D’un Type Développé par des Menteurs 131

Those who have so kindly followed my analysis of the Skripal case so far will not have been surprised by this formulation appearing yet again in today’s European Union statement:

The European Union strongly condemns the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK on 4 March 2018, that also left a police officer seriously ill. The lives of many citizens were threatened by this reckless and illegal act. The European Union takes extremely seriously the UK government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible.
The European Union is shocked at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. The use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is completely unacceptable and constitutes a security threat to us all. Any such use is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a breach of international law and undermines the rules-based international order. The EU welcomes the commitment of the UK to work closely with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in supporting the investigation into the attack. The union calls on Russia to address urgently the questions raised by the UK and the international community and to provide immediate, full and complete disclosure of its novichok programme to the OPCW.
The European Union expresses its unqualified solidarity with the UK and its support, including for the UK’s efforts to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.
The EU will remain closely focussed on this issue and its implications.

While Boris Johnson may spout off the cuff lies while giving TV interviews, when it comes to any formal document or statement – in parliament, the Security Council, NATO and now the EU – the British government always reverts to this precise formulation “of a type developed by Russia” which attempts to disguise the fact that they have no evidence the material is made in Russia. Many laboratories can produce “novichoks”.

The EU statement very obviously eschews the British government line that Russia is evidently to blame. “The European Union takes extremely seriously the UK government’s assessment” is a double edged statement. Of course such a profound accusation must be taken seriously – whether the accusation redounds eventually to the discredit of the accused and accuser is a different question. There is something patronising about the “takes extremely seriously” line.

As in “we take the views of our customers extremely seriously. Unfortunately none of our agents is available right now, please continue to hold…” followed by thirty minutes of jingle then cuts off. I am told the French text sounds still more disdainful.

Apparently the BBC’s Eddie Mair on the PM programme on BBC Radio 4 today did take up the subject of the peculiar wording “of a type developed by Russia”, though without reaching any conclusion. He mentioned me by name. Now both the UK’s main political radio programmes – PM and Today – have mentioned me by name and discussed my ideas, but neither has given me a chance to reply. Mair is interesting – he first interviewed me on Radio Tay in 1984. He was then a brilliant young school-leaver who looked 12 years old, and came from the Whitfield housing scheme in Dundee, then one of the most deprived and toughest estates in the entire UK. It is a shame that his talent and energy have been wasted in the BBC, but his background does perhaps lead him to go outside the Establishment consensus sometimes.

As it is, here I am on some “fringe” media outlets today, which there are increasing calls from MPs of all major parties to close down, so that non-Establishment views can be completely suppressed.

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131 thoughts on “D’un Type Développé par des Menteurs

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    • craig Post author

      No I was quietly chuffed by that. Now all they have to do is get rid of 80% of the MPs and embrace Scottish Independence, and I shall be able to join the Labour Party. 🙂

      • reel guid

        Perhaps some of the Labour officials who’ve resigned might just be a bit less inclined than Jeremy Corbyn to make dodgy anti-immigrant comments of the ‘they’re driving down British wages’ sort.

        • frankywiggles

          They’re certainly in tune with Theresa May, Bojo and Sturgeon in accusing Putin without evidence.

        • Shatnersrug

          Reel guid, I’m embarrassed for you when you make such silly partisan comments. You will never get your indepedence with the establish stooges in the snp

          • reel guid

            So you’re not going to attempt a defence of the anti-immigration section of Jeremy’s Dundee speech?

        • BigDave

          Didn’t Jeremy Corbyn say that it was EU rules that enable companies to use freedom of movement to undercut wages? Words to that effect. Check out the EU’s Posted Workers’ Directive. The one that enables employers to recruit in another EU country at wage rates that would be illegal here then Post those workers to the UK to work for £4 an hour.

    • Jan Brooker

      “most of the NEC staff” ~ the figures I have seen state that 6 [out of 420] staff have left; last time there was a change of Gen Sec, apparently 14 [from memory] staff from a smaller complement left. You are just ‘weaponising’ the staff resignations [no-one has been ‘purged’].

  • Valerie RETTIE

    More power to you Mr M. thank you for calm & concie input. Just watch er back!

  • squirrel

    “The union calls on Russia … to provide immediate, full and complete disclosure of its novichok programme to the OPCW.”

    Begging the question of whether such a programme exists. A nice rhetorical fallacy.

