Saturday, June 10, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Diaries Reveal NUM Took Soviet Money

The National Security Archive in Washington has published the first intallment of the diaries of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era, Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. The diaries confirm that at least £1 million of Communist money was handed over to the the NUM during the 1984-5 strike. I remember when I was at univerity I took part in a debate on the Miner's Strike with Mark Seddon, who was at UEA at the same time as me. I accused Scargill of being in the pay of the Russians at the time and was shouted down. Nice to be proved right, albeit 21 years later! Chernyaev's diaries also demonstrate that Neil Kinnock slagged off Margaret Thatcher to the Soviets, thereby undermining the Thathcer Government's negotiating position with the Russians. The whole diary can be accessed HERE. Here are some interesting extracts...

January 26 1985

Shalaev (VCSPS [All-Union Central Labor Union Council]) insists on the resumption of the million-ruble transfer to English miners, even though Gorbachev told Thatcher: we have not and will not transfer. I made him go to the CC. I am in doubt myself, and that is how I composed the memo. Because our million is a drop in the bucket (less than the miner’s week’s spending), and [is given] in secret at that (so it does nothing for the internationalism); and if it comes to the surface, Maggie will drag the person, with whom she talked and whom she liked so much, through the mud. It is not worth it. We shall see how the CC Secretaries and M.S. [Gorbachev] himself will treat this.

March 14 1985

Sukhodrev (interpreter for the General Secretaries, starting with Nikita) told me about the meeting with Thatcher. She, being acquainted with Gorbachev from 1984 (London, Chequers), fawned, charmed, engaged [him], and he answered with the same. It seems that this is how she “does politics,” and with the help of M.S. she wants to surpass all kinds of Kohls and Mitterands in world affairs, and maybe even the Reagans. And she likes to play in the feminine way precisely with Gorbachev.

May 22 1985

Lagutin told me about how (Charles) Clarke, Kinnock’s assistant, evaluates Maggie Thatcher: no one will bring her down and she is not inclined to turn the power over. Her only possible downfall is that she might not be able to endure it herself. Firstly, she has eye problems, but wants to read everything herself. Secondly, and most importantly, is the psychological stress: morning to night she plays the role of a great political figure with everyone—her friends, enemies, comrades-in-arms, ministers, foreigners, mass media [sic], and with herself. This is, of course, terribly difficult. She is devilishly smart, and in fact is a great actress, but she is not on stage, where regular actresses sometimes manage to live long. Clever!

October 31 1985

October 31, Thursday, was spent at the Parliament. Klinnock received me there. He spoke with me as if I know no less than Shevardnadze. And in general—during the entire trip I felt like a “highly significant person.” They took me seriously, like a plenipotentiary, an all-knowing CC CPSU representative. With Klinnock we spoke about the forthcoming highest-level conference in Geneva, about Thatcher, whom he called “little fool,” about the Strategic Defense Initiative, about England’s attitude towards Gorbachev. He spoke without haughtiness, even though it would seem like who am I and who is he—“the leader of Her Highness’ opposition!”


dizzy said...

wow! Soviet archives are great.

Chris Palmer said...

But are we really suprised, since they were all Communists (just slightly watered down.)

DM Andy said...

um, the NUM got money from the Soviets (mainly because the British didn't allow them access to their own money) but how does that equate to "Scargill being in the pay of the Soviets".

If the Blair government passed a law that froze all the Tory party's assets would you object to the Tories finding funding to carry on it's work from whoever would offer money?

Nuclear Button said...

Yes the 80s... when British business was competitive and were expanding overseas.

Now our businesses are being taken over by the Spanish, French, Germans etc. Won't be too long before Russia has probably bought our coal industry too rather than just the union?

Anonymous said...

So exclusive that i read this in the press this week.

Iain Dale said...

did you?!!! Bugger! Where did you see it?

dizzy said...

nothing on Lexis Nexis that I can see Iain.... playing the man rather than the ball perhaps?

Anonymous said...

It was either in the New Statesman or the Spectator, new Statesman I think

Bob Piper said...

Got to agree with dm andy here... its a non-story. People around the world supported the miners in their year long attack on their industry by that wicked old wretch Thatcher. I couldn't give a toss if the money came from the Russians or the bloody Martians.... by all means say the NUM received money from the Russians, but to say Scargill was being paid personally by these donations is a gross libel and one I recall he has been willing to defend in court.

tyke said...

