Living in Goebbels Land 819


So a tiny independent radio station in Ireland managed to interview Robert Fisk on the ground in Douma, but none of the British mainstream broadcast media today has him on, despite the political fallout from our Syria bombing attacks being the main news story everywhere? Meantime MSM propagandists including Richard Hall (BBC), Dan Hodges (Mail) and Brian Whitaker (Guardian) and many more queue up to denounce Fisk on twitter from their cosy armchairs.

It bears repeating that the information on the alleged gas attacks – which raises great doubt but which Fisk himself does not claim as definitive – is not the most important part of Fisk’s article. The Hell of rule under the jihadists that we in the West are arming, funding, training, “military advising” and giving air support, alongside Saudi Arabia and Israel, is the indisputable and much more important element of Fisk’s report, as is the clear evidence he provides that the White Helmets are part of the jihadist factions.

To return to Scotland, I am sorry I shocked many of those who wish me well with the vehemence of my attack on Ian Blackford and the SNP for accepting MI6′ version of events, together with a renewed expression of my outrage at Nicola Sturgeon for having instantly supported Boris Johnson’s anti-Russian rhetoric over Salisbury without waiting for evidence.

My anger is not synthetic and there is a fundamental point here.

The question is this: whether Scotland wishes to become truly a different kind of state to the UK, or whether it is simply a case of a management buyout of the local NATO franchise. As the UK enters enthusiastically into a new cold war, that question is now a much sharper one.

The UK security services are Scotland’s enemy. The next effort at Independence is not going to look like 2014 – the British Establishment only allowed that because at the outset they did not believe there was a hope in Hell we could win. Now they are rattled. Our next effort at Independence will look much more like Catalonia. All the signs are that the current leadership of the SNP, who are so comfy having little chats with MI6 in their career break from investment banking, or who want to be an inclusive, unionist-friendly “Queen Mum” figure rather than campaign for Independence, do not have the stomach for the fight. What they do have is comfy, very highly paid, billets as a pocket of token opposition and diversity within the United Kingdom.

Nicola buying into the Johnson story of the new cold war is not a small thing. It is huge, momentous, epoch-defining in Scotland. And a fundamental betrayal of her voters.

A Fully Paid Up Member of the British Establishment

In the next street to where I am writing was born the great James Connolly. He wrote:

When it is said that we ought to unite to protect our shores against the ‘foreign enemy’, I confess to be unable to follow that line of reasoning, as I know of no foreign enemy of this country except the British Government

Note the British government are the enemy – not in any way the people of England. Anybody who cannot repeat Connolly’s statement with conviction is only pretending to be part of the Scottish Independence movement, and will falter as soon as Westminster says no.


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819 thoughts on “Living in Goebbels Land

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  • Tony M

    Not forgetting the despicable and admitted Project Fear, which included telling old-folk on their their door-steps that their pensions would be stopped if they voted Yes. By multi-national corporations, banks, even branch offices of government departments threatening to pull-out of Scotland, some companies such as BAE should be give the boot right out of Scotland for the lunatic divisive sectarian lines upon which they run their factories anyhow, and would be no loss whatever. See also GW Ponsonbys “How the BBC Stole the Referendum” for the role this once very influential and now despised broadcaster had in frightening people silly with scare stories, foregrounding astro-turf illegally-funded NO supporting groups, working hand-in-hand with ‘Scottish’ branches of English-based political parties, Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem for which the BBC acted their PR agency, be-littling the independence cause and its supporters, day after day, night after night, beamed into peoples homes, with sickly rictus grins on their faces.

    The full story has yet to be told but it will, yet.

    • Sean Lamb

      The British Ambassador gets a little confused:

      “Either Russians are hacking labs or they’re making stuff up, either way it’s a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.” British Ambassador @UK_OPCW on Swiss lab #Lavrov claims #Skripal

      Apparently the BZ finding was a legitimate finding so clearly they aren’t making stuff up. And while hacking labs might be considered a little improper, I don’t think it is explicitly prohibited by the OPCW treaty.

      On the upside – and there is always an upside – suddenly 911 trutherism isn’t looking so silly after all now, is it?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sean Lamb April 18, 2018 at 13:23
        The Russians said the document was leaked, and there seems no reason to doubt that.

        On another subject, the OPCW being unable yet to inspect the sites, you can bet your life the West has ordered it’s proxy mercenary headchoppers to make it as difficult as possible for the inspectors to visit the sites. Remember, they shot at evacuation corridors set up so civilians could cross to the government side.

        • Sean Lamb

          I have a feeling that FUKUS have no worries about the OPCW visiting the sites.

          If chemical agents aren’t present it appears you can just spike them in as a little easter egg to see if the labs are on their toes

    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      A few related links for newbies –

      The “full propaganda mode” remark was not by Derek Bateman (as stated at 12.30 above) but by Paul Mason, who corroborates his view here:

      “The Scottish Referendum was the first time I realised how important that impartiality is for the the BBC: because the BBC sets standards of behaviour for everybody else. I thought – and wrote – that the BBC strayed into Iraq-era propaganda in the Scottish referendum. It amplified and became a vehicle for the government’s narrative.”
      http://www.mediareform.org.uk/blog/paul-mason-reflections-impartiality

      The documentary ‘LONDON CALLING: BBC bias during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum’ (featuring Craig Murray among others) can be viewed here:
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TXQYuLUAbyw

      The above docu was based on G.A. Ponsonby’s book ‘LONDON CALLING How the BBC stole the Referendum’. It was free to read online or download as pdf files until at least a week or two back (however, an “access denied” message is appearing just now):
      http://ponsonbypost.com/index.php/news/56-london-calling-how-the-bbc-stole-the-referendum-read-for-free

      Ponsonby’s compelling, painstakingly evidential, book remains available on kindle for £1.99 –
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/London-Calling-How-Stole-Referendum-ebook/dp/B00XLAFIFI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1524072901&sr=1-1&keywords=london+calling+ponsonby

  • fred

    “The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury. This chemical was reported back to the OPCW by the two designated labs and the findings are duly reflected in the report,” head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu said.

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201804181063676656-opcw-laboratories-salisbury-bz-substance/

  • fred

    Ofcom opens seven investigations into Russia Today

    The regulator will investigate “due impartiality of news and current affairs programmes” on the channel.

    A spokesperson for Ofcom said “we have observed a significant increase in the number of programmes that warrant investigation”.

    Doesn’t Alex Salmond work for them?

    • Anthony

      I’m sure ofcom will then move onto investigating the same of the bbc, itv, sky, c4 news. Thank goodness such an impartial body exists in the uk.

      #proudtobebritish

          • Sharp Ears

            If you call this ‘dealing with a complaint’, then this. It is tommy rot.

            What happens when you make a complaint about something you’ve seen or heard on a BBC TV or radio channel, or the BBC iPlayer?

            We’ve set out below a quick explanation of the process. However, please refer to our detailed procedures for full information.

            Other than in exceptional circumstances, Ofcom can only consider your complaint if you’ve already complained to the BBC first. Please visit the BBC complaints page to make a complaint to the BBC. (Me Ha!)

            If you’re dissatisfied with the final response you receive from the BBC, you can then make a complaint to Ofcom.

            We assess each complaint about the BBC carefully to see if our rules may have been broken.

            If we decide the complaint doesn’t raise issues warranting further investigation, we’ll close the complaint and publish a record of this in our Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, which is published every fortnight.

            If we decide to investigate, we’ll include the case in a list of our new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.

            An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.

            Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener if we consider there is a potentially serious issue.’

            What happens as a result of an investigation?
            We publish the results of our investigations about the BBC in our Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins. We might judge that an issue is in breach, resolved or not in breach of our rules. There’s an archive of our Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins for reference.

            We hold these decisions on the BBC’s compliance records. If the BBC breaks the rules repeatedly, or in a way we consider to be serious, Ofcom has the legal powers to impose sanctions on it. Possible sanctions include the imposition of a fine. We publish all Sanctions Decisions on our website.

            What happens when you make a fairness and privacy complaint about a BBC TV or radio channel, or the BBC iPlayer?
            We’ve set out below a quick explanation of the process. However, please refer to our detailed procedures for full information.

            We encourage you to follow the BBC’s complaints procedures in the first instance. You can do this by visiting the BBC complaints page.

