Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar 1859


Evidence submitted by the British government in court today proves, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian “novichok” agent.

Yesterday in an interview with Deutsche Welle Boris Johnson claimed directly Porton Down had told him they positively identified the nerve agent as Russian:

You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

So they have the samples …

They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.

I knew and had published from my own whistleblowers that this is a lie. Until now I could not prove it. But today I can absolutely prove it, due to the judgement at the High Court case which gave permission for new blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for use by the OPCW. Justice Williams included in his judgement a summary of the evidence which tells us, directly for the first time, what Porton Down have actually said:

The Evidence
16. The evidence in support of the application is contained within the applications
themselves (in particular the Forms COP 3) and the witness statements.
17. I consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the
witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their
evidence.
i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples
tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

The emphasis is mine. This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.

This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack. It might well be an attack originating in Russia, but there are indeed other possibilities and investigation is needed. As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.

On a sombre note, I am very much afraid the High Court evidence seems to indicate there is very little chance the Skripals will ever recover; one of the reasons the judge gave for his decision is that samples taken now will be better for analysis than samples taken post mortem.

——————————————————-

This website remains under a massive DOS attack which has persisted for more than 24 hours now, but so far the defences are holding. Some strange form of “ghost banning” is also affecting both my twitter and Facebook feeds. So please

a) Feel free to repost, republish, translate or spread this article anywhere and anyway you can. All copyright is waived.
b) If you came here by Twitter, please retweet but also in addition create a new tweet yourself containing a link to this post (or to any other site on which you have placed the information)
c) If you came here by Facebook, again please share but also in addition create a new post yourself which contains the information and the link.

The state and corporate media now have evidence of the vast discrepancy between what May and Johnson are saying, and the truth about the Porton Down scientists’ position. I am afraid to say I expect this to make no difference whatsoever to the propaganda output of the BBC.


1,859 thoughts on “Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar

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  • Dr. Ip

    Every once in a while one has to listen again to George Carlin telling the truth. And the late Master of truth through comedy is not just speaking about the US Establishment, it’s exactly the same for the UK (but without any dreams)
    https://youtu.be/rsL6mKxtOlQ

      • saluspopuli.org

        N. Yes, Bolton is fully Neoconized and time tested. Bear in mind that the Neocons themselves are ideological followers of Revisionist Zionism as established by Vladimir Jabotinsky. Bibi’s father was Jabotinsky s private secretary. As Jabotinsky was linked to the UK in WWI era it should be a simple matter to ascertain details. Wiki both RV and VJ.

  • Sharp Ears

    On the day following Emanuel’s siding with Threeza against Russia, there is a terrorist incident in Trèbes, near Carcassonne. It is Paris all over again.

    France: Hostage situation at supermarket in Trèbes.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43512791

    Handy that. The war on the terrrrr is given new life Yesterday May laid a wreath commemorating the anniversary of the attack at Westminster Bridge and it was all over the news channels with Bercow holding forth at a memorial for PC Palmer. Tobias Ellwood was teary, recounting how he explained to his son what he did on the day.

    Have they ALL attended the BBC School of Acting?

    • N_

      Last Friday’s quadruple witching went by without a stock market collapse. Next weekend may not. The New York Stock Exchange is closed on Good Friday. London is closed both then and on Easter Monday. Remember the Passover story.

    • Sharp Ears

      The BBC have been in a bit of bother this afternoon. A difference between what the presenter was saying – ‘the man was Moroccan and known to the authorities as a petty criminal. Not a terrorist incident’ followed by him reading the headlines saying ‘that it was terrorism and that the man was a member of the Islamic state’. This happened a few times.

      They have been making it up as they go along and their unreliability and incompetence was exposed. They call it the ‘News Channel’. Ha!

    • DDTea

      If governments use the venier of “fighting terror” for pursuiny ulterior motives, what do you make of Assad’s claim to be doing the same?

  • Rowland Stanford

    This is normal procedure for the CONservatives the next time a TORY tells the TRUTH should be front page NEWS but with the NEWSPAPERS being CONservative run there’s no chance of that our COUNTRY is in the hands of a CRIMINAL GANG

    • Dom

      ‘ .. the FCO recognises the possibility that the government’s own analysis could be wrong and may be contradicted by the findings of the OPCW TS team. ‘

      Hmmmm

    • salvo

      hmmm.. I suppose the political and medial establishment in germany is going to like b. johnson’s hallucinations, as after all they amounts to claiming hitler was a russian

  • Republicofscotland

    On the Skripal’s some media reports claim they have brain damage.

    As you say still no irrefutable evidence that Russia is culpable in any way. Again I agree the British state broadcaster and media in general will continue with the innuendo that Russia is the guilty party.

    As for Boris Johnson, his embarrassing and outrageous comments comparing the Nazi’s with Russia, who lost tens of millions of citizens defeating the Nazi’s, should see him fired immediately or resign, with immediate effect.

    I should all add, that in my opinion, the British government has no problem prevaricating, when it suits them to do so.

      • salvo

        well, considering the long list of crimes the british empire did commit in the course of imposing its colonial order upon the ‘new world’ hilter may have been a brit after all

      • salvo

        and besides being the world’s worst mass murderers, the brits seem to be the world’s worst hypocrits

        • Matt

          The Icelanders were delighted when they realised the approaching ships were not German.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes they did Fred, and if Hitler hadn’t launched Operation Barbossa, who know what might have happened.

        However, as I keep on stating and will continue to do so, is that there are no good guys or bad guys, just levels of complicity.

        And I believe that on the Skripal event the British government are not to be trusted.

      • nevermind

        Yes to drive the Nazi’s out the other end Fred. When will you let the facts get in your way?

    • Pyotr Grozny

      I’d imagine Hitler tried to avoid annoying foreign powers in the run-up to the Berlin Olympics…

    • Alexander Zucrow

      “On the Skripal’s some media reports claim they have brain damage.”

      This is another one of those bizarre bits of information related to this case. Up to now we have had zero information on their medical status, symptoms, or treatment. We have no data on when they ingested/absorbed/inhaled the agent,how long it took to act and what immediate steps were taken to stabilize them. The same goes for the policeman who was just released.

      And now, out of the blue we are hearing that they may have brain damage. No mention of organ failure, transfusions, coma etc, just “brain damage”. One thing is for sure: If they are brain damaged and survive, they are unlikely to be able to give any interviews.

