Call Nick Ross - radio phone-in debating programme: live broadcast. Sample containing about 9671 words speech recorded in leisure context

19 speakers recorded by respondent number C775

KJSPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS002 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS003 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS004 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS005 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS006 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS007 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS008 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS009 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00A X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00B X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00C X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00D X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00E X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00F X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPS00G X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
KJSPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
KJSPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 007701 recorded on 1991-08-27. LocationGreater London: london ( radio studio ) Activity: live broadcast Phone in

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (KJSPSUNK) [1] There will be no wavering from the course of reform, there will be no more compromises with people whose views are beyond the pale.
[2] Thus, [...] how Gorbachev finally called for a free market, free elections and freedom from the Soviet Republics that want to leave the Union.
[3] The traumas of the last week will reverberate through history, are you rejoicing or is your jubilation tempered with unease.
[4] A nuclear super power is now utterly unstable, authority has broken down, the infrastructure has virtually collapsed, last night there were dire warnings of civil strike and even civil war.
[5] How should we respond?
[6] What should we do to help re-build the frail economy, prevent old scores from being settled in ways which will lead to even further insecurity.
[7] In sure that there domestic problems don't spill out across there borders.
[8] Today John Major will discuss the West response with the Americans and Douglas Hurd will meet our European partners.
[9] Should we too except part of the blame for last week's turbulent defence?
[10] Have we been beguiled by Mr Gorbachev?
[11] Have we to lack the courage to support the radical reformists and break away Republics?
[12] What hopes and fears do you have?
[13] Please do call, with me is the professor of Russian studies at London University, Geoffrey Hoskin, and on the line from Blackpool already, Peter White.
[14] What do you feel about the developments over the last er few days, are you rejoicing at them?
(KJSPS001) [15] Erm, I am tentatively erm provisionally very hopeful, but I am fearful of a number of things, I three observations in respect, [...] observations in respect of them.
[16] I thank Mr [...] .
[17] John Major should plead with George Bush not too let the C I A start it's own secret foreign policy deals.
[18] Either with the rump of Soviet Central Power or with the separating Republics.
[19] I think that the C I A, er, would accelerate potential for chaos, I don't think one needs necessarily to look at 1789 or 1917 too know how great will be the dangers of civil war, possibly starting from entering public boundaries dispute, or of militaristic counter coups which threatens neighbours and rather in a, possible in a [...] way.
[20] I think we should therefore hold the fight until a clear pattern emerges and certainly avoid international incidents which might tempt the Red Army, either at Union level or in the Republics and finally I think perhaps one useful thing we could do is too assist initially, and I stress initially, well disposed Republics with bread and sausages.
[21] Freedom from Communism is not going to last the flag very long if it's identified with a freedom to starve.
(KJSPS000) [22] Liberalism and Democracy don't flourish on an empty stomach.
[23] Is, is the a ... a danger Geoffrey Hoskin that the instability in the Soviet Union, if one can still call it, a Union, could effect us, could spill out across its borders?
(KJSPS002) [24] Yes, there certainly is, er, there we have this huge empire on our Eastern frontiers with nuclear weapons, er, possibly descending into major civil War and communal violence.
[25] Er, people with unknown ambitions, frontiers that they want to adjust and so on.
[26] So it seems to me first of all that we should maintain a state of military preparedness, not because the Soviet Union is likely to attack us, but, simply because it represents this huge area of instability on our Eastern Frontiers, but I think also we should be more positive, I don't think we want to do secret deals in C I A style, er, in fact I think we want the maximum of open diplomacy.
[27] I think we can help the Soviet populations to get through the coming winter, with, with, food aid, cos I think there gonna have a very bumpy winter er, in the economic sense, and then I think we should also, er, be involved in sorting out the military future of Europe, because it's Europe as a whole that we're talking about now.
[28] There be NATO in the West and then there will be the ex-Soviet Union probably of some kind of military alliance in the East, and I think that we need to be in constant contact with one another discussing the changes that are going on.
[29] The Russians will be very ready to respond to this and I think even more so the other Republics.
[30] They want peace as much as we do.
(KJSPS000) [31] Peter White, this instability could result as people have been warning in Civil War, that we've already heard about venturism being er, suggested by the Russian leader Boris Yeltsin it, he might try to change the boundaries of the Soviet Republics.
[32] He might try to take over on [...] of Russian speaking peoples in other Republics, that could lead to the sort of situation we're seeing in ... in Yugoslavia now.
(KJSPS001) [33] But .
(KJSPS000) [34] If that did happen, should we try to intervene, should we offer to put in some sort of peace-keeping force or should we just leave them to it?
(KJSPS001) [35] Erm, funnily enough earlier on in August, erm, I rang you up about Yugoslavia, and er, I, one of the reasons that I gave for not, the Europeans, not intervening in Yugoslavia was my fear that it might lead to the Russian military unseating Gorbachev and my, er, discard that the, the sick man of Russia, so erm, sort of parallel I, well I wouldn't parallel it with Yugoslavia, my argument in Yugoslavia was that we shouldn't intervene because we do not have primary interests with, I mean, well we clearly have general interest but we don't have primary interest, additionally in Russia is that everybody, in the world have interest but I would definitely here say that Britain should clearly do nothing per [...] .
(KJSPS002) [36] Let me do that, let me .
(KJSPS001) [37] We, in the election and we should, and we should wait for America and try and advise America a ... a ... and, and take a [...] view, a ... a ... it ... oh ... o ... otherwise madness lies, if there were people who gonna make deals with bits of Russia for this grievance we're gonna be in a terrible state.
(KJSPS000) [38] Hello , from South London, [...] , do ... do you agree with that, we shouldn't get involved if civil conflict breaks out there?
(KJSPS003) [39] No, not really I think erm, er first of all I think very important that especially with the Baltic share the public the [...] should not give the commission to the Baltic public until, unless the Republic itself guaranteed the right of the Russian and minority and the Polish minority and the ... and the Republic.
[40] We [...] .
(KJSPS000) [41] We should not grant recognition to the Baltic states or any other So ... Soviet Republics unless they guarantee human rights?
