The Holes in the Official Skripal Story 1404


In my last post I set out the official Government account of the events in the Skripal Case. Here I examine the credibility of this story. Next week I shall look at alternative explanations.

Russia has a decade long secret programme of producing and stockpiling novichok nerve agents. It also has been training agents in secret assassination techniques, and British intelligence has a copy of the Russian training manual, which includes instruction on painting nerve agent on doorknobs.

The only backing for this statement by Boris Johnson is alleged “intelligence”, and unfortunately the “intelligence” about Russia’s secret novichok programme comes from exactly the same people who brought you the intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programme, proven liars. Furthermore, the question arises why Britain has been sitting on this intelligence for a decade and doing nothing about it, including not telling the OPCW inspectors who certified Russia’s chemical weapons stocks as dismantled.

If Russia really has a professional novichok assassin training programme, why was the assassination so badly botched? Surely in a decade of development they would have discovered that the alleged method of gel on doorknob did not work? And where is the training manual which Boris Johnson claimed to possess? Having told the world – including Russia -the UK has it, what is stopping the UK from producing it, with marks that could identify the specific copy erased?

The Russians chose to use this assassination programme to target Sergei Skripal, a double agent who had been released from jail in Russia some eight years previously.

It seems remarkable that the chosen target of an attempt that would blow the existence of a secret weapon and end the cover of a decade long programme, should be nobody more prominent than a middle ranking double agent who the Russians let out of jail years ago. If they wanted him dead they could have killed him then. Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps. Putin therefore, on this reading, was willing to sacrifice both the secrecy of the novichok programme and the spy swap card just to attack Sergei Skripal. That seems highly improbable.

Only the Russians can make novichok and only the Russians had a motive to attack the Skripals.

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear.

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal’s MI6 handler Pablo Miller’s work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller’s long term friend, the BBC’s Mark Urban, that the Russians “may have been” tapping Yulia Skripal’s phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia’s phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.


1,404 thoughts on “The Holes in the Official Skripal Story

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  • Ort

    Thanks for this updated summary; I look forward to the promised follow-up posts.

    I’m confident that your plausible explanations will be free of “knowing”, stereotypical speculation about the depraved ways of either Russian espionage agents or drug users.

    I’m actually a born “truther” type who relishes deconstructing ludicrous official narratives, but I find it depressing that constructing hypotheticals and theories about this truly sinister affair is a recreational pastime for some.

    Keep up the good work, as they say.

  • Republicofscotland

    Imagine if the Skripals affair was infact a court case, it would be thrown out.

  • Billy

    The assassins may have protected themselves against accidental exposure by taking prophylactic drugs such as a reversible AChE inhibitor and a long acting cholinergic antagonist. You may try to use BZ as the anti-cholinergic as it is much more potent and lasts longer than atropine, but it will make you very loopy and probably rude to the waiter. If the novichok is accidentally or purposely ingested it’s best to not do so on an empty stomach, so make sure your food comes on time. The slower the substance is initially absorbed, the more effectively the cocktail of prophylactics can prevent permanant damage and the faster you can get out of the hospital and in front of the camera reading a prepared statement. Don’t forget to turn off your cell phone before leaving town on the day of the mission or the cops might figure out the prank. Good luck!

    • Mick from Ramsbottom

      A valid point, Billy, and one which needs consideration.. Indeed Mr Skripal did make a point of finishing his meal, even though he was seemingly agitated at being late for an appointment! Yes, perhaps the Skripals were ‘in’ on this ‘chemical attack’, ensuring they both had a full stomach before opening the red bag. I hadn’t thought of that — well, I sort of did think about it, but couldn’t understand how they would have been brave enough to deliberately get a dose of whatever-it-was. Then again, drug addicts are brave enough to stick needles in their groin. I’m just a wimp for discounting that as a possible explanation.

