Where They Tell You Not to Look 967


At the very beginning of the of the Skripal incident, the security services blocked by D(SMA) notice any media mention of Pablo Miller and told the media not to look at Orbis and the Steele dossier on Trump, acting immediately to get out their message via trusties in the BBC and Guardian. Gordon Corera, “BBC Security Correspondent”, did not name the source who told him to say this, but helpfully illustrated his tweet with a nice picture of MI6 Headquarters.

MI6’s most important media conduit (after Frank Gardner) is Luke Harding of the Guardian.

A number of people replied to Harding’s tweet to point out that this was demonstrably untrue, and Pablo Miller had listed his employment by Orbis Business Intelligence on his Linkedin profile. That profile had just been deleted, but a google search for “Pablo Miller” plus “Orbis Business Intelligence”, without Linkedin as a search term, brought up Miller’s Linkedin profile as the first result (although there are twelve other Pablo Millers on Linkedin and the search brought up none of them). Plus a 2017 forum discussed Pablo Miller’s Orbis connection and it both cited and linked to his Linkedin entry.

You might think that any journalist worth his salt would want to consider this interesting counter-evidence. But Harding merely tweeted again the blank denials of the security services, without question.

This is an important trait of Harding. Last year we both appeared, separately, at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Harding was promoting a book and putting the boot into Wikileaks and Snowden. After his talk, I approached him in an entirely friendly manner, and told him there were a couple of factual errors in his presentation on matters to which I was an eye-witness, and I should be very happy to brief him, off the record, but we could discuss which bits he might use. He said he would talk later, and dashed off. Later I saw him in the author’s lounge, and as I walked towards him he hurriedly got up and left, looking at me.

Of course, nobody is obliged to talk to me. But at that period I had journalists from every major news agency contacting me daily wishing to interview me about Wikileaks, all of whom I was turning down, and there was no doubt of my inside knowledge and direct involvement with a number of the matters of which Harding was writing and speaking. A journalist who positively avoids knowledge of his subject is an interesting phenomenon.

But then Harding is that. From a wealthy family background, privately educated at Atlantic College and then Oxford, Harding became the editor of Oxford University’s Cherwell magazine without showing any leftwing or rebel characteristics. It was not a surprise to those who knew him as a student when he was employed at the very right wing “Daily Mail”. From there he moved to the Guardian. In 2003 Harding was embedded with US forces in Iraq and filing breathless reports of US special forces operations.

Moving to Moscow in 2007 as the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, others in the Moscow press corps and in the British expatriate community found him to be a man of strongly hawkish neo-con views, extremely pro-British establishment, and much closer to the British Embassy and to MI6 than anybody else in the press corps. It was for this reason Harding was the only resident British journalist, to my knowledge, whose visa the Russians under Putin have refused to renew. They suspected he is actually an MI6 officer, although he is not.

With this background, people who knew Harding were dumbfounded when Harding appeared to be the supporter and insider of first Assange and then Snowden. The reason for this dichotomy is that Harding was not – he wrote books on Wikileaks and on Snowden that claimed to be insider accounts, but in fact just carried on Harding’s long history of plagiarism, as Julian Assange makes clear. Harding’s books were just careful hatchet jobs pretending to be inside accounts. The Guardian’s historical reputation for radicalism was already a sham under the editorship of Rusbridger, and has completely vanished under Viner, in favour of hardcore Clinton identity politics failing to disguise unbending neo-conservatism. The Guardian smashed the hard drives containing the Snowden files under GCHQ supervision, having already undertaken “not to even look at” the information on Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact the hard drives were not the only copies in the world does not excuse their cravenness.

We know, of course, what MI6 have fed to Harding, because it is reflected every day in his output. What we do not know, but may surmise, is what Harding fed back to the security services that he gleaned from the Guardian’s association with Wikileaks and Snowden.

Harding has since made his living from peddling a stream of anti-Assange, anti-Snowden and above all, anti-Russian books, with great commercial success, puffed by the entire mainstream media. But when challenged by the non-mainstream media about the numerous fact free assertions on behalf of the security services to be found in his books, Harding is not altogether convincing. You can watch this video, in which Harding outlines how emoticons convinced him someone was a Russian agent, together with this fascinating analysis which really is a must-read study of anti-Russian paranoia. There is a similar analysis here.

Perhaps still more revealing is this 2014 interview with his old student newspaper Cherwell, where he obvously felt comfortable enough to let the full extent of his monstrous boggle-eyed Russophobia become plain:

His analogies span the bulk of the 20th century and his predictions for the future are equally far-reaching. “This is the biggest crisis in Europe since the Cold War. It’s not the break-up of Yugoslavia, but the strategic consensus since 1945 has been ripped up. We now have an authoritarian state, with armies on the march.” What next?

“It’s clear to me that Putin intends to dismember Ukraine and join it up with Transnistria, then perhaps he’ll go as far as Moldova in one way or another,” Harding says. This is part of what he deems Putin’s over-arching project: an expansionist attempt to gather Russo-phones together under one yoke, which he terms ‘scary and Eurasian-ist’, and which he notes is darkly reminiscent of “another dictator of short stature” who concocted “a similarly irredentist project in the 1930s”.

But actually I think you can garner everything you want to know about Harding from looking at his twitter feed over the last two months. He has obsessively retweeted scores of stories churning out the government’s increasingly strained propaganda line on what occurred in Salisbury. Not one time had Harding ever questioned, even in the mildest way, a single one of the multiple inconsistencies in the government account or referred to anybody who does. He has acted, purely and simply, as a conduit for government propaganda, while abandoning all notion of a journalistic duty to investigate.

We still have no idea of who attacked Sergei Skripal and why. But the fact that, right from the start, the government blocked the media from mentioning Pablo Miller, and put out denials that this has anything to do with Christopher Steele and Orbis, including lying that Miller had never been connected to Orbis, convinces me that this is the most promising direction in which to look.

It never seemed likely to me that the Russians had decided to assassinate an inactive spy who they let out of prison many years ago, over something that happened in Moscow over a decade ago. It seemed even less likely when Boris Johnson claimed intelligence showed this was the result of a decade long novichok programme involving training in secret assassination techniques. Why would they blow all that effort on old Skripal?

That the motive is the connection to the hottest issue in US politics today, and not something in Moscow a decade ago, always seemed to me much more probable. Having now reviewed matters and seen that the government actively tried to shut down this line of inquiry, makes it still more probable this is right.

This does not tell us who did it. Possibly the Russians did, annoyed that Skripal was feeding information to the Steele dossier, against the terms of his release.

Given that the Steele dossier is demonstrably in large degree nonsense, it seems to me more probable the idea was to silence Skripal to close the danger that he would reveal his part in the concoction of this fraud. Remember he had sold out Russian agents to the British for cash and was a man of elastic loyalties. It is also worth noting that Luke Harding has a bestselling book currently on sale, in large part predicated on the truth of the Steele Dossier.

Steele, MI6 and the elements of the CIA which are out to get Trump, all would have a powerful motive to have the Skripal loose end tied.

Rule number one of real investigative journalism: look where they tell you not to look.


967 thoughts on “Where They Tell You Not to Look

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  • N_

    Off-topic question (but related to much of what gets discussed here): is it possible to use a smartphone offline, unconnected to the internet and without being connected to any company’s server? I mean of course can you use the many functions that do not require being connected, such as reading, writing, creating and deleting documents, searching through your documents – such as emails you have received – and listening to audio files.

    Is the answer

    1) Yes, that’s easy, there’s a switch for that

    2) No of course not, and how would the guardians of our community know you weren’t a terrorist if such an evil thing were available to members of the public? I’m telling on you right now.

    3) Yes, but only if you sit inside a Faraday cage, preferably on Rockall

    4) Something else?

    • N_

      Let me add that this is a serious question. I’ve noticed that most people aged under 40 don’t understand what an “email” is.