(KJSPS003) [42] Exactly, unless they guarantee human rights er, you see, what's really happening especially in the Baltic, that is er there, there is an anti Russian feeling you know, and er there is element in ... in the Baltic Republic who want to er, want to deport the Russian population who've been there for maybe for the last forty five years.
(KJSPS000) [43] How, how do you know this?
[44] Do you come from there or have ... have you been there?.
(KJSPS003) [45] No, no, no, I see that , I have erm, [...] Soviet [...] was an ex-commons before, and I know, follow the Soviet history, so in a sense, I think is a very important to ... to give protection to the population, to, to, er to the Russian population, the Polish population and the Baltic.
[46] The same applies to the Ukrainian and the other Asian of populate.
[47] I think we should encourage this, the ... the signing of the treaty rather than to rush too, er, to the recognition like of German and the French.
(KJSPS000) [48] Professor Hoskin.
(KJSPS002) [49] Yes, I think the point that's made there is fair enough, er, the Russians indeed feel oppressed in the Baltic and, and probably in other Republics as well.
[50] I'm not sure that withholding diplomatic recognition is the best way to approach that, after all diplomatic recognition is concerned really with the effective control of territory and things like that rather than with moral principles, however, I think that er, when the Soviet Republics are signing their new Union Treaty or Commonwealth Treaty or whatever it's going to be called by that time, this question should be amongst the most important to be tackled there, that's to say the rights of ethnic minorities living in Republican Territories, that they should have the right to educate their children in their own language, that they should have the right to their own religion and so on and so forth.
[51] I don't know that we in Britain should be directly involved in defending those things, but there is the Helsinki process the C S C E process which is a Europe wide arrangement which among other things exist, there to ensure that these rights are observed.
[52] So I'm, I don't think that should be used as a weapon in diplomatic recognition.
(KJSPS000) [53] But do you agree that we should put diplomatic pressure that George Bush should, the Europeans should, Douglas Hurd should, and say look guys whatever you do, if it, though were prepared to recognise you as an independent state, don't take it out on the Russians?
(KJSPS002) [54] Yes I do think we should, because er this is one of the most important pot potential areas of instability, these ethnic conflicts arising within Republic sort of broken away.
(KJSPS000) [55] Chris Perry from Stockwell again in South London.
(KJSPS004) [56] Good morning.
(KJSPS000) [57] Hello, what do you feel we should do?
(KJSPS004) [58] Well, I'm very uneasy about the er, principle that some people are discussing of taking sides er, er, in the internal affairs of er other countries and in this case there the Soviet Union.
[59] Er, we did it erm, er just after 1919 when er, er we started backing the white Russians and erm, before we write off erm everything the Communist er Government of er Russia has done over the last seventy years as being evil, what I think we've got to be aware of is that we may once more be unleashing the forces of nationalism, which in 1914, and I think of going up er in the period in the thirties very much lead to erm two world wars, and er I'd like to know more about er some of the forces the so called democratic forces that are backing erm Mr Yeltsin.
(KJSPS000) [60] Well I don't think there's any danger of us unleashing the nationalism.
[61] The nationalism is there at ... at the end of the lead already isn't it?
(KJSPS004) [62] Yes, but er I think that erm, before we champion er, or back er people like Mr Yeltsin and say that they rep represent progressive forces, I'd like to be clear about where those forces see themselves going, because I don't see nationalism as a progressive force in the er, in the last decade of the twentieth century, I think we need to be concentrating on those people who are trying to build a new international order rather than splitting things up in the Soviet Union in a way which may be catastrophic.
(KJSPS000) [63] Professor Hoskin, how worrying is this rise of, of nationalism in the narrow sense of the word and er your concerns about adventurism by Boris Yeltsin that concerns the republics, er, which might suffer considerably, Armenia for example, has always been er some sort of conflict with its neighbour like [...] .
(KJSPS002) [64] Yes.
[65] Well some of these national conflicts have been artificially created by the Soviet State, but of course some of them haven't like the Azerbaijan Armenian Border conflict, that's been going on for centuries, it was existed before the Soviet [...] and it's gonna go on existing after it.
[66] Erm, I think Yeltsin's threat as it were to the Ukrainian is actually a diplomatic move, he wants Ukraine to remain within the Soviet Union, er and if it does so he's not going to make an issue of the border, but, er, if it does break away completely I think what he's saying is well there's a frontier that we're going to have to reconsider because large Eastern areas of Ukraine including huge industrial towns are predominantly populated by Russians.
[67] Now of course if Ukraine were to give er water tight guarantees of cultural autonomy to those Russians then probably that would cease to be a serious pointed issue.
(KJSPS000) [68] President of er has warned that there could be a real and serious civil war and the conflict that there is between Armenian people and Azerbaijan, I'm not sure that I understand it, but I suppose it has some similarities to so many other conflicts we see around the world, Northern Ireland, er Yugoslavia, just, it goes back hundreds of years and .
(KJSPS002) [69] Yes , well it's, it's the classic Muslim Christian Frontier, you know, it's like Southern Spain in the middle ages and so on, you know .
(KJSPS000) [70] I was being suppressed by Central Authorities for so long, but now they've taken the lid off.
(KJSPS002) [71] That's right it's been smothered under a kind of blanket, and that blanket has now been taken off.
[72] Er President of Kazakhstan of course he's president of a country where again Northern Kazakhstan has a huge Russian, compact Russian population that might want to break away.
[73] Now if these issues are badly handled, yes there could be civil war between the Republics.
(KJSPS000) [74] Percy [...] is er ringing up now, from, from London, what are your concerns?
(KJSPS005) [75] Yes, er I'm very worried about this aspect of er whose finger er on the nuclear trigger, because the nuclear referee in the Soviet Union is divided between mainly peace states, Russia, Ukraine and [...] , now Boris Yeltsin has said that he is going to protect his Russian minorities in Ukraine and [...] , now I fear that if that comes to some kind of a conflict then it'll be very uncertain as to what arrangement could be made about er, honouring international agreement and about [...] ultimately too er, any kind of nuclear er congregation.
