So far – in very round figures – around 3,000 people have been arrested and around 1,500 have been charged. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that the police caught only one in twenty of the troublemakers. That makes 60,000. Call it 100,000 for the sake of generosity. From a population of 62 million this is 0.16 per cent. Let us again be generous to the argument and say they must all have morally bankrupt families. Call it 1 per cent of the public. Are we in national moral crisis territory yet?
That's good to hear, but this is remarkable:
The “cause” of this riot, if there is a single cause, is actually rather simple: it was fun. Hardened criminals – the inner-city gang leaders – probably started the violence, and sent out the Blackberry messages to their gangs inviting them to join in. But others joined in the looting or the stone-throwing simply because they failed to think through the consequences. Many of these criminals are no different from Nick Clegg, who at the age of 16 narrowly escaped a conviction in Germany for setting fire to a professor’s cactus collection for a “drunken lark”. Or, for that matter, from the Bullingdon Club, of which David Cameron and Boris Johnson were members, which goes around smashing up restaurants.Daniel Knowles, writing in the Telegraph, of all places. It's almost as if Middle England is actually calming down and getting a sense of proportion. As I say, remarkable.