WITH the deaths of important people highlighted by the disappearance of Queen Elizabeth, I would like to bring readers back to the life of Mikhail Gorbachev, who died on August 30 at the age of 91. He was a member of the Communist Party. , therefore politically far removed from the majority opinions of the Scottish population and the growing gap with England.
A bad man though? Certainly not. He did not manage the transition of the Soviet economy, and for this he was replaced. The rest, as they say, is history.
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Having recently watched the 2019 Chernobyl miniseries, which was a dramatization of the events of April 1986, I was fascinated by how the former Soviet Union was riddled with the same human traits that ravaged the opposite side of the political spectrum.
Gorbachev took the right stance and listened to his experts and averted a larger catastrophe affecting up to 50 million people in the Soviet Union and beyond. The Dnieper River, as we also know, flows through Ukraine and could have been poisoned with nuclear core and waste all the way to the Black Sea. If not, it was because of Gorbachev’s strong stance against the previous doctrine of secrecy and this is within the established leadership of the Kremlin and further down the political food chain.
Likewise, our British government at the start of the Covid pandemic offered the same initial nonsense the Soviets did about Chernobyl. Covid was just a “flu” and “herd immunity will protect us over time”, don’t worry, no lockdown was needed. The pundits, unhappy with the Johnson government’s downplaying of gravity, left and gave a briefing.
The delay in implementing the lockdown has been tagged with responsibility for the deaths of a further 20,000 people.
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The Soviet Union, to its credit, organized a trial in which these causal factors were investigated and disseminated. People in the middle of the political food chain have been found guilty and justice served.
By contrast, our UK Government appears to be filling the Board of Inquiry with individuals who have already expressed their condemnation of the Boris Johnson inquiry process and the Covid supply contract process, the VIP supply policy and even the the purchase of PPE that was not usable. or fit for purpose.
In trying to avoid scrutiny, our UK government is mimicking the same old processes that Gorbachev overthrew and Putin is reinstating, where the truth is what they say it is, and if you don’t toe the line, you won’t work yet.
Allegra Stratton immediately comes to mind, regarding Partygate – how do we defend or spin this?
How strange, the British government operating in Soviet mode.
THANK YOU to Lesley Riddoch for the excellent primer on Jean Sibelias (Finnish composer and lessons we can learn from Nordic neighbours, Sept. 14). It brought back very distant memories of my time as an art student.
Along with academic studies of the artistic movements of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, we also learned American and Russian literature, and romantic classical music, over a more or less parallel period.
Suffice it to say that Jean Sibelias was one of those composers I was introduced to. I bought the Kerelia Suite LP and played it often at quiet times in my student “digs”.
Lesley’s reference to this composition and others from Sibelias gave me greater insight into her music and the political attachments described in her article. I made use of his references, such as the Swan of Tuonela and the Song of the Athenians, all of which gave me additional insight into Finland’s long, long fight for independence.
I was vaguely aware of the Russian takeover except for the origins and political association of the composition Finlandia it was a celebration of the successful declaration of independence from Russia in 1917 by Parliament Finnish.
So thank you again for the memories and the beautiful history of Finland and its famous musical composer, Jean Sibelias.
ALTHOUGH I never heard the 6am or 7am news on Radio 4 that Dr Lindsay Neil mentioned in his letter on Tuesday (it’s way too early for me), I totally agree with his comments on the “royal party after the procession DOWN the Royal Mile in Saint-Gilles”.
However, if I had heard the announcer speak of Holyrood, pronouncing it “Holy” and not “Holly”, I would have clapped to finally hear the correct pronunciation.
Unfortunately, most Scottish radio and television announcers, as well as MSPs, use the incorrect form of ‘Hollyrood’, which may either indicate poor standards of teaching Scottish history, or possibly indicate the anti-Catholic bias that still exists. in Scotland despite the fact that “John Knox drove the Catholics out of Scotland”, as BBC 1 announcers believe.