By Abigail Pennson, our reasonable, plain-speaking middle-class columnist slightly to the right of Hitler
FOR some, this war is an abstract thing, happening far from us. They add flags to social media, share crushes on President Zelensky, and go about their day.
But for me, this war is personal. It is devastating. After the first tanks rolled across the border, I knew I would never be the same again. Because I have a Ukranian cleaner.
Her name is Olga. She’s been with us since 2014 – through Brexit, through Covid, through the misadventures of our lockown puppy. In her I see the strength, the resolve and the fortitude that is being displayed from Kyiv to Kharkiv.
Unafraid of authority – you should hear her when I’m a couple of months late paying! – and like her countrymen, she won’t bow to fascism. Including the fascism being imposed on us by Covid rules, which is why she worked through lockdown.
Uninterested, by the look of her, in Western beauty standards. Unconcerned by her grey roots and missing teeth. And delightfully unwoke, to the extent that she shocks even me with her views on the Jews.
Not once have I heard Olga spouting nonsense about non-binary gender theory or calling for people to be no-platformed. Not for her decadent Western concerns.
She doesn’t believe in human rights or democracy or ‘live and let live’. Instead she just wants to go at the crusted urine in our downstairs loo like it’s an armoured personnel carrier filled with cringing Russkie conscripts.
Women like her don’t clock off early. Women like her don’t demand inflation-based pay rises. Women like her don’t judge you for drinking a bottle of wine at noon, unlike that bitch Swedish au pair.
She may be of the West but she could not be further from the cossetted Western woman airily pronouncing on politics she knows nothing about from her kitchen table, making everything about her.
Women like her get the job done, whether it takes bleach, toxic oven cleaner or a homemade petrol bomb. Olga is why the Ukraine will win. And I stand in solidarity with her, and that cutie Zelensky, against Putin.
We don’t need to speak about it. We never have. She’s upstairs cleaning the en-suite at the moment but she knows that I respect her, and value her, and I will not stop until she, and her countrymen, are finally free.