I have heard many say that this behaviour should be put into context, that it reflects a sincere, if misguided, objection to the societal status quo in which they feel that their voice has not been heard.
I say bollocks to all that. The destruction that these people have sown has caused immeasurable harm to the people within their own communities - hard working people who deserve better. Can we excuse this by saying that there were cultural factors at work here? Well, certainly these men and women have been influenced by a pernicious and dangerous culture, one that has quietly insinuated itself into our world over the past decades, but which seems to have found it's culmination in this terrible summer.
I am referring, of course, to Congressional Republicans and their appalling willingness to take America and the global economy to the very brink of economic calamity. The damage they've done, which resulted directly in the Standard and Poors downgrading America's credit, will take years to recover from.
As the President said in his weekly address, "while there's nothing wrong with out country, there IS something wrong with our politics."
Oh, did you think I was talking about the London rioters? Well, their behaviour is equally repellant and inexcusable. Fortunately, London - this amazing city in which I am so proud to live - has immediately come together to put this problem right. We've seen spontaneous community cleanups organised within hours - we've seen floods of people coming together to help. And we've seen the entire community state its determination not to allow these thugs to pretend that the represent us.
We should take the same approach with the thugs who came so close to tearing down our global economy once and for all.
Not in my name.