So, farewell then, Diana inquest. Ten million smackeroonies from Team Taxpayer and what have we learned? That driving over the speed limit through a concrete tunnel while pissed is not a spectacularly safe thing to do. Oh, and this just in: being in a speeding car and not wearing a seatbelt might get you into trouble if the pisshead Ricard-quaffing numpty behind the wheel decides to take the scenic route via a rather large pillar.
Well there we are; thanks for that. I'd never have known that until now.
Where now for the Express, which has thrived on a diet of Diana conspiracy theory loony nut-nut whoop whoop bonkers madness for the past few years? These theories have been consigned to the scrap-heap; there is, was and never has been any evidence that 'dark forces' were at work to kill the Princess. Mo Fayed's own legal team dumped a mountain of claims shortly before the jury were required to give a verdict - because there was no evidence. And that should be that.
All those stories in the Express about 'sensational new claims' and 'new evidence' and 'new witnesses' were bollocks. Utter bollocks. MI6, whatever they do do, don't go around trying to race high-powered saloon cars with Fiat Unos; murder isn't murder if there would have been a very strong chance of the victim surviving if they hadn't been so dumb as to forget to wear their seatbelt. It just defies all attempts at logic. And surely any reporter with any semblance of intelligence - notwithstanding the fact they submitted their CV to the Express in the first place - would have known that straight away. Which begs a couple of questions.
Why write the stories if they knew it was a load of nonsense? Was it simply a cynical marketing exercise, with Diana splashes garnering more sales than non-Diana fronts? (Or might there be another explanation - that the Express's other front-page options, house prices and immigration lies, put off many more readers than some dead royal?) Or was there another incentive? Advertising revenue? Certainly not news values. Certainly there was nothing intrinsically useful in any one of the bollocks Diana front pages that meant the story was actually there on merit as a piece of news.
For a while, the Madeleine McCann case almost threatened to overtake Diana on the list of priorities - but that desire to print anything and everything on one topic, which served the Express so well with Diana, brought it into big legal trouble to the tune of half a million quid winging its way to Kate 'n' Gerry. Peanuts to someone like Richard Desmond, obviously, but it came as a warning. Not about printing bollocks obviously, but a warning about selecting the targets for that bollocks with a bit more care.
So where now? Diana is dead and the conspiracy theories have been completely squashed beyond any doubt whatsoever. Madeleine McCann, sadly, has not been found and the trail has gone stone cold. No more 'new witnesses' are coming forward, and Clarence Mitchell has been mercifully quiet of late. Yes, the 'Tapas 7' are being spoken to again, but this marks the beginning of the end of police investigations into the disappearance. Soon Robert Murat could be cleared as a suspect, maybe Kate and Gerry too.
Where can the Express go? The golden geese aren't quite dead, but they're looking pretty peeky. Perhaps it's time to consolidate on the remaining readers - racists, bigots, idiots, thickies too shy to buy the Sun or Star, BNP voters, people who hate immigrants in general and Muslims in particular, and a dwindling, slowly dying rump of elderly readers who buy it for the TV guide and the cartoons, people who can just about remember the days when it used to be something approximating a real newspaper.
There will be loads of stuff slagging of Jock McBottler obviously, but that can only get you so far, when most other newspapers are doing exactly the same thing. What sets the Express apart? Only its disgraceful coverage of immigration and race. Is that what we're going to get more of, now there's no possibility of squeezing any more ink out of Diana or Maddie? If so, the Express could sink even lower. Things could get even worse. I hope not, but we'll wait and see.