  • Nemo

    Mr Murray. Have you seen this letter to the editor of The Times newspaper. It is still on their website. The wording is precise and the source impeccable.
    Sir, Further to your report (“Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.
    Stephen Davies
    Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

  • mog

    Great work Craig.
    There is another matter of wording that will not go away [brought forward from last thread]:

    The Davies Letter Again…
    March 14th The Times published an article, ‘Salisbury poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment’, which starts:
    Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, it was revealed yesterday, as locals expressed anger about a lack of information from the authorities.
    Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who sought refuge in Britain after a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia are among 38 people who required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms, Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism, revealed.

    March 16th, The Times publishes a letter in its reader’s letters page:
    ‘Sir, further to your report (‘Poision Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.’
    Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust)

    It is clear that Davies is contradicting the reporting of Neil Basu’s statement. Were there dozens of people receiving treatment for symptoms of poisoning in Salisbury, or not? If not, why is the national head of counterterrorism saying there were? If it has been misreported, why hasn’t Basu corrected the report in The Times? This is important.
    Bearing this in mind, how can we interpret the overall statement of the letter from Davies? If he sought to provide simple clarification on this point, he could have stated that “three (and only three) people are being treated for symptoms of nerve poisoning by Salisbury NHS services”. Yet he does not say this.
    Surely this matter needs to be clarified.
    If a senior head of counterterrorism is being contradicted by the medical team in the middle of this saga, it doesn’t seem like pedantry to ask.

    • MJ

      The consultant can only speak for Salisbury NHS Trust. Perhaps the victims were treated elsewhere. I understand for instance that the daughter was whisked away in an air ambulance. I wonder where she went.

      • mog

        That would explain it I guess, although where would Salisbury residents be going to get treatment for symptoms of nerve agent poisoning? Have the authorities been moving 38 people around the country? If so, we have heard nothing about it at all.
        Davies could easily make this clear in his letter, why didn’t he?
        The local press are clear that the Air Ambulace did not move either of the Skripals and does not mention any hospital other than Salisbury District Hospital:
        Wiltshire Air Ambulance has confirmed neither Sergei or Yulia Skripal were flown to Salisbury District Hospital.
        A number of people have voiced concerns the emergency helicopter may have been contaminated after it was called to the Maltings on the 4th March where the former Russian agent and his daughter had collapsed
        It’s now been confirmed both were taken by land ambulance to our hospital.


        Why were the national press misreporting this too?

        • mog

          In fact I cannot find any reference to any other hospital but Salisbury District in any report about these events anywhere in the media, so I have to discard the idea that victims have been treated elsewhere.

    • N_

      Stephen Davies contradicted not just Neil Basu’s statement but the statement that Theresa May made to the House of Commons when she said “it is now clear” that the Skripals had been poisoned using a nerve agent.

      • Kempe

        Davies’s letter contradicts itself.

        Typically too much is being read into a badly written letter.

        • mog

          If a public official had, at some point in the past two weeks, stepped forward at an interview or press briefing and made clear that “35 people have been screened for possible contamination and all released with no symptoms, and that three people remain in hospital in Salisbury suffering the effects of nerve agent poisoning”, then I would agree with you Kempe – but they haven’t. We have this bizarre silence and contradiction from the authorities and no interest from the media.
          It’s pretty straight forward public relations.
          If they really want to quash speculation, then they are doing even the basics wrong.

  • Pascale

    Where can I read the French text please?

    Thank you for all these posts on the Skripal affair. And the insider knowledge of this world. Fascinating.

    I feel today that the UK government has overshot itself, especially since the Johnson lies on stockpiling. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to maintain their version, or for journalists, even corporate ones, to paint a perfect appearance of credibility. Something is cracking, and we owe you for that.

    • N_

      @Pascale – It’s in several languages here.

      Déclaration du Conseil des affaires étrangères sur l’attaque de Salisbury

      L’Union européenne condamne fermement l’attaque dont ont été victimes Sergueï et Ioulia Skripal à Salisbury au Royaume-Uni le 4 mars 2018, à la suite de laquelle un policier est également tombé gravement malade. La vie de nombreux citoyens a été menacée par cet acte illégal inconsidéré. L’Union européenne prend très au sérieux l’évaluation du gouvernement britannique selon laquelle il est hautement probable que la Fédération de Russie soit responsable de cet acte.