(KJSPS000) [76] Well Boris Yeltsin this morning has said that he wants a veto over the use of nuclear weapons and about ninety percent of which I think are on Russian soil, that perhaps can be interpreted, [...] additional safeguard to have another veto.
[77] You've got to get Boris's agreement before anyone can press the trigger or is this actually much more dangerous than it sounds, is he saying we want to take over the nuclear weapons .
(KJSPS002) [78] Well again it could be sinister if things get out of hand, but er, er, and I think the speaker's warning in that respect is fully justified.
[79] Er the former Soviet Republics are going to have to decide what kind of defensive alliance they want among themselves.
[80] Ukraine for example is already stated in its er declaration of Sovereignty that it regards itself as a non nuclear zone, so they're not going to want nuclear weapons for themselves, and er, I imagine that the former republics will have to [...] quite a ... a comprehensive military alliance perhaps on the lines of NATO and that nuclear weapons will be vested in that alliance.
[81] Russia will be the leader of that alliance and therefore like America NATO will probably have the decisive say on what's done with those nuclear weapons.
[82] That's how I see things evolving, er but it must be said that Russian statesmen have got to have this self restraint not to abuse those nuclear weapons just as the United States has had to.
(KJSPS000) [83] Of course if independent Republics do get control of their own weapons, it's blown out of the water, their non proliferation treaty [...] caught you hasn't it?
(KJSPS005) [84] Yes of course it is and er, that, that points er to the ... the danger of ... of a the disintegration of the Soviet Union, I, I [...] .
(KJSPS000) [85] This is an area in which we legitimately can get involved do you think?
(KJSPS005) [86] Beg your pardon?
(KJSPS000) [87] Do you think this is an area in which we can legitimately get involved?
(KJSPS005) [88] Yes most certainly because er the point is that er we're involved er with the erm, er and the honouring of the start of an agreement, and er I think that the West er therefore has er direct er responsibility also in this matter and er I fear that er ten percent, er alright ten percent of the nuclear weaponry is in Ukraine is in [...] and er we do not er have some kind of proper arrangement being er agreed too.
[89] Then er even one percent of nuclear weaponry that er could be used is a danger to world congregation and I fear very much er that unless there is some kind of a proper cast iron guarantee er with the successor to the Soviet Union er there's going to be much er trouble especially if er there is an ethnic violence er erupting on the borders and again er Boris Yeltsin has said that er, er he is going to want to control er the position on the borders, well he may not get the agreement that he seeks, er one hopes that he will, but he, he may not.
(KJSPS000) [90] Okay from er High Wycombe, are you fearful of what's developing or are you delighted at events?
(KJSPS006) [91] I'm absolutely delighted.
[92] I'm, I'm, quite amazed that, that, the question has even been asked, you know, that er that, that, er is this a good thing, I mean er presumably the people that are arguing that it's not a good thing and that are concerned about events are actually condoning imperialism, er these people seem to think that it's okay for a country to be occupied er like Poland was occupied by Germany and Czechoslovakia and France, that's okay er and in fact you know we should just turn a blind eye to it and just let it carry on forever .
(KJSPS000) [93] I'll be arguing that the end of imperialism and communism might be a wonderful thing, but that period of instability, that period of change can be very dangerous.
(KJSPS006) [94] Well of course, and er, and er Lithuania has right from the beginning er embarked on a, a sort of a campaign for independence in a most impeccably peaceful way.
(KJSPS000) [95] Despite your English accent are you Lithuanian?
(KJSPS006) [96] My father's Lithuanian.
(KJSPS000) [97] Hm, hm.
(KJSPS006) [98] I sort of regard myself as a sort of a dual nationality now, but that's one thing I'll be looking at, er in the next few months hopefully.
[99] Yes, I, obviously Lithuania is the, is the country I'm most concerned about.
(KJSPS000) [100] We've had er callers earlier on suggesting that there could be problems between Russians and Lithuanians if an [...] goes there, which seems almost certain it will now.
[101] Would you be happy for Britain, European partners and the Americans to recognise Lithuania's independence while at the same time saying look don't take it out on Russians who are living within your borders, observe human rights and all the rest of it, is, is that our affairs, and our business?
(KJSPS006) [102] Well I did hear that point, it's, it's interesting because in fact Lithuania er [...] President Boris Yeltsin signed an agreement in July, er which effectively Russia recognise Lithuania as an independent state, it was the second country in the world to do that, er all of this was sorted out in a very er, good, er peaceful, sensible way, there, obviously Russia has concerns in Lithuania er not least the district.
[103] All of that was sorted out and agreed and that's the way to progress in these matters.
[104] People get a very negative attitude, they think that these, like there was a caller recently that sort of equated nationalism with er, with you know Nazis and, that's completely wrong, I mean, but, and, and, you're all in the news you're always hearing about the radical nationalist deputies as if they're some sort of strange breed of person, but in fact they're just like the MPs in our House of Commons, democratically elected people, sensible people who want peace, they want prosperity for their country and er, there's, there's no mad empire imperial ambitions, Lithuania has no need for an army or anything, but er apart from just maintaining er internal er control, but er people have a very strange attitude a very anti nationalists, I find it curious.
(KJSPS000) [105] Would you like Lithuania to be part of some sort of erm, Soviet Federation, voluntarily I mean just some loose trading or defence partnership?
(KJSPS006) [106] I'm, I'm sure that would happen, but Lithuania, if, if it had the er complete independence to er choose it's own trading partners, it's own defence partners, then it would make sense for Lithuania to have some sort of a ... a trading arrangement with the old communist block and .
(KJSPS000) [107] Ra ... rather , so the E C can become a member of NATO?
(KJSPS006) [108] Well, I, I, the way I see it going is that the E C will expand to [...] not only Lithuania about being [...] but also other, other, er forms of Soviet Republics.
