I sat down ready to blog last night and just couldn't. The TV was on and I was just sat here in shock. London appeared more like a war zone than the city I know and love. Shops were being looted, buildings were on fire and the police seemed to be struggling to gain any sort of control. Journalists were under attack and starting to wear the protective clothing that they normally wear in Iraq or Afghanistan. People were losing their homes and livelihoods and I was just watching in disbelief.
No one seems sure what the real cause behind these riots is. Initially it was all blamed on the police shooting dead a man in Tottenham (with varying reports as to whether he was armed or not) but now it seems to be rioting for the sake of it. One woman unknowingly caught looting on camera said that she was just "getting her taxes back". Those same taxes that probably pay her benefits, cover her medial care by the NHS and will also sadly probably pay her legal fees if she is arrested. If she then ends up in prison the tax payer will also be footing that bill. She doesn't care and that seems to be the root of the problem. People that just don't care about their own lives and surroundings, let alone those of others around them. I'm not sure how we solve that problem, but until we do I fear both London and other parts of the country will suffer further.
It is important to remember though that despite the news that is dominating the headlines there are good people out there too. Twitter has been used overnight and this morning to coordinate some fantastic clear up operations in London, BIrmingham and Liverpool. People giving up their spare time to help get their cities back on their feet. People who do care about their communities. I hope it is the case that these people are in the majority and that finally right will triumph over wrong. Sadly I don't think they will get as many headlines, but let's hope they do.