Peter Hitchens makes “some very brief but fundamental points”:
1. These were not ‘riots’. They had no political purpose and no origin in discontent or deprivation.
2. Those apprehended by the police appear to me for the most part to be stragglers and losers, the slow runners and dimwits who were still on the scene when the constabulary eventually arrived. They are not the main actors. I have no sympathy for them, but the idea that the law is about to take a severe revenge on the culprits is laughable. Most of the culprits got away with it.
3. This is an equal-opportunity crime wave. The lawbreakers are not from any distinct ethnic group, and attempts to explain this behaviour on these ground are baseless and poisonous.
4. Nothing of any substance has been or will be learned by our political class from these events. The ‘debate’ is already drivelling away into irrelevant discussions about police cuts or misleading confrontations between people who appear to be different but are in fact fundamentally the same. In these (for example) Michael Gove (whose government is in practice as feeble and politically correct as any in our history) is portrayed as a hero of debate because Harriet Harman is so immeasurably thick, and Michael Gove looks sensible by comparison.
5. My reluctant conclusion, that Britain is finished as a civil and civilised society, is unaltered. I suspect quite a few more people may now grasp this point, but the majority of our ‘intelligentsia’ will continue to regard me as a ‘fascist’ and my solutions to these problems as unthinkable. They will even accuse me – falsely – of believing that the 1950s were a ‘Golden Age’ but I can promise them that they will soon look upon this decade as a ‘Golden Age’ compared with what is coming.