The Elephant In The Room 284

Nerve agents including Sarin and VX are manufactured by the British Government in Porton Down, just 8 miles from where Sergei Skripal was attacked. The official British government story is that these nerve agents are only manufactured “To help develop effective medical countermeasures and to test systems”.

The UK media universally accepted that the production of polonium by Russia was conclusive evidence that Vladimir Putin was personally responsible for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. In the case of Skripal, po-faced articles like this hilarious one in the Guardian speculate about where the nerve agent could possibly have come from – while totally failing to mention the fact that incident took place only eight miles from the largest stock of nerve agent in western Europe.

The investigation comprises multiple strands. Among them is whether there is any more of the nerve agent in the UK, and where it came from.

Chemical weapons experts said it was almost impossible to make nerve agents without training. “This needs expertise and a special place to make it or you will kill yourself. It’s only a small amount, but you don’t make this in your kitchen,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the UK’s chemical, biological and nuclear regiment, said: “This is pretty significant. Nerve agents such as sarin and VX need to be made in a laboratory. It is not an insufficient task. Not even the so-called Islamic State could do it.”

Falling over themselves in the rush to ramp up the Russophobia, the Guardian quotes

“One former senior Foreign Office adviser suggested the Kremlin was taking advantage of the UK’s lack of allies in the US and EU. He said the British government was in a “weaker position” than in 2006 when two Kremlin assassins poisoned the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive cup of tea.

The adviser said the use of nerve agent suggested a state operation…”

It certainly does. But the elephant in the room is – which state?

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284 thoughts on “The Elephant In The Room

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  • James

    This from the Atlantic Councik

    Fentanyl Is So Deadly That It’s Changing How First Responders Do Their Jobs

    The dangerous opioid is forcing police and forensic-lab workers to invent new ways to protect themselves.

    Last week we had all the hyped and nonsense about the BEAST FROM THE EAST now we have the RUSSIAN SPY POISONING!

    The answer is probably more simple than this and less dramatic

  • Christine Smith

    Both BBC and I TV are droning on about how Russia could be involved, linking it with Litvinenko and wheeling out so called experts to speculate! No mention of the facts you’ve stated above. The trouble is that most of the viewers will simply swallow the lies and propaganda.

  • SA

    Sorry I posted this in error under the previous thread so I have reposted this:
    There is a bit of inconsistency in the nerve gas story. Nerve agents cause convulsions and frothing at the mouth, symptoms that were not described in this case by observations published. The refusal to disclose the nature of the agent, which is said now to be known, is another pointer to this inconsistency.
    Meanwhile politicians and journalists can speculate on the Russian connection, after all we have seen how the unconfirmed Russia meddling with US elections have been going on for over a year now without any evidence but have become embedded as fact.

    • Dr. Ip

      I feel really guilty for quoting Goebbels here but I will try and justify it with a quote from Sun Tzu: To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.

      Now Goebbels (commenting on Churchill):
      The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

      • giyane

        Lie, lie , lie until you convince them you are telling the truth. Arabic analysis of British duplicity.
        It worked before the internet. Now not only does it make them look ridiculous, it disqualifies them from being considered as participants. This country desperately needs Jeremy Corbyn to run the country instead of these lying Tories.

      • labougie

        I’ve often thought that those people (or countries) who are themselves liars, are the first to accuse others of lying, on the grounds that as they themselves lie, they assume everyone else does.

  • Sharp Ears

    nerve gas…nerve agent… over and over in today’s chip wrappers.

    Only the Express, now Trinity Mirror owned, goes for Coronation Street plus a photo of Mr Skripal buying scratchcards.

    Interesting Mail front page headline – ‘Russia Could Cripple UK’ !! The Chilling Scene in Salisbury Yesterday !!!
    plus details of Ms Markle’s baptism using holy water from the R Jordan. She could have gone the whole way and followed suit from Murdoch whose twin girls were baptised in situ, with BLiar as the godfather.

  • R. Ross

    From the Guardian article:

    “Chemical weapons experts said it was almost impossible to make nerve agents without training. “This needs expertise and a special place to make it or you will kill yourself. It’s only a small amount, but you don’t make this in your kitchen,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.”

