The whole country has been shocked by the events of recent days. There is no excuse for looting and arson. My thoughts are with the victims of all this – people who have been burned out of their homes or seen businesses trashed, looted and burned.
These terrible events are a reminder of how thin the line is between the day to day order we take for granted and the fear that can take hold when order breaks down. People trapped in this have felt vulnerable, afraid and desperate for protection.
It is essential that we have both leadership and order. It is right that the PM and other key Cabinet Ministers have come back from holiday. They must make clear that the police have every support and every resource in cracking down hard on what has been going on. The liberty that matters is the liberty of decent people to live their lives in peace. As the past few nights have shown, there is no liberty without the rule of law.
The state and the police have responsibilities, but so too do parents. We should not have young people, some as young as eight or nine years old, roaming the streets of our cities at night.
The vast majority of people in this country are decent and law abiding. We should support the police in restoring order and work together to put a stop to this and end this theft and violence as soon as possible.
Posted on 9 August 2011.