I was only just reaching my teens during the miner's strike, but I certainly remember one of the newspapers (I think it was the Sun, because the miner's used to sing, "I'd rather buy a paper than the Sun") carrying a story about Scargill taking money from the Russians, to prolong the strike and bring the country to its knees.

Does anyone else recall when the Russian miner's had not being paid for months and had gone on strike, a short time after the miner's strike here? They appealed to Scargill to help them with donations, so they could feed their kids, but Scargill refused to do so, saying they should get back to work.
I remember being appalled by this story, because he had taken money from them, too. It just showed his true character.

Bob Piper said...


It was Maxwell/Greenslade's Daily Mirror, not The Sun, and they were either complicit or gullible, depending upon how kind you want to be to the bastards, in printing a Stella Rimmington (or Dame Stella as Major enobled her) MI5 elaborate fabrication.

Your second little homily has even less truth in it than the Mirror story. Publishing lies on blog sites does not avoid the libel laws.

Neil Craig said...

Not nearly as much as we have put into funding anti-government forces in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Yugoslavia, Montenegro, Russia, Nicaragua etc in "democracy building" aid. Sauce for the goose except that Scargill wasn't a gangster, a Nazi or a murderer.

Rick said...

We also have The Mitrokhin Archive and the newest volume on KGB activities globally.

It is amazing how much of political matters consists of gossip - no wonder Kohl wanted to block release of the HVA recordings of his conversations from his car phone.

I often wonder how they interact at these levels - do they buy them with transfers to offshore bank accounts or blind investment portfolios, or do they simply blackmail ?

Always fascinating to see how the higher the monkey climbs the more you see his bottom

Michael Oakshott said...

This is not really a big story. That the Soviets were paying Scargill is not surprising, he was doing their bidding. Just happy we crushed the bastards when we had the chance. Every time you hear about poverty in these towns, just remember where we would be if Lady T hadn't stood up to them. I rejoice in their misery. Churchill was wrong...this was our finest hour.

Bob Piper said...

Let's have more Michael Oakshott, please. Never mind all these weak-chinned wobbly lipped Camaroonies, give us back some of those good old Tory crackpots. You can't keep them hidden underneath the stairs for ever, set them free before they all sod off to UKIP or the BNP and you lose them. With more prominent Michael Oakshott's we will rule for ever.. the man's a hero of the left.

Anonymous said...

just a thought - when he says kinnock called thatcher little fool, he may well have been saying, perhaps in response to a remark from the soviet guy: "well, yes, that may have been a little foolish, but on the whole..." - hence, this becomes "little fool". come on, iain, your lot won the cold war, don't blow it by taing everything the reds said at face value, just because it provide a stick with which to beat kinnock!

The Remittance Man said...

The NUM were in the pay of the KGB?

Britain's socialist party leaders sent reports to their "fraternal socialist brothers" in the CPSU about the British political situation?

Hardly ground breaking news. Almost every intelligent person alive in the country during the 80's suspected as much. The only difference was that there was no smoking gun and the lefties managed to get away with the usual "MI5 smear. It's all lies!" routine.

Apart from correcting a historical inaccuracy this news really isn't that important unless its to establish a pattern of behaviour on the left.

But even there the value is limited: the old style trots have all been ousted by the "New, improved formula" Labour of Swiss Tony. So once again the mendacious b'stards can get away with it.


Michael Oakshott said...

Poor old Bob can't decide if he is with Blair or not. You would struggle to find a pro-Blair post in three years of crapdom. And now he is promising to rule forever. If Pfi, Operation Iraq, the accompanying Terror legislation, and staying out of the Euro til God knows when is any indication, then you have been about as near to power in the last nine years as Ian Paisley has to the Pope.

The left? Are they still around? I thought they went out with Michael Foot. The Right in this country has always been a credible electoral force. Witness Thatcher's astonishing popularity and the electoral record of the Tory Party(the most successful electoral machine in Europe). When was the last time the British trusted the left in national politics? That Blair finished Thatcher's work in destroying them will surely be his only lasting legacy. As for beating Kinnock with a stick..."tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

Gary Elsby said...

What an awful story Iain and you spawn the likes of Michael Oakshott in the process!!

The Tories went about dismantling socialism and succeded to a large extent.

The Tories used the power of state to create a National police force with the instruction to break the strike.A charge forever denied by cowards of the day. It was very true and should be ashamed of yourselves.

The Tories employed a MI5 man to lead the miners but alas, you won't admit to that either.
I was there Iain, I saw it personally. Just look next time. Scargill, Benn and yours truly.