            If you want to submit this kind of complaint to Ofcom please do so within 20 working days from when the programme was broadcast or last made available on BBC iPlayer.

            Please note the complaint is your sole chance to set out your case to Ofcom. Therefore, please provide us with full details of how you believe the programme was unfair to you and/or how it infringed your privacy. Your complaint should include relevant examples of how and why unfairness was caused to you and/or your privacy was infringed.

            Once we have received your complaint (which we refer to as a fairness and privacy complaint) we may make an Entertainment Decision (i.e. consider whether we can take the complaint forward for investigation) based on the factors set out in the Procedures for making a fairness and privacy complaint. We will send you a copy of our Entertainment Decision. All recently entertained fairness and privacy investigations are included in Ofcom’s published list of new investigations each week.

            If we decide that we cannot entertain your complaint, the case will be closed.

            If we decide that we can entertain your complaint we will ask the BBC for a response to it and then consider the case put forward by both you and the BBC. Using this information we assess the complaint carefully to reach a Preliminary View on whether our fairness and privacy rules may have been broken. A copy of the Preliminary View will be sent to you and the BBC and you will each have an opportunity to comment on it before we make a final decision (the Adjudication) which is published on our website.

            An investigation is a formal process which can take some time, depending on the complexity of the issues involved. You should be aware that during the course of an investigation we will need to contact you and may need to ask you for additional information. If you do not provide that information by the requested deadline, we may take this to mean that you no longer wish to pursue your complaint and will therefore close it.

            You should also be aware that at any point during either the entertainment or investigation stage, the BBC may suggest, via Ofcom, a way to resolve your complaint. For example, the BBC may offer to write a letter of apology to you or edit a particular section of the programme before re-broadcasting it. If the BBC makes such an offer we will pass it to you. If you accept this offer we will consider that the complaint has been resolved and the case will be closed.

            In exceptional circumstances Ofcom can also launch fairness and privacy investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.

            What happens as a result of a fairness and privacy investigation?

            We always publish, in full, the final Adjudication of every fairness or privacy complaint that we entertain. The Adjudication will normally include your name as the complainant (unless publishing your name would itself be unfair to you or breach your privacy).

            The final Adjudication on a complaint will be either upheld, upheld in part or not upheld. The Adjudication will be published in a Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin on our website. See our Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins archive for examples of previous fairness and privacy Adjudications.

            Please note there is no internal review or appeal process for final Adjudications.

            You should be aware that if Ofcom upholds your complaint it does not necessarily mean that the BBC will be required to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s decision. In addition, Ofcom cannot require the BBC to: broadcast a correction or apology; edit the programme prior to any re-broadcast; or, pay you compensation.

            We hold all our decisions on the BBC’s compliance records. If the BBC breaks the rules repeatedly, or in a way we consider to be serious, Ofcom has the legal powers to impose sanctions on it. Possible sanctions include the imposition of a fine. See our Sanctions Decisions page to read previous sanctions decisions.

            I won’t. go on. There are yards more of the stuff.
            https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/how-to-report-a-complaint/how-ofcom-deals-with-bbc-complaints

            In December 2014. Sharon White was appointed to head Ofcom. Her salary then was £275pa !!!

            There is a board of place persons.

            Lord Burns – Chairman

            Lord Burns
            Terry Burns is a Special Adviser to Banco Santander SA and Vice Chairman of the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts Ltd. He is a former Chief Economic Advisor and Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, Chairman of Santander UK plc, Channel Four Television, Marks and Spencer plc and Welsh Water, and an Independent Adviser to the Secretary of State on the BBC Charter Review. Terry is also Chairman of the Mid Wales Music Trust, Vice President of the Royal Academy of Music.
            The Baroness Noakes DBE – Deputy Chairman was appointed to the Ofcom Board on 1 June 2014 for a four year term. Sheila Noakes qualified as a chartered accountant and spent 30 years until 2000 at KPMG. During that period she was seconded to the Treasury and to the Department of Health, where she was the Director of Finance on the NHS Management Board. She headed KPMG’s European and international government practices. She was President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1999/2000. She was awarded a DBE in 1996.In 2000 Sheila was appointed to the House of Lords as a life peer and she takes the Conservative whip. Between 2001 and 2010 she was a member of the Opposition front bench and was the Lords shadow Treasury minister for most of that time. She also covered health and work and pensions. She is now a backbench peer and sits on the House of Lords EU Internal Market Committee.
            Sharon White – Chief Executive

            Sharon White took over as Chief Executive of Ofcom in March 2015. Before joining Ofcom Sharon had a long career in the civil service. She was second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing the public finances. Before that she held Board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development. She has worked as a civil service adviser at the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit and in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank. Sharon is a trained economist and studied at Cambridge University and University College London.

            There are seven more stooges. One was the CEO of BT! What on earth do they do?
            https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/how-ofcom-is-run/ofcom-board

            Orwell lives.

          • Anthony

            @ Sharp Ears

            An impeccable establishment whitewashing outfit. Might as well be run out of Conservative party HQ.

        • Sharp Ears

          And complaints to them are handled by C(r)apita in the NE.
          BBC Complaints
          PO Box 1922
          Darlington
          DL3 0UR

          That is why the BBC Comlaints system is so unwieldy and never produces a proper answer. More deception that we have a voice.

          • nevermind

            Thanks for that maze of an ordeal , Sharp ears, so simple and accessible. Much simpler to axe the lot and start again.

          • giyane

            Sharp Ears

            Love it. How do you have the patience to burrow out this appalling stuff?
            I wrote an email to Timothy Gardam who was a member of the Ofcom Board 2003 – 2008 and was Chair of the Ofcom Content Board. I reminded him of our close friendship at Westminster school and congratulated him on his career success. He never emailed back.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ fred April 18, 2018 at 13:46
      PTB getting their knickers in a twist that the truth is getting out to more and more people via RT and other sources.

    • John Goss

      “Doesn’t Alex Salmond work for them?”

      Yes, and George Galloway, Peter Shmeichel, Jose Murinho, Stan Collymore, Rory Suchet and a whole host of other media personalities from the west who have seen through western lies and neocon propaganda and refuse to take the shilling.

    • Tony Little

      No he doesn’t work for RT.

      He has an independent production company that produce a chat show. At the moment RT is broadcasting it.

    • Independent Woman

      Alex Salmond does not ‘work for’ RT. He has a news and information programme which is given air time by RT. He is not subject to editorial interference from RT and has guests of many different political shades of opinion.

      If a media organisation in the UK behaved in the same evenhanded way perhaps it would not be necessary for a supporter of Scottish Independence to look for an overseas platform to air his views.

      I notice that Larry King, long time American broadcaster, is not being subject to the same sort of criticism for having a chat show on RT.

      • Republicofscotland

        Don’t be daft, Alex is a Scottish independence man, so no matter who broadcasts his show the usual unionists will call him some sort of devil. Fred is very predictable.

  • Charles

    What the BZ Red Herring proves is that “someone” was feeding Russia Straw to make the Straw Man. It would have been simple enough to make a public announcement when Russia made the BZ allegation stating that BZ only appeared in the report as a Reference Sample (for inclusion of exclusion) to identify traces of the toxin found in Salisbury..

    And the Russians were silly enough to go along with it.

    But we (the public) still don’t know.

    What was the toxin the OPCW identified

    Where did the sample(s) come from – Door handles, car, luggage, pub restaurant, cemetery flowers etc – All? All the same? All pure after hours / days/ weeks of cross contamination?

    Or blood samples (by then traces sythethised from original contaminating toxin )

    We don’t know if what poisoned the Skripals is what the OPCW identified. Or what poisoned DS Baileyor how, where and when he was contaminated.

    Or when the poison was put on the door handle or by whom. Was the door handle toxin applied before or after the Skripals became ill?

    Or how PD knew before proper analysis allowed what the toxin was

    The OPCW haven’t helped.

    • fred

      The Russian Foreign Minister made his announcement on a Saturday morning knowing full well that OPCW wouldn’t respond till Monday at the earliest and probably not until after their next meeting. By that time the lie would have spread round the world and be engrained in people’s memories, the truth will get nothing like the same coverage.

