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A Crying Shame
Eamon McCann resists the urge to get sentimental about the life and death of Princess Diana
Eamonn McCann, 03 Sep 1997
MY FIRST reaction to the news that Princess Diana had been killed was that the Queen had probably had her murdered. The fact that Dodi al-Fayed had been offed at the same time confirmed my suspicion.
I mean, an Egyptian as step-father to the future king of England? An Arab?
This is, almost certainly, the most ruthless, bigoted, boorish family on earth. If we have anything to thank the late Ms Spencer for, it is that she helped confirm this view of the Windsors.
It emerged with sharp clarity from Andrew Morton s book, Diana: Her True Story, in which every member of this gallery of grotesques was revealed as an emotionally-retarded, self-obsessed scoundrel, not so much unwilling as congenitally unable to conceive of any purpose in life other than to preserve their own parasitic existence.
It was for this reason that they selected the 19-year-old Spencer girl as a brood mare for their unsightly son. Once she d brought him forth two male offspring they had done with her.
Is there not the vaguest possibility that the first and continuing reaction of the entire Windsor clan to news of Ms Spencer s and Mr al-Fayed s death could be one of pleasure? The Queen, the scoundrel she s married to, the old hag Bowes-Lyons, the dysfunctional Charles, the gin-sodden tramp Margaret the mother of a future king screwing an Arab would have appalled them beyond the power of words to express.
And the main reason for this would be racism.
It is sometimes wryly said that the British royals were blessed: Mrs Simpson saved their throne from being sat on by a Nazi. But in fact, Nazism isn t at all out of character for the royals. How could it be? Their position at the very apex of society depends entirely on a belief in blood as the bearer of human virtue and social entitlement. What is Nazism but a general application of this regressive irrationality?
But let s not get sentimental over Diana Spencer either. On a human level, I feel as sorry about her death and the manner of it as I would about the death of any person whom I didn t know. But let s get real here.
Some of the coverage in Irish papers has been so moving it s been difficult not to laugh out loud. Here was Frank Millar on the front page of The Irish Times on Monday. The brilliant star was suddenly extinguished. Diana, queen of people s hearts , was dead. And we wept . . .
The new life which seemed to beckon was, suddenly, brutally, at an end. The sun shone but our world instantly seemed a darker place.
Church bells tolled and a terrible silence gripped the land.
I was going to wonder how, if the church bells were tolling, there could have been a silence, terrible or otherwise, gripping the land, and to wonder further in what way a terrible silence sounds different from an ordinary sort of silence, but what the hell.
Inside there were articles from Kathy Sheridan and Mary Cummins which I defy anyone to have read without rolling around on the floor, gnawing at the leg of the sofa. The only funnier piece of writing I ve seen on this subject has been the Sinn Fiin statement of condolence.
The Indo had a restrained and dignified piece on page one which bewildered me until I saw that it had been lifted from the Daily Telegraph. A further nine pages of the bean-machine s broadsheet were devoted to the story. These were filled with eight articles from the British Independent, 14 from the Daily Telegraph and 12 from the London Times.
Being the products of English establishment papers, they contained nothing as risible as was to be found in The Irish Times.
Diana Spencer was a fabulously wealthy woman who last year received a divorce settlement of #17 million plus sumptuous all-found accommodation for life. Her last lover, al-Fayed, was an extremely nasty piece of work. The fatal, drink-related accident which ended her life came during her fifth foreign holiday in two months.
What, or indeed, whether, Ms Spencer really thought and felt about land-mines, AIDS sufferers or any of the other causes she was associated with, there is no way of knowing. The likelihood is that her main motivation in all these charitable activities was self-promotion.
Even if she were genuine , the fact remains that she symbolised and lent a spurious glamour to the social division of the world which is the root cause of all such ills.
Still, as a human being with whom I shared the earth, I am sorry she s dead, but not as sorry as I am about the deaths from burning of two young teenage women in the same weekend who had been sleeping rough in a derelict building in James s Street.
As we go to press, gardam are consulting dental records to try to put a name to them. n