I returned last Friday from a week more or less out of reach of TV, radio and electronic communications to what feels like another country: A country convulsed by anger, outrage and anguish. A country in which the ‘old certainties’ of even ten days ago, now seem past their sell by date.
Many people are angry and frightened at the rioting that has caused such damage in cities across England. Some favour harsh punishments. Ideas which have become popular include cutting off welfare benefits to those convicted and evicting their families from social housing. Wandsworth Council has reportedly already applied to the courts to evict a tenant whose son was involved.
With the smell of smoke and wail of sirens in the background, about 200 to 300 people from a range of faiths on the evening of 8 August gathered for a prayer and a walk to the center of Tottenham, north London, scarred by a weekend of rioting.