      • MJ

        “No mention of organ failure, transfusions, coma etc”

        I thought the hospital had announced that they were in a coma and had been given sedatives. Not sure why someone in a coma would need sedatives. Perhaps it’s an induced coma.

      • DDTea

        Umm. Nerve agents are well-known to cause brain damage and long-term morbidity, including psychological changes, memory problems, sleep disturbances, depression, etc. etc. Brain damage is highly likely if the victim has gone into convulsions. No surprise there.

        See: Sidell, Frederick. Chapter 5: Nerve Agents in “The Medical Aspects of Chemical Warfare”

        • Alexander Zucrow

          “Nerve agents are well-known to cause brain damage and long-term morbidity, including psychological changes, memory problems, sleep disturbances, depression, etc. etc.”

          I don’t know if that’s well known – in fact I’d imagine the general public has very little idea about how nerve agents affect the victim. My understanding up to now was that the initial symptoms were organ failure, respiratory problems and vomiting etc. and that brain injuries (if any) were secondary, i.e. a consequence of organ failure and/or oxygen deprivation.

          In any case it seems very odd to mention something so private (and which could justifiably be kept secret out of a sense of medical propriety) before any other symptoms have been mentioned. I mean, brain damage is not something that everyone would want plastered all over the press, so why, after all the secrecy, make it public?

          • DDTea

            Not necessarily. Major symptoms are as severe headache, vomiting, eye pain, dim vision, excessive salivation, bronchorrhea (and a feeling a need to keep clearing one’s throat), sweating, miosis, convulsions followed by flaccid paralysis, difficulty breathing.

            Manifestation of symptoms varies with time since exposure and route of exposure. No real organ failure associated with nerve agents.

  • Martin

    May I say, you are doing sterling work clinging to The Truth like a terrier. And I’m sure the opposition must cause you serious upset at times. Please don’t let them get to you – it just means you’re doing a great job. Thank you for your commitment and sacrifices – I wish you the best of health and happiness.

  • Alexander Zucrow

    “…which gave permission for new blood samples to be taken from the Skripals for use by the OPCW.”

    This is all very confusing, especially for the non-scientists among us. I was just reading a piece in New Scientist that claims the it is likely that a Novichok, if used, points to Russian involvement:

    “… because no one else knows how to make them, says John Lamb at Birmingham City University, UK. ‘The Novichok family was specifically created by Russia to be unknown in the West and as such it’ll be one of their most tightly guarded secrets’, he says.”

    A few paragraph later, however, we read this:
    “‘Because no standard test exists for Novichoks, defence officials may have taken fluid from the Skripals’ spinal cords…”, says Boland. ‘Western intelligence agencies probably have knowledge of the exact Novichok structures, allowing them to detect a match’, he says.”

    How can the OPCW detect the Novichok if only the Russians know how it’s made? Then again, if Western Intelligence have knowledge of the exact structures (which they would need to in order to detect it), why can’t they synthesize it? It seems illogical.

    And if Porton Down have identified the substance, surely they can hand over their methodology to the OPCW who would likewise be able to identify it within 48 hours?

  • Patrick Mahony

    Interesting swabs being taken from Skripal home. That is where Bailey was exposed (despite nonsense about CID DS being first at the scene, they don’t even work weekends).
    So Yulia may have brought it with her, to sell or to use in suicide pact.
    Or Sergei may have had it to give to her to take back to Russia.
    Or somebody who knew they were out on Saturday may have put it in house. Interesting the taxi was seized despite not being used by Skripals on Saturday or Sunday.

  • Republicofscotland

    “No plausable alternative” that it was Russia claims the PM on the BBC news.

    Irish PM considering expelling Russian diplomats.

  • Mikael Kall

    Should Porton Down be much more exact with the poison, than writing like this “REALATED COMPOUND. (…) OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT”.
    Because the ex-Soviet scientist Mizayanov wrote:
    “One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.”
    – Could the new Porton Down blood samples be closly related compounds to “ordinary” organophosphates?

    • fred

      Porton Down can’t be more exact because “novichok” is not an exact term. If it had been widely synthesised and the worlds scientific community come to a consensus over what precisely constitutes a novichok and what precisely doesn’t the scientists at Porton Down could be more precise.

      • Republicofscotland

        So when did solid evidence count for something in the Skripal event? There’s no proof, that Russia carried out the attack, and the nerve agent has been synthesised in other countries, I’d wager that Porton Down has produced it. Could you persuade me it wasn’t? What would be your evidence?

        Then there’s Dr Davis’s statement that hasn’t been refuted or retracted, and even if it had would that make his original statement any less true?

        However Britain has form on not producing evidence and attacking on say so. Libya and Iraq are testament to that.

  • Peter B

    Until I read today’s entry, I had no idea that the UK presentation was relying on blood and tissue samples to establish the identity of the agent involved.

    I had expected that the UK had swabbed the home, vehicle, etc. of the victims of the attack and had identified chemicals in unadministered residues left on a surface or in a container.

    Neither I nor anyone else outside the chemical weapons community knows much about the metabolism of Novichoks, and it’s my impression that the CW folks really don’t know that much about these, at least in the west. They are reported to be related to organophosphate toxins, and a fair amount is known about metabolism of those. Organophosphates are chemically modified by enzymes in mammals, in at least two different ways at two different sites.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15547051

    I can’t think of a way to devise any test using biological samples of these agents which would reliably establish what chemical the victims had initially come into contact with. Once the chemicals are in the body, they may have chemical groups added or removed by metabolism in the body. The only tests I would trust to identify the poison administered to a high degree of certainty would be tests on unadministered residue,

    Please do ask your source at Porton Down if this is a part of the reason that they are unwilling to speak to the specific poison or manufacturing facility. There may be knowledge of the metabolism within the chemical defense groups that’s not available in the open literature.

    As far as attribution goes, unadministered residues left on a surface or in a container would probably be much more helpful than biological samples. Residues would be expected to contain relatively intact toxin as well as other compounds that would be valuable in establishing a source – a diluent, a stabilizer, a transfer medium or trace elements might be present which are commonly seen from particular laboratories, chemical suppliers or as contaminants in a particular region.

    • Alexander Zucrow

      Thanks for your informative post – it answered a few of the questions I had myself. Like most people, I also believed they had been using residue to identify the toxin. The narrative in the press was largely implying that too, what with the very visible cordons, tow-trucks, space suits and the advice to the public to wash their clothes.

      Given that the government is facing widespread skepticism (ignored in much of the media, but it’s there) about its claims, surely it would have come across as more credible if it has announced immediately that the agent had been identified in the victims’ blood? Why on earth would it withhold information that bolstered its case?

