Readers' letters - August 3

End offensive media coverage and let Diana rest in peace and stop offensive expose

Am I alone in finding the current media exposure of Diana Princess of Wales, to be offensive and in poor taste?

Twenty years after her tragic death, we are being bombarded by lurid editorial features in the national press.

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The latest hyena to join the pack devouring her reputation is Channel 4.

It has purchased tapes of Diana’s private conversations with her former voice coach Peter Settelen and intends to publish them in a documentary. He should be ashamed of himself for profiting from selling these tapes, which reveal intimate details of her marriage to the Prince of Wales and her life after her divorce.

Princes William and Harry have recently bared their childhood souls in the media. While it is understandable that they wished to make their personal feelings known to the public – was it wise to do so?

They must be very hurt by having their parents’ personal and intimate details revealed to all and sundry.

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Do the public really wish to have her memory besmirched by the gutter press and media? I certainly do not.

Prince Charles is certainly not blameless in this matter, his marital affair with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, being the cause of Diana’s divorce – yet he must be deeply hurt by William and Harry making little or no reference to him in their memories of life with their mother. To now reveal these tapes on television will only add more sorrow for all of them.

Diana was very much loved by the nation. Her kind compassionate empathy, together with her many good charitable works, made her truly a Princess of the people for the people.

Let her rest in peace.

Cyril Olsen

Address supplied

Abuse of cyclists is a hate crime

If columnist Kevin Myers can be sacked by The Sunday Times for his mocking comments regarding Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, then why wasn’t Times columnist Matthew Parris sacked for his comments – an incitement to kill cyclists?

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He wrote: “A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists” (December 27, 2007).

Had there been no cyclist hate crimes or deaths since, it could be forgotten, but worryingly, there have been many hate crimes against cyclists, and over 1,200 deaths.

Every day, innocent cyclists are abused because ‘they don’t pay road tax’, SOME cyclists jump red lights, and SOME cyclists ride “three and four abreast”.

Don’t aggressive/impatient drivers prevent millions from cycling, thereby increasing pollution?

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Last year, 1,780 lives were lost to so-called ‘Petrol Heads’. On average, just one road user a year is lost to a so-called ‘Lycra Lout’.

Maybe no cyclists have been murdered, (yet), but with so much violence in the world, it’s surely time for cycling to ‘enjoy’ the same protection as that given to disability, race/ethnicity, religion/belief, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. For some people, cycling isn’t a choice, it’s a financial necessity. For others, it’s a health necessity. Unless it’s someone on a life-saving mission, driving as fast as possible IS NOT a necessity.

Allan Ramsay


Jeremy Vine is everywhere

I refer to the debate on BBC broadcasters’ pay. The BBC’s claim that you have to pay the going rate is somewhat self-inflicted. Given they are not under the same pressure as commercial broadcasters to produce an instant hit, what do they do about nurturing home-grown talent? Creating more talented broadcasters would reduce individuals’ pay. I have lost count how many programmes Jeremy Vine is on – from The Jeremy Vine Show and election specials to Eggheads etc – and he is far from unique in the limited pool the BBC use.

I see and hear that much of Mr Vine, I half expect him to be staring up at me one morning when I draw back my curtains. He seems to get everywhere else.

Andrew Suter

via email