      • Charles

        Its clear to me that the Russian FM was informed by a source he relied on that the Report contained a reference to BZ. That is not to say he had the report, if he did he would have given it to a chemist and asked what does this mean? Instead he took misinterpreted information on trust and came to the wrong conclusion but worse he blurted it out.

        Re the samples taken and what they could reveal.

        The stuff on the handle, when sampled, would be the closely related to what was put on the handle when it was applied albeit environmentally contaminated and aged. But you could use a reference set of chemicals and say what the door handle sample most resembled x or y or perfectly matched z

        That’s not how you do it with blood or tissue samples. The toxins, when in the body, break down and convert to other chemicasl, some of those bind onto stuff in the body. The bio bemedical scientists refer to metabolites and co-factors and and other fancy words.

        Its these elements that identify a particular form of poisoning.

        In a perfect world, immediately before the dirty Russians poison a person that person should have a blood sample taken and when they become ill, preferably before they die they have another sample taken and the changes identified can then hopefully pin point the foreign substance involved.

        But life’s not like that so Porton Down, for decades, used to trick members of the public and service personnel to participate in poisoning experiments. Blood samples taken immediately before and during poisoning from people of different; sexes, ages, physical form and health

        This gave a range of indicators found in the blood in a range of different people to different toxins, that is what is used in the reference comparators.

        They don’t look for BZ or Novichoks in the blood they look for the tell tale signs of what those substances leave behind.

        But as the patient recovers many of those indicators disappear other remain for very long time.

    • John Goss

      RT notes from the OPCW:

      “The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures,” the OPCW director general said. “Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury. This chemical was reported back to the OPCW by the two designated labs and the findings are duly reflected in the report.”

      Again we get language that shows the OPCW did not take the blood samples themselves but collected them from our spooks. This time it is ‘collected by’ rather than ‘took’.

      • Kempe

        If you ever have a drug or alcohol test for your employment the person who takes the samples is described on the Chain of Custody form as the Collecting Officer and the samples, be they blood, breath or urine, as having been Collected.

        • John Goss

          I copied this to help you.

          “chain of cus·to·dy (chān kŭs’tŏ-dē)
          A procedure that makes certain that a biologic specimen is always in the custody of a person legally responsible for maintaining the integrity of the sample. The chain begins with patient identification, continues during collection, processing, and testing. Every step in the process is monitored and documented (e.g., date, time, and identification of the handler). Additional documentation includes special containers, sealing material, and forms.”

          The samples could have been taken (and probably were) by MI6 medical staff and passed to OPCW staff and there is no break in the chain providing it is logged who took the samples, and were they taken in front of OPCW staff. Secondly OPCW staff could have been given access to Yulia and Sergei Skripal to ask them about their experiences (as they did with the White Helmets in the last instance when Assad was accused of using chemical weapons). In fact that was all the evidence they used. They did not even go to the site on that occasion which is why most thinking people do not give credibility to the accusation.

          • Kempe

            ” continues during collection ”

            Collection, no use of the word taken.

            I think you’ve just shot yourself in the foot.

        • Merkin Scot

          “..as having been Collected.”
          Nonsense.
          The D&A I recently had said no such thing on the clean bill of health I received.

          • Kempe

            It wouldn’t be on the results, check the Chain of Custody form you signed on the day.

            The last one I did clearly says collected.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Charles April 18, 2018 at 13:55
      No, we don’t know any of that at all. All we know is that it is now being said that the BZ was put in as a test of the lab’s accuracy. But surely they would not do that in a real case? Adding a chemical compound to a sample constitutes ‘tampering’, so the OPCW are admitting they tampered with a highly important specimen.
      Also, it would explain why Britain refused to give samples to the Russians, or better, to actually be present when samples were taken.
      And BZ is a toxin. Still, Russia will know precisely what questions to ask who.
      And as I and others have pointed out, how remarkable that the alleged symptoms, time lapse and victim’s recovery so perfectly match BZ, but don’t match Novichocks, which apart from the time lapse problem, would almost certainly have been fatal.

      • Barry

        They didn’t add BZ to the sample, they would have compared the signature of the sample from the scene with hundreds of different contenders.

        One of these being BZ another something like what they think a novichok should look like.

        Think of it as physical fingerprint from a crime scene compared with millions held in a database, the sample from the scene is just that all the reference possible are a record in a computer.

        The piece of kit that analyses of the toxin is put in a machine called a mass spectrometer and the output tells you what atoms and molecules are present and in what proportions, this tells you the chemical make up of the sample.

        That output result is then compared with loads of other chemical signatures /fingerprints in a database.

      • Bayard

        The DG is saying that the BZ sample is a control and thet the real samples were not so contaminated. However, if the BZ was a control, the Swiss would have known this as they would have known what they were looking for, A-234. If they knew it was a control, they wouldn’t have leaked the report to the Russians,

  • Enid Anderson

    I am going to cancel my direct debit to the SNP for membership. I am horrified that Nicola accepted with alacrity and without question that the Russians were behind the Salisbury attack – and that she has said nothing since, despite evidence from a Swiss laboratory that the type of gas used was not Russian, but manufactured in the US and UK.

    It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t vote for the SNP if I lived in Scotland – it’s just to demonstrate displeasure at the sheeplike following of the Westminster line. What’s wrong with saying she needed more information before forming a judgement? Or was it a populist decision?

    • Hatuey

      I think the plan is to impress upon people that she and the SNP are a safe pair of hands. Since that includes convincing the sociopathic Tories, you couldn’t dream up a goal that requires you to act in a more conservative way.

      The strategy reminds me of the film Silence of the Lambs; we are stuck down an old well trying to convince the psychotic Buffalo Bill above that we are too nice to skin.

      “It rubs the lotion on its skin and puts it in the basket…”

      Of course it won’t work. You can’t be conservative on a sinking ship that’s on fire and captained by a seafaring cannibalistic sociopath who wants to fashion a bodysuit from your skin. Try telling Nicola that.

  • Tony M

    I forgot to mention a very conveniently timed ‘glitch’ in the computer systems of the Post Office Card Account system, into which the majority of pensioners state-pensions were paid, which did actually prevent many pensioners withdrawing any money for several days beginning on the Monday of the week in the which the Independence Referendum was held. Ignored completely by the media, but which did cause very many OAPs very real distress.

  • reel guid

    LOL. In the Commons England’s Attorney General citing the opinion of an undistinguished telly producer called Ken MacIntosh as a reason to take the Scottish Government to court.

    • fred

      The Ken Macintosh MA (Hon) who is an elected MSP and Presiding Officer of the Scottish Pariament?

      Surely they sought the opinion of an ex keyboard player or holiday salesman first.

      • reel guid

        The “Scottish Pariament”. Was that a typo Fred? Or, given their attitude, maybe it’s the English government’s new name for Holyrood. In which case you spell it Pariahment.

        MacIntosh beat Murdo Fraser and Johann Lamont to the job of Presiding Officer. That certainly doesn’t make someone quality because they got more votes than Murdo Fraser. Everyone beats Murdo ‘List Vote’ Fraser in elections. A goldfish could probably contest an election with Murdo Fraser and win.

        Having to cite the ill considered and layperson’s opinion of a telly producer in order to justify a breathtakingly arrogant manoeuvre by his government. That’s got to be the nadir of the legal career of Jeremy Wright QC. Even the normally inscrutable Speaker John Bercow looked embarrassed for him.

  • Howard Parker

    Have you read C.J Sansom’s book ‘Dominion’ about what might have happened to the UK if we had appeased the Nazis? He shares your view of the SNP.

    • reel guid

      Sansom’s thinks Scotland should be governed by England. Craig’s critique of the SNP is that they’re not hardline enough. Their views are diametrically opposed. So stop mischief making.

      Sansom can write fuck all. In one of his books he describes a phrase one of the characters hears as going “round and round in his head, like a metronome”. I hardly need to tell most people that metronomes go from side to side and not round and round.

        • reel guid

          The novel in question was set in the Spanish Civil War. So any allusion to an electronic metronome would be anachronistic.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh For Whom the Bell Tolls… hopefully Westminster, and our exit ooot this union.

            Meanwhile the Windrush saga shows exactly what shower of evil b*stards the Tories are. Mind you the PM is calling Labour out over burning the Windrush arrivals Landing cards.