      • bj

        “… very visible cordons, tow-trucks, space suits …”

        Absolutely. This is all theatre.
        Let’s make an inventory of colors and props that we’ve seen in this spectacle.
        I’ve seen:

        yellow
        white
        green

        spacesuits
        tents
        military
        green trucks

        Any others?

    • DDTea

      I am under the assumption that they are relying from environmental samples / residues for identification of the nerve agent and its formulation components, and I’ve seen no statements to contradict that.

      From the methodology for the OPCW-FFM reports in Syria, biological samples are used to confirm exposure to an agent that was identified in the environment / clothing / hair.

      I think it’s a stretch to say they are “relying” on biological samples for determination of the agent used.

      • Alexander Zucrow

        “I am under the assumption that they are relying from environmental samples / residues for identification of the nerve agent and its formulation components, and I’ve seen no statements to contradict that.”

        Interesting. If that is the case, why do you think they would wait 20 days before taking swabs from the house? Plus the 8 or more days it took them to swab the their (even though they knew where it was parked)?
        You’d think the first place they’d be looking for residue would be the house where they lived and the car they drove one the day of the incident.

        • DDTea

          If it were me, the first place I would look would be their clothes, personal effects, and hair for traces of the agent. Next, I’d look at the bench they were sitting on. I would backtrack from there.

          This stuff takes time. Depending on the complexity, it can take a full day to prepare a sample for analysis. I don’t find 8 days to be at all suspicious.

      • Maureen

        Do you think it was a procedural mistake to destroy the table the Skripals were dining at, as has been reported?
        It was said to be so contaminated it had to be destroyed
        Does that seem to you to be destroying evidence?

      • jazza

        in what way has any investigation occurred? where was the insistance on the media, police and fire service personnel all used special clothing/wear – how many times where ordinary passers-by seen in photo footage?? where was the contaminated area cordoned off – not just arbitary vehicles ( one of which ended up a the local dump) ot ticket boxes? – why was there no public warning for all people to stay away – other than washing clothes – where were the decontamination points for all those involved in ‘finding and gathering’ info – what info? – if this is military type nerve agent everyone would be dead – it is obviously not if there was any agent at all – great theatre but so many missing parts

  • Yonatan

    http://johnhelmer.net/the-skripal-case-goes-to-court-for-the-first-time-new-uncertainties-for-the-british-and-russian-governments/

    The court proposed a process supposedly confirming that the Porton Down sample was not tampered with:

    “The process ordered by Justice Williams yesterday will not only assure the independence of OPCW evidence-gathering. By DNA testing of the fresh blood samples to be taken by the OPCW and matched against the original blood samples taken by British investigators to the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Russian suspicion of evidence tampering will be addressed.”

    That is not the case. There appears to be no proof that the sample provided to Porton Down was the exact unmodifed sample taken originally from the Skirpals. It could have been tampered with eg take a sample from Skirpal, add a very low dose of nerve agent, take on to Porton Down. Then both the ‘original’ PD sample and the newly taken sample would both show Skirpal DNA implying the original was a true sample. The (likely) absence of nerve agent in the OPCW sample could be put down to excretion of toxins from the body in the intervening two weeks.

    There is a standard forensic investigation protocol for dealing with potential sample manipulation. One sample is taken and it is split in half. One half would be passed on to PD and the other passed on to the defense side or kept in escrow. This is not rocket science. It is fundamental forensics. Why this procedure was not followed is left as an exercise to the reader.

    • james

      thanks yonatan – Vikram Sachdeva, aside from looking like a tool for the uk gov’t, appears to be a bad liar as well… cheers james

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    Perhaps this has surfaced because of dispute within the deep state, with Cambridge Analytica being linked to Trump. One wonders about the things that have not surfaced.

  • Je

    This article’s an interesting read.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/22/andrei-zheleznyakov-soviet-scientist-poisoned-novichok

    The issue of stockpiling chemical weapons goes way beyond the tiny bits used in an assassination. If these are binary agents that can be made from common chemicals and combined with the missing ingredient… the specialist knowledge acquired through years of research…. then Russia could be completely getting round the Chemical Weapons Convention. Destroying the old outdated weapons… but
    stockpiling the ingredients for the new ones… ingredients which aren’t in themselves weapons…. ready for a breakout of the capability in time of conflict.

    • bj

      O yes — brilliant!
      Of course the UK and others would never do such a naughty and nefarious thing.
      It’s all clear to me now, Russia did it.

  • Ross

    Vladimir Uglev doesn’t seem very credible at all, but he’s saying the right things, and so his ever utterance is reported by the MSM with utter credulity.

  • Tom Smythe

    Omg, this court document says Porton Down did nothing more run a routine enzyme assay for acetylcholinesterase, the protein encoded by the human ACHE gene. It seems enzymatic activity was low on the Skirpal’s blood samples and did not recover upon adding scavenging agents like BCHE (butyrylcholinesterase, a paralog with 50% amino acid identity to ACHE) that soak up agents like sarin.

    Irreversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase is said to be a property of some novichoks as they ‘age’ but is hardly unique to them; common insecticides, rat poisons and plant inhibitors can do the same. Hence Porton Down was extremely reluctant from mere reactivation kinetics to conclude this was a Novichok merely because sarin and other reversible inhibitors could be ruled out by return of enzyme activity.

    ‘Aging’ in this context means loss (dealkylation) of agent side chains leading to a permanent covalent bond between the agent phosphate and the active site serine at position 200.

    The key confusion here is acetylcholinesterase is NOT located solely at cholinergic neuronal junctions (which would require a biopsy, not a blood sample) but is also found on the outer surface of red blood cells (rbc) where its presence is certain but its function is unclear. This comes up in blood transfusion as the normal human protein has a histidine at position 322 (forming the YT1 blood group antigent) but a rare variant has asparagine (the YT2).

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetylcholinesterase and cite 34: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1682033/%5D

    It thus appears Porton Down was not in possession of pure poison, was not able to perform NMR or mass spectroscopy (to match spectra determined for the OPCW by the Iranian’s 2016 Journal of Spectroscopy paper), and had no powder, liquid or gas to give either the Russians or the OPCW.

    Porton Down may have retained the blood samples but from the forensics perspective there are insuperable chain of custody problems with these now. That’s why the judge is giving OPCW permission to observe and take immediate control of, fresh blood samples from the unconscious duo who cannot give informed consent.

