Few people witnessing the events on British streets tonight can deny that something is very wrong with our country at the moment. The sight of youths who can only be described as feral, roaming the streets and engaging in shocking acts of violence, is disturbing and frightening. Many commentators are simply at a loss to understand what is going on. There is no rational explanation for individuals trashing their own communities and engaging in this kind of vandalism. What seems incredible is the ages of some of these people. Young children appear to occupy the ranks of rioting gangs which would have been hard to comprehend just a few days ago.
Whatever the reasons for this behaviour - and at the moment it seems to be based on nothing more than greed and thrill-seeking - it is clear that a section of our society has no regard for other people, either their property or their personal safety. There has been a breakdown of basic human decency which families and entire communities have failed to address. I suspect the root causes of this have been developing over a number of years. We have created a generation who know all about rights and little about responsibility. Big questions will need to be asked about the kind of society we want to live in.
Once basic moral values are eroded and cast aside there is a vacuum in society which will be filled by violence. This is a wake-up call for all of us. We need to start searching our souls before it is too late.