Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:7-10
Understanding the background, the reasons, the causes for the riots this summer is a complex task involving many factors. Take something as mundane as boredom: clearly it is not an excuse but does anyone believe it is not a factor? Many of the rioters are far younger than their counterparts in the 1980s. Surveys of young people find 8 in 10 saying they have little to do outside school, and no one is surprised when youth anti-social behaviour and petty crime increase during the long summer holidays — so how surprised can we be when the same young people provide the foot soldiers for a riot? This is not a new problem but it is likely to get worse with the cuts to youth services.
Youth unemployment is not an excuse for criminality but does anyone believe it is not a factor? Youth unemployment remains historically high at around 20 per cent. Unemployment was even higher among young black young people, close to 50 per cent.
This is a generation suffering for the rest of their working lives from poor job prospects, low skills and repeated spells out of work — based on the experience of the 1980s.
Unemployment is not an excuse, but spend some time today pray for young people and their job prospects.