    Human enzymes and red blood cells have characteristic turn-over times. That is, they are normally hydrolyzed in the pancreas or liver into their constituent amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates and recycled, reused, metabolized, or excreted in urine. The half-life of ACHE and BCHE, whether damaged by agent or in normal working condition, would be ten days or so. Thus, of whatever fraction the Skirpals’ rbc acetylcholinesterase was irreversibly blocked early on by agent, a quarter might still be around. Again, not enough to characterize directly but enough to re-study reactivation kinetics by various antidotes.

    The Skirpals’ treatment history at the hospital has not been disclosed (mere symptom management, dialysis, transfusions, gastric lavage, poison antidotes?) and no information has been released on their current health status and future prognosis. A coma or unconscious state would result from blockage of brain stem reticular acetylcholinesterase, though permanent brain damage would be from seizures or initial asphyxia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reticular_formation

    No question, the Skirpals were poisoned. But with what and by whom appears not yet to have been determined.

    Neither Porton Down nor OPCW can make a reliable Novichok attribution from mere enzyme assays, much less ascertain which specifically of the hundreds of such compounds, much less determine where and how they were made and by whom. But it is possible that a mother lode of residue powder or oil has been recovered by now from the car or home. However it is also possible that agent will never be recovered: a gaseous agent will have already dissipated, a hydroscopic compound already broken down from rainy weather.

    • The Salvation Airforce

      it goes without saying that, if they received any form of transfusion, then all subsequent blood tests are open to challenge, no?

    • Peter B

      Which court document? I’m reading https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sshd-v-skripal-and-another-20180322.pdf and I’m not seeing a description of assays for enzyme activity. I’m seeing nothing, really, about the evidence, though, only the judge’s summary.

      It only references biological samples, but only biological samples would be in the court’s purview – this is the document establishing the legality of taking blood from the two most ill poisoning victims, who are unable to consent.

      I do wonder if they also have samples of the residue. If they’re hanging everything on cholinesterase, I don’t see how Porton Down would have let them say anything past “nerve agent.” Cholinesterase inhibition includes concentrated pesticides, Sarin, VX – really, a very large number of compounds.

  • reel guid

    Joe Wallace is elected for the SNP in the Penicuik by-election for Midlothian Council.

    Take that Tories! Take that Labour! Your power grabs and enforced EU departures etc ain’t making it with the voters of Scotland.

    By-election wins in Scotland in 2018:

    SNP – 3
    Tory – 0
    Labour – 0
    Lib Dem – 0

    • Mochyn69

      Thank you Penycuik for some good news in these rather sombre days!

      More, more, more like this please!

      .

      • reel guid

        Amen Mochyn.

        An SNP gain from Labour. Corbyn’s lot finished in third in 1st preferences. Despite Jeremy and John McDonnell visiting the ward during the campaign.

        Well done lads! Next time please visit twice.

    • Republicofscotland

      Good result reel guid.

      Meanwhile the Bishop of York, who sits in the undemocratic unelected House of Lords (talk about Putinesque, he’s got nothing on the HoL).

      He’s decided that the powers coming back from the EU should remain at Westminster, and he’ll vote that way if it comes down to it.

      • reel guid

        Ros

        He’s from Uganda too. But it doesn’t seem to bother him that Theresa May’s behaving like Idi Amin.

        • Republicofscotland

          What do you expect from the HoL, it’s jam packed to the rafters with religious zealots, failed politicans, party donors and life long yes men and women.

  • Mikael Kall

    Mayby Porton Down didn’t find any nerve agent! Because it uses again so unclear definiton: “ the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or RELATED COMPOUND”.
    It sounds very similiar to the definition “a type devoloped by Russia”.

  • Steve.

    Narrative will be twisted soon.
    Russian liberal newspaper published article that claims/suggests that:

    1. in 1994 Novichok was produced in military institute by one of it’s creators to be sold to mafia, which consequently used it to assasinate a bank official;

    [They have full investigation of 1994 with commentry from public institutions confirming that military grade neevw agent was used, interview with scientist who made it etc. Though key elements are not included. Such us: where he was working at a time (govt.?), what agent exactly was used, how used agent affected target etc]

    1.1 Novichok was researched up to 1994 by Russian government;

    [Plays into British side of conflict hands. Article claims scientist was working for govt. at a time but he was acting at his own accord, same article says. Neither it is clear what laboratory was used]

    1.2 Novichok was actually created on Russian territiry;

    [Russian MoD lied. Zacharoba lied]

    1.3 Novichok was used for assasination;

    2. On the crime scene several policemen were exposed to the poison and to different degree had health issues tied with that;

    [Direct reference to incident, assuming same chemical was used in U.K.]

    3. Poison kills it’s target in a matter of 90 min – 240 min.

    [Same as U.K.]

    4. Poison was sold to mafia and to Chechnya terrorist by the same scientist, therefore it was used in a wild;

    [“Russia lost control of it’s nerve agent”]

    5. Pro-government newspaper that published interview with the claim that name Novichok was never used as the name of the chemical, deceptively edited the interview. In the first version of it scientists said that Novichok WAS the name of researched chemical.

    [Zacharova lies]

    Outlet got investigation papers on their hands which they partially published. Novaya Gazeta is anti-Putin newspaper. They slightly twist facts to fit U.K. narrative.

    I am sure this is enough to flood British media with “Russia LIED” hedlines.

    https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/03/22/75896-rezhim-novichka

    Automatic translation works decent. If you need help with it ask.

    • Dave

      Labour were under considerable pressure to blame Russia, because that removes the need to produce any evidence, as assertion and bluster is then enough. So well done JC, but alas he’s left holding the flag as they fall around him!

      • fred

        The SNP also blame Russia. There are two things I am confident of, one that Nicola Sturgeon will have seen information not available to the general public and two that she would not have missed an opportunity to undermine the British government if she thought she had half a chance of getting away with it.

        • Dom

          You’re confident the British government is withholding information from the public that would give some credence to its blame Putin position?

          • fred

            I expect there is much the government wouldn’t want hostile countries knowing about our security capabilities.

        • Republicofscotland

          “The SNP also blame Russia. ”

          Yes, she did, but she’s also held very constructive talks with the Russia’s Consul General in Scotland. Something that Ruth Davidson, Richard Leonard nor Willie Rennie could even think of doing, theyre so blinkered.