      L’Union européenne est choquée par l’usage offensif qui a été fait pour la première fois en plus de soixante-dix ans sur le sol européen d’un gaz innervant de qualité militaire d’un type développé en Russie. L’utilisation d’armes chimiques par quiconque et en quelque circonstance que ce soit est totalement inacceptable et constitue une menace pour la sécurité de tous. Un tel usage représente une violation flagrante de la convention sur les armes chimiques, est contraire au droit international et porte atteinte à l’ordre international fondé sur des règles. L’UE salue l’engagement du Royaume-Uni de coopérer étroitement avec l’Organisation pour l’interdiction des armes chimiques (OIAC) à l’appui de l’enquête sur cette attaque. L’Union exhorte la Russie à répondre de toute urgence aux questions soulevées par le Royaume-Uni et la communauté internationale et à divulguer immédiatement de manière pleine et entière son programme Novichok à l’OIAC.

      L’Union européenne exprime sa solidarité sans faille avec le Royaume-Uni et son soutien, notamment aux efforts déployés par ce pays pour traduire en justice les responsables de ce crime.

      L’UE continuera de porter toute son attention sur cette question et ses implications.

  • JohnsonR

    At 4:00 in the George Galloway interview:

    “In fact I was just getting information today that the professor of organo-chemistry at Cornell University has today published that “given the information available on the formulae, any of his third year students could do it in his university”.”

    That’s the final end of any debate over the British government’s spurious claim that if it was a Novichok agent then it was most likely Russia.

    • DDTea

      David Collum is an academic with tunnel vision. Yeah, any third year undergrad could probably do this reaction. It’s not difficult to combine two chemicals and stir. But they would die when they tried to work it up/isolate their product.

      I’ve seen how undergraduate labs carries methyl vinyl ketone out of the fumehood and gasses everyone out of the lab. University research labs barely let graduate students work with hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, or picric acid. I’ve yet to see a graduate student do organosulfur chemistry without the entire lab knowing–and the concentrations at which organosulfur compounds can be smelled are concentrations that are lethal for nerve agents. David Collum is shamelessly exaggerating.

      I’ll copy and paste an earlier message of mine regarding the Iranian synthesis:

      “Big difference between synthesizing the agent on an analytical scale (GC/MS and LC/MS/MS require only milligrams of sample) and weaponizing it–especially if it’s a dusty agent, as is now being alleged. Completely different skill sets.

      But it’s disingenuous to suggest that the sole barrier to using these nerve agents is their synthesis. The toxicological profile, physical properties, and spectral characteristics of Mirzayanov’s reported agents are not in the public literature. These would all have to be determined. It was not generally known that these are even effective nerve agents (i.e., not environmentally labile). This would also have to be studied. Synthesizing the agents and testing them–safely–would be a major R&D undertaking requiring significant expenditures and capital investment to handle such high potency compounds. Choosing the one fit for the present assassination attempts (given that there are allegedly hundreds of variations) could only stem from such efforts. This was absolutely a state sponsored attack.”

      • DDTea

        I mangled that second paragraph. Should read, “I have seen how an undergrad in a sophomore organic chemistry lab carried methyl vinyl ketone out of their fumehood and gassed everyone out.” The lab was cancelled for the day.

        Simple fact is that most undergraduates do not have the maturity or the appreciation of danger to handle such things. With a lachrymator or a dimethylsulfide, you can learn from your mistakes. With nerve agents, especially the more potent series, you suffer permanent nerve damage if you survive.

        Likewise, all those little experiments you do with nerve agents lead to microexposures. Overtime, these accrue to cause serious acetylcholinesterase inhibition. This is why everyone at, e.g., Edgewood Chemical & Biological Center or Porton Down are subject to routine medical monitoring.

        I don’t doubt that an undergraduate could “make” these chemicals on an appropriately small scale. I just doubt that they could ever isolate them on a scale relevant for a chemical attack, turn it into a weapon, and do it clandestinely.

        • Radio Jammor

          Given that the attempt failed, this doesn’t exactly tie-in with the point of your posts, here, that only a state-sponsored organisation could have synthesized and weaponised a Novichok, and that it must be Russia.

          “I don’t doubt that an undergraduate could “make” these chemicals on an appropriately small scale” you say, which is all someone with the money and motivation would need an Undergraduate to do, perhaps after having paid them or put them under threat some sort of threat. Whoever was responsible could have paid or had had access to other individuals with the skills to weaponize such a nerve agent.

