The London riots have now gone on for three days. What started out as a reaction to one man getting shot has escalated into full blown violent protest against the Tory government and the economic situation in the United Kingdom.
I'm not saying that they don't have a right to be angry, or that they don't have a right to peaceful protest. But there is something disturbingly ironic about a group of people protesting over unemployment by burning down businesses. Some of these businesses were barely hanging on in the current economic climate, and many will not be able to reopen. This causes yet more unemployment, exacerbating the initial problem.
I'm angry. I'm angry that the leaders of my country made stupid decisions, and that the European Union requires Ireland to repay bondholders at a high level of interest rather than let them take the hit of their bad investment. I'm angry that because of stupid decisions Ireland is losing her frontline services. We have a smaller police force and less doctors. Our teacher to pupil ratio is climbing to among the highest in Europe. Services for rape victims have been scaled back. Special Needs Assistants for children with learning difficulties have been dispensed with in all but the most extreme cases. Rising oil prices are affecting the prices of food, heat and transport while welfare to the unemployed and elderly is being cut back. Most of the people who graduated with me are unemployed or have emigrated. I'm very angry. But how is going to my local shopping centre and setting fire to small businesses the answer?
I don't know what the answer is, but the scenes that we're seeing across London is certainly not it.