Saturday 25 January 2020

I know how to get rid of temptation - I give in

Martin Bashir interviewed Diana, Princess of Wales for Panorama in 1995
Martin Bashir interviewed Diana, Princess of Wales for Panorama in 1995

John Masterson

Sometimes I fight with myself and lose. As Oscar Wilde said, the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

There was no way I was going to waste two hours looking at yet another over-hyped documentary about Diana.

I saw Martin Bashir and Diana, and Jonathan Dimbleby and Charles, last century.

I did not intend to spend a Sunday night watching a woman let down by someone with the inability to destroy clearly private tapes, a woman with two children who never realised that decades later, they would have to endure this.

She was indiscreet. Silly. Idiotic, maybe. It was only professional interest that made me press record on the box. Yes. Eventually I watched it.

The programme was over-hyped. Massively. I dislike myself for viewing it. To regain some self respect, here are a few of the things that it made me think.

1. If anyone you think loves you ever uses the words "whatever love means", run faster than Usain Bolt.

2. We all remember Bill Clinton being very economical with the truth when he said he "did not have sexual relations with that woman". At least he lied confidently to camera.

Jonathan Dimbleby is good at the difficult question. His very long question to Charles about his infidelity (denied, and then qualified) was wonderful. The unease betrayed by Charles's body and face must have made Dimbleby add another 15 seconds on to the question. Diana got speech coaching. To her cost. Charles clearly did not. To his.

By halfway through, I was at the "I have heard all this before" stage. I cringed at the salacious intercutting of the Queen giving her "annus horribilis" speech with Fergie's frolics.

3. Charles was in Kilkenny recently and there was some fuss. Frankly, I don't care much one way or another about the monarchy. It is just England's Disney to me.

But I do care when people who are listened to have ideas that are barking mad. Yes. Charles.

It is worth reading Richard Dawkins' open letter to Charles, published in The Observer on May 21, 2000, after the Prince gave a Reith Lecture, Respect for the Earth, where he bumbled along about the values of "intuition" and some absurd claptrap of what "natural" means.

I don't think Charles was paying much attention during science class in school and he has shown no signs of correcting this lack in the last 40 years.

Better still, read Dawkins' letter to Charles with new additions in his collection, Science in the Soul.

It will sadden me greatly if that privileged misguided man is ever crowned.

He will be even harder for sensible people to ignore.

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