the 2nd of March, Radley College had the pleasure of listening to
Major General Peter Williams in the Coffee Shop. He gave a quick overview of
his fascinating military career, but the main focus of the talk was about Russia.
It was very interesting to hear about his time in Russia, trying to sell them
NATO. The main point which came across was simply that the Russians are
“different” to Westerners. This is mainly due to their history and culture.
I was really
intrigued to learn a bit more about the rulers of Russia and how they were
portrayed in Russia. For example, Krushchev, who took over from Stalin, is
considered a great, powerful leader because he ignored and did not fear the
West. This is in stark contrast to Brezhnev, who listened to everyone’s opinion
and was hence blamed for losing control in Russia during the 1980s.
Major General Peter Williams spoke about the media’s role in society. He
suggested that media censorship is one of greatest causes of the vast
polarisation. He also expressed the reason Putin is so popular in Russia -
because he conveys strength and creates a sense of patriotism in Russia, he
makes the people feel secure.
speech, the audience were free to ask questions. One boy asked about Russia’s
relationship with China and Georgia. He believed that Georgia was very much a
satellite state which wants to join NATO but is not able to, and said the
relationship with China is not what it used to be, as there is less of a
reliance on their goods. However, they still trade raw materials and are
considered allies. Finally, Major General Williams described Russia as a “mafia
state run by an alpha dog which will implode.” The only question is when and
It was a
thoroughly enjoyable talk and a big thanks must go out to Mrs. Scammell Jackson
for organising the event.
History Correspondent: Ollie
Martyn-Hemphill, F Social 6.1