I have a confession to make. I find the tawdry spectacle of the Diana death inquiry quite fascinating. On the one hand we have evidence from numerous witnesses which stands up to fiercely objective scrutiny and on the other we have the ridiculous conspiracy theories of a bereaved father. The believability of the claims from all sides is rigorously investigated and eventually, one hopes, the truth of the matter will become clear. Essential to this process is the fact that all arguments are subjected to equal scrutiny and assessed by a panel of jurors.
The bereaved father has a long history of writing letters to newspapers and hassling pillars of the establishment to support his lurid allegations. However far from being silenced by the sinister hand of the state he, as his is right, is allowed to make baseless claims with little fear of sanction. However, he is being derided as a clueless fantasist utterly bereft of reason and decorum over his beliefs and nobody in their right mind takes him seriously any more. Now imagine if he could censor these opinions and prevent free discussion purely by the act of penning an angry letter, allow his conspiracy theories to propagate unchallenged? Would we want to live in a society where emotional fantasists can silence criticism and delusional beliefs go unchecked? Read the rest of this entry »