Letter to the Enfield Independent, August 2011.

     Max Fernandez (Letters, 24 August) thinks the recent riots can be blamed on “one parent families”. Since there are as yet no figures about the family background of those involved, such a claim must be based on prejudice and speculation, not on fact.

    In any case, what measures does Mr Fernandez propose to rebuild the “family structure”. A ban on divorce? Criminalisation of extra-marital sex? Compulsory abortion of offspring conceived out of wedlock?

    To me other causes seem more obvious. We live in a society where MPs fiddle their expenses, journalists break the law, bankers line their pockets and the police repeatedly cover up and lie about their misdemeanours. I am neither “shocked” nor surprised that young people do not respect authority, when those in “authority” have so abandoned their responsibilities.