Harrington: Putting the boot into Putin

Friday, 11th March


Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky

WHAT did you do in the war, papa? Well, son, I clicked on a petition calling for the name of the road on which the Russian embassy in London stands to be changed.

Perhaps it’s a sign of how powerless we all feel as individuals watching those horror images from Ukraine, that all we are left with is donating money and supplies – and dreaming up ways to irritate Vladimir Putin.

Somewhere in a high-security bunker the Russian premier will certainly be banging his fist on a table and kicking a dog about the Liberal Democrat press release suggesting the name change idea this week.

The notion, though hardly original as it has been done elsewhere, meant much exposure for the Lib Dems.

I’d stop short of being too cynical about their motives and reserve the scepticism for the wine bars declaring – with PR circulars – that they will no longer serve Russian vodka, expecting “well dones” and congratulatory column inches.

By all means, change the road signs to Zelensky Avenue after the defiant Ukrainian leader, and who is to pooh-pooh any attempt at solidarity?

If we are asking authorities for action, however, maybe those fleeing the warzone would like a visa and a safe haven first.

Instead of asking Kensington and Chelsea Council to alter the nameplates in Kensington Palace Gardens, maybe it could be asked to urge the government for permission to seize the keys to any empty properties – a moral problem far and wide across our city – and open the doors to those in desperate need of help?

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