      • Billy Novichok

        I wouldn’t get excessively distracted by any blonde ladies porting red herring bags. Judging by the Skripal family photo album, Russian selfies never count unless you are holding a drink in your hand. Any drink will do, but it’s also okay if it’s always a beer. The media has been a little light on reporting facts and details in this case, wouldn’t you agree? Well… except somebody sent an actual reporter to the italian restaurant and now we know more things than we thought we wanted to know. We learn they requested the table nobody ever wants, we know that Sergei was acting like a raging lunatic, and we even have an itemized account of the bill Mr. Sergei stiffed them for including drinks, appetizers, even calorie counts! Today Sergei will drink wine, after all it is a special occasion.

        Seems like a dumb idea to do certain things on purpose no matter what fancy-pants scientist and his powerpoint on enzymes has to say. Trust me on one thing though, once you cross over to the in-on-the-prank dark side all the puzzle pieces you have already forgotten about will drop cleanly into place.

        Hold open the red bag and I’m going to start counting. Tell me to stop when you feel brave enough.

    • Muscleguy

      Be tricky to get the dosage of the prophylactic agents correct unless the per kg body weight dose of the ‘novichok’ is known to a careful degree. So far this highly dangerous and effective agent has killed one homeless woman who it seems was not exactly in the peak of health.

      If afraid of ‘novichoks’ be healthy, stop smoking and get some exercise.

  • JOML

    With the UK’s press, the establishment can say absolutely anything they want, regardless of how ridiculous, safe in the knowledge that they will not face any serious questioning. This affair illustrates perfectly how the UK has no real journalism in the mainstream. A very sad state of affairs.

  • Mick from Ramsbottom

    There are aspects of this case which were mentioned in the media at the time, but which have subsequently been quietly smothered – and the super-human feat of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey is given no credit.
    We were told that a couple of people, one of whom carried a red bag, walked towards the park bench on which the Skripals were sat. The red bag was put down and the couple walked away. The Skripals opened the red bag and at that point, they were both overcome by their earlier exposure to Novichok. Detective Sergeant Bailey, who’s plain-clothed police duties had him swanning around Queen’s Park that day, was later to collapse next to the Skripals and with the same symptoms. and to facilitate that, our now ex-Foreign Secretary had the Detective Sergeant visiting Skripal’s house, for no reason, it seems, other than to have him grasp Mr Skripal’s door knob. Boris told us that the Detective Sergeant, acting without orders, searched Mr Skripal and found the door key. Being a Detective Sergeant, he knew exactly where Mr Skripal lived and so he set out across the park, across Salisbury town centre and up the road to Mr Skripal’s house, a distance of about four miles. He grasped Mr Skripal’s door knob on his way into and back out of the house, thereby being poisoned by Novichok. He made his way back to the park bench, a total distance of about eight miles, before the ambulance arrived. It seems he may have also looked into the red bag at which point he too was struck by the effects of the Novichok on Mr Skripal’s knob.
    For the Detective Sergeant to have walked eight miles in such a short time was surely a super-human effort which is deserving of praise.
    There should be a scientific investigation as to why it took, as Craig says, nearly five hours for the Novichok to affect the Skripals, and both at the same time, whilst Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey came down with the same symptoms just a few minutes after touching the door knob, and yet we are told that the Detective Sergeant recovered more quickly than the Skripals because the Novichok had been diluted by the rain!

  • Yaggi Boom

    Mark Urban lives in a make believe world. He can be seen often on BBC Newsnight postulating about many subjects especially Syria when he really goes wild. The most recent rant about the events in Amesbury was entire based on speculation, almost like he was writing the script for the following days disclosures. He was in his element with the what if’s and probable outcomes. It was so obvious that I sat opened mouthed watching this display of lies with a sheeple baiting performance.

    • Sopo

      Hmmm, given Urban was having meetings with Skripal last year, the make-believe world is what he helps construct for the public to live in, while he knows plenty about the real world.

  • glenn_nl

    I wondered about the supposed container which was supposedly near where the Skripals were found incapacitated. Why would the container be anywhere near there, when the attack on them took place at their house, out in the suburbs? No further attack anywhere in public is even alleged, unless I missed something.