            I’m pretty sure Corbyn will abstain on this one.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43806710

          • giyane

            RoS . Nobody could ever imagined that the landing cards were important. these people had NHS records, Tax records, National Insurance records. Only someone as evil as Theresa May could have ignored the plethora of evidence.

            She has been forced to publicly admit that evil. Corbyn has nothing to be ashamed of. When Mrs Thatcher reached the point at which her cruelty was open and palpable her own party did the decent thing and got rid of her. She is a disgrace.

          • giyane

            reel guid

            Do you clean your teeth with the aid of a glass vial egg timer? I have seen this used as an aid to teaching kids how long to clean their teeth. I thought the whole point of Scottish independence was that Westminster has an anachronistic view of historical events, like the Turks say that the Kurds are nomads when they have occupied the same lands for 4000 years, and the Israelis say the Palestinians are nomads when they are the rightfuill successors to the Biblical Islamic prophets, may Allah’s peace be on each and every one of them.

          • Republicofscotland

            Giyane.

            It’s the dark heart of the Tory party, and to a certain extent a section of the British public, who vote for them and UKIP.

            On radio LBC today on the Shelagh Fogarty show, a man who arrived as a child with his parents, to begin a new life, as one of the Windrush immigrants. Recalled his days at school in England, it especially stuck in his mind (he’s in his 60’s now) that one day at school he didn’t hear a teacher call him into the classroom.

            The teacher approach him and said casually, hurry up, you’re not in the jungle anymore.

          • Sharp Ears

            Theresa May is revealing her true evil self at the despatch box lately. She does not like being questioned. Snapping back at the opposition. Pure venom as she spits out the replies.

            She had on a giant sized necklace today. She seems to have discarded her f off pearls.

            Here is Steve Bell’s version with her as Cruella Deville today

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/apr/18/steve-bell-on-the-windrush-scandal-cartoon

            and yesterday with Enoch Powell driving her poster van.
            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/apr/17/steve-bell-on-windrush-deportation-cartoon

  • Mikael Kall

    Where are the 50 dead bodies, which are the main proof. They should be investigated as quickly as possible. If the rebels hide the main proof, they have no credibility left.
    The Guardian says. that the rebels now excatly where the bodies are:

    “A former senior officer in the Syrian military chemical weapons programme, Brig Zaher al-Saket, who deserted in 2013, said Douma residents he worked with had buried close to 50 bodies in an undisclosed site in the area, hoping that they could be eventually recovered and used to confirm suspicions that some form of nerve agent was used in the attack. ” (Guardian, 17. April, 2018)
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/syria-crisis-medics-intimidated-over-douma-gas-attack

  • Sharp Ears

    Did anyone else see Nicky Morgan, Con MP, Loughborough, who Theresa May removed as Edu Ka Shun minister in July 2016, on Sky News earlier? She was haranguing Chris Williamson Lab MP who was trying to discuss anti semitism in BOTH parties with her. The presenter was obviously instructed to give her free rein. It was terrible.

    She is a CFoI.
    ‘Nicky Morgan: A bedrock Conservative belief – that we mustn’t wait for the state to act before doing so ourselves …
    https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2017/02/nicky-morgan-a-bedrock-conservative-belief-that-we-mustnt-wait-for-the-state-to-act-before-doing-so-ourselves.html
    This phrase kept going though my head as I travelled with fellow MPs, peers and others on the Conservative Friends of Israel visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the half-term recess. Over the years CFI, has taken dozens of MPs and Peers to meet with Israelis and Palestinians, to the West Bank and Gaza ….

    In the piece she talks of a coming together. Pure hypocrisy….

    On Wikipedia, there are reports of her rowing with colleagues. Confrontational. And this..
    ‘The Guardian also highlighted donations from Paul Mercer, a Conservative activist, former councillor and constituent who runs a local radio campaign on Morgan’s behalf. According to The Guardian, Mercer is known to have worked for a “secretive corporate security firm” with a history of infiltrating and spying on political campaigners and had passed confidential legal advice to their opponents.[42]’
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicky_Morgan

    Williamson, Labour Derby North, seemed a decent sort. He could not get a word in though.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Williamson_(politician)

    He tweets about it. https://twitter.com/DerbyChrisW/status/986597321986240513 I cannot play videos on Twitter.

  • Bunkum

    As far as I can see still no evidence but plenty to get your teeth into:

    Speech
    OPCW Executive Council meeting: 18 April update on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury

    Update by Peter Wilson, UK Permanent Representative to the OPCW, following the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s assistance to the UK after the Salisbury attack.
    Published 18 April 2018

    From:
    Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Peter Wilson CMG

    Delivered on:
    18 April 2018 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

    Peter Wilson CMG

    Thank you Chair. The United Kingdom asked the Chair convene this meeting today to enable the Technical Secretariat to update us all on its technical assistance visit to the United Kingdom. At the Executive Council in March I also promised to keep the Council informed of progress in our investigation into the use of a chemical weapon in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.

    First, I really do want would like to express to the Director General my government’s gratitude for the support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has provided. The OPCW responded promptly to our request to send their experts to the UK. They conducted a highly professional mission. The OPCW’s Designated Laboratories have also responded professionally and promptly. What the Director General said was really important on this, and the Technical Secretariat’s presentation shows how professional that work was. The report the Technical Secretariat presented to us on 11 April was thorough and methodical. The Secretariat responded quickly to our request to share that report with all States Parties. All have had the chance to see the quality of that work.

    The United Kingdom is grateful for the many acts of support and solidarity from delegations in this room, and from organisations and governments around the world.

    As you know, on 4 March Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, England, with a chemical weapon, which UK experts established to be a Novichok. OPCW has now clearly verified those findings. This is set out in paragraph 10 of the unclassified Executive Summary.

    Before we talk about the report in detail, let me provide you with an update on events since we last briefed this Council on 4 April.

    The Skripals were victims of a barbaric attack, and our top priority is their welfare. They have received the best possible care. We are glad to see improvements in both Yulia and Sergei Skripal’s health. Yulia Skripal was discharged from hospital on 9 April. Her medical progress is testimony to the outstanding care she was given by medical staff in Salisbury.

    The welcome, gradual, recovery of the Skripals does not alter the core facts of the case. This was attempted murder using a military grade nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom. The investigation now underway is one of the largest and most complex undertaken by British police. As a result of detailed forensic examination, detectives believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent at their home address.

    My government announced on 17 April that decontamination work in Salisbury is starting this week. It will take some months to complete. In total 9 sites, including 3 in the city centre, have been identified as requiring specialist decontamination. This will involve a complex process of testing; the removal of items which could be contaminated and that might harbour residual amounts of the agent; and chemical cleaning and retesting. All waste will be safely removed and incinerated. Each site will not be released until decontamination is complete.

    Mr Chair, we promised to share the findings of the OPCW’s Technical Assistance Visit with fellow States Parties. We asked the Technical Secretariat to circulate their report in full to all of you, without any redaction or amendment. The report that delegations here today have received is the same report that the United Kingdom received. It is a demonstrably professional, meticulous and scientifically sound piece of work.

    Our technical experts have studied the OPCW’s report in detail. I will briefly touch on some important elements:

    firstly, the report sets out, in detail, the full forensic chain of custody over the collection, handling and transportation of the samples that OPCW staff maintained throughout. This assures us of the integrity and validity of the results. The Technical Secretariat went into some detail on this just now

    secondly, the OPCW used only their own equipment, so there could be no concern about contamination – accidental or deliberate

    thirdly, the environmental samples were analysed by 2 laboratories, and the biomedical samples by 2 separate laboratories. All 4 laboratories detected the presence of the nerve agent. And the findings show the stability of the toxic chemical, as the Technical Secretariat have just explained

    finally, the report notes the absence of any significant amounts of impurities in the chemicals detected: “high purity” is the description in paragraph 11 of the unclassified Executive Summary, as the Technical Secretariat have just explained today. This suggests that a highly sophisticated laboratory made the chemicals

    Mr Chair, the OPCW’s findings confirm the United Kingdom’s analysis of the identity of the toxic chemical. It supports our finding that a military grade nerve agent of a type known as Novichok was used in Salisbury. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DTSL), our laboratories at Porton Down established the highest concentrations of the agent were found on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door.