(KJSPS002) [109] I was struck too by the way in which we started the programme by considering the dangers of the situation and there's no doubt that that's correct, but it is important to say, perhaps the most important thing is that the end of isn't in the Soviet Union and the break up of the Soviet Empire is an enormously positive event for all of us, for the citizens of the Soviet Union and for us in the West it gives the opportunity for much greater stability, real stability, peace and prosperity then ever existed under the old regime.
[110] With all that said of course the transition period is going to be very dangerous for the kind of reasons we've been talking about already and I think is right too when he says that er, the so called nationalist in the non Russian Republics, if you're a Democrat in a empire, then you are inevitably a nationalist as well because you want your nation to have its natural human rights.
(KJSPS000) [111] Andrew Campbell from er Coggeshall in Essex, what do you feel about this?
(KJSPS007) [112] Erm, I think it's probably inevitable but most of the Republics will become independent, but I think the idea of them becoming independent in their present borders is very worrying indeed cos that, most of the borders are grossly irrational and [...] becoming independent with those borders [...] ethnic conflicts built into it, erm, and I think unless there's some sort of er negotiations about what border these countries will have before they become inde ... independent, we could see quite a lot of bloodshed.
(KJSPS000) [113] In fact some of the Republics have such ... such a mixed population, it's almost impossible to see how they could be separated out, [...] Russians and Tartars erm, and all the rest of it, all intermingled to some extent.
[114] Is it possible Geoffrey Hoskin to have some sort of sort out, where people could be encouraged, compensated perhaps to leave their villages and towns and go back to the Republic from which their parents or grandparents originally came?
(KJSPS002) [115] Yes, I don't think changing borders is the right way to approach this problem.
[116] In some cases population [...] intermingled there's bound to be conflict whatever happens, it seems to me that these problems can only be solved, first of all by ensuring that all eth ... ethnic groups have the right to their own culture, their own language, their own religion and so on and to exercise them in their own territory, but they're not discriminated again in jobs and housing and education, er and then also as you say to help with state sponsored finance people who do decide that they want to migrate, that they don't want to live in somebody else's Republic, that they do want to move across the border into, as it were, their own Republic.
[117] Adjusting frontiers is historically enormously difficult, there may be two or three very clear cases in the Soviet Union when it came be done without much dispute by general agreement, but on the whole I reckon that observation of human rights is the way to approach this, and then of course the er growth of economic prosperity if it comes will actually help to ease these problems.
(KJSPS000) [118] Andrew Campbell here we are ... handing out advice well intentioned, but I wonder if er Russians and Kazakhstanis and all the rest aren't going to say mind your own business, leave us to sort this out.
(KJSPS007) [119] Erm, well, I am a bit doubtful about Geoffrey Hoskin's point of view, erm because he's assuming erm, sort of democratic goodwill etc, on the part of these governments and I don't think that's necessarily so.
[120] I mean I think the most blatant example is the which is erm ninety per cent Armenian population.
[121] is part of [...] which I think is just ridiculous and [...] will be a nice well meaning democratic tolerant guy in [...] but considering the history of those two countries I rather doubt it erm and I, I think the best way of securing er the safety of that population is actually to change the border before the borders are ... are fixed and settled and before these countries actually become independent.
(KJSPS000) [122] Geoffrey Hoskins [...] ... are already reports of erm an enormous number of refugees trying to get out of parts of the er Soviet Union , in Poland I think in one area they've closed the borders having let through twenty seven thousand refugees in one day, there are now huge tailbacks of traffic at the border post.
[123] Henry Kissinger warned yesterday this might happen, do you fear that we could face a flood of refugees?
(KJSPS002) [124] Yeah, yeah .
[125] Well it is possible of course and I think that er the European Nations, including those in Eastern Europe er ought to be getting together to consult about what we can do, because I don't think it's right simply to send these refugees back as the er Italians have been doing, er in fact there likely to be amongst .
(KJSPS000) [126] They've been doing it to Albanians at [...] .
(KJSPS002) [127] Yes to Albanians that's right.
[128] Erm, I think these refugees are likely to include the most enterprising, the best trained and so on, they'll be a grave loss to the Soviet economy, erm, but I think they're a potential gain to us and er, I don't think that, I think therefore we should make arrangements to try and absorb them if we can and, and let them contribute as they undoubtedly will to our own economies.
(KJSPS000) [129] Well what do you think if there's a mass migration from Soviet territories, should we absorb those immigrants into the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, it's just after half past nine, you're listening to Radio Four, this is Nick Ross, we're discussing, as you've no doubt gathered, events in the Soviet Union and how they affect us, what, if anything we can do to influence them.
[130] Graham Bishop is on the line from Brighton in Sussex.
(KJSPS008) [131] Hello there, erm I was calling in to sort of object to the erm whole presentation of recent events in the, in the Soviet Union.
[132] Firstly I don't think there's a substantial disagreement between Yeltsin and the so called hard liners, except over the question of timing so as to win the market and someone's introduced them to the Soviet Union, and secondly I don't think you can treat Boris Yeltsin as some kind of democrat at all, [...] on August the twelfth he threatened to rule Russia by decree just at the [...] definitely [...] senators and the Russian nationalism and he built some sort of support and I, I think it's very wrong to characterise the events there with the revolution, more it's been, it's been much more of a power struggle between different sections of the you know, the elite there along the lines of the events in Romania.
(KJSPS000) [133] Can we just [...] the two things you've said.
[134] Firstly that, he's a hardliner erm just like the others, I mean are you talking about and and and [...] the people who lead the, the coup and that you're saying Yeltsin's no different from them?
(KJSPS008) [135] I think the key point is Yeltsin, like Gorbachev, unlike the coup leaders is part of a very privileged elite in the Soviet Union and the difference is that to express the erm, you know trying to put them, advance themselves in society at the expense of the rest of Soviet's society, applicable difference is erm much more inventive and sort of packed on the end to justify er that, that the moves they are making, I mean at, you know like I say that can be seen in the very [...] democratic step that Yeltsin's been taking since he's been the Russian president.
(KJSPS000) [136] I must say Professor Hoskin I was rather struck by pictures in the papers today, yesterday of Boris Yeltsin standing over a boar he'd shot, it was strongly reminiscent of pictures we've seen of the former president of Romania, Ceauşescu.
