I went to Birmingham last weekend and I saw the scale of damage from the riots there. What I saw was both physical and emotional damage. Some shops were boarded up but they were mainly open. Lots of windows had a spider web of smashed glass covering more than half of the window. It did look eerie but there was a marvellous British spirit of getting on among people.
I spoke to some Asian taxi drivers and they tole me how upset they were that they had lost three members of their future generation. The funerals of the 3 Asian men are being held today. Two out of the three were brothers and their father has had a heart attack since the murders. The taxi drivers spoke of their sadness at losing men who were well educted, one was a university graduate. These taxi drivers represent an older generation who came over from Asia and watched their children intergrate into British society. They all felt British, were all proud to be British and were devastated at what had happened to their community. There was a sense of such deep sadness that I felt.
A week after the riots there has been an endless queue of young people appearing in courts. This has left Britain feeling unstable but I live in hope that society will mend. There's so much debate and action on the streets to put shops back together and find people homes. Maybe a lasting solution will be found.