Letter: Private lives in a public realm

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Sir: In your justification of the 'Diary' gossip about a cabinet minister's family, you say that such publicity is the 'risk which politicians take when they go into public life'. Indeed it is, but only because the press offends against such privacy.

Incidentally, if you take this view vis-a-vis politicians, why so lofty a stance where Royalty is concerned? (They were not all thrust into their roles - the wives of princes could be said to have chosen theirs as much as politicians did).

And does the 'public life' test apply to journalists? If so, I have to tell you that readers will be questioning the legitimacy of diarists, and others, of the press. Return to your old standards, I beg of you. It may be dull, but it is honest.

Yours faithfully,


Rugeley, Staffordshire

11 July