    This statement is true. However, as a counterpoint, it should be noted that the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo produced both VX nerve agent and sarin and used them to successfully murder Japanese citizens. They also made quantities of botulinum toxin, phosgene gas, hydrogen cyanide and Bacillus anthracis (the pathogen that causes anthrax).

    Where there’s a will et cetera…

    Readers who wish for sleepless nights may care to read this pdf.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Certainly true that with detailed preparative organic chemistry experience and with safe handling facilities it is demonstrably possible to make sarin or VX, and even transport and deliver it – though not without frightening levels of risk. However, the latest reports suggest that Skripal’s nerve agent wasn’t sarin or VX, and that it was not a common war gas (presumably eliminating tabun and soman too) The probability of its being an amateur product is considerably lower if the recipe is a new one. That would point very strongly to a state actor.

      • mark golding

        No! it is easy to produce both WMD nerve agents in situ- a simple weapon that can be dispensed by a simple method. Constructing the actual agent details and declaring it publicly is problematic requiring a number of discussions at Porton Down with input from the ‘intelligence’ domain and narrative architects.

      • R. Ross

        I didn’t know that VX and sarin had been ruled out, but I fully agree with your assessment that the attack on Sergei Skripal was carried out by a state. The man certainly had his enemies. However, if an ex-business rival or an individual with a personal grudge against the man was involved, then one would expect a more conventional weapon to have been used.

        I do wonder why some states carried out assassination attempts on high profile victims using exotic chemical compounds. Look at the recent assassination of Kim Jong-un’s brother – how long did it take before the finger was pointed at North Korea? As SA points out, it certainly narrows down the list of suspects.

        • N_

          The distinction between “state actor” and “non-state actor” is often chaff. It’s not as if there is some kind of dividing line between the ~KGB and organised crime. Meanwhile billionaires Trump and Kushner roam the White House.

          Sarin is easy to make and sure you need a good laboratory so you don’t kill yourself by accident, but money can buy one.

      • Republicofscotland


        Latest report from whom? The British security service’s lab guys on the scene. You’re such a trusting soul.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          No-one else seems to be supplying any data, RoS. I’ll take the parsimonious road and ye’ll take the elaborate one. Fine by me. I’m not expecting agreement. Not here. Not now.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Certainly true that with detailed preparative organic chemistry experience and with safe handling facilities it is demonstrably possible to make sarin or VX, and even transport and deliver it – though not without frightening levels of risk. ”

        This is probably why it didn’t actually happen, it’s not the first stage managed event in England, and it certainly won’t be the last.

    • nevermind

      The Japanese cult had all the gubbins but still made mistakes. Japanese people died from a roughly 20% effective Sarin, they did not have the expertise to refine it.

  • N_

    I’m guessing there have been D Notice advisories saying

    • 1) don’t mention that Britain produces and stockpiles chemical and biological weapons
    • 2) don’t mention that Britain sells chemical weapons
    • 3) don’t speculate on whether Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal are conscious or not
    • 4) don’t speculate on whether the Russian consulate have been in contact with the British Foreign Office, the hospital, or with Ms Skripal herself, regarding the unfortunate circumstances in which this Russian citizen finds herself in Britain (whom as far as we know has never been accused of committing any kind of crime in any country)

        • Peter Hill

          I wonder what cloud you will fly off to next N-. Porton Down would produce a number of chemical and biological weapons for research. true.
          Stockpile!….never. Sell!…. never….. Chemical and biological weapons are inherently unstable. The delivery mechanisms unpredictable as are the consequences. Nuclear weapons are far more reliable and predictable and the chosen weapon of last resort.

  • Kempe

    The Sarov facility is the only place in the world capable of producing Polonium 210 in the quantity used. Traces of Polonium were found in the hotel rooms, cafes and trains used by the two FSB agents responsible and in the aircraft in which they travelled to and from Moscow.

    I suppose if they signed a confession it still wouldn’t snap you out of your denial.

    • Kiza

      Has that investigation been done by the same people who are invading Syria and claiming that they are fighting terrorists who they are paying off for foreign and domestic use?

      Did you personally measure how much Polonium 210 Sarov facility produces? The World is full of BSers.