    But of course, while the identification of the nerve agent used is an essential piece of technical evidence in our investigation, neither DSTL’s analysis, nor the OPCW’s report, identifies the country or laboratory of origin of the agent used in this attack. So let me also set out the wider picture, which leads the United Kingdom to assess that there is no plausible alternative explanation for what happened in Salisbury than Russian state responsibility. We believe that only Russia had the technical means, operational experience, and the motive to target the Skripals.

    Let me set out clearly why we have reached that conclusion:
    First, technical means

    a combination of credible open-source reporting and intelligence shows that in the 1980s the Soviet Union developed a new class of ‘fourth generation’ nerve agents, known as Novichoks. The key institute responsible for this work was a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology at Shikhany near Volvograd. The codeword for the offensive chemical weapons programme (of which Novichoks were one part) was FOLIANT. It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent international chemical weapons controls. The Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so today. Within the last decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks

    Russia’s chemical weapons programme continued after the collapse of the Soviet Union. By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), it is likely that some Novichoks had passed acceptance testing, allowing their use by the Russian military. Russia’s CWC declaration failed to report any work on Novichoks. Russia further developed some Novichoks after ratifying the Convention. In the mid-2000s, President Putin was closely involved in the Russian chemical weapons programme. It is highly unlikely that any former Soviet republic (other than Russia) pursued an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence. It is unlikely that Novichoks could be made and deployed by non-state actors

    Second, operational experience

    Russia has a proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination. The Owen Report from the UK’s public inquiry into the death of Aleksandr Litvinenko concluded in January 2016 that he was deliberately poisoned with Polonium 210. It was said that there was a “strong probability” that the FSB had directed the operation, and that President Putin “probably approved it”. Commenting on other suspected assassinations between 2002 and 2006, Sir Robert Owen wrote: “These cases suggest that in the years prior to Mr Litvinenko’s death, the Russian state may have been involved in the assassination of Mr Putin’s critics” and that “the Russian state may have sponsored attacks against its opponents using poisons”. Since 2006, there have been numerous suspected Russian state-sponsored assassinations outside the former Soviet Union

    during the 2000s, Russia commenced a programme to test means of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons. This programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles. Within the last decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of novichoks under the same programme

    Third, the motive

    Sergei Skripal was a former Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer, convicted of espionage in 2004. It is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination. We have information indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals, dating back at least as far as 2013, when email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by GRU cyber specialists

    Mr Chair, in the last 14 months, we have seen the use of chemical weapons in Syria, in Iraq, in Malaysia and now in the United Kingdom. This is a serious threat to the Convention. It is a threat to the rules based system, and therefore, a threat to every State Party. There is no place for chemical weapons use in the 21st century. Not anywhere. And certainly not by a State Party to this Convention.

    These actions demand a response. There is an urgent need to act, collectively, to reinforce the prohibition against the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Those who choose to ignore these prohibitions, and use chemical weapons, should be identified and held to account – no matter who they are, or how long that may take. There can be no impunity.

    Late on 13 April, the Russian Federation transmitted to the United Kingdom a list of questions under Article IX of the Convention. We will respond as soon as possible, within the 10 days stipulated in the Convention. We will share our response with all States Parties. Russia made a claim of urgency and requested an answer by ‘no later than 17 April’. We regret Russia did not consider it urgent when we asked them for an explanation on 12 March. We have still to receive a formal response to our questions.

    Instead, Russia has shown disdain for international law and for the work of the OPCW. Russia has staged a brazen disinformation campaign, and to attack the reputation and expertise of the OPCW. They have sought to confuse, distract and brazenly misrepresent facts, despite the thorough, independent OPCW report, in line with best OPCW practice.

    Before the Executive Council meeting on 4 April, the Russian Embassy in London tweeted “Russia will accept results of the OPCW Salisbury poisoning investigation only if Russian experts participate in it”. Most recently, Russia has suggested, erroneously, that the nerve agent identified was unstable and would quickly decompose, contrary to OPCW’s finding and as you have all just heard.

    Over the past weekend, Foreign Minister Lavrov said that Russia had somehow obtained information to suggest that the chemical used was identified by a world-leading laboratory as BZ. In fact, the 4 OPCW designated laboratories did not detect BZ in any of the samples collected in Salisbury. The Technical Secretariat have been very clear on that point, and the Director General very clear in his statement.

    In 2000, under the umbrella of Article IX of the Convention, the UK asked a number of questions of Russia bilaterally, with a view to clarifying issues relating to its CWC declarations. We noted that Russia, as the legal successor to the Soviet Union, accepted legal responsibility for the Soviet offensive programme. The UK specifically asked Russia about the development of Novichok agents and whether Russia planned to include relevant information in its declarations to the OPCW. The Russian reply indicated Russia believed that there was no information which was required to be declared.

    To date, Russia has proposed more than 30 contradictory and changing fantasies to explain the Salisbury attack. Russia’s actions to confuse and distract have not worked, but instead show how hard they are trying to hide the truth. We reiterate our call on Russia to meet its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to end its offensive chemical weapons programme and to declare its programme of Novichoks.

    We will continue to call out Russia’s reckless and indiscriminate behaviour when it violates this Convention, and when it threatens global security.

    Mr Chair, the United Kingdom will live up to our promise to keep this Council informed of all significant developments in our investigation. When the investigation and legal processes in the United Kingdom have completed, we will brief States Parties on the outcome.

    I request that this statement is issued as an official document of this meeting of the Executive Council and placed on the OPCW website.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/opcw-executive-council-meeting-18-april-update-on-the-use-of-a-nerve-agent-in-salisbury

  • Sean Lamb

    Words I never thought I would say: “The remarks of Russia’s ambassador to the OPCW make fascinating reading”

    https://netherlands.mid.ru/en_GB/web/netherlands-en/-/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=/en_GB/web/netherlands-en

    Doesn’t address the BZ issue at all – neither concedes or reasserts. Asks for access to all technical reports and contact with Skripals.

    Starts with a great line:

    “I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes”.

    This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth.”

    • Sean Lamb

      Swiss statement also interesting – hints at Russian culpability
      https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-58/en/58th_Meeting_of_the_Executive_Council_Statement_delivered_by_Ms._Nadine_Olivieri_Lozano_Deputy_Permanent_Representative_of_Switzerland_to_the_OPCW.pdf

      Whether or not Spiez Laboratory was one of the designated laboratories involved in the analysis of the Salisbury samples, an analysis report would not have been drafted in the way and contained the type of language alleged to be a quote from a Spiez Laboratory report”

      Leaving aside the idea that laboratories can hide away all their technical raw data would be laughed out of court in any authentic legal process, Russia’s path seems clear.

      Russia should profusely apologize for being deceived by a forgery and release publicly all the materials leaked to it so the full of audacity of the forgers can be revealed to the world.

        • IM

          The Swiss statement is very vague and lacks any clarity. Besides, all the “legitimate questions” are answered by the Russians in their statement. The UK posed two questions: “Tell us how you did it, or admit you lost control of your stockpile” Naturally saying “we don’t produce it, never have, it was a Soviet project” “doesn’t answer” the “legitimate” question.

          BUT, if you were to be asked “Have you stopped beating your own mother?” and you replied with “I never laid a finger on her,” you too would be told “you’ve not answered the legitimate question!”

          What I know of science, is you don’t spike positive control with something you don’t expect to find, because the whole purpose of a positive control is to match the suspect sample exactly. Otherwise it’s no different to saying “We tested the suspect’s DNA and it matched! The additional basepairs you see were added there for control” Would you buy that if you were the accused or on the jury?

          Moreover, the high purity of the supposedly volatile A234 remains unaddressed.

          • MarkSpencer

            Yeah, that’s what was bugging me about this whole BZ shenanigans – even if it’s not a “silver bullet” against the official narrative, why would this chemical weapon be used in any kind of “control sample” or whatever that was? It’s not even in the same vein as Novichok, what was the scientific reasoning to use it as “control”? Not to mention “control” samples are usually blank. Frankly, it seems bizarre.

