It's those kids. They're evil. They were pampered growing up, and should have been given the rod. That seems to be the mainstream viewpoint. (Yet, as you see at the right, the rioters weren't kids.)
It's pretty insane. You lead kids toward college, you take it (and their hope) away, you lose all the other jobs, or they're going to foreigners, and then you're surprised when people are angry. Really? Really.
You feed them a complete lack of values on TV all their lives, you demonstrate this lack of ethics in the daily lives of the rich and powerful every day, and then you come at young rioters with pious self-righteousness about how they're the problem and need to be put down.
It's pretty insane, if you think about it. If I were a young Englishman, undereducated and without hope, I might be getting myself a stick and hitting a CCTV camera, too.
Actually the cause of this rioting is pretty easy to see, but no one seems to be talking about it.
It's a reaction against Murdochism.
But what did he really stand for? Superficiality. Bread and circuses. A world of two classes, the elite (friends of Murdoch) and the great unwashed, who were to be entertained, overfed, treated like scum and made to like it.
The elite lived a fairly lawless life. They could steal with impunity in The City. They could go to war in Iraq without evidence and get you killed. Celebrities could get banning orders against publicity, unless the Murdoch surveillance caught them and they were in bad odor with the real masters, in which case you'd be laughed at.
David Cameron's reaction to what happened here has me angry. Very angry. He is a a posh PR man, he is a vital part of the problem.
The solution lies in my field, in journalism. The solution is to take down all the elites, starting with the Murdochs, and drive them under. Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, it doesn't matter – anyone corrupted by the system of Murdochism has to go. It means finding new leaders within the broad middle, people who have stood the test of life and acted ethically, responsibly, and on behalf of others.
There are such people in England. There are such people all over. They don't seek publicity, or wealth. They have to be pushed into the public sphere. They don't push themselves.
It should be for reporters, now, to seek out these stories, to identify these people. To tell these stories, show everyone what life should be about, and to ask them both how they did it and what can or should be done so more can do so. Then to push these same people toward leadership.
You don't need a printing press to do it, either. Just a blog will do it. A lot of blogs, from all over, telling the good news in every small town, describing the struggles of people to improve, talking to those people about the lessons they've learned and inspiring others to their example.
There is good news in England. The problem is no one has sought it out for a generation, and forgotten its importance to the life of a nation. No one thinks it sells. And maybe it's not best for the bottom line. But it's the lifeblood of democracy and without it the patient dies.
I know that sounds pollyanna-ish, but I'm calling for a different kind of journalism as part of an effort to fight the cynicism on which Murdoch feeds. That's a first condition for voting out the bastards, and kicking out the bastard who created them.
If you have an inchoate political rebellion that stands for nothing positive, nothing positive will come from it.