Letter: Diana forgotten

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The Independent Online
Sir: So, after an unprecedented outpouring of grief and an apparent national identification with Princess Diana's ideals of compassion and understanding for the deprived and marginalised, Britain is (sadly) back to "normal".

Since the funeral, people have been jailed for taking flowers and teddy bears, a Church of England minister has called for the chopping off of thieves' hands and now a judge thinks that the forced removal of a young mother's newly born baby is an appropriate punishment for shoplifting.

Is it not time that we all grew up and took a mature approach to offending and faced up to the fact that young people offend because their parents and or society fail them?

A truly fitting memorial to Diana would be a sea-change in the national psyche - less condemnation, more understanding and compassion and more practical assistance. Or were all these flowers and tributes just empty, mass-hysterical gestures?

R COOKLIN

London N20

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