The linked story illustrates poignantly what has happened to our nation under Labour. There was a time when youths would have feared to act in such a way, because the local community would have dealt with them and the police would have exercised common sense. Common sense in this case would have rejected the allegation of kidnapping, which was clearly part of a malicious campaign. But "by the book" bureaucratic Britain requires that common sense is not applied. The allegation was made and must therefore be given credence. Worse, the bureaucracy incentivises the police to pick low-hanging fruit and win a quick statistic, rather than actually tackle the crime that makes many parts of the country unliveable.
Mr McCourt did his country as much service here as he did when he served as a soldier. He is patently a good man; the sort any country should be happy to have as a citizen. He is even - amazingly - still willing to fight, saying he would do the same thing again. His wife's reaction is more typical - and heart-rendingly sad
"If I had to go through that again," says Mrs McCourt, "I would walk out. I back Frank, but I just couldn't face it again." Forlornly, she eyes her home. "We have been left defenceless."
Who can blame her? The state is not there to direct peoples' lives. It is there to provide a framework of law within which they can direct their own. It is also there to protect citizens from criminals who interfere with their ability to do so. In this story, as in so many, it has done precisely the opposite. It has done so under the direction, and with the approval, of the Labour government.
I would like to be like Mr McCourt, but if I am honest I am more like his wife. I once made a citizen's arrest myself, but I would never do so again. I would not act to prevent a crime, nor to protect a fellow-citizen from criminal attack. I am white, male and middle class. I am already guilty in the eyes of our politicised police officers, who are conducting a class war on their political masters' behalf. Regretfully, I must (and do) avoid them at all costs. Mr McCourt's story proves that my prudence, much as I despise myself for it, is justified.