    Not to mention the obvious point that every single fag-end and bottle cap was presumably examined at the time, and any other rubbish doubtless cleared away multiple times since – Salisbury is quite a nice place, and it’s unlikely individual fag-ends, bottle-caps or military grade nerve-agent containers would be allowed to litter the town centre for months on end.

    “Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door?

    Ah, this is more clear. Perhaps, Craig, you’re unfamiliar with the very common practice of giving the closed door a good rattle, to ensure it is properly shut, and then all exiting parties shake hands to agree that the door is – indeed – well and truly locked.

    • Jim

      It has been suggested that the container (if such existed) with nerve agent in it in some form could have been thrown into a pond or part of the river, which has now been exposed by receding water levels due to the recent drought. It hasn’t rained in Wilts (I live in the north of the county) since early June, and then only a small amount, you have to go back to May for a decent days rain, and May itself was a generally very dry month. So given the original poisoning event occurred in early March, when river/pond water levels would be pretty high due to recent winter rainfall, it is conceivable that something was discarded by being thrown into what was thought to be deep water, and maybe was at the time, yet 5 months later has been exposed by a severe summer drought. This item could then have been noticed and retrieved by Rowley and Sturgess on one of their excursions to Salisbury’s parks.

      • glenn_nl

        Why would someone throw the container into the river near to where the Skripals collapsed, when it had only been used at their house several miles away?

        It’s kind of tough to envisage this container thrown into a heavily flowing river would have just bobbed around there for months, then rested on the bank with other flotsom, which some fag-end chasing junkies retrieved, and then the container disappears again forever once they have managed to contaminate themselves – because they resisted the violent effects of this truly deadly agent long enough to dispose of it.

        You’re stretching credulity a bit thin there, Jim.

        • Jim

          My theory is not looking so bad now though is it? Small bottle found at Rowley’s house, with nerve agent contamination. So it does look like the pair found something while in QE Gardens on the day they were contaminated. And QE gardens is where Skripal was seen ‘feeding ducks’ by several witnesses. Why do you make a big fuss of feeding ducks? To cover throwing something in the water of course.
          Best guess now is that Skripal either wanted to commit suicide or create a fake nerve agent attack on himself in order to get back at the Russians, the British, who knows? He gets Yulia to bring some chemical from Russia (probably disguised as a scent bottle), he goes on a tour of Salisbury spraying it all over, doses himself and Yulia (or just himself and she gets contaminated from him), disposes of the bottle in the duckpond, collapses on the bench. UK authorities find him, samples sent to Porton Down, its a novichok type chemical they say. UK politicians shoot their mouths off about Russians, it becomes an international incident.
          Meanwhile the lovely dry spring and summer is slowly lowering the water level of the duck pond, and eventually the scent bottle is exposed. Along come Rowley and Sturgess on a drinking expedition to QE gardens, see the bottle, get it out of the mud. It looking like scent, Sturgess (the female in the group) probably tries it and gets the biggest dose, it doesn’t smell like scent, so Rowley and the others may not have tried it at all. Rowley and Sturgess were an item, so would be sleeping together, so he could have been contaminated by her back at his house rather than the bottle. Hence why she got a fatal dose, and he survived, so far anyway.

          Does that not fit the known facts better than the official line?

          • glenn_nl

            Excellent theory Jim – after all, Novichok is available in all the best supermarkets in Russia these days, so Yulia would have no trouble getting it. And again, who wouldn’t want to get some deadly nerve agent if your Dad wanted it to commit suicide for no particularly good reason? Particularly at ludicrous risk to yourself.

            That special spy training must have come in handy, because – as you say – he sprayed it all over himself before disposing of the bottle. Mere mortals would have been dead in seconds, but not our intrepid ex-spy (or his daughter, of course).

            Our junkie female Sturgess doesn’t get killed immediately by the deadly nerve agent either because she’s used to drugs, and has got a high immunity now. So does her partner.

