...running riot, homes and shops and businesses destroyed, families losing everything they possess and escaping alive by jumoing from blazing buildings.
Why does the BBC described the looters and robbers as "protesters"? These are looters and robbers. They already have fashion clothing, "hoodies", trainers and all. They have "blackberry" mobiles. They have in many cases bikes or motorbikes. But they want more of these things, and are stealing them.
There are many things they lack. Fathers, family life, moral and spiritual formation, literacy skills, jobs. They have not been allowed to experience adequate discipline at school because the teachers fear physical or legal reprisals if they try to impose normal disciplinary measures. They have not been taught any real history, so they lack any sense of belonging to a nation, a community, a people with a sense of heritage and achievement. They have not been taught how to pray: they do not know of the God who loves them. They have not been taught the Ten Commandments. They have been raised in a culture of computer games - many of them violent - TV soap operas, violent films, and consumerism.
Having more police on the streets, although neccesary, will not solve these problems.
There are solutions: it is possible to teach good values by precept and example in school and community, in church and in the workplace. It is possible to support truths about marriage and family life, in schools and in youth and community organisations. It is possible to allow good ventures for the young - teaching service and neighbourliness, courage and commitment - to flourish and not be blocked by bureaucracy or ideological opposition. It is possible to support reasonable discipline in schools, to encourage good male leadership and to announce a commitment to moral and spiritual truths. It is possible to do all this without slogans and in a humble and hopeful spirit - but it will take courage and quiet faith. I wish I could feel that we had a government willing to tackle things from this basis.