Increasingly commentators are linking the riots with a lack of moral leadership by MPs, bankers, police and the media and I suspect they are right to.
This piece in the Telegraph by Peter Oborne is particularly good and this is a comment from Peter Tatchell:
"UK establishment is quick to condemn rioters. But police took bribes and failed to investigate phone hacking. No officers jailed. Cash for knighthoods and peerages. No one jailed. MPs abused expenses system. Only a few jailed. Editors bribed police. None jailed. Priests raped kids. No jail for most. Army killed and tortured civilians in Iraq. Soldiers not jailed. British elite = hypocrites. No right to moralise"
The lack of moral leadership seems to be filtering through to the judicial system which may or may not have been given orders to impose disproportionate sentances on rioters, although the circumstantial evidence is strong.
Four years for failing to incite a riot? Evicting innocent mothers from council homes? Removing benefits to ensure that people have to steal? Encouraging parents to beat children? Not sure how any of that will benefit society.