      • glenn_nl

        Of course, just download all your email in one go, and read them offline. That’s what everyone used to do back in the day, when online time was at a premium. Download everything, and upload pending deliveries in one short session. Don’t know about a smartphone doing that, though. That’s why I never use one.

        You’re right about people not knowing about email these days – an awful lot of people under 25 think Facebook _is_ the Internet.

        • N_

          @Glenn_nl – Thanks, but I know how to use my computer, go online and offline, and run a decent email client on it (not that rubbish called Outlook) and I have got my own email server where my domain is hosted. When I tell my mail client to connect, it connects to my mailserver, downloads the emails and saves them in my mailfile (and I have configured my server then to delete them) and it sends any emails I have in my outbox. From my point of view, that is email. I’ve been doing it like that for more than 20 years. Don’t worry – I have got it all under control. The question was specifically about smartphones 🙂

          Most smartphone users seem not to know the difference between a program running on their own device and a program running on a company’s server somewhere to which their own device is connected as a terminal.

          I think that is an amazingly good metaphor for how their minds work – or don’t work.

          I’m very interested to know the answer to my question ^^

          • No Connection

            On an ordinary Android phone you have buttons to switch of WLAN and “mobile data”. To prevent it from connecting to the mobile phone network, I guess you can remove the SIM card. There are eMail apps that work in the classical way.

          • N_

            Thanks, @No Connection.

            *If* you can disconnect one of these tiny-screened handheld computers called a “smartphone” from all networks without it powering down, what can you then do on it?

            A non-“smart” mobile phone just says “Insert SIM” when I take the SIM (“Tell Big Brother Right Now Who’s Using This Thing, and Make Sure He’s Kept Informed”, or “Identify the Subscriber” in bureaucratese) card out.

            I thought “app” meant a terminal program, when a connection with someone else’s server would always be necessary for it to run. Are you using the word just to mean “program”?

          • Mike V.

            @N_,

            You are correct in thinking that Apple and Google are doing their best to take control away from the user. Perhaps you should look into Replicant, a community-supported free-software version of Android. It is not nearly as up-to-date and fancy as modern systems, and it only runs on a couple of devices right now. However, it is likely the best choice when it comes to having control over your smartphone. I use it every day, and it works well enough for my needs. Check it out: https://replicant.us/about.php

    • MJ

      “only if you sit inside a Faraday cage”

      I understand that a microwave oven serves the same function, not switched on of course.

      • flatulence

        Important that second part. I missed that first time round. took me ages to get the microwave working with the door open, and now my testicles have swollen up to the size of beach balls. Can’t remember what my testicles were doing in there, I think it was just heading in that direction.

    • Radar O’Reilly

      To take a smartphone verifiably offline, you just need to remove the battery in order to deal with the sort of malware on iPhone/Android that simulates ‘phone OFF’. Likely deliberately, most ‘phones now have non-removable batteries.

      Android, when you disable Data, still sends data to the network. Cheap Malware does whatever it wants! There is an enormous amount of malware extant for Slurp h/w.

      Apple’s latest iOS, when you turn Wi-Fi ‘OFF’ iOS helpfully leaves it ‘ON’ but ‘un-associated’. If you firmly set OFF (in Settings) BT, Wi-Fi & Data, helpfully leaves them ‘OFF’ temporarily – then puts them back ON again later! Rare & expensive targeted Malware can do anything it wants to on iOS.

      I gave up and bought an indoor metallised tent! for a couple of grand.

      Consider using a £25 Raspberry Pi B+ with NO Wi-Fi interface, an unpluggable ethernet and HDMI output to TV for your “secure home-banking”. Made in Wales.

      • N_

        Thanks, Radar. Removing the battery from a mobile microwave phone powers it down, though, right, unless there’s a second battery? So you can’t then do anything on the device.

        Since I noticed Google Earth playing up several years ago, I’ve classed all Google-branded programs as malware. Using a Google operating system on anything is just madness.

        The Post Office recently told me they were “upgrading” my connection and that I would “have to” use a wifi router they would send me, because no other router would do. They lied and said it was because of the bandwidth, when in fact my existing router could easily handle the new bandwidth and a lot more besides. I told them a) I rarely use wifi [*], and b) (and far more importantly) to shove it.

        (*) Ethernet rocks! The people I spoke to at the company had to be reminded as if they were mentally retarded that there was a difference between doing something and what method you use to do it. I wonder whether they call their dinner “Knife and Fork”? Why would anyone want to read email or edit a text document in the bathroom?

    • MightyDrunken

      Not 100% sure of what you are after.

      If you go into airplane mode then it disables wifi, telphone and bluetooth. Everything that uses radiowaves to communicate outside the device. So unless there is some secret to mobile phones you shouldn’t be connected to anything else.

    • IT Bod

      I have a cheapo secondary mobile device that I use without a SIM card, I use it mainly for listening to music and podcasts. I bought it bcs my main mobile has no memory card facility so its capacity is very limited. When I want to load something onto my non-SIM mobile I just connect it to my PC and do a USB file transfer.

      You could do the same for email. You would need an email client on your computer that can export selected emails to a file and an email app on you mobile that can import emails from a file. Not sure if this is the sort of thing you mean? Might be acceptable for a session of reading through lengthy emails on your handset but I suspect that sending an email in this fashion (ie doing everything in reverse) would be a bit of a faff, too much overhead.

  • Republicofscotland

    This is an explosive half hour of BBC’s Hard Talk, which had been removed from the BBC’s site, but someone uploaded it to YouTube.

    In it Fares Shehabi a Syrian MP tells Stephen Sackur, just exactly what’s happening in Syria, Sackur is pushed onto the back foot as the MP tells him about the White Helmets, how much the west has funnelled into the terrorist fighters who’ve murdered indiscriminately in Syria, and much much more.

    I highly recommend you watch it.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=oBgMhZMlrzM

    • Godolphin

      Ros

      It still appears on BBC iPlayer; in better quality than YouTube. And says it will be there for another 11 months.

    • Doodlebug

      Concludes with Sackur taking a swig of water(?). I bet he wished it was a G&T by the time Shehabi had finished with him and his nonsense.

      • Republicofscotland

        Indeed, I’d like to see all state broadcaster interviewers given the Sackur treatment over Syria and other matters.

  • Sharp Ears

    The case is being re-opened. I think we knew it was a fraudulent conviction. he man is dead after having spent 8 years in prison.

    Lockerbie bomber’s conviction to be reviewed
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-43987079
    BBC News-1 hour ago
    A review of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s conviction for the Lockerbie bombing is to be carried out by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. The commission said it would examine the case to decide whether it would be appropriate to refer the matter for a fresh appeal. Megrahi was jailed for 27 years …

    • Doug scorgie

      Why the review?
      Libya not guilty after all.
      Iran guilty!
      What should the West do?

  • Billy Bostickson

    Anyone interested in the latest revelations concerning Professor Leonard Rink, Mudalal Khoury and Oleg Fomin (who worked with Skripal in Moscow) in Syria?

    Rink Ринка ЦУР проверил ближневосточные связи автора «Новичка»
    The LRC checked the Middle East relations of the author of the “Novice”

    https://medium.com/@tzurrealism/rink-d47d9e53b16f

    Mudalal Khoury, Leonard Rink’s friend, is also a member of the board of the founding in 2014 of the charitable foundation “RUSSAR” (Rus and the Syrian Arab Republic).

    The head of the fund is former 77-year-old Oleg Fomin, a good friend of the Assad family and the late leaders of Libya Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq Saddam Hussein.

    Among his acquaintances was Sergei Skripal – they worked together in the personnel department of the Foreign Ministry.

    In the section “Participants of the Fund” on the website among businessmen from the Middle East one can find a pleiad of prominent Russian figures: presidential candidate Sergei Baburin, former chief of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, Nelli Kuskova from the Combat Brotherhood “, Hieromonk Stefan and others.

