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Tuesday, January 08, 2008 

Diana: She's still being buggered.

The Diana inquest has hardly gone to plan for Mohammed al-Fayed in his crusade against the British state for refusing him a passport, masked by the futile and pathetic attempts to prove that the death of his son and his contemporary girlfriend was a security services inspired conspiracy. The paparazzi have been proved to have been acting with the predictable contempt they have for those whose lives they try to ruin; al-Fayed's driver Henri Paul, in spite of some conflicting evidence, has been described as being drunk and having drank alcohol while also on prescription drugs; there has been no evidence presented whatsoever to substantiate claims she was pregnant; and the Duke of Edinburgh, who supposedly loathed Diana, has been shown through letters exchanged between the two to have been both sympathetic and affectionate towards her, with Diana even addressing him as "Dearest Pa".

There has been absolutely nothing to warrant or justify the huge cost of staging such an inquest into her death when previous reports by both the French themselves and latterly by Lord Stevens have considered all the available evidence and concluded that her death was the result of a tragic, ordinary car accident, nothing more. Despite this, it's provided the tabloids, especially the mid-market ones which for some reason have always been more besotted with Diana than the red-tops, with plenty of front-page leads with news which is years' old.

Both the Mail and the Express splash today on the evidence given yesterday by Grahame Harding that he found a suspected bugging device in the wall in Diana's bedroom in her Kensington Palace apartment two years' after her split from Charles, although he never actually extracted it and the "signal" from it disappeared within the day. Even if we immediately accept on face value that it was put there by MI5, it's hardly surprising, is it? Diana was quite possibly the most famous woman in Britain at the time, as well as a former royal; she would have been and was a target for every nutball in the country. As we now know, far less famous and laughably smalltime members of Trotskyist and communist groups were under constant surveillance by the state, their groups infiltrated and their every movement logged, whether they were the slightest threat to anything whatsoever or not. Even if this was scaled down after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it's only recently that the focus of MI5 has switched from political extremists of left and right and Irish paramilitaries towards Islamist radicals. There were doubtless contingency plans in place in case Diana found herself kidnapped or even, whisper it, an attempt was made on her life. Whether such surveillance is/was justifiable is one thing; that it took place and continues to do so is surely quite another.

Then there is of course the other possibility about who could have planted the bug. Have we forgotten so soon about Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire and their dilettantish efforts at "bugging" Prince William? What about "Squidgygate" and "Camillagate", where the source of the recordings of both has never been confirmed? The tabloids themselves had more than enough reasons to attempt to bug Diana: the sort of stuff that could be recorded in her bedroom would have been beyond their most wild liquid-soaked dreams. They'll never admit that they have used and will continue to use such subterfuge to get stories; the lack of coverage they gave to the revelations by the information commissioner last year after a raid on a private detective agency only confirms that.

Diana then continues to bugged or buggered, whichever you prefer, even in death by those who slandered her one day and made literate love to her the next.

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