It's hard to know how to react to the riots in London at the moment but I do 'smell a rat'. They came to the end of the street last night and, although I slept through the noise, there's clear evidence of last night's festivities on the street this morning. Whilst I can almost understand the indignation that spiked the protests a couple of days ago last night's foray into the leafier parts of Greater London just seems to be recreational vandalism by a non generic, non race specific and gender inclusive bunch of 'yooves' who have got too much time on their hands after finishing their GCSE at whatever public school Mummy and Daddy have 'cashed the investments bonds in' for. The bigger 'rat' I smell is that I wouldn't be surprised if all of this becomes the opportunity for some government knee jerk legislation for the return of national service.
It's all a bit 'retro'. Reliving the glories of 1968 or whatever the 'defining moment' of your grandparents' youth was. It's probably also fuelled by the unrest overseas at the moment and the way this is reported through social media. 'Hey! If they can have a revolution, why can't we?' There is a fundamental difference however. There lots of people are dying. Here there are major slip ups, to be sure, but the major frustration seems to be not 'keeping up with the Jones' in a society where we are driven by unrealistic expectations of material success and comfort. Having said that there was that rather disturbing picture of a young lad riding off with his bike basket stuffed with groceries whilst nearby the white vans were pulling up to empty the local electronics store.
So what's the Catholic response? For the moment I'll have to wait and think on this one however at Mass this morning we added the De Profundis to the prayers after Mass as an act of reparation for any wrongs we have caused but also for those who may have been killed or hurt in the current unrest.