            On the other hand, Lavrov’s proposed version of BZ having been used to create a chemical poisoning effect rang true vis a vis many known facts – such as, first and foremost, Skripals’ survival; second, their reported hallucinogenic-like trance upon discovery; third, BZ’s atropine effect as a measure to counter any exposure to actual Novichok or other nerve agent; etc.

            I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Spiez lab did find BZ traces – and it was NOT a “control sample” – but this was later covered up at OPCW to look like part of the process, with Spiez experts under harsh non-disclosure measures.

          • IM

            @MarkSpencer,
            the whole “control sample” is just aimed at ill-educated fool, because anyone who knew what they were talking about would actually specify whether it was a positive or a negative control (because these things do really matter).

            Another thing that most people overlook (because why would they go digging around in toxicology books) is that a sign of BZ intoxication is… coma! [1] You don’t fall into a coma with A234- the symptoms are cardiac and respiratory arrests- the only “signs” from those are “death,” SCIAM has a list of symptoms of A234 [2] compare the two lists!

            1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/3-quinuclidinyl-benzilate
            2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agent-linked-to-russia/

          • MarkSpencer

            Using BZ in any kind of control doesn’t make sense – it’s a completely different substance from A-234, with different chemistry and effects, why would it ever be used in this situation?

            And good catch on the coma – indeed, the Skripals were (reportedly) comatose for a long period of time before – miraculously – coming around, in the absence of a Novichok-specific antidote and despite the supposed professionalistm of the “Russian hit squad”.

            This entire story looks like some kind of bizarre circus act, with UK & Co. balancing on a tight rope while juggling their dubious “evidence” and reciting inflammatory speeches. Quite a spectacle – laughable if world peace wasn’t at stake!

          • IM

            @MarkSpencer,
            Exactly re. chemistry. If they needed multiple controls because they “knew” it was from A-23x, they’d have a positive control for A-230, a separate sample with A-232 for positive control, and a third sample with A-234 for positive control. BUT YOU NEVER mix two things in one sample- you would only do that in two circumstances: spoil your experiment, or because you ain’t got a clue… I can’t think of a third reason why you’d mix two entirely different chemicals in a positive control.

          • Billy Bostickson

            What you know of Science? Is that a joke?

            Now, be a man, and apologize for your vicious attack when I raised the issue of positive control samples 2 days ago, which has been vindicated by the OPCW statement published today.

        • Sean Lamb

          Madeira – I think the FUKUS intelligence services are all over Russia – the moment Russia received the leaked material and the latest date for that was April 3 – they learned about the leak and put their heads together and got all the labs to submit new reports.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Sean Lamb,

      In the spring, the snowball melts, and the liars are exposed.

      They should not only resign, they should be prosecuted for the most grievous crime.

      I have always in almost all circumstances, been against capital punishment, but I have never before come across any people in my life, who actually brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war.

      My wife has even come across one of these evil people. I am pretty sure she didn’t get too close. She shows no signs of infection.

      Tony

    • MarkSpencer

      I don’t understand why the Russian speech is not published at the OPCW main page for the event ( https://www.opcw.org/special-sections/salisbury-incident/related-official-documents/ ) but is rather tucked back at the obscure website of Russia’s Embassy in the Netherlands. Not many people would guess to look there for the Russian viewpoint on OPCW proceedings (though of course Mr Shulgin is Moscow’s rep at this organisation, it’s just not obvious to the general public). Maybe it will be published on the OPCW page later, but by then the interest will have already peaked.

      I’m asking this question because Mr Shulgin’s speech is definitely a fascinating read. Surprisingly, some of the official London theory’s most discussed flaws are not mentioned (such as Gary Aitkenhead’s blunder or the circumspect statement by Porton Down at the court hearing); however, some new arguments are being brought up, such as the references to “Novichok” in U.S. patent database.

      All in all, it creates the impression that the Russians are genuinely struggling under the onslaught of lies, particularly after OPCW’s Secretariat sided with the UK, but they make a good effort in getting their point across, with some very interesting arguments brought to bear (pun unintended). Unfortunately U.S. cronies apparently have the advantage of numbers (as they usually do), so it’s an uphill battle for Moscow.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘US THREATENS TO USE FORCE AGAINST RUSSIA, TO STRIKE SYRIA ONCE AGAIN’:
    https://southfront.org/us-threatens-to-use-force-against-russia-strike-syria-once-again/

    ‘The US is ready to use force against Russia in Syria and already warned Moscow of this, Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State has said in a written statement to congressional committee on foreign affairs.

    Mitchell added that Russian mercenaries have allegedly tried to attack US military positions in Syria.

    “In the upcoming days and weeks the US and our allies will weaken and defeat IS, support stable Syria and limit malicious influence of Iran,” he continued.

    The Assistant Secretary of State claimed that the conflict in Syria can only be solved via the so-called Geneva format calling on Russia to join the talks and also bring the Syrian government along.

    After the success of the Astana format involving Russia, Iran and Turkey, the US is attempting to relaunch the Geneva format in order to restore its political influence on the conflict.

    Meanwhile, United States House of Representatives Chairman Ed Royce claimed that the April 14 US-led missile strike on Syria had been “legal and justified”. He also threatened Syria with further strikes.

    “The US and our allies were justified in taking limited military action against Bashar al-Assad in response to his barbaric use of chemical weapons. Hopefully, the Syrian dictator gets the message. If not, I have no doubt there will be more military strikes,” Royce said on the Foreign Affairs Hearing.’

    So WWIII is still on the table…..

    • Sean Lamb

      “Mitchell added that Russian mercenaries have allegedly tried to attack US military positions in Syria.”

      That is a peculiar American euphemism, previously Russian mercenaries have tried to attack US military positions much the same way as the US tried to attack Japan in Hawaii December 7, 1941.

  • Hatuey

    I truly admire the energy of you people, but in the case of Salisbury I believe you will get nowhere. The OPCW has done enough already to convince me they are not impartial where western national security interests are concerned. You’ll come up against the usual brick wall and in the end it will all rest on taking their word for something involving MI5 (that nobody with an ounce of sanity would accept as honest).

      • Hatuey

        If it has bad consequences we are possibly all vaporised.

        But I’m positive about it, not critical, genuinely impressed by the efforts of people on here.

  • Paul Barbara

    On a more uplifting point:
    ‘US STRATEGIC COMMAND HEAD: DON’T DOUBT RUSSIA’S HYPERSONIC MISSILES’:
    https://southfront.org/us-strategic-command-head-dont-doubt-russias-hypersonic-missiles/

    So watch out, ‘Yankee Doodle Dandies’, your 11 or 13 carrier groups can add to their daily exercises the classic response to a nuclear onslaught: ‘Squat down, put your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye’.
    Russia in Syria is of course highly vulnerable in Syria (and I believe they only have one full size aircraft, but if their naval force were attacked off Syria, Russia would respond, probably massively, elsewhere.
    And their submarine force is very creditable.

    • MarkSpencer

      Russia doesn’t really need aircraft carriers as it has enough territory and overseas airfields to cover its bases in a defensive war or a pre-emptive strike against an aggressive force at its doorstep.

      U.S.A., on the other hand, need carriers to wage wars of aggression on the other side of the globe from their homeland.

      Hypersonic weapons might make American carriers redundant, though.

    • Republicofscotland

      According to this the US Senate is reining in Trump on nation state military strikes, and concentrating on specific groups.

      “The resolution would require the president to report to Congress within 48 hours after deciding to start any new military action. Congress would then have 60 days to review the situation and remove the authority to use force if it didn’t agree.”

      https://www.rt.com/usa/424494-senate-war-powers-resolution/

      Of course it all sounds like a good idea, but when the time comes will it be used, or not.

  • Republicofscotland

    Naughty Lord West, he’ll be in the PM’s and FS’s bad books now.

    “Lord West had described how in his view the claim that Bashar Assad ordered the attack “doesn’t ring true,” asking “what benefit is there for his military?” He went on to say “we know that in the past some of the Islamic groups have used chemicals, and of course there would be huge benefit in them labelling an attack as coming from Assad.”

    “West went on to question the ‘evidence’ provided by groups like the White Helmets and the World Health Organization, both of which he described as “not neutral.”

