The UK is to begin economic sanctions against Russia immediately, in response to the military occupation of the southern Ukraine. The sanctions are to hit Russia where it hurts, said Prime Minister David Cameron, and will begin with a total ban on exports of Elton John.
Putin recently admitted that the "brown dirt cowboy" is very popular in the former USSR, despite his homosexuality. As it happens, an Arctic convoy is currently en route to Murmansk in northern Russia with an entire ship-ful of John's CDs, gramophone records and tapes. The ship containing the cargo has been ordered to be scuttled.
Russian imports to the UK are also likely to be restricted. However, there may be some difficulty in enforcing this - the largest import is smuggled sex workers. Prostitutes are often trafficked into the UK by the Russian mafia in horrific conditions, sometimes having to hide inside one another to evade border controls.
Military analyst Wynott Newcombe said that these days there was no appetite in the West for a war against a country with a strong ability to fight back, so the only options were to use economic and cultural influence. If Britain were to try to conquer the Crimea today, he said, then instead of the Light Brigade it would probably send the Electric Light Orchestra.
There is little doubt that the Russians will see the lack of military action as a further sign of Western weakness and decadence. As Putin said today when trying to justify the invasion, "Imagine if part of your country wanted to become independent but that part contained all your nuclear fleet. Of course you would send in the army to defend it. But I wouldn't expect anyone in the UK to understand.