This kind of news management normally takes place on Thursdays. Not being in the news trade myself, I’m not 100% sure why but I suspect it is something to do with the following day being Poets Day when everyone is thinking about the weekend and that by the time the heavyweight Sunday newspapers are printed Thursday's stories seem a little old.
What intrigues me about last Thursday is which of the many stories on offer was the one being ‘managed’? Or were they all?
- Tony Blair being interviewed by police as part of their cash for peerages investigation
- The announcement that the Serious Fraud Office has been instructed to drop its investigation into the multi-zillion pound Al Yamamah arms deals because, to quote the Attorney General "the wider public interest" … " had to be balanced against the rule of law"
- News that PFI liabilities have risen from £142bn to £156bn since March. Ouch
- Lord Stevens report into the death of Princess Diana concluding that no foul play was involved
- George Clooney and Don Cheadle negotiating a relief package for Darfur with the Egyptian government
Channel 4’s More4 news programme neatly dealt with the challenges presented by so many competing and significant news stories by the novel expedient of rattling through them very quickly, without favouring any single one over the others, then treating viewers to a nice long special feature on deer poaching in Cumbria instead.
That’s not exactly 100% fair. More4 News did bring on a psychology expert, the amusingly named Cary Cooper, for a couple of minutes to answer the question…
What is it about conspiracy theories that we all love so much? Many people will not be convinced that Diana's death was an accident. I've been talking to a psychologist about why many people would rather believe the conspiracy to the evidence.
This is the same tired old, and heavily loaded question that is always trotted out at the end of any news item or documentary that claims to have put X, Y or Z ‘conspiracy theory’ to rest once and for all.
It’s all very Pavlovian
And Mr Cooper didn’t disappoint ... ‘ya di ya di ya ya People cannot accept that some things happen by accident They need to believe that someone is controlling things ya di ya di ya ya’
There you go. Yet, again for the upteenth time, someone stuck a pseudo-scientist (so it must be true) on television to explain that anybody who suspects that politicians and the corporate media may be telling lies is mentally unwell.
And the difference between that and what they used to do in Soviet Russia is?
How about sticking someone on tele to explain the psychology of people who credulously accept everything they are told by proven liars because they can’t deal with even the slightest possibility that their lives are not their own and that they are actually controlled by a bunch of cunts?
Now that would be genuinely interesting and ground-breaking stuff.
Unsurprisingly, I’m one of those people who believes that the Stevens investigation into Diana’s death isn’t the end of the story; not because I’m mentally unwell but because the investigation was bollocks. And at £3.6m quite expensive bollocks at that.
Unlike the popular portrayal of ‘conspiracy theorists’ in the media there are a lot of people who have questions about events such a Diana’s death without having formulated fully-fleshed alternative accounts of what happened and why. They simply have questions about inconsistencies and irregularities in the mainstream account.
And, simply doing a hatchet job on a couple of selected alternative theories about what happened and why is not the same thing as answering inconsistencies and irregularities in the mainstream account.
Consequently, taking the Diana investigation as an example, whether she was pregnant or engaged is totally irrelevant. Even if she were that wouldn’t prove that there was foul play and certainly has no impact on the narrative of what was supposed to have happened on the night that she died. So why bother investigating it?
I haven’t read Lord Stevens' report yet but, based on the press coverage, I suspect that it has done relatively little to answer key questions about that night…
- Why is there no CCTV footage? (and I’m mindful of the absence of footage from 9/11, 7/7 and the Stockwell Shooting)
- Why was the tunnel cleaned straight after the crash?
- Why did Diana’s bodyguard let a supposedly pissed man drive? And incidentally what’s all that crap about him losing the ability to communicate in the short term after the crash and his memory in the long term?
- Why did it take over an hour for the ambulance to take Diana four miles to the hospital?
- Who was leaking all the unattributed disinfo bullshit in the days after the crash and why – stuff about car speedos being frozen at high speed, horse shit like that?
- Why has it taken ten years for an inquest to be held?
- Why did the official coroner step down from the inquest?
- What was the important announcement Diana told friends she was going to make the next day?
- The aborted Burrell trial?!!
As it happens, I’m personally not too bothered if members of our ruling elite really are butchering each other. That’s one less Inbred, born to a life of undeserved, unearned privilege, as far as I’m concerned. What does concern me is that people cannot ask reasonable questions about what they are told without having corporate whores label them as being mentally defective.
There is also a lesson in all of this for people pressing for an inquiry into 7/7 and one that I think, in fairness, has already been learned by some. If something untoward really did take place on 7/7 the easiest way to piss in the pool would be to surreptitiously promote a whole mass of confusing and contradictory alternative accounts of what happened that day. And then a couple of years down the line it would be easy enough for a supposed independent inquiry into 7/7 to focus on a few of those bullshit theories rather than address the actual weakness (e.g. this little snippet) in the ‘Official Narrative’.
This is what happened with 9/11 and as US public scepticism of the official account of 9/11 has grown over the last five years, more and more bullshit has been fed into the mix.
And now that Lord Stevens has finally put all those conspiracy theories about Princess Diana to rest I presume he's available to head up the next fully independent inquiry that needs doing. Or maybe they'd get Lord Butler in. Or Lord Hutton..