Revenge is sweet though, so enjoy your retirement from responsibility Iain and TALLY HO!


Michael Oakshott said...

Gary is a fantasist. You were there were you? Didn't make much of a difference did you? The revenge of the miners? Still waiting. A question of who ruled the country...we did. I have no doubt even your dear leader chortles when he watches the police setting them straight. To defeat the likes of Scargill and destroy the left bases forever was Thatcher's greatest achievement, her finest hour.

Gary Elsby said...

I don't think so Michael, her finest hour has to be when she ordered the 'endurance' to home port.
Maybe sinking the 'Belgrano' after all, 200 miles exclusion does mean 300 doesn't it?
The Falklands war was a complete and utter falsehood and fabrication of the highest order.

The miners strike was also a Conservative plot. Deliberately brought about and shameful.
Yes I was there, as I was everywhere.


Michael Oakshott said...

Beyond parody..."I was there, as I was everywhere"(though not Government eh?). Genius. So you would have abandoned the decent people of the Falklands to a nasty little dictatorship. Beginning to see why you didn't win the 1983 election!

Gary Elsby said...

Oh, but Michael, that is where you miss the point.

Lady Thatcher, did abandon the Falkland Islanders to the Argentines. Why do you think Lord Carrington resigned- honour?
The conservative cabinet almost resigned en-bloc.

A deliberate piece of jingistic propoganda that came very close to backfiring.
Release the documents under the freedom of information act and lets see what Thatcher was capable of.
Scargill accepted a bit of cash from fellow European trade what!

Michael Oakshott said...

LOL the Cummunist Party of the Soviet Union...that is one way to describe.

Sorry were the Falklands not liberated, or did you miss that?

The Remittance Man said...

Uncle Iain. The boys are fighting again.

And I think Gary forgot to take his medication.


Gary Elsby said...

Oh dear, Mr Remittance man, perhaps you should refer to any independant history book for more detail. After all, why should you take my word for it.

General Galtieri was under severe pressure at home over the economy and was making great statements of Falkland invasion and dependency.

Thatcher's answer? Pull out giving all signals of abandonment.

This actually happened.

The Argentines landed and the islands confiscated to them.

A jingoistic trap laid out by a Tory Party with the sole intent of uniting our country behind our flag.

Very good!

Phase two: The Miners.


Michael Oakshott said...

Yes Gary's History of Britain, published by Pie in the Sky Press, available from all (mad) bookshops. Thatcher stared the Falklands and the miners were victims. I can't see Simon Schama losing much sleep about this one.

Gary Elsby said...

Michael, what fun your having!

Thatcher didn't start the war, she just did everything wrong. A key factor is withdrawing the ship and it was the precursor. It's possible to go in at half time being 1-0 down and come out and win 2-1, which is exactly what she did. Not much fun for the dead though.

The miners victims? Don't expect much sympathy here but they certainly were and many communities lost forever. A great day for you I believe but a disater for our energy needs of today. Cheaper than Nuclear and very eco friendly.


Michael Oakshott said...

British coal had no future. Expensive and the workers were militant by any measure. "Who ruled the country?" they said. We did. And when I say we, I mean the people and their Government, not the (paid) agents of the Russians and their fellow travellers.

Gary Elsby said...

Michael, did I read you correctly?
British Coal had no future?

Are you serious? It's the biggest gaffe the Tory party committed. I say it was a crime,nothing less.

If all of the pits remained shut and all of the sacked miners were being paid fully now, with no coal drawn,It would still be in profit if the subsidy paid to the Nuclear industry was given to them.

We have an energy crisis in this country.It is solely the responsibility of Thatcher and her vindictive Government.

The tory party did no favours for this country by removing an industry that was in profit.
I thought that's what conservatism was all about, success and profit in the marketplace.
It won't be long before this comes back to haunt you.

Michael Oakeshott said...

If that is a gaffe then it has been said before a million times. It was much cheaper to import coal. The subsidy to nuclear is about buliding a future. And your PM seems to be a fan. In any case the miners were unreliable and extremely militant with political aspirations that even Blair now realises were dangerous for democracy(as proven by this blog's exposure of the money flooding in from Red Russia). It has gone. I am happy. You are obviously not. Get over it.

Gary Elsby said...

And now we are reliant upon the generosity of the less extreme political ambitions of Vladimir Putin (KGB death squad) and his British asset stripping monolith, the Soviet Union.

Well done to the Conservative Party.Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.