(KJSPS002) [137] Right and indeed , er I, I must er correct the impression that Yeltsin is anti-semitic, I don't think there's any evidence of that at all, er, a ... and, er I, I would regard that really as a slander on his character, but er, er Russian nationalist, this is a very delicate question.
[138] We've always in the West used the term Russian nationalist as one of abuse, er and that it seems to me as, because it's always in the past been associated with empire, Russian nationalists in practice have oppressed other people, but after all why should the Russians not be patriotic just as the British as er a citizen or a Frenchman can be patriotic, er provided that that doesn't go with oppressing other people.
[139] Now it seems to me that er Yeltsin's that kind of Russian patriot and he's shown it by concluding treaties as equal partners with Ukraine, with the Baltic Republics and so on er in which he said that er Russia is no longer going to interfere in their internal affairs, so they ... they are equal partners in these treaties.
[140] So that.
(KJSPS008) [141] But that that contradicted [...] today, when he's not only threatened to intervene against the Republics that have been attacking their [...] minorities but erm, since he's become Russian president he's constantly threatened and the area of [...] and you know denied it sort of national [...] .
[142] I think the ... the key point about patriotism is one reason why perhaps people in, in Britain and so on shouldn't be patriotic too, but if you see the rather cynical attitude of the Western countries towards recent events, not just in Russia but right across the Eastern block, [...] very good example was condemned, erm but when, following the massacres erm, the West has gone on to sort of do deals with the winners and cultivate links er with the people responsible for that massacre, the killing of the Soviet Union went the other way and consequently erm that's where you know Western resources are directed.
[143] I'm sure if the hardliners have won, now that is erm, [...] would be dealing with them just as [...] now.
(KJSPS000) [144] There is a human characteristic that we like to think, see things in, in very clear cut ways and you're saying we shouldn't go overboard and just think that Boris Yeltsin because of his courage standing on the tank and, and helping to prevent the coup, we shouldn't go overboard and think that he's er the most marvellous human liberal democrat who ever walked the earth.
(KJSPS008) [145] I think, I think we should see it for what it is, which is a power struggle inside a ruling elite in the Soviet Union for which we don't really have an interest in taking sides.
(KJSPS002) [146] Er, of course er, Yeltsin does sometimes take [...] own measures and that's because the situation genuinely is very dangerous er and er, I think that everyone would agree that really.
(KJSPS000) [147] Anthony Kenny from Essex, what's your view on this?
(KJSPS009) [148] Good morning Nick.
(KJSPS000) [149] Hello.
(KJSPS009) [150] Nice to speak to you, erm, I'd just like to say that er, take me now as a, as a normal chap from England who looked across right through his life at Russia as the big bad bear and eight years ago I had the opportunity of going over there, just an ordinary chap and er, of course , there's so much about the Soviet Union we don't know, we did, we, erm, for instance we were over there in 1982 when they were celebrating sixty years of the incorporation of the saints into the Soviet Union.
[151] And I didn't even realise at that time that there were fifteen states in the Soviet Union.
[152] Now we travelled the best part of the Ukraine and we also dipped into and er we were there about a month, just under a month, and erm one of the impressions that I got there, just as an ordinary chap, no, not learned politically so I can't speak on the level er of most of your callers today, but er, I realise that here you had er people, in actual fact my my comment was the country's half finished, everywhere you went there were building constructions so far incomplete, er projects underway and you've got the impression that they did need communism in a way to make the thing work er, the er, let's take the Ukrainians, I mean that, that's where the Cossacks come from and they love a good time, er those sort of people in a way need a strong government.
(KJSPS000) [153] Are you, you saying that things could get worse now that erm communism is gone and is going to become even more impoverished .
(KJSPS009) [154] What I'm saying, yeah .
[155] You've got it in one.
[156] What I, what er, I in fact, what, what I did notice in that time that I was there, was that er, when you talk about the old guard, the young people, anybody under forty er they were a little bit cynical about this communism lark and Lenin and the rest of it, they all went to say, [...] they would all go to Lenin's er statue and in effect have a blessing from Lenin, we went along with them on one occasion, very pleased to do it, but you ... you got the impression that the younger generation were already in 1982 and [...] the people now that are out there with Yeltsin were shying away from communism, now the thing is this that Gorbachev came along in my opinion exactly at the right time and tried to move things a little our way a little way from the hardline, which obviously couldn't be sustained.
(KJSPS000) [157] And perestroika has actually caused economic problems not, not resolved them.
(KJSPS009) [158] Yeah, you're right, and that's what I'm saying, they have tried and I think they've let Gorbachev down.
(KJSPS000) [159] Let me put this to Geoffrey Hoskin, Professor Hoskin we've heard of a people ruled by Tsars and then by , is there going to be any thing but anarchy now?
[160] Will democracy really work?
(KJSPS002) [161] Well of course there isn't very much of a democratic tradition in Russia that's quite true, but that's very different from [...] of the Russians and all the [...] Soviet people and saying they're simply incapable of living under democracy.
[162] Any nation has to learn democracy er, and it seems to me that all the people of the Soviet Union have shown over the last four or five years a lively interest in politics and considerable [...] to participate in politics, er one of the problems is of course is that they've been doing so, too much and in too disorganised a way, they're going to have to get together .
(KJSPS009) [163] That's what I'm saying , they need, they need just a little, in fact we do here you could argue, er, I feel that all the elements there are of a [...] turning into something a bit ugly, I think, I think they were very quick to drop those statues down, now I know, I know the fellow who in, who set up the K G B could have been the most popular bloke in the Soviet Union, but nonetheless, er he was down within a day, I hear this morning that Yeltsin's talking about border changes and quite frankly they're moving too quick and Gorbachev at least was providing a bit of restraint, and I think it, they want to think in terms of decade.
(KJSPS000) [164] Ian ... Ian Cuthill from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, are you also concerned about instability there?
(KJSPS00A) [165] I certainly am.
[166] Erm I'd liked to discuss the point about what aid we can give to try and promote the stability and the event of prosperity of the country.