    • SA


      You make a very strong statement. My belief is that any country that can make nuclear weapons can produce Polonium as it is an important part of starting the nuclear fission process. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • N_

    So Pablo Miller is based in Salisbury. He has worked as a “senior consultant” for what appears to be the SIS front called “Orbis Business Intelligence”, of Christopher Steele fame. There may be something in what the Torygraph and Gorgeous George are saying.

    Miller it was who recruited Sergei Skripal to MI6. His LinkedIn account appears to have been removed.

  • giyane

    What if he wanted to commit suicide, and his daughter wanted to hold his hand. All he has to do is pop a pill he has somehow acquired in his career as a multi- spook. Talk about square pegs being hammered into round holes. The fatuous Boris trying to bang this story into USUKIS losing in the Middle East.

    • N_

      What if he wanted to commit suicide, and his daughter wanted to hold his hand.
      That’s possible.
      Or she could have been the target.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Can’t think of a better way to die than nerve gas. Simultaneously paralysed, choking on your own mucus, twitching uncontrollably, incontinent and with an apocalyptic headache. And with the prospect of becoming a vegetable should you survive. Lovely. Makes a Scout knife and paracetamol look positively attractive, no?

      • SA

        The description of how Skripal and his daughter were found does not fit your clinically accurate description, but is more in keeping with something like fentanyl.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          No it doesn’t. Read a few more websites.

          And then check out the symptoms of ACE /AChE inhibitors. Then get back to me. However, there may be a wrinkle. The elapsed time before Yulia developed vomiting and convulsions suggest that another neurotransmitter agonist may have been involved. That might be consistent – I say might, as, like you, I only have the internet to go by – with a GABA agonist like (eg) norbornane…

          Appears to interest the Russians. Golovko could be your man to ask.

          Similar symptoms to, eg, sarin, but different family of compounds, acting (just as drastically and permanently) on a different neurotransmitter. What could be more baffling to the floundering Brits? What fun. Bastards.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Read promoter rather than agonist, above. The purpose is to prevent the destruction of the neurotransmitter which occurs in normal nerve conduction.. not prevent its formation.

      • MJ

        The perpetrators may have been testing out a new substance to see how effective it is in the field. If the victims don’t die then that will be a failure but at least the substance won’t be identified.

      • Alex Westlake

        Making the death long and agonising sends a stronger message to anyone else who is thinking of opposing Putin’s regime

        • giyane

          We seem to be straying from the well-known image of the wheel-chair actor in the Boston false-flag with the tomato-ketchhupped shin bone. False flag means all you have to do is groan while the camera is rolling and not to laugh after you thought they’d stopped filming.

      • giyane

        Strange how some people change their opinion in the light of new information , while shills carry on in spite of all the evidence with the same, paid opinion. Notice the difference?

        • Alex Westlake

          I notice the difference between genuine evidence and malicious conspiracy theories.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes ResDis, I agree Putin bumps off the competition, you don’t remain power for that amount of time without having skeletons in your closet.

      However, the above doesn’t necessarily mean that Putin has attempted to have Skripal bumped off. If indeed this event is even genuine, which is a real possibility.

      The rabid Russophobic British media, are still pushing the nerve agent angle. Porton Down, is however conveniently just a few miles down the road. Those who believe in Occam’s Razor, if the attack really did happen, don’t have far to look in my opinion.

      • Resident Dissident

        Nemtsov was killed within a stone’s throw of the Kremlin while all the nearby CCTV cameras were closed down for maintenance – I didn’t notice much Occam’s Razor commentary on this blog at the time. You really need to distinguish between dislike of Putin and Russia.

        • James

          That’s a lie – the CCTV cameras were working and the pictures were used in the court case that convicted the killers.

          • Resident Dissident

            the only cameras working were those at TVCentr and as they were a long way away the images were pretty poor – check your facts!

        • Woke

          Not sure how much experience you have with CCTV but most CCTV is of a poor quality that is basically unusable as evidence in a court. Nemtsov was a gnat in Russian politics. Putin had no motive to have such a small fry politician killed. Its like Navalny. In the West he is considered a major force but he only has around 1% support in Russia itself. Already re the CCTV cameras you change your position (all cameras off, then cameras were on but at range). Clearly you have your bias and are not credible.

