Rod McLaughlin

A serious commentary on the current situation in the Ukraine (25 feb 14)

The newly-overthrown president was seen in Balaclava. No, not in A balaclava, just in Balaclava, the city. He may be trying to flee to Russia, like when Louis XVI tried to flee to Austria. If he does go to Russia, he could borrow a balaclava from Pussy Riot, who wear them (see picture).

Balaclava is in the Crimea. It is where balaclavas were invented, during the Crimean war. The Earl of Cardigan was the chief architect of that disaster, and, like the city of Balaclava, he has a variety of knitwear named after him. What a coincidence!

One of Cardigans's blunders was to order soldiers to charge the Russian artillery on horseback. Tennyson wrote a poem about it. Many also died of cold, but thanks to the Earl of Cardigan at Balaclava, today we have both cardigans and balaclavas to keep us warm. Seldom in history can one small skirmish over a peninsula have provided mankind with not one, but two, staples of fashion and comfort.

Portland London