Wednesday 31 August 2022

Mikhail Gorbachev has died


The figures who bestrode the world stage in my youth were President Reagan, Mrs. Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and above all Mikhail Gorbachev, who died yesterday.

Sir Roger Scruton called Graham Greene the first and most embarrassing of the Gorbymaniacs and I was an early one too.

Charles Moore and the Spectator warned us (accurately) that Gorbachev’s intention was to revitalise Leninism, but I was sure that was impossible.

He lost power not because economic freedom and autocracy are incompatible (obviously they are not) but because Stalin’s 1935 Soviet Constitution gave the fifteen so called union republics the right to secede.

Had the US Constitution had a similar provision the civil war could have been avoided and 700,000 lives not lost.

In his last years two things anguished Gorbachev: Putin’s undemocratic rule and US foreign policy.

In 2014 he criticised the USA for starting a new cold war. In his last interview with TASS on 20 January 2021, Gorbachev called on Joe Biden to begin talks with the Kremlin in order to make the two countries' "intentions and actions clearer".

On 24 December 2021, Gorbachev said that the United States "grew arrogant and self-confident" after the collapse of the Soviet Union, resulting in "a new empire. Hence the idea of NATO expansion."

It's the last day of summer, ahead of us a terrible winter thanks to the proxy war with Russia and climate alarmism.

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