          Now I can’t vouch as to what she said, but I’d guess that Sturgeon, didn’t do a Boris Johnson knee-jerk reaction. Hence Scots being allowed freely and quickly to travel to-and-fro in Russia, but England and Wales will not.

          The sooner Scotland gains independence from idiots such as Boris Johnson and the Westminster government in general, the better – they’re a liability.

          http://www.thenational.scot/news/16110649.visas-for-scots-travelling-to-russia-will-not-be-delayed/?ref=mr&lp=8

    • Resident Dissident

      Tough – who to believe the Putin regime or a liberal Russian newspaper that has had 6 of its journalists murdered including Anna Politkovskaya fro speaking the truth.

      • Agent Green

        I would rather believe evidence than vague assertions and accusations. As yet, no evidence has been presented.

        • Resident Dissident

          On the other had you could divert and distract and add to the 20+ conspiracy theories put out by the Putin regime.

          • The Salvation Airforce

            May I respectfully suggest to all and sundry that, with Putin just re-elected with a share of the vote which would be unheard of in the West, if we are to refer to the Russian government as a “regime”, then we refer to the Conservative party in the UK as “the mob” or “the clique”?

            Alternatively someone could perhaps explain to me just what calling people names adds to the store of human wisdom

        • Resident Dissident

          I suspect that anything that runs counter to your line would by definition not count as evidence.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes ResDis, I agree on the point, of journalist being removed and unfair elections. However there’s no evidence other than Tory platitudes that Russia carried out the attack on the Skripals.

        Of course if you have anything more solid than overwhelmingly likely, or no plausible alternative, then please do share it with us all.

        • Resident Dissident

          Do you really think Roman Shleinov made it all up to enhance his health and career prospects.

          • Agent Green

            As a Judge in court would tell the jury, there could be any number of reasons for a witness to lie. The article is not evidence.

          • Republicofscotland

            Agent Green.

            I agree the article isn’t evidence in itself that Russia is complicit in the Skripal attack. If it was the narrative wouldn’t be one of most likely, but definitely.

          • Merkin Scot

            “Do you really think Roman Shleinov made it all up to enhance his health and career prospects.”
            .
            Yes, a very real possibility.

      • Steve.

        Article deconstructs strong counter-argument Russian MoD has right now. Essentially creating little pieces of myth that may be combined together in any narrative possible. Russia did it, Chechnya did it, Britain obtained a sample – everything goes and has nothing to do with reality.

        The matter of fact is – when establishment has full control of MSM and narative it can not be hold accountable.
        Russian MFA poorly hold the response to accusation. The point that program was never called Novichok is COMPLETELY irrelevant, but since this article suggests Zacharova lied (or was misinformed) U.K. MSM can put RUSSIA LIES in every headline and get away with criminal warmongering.

        Article proves that that program (not from the beginning, mayby in a last year) was actually called Novichok. IRRELEVANT.
        Article proves (suggests that they have prove of it) that Russia quit production of this nerve agent not 27 years ago, but 24. No difference. IRRELEVANT.
        Article proves that once Russian scientist sold this poison to mafia, and it exists in a wild. But the formula is open secret for decades, it is IRRELEVANT.

        This article is not investigative journalism, it is a narrative manipulation. There is no much investigation in requesting copy of an old document. It is pro-war manipulation, and a disgusting one.

        Read the bloody article!
        It proves nothing whatsoever…

    • Resident Dissident

      Real investigative journalism from real, and extremely brave, dissenters. How will this forum cope.

      • Republicofscotland

        You do know that Novaya Gazeta, was set up by a Russian president.

        In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev used the money from his Nobel Peace Prize to help set up the Novaya Gazeta, in 1993 and purchase its first computers. Though I’m not bringing into question the papers objectivity.

  • Mikael Kall

    Mayby Porton Down didn’t find any nerve agent! Because it uses again so unclear definition: “the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or RELATED COMPOUND”.
    It sounds very similiar to the definition “a type devoloped by Russia”.

    • Ross

      The mood music does seem to be very much pointing in the direction of BRexit being cancelled because we need a united from against those nasty Russians.

  • Paul

    The phrase used by Porton Down “of a type known to be developed by Russia” makes clear to me that they were unable to exactly identify the chemical in the sample. For the attempted identification they will have done mass spectroscopy. In this procedure the chemical is fragmented by elektrons and the fragments are then led through a magnetic field and detected as separate peaks on a plot. Different chemical groups have characteristic peaks, so the position of the peaks obtained with the sample gives you clues as to which chemical groups (fragments) are present in the sample. The chemists at Porton Down will have found chemical group(s) matching with the “novichok” A-234 but they will have been unable to fully identify the chemical structure of the chemical. If the latter had been the case they would said “a chemical known to be developed by Russia”. Most likely Porton Down has its own samples of A-234 and other novichoks, which is helpful for them when they do the mass spetroscopy.

    Note that all of this is still far removed from trying to prove that the “novichok” allegedly used was produced in Russia. For that you need an original sample actually produced in Russia (and preferably a recent one). It is of course completely unknown if such a sample actually exists anywhere…

  • Geoffrey de Galles

    Herewith an addendum to a comment of mine posted just some twenty minutes ago but which I don’t see displayed:- See the photo credited to the Solent News & Photo Agency and captioned “Police arrived at Skripal’s home in Salisbury on Sunday evening [March 4] and have remained there since” in the Mail Online, March 6, 2018: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5467051/Was-Russian-spy-poisoned-Zizzi.html .
    The fact the photo was taken in broad daylight powerfully suggests March 5 as its date, by when of course Skripal and his daughter were hospitalized. So why the white smoke billowing out of the chimney while the police were in occupation, as attested by the police Range Rover and the police wo/man outside. Was paper being burned? What, just to keep the cops inside warm?

    • Murray Johnson

      Looks like the exhaust from a standard condensing boiler. They’ll have had the central heating on.

      • fred

        It certainly isn’t a chimney, building regs say a chimney has to extend well above the ridge of the roof. If that was a chimney the house would fill with smoke when the wind was in the wrong direction.

        • Geoffrey de Galles

          Thanks for the contradiction and the enlightenment. Here in this part of the world (Asia Minor) we see no such thing — only ever smoke.

  • Ben

    “It seems easy enough to pick holes in the government’s accusations and question certain obviously bizarre aspects of this case but how about proposing an alternative explanation backed by evidence that is more believable?”

    Contrarians just want to keep their options open.

    • Spaull

      When someone puts forward a load of unevidenced and implausible garbage, they are in no position to dismiss other people for putting forward unevidenced and implausible garbage.

