It's quite depressing seeing the spread of trouble around London and other places.
My heart goes out to those directly affected. One of our friends works at Wood Green shopping centre (where we often used to shop when we lived in Tottenham) and he and many thousands of other people are very scared this evening.
Hundreds of people will have lost their homes, jobs, their businesses. My guess is that many of the communities affected will lose quite a few local shops for ever.
There is quite a debate going on about whether this is political, or just criminality. It is probably some of both, but it is definitely a lot of the latter.
Spontaneous political uprisings of the poverty stricken are not orgnaised via BlackBerry Messenger.
People angry at the Police don't decide to go off and loot a retail park two miles from the riot. That is pure, pre-meditated criminality.
In the long run, though, it may well be that the fact that so many young people feel able to act in such a selfish and thuggish way is, in itself, a much more serious problem than if it were simply a response to either their unhappiness with policing or with the Government's austerity package.
The other issue that a lot of people seem worked up about is whether David Cameron should have dropped his holiday and rushed straight back to ... well I'm not sure exactly what he should do ... but apparently he should be here doing it.
Personally I think all members of the Government should be entitled to some holiday, particularly those with young children, and that other senior members of the Government should be perfectly capable of running the country in their abscence. The current situation is more directly the responsibility of the Home Secretary, who is here. We shouldn't need the PM to be here every time something kicks off.