            By the way, there’s a fine bridge here over the river Amstel which I can sell you at an exceptionally good price – you sound just the person who’s up for such a purchase. We’ll just arrange the money transfer, and then I’ll have the bridge delivered to you directly.

          • Jim

            Scent bottle containing traces of nerve agent found in Rowley’s house, who found it in Salisbury city centre, according to his brother (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44839805)………..and I never said Skripal used Novichok did I? I said it was probably a similar type of agent, maybe at a strength that is more incapacitating than lethal, something that the Russian secret service might use (which Skripal would be able to get hold of), for incapacitating people rather than necessarily killing them, or of a type that makes a death look more like a drug overdose than an assassination, ie kills slowly over hours rather than in seconds (as real Novichok would). It was Porton Down who identified it as ‘of a novichok type’, and it was the politicians who then screamed blue murder.
            Whatever it is its not ‘that’ lethal, as one way or another its been used on 5 people in Salisbury, none of whom came down with any symptoms for several hours, and there isn’t a pile of bodies, from people touching stuff that the 5 known victims have touched. Only those who have had a primary dose have been affected or killed, no-one else is even suffering a bit of a funny turn. Which suggests its not military grade Novichok.

    • Doodlebug

      It’s beginning to look like there’s serial poisoner in the area and their name’s not Vladimir.

      • Shatnersrug

        Doodlebug,

        How exciting! It’s like the ripper legend! Which member of the establishment could be acting up? a Windsor? I expect a graphic novel at the least!

    • Jack

      Lets say this “Novichok” was released as a gas, how long could the longevity be?
      Either that or something is seriously contaminated, but its strange that these new cases pops up now and not 4 months ago where it would be more likely.

      • fedup

        Now they are selling bottled “Novichok” in the open bloody Russians.

        I believe Blair told the truth
        I believe our government has our interests at heart if not mind
        I believe all the stories the “media” publish/broadcast/air
        I believe those damned Russians are trying to subvert our elections, come over here and buy our buildings, and poison our people, and when not doing any of the above they send their planes and ship to harass our boys
        I believe universal credit is a success and pensions should be stopped and the free loading swine of old age pensioners clogging up the super market queues should be put to work, the lazy lay bouts that they are.
        I believe a hole in the head is good for you

    • Deb O'Nair

      Anyone remember the Osama bin Laden videos that were continually released? Each bin Laden was physically different from the others, each video surfaced at a time of convenience for the Bush/Cheney admin, and all were reported in the corporate media without any question that they were bin Laden videos. Salisbury is the same; it does not matter if there is a real poisoning or not, as long as there are stories with the words Novichok and Russia being pumped out. As Bush Jr said, you’ve got to propel the propaganda by continually repeating it.

  • quasi_verbatim

    I understand that there were ducks involved. And a pond. Which pond has not yet been precisely determined.

    I further understand that a homeless man has gone down this evening near Ziggis. Protective clothing is being donned by the attending authorities.

    There is more to all this than meets the eye.

    • KEN KENN

      It may seem a strange point but if this nerve agent is all over the place why are there no dead dogs in Salisbury Town Centre?

      They really do sniff around for things to find.

      Perhaps they have heeded the warnings given out on TV?

      Clever dogs.

    • Mick from Ramsbottom

      According to Google maps, Zizzi is now closed. I can only hope that our beloved Tory government has paid them adequate compensation for all the trouble and loss of business, but I doubt it.

      • Herbie

        Who owns Zizzi.

        Is it a private equity thing as most of these newer chains are these days.

        Or part of a larger corporate.

        I mean, it ain’t a mom and pop.

  • Sharp Ears

    More out of the same stable?

    Full alert in Salisbury as man ‘falls ill’ near restaurant where Skripals ate before poisoning
    12 Jul 2018 | 19:45 GMT

    A new incident has occurred in the British town of Salisbury that hit the news in relation to the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter. A man has passed out in the town center, provoking an emergency response.