    • snickid

      ” the USA is pressing Saudi Arabia and/or Qatar to send ground troops to Syria”
      __________________________________________________________________

      The problem is that Saudi Arabia and Qatar do not have any armed forces who can successfully engage in warfare (as the Saudis have demonstrated in Yemen). The vast Saudi arms purchases from the United States, Britain and France are intended as a bribe to buy US (etc.) military protection for the Saudi regime – not to enable Saudia Arabia to fight a serious war itself. Qatar lacks the standard basic criterion for a state – a population. The citizen-population of Qatar is about 300,000 (the same as a reasonable-size northern city, such as Bolton). Qatar is certainly not going to risk any of its non-existent ground forces on a war in Syria.
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      if the US gets Saudi Arabia and Qatar (which are almost at war between themselves currently) to send ground troops to Syria, these troops will need to be rescued by the Americans within a few weeks or months. That, I suppose, could be the American plan, allowing the America to send ground troops to Syria under cover of helping its Gulf allies. The whole idea looks so implausible to me, however, that it is likely to unravel before it is even stitched together.

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        You may well be right about the reluctance of Saudia Arabia and Qatar to commit, and I agree that Qatar is probably more worried about the Saudis at the moment. As for SA, it seems to have become much more active in the region in recent years and it may be that fighting Iranians in Syria with US air power on its side would be seen as viable. In any case, I assume the bulk of the forces would probably still be rebel groups (which both the Saudis and Qataris are accused of funding).
        [These two posts relate to the comments below, not above]

    • Tatyana

      Thank you, Billy, I was waiting for new info on Skripal’s case.
      I’ve checked what is available on the web about RUSSAR and Oleg Fomin. I’m sorry, I can’t see connection with Skripal.
      This source medium.com – is it a reliable source? The story looks fishy.

      • Billy Bostickson

        Thanks, the actual source is not medium but a Russian investigative reporter, Sergey Kanev ( [email protected] ) from the Center for Investigation Management https://youtu.be/3YsjJzRvoJs and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClnhyXfhG1Gk505ES9G4DGA

        What I’m not sure about is if he is talking about the contacts seized from Rink’s telephone from way back in the 1990s or more recently in 2007. That makes a big difference of course.

        The connection is listed here:

        Mudalal Khoury, Leonard Rink’s friend, is also a member of the board of the founding in 2014 of the charitable foundation “RUSSAR” (Rus and the Syrian Arab Republic).

        The head of the fund is former 77-year-old Oleg Fomin, a good friend of the Assad family and the late leaders of Libya Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq Saddam Hussein.

        Among his acquaintances was Sergei Skripal – they worked together in the personnel department of the Foreign Ministry.

        In the section “Participants of the Fund” on the website among businessmen from the Middle East one can find a pleiad of prominent Russian figures: presidential candidate Sergei Baburin, former chief of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, Nelli Kuskova from the Combat Brotherhood “, Hieromonk Stefan and others.

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    Interesting to see both the Conservative MP, Johnny Mercer, and Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle on the Daily Politics, both arguing for intervention in Syria, especially given that LRM is a Corbyn supporter. LRM advocated support for the Kurds (is he willing to attack Turkish forces?) and forms of intervention which were more like police actions than warmongering (in his opinion) such as no-fly zones (which raises the question why the “police” action on chemical weapons in Douma preceded the OPCW investigation). In the Times, the ubiquitous Hamish de Bretton Gordon argues for no-fly zones just for hospitals (as if such specificity were possible). Tonight a new series on Syria by Lyse Doucet begins, hard on the heels of a critical documentary about Putin plus the repeat of earlier documentaries about the rise of Putin. The Truman carrier group is now in the Mediterranean. The Doucet series appears from previews to revolve around the narrative that Obama’s decision not to launch a missile strike over his “red line” was the West’s fatal error – carrying the possible implication that we should intervene now. It is interesting to read Obama’s own thoughts on this subject, and his reasons for not taking action: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

    It seems clear that there is an attempt to build a consensus behind an air war in Syria, designed to prevent any Syrian or Russian forces flying, with the ostensible purpose being humanitarian, but the probable effect being a tilt to the rebels, prolongation of the war, and more casualties, although now it will be Assad who is expected to surrender. The idea of using air power in tandem with proxy ground forces was one of the options considered in 2002 for toppling Saddam, though it was rejected as his enemies were considered too weak on the ground (the evidence for this is in the Chilcot Report). This time the USA is pressing Saudi Arabia and/or Qatar to send ground troops to Syria. The “Zeus complex” (described here https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/zeus-complex-against-air-war ) is attractive to Western powers as remote warfare minimises any casualties for their own armed forces (though not necessarily to soldiers and civilians on the ground).

    Everything seems set for a further intensification of the conflict, with a clear risk of combat between “Allied” and Russian aircraft over Syria. These are dangerous times.

    • Billy Bostickson

      Yes, it seems the 5 eyed monster is gearing up for more international thuggery in a desperate attempt to hinder the possibility of Russian/Assad victory in Syria, which would not only expose the full extent of FUKUS support for Islamist rebels but also their failure to dominate Syria in the eyes of their allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,

      It is impossible to understand the more theatrical aspects of the Skripal case without looking at what came before it and what happened after it.

      The only thing that’s certain is 1. more weapons will be sold, 2. more of our tax will be incinerated in the form of obscene phallic symbols masquerading as “humanitarian” intervention, and 3. more lies will be spewed out by our media in their ongoing attempt to demonize Syria and Russia.

      • Thomas_Stockmann

        No less than three new articles in the Guardian about Russia. One notes that the RT website is “unregulated” (foreshadowing what response?). A second talks about “containment”, borrowing straight from the language of the Cold War. A third, by Luke Harding, inaccurately summarises the BZ story with which readers of this blog will be familiar. To recap, Lavrov read out a leaked document claiming that the Spiez lab had found BZ. The OPCW later explained this finding by saying that it was from a positive control sample. However, Harding simply states that “Russia’s identification of BZ was false – a “malign” and “craven” attempt to shift the blame elsewhere, according to the EU and OPCW delegates.” The first part of this statement leaves the reader with the impression that it was a fabrication, but it is itself misleading.

        • Dave G

          “However, Harding simply states that “Russia’s identification of BZ was false”

          If the identification of BZ was false, I wonder how Harding explains the fact that all three victims of the attack, with a nerve agent which is more deadly than the VX which killed the North Korean leader’s brother in minutes, are now on the road to recovery? Or the fact that their symptoms didn’t set in until hours after they had touched the door handle?
          The Russian identification of the nerve agent is largely irrelevant because the Skripals’ symptoms say that they were infected with BZ rather than with a novichok.

      • Tatyana

        Good point #2, Billy, about taxes.
        Russia just re-built the whole region (I live in it) for Olympic Games 2014. Russia finishes Crimean Brige and starts building another big brige to Nothern Korea. Russia gives 50% investment into North Stream 2, and Turkish Stream just hit the shore and is almost ready. Our government announced 14% increase in salaries planned for this year.

        Are there any people happy with investing your taxes into war?
        ——-
        BTW, as an ordinary russian citizen I’m happy with new sanctions, because they must keep money inside my country. I see how quickly my agricultural region develops (especially small business) under these sanctions we have now.

        • John Goss

          Yes the bridge over the Kerch Strait looks to be a magnificent piece of civil engineering Tatyana. Hopefully they did not get the same structural engineers who built the Petersburg football stadium. 🙂

          • Tatyana

            Hello, Mr. Goss 🙂 Just signed and shared your petition on change.org.
            As to construction – I think we can do proper engineering only under federal control. As soon as it is local authorities only responsible – Oh, My God! they seem to steal every tiny bit they can put their hands on and just push responsibility to each other! Greedy corrupt people. My parents and many relatives live in small towns, I know what I’m talking about.