[167] Now the present British government is very anxious to give the Russians our financial expertise rather than practical help to promote a market economy.
(KJSPS000) [168] You think our financial expertise doesn't amount to practical help?
(KJSPS00A) [169] I certainly don't, because erm, according to this policy the first thing the Russian people have got to put up with is a high level of unemployment.
[170] Now I suggest that we .
(KJSPS000) [171] We've become quite expert at that haven't we?
(KJSPS00A) [172] Er, this is the point I'm going to make, this is absolute hypocrisy.
[173] I mean after thirty years of [...] policies our own real economy is [...] shambles, growing unemployment.
[174] Now I suggest that er don't you, it's [...] vast numbers of Russian people milling about with nothing to do is certainly not going to promote stability.
[175] What the Russians want is technical help and equipment, now our own industry is in decline er yes, particularly in machine tool industry, and I think the first thing we should do is to go over there and see what it is they actually needed, what they actually need right now, er one of your previous er correspondence, er speaker turned round and said well they've got half finished buildings and things like that, I mean er, people have got to be put to work because people in co-ordinate employment is the only source of real wealth, but the market economy isn't interested in promoting real wealth, I mean it's only interested in what it can get out of an economy not what it gives .
(KJSPS000) [176] If, if were going to give them transfer real wealth, machine tools and all the rest.
(KJSPS00A) [177] Yeah.
(KJSPS000) [178] How's it going to be paid for?
[179] Are we going to divert er an aid programme from the third world to prevent people starving and so forth to the Soviet Union or are we going to have er funds from the National Health Service, from Education, who's going to find the money?
(KJSPS00A) [180] Erm, is the money really, erm, this is, I think this is a bit of a bogey.
[181] A country can produce these days as much money as it wants.
(KJSPS000) [182] Only, only if it creates inflation.
(KJSPS00A) [183] Er, yes, but if you're exporting the stuff why should it create inflation?
[184] I mean this is ... the ... the cause of inflation surely is to have more, too much money taken too few goods and if you produce more goods this helps to deflate, er we didn't have inflation thirty years ago.
(KJSPS000) [185] Well this is a marvellous new form of economics, if we could just create things and er export them without getting paid for them and it wouldn't [...] us.
(KJSPS00A) [186] That's right.
(KJSPS000) [187] We could .
(KJSPS00A) [188] We could because the sense of wealth is people at work have people scratching their backsides doing nothing erm is absolute, er you know is lunacy.
(KJSPS000) [189] But the .
[190] The fundamental point that you make is we shouldn't be simply offering good advice or, or bad advice, we should be offering real aid, real goods.
(KJSPS00A) [191] That's right.
(KJSPS000) [192] And doing so for the goods .
(KJSPS00A) [193] Er the goods that what, not goods that we want to give them like junk food and ludicrous fashions, to find out what it is that they want this [...] of equipment and no, and don't forget the know-how, I mean we are, we have a hell of a Know-how in this country which is not being used.
(KJSPS000) [194] Okay.
[195] Let me get to Somerset to and Commander Michael Blake, are you a Naval Commander incidentally?
(KJSPS00B) [196] Yes, I'm retired.
(KJSPS000) [197] Er, do you think we should er give substantial aid to the Soviet Union?
(KJSPS00B) [198] Well the er point I'd like to make is that as of last Saturday the er, erm, the Soviets were building a new submarine every forty days, they're spending thirty five percent of the G N P.
[199] on armaments and erm, I, wouldn't it be prudent to insure that erm they stop spending all this money on armaments before any aid is given to them?
(KJSPS000) [200] I thought it was twenty five percent of their [...] it's a big sum anyway.
(KJSPS00B) [201] No, I , [laugh] it's an enormous sum I mean I don't think anybody in the West is spending er ... as much as ten percent on armaments and er I heard a [...] on television not so long ago saying that in [...] eighty percent of their industry is on armaments.
(KJSPS000) [202] Geoffrey Hoskin.
(KJSPS002) [203] Yes, I think that we could actually kill as it were two birds with one stone here er, the conversion of military industry into civilian industry has begun in the Soviet Union but it was going very slowly and part of the reason for that is, is it's very expensive, now that seems to me a worthy recipient for Western direct economic aid.
(KJSPS000) [204] But another reason is presumably in the past, because the military was terribly powerful, much more powerful before the coup than now and Gorbachev was frightened to start dismantling it too [...] .
(KJSPS002) [205] Precisely that's why this is an excellent moment to offer precisely that kind of aid because those obstacles have been largely removed.
(KJSPS000) [206] So Commander Blake we should not just offer a stick saying that we ... we aren't going to help you until we start dismantling your military programme, we should offer carrots too, do you agree?
(KJSPS00B) [207] Well I, I ... I, I don't mind how it's done but erm I hear nothing on the many people on, you know, who talk about erm giving aid erm a dread from this problem is this vast erm amount of the G M P and going on armaments and going on one way and another.
[208] I would have thought they've simply, it had to be agreed that that was stopped and then as the professor has said, I mean we give all the aid we can to turn their erm military er industry into erm, what was it, [...] instead of guns.
(KJSPS000) [209] We move to another caller from in Surrey.
[210] What's your prospective on this?
(KJSPS00C) [211] Well I really feel very uneasy about present events in Russia and er, particularly on a simplification on world politics what [...] on [...] .
[212] I just feel in an absence of a Russian from the balance of power gonna leave the, the arrogance of the United States totally unchecked.
(KJSPS000) [213] When you say, talk about the Middle East, are you from that part of the world?
(KJSPS00C) [214] I am from Iraq, yes.
(KJSPS000) [215] From, from Iraq.
(KJSPS00C) [216] Yes.
(KJSPS000) [217] Erm, interesting, president Saddam Hussein has er also deplored er the ending of the coup and the fact that er Gorbachev has backed .
(KJSPS00C) [218] Let me, let me interrupt you here, I must [...] support Saddam Hussein, I don't believe he carried his own policies, I'm concerned about the Iraqi people themselves.
