YET again, we see the violent, noisy and mindless minority making life uncomfortable for the law-abiding majority.
London is still smouldering after the weekend’s events which saw looters and thugs running riot in the city.
Aside from disruption to the people whose homes and jobs have been lost to the flames, the cost of putting things right will run into millions.
And in a country already being forced to tighten its belt, the actions of the few will add to the squeeze on the taxpayer’s purse.
Halifax is lucky that the recent march by the English Defence League did not result in serious rioting or violence. But the day still cost £140,000 to police, plus whatever takings were lost by businesses that did not open.
The EDL may not have had the criminal intent of some of the London rioters but their presence caused more than a bit of consternation and concern.
Yet who picked up the bill? The very taxpayers who avoided the town or felt uneasy that day.
Disaffected, out-of-work youths in Tottenham must wonder why they live in high-rise poverty as they look across the City to bankers grabbing huge bonuses. Meanwhile, in a bid to cut costs, the Government plans to reduce police numbers, which seems like madness after what we’ve just seen.
David Cameron should look at ways to get young people into work and earning money – giving them pride and respect and less time and energy for crime. Maybe then we’d need fewer police.
* Now three times as old as I’d like to be but half as old as I might live to be if Government projections are correct, I should perhaps be classed as “middle aged”.
But I was brought down to earth with a bump the other evening while walking our dogs in the park.
Two giddy girls, just into their teens and trying to be grown up, were turning the air blue, perhaps trying to impress two boys who were with them.
I heard one of the boys shout: “Oi! Don’t swear in front of...”
There’s hope for young men at last, I thought. Here’s a chivalrous young chap who thinks it’s not polite to scream obscenities in public.
“... that elderly woman,” he finished his sentence.
It had to be me as there was no one else around. He obviously has a great career ahead of him as a diplomat – or as the author of a book about how to win friends.
* As the Premier League prepares to kick off again, I find myself strangely non-plussed by the whole affair.
Two or three years ago I used to look forward to the arrival of the new season and to playing Fantasy Football against some of my colleagues.
But somehow, the whole football league thing has lost its shine.
Too many clubs with foreign owners, too many clubs in the red (not just Manchester United and Liverpool), too many overpaid prima donnas, too much at stake financially for it to be the good old-fashioned sport it used to be.
Too many managers on the merry-go-round, too many people on the make as well as the take, too many silly girls whose only aim in life is to be a footballer’s wife.
Same old, same old.
And to make things worse, it looks like Manchester United will be the same as last year – seemingly down and out, only to come back with an injury-time winner. Sour, grapes, me?