    UK police have closed a road in Salisbury after a man “in his 30s” had reportedly “fallen ill” right outside the Zizzi restaurant in Wiltshire, where the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, had dined on the day of the chemical attack, in which a nerve agent –dubbed Novichok– was used.

    /..

    https://www.rt.com/uk/432903-police-lock-down-salisbury/

    • Doodlebug

      It now appears to have been an over-reaction. The man’s life is not at risk apparently, nor are the public. Convenient or what?

      • bj

        So it’s identical to Sergei.
        Anything can happen.
        Keep a close eye on the BBC, The Guardian et al.

    • SA

      I can see s new TV series to replace ‘Midsomer murders’, ‘The Salisbury poisonings’.

  • John A

    Well of course, we have the idiotic Guardian that today in a piece by Shaun never has his mobile when he sees evil Russian tricks, writes without tongue in cheek

    “At the Guardian, we try harder than many to give a balanced picture of Russia.”

    LOL. The Guardian is the biggest warmonger Putin is evil CIA luegen presse going.

    • Herbie

      British elites badly need an enemy now that the manufactured ones are running out.

      That’s just the way they control things, particularly at home.

      But yeah, what happens when the official enemy refuses to play enemy. Is tolerant. And patient.

      And no one else in the international community really thinks this enemy of yours is an enemy of theirs.

      You’re isolated.

      This collapse of British diplomacy internationally, is a direct result of their loss in Syria.

      Big investment in the overthrow of Assad and the dismemberment of Syria.

      But they lost.

      And others will have seen they’ve lost.

      “Never glad confident morning again”

      “Lear”, and power draining away.

      An argument could be made that had they listened to Craig all those years ago then they may have averted this disastrous diplomatic cul de sac.

      • Radar O’Reilly

        Nice poetic allusions there Herbie, I believe that you sum up the sticky wicket of the UKUSA well. Playing a set of poor choices, badly. Shame.

        One more triumph for devils’and sorrow for angels,
          One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!

  • Tatyana

    Come on.
    The only people in protecting gear, seen in Salisbury, are experts from ??? Where ???
    People who could advise government ‘only Russia produced Novichok’ ??? Who conducts the catalogue of world chemicals production ???
    People who had access to any chemicals ???
    People, who carried tests ???
    OPCW conirmed the results of OPCW designated laboratory 🙂
    Director of laboratory said ‘nothing could esape from us’ 🙂
    Come on.

    • Tatyana

      Dstl Porton Down,
      Ploughshare innovation,
      Chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear training facility,

      Public Health England,
      Porton Biopharma,
      Salisbury district hospital with curiously trained paramedics.

      Too big concentration of everything for a small province town.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Tatyana

        DSTL is a major science R+D facility and they do commercialise some of their research (I worked for a company years ago who partnered with them in commercialisation), so spin out companies on site are not surprising. Ploughshare Innovation is the current partner. The training facility is based there as much expertise will reside there. Public Health England will be involved in protocols for handling poisoning, radioactive contaminations in healthcare, dangerous biological infections (e.g. Ebola, dodgy E. coli, Zika etc etc). Again, much expertise at DSTL will help in that regard.

        We actually have lots of research hubs in rural town/city locations in the UK, not to mention the spy hub GCHQ is in Cheltenham. DEFRA has a huge one just outside York. DSTL has/had another campus at Fort Halstead. The John Innes Centre for plant research is in Norwich. The Scottish Crop Research Institute is in Blairgowrie, not the biggest place on earth and Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned animal wordwide, was produced at a research centre in Roslin, south of Edinburgh.

        I would not assign too much significance to the list you produced, quite frankly.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    “…this extremely deadly substance, of which a tony amount can kill”.

    I love it.

  • Yonatan

    “Full alert in Salisbury as man ‘falls ill’ near restaurant where Skripals ate before poisoning”

    The revenge of the Skripal’s missing cat? Don’t stroke strange cats in Salisbury. You could be novichocked.