    • Phil Espin

      It would be easy to trawl the net and find an even longerlist of those thought to have died of Arkancide. An affliction of those in the way of a former US governor and his wife. Is this more or less convincing than a list of Putin’s alleged victims?

  • Sharp Ears

    Very good news that the police officer is recovering and has not succumbed to contact with this very, very deadly nerve agent. 😉

    ‘Conscious, talking and engaging’ according to the State Broadcaster.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Surely you mean: “Brutal agent of deep state survives totally fake attempt by evil security services to smear innocent Vladimir?”

      My guess is that he spotted the pair having serious breathing problems and attempted to give mouth-to mouth to one of them. Which could mean the stuff was sprayed at them rather than put in their pizza, and remained in the lung ( nerve agents cause paralysis of the breathing muscles. Hope he gets an award, if so.

      • FreedomLover

        [Mod: “FreedomLover” is a Habbabkuk sock puppet. Comment therefore deleted. This is the first example found of a breach after a previous warning.]

        • Republicofscotland

          “he’s intelligent enough to to see through the crap ”

          That’s why thousands read Craigs blog and erm…Baal, is erm..well he’s got a spiffy profile picture, so he knows better than Craig’s whose only work on the inside of the British establishment for years.

          • FreedomLover

            [Mod: “FreedomLover” is a Habbabkuk sock puppet. Comment therefore deleted. This is the third example found of a breach after a previous warning. The second example was sent to trash.]

          • Republicofscotland

            Hmmm… so I am, Baals made quite a few comments on this thread, that proved absolutely nothing, (no offence intended) Craig however has just posted his thoughts, being a ex-establishment figure.

            I know which one I tend to agree with, here’s a clue he doesn’t have a forked tongue in his profile piccy.

          • FreedomLover

            [Mod: “FreedomLover” is a Habbabkuk sock puppet. Comment therefore deleted. This is the fourth example found of a breach after a previous warning.]

        • Sharp Ears

          So Freedom Lover. If as you say that Craig’s blog is crap, the question is ‘Why are you here?’.

      • Doug Scorgie

        Don’t be silly. One dousn’t give mouth-to-mouth to someone who is breathing!

    • Republicofscotland

      I think you’ll find its obligatory to have a injured police office in these kind of events if things are not what they seem. To some it adds credence and sympathy, the thought of any emergency service staff injured tends to garner public support.

      Still no solid evidence of Russia’s culpability, but hey don’t let evidence stand in the way of frenzied Russophobia.

        • Republicofscotland

          Oh right Bob, that’s conclusive proof in your smallminded world.

          “We came, we saw, he died” said Hillary Clinton, whilst laughing, in reference to Gaddafi.

          Putin is indeed a tyrant, but Clinton who you’ve defended in here on occasion, isn’t any better.

          • glenn_nl

            Not sure if you’re suffering from Clinton Derangement Syndrome, or Putin worship fever. In any case, there’s no way that Clinton “isn’t any better” than Putin.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    And thrice tut…

    Moscow’s respected Kommersant newspaper reported in 2006 that the FSB considered that the damage (Skripal) had done to Russian spying operations was comparable to that caused by Oleg Penkovsky, another GRU colonel.

    Penkovsky, a friend of the then GRU chief, informed British and American spies of a Moscow operation to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. The scandal led to the 1962 Cuban crisis and the world on the brink of nuclear war for several days.

    Penkovsky was arrested in 1962 and executed in 1963 after being found guilty of high treason and espionage.

    Looks like policy…

    • Resident Dissident

      I wouldn’t assume that Putin gave the orders – it might be a minion trying to impress the Capo di Capo, or it could just be one of his mafia chums trying to prevent some kompromat getting out.

        • Resident Dissident

          Thank you for confirming that you and your ScotNat friends are demonstrating your phobia and hatred of the English by your constant demonising of the UK Government – you cannot have it both ways I’m afraid. If you cannot separate the governing regime from the country and people in Russia, it is difficult to see how you are capable of doing the same for England.

          • Republicofscotland

            From my and I’m sure many others experience of the British government (2014 indyref) I have seen first hand what a bunch of lying self serving hypocrits inhabit the corridors of Westminster. The British media aren’t any better.