        • P

          Hello Tatyana, I am glad to hear all those very nice news from Russia!
          I am looking forward to celebrating my birthday and your “День победы” on May 9 in our Russian restaurant here in Sofia, Bulgaria!
          Here we all know who won the big war! I apologize for my traitor government politics against Russia.
          Best,
          Dimitar

          • Tatyana

            Hi, Dimitar, it’s nice to know of your birthday 🙂 We have a superstition here in Russia about ‘not to congratulate too early’ – so I will not. But I’m really happy to see your kind words. Thank you!
            ——–
            Back to what I see in my region changes to good – you know, I’m a woman and I have to daily cook meals for my husband and son (it is very common thing in Russia that we cook fresh home made meals once a day at least. I work at home, so I cook it fresh every 2, or 3, or 4 times a day, I enjoy it)

            So, we no longer have these ‘plastic-like’ vegetables and fruit from Turkey or Egypt everywhere. I buy fresh and tasty local grown greens.

            Another hurting point for me personally was Milk and Cheese (‘cos my Mom worked all her life at a milk processing factory and I got to know what is good and what is bad about everything milk). Last 2 years we have, at last, proper milk and thanks to some local milk-processing boutiques, we have decent cheese. (European is under sanctions)

            We can afford local regional salmon, I visited salmon farm last year (Norwegian salmon is under sanctions)

            They got rid of those awful chicken’s parts from US (during ‘perestroika’ we named it ‘Bush’s legs’), now I buy from nearest town, packed the same morning.

            This year one of my region’s towns offered beef. Earlier we never had decent beef. Now they breed Angus Black calves and we have steaks and sausages and whatever.
            ———-
            I understand it is so naive, but it really makes me happy. I was born 1978 and my childhood and youth were not plentyful regarding food. I’m sorry for so many personal details, I know it is not in western tradition to share something personal, but I feel nothing to hide, daily human life 🙂

        • P

          I tried to send you a bit more personal message on your web site but it did not work for some reason 🙁
          (Some problem with the captcha)

    • snickid

      ” the USA is pressing Saudi Arabia and/or Qatar to send ground troops to Syria”
      __________________________________________________________________

      The problem is that Saudi Arabia and Qatar do not have any armed forces who can successfully engage in warfare (as the Saudis have demonstrated in Yemen). The vast Saudi arms purchases from the United States, Britain and France are intended as a bribe to buy US (etc.) military protection for the Saudi regime – not to enable Saudia Arabia to fight a serious war itself. Qatar lacks the standard basic criterion for a state – a population. The citizen-population of Qatar is about 300,000 (the same as a reasonable-size northern city, such as Bolton). Qatar is certainly not going to risk any of its non-existent ground forces on a war in Syria.
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      if the US gets Saudi Arabia and Qatar (which are almost at war between themselves currently) to send ground troops to Syria, these troops will need to be rescued by the Americans within a few weeks or months. That, I suppose, could be the American plan, allowing the America to send ground troops to Syria under cover of helping its Gulf allies. The whole idea looks so implausible to me, however, that it is likely to unravel before it is even stitched together.

    • james

      good comments from everyone on this.. thanks…
      as for the no fly zones and possible conflict with russia and the usa – it seems to me russia has all this covered, but they can’t cover the wests stupidity which periodically appears, more false flags not withstanding… i recall the approx 100 syrian army members being taken out in deiz ezzor a few years back, thanks the usa who claimed they were going after isis… i would never discount the malign intentions of the west in the syrian theatre, but i don’t think they are in a position to call the shots at this point in time.. something crazy can always happen to change this though.. i suspect it will be israels deep desire to pull the usa into this deeper that is the catalyst.. as for troops from saudi arabia and qatar.. i guess now that their wahabbi friends who formed isis are on the backfoot, may as well package them in a new form – saudi /qatar armed forces, lol… as billy mentioned and i think it is true, these 2 countries are not on good terms with one another, or should i say – the royals are not on good terms with each other? meanwhile i see today the green berets are helping saudi in their ongoing war on yemen.. of yemen, we hear essentially nothing – another reason to completely discount or ignore the western msm…

      • Jo Dominich

        I am now going to ask a really stupid question – before there is any more FUKUS intervention or military strikes in Syria – where are the UN in all of this – surely, and everyone knows this to be a fact, these countries are in serious breach of international law and further intervention of a military type will cause more civilian deaths, more destruction and more devastation to the people of Syria. Surely the UN should now be making a very clear Statement that the head of any country using military air strikes or any type of military intervention in Syria (excluding Russia because Syria asked them to become involved) that is unlawful and random will be tried in the International Court as the terrorists and mass murderers that they are. Otherwise, it seems to me that the UN and its related bodies are largely redundant if they cannot apply international law and allow the USA to continually veto proposed action against Israel.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    From The Register.co.uk tech-website
    “UK-based Cambridge Anal., and its parent organization SCL Elections, stated it would enter insolvency proceedings and disband immediately” . . .

    “Companies House, lists an active company called Emerdata Limited, headquartered at the same offices as SCL Elections and run by much of the same management and investors as Cambridge Analytica. It even describes itself as a “data processing, hosting and related activities” organization.

    For instance, Dr Alexander Taylor was appointed a director of Emerdata on March 28. That’s Cambridge Analytica’s acting CEO and data wizard Dr Alexander Taylor. Julian Wheatland is an Emerdata director who is also a director within the SCL network of organizations.

    Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer are directors of Emerdata, and are the daughters of ultra-wealthy businessman Robert Mercer who created and bankrolled Cambridge Analytica. Billionaire Bob has given tens of millions of dollars to rightwing political efforts”

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Radar.
      WhoWhatWhy have done some pretty amazing work on Deutsche Bank and it’s dirty dealings.
      The lovely family Mercer come up as having purchased a flagrantly illegal “investment scheme” from Deutsche to reduce their tax liability. Having been warned not to use the scheme by the IRS, they went ahead and did so anyway. The greed of these people is astounding. A genuine mental illness really.
      Anyways the case is in litigation and it all gets very murky. On taking office, the orange one sacked all previous US Attorneys, but hesitated with the guy (Preet Bharara) handing the case against his buddies and major donors the Mercers, going as far as to talk with Preet on more than one occasion.
      In the end up, Preet was sacked and the case is in limbo. The whole thing is getting very little coverage, but it could blow up on the Commander in Creep big style.

      https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/01/15/deutsche-bank-global-bank-oligarchs-american-russian-part-2/

    • james

      i had read that about cambridge analytica the other day.. it is of course a joke.. that is like asking a leopard to change it’s stripes.. these folks will continue to do the corrupt things they do and it will be sanctioned by the same folks that have been put in place to work for them.. meanwhile – lets not lose the script here – demonize russia 24/7, lol… i can’t believe how many people, in particular americans – have been hoodwinked by this… unbelievable.. russia stole their lunch, even if mercer stole their lunch!

  • Sharp Ears

    The idiotic MSM stooges Pierce and McGuire were admiring Hunt on last night’s Sky Paper review for the way in which he made the apology on the breast scanning scandal. They must be joking. Hunt’s performance was worthy of an actor.

    The omissions in the appointment letter system were probably deliberate in order to reduce the demand on the crumbling NHS radiography service. Half a million women have missed out over 10 years!

    Because of the lack of trainees, there is an acute shortage of radiographers and radiologists (the latter examine the images and report on them). The limits on immigration doesn’t help. There is also a lack of secretarial and admin staff to send out the reports to the referring medical personnel and to keep the show on the road.

    Much of the mammography (full-field direct digital mammography) has been outsourced to the privateers. You can see their ‘lorries’ parked up in supermarket car parks and similar. There are many breakdowns of the intricate and delicate machinery due to the effect of potholes and the crumbling roads. There is one in the local Sainsbury’s at the moment.

    Previously the scanning was carried out in an external NHS department connected to three local district general hospitals. The staff were retained and temporary agency staff were not usually employed.

    Where I worked in a NHS diagnostic scanning department where a variety of scans were carried out (heart, lung, bone, kidney, thyroid) on gamma cameras and CT scanners, treatments for thyroid disease were also administered by the consultant. He dealt with a large workload and when he went on holiday, the consultant from a neighbouring hospital had to come over to do the reporting, and vice versa, as well as dealing with their own departments.

