the host quizmaster (Boris Johnson) desperately trying to maintain order in the face of an avalanche of slanderous comment. It is repeated at 10.00pm on Monday on BBC 2 and of course on the web.

    Greeting to all!

    Luke

  73. At 06:01 PM on 18 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    My thanks to Aphra et al. Some of you have clearly managed to plough further into the full report than I managed!

    You have given me serious pause for thought. I still have many reservations about the circumstances surrounding the crash, and am a long way from believing it was an accident.

    However I am now revisiting my assumptions and second-guesses, and next time SO and I discuss it I think he may be surprised at my growing doubts about the conspiracy angle.

    It is so important that such matters are aired, though. Even if conspiracy theories aren't true, they challenge the cosy assumption that such things can't happen.

    Thank you for your patient explanations.

    Yours,

    Unreconstructed Conspiracy Theorist
    (but with New Added Doubts!)

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