I'm genuinely reluctant to comment on the riots. Not because I don't have an opinion, or am too far from the experience of it - day three saw my office clear out early in case the mob propelled themselves that way - but because I'm just so sick of it.
Everyone has a bloody opinion about this, and pretty much everyone has been interviewed by the BBC about it. The politicians, in a terrifying break with tradition, have decided to agree with the public - that stupid, selfish parents are responsible for bringing up stupid, selfish kids, that the police are responsible for standing back and doing fuck all while kids set fire to homes and businesses not because of misplaced political correctness but because unless its terrorists or paedophiles they just don't care. It's antisocial behaviour now, not crime, and you can't even call 999 for that. It has it's own, separate, lesser number.
So now the government has realised that the police are not holy and unassailable, that the time-honoured catch-all solution of give-the-police-more-powers is NOT working and not a good idea. So what do the police do? Tell the press that the politicians should stay out of it. Or, to put it another way, that the public should stay out of it. A level of arrogance hitherto displayed only by the looters.
New Labour introduced the idea that the people would always side with the police: under their aegis the police received astronomical increases in powers, powers that Syrian coppers would kill to have at hand. The police have never had more freedom, more leeway, more bias in law. And they're still not happy.
But now the people - not the rioters, their victims - have turned around and said no. It's not a good solution. The police are not on our side.
The other side of the coverage has been the desperate scramble for reasons. When I got beaten up at school, the first thing my mother would ask when I came home with bruises was "what did you do? You must have provoked them." She couldn't understand that some people simply like hurting others, like stealing, like the freedom and power and pseudo-respect it gives them. Apparently a lot of other people can't understand this either.
Let's get one thing straight here. I grew up with people like this, and let me tell you, they don't riot or loot or mug people because they're disenfranchised, or disaffected, or don't have enough youth clubs, or they're bored, or poor, or unemployed, or not breastfed.
They do it because they're cunts. They do it because they hate you. They hate everyone who isn't themselves. You are nothing to them, furniture, background noise. If they kill you, they won't care, because you don't really exist. If they are caught, or punished, they won't care because you're wrong to punish them. They'll just hate you even more, for stopping them exercising their God-given right to have and do whatever they want.
This isn't a social condition, or a trend, or a fad. This isn't the internet's fault, or consumerism's, or television's. It's theirs. They chose to be like this. They chose stupidity and animal selfishness as a lifestyle. Because you, their parents, told them to.
So, how do we put this right?
We can't. Get over it. Only they can put it right. Only they can choose to change, and absolutely nothing you or anyone else does can influence that decision.
So now you are faced with an enemy that wants to steal from you, hurt you, kill you, rape you. What will you do? Sit there whining about how you don't understand their motivation? Or will you defend yourself?