Garvan Walshe was National and International Security Policy Adviser for the Conservative Party until 2008. He is now studying for a PhD at the University of Manchester, and is managing partner at The Research Department, a consultancy.
Throw a stone, fill a petrol bomb, burn a flag, my friend, you're right to be angry. Heighten, your Marxist granddad would have said, the contradictions.
We should know better now of course, but the pictures of angry crowds still awaken instincts: the fear of the rampaging mob, the righteous fury of the dispossessed. The truth is less emotional, reality more the result of political calculation. The date it started, 11 September, is hardly a coincidence. The demonstrations small, though armed and unpeaceful. The film, offensive though it is, too obscure for many people to have actually watched it. Pretext more than cause for extremists in need of attention.