What caused the British riots? As The Australian’s editorial on 13 August observed, the “suburban thugs who looted, burned and terrorised the city this week have succeeded in demoralising its citizens to an extent that was beyond the power of the Luftwaffe.”
A letter writer to the newspaper on 11 August, Y. Bursle of Sherwood in Queensland said what many of Australians have been thinking not only about these terrible events, but of so much about modern life – and not only in the UK:
“ During the Great Depression the majority of people had it tougher than most of us can now imagine but they didn't loot and riot. Perhaps the present impoverishment is in values, morals and ethics.”
The fault lies in those elites who would pull down the pillars of our society and replace them with the latest ideological fashions. As the Australian editorial said:
“Those who persist in seeking determinist explanations for the thuggish behaviour this week, whether racism, consumerism, poor policing or government austerity measures, ignore a basic lesson of human history. Individual virtue and internal restraint are the foundations of civilisation and without them there is anarchy.”
The editors conclusion is surprising given its former policy of pushing republicanism has some sort of solution to a search for a national identity which exists only in the republican salons in in our inner cities.
“If we are to look for an image to inspire Great Britain at this tumultuous time, it would not be the burnt-out furniture store in Croydon or the thugs robbing a Malaysian student as he stood bashed and stunned on a London street.
"It would be the crowds who turned out to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April, a people proud of their heritage and institutions, confident of their values and unashamedly British, celebrating in the company of strangers with self-deprecating humour and a generous spirit. That is the Great Britain to which Australia owes much of its heritage.
" Today, as so often before, we stand with Britain against the barbarians”