Still living in Asian hotels, world news is sporadic - but it seems U.S. economic news has been overtaken by news of British riots. My interest was particularly piqued by mention that the riots had spread to Ealing, my home for a time during grad school. Hardly a hoodlum hang-out, the Ealing Broadway gate serviced the highest concentration of affluent Arab youngsters outside of the Middle East. Discovering whether this demographic was perpetrator or victim of the mob violence would answer several pertinent questions of causality.
Britain's lack of response to domestic terror and urban riots has been as dismaying as it has been expected. Enthrallment to diversity and white-guilt apparently extends as far as thuggery and gangs - who apparently feel their social entitlements extend as far as robbery and looting.
But David Cameron's increasingly militant speeches over the past two days have been refreshing. He refers to the scenes of violence as "despicable," "sickening," "appalling," "criminality, pure and simple," which must be "confronted and defeated." Police forces have been nearly trebled and afforded long-overdue tactical liberties, such as the use of rubber bullets and, potentially, water cannons. Cameron's hesitancy to roll out non-lethal water cannons as Englishmen are being killed is still baffling, but this is, at least, motion in the right direction.
It was heartening to hear Cameron's outright dismissal of "phony concerns about human rights" which liberals are sure to raise when these murderous thugs are arrested and prosecuted. I've long noticed that CCTV only truly offends those who expect to be on the receiving end of a prosecution charge at some point in their life, whereas law-abiding folk recognize that it is an indispensible law-enforcement tool.
Also encouraging is Cameron's rhetoric and frank assessment of the reasons for the riots.
There has been a lack of focus on the complete lack of respect shown by these thugs. There are pockets of our society that are frankly not just broken but also sick.
Cameron claimed the problem was "as much a moral problem as a political problem," repeatedly citing the looters' "irresponsibility," and leveled blame at the undisciplined British school system and a broken welfare system.
The sight of those young people running down streets, looting, laughing as they go, is a complete lack of responsibility - a lack of proper parenting, proper upbringing, proper ethics, proper morals - that is what we need to change.
Strong words for an increasingly thin-skinned electorate which, as Cameron identifies, prefers to blame society for their own irresponsibility. Most reports identify the rioters as belonging to immigrant communities, poignantly illustrating Cameron's previous assertion that British multiculturalism has failed.
It has widely been conceded that European nations have devolved into nanny states, producing dependants rather than citizens. Britain should now fully appreciate that a bit of Old Testament paternal virtue is sorely needed. These youngsters desperately need to be taken out to the woodshed for a lesson in civility.