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Jan Moir: A Warning From History
The Quietus , October 19th, 2009 03:12

Common sense voice of the people Jan Moir has recently joined The Quietus after leaving The Daily Heil. Here is one of her classic, sassy opinion columns from the 1997 archive. And remember - she's only saying what everyone's thinking!

From The Daily Heil, September 1st, 1997

The news of Lady Diana’s death was deeply shocking. And it was not just because another young single mother has died so pointlessly.

Through the travails and sad ends of other global icons, fans know to expect the unexpected - particularly if their heroes live a life that is governed by dark passions and seedy affairs of the heart.

And deep inside, we somehow know that we are not being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for their bad end: a secret tryst, a mysterious Arab stranger, a speeding car. They all add up to an odd set of circumstances that herald a sudden death.

But somehow we never expected it of her. Never her. Not the People’s Princess.

In 1995, Diana and Charles decided to divorce, a decision that was undoubtedly hastened by the broadcast of that now infamous Panorama interview, where Diana sensationally revealed that she had courted a string of lovers, whom she trailed around like a cheap floozy.

However, Charles was sure to carry on his charitable activities and his relationship with his mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles outside of the glare of the gossip mags. Indeed, it was not difficult to admire his calm composure and his quiet dignity; particularly when compared to the frankly tawdry way Diana attempted to win over the public’s good will.

But within a month of their split, Diana had begun seeing Dodi Al-Fayed, and last week, the couple were enjoying a holiday together on his yacht on the Italian Riveira. Then, to Paris, where their world was cruelly pulled apart.

All the official reports point to a tragic accident, largely caused by an intoxicated manic-depressed driver who was attempting to escape the paparazzi .

But, hang on a minute. Something is terribly wrong with the way this incident has been shaped and spun into nothing more than an unfortunate accident on a holiday weekend – something as trite as papercut caused by frantic flicking of the most recent copy of Hello.

The sugar coating on this fatality is so saccharine-thick that it obscures whatever bitter truth lies beneath. Healthy and fit 36-year-old women do not just climb into chauffeur driven cars, and conveniently “forget” to put on their seatbelts.

One can only presume that perhaps she decided to forgo this much maligned piece of safety equipment so she could lavish some “special attention” on her dusky-hued millionaire lover during their midnight flit.

Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a tragic accident. Let us be absolutely clear about this. And I think if we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding her death are more than a little sleazy.

After an evening quaffing champagne at the Ritz, Diana and Dodi simply hopped into a limousine to continue their debauched revelries. It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of Connect Four was not what was on the cards.

What happened whilst they were in that car is anyone’s guess. Did Diana surprise Dodi by announcing she was bringing his brown-skinned progeny into the world? Did they conspire together to introduce Diana’s son William - who let us not forget is the heir to the British throne - to Islam, the religion of mad mullahs and crazy eyed suicide bombers the world over?

Another real sadness about Diana’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth that single mothers can ever be truly happy. Feminist activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding when it comes to women who choose to abandon their loving husbands and spread their legs for every Mohammed, Abdul and Dodi that comes their way, arguing that they are entitled to just as much love and support as the next cheap tart. Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the dubious events of Lady Diana’s last night certainly raise some interesting questions.

It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of her strange and troubling death.

As a champion and idol for many single mothers, I am sure she would want to set an example to any impressionable women who may want to emulate what they might see as her glamorous, responsibility free lifestyle. For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.

Hurrah for The Daily Heil: saying what we're all thinking since 1934

With apologies and thanks to Charlie Brooker, The Daily Quail et al.