"I believe that most people have a good moral centre and would do the right thing, if only they would speak up, and act"by Prospect Team / August 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in September 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
First news/historical event you can recall?
The 1970 football World Cup. Pelé and the phenomenal Brazilian champions, the legendary semi-final between West Germany and Italy, and the controversial extra-time goal that eliminated the Soviet Union in the quarter-final game against Uruguay.
The book you are most embarrassed you have never yet read?
Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War. One of those books that is quoted all the time and people are always citing it to me regarding chess and politics, but I’ve never read the actual book.
One bit of advice you’d give to your younger self?
I dislike “time machine” questions. My decisions, good and bad, have made me who I am and created the wonderful life I am lucky to lead. I would not risk changing anything that might alter it.
What is your favourite saying or quotation?
I have a dangerous addiction to aphorisms, I’m afraid, especially from great speeches by the likes of Churchill and Lincoln. But I’ll go with one that has special pertinence to my life, a saying of the Soviet dissidents that my mother put on my wall as a youth: “If not you, who else?”
Where do you want to be buried/have your ashes scattered?
In a free and democratic Russia.
If you were given £1m to spend on other people, what would you spend it on and why?
In my role as the chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, I know far too many people and causes in desperate need of support in their battles against authoritarian regimes. It would be too hard to choose among them. But I know there would be tremendous “bang for the buck”…