Such is the shoestring nature of the Desmond press that the Express could never make do with just one front page splash from the weekend’s revelation of a letter claiming that Diana, Princess of Wales was murdered. And so today, while most of the rest of the media has judged that there is nothing to see here, has come the mostly fictitious news of calls for some kind of inquiry.
“Diana Death: Demand For New Inquiry” declared the Express this morning. So where has the “demand” come from? The Government? The Military? The Royal Family? The Spencers? The answer, to no surprise, is that none of these has made such a demand. Instead, readers are told that the “pressure” has come from “sources” close to Mohamed “you can call me Al” Fayed.
Those would be the same kind of “sources” that have in the past – usually via the pages of the Express – made totally erroneous claims that Diana was pregnant at the time of her death, that she had become engaged to Dodi Fayed before the fatal crash, and of course that the Duke of Edinburgh was in the frame for secret ownership of a white Fiat Uno (or maybe not).
All of this was demonstrated to be weapons grade bullshit. The only other people showing any kind of welcome for the Express’ call for yet more money to be sprayed up the wall are the relatives of Henri Paul, who was driving the car carrying the Princess, Dodi Fayed and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones when it crashed. And, as Mandy Rice-Davies might have observed, they would say that, wouldn’t they?
Paul was way over the drink drive limit at the time of the crash. He had a drink problem. But when Mohamed Fayed ordered his staff to run errands – like drive his son around – they did as they were bloody well told. Of course his family would like to cling to the belief that some external force caused the crash, rather than Paul being unfit to drive and going way too fast.
Here, credit must be given to the Maily Telegraph, where they have lined up three named sources – Ken Wharfe, the Princess’ former Met bodyguard, Dai Davies, former Met head of Royal protection, and Tim Collins, former SAS officer – to pour cold water on the Express account. The Tel also notes that the letter at the source of the new investigation was a recollection, not a first-hand account.
That letter recalled claims made by “Soldier N”, whose behaviour was “allegedly erratic and threatening” towards his then wife, the daughter of the couple who wrote the letter to the Commanding Officer of the SAS. The soldier had also claimed that he could make his then wife “disappear”. That is what underpins the Express story. There is no “demand”. And that shows how desperate its hacks are.
But more papers will get sold, so that’ll be another Benchmark Of Excellence.