            Still I have no malice or ill feeling towards the good people of England (you’re attempt to link the two is feeble at best). They too are constantly duped, lied to and propagandised by the British establishment and its ever obedient media.

            If they choose to believe what they’re being told by their government, then so be it. I however don’t believe a word they say.

          • Resident Dissident

            You are the one that linked dislike of the Putin regime to Russophobia not me! Perhaps you might wish to row back on your original premise? Perhaps the very good people of Russia are constantly duped, lied to and propagandised by the their establishment and its ever obedient media as well?

          • N_

            I’m English and I think the British government are demonic (to adapt your term). That they are behind this event in Salisbury is one possibility. Moreover, it’s not as if the ~KGB and the British elite are wholly separate spheres nowadays. Look who owns the Evening Standard, for instance.

            If you want to turn Republicofscotland’s raising of this possibility into some kind of England versus Scotland match, you’re diverting attention from where it should be.

          • reel guid

            Resident Dissident

            The UK (de facto English) Government is demonic. Scottish indy supporters are being pro-English in highlighting that.

          • Republicofscotland


            I’m sorry but did I say Putin is good guy? I think not.

            It goes without saying that the Russian people are also duped, lied to, imprisoned censured and much more by the quasi dictator Putin.

            However it doesn’t mean that, the Skirpal event is his doing, unless of course you know better, if so I’m all ears.

          • N_

            He suggested the aim may be to demonise Russia. It may be. If people do something with such an aim, THEY may well wish their target market to confuse the rulers and gangsters of Russia with the fine people of that country, but that doesn’t mean that those who suggest that that’s what’s happening share such a view.

            As for the British government being “de facto” the English government, though, that’s an absurd proposition. Alex Salmond has joined Nigel Farage in taking the Russia Today shilling.

            Всего хорошего!

          • Republicofscotland

            “As for the British government being “de facto” the English government, though, that’s an absurd proposition. Alex Salmond has joined Nigel Farage in taking the Russia Today shilling.”

            I don’t know what planet you’re on, but there’s been plenty of ex-British politicians, on RT giving their opinions.

            Are they shills as well?

            I should add that like the BBC and Sky news, RT is a heavily propagandised channel. However I don’t recall too many ex-Russian politicians being allowed to have a half hour show on the BBC.

        • Peter Hill

          I too would like to see a Republic of Scotland, however, I will no longer support the SNP to get Independence, for no sooner that we gained our independence the SNP would give that Independance away by rejoining the EU. You cannot be a Republic and be subservient nation.

          • Republicofscotland


            In essence the EU is a group of independent nations coming together, Scotland isn’t independent yet.

            As for committing to full EU membership, I completely understand your point of view. A model similar to the Norwegian one, (inside the EU Single market, but outside the Customs union) which could appease those who seek Scottish independence but not full EU membership. Could be the way to go.

    • SA

      In 1962 the government was that of the USSR.
      In 2018 it is that of Russia. Since then the constitution and the government have changed enormously.

      There is no reason to take sides in murders in Russia. Lawlessness in Russia became rampant since the fall of the Soviet Union and this was coupled with gangsterism and major enrichment of a few who later became the Oligarchs. This lawlessness has continued and there is a high level of underworld violence that have spilled over not only from Moscow but also from the Balkans and other places some of them, as even Russia was during the Yeltsin years, supported by the west. It is therefore not surprising that Russians get killed in the streets of London. Most of the violence could be a continuation of this gangsterism, some of it by people who are still in government.

      There is no doubt that Putin, who is no saint, has had to deal cunningly with these gangsters in order to survive and clean up the Russian state. It is work in progress and over politicising this instead of co-operating with the Russian state is counterproductive, except if there is vested interest in getting these gangsters continue to launder their money in the west.

      • Resident Dissident

        lawlessness was rampant in the Soviet Union as well – it was just that the perpetrators were above the law.

  • Dave Coull

    I can remember, when I was in the Royal Air Force, nearly sixty years ago now, seeing an official notice pinned up on a noticeboard. This official notice asked for volunteers to go to a place called Porton Down, which was (and is) the UK’s “anti-chemical-and-biological-warfare-unit”. (You can read that description of Porton Down again, taking out the “anti-” bit, and it will still be true.) Anybody who volunteered to go there would be given all sorts of wonderful privileges, presumably including, if necessary, funeral expenses, and their families looked after. Well, I was young, and daft, but not quite that daft. Most of us looked at this call for volunteers and shook our heads.