[219] You know I mean this has, this has been used [...] accused Saddam Hussein has er is a, is a supporter of er the coup, but er, the real implication I am talking about is the [...] problem.
(KJSPS000) [220] Hm, hm.
(KJSPS00C) [221] I think the [...] solution here is, a, a, a, [...] and er [...] future will be totally unbalanced.
(KJSPS000) [222] You raised a very, very significant issue that I haven't heard much addressed in recent days and we know that there hasn't really been a super power of the Soviet Union and any other military sense for the last couple of years.
(KJSPS00C) [223] He has, he has since the Gulf War.
[224] I mean look at, look at the conduct of the Gulf War.
(KJSPS000) [225] Absolutely, and this is again having enormous implications particularly [...] in the entire world.
(KJSPS00C) [226] [...] .
[227] And now you, you gonna have the whole [...] resources will be totally controlled by one super power [...] .
(KJSPS000) [228] Geoff ... Geoffrey Hoskins is it a good thing that we no longer we have too super pow ... powers viewing for authority and all the rest of it or are you as worried as ?
(KJSPS002) [229] On the whole I think it's a, a good thing, er it's only five or six years ago that an historian called Paul Kennedy published a book saying that America was in decline as a super power, er and in fact I think what's happening is that er, there are, there are going to be clusters of super powers now in the world and they're all more modest than American and the Soviet Union were a few years ago.
[230] There's the United States, there's Europe, Western Europe, plus central Europe now, there's Japan and there will be the Ex-Soviet Union in some form, er those arrangements will be complicated, but they will be less ca ... cataclysmic as it were, the danger will no longer be of Armageddon, there'll be very serious, could be very serious conflicts that could arise.
(KJSPS000) [231] [...] just come back.
(KJSPS00C) [232] I don't agree at all.
(KJSPS000) [233] Sorry.
(KJSPS00C) [234] I don't agree at all.
(KJSPS000) [235] Do you not think that up to now Middle Eastern countries and some other nations and people as well have been [...] of the super powers in their giant struggle against each other, but now the United States may be able to take er, if you like a more mature and more relaxed attitude.
(KJSPS00C) [236] Maybe.
[237] I am sorry I d ... d, I agree with you on one ... one point that the Middle Eastern er, er government that [...] of the super power from, from the reception, but what really happened in the Gulf War is a typical reflection of the injustice of how the war was being conducted.
[238] It was conducted in a ... in a devastating effect because was totally unchecked and America got the upper hand and they simply played the game by their own favour without giving due consideration to humanitarian or, or even the justice er element and this, this is how the world's gonna be, and America is an arrogant super power.
(KJSPS000) [239] What's [...] .
[240] It's certainly something we're all gonna have too er adjust too, thank you for pointing it out that the United States is going to have such enormous influence er from, from now on, we're all going to have to get used to it and er get used to how to deal with it.
[241] from, from Coventry, what do you feel about what's been happening in the Soviet Union.
(KJSPS00D) [242] Well the thing that concerns me is the readiness in which er [...] rushing to ban the communist party.
[243] I would rely on Mr Yeltsin and Mr Gorbachev that the only possible way in which they could have reached the eminence they have today is through membership of the party.
[244] There must be many, many able Russians who take the same line as the only way forward could be incorporated in a democratic Russia and very, very substantially contribute to its recovery.
(KJSPS000) [245] you ... you, you've been a communist yourself?
(KJSPS00D) [246] Let me give you my family history shall I?
(KJSPS000) [247] Oh, oh, if you can do it in a sentence.
(KJSPS00D) [248] I'll do it very quickly.
[249] I am the great grandson of the founder of what is now the greatest, one of the greatest [...] in, in Leningrad.
[250] My name is as you know and company that found these [...] was [...] which was my Uncle and , well erm, about Mr Yeltsin and Mr Gorbachev to lead a Russian [...] political book and I could [...] which was the name of the company today.
[251] Now in this book they will read that the progressive forces of the late eighteen hundreds and the early nineteen hundreds will endeavour to educate the workers from the er, mythological and textile industries were not basically communists.
(KJSPS000) [252] Let, I .
(KJSPS00D) [253] But were social democrats .
(KJSPS000) [254] Forgive me I don't want to go back that far, but, but let me just put the point you've made to Professor Hoskins.
[255] The communist party should not be banned, it is true that many members of it did support er an [...] coup, on the other hand so many people joined the communist party for advancement and it's not very democratic to ban a party which has had su ... such power and such membership.
(KJSPS002) [256] Well first of all it hasn't been banned er a suspended it while [...] it's role in the coup .
(KJSPS000) [257] Disband it .
(KJSPS002) [258] Just a moment, suspended it and then Gorbachev, his first secretary has the right to do it, disband the central committee and then what lower party er bodies do is up to them.
[259] However what, what I think is the most important aspect of this, the communist party is not and never has been a party in the normal sense of the term, it's a closed shop for the ruling establishment of the Soviet Union and therefore it's quite simply incompatible with [...] politics.
[260] Eighteen months ago it gave up its monopoly of politics but it continued to exist and it continued really as a kind of dog in the manger to prevent the er establishment of normal multi-party politics.
[261] Therefore it seems to me that the communist party really has to disappear, it's a good thing that it's own general secretary has disbanded it, I anticipate that it will break up into a number of political parties, perhaps one kind of social democratic party on the left and another, if you like a kind of Russian unionist party, on the right, erm, but as the communist party it's simply incompatible with the emergence of democracy in the Soviet Union.
(KJSPS000) [262] Let's move on if I may to Dr. Nora Worcester calling from Cambridge.
(KJSPS00E) [263] Hello.
(KJSPS000) [264] Hello Dr. Worcester what do you feel about all this?
(KJSPS00E) [265] Well, er, I became er, unhappy with the communist party many years ago because it didn't follow the philosophical teaching on which [...] works, the [...] erm, erm, dialectical materialism.
[266] They said that in a political situation, if you had one side you could call it the thesis, say capitalism was the thesis and communism was the other side and that was the antithesis and that these two would [...] one another and it was only when they came together and got their good points both of them adopted, that one was really going to get a satisfactory solution.
