INQUIRY INTO 'THE' DIANA INTERVIEW LAUNCHED
The BBC has launched an inquiry into allegations journalist Martin Bashir tricked Princess Diana into a famous 1995 Panorama interview. Pressure has been building in recent weeks over claims the celebrated journalist may have used unethical methods to secure the interview. And yesterday, BBC boss Tim Davie said it would be looked into because “we want to get to the truth”.
WHY IS THE INTERVIEW NOTABLE?
Good question because it’s been 25 years since Diana, who was separated from Charles but not divorced at the time, dropped her truth bombs on the royal family… Nearly 23 million people in the UK tuned in to watch the unprecedented scene of the top royal talking about the details of her failed marriage. Diana said “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”, referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. She also revealed she too had been in love with someone else (James Hewitt) but felt “very let down” after he spoke about her in a book. And she spoke of her mental health issues, eating disorder, and Charles’ (un)suitability to be king. “I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts, but I don’t see myself being Queen of this country,” she said. It was – and still is – astonishing.
SO WHY IS THIS A THING NOW?
The UK’s Channel 4 and the Daily Mail have recently taken a new look at how the interview came to be. At the time there were questions over how Bashir – a young and largely unknown television reporter – managed to get the scoop of the century. And way back then, a BBC graphics designer claimed Bashir had asked him to make fake bank statements showing people connected to the palace were being paid for information about Diana. An investigation was launched and dismissed. But it’s now claimed that Bashir targeted Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, with “lie and lie” to win his trust, and by extension Diana’s. “If it were not for me seeing these statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister,” Spencer recently said. And now, he wants a posthumous apology to Diana, and a contribution from the profits the BBC made through worldwide sales of the interview to charities linked to Diana. For Bashir’s part, he is said to be seriously unwell. The BBC says it has been unable to discuss any of this with him.
SQUIZ THE REST
MINING UNHAPPINESS ON LABOR’S FRONTBENCH
After months of climate policy friction between Labor bigwigs and the party’s spokesman on Agriculture and Resources Joel Fitzgibbon, he’s quit the opposition frontbench. Reports say it follows a heated argument in a Shadow Cabinet meeting on Monday. Fitzgibbon is the Member for Hunter which covers the coal mining region of NSW’s Hunter Valley, and he’s an advocate for Labor representing mining communities and doing more to protect and grow mining jobs. Did we mention it’s coal? And it involves mining? Good. Because that explains a lot of the problem with some others in his party not digging mining. Or coal. Fitzgibbon agrees with Labor’s policy target for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but he has worried out loud about Labor’s prioritising of ‘progressive issues’ at the expense of what he says is important to “traditional working people”, like those in his electorate. Labor leader Anthony Albanese thanked him for his contribution, and Fitzgibbon said he continues to back his leadership.
QUEENSLAND LOOKS FAVOURABLY AT VICTORIA
Well, Victoria. Aren’t you fancy with your 11 days of no new coronavirus cases? Keep that up, and you’ll be up for a golden ticket to the Sunshine State… Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was “exciting” to be in a position to review Victorian’s travel status at the end of the month with fingers crossed that border restrictions could be lifted from 1 December. Just in time for Christmas and school holidays… Meanwhile, residents from Greater Sydney are still on the outside looking in… NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday said she didn’t believe the state could achieve Queensland’s target of no local COVID-19 cases for 28 days before all border restrictions with NSW are abolished. To end on an up-note: Australia yesterday recorded 3 days of no locally-acquired COVID cases – a first since February.
MOVING ON TO THE ‘PUNISHING ENEMIES’ PART OF THE PROGRAM…
It was thought that US President Donald Trump would use some of his time remaining as Commander-in-Chief to settle some scores, and yesterday he did just that by firing his Defence Secretary Mark Esper. The pair fell out over the use of the military to quell unrest during protests over racial injustice earlier this year. Esper, a former army officer, said the use of active-duty forces was unnecessary, and that was said to displease the White House. He was the fourth head of defence in Trump’s administration, and pundits say it puts the US military into another period of upheaval. Critics were also scathing of a decision by Attorney General William Barr to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they exist. The use of the Justice Department’s powers to pursue Trump’s challenge to the election outcome without evidence that there has been “a widespread, multi-state conspiracy by Democrats to skew the vote tally in Biden’s favour” is problematic, legal/government experts say…
AND THE SHONKY AWARD GOES TO…
Consumer advocate Choice’s annual Shonky Awards “uncover and call out practices from companies taking advantage of their customers.” And this year, it called out retailer Harvey Norman for promoting credit cards to customers with an “eye-watering” interest rate of 22.74%. Hitting a dead-end was InvoCare of White Lady and Simplicity Funerals fame – it’s said to hide pricing information to customers from all states and territories except those in NSW. Want a cleaner home? Maybe bypass the Greentech Pure Air 500 purifier (which failed to improve air quality), and all floor cleaners (which “are little more than perfume for your floor”). Coles and Bunnings branded products were singled out for receiving “lower scores than plain water” for effectiveness. Permission to burn your mop: granted…
KOHLI’S ONE TEST AND DONE
India’s upcoming Test series campaign was bowled a googly yesterday as captain Virat Kohli racked up some serious soon-to-be-father runs on the scoreboard. He will play in the first Test match in Adelaide on 17 December and then hightail it home for the birth of his first child, due in early January. The superstar skipper will play the entire one-day and T20 series starting at the end of this month. And before you get all “oh, haven’t times changed”, luckily we have former Aussie captain Michael Clarke to remind us that it’s a “massive punch in the face” for Test cricket. The Indian team will arrive in Sydney tomorrow to start 2 weeks’ quarantine and training before playing the first ODI match on 27 November.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS WHERE POPPIES BLOW...
Is from the poem written by Canadian soldier, doctor and poet John McCrae who died in France in 1918 that is synonymous with Remembrance Day. And so at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – the time the guns on Europe’s Western Front fell silent after more than 4 years of war – we observe one minute’s silence in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. Lest we forget.
SQUIZ THE DAY
11.00am – A minute’s silence is observed for Remembrance Day
12.30pm (AEDT) – Former ambassador to China Geoff Raby addresses the National Press Club – Canberra
8.10pm (AEDT) – State of Origin Game 2 – ANZ Stadium, Sydney
A birthday for actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974)
• 140 years since Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol (1880)
• the birthday of author Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821)
• the publication of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 (1962)
• PM Gough Whitlam being removed from office by Governor-General Sir John Kerr (1975)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
PREVIOUS SQUIZ TODAY
Weather information reproduced with the permission of the Bureau of Meteorology