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Friday, July 14, 2006 

Those shocking, sickening, outrageous photographs in full.

There's two topics today in Britain's street of shame. For the broadsheet, or ex-broadsheet press, it's the Israeli attack on Lebanon. For the tabloids, apart from the Mail and Star which have more pressing matters involving their own obsessions, it's groundhog day once again. Yep, it's Diana Friday.

Apparently William and Harry are "deeply saddened" by the decision by an Italian magazine and newspaper to print photographs of their mother as she was receiving medical attention in the car which was to be her last but one resting place. That's fair enough, considering that few people would like to see their loved ones in their death throes. What isn't fair is what everyone's favourite Diana conspiracy theorist has to say:

Mr Al Fayed said the publication of the photos represented a "heartless pursuit of money".

"It makes me sad and angry that a magazine would reproduce an image of the princess as she clung desperately to life," he said.

"The editor and the author, who probably have families of their own, have no thought for the feelings of those who loved the princess, first and foremost her sons, Princes William and Harry."

Al Fayed would know a lot about heartless pursuits of money, seeing as he tries to pay as little tax as possible through offshore havens, and how he recently for a couple of years decamped to Switzerland, purely for tax reasons. Nevermind that though, the phony pharaoh also thinks that the magazine editor and author have no feelings for Diana's sons. This would of course be the same Mohamed Al Fayed who thinks that MI5/6 conspired with the Duke of Edinburgh to kill Diana and his son Dodi, for various reasons which are all laughable. Thanks to Al Fayed's persistence, huge amounts have been wasted on an inquiry which is set to find that Diana died because err, her driver was drunk and she wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

The Sun doesn't have a leading article on the photographs, which is probably for the best (it instead supports Israel's right to bomb anyone it likes anywhere) seeing as only 3 years ago it had no qualms about showing Marc Vivien Foe in his death throes on the front page. They seemed to forget that he had played for Manchester City - prompting 400 complaints to the Press Complaints Commision. More recently it printed the notorious photographs of American lawyer Katherine Ward committing suicide by jumping from a building, resulting in the PCC hardening its line on stories involving suicide, due to the fear of copycats. If you want to go even further back, you can bring up the Hillsbrough tragedy - with the Sun delighting in graphic photographs of fans meeting their end, while at the same time alleging that some fans had picked pockets of victims, urinated on the police officers and beaten one up who was giving the kiss of life, none of which was true. Sales have never recovered in Liverpool as a result.

Are these photographs shocking, sickening, outrageous and disgraceful then? Err, no not really. Maybe you'd like to compare and contrast the photographs with others taken in the last few days, the story of which has been pushed off the tabloid front-pages by Diana and her obsessives:

Lebanese child victim of Israeli attack on the village of Dweir.
Another Lebanese child killed in Dweir.

Other children killed in Dweir, here being taken to the funeral in the town of Nabatiyeh, south Lebanon. 10 were killed in total when an Israeli missile hit their house.
Palestinian child lies in the morgue of a hospital in Rafah. He died despite being allowed into Israel for treatment, after being badly wounded in an Israeli missile strike.

Wounded Israelis after Hizbullah launched rocket attacks in response to Israel's airstrikes across Lebanon.
Israeli soldier Nimrod Cohen being laid to rest. He died after the inital Hizbullah cross-border attack which killed 7 more soldiers, with 2 others being captured.

Does anything else need to be said?

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