Britain's fevered post-riot mood is creating a rush for justice which does no-one any good.
Our response to the riots is like a dog chasing after its own tail: a lot of mad, frenetic yelping, that just ends up going around in circles with no meaningful positive effect whatsoever.
Reduced to its bare essentials, this was all very predictable. If you were to ask someone a few months ago what would happen if, hypothetically, mass disorder was to break out - and succeeded in persuading them that it wasn't anything to do with spending cuts - they would have predicted the political fallout we've seen this week with ease.
The prime minister reverts to his party's authoritarian instincts on law and order, embracing harsh sentences for all those involved. The Liberal Democrats, after a bit of hand-wringing, begin to speak out against these steps, but don't have much impact. That's about where we are now, isn't it? No surprises, just yet.
Anger has certainly shaped public debate about how toRead More »from Red mist of retribution is clouding our judgement