On my daily bike rides through the lovely city of Oxford, I notice that the rainbow banners of the sexual revolution, which normally fly from the ancient colleges, are now being replaced by Ukrainian flags.
For anyone who has actually been to Ukraine or knows about its less-than-charming nationalist militias, this is something of a puzzle.
I cannot see my old friend Peter Tatchell getting on very well with the dogged fighters of the Azov Battalion (and let’s face it, these neo-Nazis can fight), or their friends in the Right Sector.
But life is so much more complicated than it looks, and politics even more so. We have barely escaped from the rigid conformism of the Covid panic, when dissent was perilous.
Yet we are already embarked on a new cult of Ukraine worship which it is risky to challenge. And it is, yet again, the same people, and the same movement.
Whichever one of these tribes it is – Extinction Rebellion with its furious intolerant Greenery, the rainbow flag people, the fanatics who wear face masks as they stride across high hills in howling gales – they all require obedience from the rest of us and have no time for any voice of dissent.
Of course any civilised person is disgusted, as I am, by Vladimir Putin’s lawless and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
Any civilised person wishes to help the civilians whose lives have been cruelly ruined by Russian bombs and artillery. And who cannot be moved by the fight of a small nation against a large one?
But must we then stop thinking? How did we get into this mess? How do we get out of it? Not, I think, by embracing Ukrainian nationalism ourselves.