    Number one item in today’s BBC News is about a Russian double-agent, now living in England, who was, apparently, attacked with some sort of nerve-agent.

    Where did this nerve-agent attack take place?

    JUST 8 MILES FROM PORTON DOWN. Just eight miles from the biggest stockpile of nerve agents in all of Europe. What a coincidence!

    • N_

      Thanks for this, Dave. Has the topic of what they said when they advertised for recruits in the armed forces been written about much? If not, it would be good if you could publish something more widely. What privileges did they promise you? It’s good to hear that a lot of you sussed it was a con at the time. Did you encounter any volunteers after they returned to their units? This was after the use of chemical weapons in Korea too. But if “nearly 60” years ago, then it was before conscription was abolished in 1960?

      The Brits later tested radioactive substances on recent Bengali immigrants, women who couldn’t speak much English.

      Doing this kind of medical experiment on prisoners of war is a war crime. Committing such acts against a government’s own citizens is called a crime against humanity. I don’t think any Brit official was ever even charged, let alone convicted or sentenced.

      ISTR there was also some advertising for the “Common Cold Research Unit” in one of the Carry On films.

      • Dave

        Read “A higher Form of Killing” by Jeremy Paxman. It has been known about for decades, even if not well known. IIRC it includes a photo of a volunteer with a mustard gas blister on him. Maybe others: I read it years ago.

    • Dave Lawton

      I had the same experience when I served in the RN and on the notice board it offered two weeks free leave.

  • reel guid

    The BBC has published a letter it has obtained that is a communication between a Cabinet Office minister and another department, stating that even if the devolved administrations don’t agree, the Tory government will make the amendments it needs to the EU Withdrawal Bill to snatch devolved powers returning from Brussels.

    On the Brexit front, Euroclear have announced they will move their HQ from London to Brussels.
    While Goldman Sachs have put their London staff on notice to relocate to Frankfurt in the summer.

    A recent survey of Scotland’s farmers by the NFU Scotland found that 65% are having difficulty finding enough seasonal labour because of the uncertainty of EU nationals’ status. While 58% of respondents are seriously considering downsizing their business.

    For Scotland, either the enforced power grab on its own or enforced EU exit on its own would be disasters. Taken together they are a despicable colonialist project to reduce Scotland to a pitiful shadow of what we are now. While we can be so much more than we are now with independence.

      • reel guid

        Yay Mhairi Black! More popular than the Queen! Although Sky are doing their best to tuck away their online poll and hope people forget about it.

        • Republicofscotland

          They’ve extended the date apparently, and as long as Sturgeon and Black are one and two it will remain indefinite. ?

      • Resident Dissident

        They are not my unionists – I have always believed in the UK being run as a proper federation with the English regions as members as well as Scotland and Wales, although some Scots and Welsh might want their countries breaking up as well. But you first have to get democratic consent for such a change.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            F-Word= equals Labour, they pushed it that long at the Scottish branch that F-Words has a new meaning. Meanwhile Labour’s head man Westminster shot the branch office down on that non-starter of an idea.

        • Republicofscotland

          Of course they’re your unionists, you’re a die-hard British patriot, of that there’s no mistake, and so are they.

          At least man up to it, or woman up to it, this being International Women’s day.

          • Resident Dissident

            Patriot yes – Nationalist no – please read some Orwell to understand the difference. I used to be a supporter of the Campaign for the North in my youth many years ago – so I don’t think I’m wedded to any particular nation state unlike yourself.

    • N_

      If the powers are with Brussels at the moment, then they aren’t devolved.

      Interesting info about Goldman Sachs. Personally I think there will be MAJOR problems bringing in the harvest this year.

      • reel guid

        Under the Scotland Act 1998 these returning Brussels powers are by definition devolved powers. Under the terms of said act they by rights go to Holyrood and not Westminster. But the power grab by the Tories would give London ministers power to effectively stymie any Scottish Government, thereby undermining the devo settlement. Same with Wales.