    So you see it’s not like popping in to the filling station for some unleaded petrol. The service is under-funded and under-resourced.

    NHS public health functions agreement 2017-18
    Service specification no.24 Breast Screening Programme
    https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/service-spec-24.pdf

    • Jones

      nine years to discover this scandal ! tories seem pretty good at wrecking peoples lives, and even better at covering it up, as the 3 line whip on the Windrush vote proves, so much for ”no stone unturned”

      • Sharp Ears

        Thousands of calls made to breast screen error helpline
        1 hour ago

        Breast cancer screening is offered once every three years to women aged 50 to 70 |Photo

        There have been 5,000 calls to a helpline since it was revealed that a computer error led to 450,000 women in England missing out on invitations to routine breast cancer screening.

        Breast cancer charities say they have also been inundated by calls.

        Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that up to 270 lives may have been cut short because of the mistake.

        Breast cancer survivors have demanded answers and experts have questioned why the error was not spotted sooner.

        However, cancer experts have cautioned that there are pros and cons to screening – not all cancers are picked up by screening and sometimes those picked up do not need to be treated.

        /..
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43992748

        Poor souls. Many are worried and anxious.

        Meanwhile, Mr Hunt is in his counting house, counting out his money.

        • SA

          Sharp Ears
          Things will only get worse with staffing in the NHS with brexit especially in London. Large number of staff from doctors to nurses to secretaries, support staff like lab scientists, radiographers and technicians come from overseas and many from Europe. I think we will loose lots of those and the service will be very difficult to run.

  • David Otness

    Harding: cringeworthy. What a horrid little man. A real “team” player for empire and imperialism.

    • Thomas_Stockmann

      I’ve noted his latest sleight of hand with the truth just above.

    • james

      indeed…. i think he lives in a world of fear anyway – which is perfect for feeding into all the fearmongering he helps continue to foster…

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Gavin Williamson wants YOU in the Army Reserves to fight Russia in the fake news wars!’:
    https://www.rt.com/uk/425572-gavin-williamson-army-fake/

    ‘…WHO WE ARE
    77th Brigade is an agent of change; through targeted Information Activity and Outreach we contribute to the success of military objectives in support of Commanders, whilst reducing the cost in casualties and resources.
    Our outputs are a fundamental part of the Army’s Integrated Action model.
    Aside from the delivery and support of Information Activities and Outreach we have a role in planning and advising across the Army and wider Defence…..’
    https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/77-brigade/

    So we can expect plenty of the same from ‘Williamson’s Cowboys’.

    • james

      i hope they come up with a good name for it… i am getting tired of always hearing about the ”white helmets”, even though the msm is loath to tell us where all the video footage comes from… back when i was a kid they had a lot of cool names for acid… orange sunshine, purple microdot, etc. etc… maybe these freaks like williamson can take a trip and come up with a good name for there propaganda opts… they could name it after some form of lsd or whatever, as that would be very appropriate.. this williamson is a real dunce – thus a good man for the job!!

    • bj

      Germany is never going to follow such a course. In the end they are way too pragmatic than to be jerked around by British sociopaths.

      • snickid

        “https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/03/revealed-uk-push-to-strengthen-anti-russia-alliance
        Alice in Wonderland.”

        “Yes I read that and thought I was in a parallel universe.”
        ___________________________________________________________________________

        I was puzzled why the Guardian has become so awful – a mouthpiece for war in the Middle East, key pusher of the antisemitism claims against Labour Party members – many of them Jewish, and relentless opponent of Jeremy Corbyn, despite the fact that he increased Labour Party membership from 150,000 to c. 600,000.

        The answer, I think, derives from the Guardian’s status under New Labour – see this terrific article by Jeremy Gilbert: https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jeremy-gilbert/antisemitism-cosmopolitanism-and-politics-of-labour-s-old-and-new-right-wings/

        Under Blair, Guardian columnists (Jonathan Freedland, Polly Toynbee, etc.) not only bought into New Labour neoliberal, neoconservative policies, but became – as they imagined – key figures in promoting those policies. Neoliberalism is now dead (in the world of the sane at least): financialisation and uncontrolled markets inevitably lead to economic catastrophe, as seen in 2008. Neoconservatism continues to die a bloody death across the Middle East (mainly the blood of the innocents of that benighted region). The Guardian’s New Labour hacks, however, refuse to accept either their guilt or their irrelevance, and in a fit of pique at the loss of their imagined status as ‘opinion formers’ maintain their relentless attempt to sink the ‘Corbyn project’ – i.e. the restoration of the basic values and policies of social democracy.

  • Tom

    It is a sign of the desperation of the mainstream media and the people that run them that they are still flogging the dead horse of Putin the Bond villain.
    It’s interesting and revealing in itself that this seems to be of such importance to them. Is it just a matter of pride or do they fear what would happen if the public stopped believing them en masse?
    I remember on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s murder, the Guardian closed its comments facility – which I found extraordinary for an event such a long time ago.
    These people simply cannot accept that the ‘stupid’ plebs no longer believe the lies of their supposedly clever operatives.

      • Jack

        Tom

        Unfortunately a majority believe all they hear, add to that the lack of critical reporting on this and lack of protests (antiwar etc), it really makes this hysteria really dangerous. Maybe as much as pre-WW1 when people were brainwashed en masse too. Millions dead because of that, will MSM lead to us to WW3 now?

        bj

        Indeed, profiteers of war in the MSM.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Jack May 3, 2018 at 20:51
          Why not? The ‘presstitutes’ have sold their souls for filthy lucre. I have just come back (via my local pub) from a SOAS meeting about (and including) Palestinian journalists. These people have not sold their souls; they are lethally targeted, contrary to all normal rules of behaviour.
          The murderous evil swinehounds who take their orders from Luciferian sh*tbags kill them, seriously injure them, under orders.
          The last thing the murderous sh*tbags want is the truth to get out. Yet still, the supremely brave Palestinian journalists do their level best to expose the truth, knowing the very real risks.
          It’s time we, the ‘armchair protesters’, help to take some of the risk, and cost what it may, support these extremely brave journalists. And it’s not just in Palestine, West Bank and Gaza.It’s around the world, Colombia, Honduras, India, you name it.
          Get up, stand up, stand up for the Truth (as Bob Marley might have said – before he was assassinated by the son of the CIA chief).

  • Paul Barbara

    I’ll try reposting this, as no one has confirmed whether my tinyurl link is visible on RTTV. I suspect it is, but have no way of knowing if no one tells me.
    May 3, 2018 at 11:08
    @ John Goss May 2, 2018 at 20:09
    ‘No, I can’t see your post. I’ve just used N_ May 3, 2018 at 03:27 ‘s advice, and put up the tinyurl link on RT. Check if you can see it. Also, my Independent comment managed 18 ‘thumbs down’ in an inactive 2-day old post in the early hours of the morning – can you see that post?
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/russia-spies-uk-security-salisbury-attack-sergei-skripal-poisoning-police-review-a8330771.html
    I provided you the contact details, including phone number, of the London Bureau of RTTV, so you could phone them quite easily.’

    Here is my post with contact details:
    ‘May 2, 2018 at 19:33
    @ John Goss May 2, 2018 at 15:02
    ‘…I am trying with great difficulty to contact RT. There is no telephone number and emails to RT are. as has always been the case, going into a black hole. Anybody who has not signed the petition who wishes to do so can do so here. I hope….’

    RTTV London Bureau contact details:
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Sixteenth Floor Millbank Tower 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
    Tel.: (020) 7233 7938 ‘

    Here’s the RT link:
    https://www.rt.com/uk/425600-skripal-poison-update-suspect/

  • Mochyn69

    From the above Guardian article, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. I wonder if Craig would agree?

    ************
    For some old hands in the Foreign Office with deep experience of Russia, however, demonising Russia is a disastrous strategy. Sir Anthony Brenton, the British ambassador to Russia between 2004 and 2008, insists a fruitful common agenda with Moscow on issues such as nuclear disarmament, Islamist terrorism and cyberwarfare is still possible.