          You, like Clyde the ranting chemist on Twitter, seem all too keen to blame Russia, purely because it was a Novichok type agent, whilst seeing & to a degree acknowledging that it could have been made elsewhere, by another state, or ‘player’.

          ISIL, for example, had assets of $2bn. I imagine that could buy a lab and a chemist or two and/or some mercenary expertise.

          Again – not ruling out Russia as a suspect – but far from happy at the level of so-called evidence against them, which still amounts to, ‘It was a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia, therefore it was Russia’, and the apparent unwillingness to even look at other potential suspects.

          • DDTea

            I’m blaming Russia because of their history of implausible denials.

            It’s intriguing that you bring up ISIS when, at their peak, all they could accomplish was a tactically and strategically ineffective mustard attack against YPG forces. They used chlorine a few times in Iraq as well. But even with their assets and a steady stream of international Ph.D. volunteers, they were far from ever producing any nerve agents.

            I’d like to note that even the Iranian/OPCW team commented on the difficulty associated with this purification of their reaction product from reaction byproducts. These are professional scientists with experience handling chemical weapons. Do you seriously believe that a 21 year old undergraduate can be trusted to accomplish this successfully? And to do it clandestinely and with due regard to the safety of their colleagues? Multiple times? Without even a hint of exposure (organophosphates can be cumulative poisons)? I don’t. And frankly, I don’t even think Collum does. He’s exaggerating,

          • Radio Jammor

            @ DDTea You say implausible denials, I might point to the not exactly proven accusations, even accepting there is reasonable suspicion.

            I take it however that you would agree that the US has the capability of producing a Novichok. This would be especially so, given it supposedly cleaned up Uzbekistan of Novichok, as reported 1999-2003 (yet for some reason hadn’t informed the OPCW of the Novichok it found at Nukus – did it find any?).

            Given that the US dragged the UK into the Iraq war, with the complicity of Tory Bliar, on the basis of WMDs that weren’t there, which Craig here has attested, more than once, without apparent challenge, did not exist, and the UK Gov knew didn’t exist – shouldn’t we be more skeptical of a) what our own Government claims and b) towards the US as an ally, and its willingness to go to war for resources?

        • Dave Lawton

          “I don’t doubt that an undergraduate could “make” these chemicals on an appropriately small scale. I just doubt that they could ever isolate them on a scale relevant for a chemical attack, turn it into a weapon, and do it clandestinely.”

          Why don’t you tell that to the survivors of the Aum Shinrikyo’s sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Also it shows you have never worked at the cutting edge of University research Lab.

          • DDTea

            It’s intriguing that you bring up the example of Aum Shrinrikyo. Their Satyan 7 chemical plant was built to proper specifications and was equipped with modern process controls. It had a targeted production output of ~1.7 tons per day. It was operated by experienced chemists and engineers, some of whom had experience developing chemical warfare agents in the former USSR, who joined their cult. Dummy companies were setup by the cult to procure their precursors. They also manufactured their own antidotes and prophylactics. Their plant was located on their secured and remote compound. And it took them months to master their production process–even for a 50 year old, well-known nerve agent–and produce sufficient quantities for the attacks on Matsumoto and Tokyo. But in total, they only managed to produce about 50 kg of sarin. This was no amateur job, and perhaps represents the best a non-state actor (with huge finances and access to expertise) could aspire to.


            1. Tu, Anthony. Overview of Sarin Terrorist Attacks in Japan. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/bk-2000-0745.ch020
            2. Seto, Yasuo. The Sarin Gas Attack in Japan and the Related Forensic Investigation. https://www.opcw.org/news/article/the-sarin-gas-attack-in-japan-and-the-related-forensic-investigation/

    • SA

      I am sure you understand the difference between a verdict of proven guilty on available evidence, and that of guilt not proven on available evidence, or if no evidence produced for guilt. No?

    • Kiza

      You may have missed how John Oliver made fun of Edward Snowden. He is a court jester that man, a regime-approved comedian.

      • joel

        “Even” the court jester of the wall st democrats is going with the establishment narrative, heavens above!

  • GoAwayAndShutUp

    It’s even worse. This “carefully” crafted sentence should be, in any case, “of the type developed by the USSR” but, then it wouldn’t have the desired impact.

  • J

    Worth reading. Link below:

    Damascus preparing for US strikes

    Damascus has taken a series of measures to prepare for an anticipated US military strike, Western diplomats told Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

    The measures were decided on Saturday during a meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by President Bashar al-Assad, which included military and security leaders.