        • N_

          Can you say what section of the Scotland Act please, so that I can get a better idea of what you’re talking about.

        • giyane

          Craig initially forecast that Brexit would not happen. Our minds are not devious enough to understand what the Nasty Party might achieve by repatriating laws from Europe, Dominic Grieve and Ken Clark understand extremely well.

  • John Goss

    Richard Benyon MP has recently been interviewed by the ‘impartial’ BBC to tell the news presenters and their viewers that they should suspect that Russia is to blame. He convinced me that this is a false flag by the UK Security Services.

    I am glad that Sergei Skripal, his daughter and the policeman are conscious. However I am not sure by evidence I have seen that they were ever ill, but we have been told they were. With spooks (and former spooks in the case of the Russians involved) you never really know whether it’s the smoke or the mirrors that are causing the distortion of facts.

    Craig is bang on in his suspicion that Porton Down or any government agency of any government might have been involved (should the three people have been contaminated by a nerve agent). What makes me suspicious is that there appear to have been no bona fide medics involved in the treatment of this couple and the policeman who have made a statement. That is most peculiar. It is almost certainly a false flag of some description but I haven’t seen the script for it yet.

  • reel guid

    Chancellor Hammond is reportedly starting to air the idea about using EU access to British fishing waters as a bargaining chip to get a better post-Brexit deal for the city of London. As predicted. And if the power grab from Holyrood goes ahead there wouldn’t be much the Scottish Parliament could do except talk. Wouldn’t be much that is except call indyref2.

  • LHunter

    There is an error here – he did not say “It is not an insufficient task.” ?
    That doesn’t even make sense.
    If you look at the article, the quote is “He said it was a complicated task.”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Do the Brits have samples of all the suspected nerve gas used in Salisbury?

    Without all the samples from the likely suspects, it will be like looking for a needle not in any haystack, as their commenting that it will be like looking for where suspected drugs came from. At least they have samples from Afghanstan and South America, for examplei

    Hope Britain and Israel provide samples of their whole stock.

    • John Goss

      Makes interesting reading, more sensible than most, and the bulk of it I agree with, There appear to be a few other journalists who are having difficulty working out the plot.

      “In an interesting article in The Times on Wednesday, Ben Macintyre declined to join in the chorus and offered some reason to doubt the obvious explanation. ‘Various aspects of the supposed attack on Sergei Skripal are distinctly odd and refuse to fit into an accepted pattern of Russian espionage activity’ he wrote, pointing out that no power has ever before killed a spy that it has swapped. As Mr Macintyre pointed out, to do so is dangerous, probably fatal, for future exchanges. Why would anyone do such a deal with you, if the exchanged spy was then likely to be killed?

      He also said comparisons with the Litvinenko case were weak (not, as it happens, that this murder was ever proved to be the work of the Kremlin, though who can doubt it?)”

  • Sharp Ears

    It is becoming more ridiculous by the hour. We are told today, four days after the event, that 21 people are receiving treatment.

    The matter is still dominating the news channels and the printed media tomorrow will be exactly the same as today’s efforts.

    de Bretton Gordon was on Sky News as was Sir Christopher Meyer, Blair’s friend in Washington when the evil plans for Iraq were being hatched. The line is being held against our scepticism.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      What’s more ridiculous?

      1. Attempted (probably successful, at best reduction to vegetative state) murder of citizens using internationally banned substance, in public place, with contamination of at leas 21 innocent bystanders, by a foreign power or its criminal associates.

      2. Two drunk teenagers in university accommodation insulting a black girl.

      Both on national news yesterday and today.

    • Bob Apposite

      Get the world away from war?

      Isn’t Putin at war in Syria and the Ukraine?
      Isn’t he just trying to get the world’s attention away from HIS wars?

      • Maxwell

        Read the article. The point is Putin has been warning of the dangers of impending nuclear war since the US left the ABM treaty. Two years ago he talked about the “wold being pulled in an irreversible direction” by the US deployment of aggressive missiles on Russia’s borders, and almost begged the western media to wake up and see what is going on while there was still time. It’s pretty clear he is a sincere and worried man on this topic. But his words fall on deaf ears because the media and many of the rest of us are completely brainwashed by the recent Russia hysteria.