    “The former First Sea Lord then described how in the past he had been put under pressure to support politically motivated narratives”

    https://www.rt.com/uk/424508-bbc-information-war-west-syria/

    • MarkSpencer

      And the BBC presenter interviewing him actually tried to shut him up! accusing him of “muddying the waters” in “an ongoing information war with Russia”!
      https://www.rt.com/uk/424508-bbc-information-war-west-syria/

      This is incredible, they’re not even trying to hide their bias anymore – they’re wearing it proudly and labeling all truth-seekers as enemy collaborators!

      Whereas any journalist with at least a shred of integrity would say that if the Government lies about chemical attacks, then they’re the ones “muddying the waters”, not vice versa!

    • reel guid

      Ros

      West’s is an intelligent voice from the establishment. Can’t be many left. Unlike that jive-ass bastard Cable who asserted in the Commons yesterday that the Assad regime had made over 200 chemical attacks in recent months. Because the White Helmets told him so.

  • crispin hythe

    It is amazing how thin the veneer of English ‘civilisation’ has proved to be. For centuries, we hear this unending shtick about ‘mother of parliaments’, Magna Carta, tolerance, ‘freeborn Englishman’ , innocent till proven guilty, and all the rest. No sooner is the world laughing at the Salisbury hoax than the curtains open on the Orwellian Two minutes of Hate, everyone [including those IN parliament] screaming that parliament and judges are ‘traitors’, ‘enemies of the people!’ etc. Now they want to ban RT, sole TV source of questioning the tory lies. Albion perfide….

    • Radar O'Reilly

      sorry to the ‘minders’ here at Craig’s excellent blog – but wasn’t one of the first pages of the Snowden release GCHQ JTRIG mantra on psychomarketing etc

      CONTROL THE COMMUNICATIONS CHANNEL

      I see the Cabinet have read that memo

      Of course, RT is already denied to those who use VirginMedia as their CableTV company, the main VM package just has the diverse views of BBC_news or Sky_news – both of which were absofuckinlutely fascinating to watch during the Skripal cock-up, or whatever attempt at mass-hypnotism that actually was.

      The RT signal will still however remain available over British skies, unless ” the Iranians ” accidentally deploy Sat TV jamming technology!

      Sat Name Beam censored channel frequencies & complex decoding stuff
      26.0°E Badr 7 NW Africa-beam RT 11010MHz Vert SR27500 5/6
      30.0°W Hispasat-5 Europe-beam RT 12092MHz Vert SR27500 3/4
      13.0°E Eutelsat HotBird 13B RT-HD 12476MHz Horiz SR29900 3/4

      (apologies – I’m sure the blog will mangle the table somehow – lyngsat.com has more info )

      Of course, freedom of speech will never get the public to use a Sat dish, so RT will just need to surreptitiously broadcast live cricket matches without adverts, and secretly dishes will turn to their forbidden points of view

      posted: not because I love RT, it gets on my wick often but as a Martin Niemöller WARNING: “First they came for the RT…”

  • MarkSpencer

    From the Hague:

    The British delegation to the OPCW has admitted that international chemical weapons inspectors did not confirm the origin of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury ex-spy poisoning.

    The UK’s representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Peter Wilson, said identifying the nerve agent is an “essential part of the investigation,” and that the OPCW has identified neither its origin nor the laboratory where it was produced.

    “But of course, while the identification of the nerve agent used is an essential piece of technical evidence in our investigation, neither DSTL’s analysis, nor the OPCW’s report, identifies the country or laboratory of origin of the agent used in this attack,” he said.
    https://www.rt.com/uk/424478-skripal-opcw-origin-poison/

  • TheBiggerTheLie

    President Macron says that the recent assault on Syria was ordered by himself, Theresa and the orange beast ‘for the honour of the international community’.
    This, despite it:
    a) being in contravention of international law and a clear act of aggressive war, waged without the justification of self defence. (Singled out by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg as the gravest of war crimes).
    b) being ordered purely on the basis of claims by Jabysh al-Islam (al-Quaeda in Syria) and in advance of an independent OCPW investigation scheduled for just a few days later.
    c) each of the triumvirate being highly compromised by their open arming of Saudi Arabia’s assault on civilians in Yemen and surreptitious arming of the black flag men in Syria.

    Worth remembering it’s still very early days in the reigns of the Dauphin, Mother Theresa and King Don, so this is probably only the beginning of the honour they bring ‘the international community’ over the next few years.

    • MarkSpencer

      Dangerous stance for someone who’s been continuously impugning the honour of a country with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

      I wonder what would happen if Putin calls Macron out on an “honourable duel”? First thing the frog would do is call his NATO buddies – but will anyone heed his plea? Highly unlikely, methinks.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Everyone makes mistakes, that is completely normal, but we try to avoid them, because some mistakes may be fatal. Making mistakes are part of the learning process of being a human being. When my team fcked up[, everyone knew we had , but I took full responsibility, and never identified to Senior Management who exactly made the mistake. I said it was me. Sometimes in a position of management, of something rather important potentially affecting Millions of people, mistakes are made, that are usually non fatal, may cost the company a considerable amount of money, but can very quickly be resolved, without major loss of service.

    No one knew, except me and him, so I borrowed an office, and called him in , and gave him the third degree. (Eventually, he got my job, but I wanted to leave)

    Who Promoted Theresa May?

    Who does she work for?…She is extremely dangerous.

    What on Earth were you thinking?

    The company I worked for is still in business. In fact they are still paying my pension.

    Theresa May got close to blowing up the entire world, based on a bunch of lies.

    And she is still at it.

    This is not good.

    Can’t anyone Fire Her? I would.

    She scares the sh1t out of me.

    Tony

    • Sean Lamb

      To be honest I think we focus too much on politicians, they are much weaker than they would have us believe.

      Remember how we all thought George W Bush had pressured the CIA to come up with the Iraq WMD lie? Then Donald Trump comes along and he can’t as much as get the CIA to fetch him a beer from the fridge.

      Politicians are in command – provided they give the right commands.

    • giyane

      Tony

      ” Who does she work for ? ”

      there are chilling chasms in the Tory party between the youngsters who were suckled on Thatcher milk and the incumbent secretariat who stayed in the party after it collapsed with the Thatcher collapse. Only the extremely intellectually weak, with no other employment prospects and no personal charm, stayed after the thatcher collapse and Blair-wrong revolution. Mrs May works for the senior civil servants who vicar-of-Bray-like survived the Thatcher years and the Blair years and whose politics are now Triassic. These primitive reptiles crawled out of Trump’s neo-liberal swamp and co-inhabited with the main dinosaurs, early mammals and birds, followed by a variety of humans including us.

      A friend of mine , whose father still makes UK foreign policy, has resided without moving a muscle for 40 years in the Foreign Office. These survivors from the ancient past are the authors, along with their US, French, and Israeli counterparts who survived the last world war, of the war against Islam, which was the reason for the first world war, and which destroyed the Ottoman Caliphate.

      Our contemporaries, our contemporaries’ children and their grand-children have not had a say in foreign policy, nor been able to influence its direction for more than 100 years.

      She doesn’t scare me. These old fogeys and fogeyettes have witnessed a full-circle, starting with the British Empire going through and American Empire and finishing with a Socialist Empire into which we are now being inducted as we write. Mrs May is a living fossil, like a toad, snake or crocodile. dangerous if you choose to swim with them, but otherwise completely irrelevant.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        giyane,

        That was really good. I can’t mention my friend’s book “Rotten To The Core”, because I am almost certain he has written some of Theresa May’s Speeches, before she got promoted…and he is still a Very Senior Civil Servant in Whitehall, just waiting to become 65, to get his full pension.

        When my wife and her friend organised a Christmas Meal for about 20 people, a few years ago, they worked out the cost exactly £19.99 for everyone each.

        He was the only person, who asked for his penny back.

        My wife gave him his penny…but that is all he has ever got.

        We find some people really strange.

        Here’s Peter Gabriel..I ask my wife, what is the best concert we ever went to…It was completely extraordinary. Totally unexpected, amazingly spiritual in Hammersmith. This is the studio version. We have seen both Peters live, loads of times since. I personally didn’t think Genesis, were quite in the same league. I’d rather go and see Status Quo (and did (once)) They were awesome, but them dropped dead.

