Protest in Seoul amid Russia's aggression to Ukraine | JEON HEON-KYUN


As Ukraine burns and countless men, women and children are blown apart at the hands of Putin, social media profiles are awash with dinky yellow and blue flags, city halls are underlit in the nation’s colours, candle-lit vigils are held, and celebrities engage in a spot of naval-gazing, voicing concerns for their own sense of trauma and that of their kids. Oh pleeeze, get over yourselves.

We’ve been here so many times before, haven’t we? Every time the world faces an atrocity, an act of terrorism, an indignity, the make believe begins. I try hard not to be cynical because everyone means well but what the heck does all this fluff achieve? What Ukraine needs now is a miracle not a social media hashtag or a candle in the wind. It needs weapons, soldiers, and a way to annihilate the enemy.

If I hear another vacuous Hollywood celebrity say that they’re finding it hard to process the war and to explain it to their children, I might seek them out and slap them hard with a wet fish. Try explaining the war to kids whose father has just been liquidised by an airstrike and their home has been obliterated. These spoilt and entitled creatures live in a parallel universe. Frankly, it’s revolting.

Meanwhile, supermarket Sainsbury’s, is rebranding its chicken Kiev to Kyiv on popular demand….oh what the ….! Are we living in Disney Land? Does Sainsbury’s marketing team think the dying in Kiev care a damn about their re-branding of chicken pieces? It’s so sick and absurd that you just want to howl with laughter in between tears of rage but these goons all take it seriously.

If I have to hear that vacuous, privileged woman, Holly Willoughby, from a popular breakfast TV show, opine again about how awful the war is for her children, I might implode. But in the gloom, there are genuinely good eggs, the moneyed stars stepping up to the mark. Husband and wife team, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, are matching donations for refugees to the tune of one million pounds and others are quietly donating without making buffoons of themselves. Mind you, Hollywood halfwits hail from a country in which the President thinks Iran is part of Ukraine, so we might as well stop at the starting line with this crew.

There’s so much tone-deaf Ukraine hand-wringing currently and a lack of genuine understanding and empathy that makes it hard to take our world seriously but we have to grip onto the thought that there are thinking people out there who genuinely care. The rest are simply background noise who should be quickly dismissed and spurned for what they really are.

Shame about Shane Warne

I didn’t know Shane Warne, the Australian cricketer, but I am sad to hear that he’s died aged only 52. It seems that he suffered a massive heart attack and it doesn’t help that conspiracy theorists are blaming the Covid vaccine. Whether that was a factor or not is irrelevant. I always felt that Shane was a fabulously outrageous character who lived by his own rules and just had fun. He was a phenomenal bowler and was loved by many.

Shane Warne

I read about his love of smoking, drinking, gambling and buttery lasagne sandwiches with mounting horror, amazed that he’d survived this long. Shane, it seemed, did as he pleased and good for him. He may have died young but boy, did he live for the day!

Love knows no bounds

It took some fortitude to watch loathsome Matt Hancock, erstwhile shamed UK health secretary, blabbing disingenuously to a reporter in the Independent newspaper’s podcast about his reasons for breaking rules during Covid-19. Dressed completely in black, like a cheap version of the Milk Tray Man, Hancock limply tried to justify his appalling and duplicitous actions during his government role, and the betrayal of his wife, by claiming to fall in love with his adviser and old chum, Gina Colangelo. He came across as a tiresome, preening and thoroughly selfish old-age teenager who had little understanding of his place in the world. A stint on the frontline in Kiev would do him the world of good.

Tube misery

In the scheme of things, a mere tube strike doesn’t seem all that bad but friends in London tell me that the recent strikes have crippled the capital and getting to work has proven a nightmare. Why the London transport system has deemed it a good idea to kick Londoners when they’re already down deifies belief but I suppose the unions believe it’s worth striking while it’s hot. Whatever the weather, many are now working from home and if this kind of action continues, there won’t be many bothering to return to their desks and I can’t blame them.

Anna Nicholas’s second Mallorca based crime novel, Haunted Magpie, is available from Come In, La Savina & Llibres Colom in Palma, and at Alameda gift shop in Soller; also at all good UK bookshops & via amazon.