        Russia is at war in Syria quite legally defending an elected president and its own near abroad. We are there illegally, defending jihadists and creating chaos.

        After the demonisation of Iraq and WMDs and the horror visited on Libya how can anyone still be falling for this? Syria is just a re-play of the same regime change narrative with the same lying tropes.

        • Bob Apposite

          So, let me get this straight.
          The US spends $4 billion/year in Syria to keep the Daesh radicals jihadists down, and that’s a “bad thing”?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Bob Apposite March 8, 2018 at 23:11
            The ‘bad things’ are that the US has built bases in Syria completely illegally, and that they are there not to keep Daesh down, but to make sure they are armed and kept safe from the Syrians and Russians, and also to try Balkanise Syria.

          • SA

            “The US spends $4 billion/year in Syria to keep the Daesh radicals jihadists down, and that’s a “bad thing”?”

            If it was true it would not be a bad thing. The decline of Daesh started when Russia started bombing thier oil convoys and exposed the clandestine oil trade through Turkey. Meanwhile despite 2 years of US and allies fighting Daesh, they were getting stronger. Check all this it is common knowledge. Either the US is so inefficient as to waste 4 billion dollars a year ineffectively, or this was a pretext for regime change in Syria. I will leave you to figure that one out.

          • Bob Apposite

            If the US wanted “regime change” in Syria, I don’t doubt that we could do it.

            No, I think what you are describing is more consistent with the U.S. actually playing the limited role that they say they are playing.

    • joel

      It’s a perfect story for fanatical liberal fundamentalists and neo-cons who have become deeply discredited in the eyes of vast swathes of their own populations. Allows them to resume their accustomed superior posturing, even if it drives the world closer and closer to nuclear holocaust. Expect them to sweat this for all their worth, as their US counterparts do the 13 russian facebook trolls.

  • Andy Whiteman

    Yes v good point. Which state? All part of the Russians are out to get us. Sums it up.

    • Radar O'Reilly

      The UK media universally accepted that the production of polonium by Russia. . .

      I’ve personally made Polonium!, admittedly it was a 2.27 picogram of 211Po by-product of desiring to activate Bismuth, and most of it was gone within 3 seconds . .

      • SA

        Marie Curie isolated and described Polonium in 1898. She did not have nuclear reactors.

  • Sakib Ahmad

    Thank you. At the moment the US regime and its sundry vassal states are engaged in a crazy dance to demonise the one sane world statesman we have: Vladimir Putin. The attempted murder of the Russian double agent seems to be yet another False Flag in a long list of murders and massacres in Europe, America and elsewhere

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I’m guessing , for laughs, that the number of native British citizens who believe that can be numbered on the comments on one blog.

      This one.

      And the number of citizens in the increasingly corrupt basket case that is Putin’s Russia who believe this is decreasing exponentially.

      Just been reading about the USSR’s early chemical warfare programme. Initiated pre WW2 in collaboration with the Nazis, it continued to administer lethal doses of various grades of shit to human subjects until well into the Cold War era. If one poison didn’t work, they’d try another…until it did work, or the subject was useless for further research and was shot. And the leopard has changed its spots?

      • SA

        They were not the only ones, here is for starters from Wikepedia:

        Well-known poisoning cases
        20th century
        Polonium was administered to humans for experimental purposes from 1943 to 1947; it was injected into four hospitalised patients, and orally given to a fifth. Studies such as this were funded by the Manhattan Project and the AEC and conducted at the University of Rochester. The objective was to obtain data on human excretion of polonium to correlate with more extensive data from rats. Patients selected as subjects were chosen because experimenters wanted persons who had not been exposed to polonium either through work or accident. All subjects had incurable diseases. Excretion of polonium was followed, and an autopsy was conducted at that time on the deceased patient to determine which organs absorbed the polonium. Patients’ ages ranged from ‘early thirties’ to ‘early forties’. The experiments were described in Chapter 3 of Biological Studies with Polonium, Radium, and Plutonium, National Nuclear Energy Series, Volume VI-3, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1950. Not specified is the isotope under study, but at the time polonium-210 was the most readily available polonium isotope. The DoE factsheet submitted for this experiment reported no follow up on these subjects.[87]

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