    As part of the government’s preparations, letters were sent to Russia and Iran to request additional protection and Russian army troops have reportedly already been deployed to “critical locations” in order to deter Washington, one diplomat told the paper.

    Russian troops may also be sent to protect civilian and military government institutions. It was also reported that the United Nations has moved staff, including diplomats, from particular areas of concern.


    • Laguerre

      The Russians have been in Damascus for a week or two. It’s more precautionary to avert a potential strike, much like Harold Wilson sent a ship to the Falklands in 1976 to avert successfully an Argentinian invasion. When Mrs T withdrew the guard ship in 1982, the invasion duly came.

      There certainly will be a US “Surge” in Syria, as they’re now losing, and might as well withdraw. The loss of Afrin, although they did nothing to protect the Kurds there, has put the Kurds on the back foot, with not much chance of independence. The usual American reaction is to surge, as in Iraq or Afghanistan. We just don’t know yet what it will be. I should think that’s Asad’s fear. Such a surge won’t work of course.

  • P

    MrsMay’s statement was made more than a week after the incident


    She was able to rely on a huge amount of data, evidence and intelligence;

    “Hundreds of officers have been working around the clock, together with experts from our armed forces, to sift and assess all the available evidence, to identify crime scenes and decontamination sites and to follow every possible lead to find those responsible”

    “It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. It is part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok.

    Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down …”

    So advice was able to be given;

    “Following the discovery of traces of nerve agent in a Zizzi restaurant and the Mill pub, the chief medical officer issued further precautionary advice, but, as Public Health England has made clear, the risk to public health is low.”

    And conclusions made;

    “our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the Government have concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”

    So Mrs May has been given crap advice from the idiots at Porton Down which has led her and the National Security Council to make a bad judgement ……… Except they had also come to another competing conclusion;

    “or the Russian Government lost control of their potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”

    Now we know Mrs May and her crap team have been given crap advice (this stuff can only possibly come out of Russia) but there is a tacit acceptance that Mr Putin may not be to blame.

    But she threatens Putin anyway with reprisals (which she carries out) that if he does not account for every drop of nerve agent made in Russia since World War One she will start to dismantle Diplomatic Ties.

    Now as far as Putin is concerned all Russian stocks have been destroyed and the Authority that Mrs May should be making her demands to (the OPCW who oversaw the destruction and kept the records) that authority Mrs May is refusing to speak to, she in fact has a duty to inform them of what has been discovered but she is keeping it secret from them.

    Now this hypothetical nerve agent that may have been stolen from under the eyes of the OPCW when they were cleaning up Russia is in the hands of an unknown hypothetical terror group with unknown hypothetical intentions but whatever they are they include targeting Salisbury residents.
    Today it has been revealed that a quantity of Californium has been stolen from the US or Russia (or the US or Russia have deliberately placed it onto the black market).

    The quantity (3lbs) stolen/re-distributed has a legitimate user value of over $5billion (us) so you would think it would be noticed. It is enough, if put into the water supply of Britain, to kill every living thing.

    Why hasn’t May given Trump 24hrs to get his stubby little fingers off his Twitter pad (or out of his fat, lazy arse) and explain himself. She unfortunately can’t demand the same of Putin because she has cut off diplomatic ties with him.

    Go May Go!

    Please ……..

    • SA

      There are lots of unanswered questions. We still do not know how DS Bailey was poisoned. Nothing seems to be known about how and where the agent was delivered. The police do not seem to be actively looking for a criminal at large with a supply of dangerous nerve agent or even have an idea of a suspect ( other than Putin, who has returned to Moscow to accept his presidential win) to warn citizens. Obviously no other attack is expected. Of course they know much more about this than they are letting on.

      • SA

        And as DS Bailey is conscious and able to speak it must now be known how he got contaminated.

  • FobosDeimos

    The BBC website has suddenly dropped the Skripal story from its News “front page”. Nothing on the visit of the OPCW officers, nothing about the 38 or 40 people presumably affected by such a deadly, devastating nerve agent, all of whom, however, seem to have been OK all along, according Dr. Davies in his letter to the Sunday Times. Fake news perhaps?

    • Gideon Blackmarsh

      I’ve noticed a similar reduction in articles and prominance at The Independent. It’s seems that an alleged chemical weapons attack on British soil is no longer as newsworthy now that the Russian election is over.