    “What on earth was her majesty’s foreign secretary doing comparing the Russian World Cup with Hitler’s 1936 Olympics?” he asked. “If you are looking for a single statement really calculated to infuriate the Russians there it is, or indeed the defence secretary telling Russia to shut up. Elementary diplomacy goes a long way with the Russians and we need to get back to that.”

    Figures like Brenton fear that not only would a British all-out assault on Russian mendacity simply drive Moscow into arms of China, a long-term strategic mistake for Europe, but also risk British diplomatic overreach, given the backdrop of Brexit.

    *************

    What on earth indeed? I think part of the problem is that due to the relegation of teaching foreign languages, especially Russian, in our schools and universities to the status of a mere hobby, the UK now sadly lacks relevant home-grown expertise in the field of advanced Russian studies. Another big long-term strategic mistake.

    **

    • Sharp Ears

      Unfortunately, I missed seeing him on the BBC Parliament channel today in the replay of the 25th April hearing. I only saw the two young women.

      10.40 am
      International Relations Committee – Oral Evidence Session
      Foreign policy in changed world conditions (at 10:40 am)
      Sir Tony Brenton KCMG, Former British Ambassador to Russia (2004-2008)
      Sir Andrew Wood GCMG, Former British Ambassador to Russia (1995-2000)
      (at 11:40 am) Ms Oksana Antonenko, Visiting Senior Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics
      Dr Natasha Kuhrt, Lecturer, Department of War Studies, King’s College London
      Location: Room 2, Palace of Westminster
      https://calendar.parliament.uk/calendar/Lords/All/2018/4/25/Daily

      I find it strange that women, especially young women, have an interest in ‘war studies’. Dr Natasha Kuhrt is a lecturer in that subject at Kings College. The other woman is Russian and is at the LSE. She appears and speaks at the IISS, not ISIS but the Int’l Institute for Strategic Studies.

      I looked up its details. The head honcho, the DG, John Chipman, was appointed a Companion of Honour of the Order of St Michael and St George by Her Maj in 1999 so he has the royal seal of approval. https://www.iiss.org/en/persons/john-s-chipman

      Lord Guthrie is on the council. In 2008, it was noted that he had an interest in Colt Defense LLC, manufacturer of guns and small arms.
      He was previously the Chief of the Defence Staff. I see he resigned from Colt last year. He used to attend Herzliya, the Israeli conference. He no longer declares his interest as a non executive director of N&M Rothschild on the HoL register so has resigned presumably. ( https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-guthrie-of-craigiebank/3608 )
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Guthrie,_Baron_Guthrie_of_Craigiebank

      Here he is along with BLiar’s pal, Lord Powell of Bayswater and Lord Robertson, ex General Secretary, NATO.
      https://www.iiss.org/en/about-s-us/the-s-council

      Verily the gangsters-in-charge.

      Their funding is disgusting,. Bahrain is there and so is the FCO plus the UK and US weapons manufacturers. Look at the sums.
      https://www.iiss.org/en/about-s-us/our-funding

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mochyn69 May 3, 2018 at 17:07
      I actually am pleased at these faux pas. The mere fact that the UK is showing such abject ignorance and imbecility, to the point of seeming to invite hostilities, is welcome, insofar as it shows the Brits in their true, Neocon, One World Gulag colours.
      The MSM, of course, refuse to report the truth, and the significance of the British (and others) gung-ho attitude towards a third World War.
      If the Left, the Unions, the students, the intellectuals, cannot sense the dangers, then so be it.
      Russia (and China) know where they stand, and will react appropriately.
      They know very well that the ‘White Ango-Saxon Critters’ speak with a forked tongue.

  • Sharp Ears

    A couple of good tweets from Craig.

    Craig Murray‏Verified account @CraigMurrayOrg · May 1
    Have I understood this properly? Israel, which possesses a massive stockpile of illegal nuclear weapons, is accusing Iran of possessing an illegal stockpile of documents?

    and

    Craig Murray‏Verified account @CraigMurrayOrg · Apr 29
    I have never received a penny from Russia, while the Tories received £840,000 from Russian oligarchs before the election and Tory Party Chairman Brandon Lewis received £30,000 personally. Yet apparently the Russian Bot is me. What a very strange world.

    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg

  • labougie

    The MSM seems to be having a (so far) evidence-free bash at Speaker Bercow. Why is no-one complaining about anti-Semitism?

    • N_

      The statements by Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair are surely evidence against John Bercow, unless you mean they have yet to be sworn or made to official investigators.

      John Bercow is a bad’un. His manifesto for reforming the Commons Speaker’s office featured a promise to “reach out” to “voluntary bodies”. Before that, he wrote advice on how to get drunk women into bed. And he was secretary of the Monday Club’s immigration and repatriation committee, which called for the repeal of the Race Relations Act.

      • N_

        For those who don’t already know: the repeal of the Race Relations Act was the proposition that Enoch Powell was arguing for in his famous “blood” speech.

  • N_

    If anyone wants to know whether gang warfare will break out in Northern Ireland if the border becomes “hard”, they should look at today’s funeral in southwest London of Henry Vincent, the burglar from the Gypsy organised crime family. That kind of street where Richard Osborn-Brooks, a guy aged 78, defended himself and his home by stabbing the burglar who, having broken into his house with an associate, had threatened him with a screwdriver, is typical of a large area of outer London and not just of St Mary Cray and Orpington where there is a large and now mainly settled Gypsy population. This story is going to ring loud clanging bells with millions of people.

    For some reason, the left finds it hard to comment on such matters.

    The police were absolutely right not to charge Mr Osborn-Brooks with an offence.

    • Xavi

      I’d suggest the connection to the Irish border situation is one that’s evident only to yourself, not millions of people.

      • N_

        Dig your use of the conditional mood, even if you typed a consequence clause with no condition clause. The point is the activity of gangs as standards of living decline, their propensity when confronted to get right in your face (“respect”), and the importance of symbolism. In Northern Ireland after the peace agreement a lot of gang activity moved away from death-heavy, kitsch, “officer commanding”-type paramilitarism into scams associated with the building (and moneylending) boom and to a lesser extent things like car insurance. That was the big picture: there was money to be made by gangsters in less dangerous ventures, and barring a few psychos, who wants to live on edge all the time?

        In many parts of London – not the most impoverished areas but places that have a high average age and which are mostly owner-occupied, in the sense of the word “owner” where people no longer have charges on their property titles to the benefit of moneylenders – criminal gangs are coming much more out into the open than they were 10 or 20 years ago. As we know, the number of murders in impoverished areas is increasing, but many people are coming up against gangs in other areas too when they e.g. want a boiler fixed or indeed when they answer their door to the many scammers who plague such streets and who can be quite “insistent” even when offering e.g. tree-cutting services. Today’s funeral isn’t the end of the story in Hither Green.

        A hard border would be one among several pressures on gangs…and when they’re under pressure they respond. The clash need not even take a sectarian form, but given uneducated people’s love of symbolism and given also the ethnic divides among the lower orders that have not gone away and are one among many resources that can be reweaponised, I doubt that orange and green are going to stay out of it. The Traveller and non-Traveller gang divide also features big in Ireland.

  • J

    Another false flag attack in Syria in production according to Sputnick, worth the last warning turned out to be correct:

    BEIRUT (Sputnik) – The tensions in the country have been running high since April, when media accused Damascus of carrying out a chemical attack in the city of Douma, with US launching missile strikes against Syria without waiting for the end of an investigation into the case.

    “US security services are planning provocations with the use of prohibited substances in Syria. The operation is led by a former militant of the Islamic State *[Daesh], Mishan Idris Hamash. The aim is to stage a chemical attack against civilians to be further spread in the media,” the source told Sputnik.

    According to the source, the preparations began on April 23. The civilians are being shipped to a territory near Jafra oil field to participate in a staged filming of an attack scene.