(KJSPS000) [267] Do you think we've got a satisfactory solution in the Soviet Union?
(KJSPS002) [268] Some kind of social democracy in Russia, erm on the other hand in central Asia as [...] for example, I think it's quite likely that former communists, although they may disavow their former allegiance, will in practice take over as national communist parties and continue to run their economies, well there will be private economies but with a large state sector and run on a pretty tight reign.
[269] So I think the, the answer is we're going to see a variety of things, there is a tendency I think amongst er Soviet Citizens at the moment to regard the market economy as they used to regard communism, that's to say there's a kind of ideal which will bring about universal prosperity, and relief on all their worries.
[270] There is a certain danger there, cos in fact er, the market economy in some ways is not as pleasant as, as that suggests.
(KJSPS000) [271] Hazel Clarke from Okehampton.
(KJSPS00F) [272] I, I've been in Germany recently, selling., I took a number of our British products over and I saw half a ton of my cheeses in the German supermarket.
[273] Also while there I was working from eight in the morning till seven at night.
[274] I was able to talk to the German customer and the people on the floor, who are excessively worried about the number of people coming in from the East, not only East Germany but they're very, very worried about people coming in from Eastern Europe, and secondly there was so much East European food that was for sale in Germany at very low prices and there's [...] food that used to go to the Soviet Union.
[275] Now it's made the people, I have friends in Moscow, who are saying that they are losing a lot of their food supplies, because the West are taking the most throw down prices so that the Yugoslavs and the Romanians can get the goodies they want for us.
(KJSPS000) [276] Throw down the prices from the West but of course good high real foreign currency for Soviet Union.
(KJSPS00F) [277] Exactly, but also it was food for them.
(KJSPS000) [278] Hm, hm.
(KJSPS00F) [279] And they are losing their tradition of the food that they have been getting from Eastern Europe.
(KJSPS000) [280] So what can be done?
(KJSPS00F) [281] I, I think that we, it's really like taking chocolate from the mouths of babies, to take food from people in Eastern Europe who are rather desperate.
[282] It really, we need to encourage the trade that [...] Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and if it, one of the former speakers said, we need to give them aid and ascent for people who can, erm, show them what to do.
[283] They need the technical help.
(KJSPS000) [284] Actually, [...] the speaker that was talking about this was suggesting we give them an enormous amount of real tangible assets, er without it costing us anything.
[285] Now I know, know of no law of economics which would permit that, would you be prepared for us to pay a lot out of tax payers' resources to give to the Soviet people, to help their economy, to ... to help them survive this very difficult transition period?
(KJSPS00F) [286] I don't think it's so much monies that they need.
[287] What they need is certain products.
(KJSPS000) [288] It, it comes to the same thing doesn't it?.
(KJSPS00F) [289] And I un well as I understand it from, from, from the friends in Moscow their, their traditional industries are very archaic, they may have erm, the expertise in, in the armament section, but the other things, what they need is some of our engineers and we've got a lot of engineers who were working overseas and at the moment aren't.
[290] If we could send some of the people over there, to help them to retrain things and reorganise things.
(KJSPS000) [291] So, Professor Hoskins that would be a relatively cheap way, it'll still cost money, but relatively cheap way of, of, of really helping these [...] .
(KJSPS00F) [292] It would be a relatively cheap way, and other things we could also get [...] European Community, this isn't a British problem it is a world problem.
(KJSPS000) [293] Yes, Professor Hoskin .
(KJSPS002) [294] Yes, yes we have got some unused resources that could be er, er, diverted towards the Soviet economy, food surpluses for example, the coming winter is going to be very difficult in the Soviet Union and I think direct food aid may well be necessary.
[295] We don't have to worry as much as we used to about its being misused by the party state apparatus for corrupt [...] erm, then of course there's, them, the, the, the problem of longer term aid, how we help the Soviet Union integrate itself into the world economy.
[296] This is undoubtedly an all European problem, United States, Canada, Japan, everyone else should be involved, er I think we should ... probably identify with the Soviet's aid and help, hm, key projects like the conversion of military industry into consumer goods, er, like transport and communications, key areas of the economy where relatively small amounts of investment could produce big returns, and then finally it seems to me we should be extending to the Soviet Union for membership of er, international financial organisations like the world bank and the international monetary fund, whichever [...] in criteria of course for helping countries and for integrating international aid to those countries.
(KJSPS000) [297] [...] Graham calling from in Sussex, is it the economic aspects that concern you most?
(KJSPS00G) [298] Yes, well the economic effect on our own country, well when I say under, er Europe, er, with this proposal that er, we have to open up our markets er for the benefit of the Soviet, er because, that is going to cost er, what they're, what they're asking for, not only in Soviet but also across Eastern Europe is that the agricultural market, the steel, and the textile market, all the most sensitive areas, should be opened up to them, and that's going to shed a, a great increase in unemployment er within the, within the common market.
(KJSPS000) [299] Are you a good old fashion protectionist?
(KJSPS00G) [300] No, not at all, er, but I, I, I, am someone who believes you've got to have level playing fields, which we do not have, er or won't have, er with the implementation of the common market er, regardless of any relationship with the Soviet Union in 1992, er after all to, what has not been published very much, er is that [...] , you know, got to take into account indirect [...] as well as direct and erm, if you look at for instance the United States er which is constantly packing the common market [...] people, which is of course , er
(KJSPS000) [301] I'm, I'm going to have to cut you off, cos we're running out of time, but I very much take the point you're making, that it could've had this trade effect on us, just in the last ten seconds Professor Hoskin, is it possible to predict what's going to happen in the Soviet Union over the next six months, is it gonna be for good, or, or, [...] .
(KJSPS002) [302] It's quite unusually unpredictable at the moment.
[303] I think the long term results of this are entirely good, but in the short term there's going to be major instability, making life possibly quite nasty for everyone.
(KJSPS000) [304] Professor Hoskin, and to all of you who called and listened, thank you until next Tuesday, bye, bye.