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  • Charles Drazin

But war starts at midnight...

Is Putin about to kick us in the pants? The question reminds me of a favourite old movie. Powell & Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is nearly eighty years old but it takes on new relevance in the light of the current Russia–Ukraine crisis.

Colonel Wynne-Candy is indignant when a raiding party of British soldiers takes him prisoner in a Turkish bath before the war exercise is scheduled to begin. “But war starts at midnight,” he complains.

“Oh yes. You say war starts at midnight. How do you know the enemy says so too?”

“But my dear fellow that was agreed, wasn’t it?”

“Agreed my foot. How many agreements have been kept by the enemy since this war started? We agree to keep to the rules of the game and they go on kicking us in the pants…”


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