A time for reflection on the subject of why people riot is called for I think. Firstly there is a difference between rioting and marching. A peaceful demonstration of discontent is quite different from a screaming mob seizing the opportunity to loot and damage people.
The original reason for anger, the shooting of a boy in custody has long been dissipated. We are now seeing copycats all over the country trying to cash in either for profit or for the adrenalin rush it brings.
Two things from yesterday struck me.
One was the video of the elderly woman trying to explain to young men why it was wrong to trash shops which had been set up by people trying to make a living. The courage it took to stand in front of a baying crowd was tremendous. She deserves a medal.
The other image which will stay with me for a very long time was that of the boys stealing from the bag of a young lad who'd been injured. At first you thought they were going to help him. Then it became clear they were just going to rob him.
Its too easy to ask what has happened to our young people....there are so many reasons why anarchy is an easy option I think.
Its true that respect seems to be left out of our daily lives. In school there are virtually no useful sanctions to employ if the children get out of hand.
I am not advocating bringing back the birch here as my husband did in the local post office this morning!
But the politically correct brigade have made it impossible to actually discipline naughty children in school.
Good teachers have always been able to stop unruly children in the classroom but when I taught in Essex I found that children had been allowed to get away with behaviour impossible to imagine at the start of my teaching career.
This is not intended as a sort of complaint from an old woman that things are not like they were when I was young...there lots of things since then that have made life much better for us all. It is a genuine need to try to understand what is going wrong.
Its too easy to blame the government, the teachers, the churches...we all have individual responsibility to keep the peace...
Two things yesterday ran side by side on Twitter. Team Poison tried to stir up other young people to get out and create havoc, Team Clean up called for volunteers to get out and make the streets clean and safe again.
It was an epic playing out of good versus evil...and I believe that good did win and will go on winning .
I hope so I am praying.