      Take, for example, the news that there was a massive chemical weapons exercise going on at the time of the poisoning on Salisbury Plain. Which is more implausible? That there is some connection between that exercise and this poisoning? Or that it is a complete and utter coincidence?

      • lysias

        There were a number of air defense exercises going on in the U.S. at the time of 9/11.

  • Agent Green

    There hasn’t been any evidence presented thus far, and certainly no evidence which would implicate Russia.

    It is up for the accused party to prove their case, not for the accused to prove their innocence.

    • Republicofscotland

      Agent Green.

      Yes, in a ideal world evidence would be produced, but we don’t live in a ideal world.

      We live in a world where aportion of blame, via smears and innuendo, and alliances looking to acheive a similar goal are the new truths.

      Dare I mention the Iraq war (WMDs anyone) or the bombing of Libya, on shady intel that Gaddafi was killing his own people.

      Lets not forget both Saddam and Gaddafi were, western allies at one time, when we needed them to do our dirty work in the region.

      • reel guid

        Ros.

        Yeah. Gaddafi had some cosy arrangements – or should it be Sarkozy arrangements? – with western politicians.

        • Republicofscotland

          Yeah I read that yesterday about Sarkozy, didnt Blair and Gaddafi cosy up as well?

        • nevermind

          and with Swiss bankers. Now, who snuffled Ghaddaffi’s/libyas
          151 billion dollares away? who nicked it?

    • Resident Dissident

      First of all you need to get the Putin regime into the legal system – you know things like custody, questioning, police investigation before you can start applying the normal legal norms.

      • The Salvation Airforce

        Do we now have our very own pet troll on this forum? How cute! I was rather hoping for a parrot, but a I suppose a moockingjay will have to do

      • james

        how about getting the theresa may regime into the legal system, whereby innocence is presumed prior to evidence giving a guilty verdict??

      • Agent Green

        The May regime is the problem here. If they have evidence it should be produced.

    • Billy Bostickson

      Ok, so what if Putin’s wife has been blackmailed by MI6 (because she lost loads of money on the horses) and she actually recorded him with her Iphone saying to Ramón Mercader Jr:

      “I don’t want you to use a bloody ice pick like your Dad did, I want you to use Novichok on Skripal and his daughter, get it?”

      How would you like the evidence to be presented to the British Public? Publicly? On TV? In sign language so that Putin won’t know his wife is a British spy?

      We are not in a court of law here, this is the world of dirty tricks, lies and subterfuge.

      TM has been telling European leaders something that has got them supporting her, something we haven’t been told because it is hush hush obviously.

  • reel guid

    Do you think that when the Tory cabinet next dine with each other they’ll be taking the piss out of Boris after the dessert course by asking him to pass the Porton Down the table?

  • gdg

    I know there’s been so much discussion about the origin of the ‘agent/poison’, but is that really the issue? Even if the Novichok, or whatever, does turn out to have been made in Russia, what does that prove about who the perpetrators were? Once a poison has been weaponised – in the minimum sense that it can be put into a small container and safely carried around, then it can be stolen, and sold on. So, groups with a hatred of Russia or President Putin, and there’s no shortage there, and who have the right contacts, could have set up this incident with the sole purpose of heightening the already rampant anti-Russian hysteria that pervades discourse here in the West. To find these perpetrators is going to require a full police investigation, presumably with the Security Service. As to the OPCW, how much is this organisation to be trusted? Also, when it comes to passing over physical evidence, how secure is the evidentiary trail here? Basically, would any of this stand up in a court of law?

    • fred

      If it was made in Russia then Russia is culpable. Countries have an obligation to ensure toxic nerve agents do not fall into the wrong hands.

      • Agent Green

        If it was an agent of the type being discussed, it could have been in constituent parts (which are not banned). Therefore it would not of itself be a toxic agent subject to the OPCW or international law.

      • The Salvation Airforce

        If you made it, fred, then you are culpable

        I have no evidence that you did; and neither you nor anyone else has any evidence that the Russians did

      • Merkin Scot

        “Countries have an obligation to ensure toxic nerve agents do not fall into the wrong hands.”
        .
        Yet, Boris tells us that England has had this substance for a long time without declaring it to OPCW.

  • David Abrahams-Edley

    On March 16, the BBC posted an article explaining as a fact ‘What are Novichok’s and what do they do’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43377698 – Are the BBC again misleading the public to whip up a moral panic? If so what is the endgame?

    It seems that all the arguments so far in support of May’s analysis of the events in Salisbury all use the same narrative: Russia is bad – they have form at this sort of thing so they must have done it. But if we look at ourselves we are hardly covered in glory either. We are exchanging fact for sensation, ignoring scientific prepositions, laboratory timescales and legal process, and accepting without question knee jerk reactions and hot headed rabidity from our MPs and press. Well Russia is bad, they have form and they are more than capable of attacking former nationals on foreign soil. However, so far we have seen nothing but Government statements shored up by the media that suit an emerging position that does not seem to mirror the events in Salisbury but rather acts as a conduit to fold out other agendas.

    Why at this time Russia would choose to attack someone who was pardoned years ago after a long prison sentence? After spending two days having arguments about this and being subject to abuse for having the audacity to question something that clearly doesn’t add up, I thought I’d look a little deeper at some of the background. What has led to these events? Why did the Government nor hand over samples of the alleged nerve agent immediately to prescribed agencis as is required in Convention? I would argue because this nerve agent is a distraction. A nerve agent or other poison may well have been used, and it may or may not have been the Russian state. The concern is that Novichoks were specifically blamed only hours after the attack immediately questions the validity of this. May, in her typical fashion, showed this up as a mistruth as soon as she opened her mouth, she said “It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,”. “This is part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok.” – http://www.independent.co.uk/…/novichok-nerve-agent… Please take time to think about this. If what she was saying is true, is something that has been ramped up to be this powerful something you can put on the end of an umbrella or into someones drink or even smear on someones face? It must also be said that if this had happened with a military grade nerve agent, that it is also, by Convention, an act of war. But why Novichok’s – when May made the statement in Parliament she could not have possibly had test results, nor could she have made ascertions based on peer reiviews of its effects, for reasons I will come on to. Why not say is was Sarin or even VX – which themselves are highly toxic military grade nerve agents. Naming it as a military grade toxin, when all nerve agents are military grade toxins, this has ramped up the rhetoric – it has been portrayed as much more potent and many many times more toxic and the languague in both Westminster and the media has been carefully designed to both mislead and strike panic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent

    Let us be clear – the sort of compound that Novichocks are claimed to be is designed to knock out battalions. So even if we passed on this alleged nerve agent to the UN as is required in Convention – because we have samples and UK synthesised variants of all known nerve agents 7 miles up the road at Winterbourne Gunner or Porton Down, it would disprove her assertion. Not least that it takes up to 3 weeks to analyse such a compound. As for evidence of us having already in our possession such a compound: we could not possibly identify such a compound unless we had some in stock to identify it against or at the very least a chemical formula. If such a compound existed, it would prove beyond reasonable doubt that such an agent was not used in Salisbury because it would be clear that it could not be used in this way without effecting more casualties. It is claimed to be a highly toxic battlefield nerve agent far more toxic that VX or Sarin. To give context, VX killed 3000 sheep and injured 3000 more from three miles away from where it was released.

