Stephen Goss is a PhD history student at Queen's University Belfast and Chairman of Northern Ireland Conservative Future. Follow Stephen on Twitter.
It’s that time of year again. The Assembly is in recess, so the silly bickering and playground squabbling that characterises Northern Irish politics has spilled out of Stormont and onto the streets.
As usual, at the time of year when we should be selling our spectacular scenery, renowned hospitality and general attractiveness as a summer holiday destination, the image beamed around the world is of violence, disorder and conflict. Anyone who had been around – particularly in the UK – for at least the last twenty years will probably think nothing of this. Riots or bomb-scares in Belfast are the sort of headline that most people possibly take for granted and skim over or scroll past, accepting this as nothing out of the ordinary. The slightly better informed will link the ‘marching season’ with the unrest and accept this as a natural correlation.
Why? Why should July and August inevitably produce rioting in Northern Ireland?