There is an old joke about the I.R.A. kidnapping the child of some rich and important person, then sending him home to deliver the ransom note. The English love to make jokes about the alleged stupidity of the Irish, but on the news this morning I heard a splendid example of home-grown English stupidity:
It seems a schoolgirl ran off to Iran to join the loony Salafists of ISIS. The police called in the girl’s friends for questioning, and the friends’ answers provoked concern and suspicion in the police mind. Clearly the parents of all these girls ought to know certain things about their daughters, so a policeman who knew how to write wrote letters to their parents.
Then — wait for it — they gave the letters to the girls to take home.