  • CanSpeccy

    The charge that Russia has a program to devise methods of assassination with novichok, could be true, even if Russia had nothing to do with the incident in Salisbury. In fact, is it not plausible that Russia indeed has a program to devise methods of assassination with novichok or other poisons, and that the Salisbury incident was orchestrated by a Western intelligence agency as a means to expose the Russian program? In that case, all that is needed now to humiliate Russia is evidence, not of what happened in Salisbury, but of what the Russians have been doing in contravention of some international agreement on chemical weapons, this being evidence perhaps already in the hands of, let us say, the US.

  • charles

    empire of the city of london are not getting the scripts they are paying top dollar for.
    bell potty and tim bell need to start handing monies back asap methinks they are spending these funds on holiday homes in belize or some such.
    the 100s of millions for psy warfare operations is not being reflected in the quality of the scripts.
    a few images of a pizza shack and a teletubby in a hazmat tent suit a car jacked up an image of a fat smirking man and a boy dressed up as a loving smirking daughter does not a agatha christie or a little drummer girl spy story make

  • Radio Jammor

    Mr Murray, I have a bone to pick with you…

    I do believe you’ve been pulling a fast one, over this “of a type developed in Russia” line, hmmm?

    I was in Warrington recently, as it happens. I have therefore double-checked your claims and found evidence that you – yes you – have been stockpiling your vodka!

    Vladivar Vodka is no longer made in Warrington, at the G & J Greenall distillery. It is in fact made in SCOTLAND by Whyte & Mackay – who in turn are owned by Emperador Distillers Inc, a Philippines based company.

    I put it to you Mr Murray, that your vodka, of a type developed by Russia, must be some 28 years old for it to have been made in Warrington!

    Just how long have you been stockpiling your vodka, Mr Murray? Or is it the case that you have ASSUMED that this vodka, of a type developed by Russia, was made in Warrington, and not more recently in sites in Scotland?

    Should we not also consider the possibility of a secret, illicit distillery in the Philippines?

    • John A

      When I was growing up in Manchester in the 70s and reaching pubgoing age, the local Greenhall Whitley pubs sold a lager called ‘Grünnehalle’ that was very popular as many lager drinkers assumed it was German. It gradually dawned that Grünnehall was simply German for Greenhall, and the lager was made in Warrington, or thereabouts where G+W had originated. The actual G+H ad campaign for its Vodka was based on the strapline ‘Vodka from Varrington’, emphasising the V not the W!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig, I don’t quite understand why this is my favourite website, but it probably has a lot to do with you.

    So far as I can tell, The British Government hasn’t quite discredited itself and the reputation of even us English, but they have come exceedingly close.

    On the plus side, both the electricity and gas are still working, but to be honest, I think that is more down to the people who actually work in the industries, that supply electricity and gas, rather than these fools in Government.

    I have a lot of respect for you Craig Murray, but can you tell me who these people in our British Government are Working for..because I seriously do not get it.

    The Russians are Our Friends.

    They are Supplying Most of Europe, with The Energy we need.

    and our British Government has made up a cock and bull story ro offend our friends The Russians, so they turn of Russian Gas to ENGLAND???

    Do The Americans in Washington Know What They are Dealing With?

    You can’t spilt us up like that.

    The Russians are Our Friends

    Its You Americans in Washington – You WASPS, N@ZI’s And NEOCONS We Seriously Dislike.

    Us British and Russinas are All Right. We even Tolerate The Fools in The Bundesbank

    They haven’t worked out their Puppet Show Yet.

    Please Behave.

    We really do not need a Nuclear War.

    So can you please stop annoying THE RUSSIANS.

    They can be quite sensitive.

    If you p1ss em off any more, they will just launch them and sink all your battleships


  • bliss_porsena

    The EU is merely humouring Brexitannia for old times’ sake, before concentrating on the settling of some very old scores.

    Bonkers thinks it’s whizzo, anyway.

    • Radar O'Reilly

      EU has been influenced by reading Craig’s thoughts , apparently

      The first signs of tension in EU ranks emerged yesterday as foreign ministers meeting in Brussels failed to sign off a statement laying blame for the nerve agent attack firmly at Moscow’s door.

      The final statement condemned the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and offered the UK ‘unqualified support and solidarity’. But on the question of Moscow’s involvement, it said only that signatories took the UK’s position ‘extremely seriously’.

      British sources said Greece, which has strong links to Russia, had insisted the statement stop short of blaming Moscow directly. Brussels sources said Hungary and Italy also raised some objections.

      EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini suggested some EU countries did not fully trust UK intelligence agencies on the issue. Asked why the wording of the statement was weaker than those previously issued by countries such as the US, France and Germany, she said: ‘Maybe because different countries have different relationships to UK intelligence.’

  • SK

    Mr Murray, have you considered that Novichok could be (in my opinion IS) the product of fiction?
    opcw.org web site does not list anything under that name (nor under its assumed code name)

    Novichok has been mentioned in the British/American pop culture. Surely it cannot possibly be the “Russian well kept secret”!

    The self proclaimed inventor of Novichok in the interview to Baltkom radio (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spsJoUawIII) does not take credit for this invention.
    Russian Wikepedia mentions he had a clearance but doesn’t mention that he was the inventor of the agent (or inventor of anything else for that matter).
    I have not been able to find an opinion of a qualified chemist as to if it is even possible to produce the nerve agent as described in his book. If it was possible why is it not listed in the OPCW?

    Americans never mentioned they found or seized anything like that in Uzbekistan lab. Maybe because it never existed?

    And lastly, as a Russian, I can tell you that to name a nerve agent “Novichok” in Russia is sort of similar to naming the new missile the “Dude” in the USA. This is a very weird name. The word, of course, exists but I’ve never heard such strange naming.

    • Phil E

      Here is a link to a tv interview with Maria Zakharova the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, taken from the saker website. She is very eloquent on the propaganda derivation of the word Novichock. She is a civil servant not a politician but she is much more eloquent than any politician our government has put up to speak about this:
      In Russian with English sub titles

      • SK

        Phil E. Zakharova says the same thing I was thinking. Although, to be fair, in the USSR there was a “Katusha” code name. And the Yanks had Little Boy and Fat Man.

        In any case the naming thing is the weakest of my arguments. I would like to know how come the whole world apparently knows of Novichok and its formula, with the exception of OPCW?

      • SK

        Thank you for the link. However I’m still not convinced. I don’t buy the words of anyone be it Leonid Rink or Zakharova. The former does not provide a solid verifiable proof. If Novichok exists (-ed), why it was not mentioned during the chemical stockpile removal reports in Russia, Uzbekistan or elsewhere? Why is it still not on the OPCW list? If its formula was open to the world for 20 years someone would have synthesized it by now and it would get reported someplace. One thing is to keep a secret in the old USSR and another – everywhere else in the world. There was a mention of Iran making it in 2016 – where is the proof of that?

        Where in the world Novichok was used? There were few cases of Sarin use. Why not use more potent agent? No people ever died from Novichok, including the alleged victims. Surely now that the news of the Novichok use is spread all over the world the British authorities must insist on it being listed and controlled by OPCW. But they are not so eager to cooperate, they actually violate the OPCW rules (read section 9 here: https://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/articles/article-ix-consultations-cooperation-and-fact-finding/ ). Why on Earth would they do that?!

        I’ve actually read that Novichok was a misinformation plot by Russia and this is why they let Vil Mirzayanov go – back the nineties. So he could spread the news of the new scary agent and let the Americans spend money on the antidote to something that never existed.

  • supermundane

    As I have followed this case, I’ve become increasingly convinced that this alleged, botched nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter directly relates to the Syrian conflict and to reports of a possible, imminent attack on SAA forces and key locations in Damascus by the US and UK in the wake of another staged chemical attack by the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ in Eastern Ghouta – an act that would signal a dramatic and extremely dangerous escalation, potentially plunging the world into a global conflict. Haley’s bellicose language in the UN Security Council about taking matters into their own hands broadly coincided with the alleged Skripal attack.

    I believe that the neocons calculate that Russia will either not retaliate or can be dispatched from Syria with minimal effort, just as they calculated that Iraq would be a cakewalk.

    If Russia is not merely seen to condone chemical weapons attack by its allies but is now also cast as a rogue state willing to recklessly deploy them against civilians then in the eyes of the western public, a potential armed escalation with Russia will be regarded by many as a necessary step in combating the danger that Russia is perceived to pose. Opposition to the conflict will be drowned out by the calls for revenge.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      The problem is, you are almost certainly right. Did you see the look in Dick Cheney’s Eyes. Blairs were Faked, until he was brainwashed, but Dick Cheney’s Eyes are For Real.. He Really is The Devil

      I know The Russians went along with 9/11 (not telling the truth), but by then they had been beaten into a pulp..Suddenly the life expactancy of a Russian from The CIA’s own World Fact book dropped from the normal of about 73 – to about 53.

