A 42-year-old man is recovering in hospital after being beaten up as he tried to help a woman who was being attacked by her partner in Lancashire.
The football fan had been watching Accrington Stanley play on Saturday evening when he saw a man abusing his girlfriend outside the club's ground.
He intervened to help the woman but was punched to the ground by the man who kicked him until he was unconscious.
A 35-year-old man from Accrington was arrested in connection with the attack.
What might have improved this situation? More police on the street? Well, it would certainly have reduced the chances of this happening. Accrington Stanley play in League Two (the old Third Division, and before that the old Fourth Division - in English football, if you wait long enough and don't get relegated, you find that your team is in a higher division, or at least one with a more impressive name). 1,808 people saw them beat Peterborough 3-2 yesterday - surely a few police must have been around?
Even if they weren't, there were nearly 2,000 people, presumably overwhelmingly decent enough, and many of them young and fit. Perhaps they could have intervened? Just two or three of them would easily have been enough to stop both the original attack, and the subsequent attack on the one man who was brave enough to get involved. Maybe they were all busy jumping up and down. (Note: It seems that the match had in fact ended two hours before. See update below).
But, of course, people don't like to get involved these days. Back in February there was a piece by Jeremy Vine in the Telegraph describing how he, and 30 other people, sat back and watched as a man was beaten up on the tube. There was only one assailant; the other passengers could have torn him limb from limb. But none of them had the stomach. And then, via Laban Tall, this piece, from last November, by London-based American blogger Jackie Danicki, describing her mugging on a packed tube train. No one intervened, with one passenger justifying his inaction on the grounds that "he didn't want to make things worse for her".
Why don't we intervene anymore? Well, partly because the police would be as likely to arrest us as they would the actual criminal. And also because people have, in large part, become so decadent that they would rather cower in a corner than risk becoming involved in anything savouring of - whisper it - violence! But there is also the breakdown of any sense of community. This was a point made by Gareth at BNP and Me the other day, and it is entirely correct. These days we have little connection with one another, and often very little in common. Perhaps in an ideal world we would be prepared to put ourselves at risk for people to whom we have no connection, but in the real world, this usually will not happen. And this, I think, is another consequence of the war waged by the liberal-left on Britain, its culture, its society, and all the ties that bind its citizens together. It's also the reason why, when brave people like the man in Accrington do get involved, they all too often end up getting badly hurt.
Update: A commenter has alerted me to the fact that, contrary to the impression given by both the BBC report and this blog, the attack in Accrington took place two hours after the end of the game. So there probably weren't too many people about. Apologies, therefore, are in order: first, to Accrington Stanley fans, for casting aspersions on them, and second, to readers of this blog, for publishing an inaccuracy.
The criticisms of the London tube travellers stay, however.