Among the looted shops and the burned out properties we’ve seen recently, there were genuine beacons of hope that something good could come of events.
The dignity of families who have lost loved ones in this unprecedented lawlessness and then taken time from their grief to appeal for calm and reason will live with me for a long time.
The groups of citizens coming together to protect their town centres in defiance of the thugs is another abiding memory.
As is the hundreds of amateur photographers who have sent in their pictures to help the police hunt down the looters, and the parents who courageously handed their children over to the police because they were so ashamed of their actions.
Gather all this together and you see a bigger picture – a picture that looks like a re-awakening of community spirit.
People seem to realise that sometimes we all have to get together to protect what we value and that the state can’t always provide every answer, it can only help.
This is exactly what David Cameron has been banging on about for ages when he’s talked about the Big Society.
Recent events show that we all have to do more if we are to protect what we value. The government has to do more to allow people to play a bigger role for themselves.
So Michael Gove’s Education Bill will allow teachers to re-impose discipline in classrooms to stop the disruption of kids’ education. Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms will make sure work always pays, limits benefits to the average income of a working household and punishes those who refuse offers of work. The Protection of Freedoms Bill will remove all sorts of red tape so that getting involved in your community becomes easier and the Localism Bill will allow people and charities to take over council services if they think they can do a better job with the money.
I agree this is looking on the bright side of these terrible events but at least there is a bright side.