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201805031064111580-deir-ez-zor-chemical-attack-provocation/

      • Paul Barbara

        @ J May 3, 2018 at 18:42
        Absolutely, but hardly unexpected. As Kissinger said: ‘“Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Some realise they are being used, like Veterans For Peace’, and campaign against the Warmongering ass*oles, but most just take the Queen’s shilling, and their tot of rum.

  • bj

    Sorry, this event has passed

    Salisbury must be a nice town to visit.
    When I google for ‘salisbury tourism’, the first hit I get is Visit Salisbury – Official Salisbury Tourist Information Site – Visit Wiltshire.

    Considering the large scale cleaning operation that is taking place in Salisbury, to rid it of a dcertain deadly nerve agent that has been sprinkled around, and which cleaning operation can last weeks, maybe months, I would expect this site to issue at least some warning about the going ons there. You know, about visitors not to be surprised about areas being inaccessible, tents appearing over benches, areas cordoned off, in short — that which has been announced, with a lot of pomp and circumstance almost, would be going on in Salisbury the coming weeks, maybe months.

    So I visited the site. There I was.
    However, to my surprise, I did not readily see a tab ‘Things to avoid’, or some such.
    Therefore I searched that site on some terms.

    ‘poison’: 0 results
    ‘novichok’: 0 results
    ‘skripal’: 0 results
    ‘avoid’: 5 results, of which ‘The Comedy of Errors at Old Sarum’ looked promising, but turns out to be Shakespeare’s play. The others appear not to be to the point of interest, and most of them saying ‘Sorry, this event has passed’.
    ‘zizzi’: 1 result; boiler plate: telephone number, map & directions

    Exactly nothing about anything to do with the major cleanup operation that is going on, no warnings whatsoever about areas to avoid, no caveats pertaining to a certain deadly nerve agent that you might run into — NOTHING.

    Should I cancel my visit to Salisbury? Did I miss anything? Has the event passed?

  • Fausto

    O/T but interesting : this year’s famous cycle race, the Giro d’Italia, kicks off tomorrow in……Israel.

    Congratulations to the organizers for this ‘one in the eye’ for those who seek to isolate Israel from the world of sport!

    • bj

      Be sure not to miss the (in)famous team from the Sky Corporation, the team that makes such successful use of chemical weapons in the form of those used to treat ‘asthma’.

    • Sharp Ears

      Better not tell the Palestinian kids who will never play any sports because their legs have had to be amputated and because their knees have been shattered by Israeli snipers.

      Do not tell these youngsters either who were prevented from leaving Gaza to play football in the ineptly named West Bank.

      Israel prevents football players from leaving Gaza
      August 3, 2017
      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170803-israel-prevents-football-players-from-leaving-gaza/

      ‘Israeli occupation authorities on Wednesday prevented nine players of a Palestinian football club from leaving the Gaza Strip to participate in the final match of the Palestinian Cup in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

      The Rafah Youngsters team is slated to play Hebron-based team, Ahly al-Khalil on Friday.

      Palestinian Youth and Sports Supreme Council member, Abdussalam Haniyye, wrote on his Facebook page that the players were denied exit from the Gaza Strip.

      Haniyye asked FIFA, the international football governing body, to take action to end the controversial violations.

      Last year’s Palestinian cup final was delayed after six players from a Gaza team were refused permission to travel. The decision was later reversed after a FIFA complaint to Israeli authorities.’

      Shame on the Israelis.

    • Sharp Ears

      What a shame! Ahed Tamimi won’t be able to see the start of the cycle race. She’s 16 and in prison.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Fausto May 3, 2018 at 19:58
      I vonder who greased some palms to foist that one?

  • David Avi

    Since – unsurprisingly – no one else has done so, it falls to me to draw attention to the rather curious speech made by President Abbas at the ongoing Summit of the Palestinian National Council.

    Something to the effect that the J**s had been the victims of periodic massacres well before the H***c**st because they controlled all the money……

    Vile stuff (but of course the shills are already clamouring that the dear man’s been ‘misrepresented’)

    • bj

      Personally, I’m still busy shaking my head and counting the dead, from some peaceful events that took place near Israel recently.
      Sorry.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ bj May 3, 2018 at 20:30
        To which the MSM seem not to have noticed.
        Assad killing peaceful protesters? Apart from being a lie (the protests were accompanied by US-supplied snipers, as they did in Ukraine, Egypt, Venezuela etc.), Is*eal openly admits snipers targeting unarmed demonstrators. And the Western response? Zilch. Nada. Sweet FA. So how come?
        The people better wake up, and get rid of these politician creatures who are in the pockets of the Banksters, sooner rather than later.
        We do not have much time.

    • Ian

      Abbas is irrelevant. Unelected, a stooge for Israel, who has no real power, doesn’t represent Palestinians, although he will now be portrayed as such. Has been sidelined and ineffective for years.

      • lysias

        Since Abbas’s statement so helps Israel’s propaganda agenda, one has to wonder whether Israel somehow got him to make the statement.

    • Doodlebug

      Why ‘unsurprisingly’?

      When drawing attention to a potentially contentious statement, is it not safer to quote it in full, with the addition of some context where necessary? ‘Something to the effect that’ is no more reliable, as far as your readers are concerned, than Theresa May’s decision to blame Russia for the Skripal poisonings because someone whispered ‘Novichok’ in her ear.

      This too may be contentious, but on the face of it (and leaving claims as regards the causal aspect aside) the first part of the statement is true, is it not?

      • David Avi

        “Unsurprisingly” because on here every vile utterance by any Israeli minister is gleefully reported on within 24 hours whereas every vile utterance by Palestinian representatives is passed over in complete silence.

        As for his exact words, look them up yourself – shouldn’t be difficult, they’ve been reported on in extenso in the MSM (unlike on here).

        • Doodlebug

          “As for his exact words, look them up yourself”

          No. I shall not. That’s an aggressive thing to say in any case. The onus is upon you to substantiate a point you’re intent on making, not on me to fill in the gaps. Since you seem disinclined to clarify what you see as the vulgarity of what was actually said, rather than paraphrase it with ‘words to the effect’, I’ll simply digest your tantrum with an appropriate pinch of salt.

        • glenn_nl

          There’s a bit of a disparity in the weight of these utterances, David. The one will be seriously considered and perhaps acted upon by the United States, while the other will be dismissed out of hand if they are given even that much consideration.

          Also consider the source. One comes from a country with full WMD armaments – and regularly likes to demonstrate the full force of its might, backed up by the most powerful country on earth. The other represents a powerless, occupied and poverty stricken set of pretty much stateless people (“un-people”, perhaps?), who have been utterly marginalised and are currently being squeezed out of existence.

          Are you actually trying to say there’s some equivalence here?

          • David Avi

            Glenn

            I wasn’t attempting to establish a scale of vileness as between various Israeli and Palestinian statements, Glenn. My observation limited itself to noting that vile statements from Israelis are immediately pounced on by the denizens of this blog whereas vile statements from Palestinians and other Arabs about Israel and Israelis (not to mention J***s in general) meet with deafening silence. One has to wonder why.

        • bj

          The Israeli’s statements are vile lies, the Palestinian’s vile opinions.
          Which is worse is yours to choose.

          • David Avi

            It is indeed a vile opinion to imply that the J***s had/have t coming to them because they cointrol all the word’s money. Shame on President Abbas, who probably said it in an attempt to reestablish his credentials with the likes of Hamas.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ David Avi May 3, 2018 at 21:25
          ‘..As for his exact words, look them up yourself – shouldn’t be difficult, they’ve been reported on in extenso in the MSM (unlike on here).’
          Hmmm, I vonder vie dat should be? But forget ‘vile utterances’, how about vile, murderous snipers killing unarmed protesters, and journalists covering the protests? We don’t hear a cacophony of ‘Netanyahu murdering his own people’, do we, for ‘some’ reason? And a member of the Knesset saying a teenage girl, who slapped and kicked an Israeli ‘soldier’ (just after her relative had been shot in the head with some kind of ordnance and disfigured for life) should ‘at least’ have been shot in the knee, gets what MSM coverage? How much influence does a certain tin-pot regime in the Middle East have over Britain’s MSM, and indeed government?
          Bye the bye, this Blog is not run through MSM ‘blinkers’. Like myself, Craig and the mods have no time for anti-Sem*tism, but we do have a heck of a lot of time for the Truth.