      Now The CIA have got Russia at 154 – which is going to annoy the Russians even more.


      The Russians are going to think The Americans are Killing Them, and they will want to even The Score.

      This is extremely dangerous stuff..

      I am totally disgusted at The British Government to at least Moderate.

      Take The side of The Americans and do everything they say?


      The Russians speak perfect English and make sense.

      Why take the side of The American Lunatics.?

      The Russians maybe about to Nuke LA first, and London 2nd.


    • Laguerre

      It’s a bit late in Eastern Ghouta. The battle is not far off over, the rebels are compressed into three small pockets, and a chemical installation already captured – you will have seen the video.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    James Corbett of corbettreport.com might be worth conscting, also off-guardian.org. Both likely to be interested in your views.

    Things are now moving to US blocking Nord Stream II, a project between Russia and Germany. The time is ripe for comprehensive sanctions on all US citizens and businesses operating in Durope to teach <100 repulsive US Senators that the world of Free Trade cannot be blocked by America. Jacob Rees-Mogg should be given the chance to hang himself by clarifying that he does not believe in Free Trade if US bully boys say otherwise.

    All US citizens should be expeled from every country on earth and all US diplomats expelled. A vote in the UN should propose the expulsion of the US from the IMF, World Bank, UN and NATO. It will be veteod but that is not the point. The world will hear the US being blackballed the world over.

    The Us cannot fight the world.

    The world just has to realise that and act on that knowledge…..

  • Mochyn69

    Just as the Skripal incident seems to be being wiped from the front pages of our eternally vigilant. penetrating MSM or compliant, corporate media comes the news of the brexshit breakthrough, in which HMG have yet again made a whole raft of concessions to the EU.

    So a week of nerve gas poisoning on the streets of England, Russia done it, Putin bad, tit for tat diplomatic spats, abandon the World Cup, prepare for WWIII diversion, distraction and disinformation all came to nothing in the end (so far).

    Could it all possibly have simply been to clear the UK mass media of anything to do with what must have been very delicate UK-EU negotiations and to soften up people’s perceptions in the lead-up to this monumental decision which is likely to please nobody if subjected to the kind of analysis it needs.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich won his election handsomely, the Theresa May clique are still hanging on to power by their fingernails, the softest of brexit brexits is now on the way, kicked for the time being into 2020, the compliant media have proved they’ve still been neutered and are nothing more than an agitprop organisation for the corporatists, CM has again attracted many more readers to his excellent blog, East Gouta continues to be liberated and POTUS hasn’t yet been indicted for shagging Russian hookers. All is well with the world!


  • Sharp Ears

    But the clincher came when Pinter, with deadpan irony, said: “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

    Passionate Pinter’s devastating assault on US foreign policy
    Shades of Beckett as ailing playwright delivers powerful Nobel lecture

    Craig has a copy of those words, signed by Harold Pinter, on his office wall.

    Where are the Harold Pinters. Dennis Potters and the like now? How I yearn for those days and those voices.

    • joel

      They would not understand how people could trust in proven liars time and time again.

  • Brendan

    Last night, a reporter on the German TV news program Tagesschau said that some EU foreign ministers were quietly but clearly critical of the British government. They didn’t like the way that it publicly declared Russia guilty before the investigation was completed.

  • David J Crawford

    The subject has been completely dropped from the readers letters page of the Herald…..I find it hard to believe that nobody other than myself has written continuing to cast doubt on the official explanation. Deliberate censorship?

  • Shahna

    Russia faces 2 very serious problems with regard to their poisoning of the three people in Salisbury.

    1. Obviously something is very wrong in Russia’s manufacture process. People gassed with a Novichok more deadly than VX and Sarin and ….NOBODY DIED?? Manufacture over there in Russia is not up to scratch – Mr Putin had better see to that (when he can get away from the champagne of course)

    2.The FSB has GONE TO THE DOGS!
    This organisation that once terrified all the known world at the mere mention of its name – now can’t even ‘pffftt’ straight at a coupla people sitting still on a park bench with an … asthma inhaler or something as they walk by. Sheesh hey – who’da thought.

    Russia’s economy is therefore obviously in the pits! I recommend Mr Putin, that you build one new Sarmat less and put the money into jacking up manufacture and the FSB. The safety of the Russian people and the security of the Russian nation is at stake here.

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