The rules are simple: Five minutes to ask someone, alive or dead, from one of the other two countries anything you want.
Would the real Vlad please stand up
For me this was an easy topic. I’ve always been interested in Vladimir. No, not that Vladimir. Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) will be judged quite harshly by his own people and history once he is removed from power. While he controls the press, he will remain popular.
- Why didn’t you move with more force against Stalin? You knew he was a convicted murderer.
- Do you still think Communism could work (there has never been a Phase 3, Communists nation)… No, Russia wasn’t Communist, it was a Socialist-Dictatorship.
- If you could re-live the Revolution, would you chart a new course?
‘Almost made me sigh’
The biggest thing I like in Mick is that he doesn’t pretend to be someone else he isn’t. This is the quality I treasure a lot. He is Mick Jagger. He doesn’t go into politics. The problem of the Third World debts is also not on his agenda, at least, publicly. Though he’s got a reputation, he’s never been involved in #MeToo things. So far I’ve never heard of any woman accusing Mick of being sexually harassed by him. In theory, there could have been hundreds of cases. In fact, all these women probably think it was too cool to have an affair with Mick. Financially speaking, for them he is an asset not a liability. In his case we should invent the #TooCool campaign.
- Is there any point of your life you would like to come back to and live it again?
- You once said: ‘I’d rather be dead than singing ‘Satisfaction’ when I’m 45’. So what is your favorite song by the Stones, after all?
- Who was your best woman?
- What would be your next adventure in your afterlife?
- And, finally, back in the 60s, did you really have sex with Keith Richards???
Loved in All The Wrong Countries
My five minutes with anyone of either American or Russian nationality was always a foregone conclusion.
As someone who had interviewed thousands of movers and shakers during a 20-year career as a journalist, I had always wanted to have the opportunity to question someone who I held in the highest esteem – Mikhail Gorbachev.
Having been brought up during the Cold War, here was the first leader of the old USSR who made me feel safe. The first leader that didn’t look like he was already 90 years old and ready to flake out. The first leader that, instead of promoting hate and vitriol at western powers, actually did something practical to help make the world a bit of a better place.
And someone who, although I didn’t know him of course, seemed like a rather nice bloke.
So, stopwatch started, here are my questions……..and in case you are wondering how I can ask so many questions in just a 5-minute interview, his answers will be very quick and concise, and, my god, he talks so fast these days!!!!
- You worked on collective farms in your early years – how on earth did a farm-worker, from a poor working class family, end up studying law at Moscow State University?
- What inspired you into politics in the first place?
- As Russian leader, your policies of glasnost and perestroika effectively helped end the Cold War. For someone brought up on traditional communist ideology, what made you think that there had to be another way, and that you could achieve it?
- You are blamed, of course, for the breakup of the USSR. What regrets do you have about that?
- What do you make of the present leader, Putin? (He would have to be careful here – even he is not immune from prosecution if he strays too far from the party line)
- Finally, how do you think you will be remembered by your people? A true moderniser, who allowed people new horizons for themselves and their families, or someone who was hated by so many for losing the Soviet empire?
Gorby, thanks a lot mate.
I really feel sorry for this guy…whilst he has done much good even since his political days, I think, deep down, he is a very sad, possibly disillusioned man, not helped by losing his beloved wife Raisa some two decades ago.
As a Britain, all I can say to him is thank you for being a real human being whilst in power – yes, he had to do what he thought best for his country, but to my mind, he did it in a way that benefitted us all – after all, he did business with Reagan and Thatcher that made us all feel safer than we had ever done post-WW2.
It’s a real shame that his own country sees him, it seems, as only the villain………..