        “Peter Gabriel The rhythm of the heat”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzwMe-3XVn4

        Tony

  • Doodlebug

    MarkSpencer @ 17:42

    Craig saw through this charade in his post of 12 April. Whilst others will no doubt question the veracity of the extract you cite, given its RT origin, it may be instructive to compare it with this excerpt from today’s Independent:

    ‘Peter Wilson, Britain’s permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told a meeting of the body’s executive council a “brazen disinformation campaign” was underway.

    “They have sought to confuse, distract and brazenly misrepresent facts, despite the thorough, independent OPCW report” that confirmed novichok nerve agent was used, he said.’

    Of particular interest is the positioning of the final quotation mark. Given the editor understands what the device is and how it should be used, isolation of the phrase, ‘that confirmed novichok nerve agent was used’ outside the quoted sentence can only be deliberate, and therefore deceptive.

    • giyane

      Doodlebug

      Full marks for noticing the precise syntax. English is the language of choice for those who wish to mislead the public. You can make a noun into a verb and a verb into a noun; plop hyperbole and metaphor into a sentence and still make perfect, deceptive sense. My father on his death-bed was debating the difference between continual and continuous. Thank God we have minds more fiendish than the Foreign Office’s fiendish.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      If anyone in Central London wants to meet my wife and me in the foyer, I would like to point out a few things.

      1. We do not do politics.
      2. You need to be really polite and quiet
      3. We got our tickets last year

      So be polite.

      “Peter Hammill – (On Tuesday She Used To Do) Yoga”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfr9ndkWxpA

      She does it on Friday mornings now.

      It makes an enormous difference.

      If she is feeling down, she comes back as bright as a light.

      I nearly lost her on a Tuesday 18 months ago.

      She was on her way to a Dance Class, but she survived (she got run over by a car) .

      We will both be at The Southbank on Friday

      https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/123834-peter-hammill-2018

      Tony

      • phalanx

        I don’t know…maybe i am wrong…but UK delegation at OPCW is supposed to deliver MOTIVE?…Its OPCW job to do that?
        Other strange affirmation in it , “… in the last 14 months, we have seen the use of chemical weapons in Syria, in Iraq…”…WOW!
        Iraq?…When it happen?.And by who?…Assad?

      • Bayleaf

        Of course, that doesn’t fit with the “MX added as a control” meme being peddled elsewhere.

        One thing immediately caught my eye in Peter Wilson’s statement, being fairly tuned-in to the double-speak and evasions of politicians and officials:

        “In fact, the 4 OPCW designated laboratories did not detect BZ in any of the samples collected in Salisbury.”

        Whenever they add qualifiers like that, I’m immediately suspicious. For example, is the hospital outside the official boundary of Salisbury city? It’s certainly quite a way out from the geographical centre. Weasels will weasel, after all.

      • Dieter

        Update by Peter Wilson, UK Permanent Representative to the OPCW, following the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s assistance to the UK after the Salisbury attack.

        “We reiterate our call on Russia to meet its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to end its offensive chemical weapons programme and to declare its programme of Novichoks.”

        If Russia so stubbornly refuses to disclose its alleged secrete chemical weapons program, why oh why Mr. Wilson, did the Russians send an actual sample of said poison to the UK to be analysed at Porton Down just to kill a second-rate ex-spy? Can you explain such a contradictory conduct in any state?

        “Chemical weapons” are typically used on the battle field. To kill an individual there are far more convenient and less self-harming methods.

  • Charles

    Sergei Skripal is extremely fortunate to be alive (if he is)!

    By rights his door handle should have killed him years ago, that’s a fact that you can’t argue with.

    It was likely to habour some or all of these deadliest of components;

    Meningitis, Swine Flu, Calicivrus, Norovirus, Sapovirus, Vesivirus, Lagovirus,

    Billions and billions of normal deadly vira plus dirty Russian ones too plus;

    Faecal matter and sperm heads

    Acid rain deposits, Saharan dust, trafic grime, sweat, more sperm heads (dn’t know where the tails go) and

    Take-away mess

    But the Novichok sample was purer than pure

    The rain didn’t get to it (don’t bother looking what’s in rain – it will make you will weep) and it didn’t age.

    Conclusion:

    The Door Handle Assassination Manual has a section on; Degreasing, Anti Bacterial / Virus Treatments plus polishing it like a bastard to get rid oxides and any other ides, ates or nasties that might desensitise and pollute extremely sensitive nerve agents rendering them pretty well fucking useless in terms of killing.

    Lucky Old Sergei. Poor Yulia. Brave Nick

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_handle_bacteria

    https://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2012/10/16/hospital_door_handles_106387.html

  • Stu

    An appetiser of the next batch of propaganda.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/18/teachers-idlib-impossible-struggle-educate-students-children-siege

    An article about schooling in Idlib province. The article doesn’t mention the names of any of the Jihadi groups which control the area. It doesn’t mention whether or not people are allowed to leave. It is credited to the Education Editor in London despite a number of different people in Syria being interviewed.

    We are going to be drowning in this crap when the SAA and Russians get round to routing the Jihadis they have kettled in Idlib.

  • Sharp Ears

    We spoke about OFCOM earlier. Wait for Treeza to shut RT down.

    Office of Communications
    Ofcom opens new investigations into Kremlin-funded RT channel
    Broadcaster could lose licences if UK regulator deems it has breached rules on impartiality

    RT reporting on the Ofcom investigation in March © RT/YouTube

    Henry Mance and Nic Fildes in London and Max Seddon in Moscow
    APRIL 18, 2018

    The UK’s media regulator has opened seven new investigations into whether Kremlin-funded news channel RT has breached impartiality rules since the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

    Ofcom said there had been “a significant increase” in the number of concerning RT broadcasts after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal last month. The investigations could ultimately lead to RT losing its broadcasting licences from Ofcom.

    /..
    https://www.ft.com/content/ff176a30-42fe-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fd

    RT’s website was the only one that carried live reportage from the Gaza border where very many Palestinians have been killed and injured by the IDF on the recent attacks. Photos showed lines of IDF snipers lying on top of earth ‘berms’ that had been specially constructed overlooking the open air prison known as Gaza. It was like a turkey shoot.

    PS note the ‘Kremlin funded’ bit. Of course, the USUKIsNATO Axis produces no propaganda.

  • Hatuey

    I’m officially predicting that this website and discussion forum is going to grow massively in terms of popularity over the next few months. And of course I think it’s great. For one, I haven’t been threatened, banned, or scolded yet. Secondly, I think Craig has carved out a highly relevant niche for himself here in recent times.

    Things are changing. The political atmosphere is changing too. My views used to be considered quite radical but today I’m like a total square who can’t keep up. I like it though, don’t get me wrong; everybody’s sorta cynical and angry which is how they should be.

    Keep on keeping on — you have nothing to lose but your chains…

  • Peter Rumsby

    As RT have been informing the British people with alternative facts on not only Syria but the Skripal farce our establishment are getting jittery, they would rather we stick to BBC,SKY and MSM propaganda bulletins which are complicit in the lies being told. The establishment want a pliable and docile public not a questioning one.

  • Billy Bostickson

    Just reposting the Russian speech at the OPCW meeting on teh 18th which as Matk Spebcer pointed out is NOT included on their main page with all the other speeches:
    https://netherlands.mid.ru/en_GB/web/netherlands-en/-/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=/en_GB/web/netherlands-en

    Second strange thing about the OPCW website is that the Cuban speech is untranslated..the only one,

    if you don’t understand Spanish, it complains about the unfounded attacks on Russia and dangerous unilateral actions.

    Intervencion de S.E. Sra. Soraya Alvarez Nunez Representante Permanente de Cuba en la 59 reunion del consejo ejecutivo de la OPAQ (Spanish)
    https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-59/en/Intervencion_de_S.E._Sra._Soraya_Alvarez_Nunez_Representante_Permanente_de_Cuba_en_la_59_reunion_del_consejo_ejecutivo_de_la_OPCW.pdf

  • Roger Westmoreland

    Brilliant summary. Well done. The way the BBC and the rest of the gutter press have caved in to government propaganda and regurgitated all the farcical allegations of poisoning in Salisbury and chemical attacks in Douma is obscene.
    That the Parliamentary Labour party has backed the idiotic narrative and apocalyptic “retaliation”, is worse.
    I never thought I could underestimate human stupidity but events confirm that I have.

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