I was unable to attend the statement in the Lords yesterday. Initially the decision was to recall the commons but not the Lords. This changed on Wednesday but I was on a Scottish island visiting a neolithic tomb – no sign of riots there!
My very brief thoughts on the rioting so far are that the social media networks do seem to have played a particularly important part in organising rioting groups but this does not mean we should immediately clamp down on them. Getting the politics right in dealing with new technology that is so important to society is no easy task.
Secondly, I have felt for a long time that we are still floundering when we try and deal with inadequate or grossly inappropriate parenting. Back in the 1990’s I organised a series of Parliamentary hearings on parenting and we demonstrated that there were many good schemes around that were supporting parenting. The reports of those hearings are still available but it is a very difficult area for government to deliver on. Bringing up children is tough – for parents and children alike! No one has perfected parenting and skills vary widely. In view of the age of some of the rioters we must revisit this debate.