Britain's Prime Minister Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron Reuters

Just over a week after the first signs of violence emerged in London, Prime Minister David Cameron gave yet another speech about the riots, once again looking for the causes and explaining how the government will handle the aftermath.

Talking from his constituency, in Witney, and with graffiti in the background, the tone was set, morality needs to bring an end to an era of relativism.

When people hear politicians talk about morality, they think they have no right to do so, because "politicians can be flawed their marriages break down," Cameron said, insisting it is the actual unwillingness of politicians to speak about morality that "has made the problem worse" and created a culture of "moral neutrality".

In saying that politicians are often seen as flawed, Cameron is right, it is however perhaps more the fact that the "morality problem" is being discussed by MPs that have been affected by "expenses problems" that people might find problematic.

Do all politicians really know what is moral and what is not? And if yes, since when? Morality it seems, was not among the top priorities of many of them a few years ago.

Morality is far from being an easy notion to define and quite often not as absolute as some people claim. After all didn't Socrates once write "A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true"?

"We know what's gone wrong: the question is, do we have the determination to put it right? Do we have the determination to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations?" Cameron says.

"Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged - sometimes even incentivised - by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally de-moralised."

The problem however with morality is the normative and not absolute sense, is that it usually helps dictate what is wrong or right while not leaving much room for discussion and dialogue.

The government it seems is now ready to regain the reigns of a country that has sunk in decadence with "the responsible majority of people in this country" who "are crying out for their government to act upon it."

The need for morality and moral values it seems now needs to be prioritised over the economic crisis in which so many people have lost their jobs and homes.

"Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger society goee hand in hand. This is what I came into politics to do" Cameron said and "mending the broken society is a priority for the government", he added.

"I can announce today that over the next few weeks, I and ministers from across the coalition government will review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society, on schools, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities, on the cultural, legal, bureaucratic problems in our society too," he added.

To deal with that, five main points emerged from Cameron's discourse.

The first was to finally bring an end "gangs and gang culture," which is as Cameron says "a major criminal disease that has infected streets and estates across our country." While he insist this will be a priority not much is said on what exactly will be done to stop gangs and their influence.

Secondly, the government will focus on making sure that from now on punishments are firmer so that people who commit crimes know they will not escape the justice system. This new firmer stance will help bring back confidence in the system apparently, exactly how, however is also not discussed.

Thirdly, families need to come back at the forefront of our preoccupations and a new "family test" test will now be applied to all domestic policy, David Cameron announced, while new welfare reforms will be put in place.

"For years we've had a system that encourages the worst in people - that incites laziness that excuses bad behaviour that erodes self-discipline that discourages hard work...

"...well this is moral hazard in our welfare system - people thinking they can be as irresponsible as they like because the state will always bail them out."

While at the end of his speech Cameron insisted "There is no 'them' and 'us' - there is us", clearly his speech defines a very clear line between the moral and immoral, the hardworking and the looters.

Lots of the rioters were underage children who were not on benefits, and some of those arrested actually did have jobs.

Finally, "the Human Rights Act has been interpreted in a way that has undermined morality", Cameron says. Once again, morality is here presented to us as Manichean.

"The truth is, the interpretation of human rights legislation has exerted a chilling effect on public sector organisations, leading them to act in ways that fly in the face of common sense, offend our sense of right and wrong, and undermine responsibility."

We are now then, hearing that human rights and health and safety can interfere with morality, and are thus not always a good thing. Surely, more than one politician, inside and outside Europe, will agree with the prime Minister on that last point.

Many leaders in Africa have already warned against the "negative sides of human rights".

What is next on the agenda, too much democracy can hinder morality?

Rioters might have taken to the streets for a lot of different reasons, but their actions have definitely had many consequences, on them, on their innocent victims, on the economy some will argue, but also on the state and its political institutions.

The government for example, can now give more power to the police, pledge for tougher welfare policies, councils can now call for tenants to be evicted, and all that with the support of the people. How making those "troubled" families homeless will help them turn around their life however still remains a mystery to me.