Letter: Oafs rebuked

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The Independent Culture
Oafs rebuked

Sir: Seldom have I seen a more pusillanimous leader than yours of 19 February, in which you deplore Jack Straw's call to us not to "walk on by".

Situations which involve violence should be handled with care, but lesser incidents we can all confront. Despite my age (79), or perhaps because of it, I recently rebuked three young men for smoking in a railway carriage. They mocked and jeered, but then I started going round the carriage, canvassing support: I had got no further than the first fellow-passenger when the smokers backed down and extinguished their cigarettes.

This kind of oafish behaviour is not a "public display of high spirits": the least we can do is support each other in combating rudeness, rowdiness and vandalism, as and when they start. Jack Straw is right.


West Kirby, Merseyside