    ‘Production of VX began in 1961; although it is less volatile than tabun or sarin, it is more toxic. Aerosols of VX are deadly and it can also be absorbed through the skin. There were over 3000 fatalities on one occasion when VX was tested, but fortunately these casualties were sheep. On March 13th 1968, a jet aircraft came in over the chemical weapons proving ground at Dugway in Utah, releasing a spray of VX during trials. Unfortunately something went wrong, and the discharge of VX killed or injured 6000 sheep grazing nearly 30 miles away in the area appropriately known as Skull Valley, ‘. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/…/nerve-gas-in-warfare.aspx

    VX is the material that the US claimed two people smeared on their hands and wiped the face of Kim Jon Nam during a North Korea state sponsored execution in Malaysia. And May says that Novichoks are many times more powerful.

    The chemical composition of a nerve agents works around a theme. Essentially, they are fertilisers ASBO cousin. Lets look at for example at GV nerve agents. These are a variant of VX. The Chemical composition of these includes N-dimethylethanimidamide (CH3)2N which is an is an unstable nitrate.
    F which is Fluourine – something we synthesise to put in toothpaste.
    P is Phosphorus – another unstable element used in weedkiller
    O is Oxygen – 19% of our atmosphere and flammable when isolated.
    Most nerve agents used variant of this cocktail. In the case of GV’s – they add a complex compound of diethylene and ether – both freely available hydrocarbons. This creates an organophosphate like VX and which is an effective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. In small amounts this creates symptoms which vary according to dosage similar to alzheimers or advanced cerebral palsy. They restrict breathing and shut down the digestive system – in larger quantities it is, strokes, heart attacks and in large scale attacks as we have seen in Syria – death. Nerve agents of any type are truly nasty stuff – but the ingredients are all available to chemists anywhere in the world. All chemical compositions of known nerve agents are published by the OPCW, and national agencies in most countries hold a small stock of them to identify and develop antidotes.

    Also, we oversaw the destruction of Russia’s entire stockpile of nearly 40,000 tonnes of nerve agents when we were observers of the OPCW. The BBC claims that Novichoks were not included as they were never declared. https://www.opcw.org/…/destruction-of-chemical-weapons/

    But here is the thing: It appears Novichok’s have never been proven to exist in the first place. We know about all the enemies weapons to varying degrees but there is very little even written on Novichoks before the last couple of weeks. In 2013 the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Scientific Advisory Board reported that it had insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of Novichok agents.https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/SAB/en/sab-16-01_e_.pdf and in 2011 it noted there was no peer reviewed paper on Novichok agents in scientific literature. One peer reference there is is in a publication called ‘Issues in Toxicology – Chemical Warefare Toxicology Vol1’ by Franz Worek, John Jenner and Thorst Thiermann. On Page page 19 Chapter 1.4.4.4. the only reference in this extremely detailed document to Novichok’s is: ‘In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970’s as part of the ‘Folient’ programmes, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published”. The same book provides chemical formulas for all known nerve agents that were destroyed as part of the OPCW convention, including Tabun, DFP, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, 2-Methyl GF, GP. G, GV and V agents. All of the above were produced at Porton Down and Winterbourne Gunner and could be identified. If this is correct then the Government (a) could not possibly identify this as they would not have any comparisons (b) could not possibly identify it because it does not exist. https://books.google.de/books?id=7GooDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA1… The argument that the Russians have sat on this weapon for thirty years without the knowledge of it from the international communiy also falls flat – if the Russians had kept a lid on it this long, why would they out it in such a cavalier fashion that draws attention to it when it would be a much more valuable weapon to them if it remained a secret?

    In fact, and you have to congratulate our Government for this, going for something as rare in fact and substance as this – the only references to these weapons before this episode were from a single source – Dr Vil Mirzayanov – a dissident scientist who emigrated to the US. This was in the form several documents: A Henry Stimson Center report (Chemical weapons disarmament in Russia: Problems and prospects) HSC Report No 17, 1995. A reference to Mirzayanov and his claims on page 105 of Potential chemical warfare agents, Chem. Listy, 2011. A mention in V.Pitchmann, ‘Overall view of Chemical and biochemical weapons, Toxins (Basel) 2014’ and an article dated 16 September 1992 on Page 3 in the Baltimore Sun ‘Ex-Soviet scientist says Gorbachev’s regime created new nerve gas in ’91’. They all come from one source. Prior to his relocation to the US Mirzayanov was discredited when his trial for treason collapsed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vil_Mirzayanov. As an aside from this there is a conflict between the periods of alleged production, firstly between 1970’s and 1980’s and laterly 1991. Historically, In 1991 the Soviet Union was in Glasnost and was falling apart. What possible reason would it have to be developing new WMD’s at this time, and what capacity would it have when it was in such a state that it’s troops were having to sell their gear and hitch back home from Eastern Europe? The US on the advice of Mirzayanov entered into an agreement with the Uzbek Government to clean up an alleged Novichok process laboratory in Nukus, Uzbekistan. What they found was a derelict abandoned site with evidence of production and testing of nerve agents but no evidence of Novichok production. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/25/world/us-and-uzbeks-agree-on-chemical-arms-plant-cleanup.html

    Unsurprisingly, the so called ‘facts’ that the BBC are reporting to instil sensation and fear appear to come from the same single source, Vil Mirzayanov.

