Was it Ecstasy in the coffee?

Oh dear. The Independent has misplaced its marbles. It is very difficult not to choke with laughter.

No one likes to be labelled a conspiracy theorist. The term is generally associated with the sort of people who believe the world is run by aliens disguised as humans, or who think the moon landing was a hoax. But it is very important that we do not allow our desire to avoid pejorative labels blunt our critical faculties. Scepticism can be a healthy instinct.

Um…yes, it can indeed; but scepticism about what, exactly? Critical faculties in relation to what, were you thinking?

It is unfortunate that most vocal critics of the standard narrative regarding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed – which was outlined again by Lord Stevens’s report yesterday – have not been impartial or, in some cases, credible.

Ah. Scepticism about the standard narrative; I see. Yes, it is unfortunate about the non-credible witnesses; makes whoever wrote this leader look monster raving loony. Well you see that’s why scepticism and sharp critical faculties come in handy in more than one direction. For instance there’s the lurking idea that a ‘standard narrative’ is suspect because it’s a ‘standard narrative’ – it can get you into deep water with amazing speed, that one. Sometimes that is the case, of course, but quite often the ‘standard narrative’ is just the boring old truth. Quite often – nearly always in fact – the obvious is none the less right for being obvious. Sad but true.

This has added to the impression that anyone who believes there are unanswered questions regarding the deaths is foolish, opportunist or both. But this impression is unfair.

Aw. That’s a shame. Are people laughing at you? That is unfair.

Despite the detailed nature of the 832-page report by the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, a good deal remains unclear. Lord Stevens admits himself that “there are some matters about which we may never find a definitive answer”.

Well…I’m sorry to have to break this to you, but that’s how these things are. Things happen with nobody watching, and the result is that there generally are some matters about which we may never find a definitive answer. That’s not an unusual situation, much less one so unusual that only a highly elaborate and inherently ridiculously implausible conspiracy can explain it. It’s just not. When someone drives a car at 90 mph into a concrete pillar, there will be some details of what happened that are just lost to history.

And there remains enough doubt for rational people to feel uncomfortable. According to a recent poll, a third of the British public believe what happened to Diana was not an accident. This cannot be written off as a fringe belief.

Oh well then. If a third of the British public believe it, then it must be true or at least reasonable. A third of the public can never be just, you know, silly.

The question of whether anyone had the motive to murder the couple remains unresolved.

[shouting] Well it would, wouldn’t it! [more quietly] It’s not the kind of thing that can be resolved, you chump. Before you talk about scepticism and critical faculties, maybe you ought to get some. Of course no one can say definitively that no one had ‘the motive to murder the couple.’ But just saying someone had ‘the motive’ is not the same thing as saying the couple were murdered. When a couple of absent-minded rich people get in the back of a Mercedes whose drunk driver races off at high speed and bumps into a pillar – that is a car crash. It has the fingerprints of the laws of physics all over it.

Many have dismissed the activities of Mohamed al-Fayed over the past decade…No doubt the bereaved father is still grieving. But that does not make him deluded. And we should remember that without his campaigning, this inquiry would probably never have been established.

And that would be regrettable because…?

Whatever. The question now becomes, who had the motive to put whatever substance it was into the coffee of the author of that leader? Thirty percent of the British public think it was no accident.

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