So what caused the riots? Watching the appalling scenes from the comfort of my sofa I felt there’d been an invisible hurricane – a moment of breakdown in civilisation – as seething mobs of feral seemingly subhuman life committed dreadful acts of robbery and violence. This cannot be tolerated but it must be understood. One of the first places to start the search for answers is the astonishing body of evidence gathered by The Equality Trust on the effects of income inequality. Again and again international comparisons show that the more inequality there is, the higher the rates of violence and community breakdown, and the lower the levels of trust.