    The UK has a long tradition of misinformation that goes way beyond the period of fake news. So far all the evidence I see amounts to a very dangerous propaganda war that could get very nasty very quickly against a very dangerous Russia. I have to ask myself – what is the endgame for this, because it’s front facing narrative makes no sense. It also manged, by sheer co-incidence to bury the bad news that the Government were cutting free school meals to the poor, ESA and interest mortgage relief to those who need it the most. This at the same time that Philip Hammond was ‘tigger like’ in his admission that austerity was in fact, unecessary and punitive to all except those that caused it, and was shored up by a BBC smear campaign on the Corbyn, whose crime was to ask for the establisment of facts before we go off half cocked.

    We should be asking ourselves some questions. What really happened? Who did it? What, if any nerve agents were used? Why has due process not been followed? Who stands to benefit from this. We should also be wary when the Government and press imply that if you question this, then somehow you are a supporter of Putin. The press and MPs have been vicious in their attacks on those who question what clearly doesn’t add up. This is distraction and projection – something the Government excels at. Especially when the people making these allegations about the Russian state belong to a party that has significantly benefited from money that can be traced directly back to sources close to the Kremlin. Since 2010, over £3 million in Tory donations have been made by Russian donors, mainly linked to Putin. Of this £820k Russian donations have been made to the Tory Party since May took power. Most recently the Tories accepted £30,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, a close aid of Vladimir Putin’s to dine with the Defence Secretary, and the same perosn who allegedly paid £160k for a game of tennis with Boris Johnson. This is all the more concerning as it was just two weeks after it was claimed that Russia was implicated in a cyber attack. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-accept-30000-vladimir-putins-12009563. Previously, Cameron set up a pro-Russian PR company but it has all backfired on them. It’s very difficult for the tories to take a moral stance on for example the Ukraine when their hand is in the cookie jar. Enter the Russian Mafia – it has hundreds of billions of laundered investments mainly in property in London and in the City. Even the interest on these investments makes the Tory donations look like chicken feed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Hand-roubles-Dave-Clamour…. Osborne tried to hit the Russians after the shooting down of the Malaysian flight MH17 but even he realised that in the present circumstances he couldn’t sanction Russia without hurting the British economy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28450125. Fast forward to 2018. A Russian is allegedly attacked in a pub or restaurant with his daughter using a soviet era battlefield nerve agent that may or may not have been produced in Russia, if indeed it was produced at all https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/…/the-novichok-story-is…/. What is sure is that May is about to bankrupt Britain with Brexit and needs to source big money quickly. Hammond has finally admitted that the British debt has doubled since 2010 to £1.7 trillion in spite of austerity. https://money.usnews.com/…/uks-hammond-says-might-be…. At the same time the Government has pledged to crack down on money laundering and seize assets. https://barringtons.co.uk/…/world-first-register-to…/ Most of the assets originate in Russia. So how can a Government with financial links to the very people it wants to punish and seize their assets justify it’s actions. https://www.theguardian.com/…/litvinenko-widow-warns…. Well, one of the things it can do is use an attack which may or may not have been on a former Russian Spy who still has connections to MI6, implying that he still had access to useful information. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/…/sergei-skripal-mi6-handler…. After doing serious time in a Russian prison, being pardoned and the subject of a spy swap, it is highly unlikely he would have access to Russian state secrets. It is even less likely he could have have direct useful links to the Kremlin. This leaves Russian industrial espoinage or money laundering – and with that the Russian Mafia, those who stand to lose the most is London cracks down on dark money in the City wrapped up in property and investments. The UK Government needed an incident like Skripal to lever in the seizing of Russian dirty assets.

    Irrespective of whatever happened in Salisbury, this is manna from heaven for some of the most reckless sociopaths in our Government. The sheer speed that the accusations came out bears witness to this. It seems that if whatever incident in Salisbury hadn’t occurred, then it would have be necessary to invent an incident with the same impact.

    • TJ

      That is an excellent summary of the situation to date, if I could up vote it I would. My only quibble is at the end, regarding the why. One cannot exclude the possibility that this has to do with the Steele “dossier” on Trump, if Skripal was involved that would make him a target of those that do not want its origins unearthed, and blaming Russia would make it a case of two birds with one stone, or as the Americans prefer it, a twofer.

      • Sagittarius Rising

        It has everything to do with the Steele dossier – or, rather, Christopher Steele and his links.

    • Billy Bostickson

      There is evidence over the years that Novichok type nerve agents were developed in the Soviet Union/Russia and thisw has been publicly admitted by three of the developers or scientists, not just Mirzanyanov, but also Leonard Rink and Vladimir Uglev

      “In order to make it easier to understand the subject matter, I will not use the name “Novichok” which has is now commonly used by everyone to describe those four substances which were conditionally assigned to me to develop over a period of several years. Three of these substances are part of the “Foliant” program, which was led by Pyotr Kirpichev, a scientist with GOSNIIOKHT (State Scientific-Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology). The first substance of a new class of organophosphorous chemical agents, I will call it “A-1972”, was developed by Kirpichev in 1972. In 1976, I developed two substances: “B-1976” and “C-1976”. The fourth substance, “D-1980”, was developed by Kirpichev in the early 1980s. All of these substances fall under the group referred to as “Novichkov”, but that name wasn’t given to the substances by GOSNIIOKHT. All four chemical agents are “FOS” or organophosphorous compounds which have a nerve paralyzing effect, but they differ in their precursors, how they were discovered and in their usage as agents of chemical warfare. The four substances were developed by Pyotr Kirpichev and Vladimir Uglev. Professor Leonid Rink, working later in a different group, tackled the problem but did not succeed. Uglev confirms that Vil Miranzayanov was not involved in the development at all. His group was responsible for chemical analysis and for environmental control around the laboratory.
      Vladimir Uglev, like Renk and Miranzayanov, notes that these agents “of a type developed by Russia” can now be produced by any sufficiently equipped laboratory, including private ones.

      Uglev mentions a criminal use of one of the agents in the 1990s:

      “One of these substances was used to poison the banker, Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary in 1995. A cotton ball, soaked in this agent, was rubbed over the microphone in the handset of Kivelidi’s telephone. That specific dose was developed by my group, where we produced all of the chemical agents, and each dose which we developed was given its own complete physical-chemical passport. It was therefore not difficult to determine who had prepared that dose and when it was developed. Naturally, the investigators also suspected me. I was questioned several times about this incident.”

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/russian-scientists-explain-novichok-high-time-for-britain-to-come-clean.html#more

    • jazza

      “Are the BBC again misleading the public to whip up a moral panic? If so what is the endgame?”

      the BBC has always mislead the public – the endgame should be that people stop paying the tv tax and bring the BBC to its knees

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