  • Bunkum

    Since on this thread has been mishmash of comments from Salisbury – NHS – Brexit, this story covers the lot

    Nurse shortage delays opening of new Salisbury hospital ward

    A NEW 26-bed medical ward at Salisbury District Hospital created after the last winter crisis cannot open because there are not enough nurses to staff it, the Journal can reveal.

    Hospital bosses would not say whether the new ward would even be open in time for the coming winter, as they struggle to recruit the registered nurses they need.

    The new ward, which does not yet have a name, was created as part of the £3million hospital redesign – a direct response to the winter crisis which left hundreds of patients either having operations postponed or being cared for in escalation areas.

    A report for the hospital board said: “Currently, the ward is unable to open due to a lack of staff.”

    A spokesman for the hospital said: “Our number one priority is to provide good quality, safe services for patients. There is a national shortage of registered nurses and, like other hospitals across the country, the Trust has had a difficulty in recruiting nurses to Salisbury. This has resulted in a delay in opening the new medical beds.”

    In a report for board members, deputy chief executive Dr Christine Blanshard said recruitment campaigns were ongoing in the UK and in Australia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

    The trust said it had made good progress on its programme of site changes over the past 10 months.

    The new purpose-built eye clinic has opened and the acute medical unit is now larger and can see more emergency patients.

    “The Trust is carrying out a major ongoing local, national and international recruitment campaign and is exploring a range of avenues to recruit a sufficient number of staff to open the medical beds,” a spokesman said.

    “As part of its recruitment campaign the Trust has highlighted the benefits of living and working in Salisbury and the facilities that are available to staff, such as access to on-site leisure centre facilities, day nursery and holiday play scheme.”

    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/16202192.Nurse_shortage_delays_opening_of_new_Salisbury_hospital_ward/?ref=mrb&lp=2

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Bunkum May 3, 2018 at 20:47
      And May & Co. insist on baiting the Russians? If the NHS is incapable of covering an outbreak of winter sniffles, how the f*ck are they going to cope with WWIII? Novichocks? How about heavyweight radiation poisoning?
      I have often been told I have a screw loose, but I’d run rings around the shower of ‘Great Leaders’ we kow-tow to.

    • Sharp Ears

      Before all this play acting started, the Salisbury NHS Trust was said to be £12m in the red. That’s how the funny money works within the ‘market’ as Thatcher prescribed for OUR NHS. The CEO came on the media and was talking rot about having to make economies such as procuring cheaper latex gloves for the surgeons and banning the use of 1st class post!

      YCNMIU.

      • Jo Dominich

        I worked with the NHS for many years – I have total contempt mainly for them. They waste money like you wouldn’t believe. The managers they employ are overly highly paid, go to any PCT office and they have state of the art designer furniture, carpets, computers etc. I could go on and on – what certainly isn’t at the core of their business is patient care – that’s way down their list of priorities.

    • Jo Dominich

      Interesting article. i suggest the Salisbury Hospital Trust make redundant some highly paid, unnecessary administration and managerial posts and axe the myriad number of unnecessary ‘deputy’ posts and use the money to fund staffing the Ward. However, the NHS has no interest in axing its tiers and tiers and tiers of management and administrative posts that are worthless and useless – as the RCH said, management posts have risen by 37% in the past year and the number of nursing posts has declined.

  • Sharp Ears

    One hour of lies and anti-Assad propaganda coming up on BBC 2 now from Lyse Doucet.

    Syria.

    ‘The BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet has been covering the Syrian civil war since it began in 2011.

    The war has claimed half a million lives and reduced much of the country to ash and rubble. Following a suspected chemical attack in Syria in April, images of terrified children having their eyes hosed were broadcast around the world. The US, Britain and France responded with a missile strike which aimed to destroy the Syrian government’s chemical weapons facilities.

    Now, Doucet is presenting an inside look at how the war started. Here’s everything you need to know about BBC2’s Syria: the World’s War.’ Radio Times

    • snickid

      “One hour of lies and anti-Assad propaganda coming up on BBC 2 now from Lyse Doucet.”
      ________________________________________________________________________

      I recently heard Doucet ‘reporting’ on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme from Yemen on the war there. She managed to spend ten minutes describing the plight of the victims of the Saudi bombing without once mentioning that the Saudis are doing the bombing, or that Britain, alongside America, is supplying Saudi Arabia with the arms and satellite-based targeting information to enable them to do it.

      I look forward to Ms. Doucet’s equally selective facts from Syria.

    • BrianFujisan

      Sharp Ears

      I was reading a reaction to this earlier.. By Alison Banville

      ” Brace yerselves people. The BBC’s Lyse Doucet’s Syria doc is about to start on BBC2. After Mike was interviewed by her on the way to Aleppo two weeks ago, and after our heated encounter with her and her producer at Heathrow, we were already preparing to write about her, but we’ll incorporate this travesty into it as well and publish in the next few days. She ain’t gonna get away with this unchallenged! ”

      P.s Enjoyed the powerful poem by Gary Corseri.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears May 3, 2018 at 21:06
      I’ll check it out, Sharp Ears, but it is getting late and I need to hit the sack.
      One thing I will say, there will obviously be no mention of Roland Dumas: ‘Roland Dumas: The British prepared for war in Syria 2 years before the eruption of the crisis’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyRwFHR8WY
      Sickening, evil, soul-sold Luciferian a**holes.

    • Ian Carver

      On a historical note, the quaintly named “doodlebugs” of WW2 were of zero practical military value but a mere temporary if noisy distraction from the course of events.

      • Doodlebug

        At least they served a purpose then and weren’t a complete waste of space.

    • Jo Dominich

      I guess it’s time to make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission – as they say in France un Oeuf is unOeuf.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    I reported last week that the Czech intelligence had completed a report to their PM about non-traditional-(nerve)-agents NTA. Half of the Czech government didn’t want to know. The PM has now revealed that they ‘probably’ can now add the phraseology to BoJo “of a type also made in Praha”, is this relevant?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/czech-president-czechs-made-novichok-citing-spy-agency/2018/05/03/034cf488-4f0e-11e8-85c1-9326c4511033_story.html

    • bj

      MI6 are either a pile of incompetent sods, or they are a pile of lying sods.
      May? Dismay.

  • Sharp Ears

    The price for gold.

    The mines in that region are >3.4km deep. Unimaginable.

    13 trapped underground as South African gold mine collapses following earthquake
    Published: 3 May 2018 | 17:58 GMT
    Thirteen miners have been trapped underground after an earthquake caused a South African gold mine to cave in. Rescue teams have been mobilized at the Masakhane mine west of Johannesburg and mine operator Sibanye-Stillwater said that it has made contact with three of the workers. “All efforts are being made to locate the 10 employees who remain unaccounted for,” the firm said, in a statement to Reuters.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    And looks like ‘spin’ is being applied here based on the quantities that the evil-doers, Boris, Nick, Sergei whoever – was deploying.

    Could be a spoiler for the RT story?

    As, according to the NYT, reporting head of the watchdog, seems that half-a-beaker “is needed” to cover or not a door handle(and everything else) , much much more than the teaspoon-full that CZ might have made then immediately destroyed. Oh yes. Other one, bells.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/world/europe/opcw-salisbury-novichok-skripal.html

    At least the OPCW are going to start to take inventories from some countries who suddenly remember things, possibly.

    • bj

      That amount conveniently narrows it back to state actors, not students. Case solved.

    • bj

      Note also that you only have to ‘say you have evidence’ these days — not ‘show the evidence’.

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