  • Ginger_daywalker

    It’s not as ludicrous as the official 9/11 narrative. Just saying.

  • Rodney

    Well take 9/11 right in front of your eyes some people will believe the most obvious lies.

  • giyane

    Blighty Palace Trump Welcome Dinner
    ………. …….….MENU

    …………Aperitif….A Palestinians Life

    …Hors d’Oeuvre…. Hoards of Euphrates oil

    …….Soup of the Day ….. Muslim Rendition Soup

    ….Main Course…… Muslims curse Quwata Amreeki

    Salute/ Toast …..To All Racism with Sykes Picot Rouge

    …. Sweet Course……. Bloodberry Sorbet

    Fromage ….From Every Country Evacuees

    Refreshments..30 years of Zionist War Fait Accompli

  • Baron

    When all this is going on, nobody has much to say about the impact on the local businesses, tourism must have accounted for a large chunk of their takings, the Summer months being the peak. Who on earth will be eager to visit now even if the place is again declared safe (as it was few times before). Many, if not the vast majority of the residents are rather anxious, too.

    Either the police (or Craig?) has to speed things up, find the culprit or culprits.

    PS: Well done, Craig, you seem to be one of the few making any sense of the rather tragic charade.

    • Igor P.P.

      I’ve seen a piece today (on Sky?) that talked about UK goverment shelling out 5 million as a remedy to local economy.

  • John2o2o

    Here’s an absurd “conspiracy theory” for you – well no more absurd than the official story anyway.

    Pablo Miller was in love with Yulia Skripal, but she had rejected him. Employed by MI6, Miller is both psychotic – suffering from a James Bond delusion – and used to getting his own way. Unable to handle the rejection and for thirsty for revenge, Miller poisoned Yulia at the restaurant where they ate a few hours earlier, with Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

    Although not the target, Yulia’s ageing father also had a glass of Yulia’s bottle of wine into which Miller had put the Fentanyl. This was not part of Miller’s plan. Sergei was not usually a drinker of wine, he preferred cold beer.

    After the pair left the restaurant they soon fell ill, but the poison took time to take effect – enough time for Miller to make his getaway. He went to the Skripal’s house (he had a key) to lie low. As an MI6 agent he knew this was the last place they would look for him.

    Miller was arrested by DS Bailey at the Skripal’s house. During the arrest Miller also attempted to poison Bailey with the Fentanyl. Miller has been under house arrest since March while MI6 decide what to do with him.

    Well, that’s my theory (lol). Deny it Miller, you slimy creep!

    • giyane

      “James Bond delusion”

      Every time I put finger to keyboard on this blog I feel as though I am saving the world a little bit in my own way.

      Do I have James Bond delusion, doctor? If so, what is the cure? If not, when do I get my free girl tokens?
      They were not in the packet when I opened it. Who nicked them? or are they still at the bottom of the packet for me to find after a few more loyal years dedicated to protecting the thin blue line of British varlues on the 007 mission? One of us smells like a French tart. You’ve really got me worried now.

  • james

    thanks craig.. it doesn’t add up, no matter how hard one tries to shallow the official uk position…

  • Artie

    One of the surprising things about this case was the speed by which the government were willing to attribute blame; 4 days I recall which seems to me uncharacteristic of the British state even when they have more plausible evidence. Another odd feature of the rush to tell was that it was made days before the Russian presidential election, where such strident tones probably played to Putin’s benefit.
    Notwithstanding incompetence I suspect that the rush to judge was made because the British state knows who’s behind this poisoning and that it must be far more embarrassing than a diplomatic spate with Russia. The way the official line becomes more and more contorted suggests a hastily concocted story that they would have probably got away with it where it not for Yulia’s phone call to her cousin and Boris over egging it.
    What I can’t make sense of is this second set of poisoning’s, as pointed out the many contradictions of official line of a left over makes it implausible but then if this is the actions of a third player who benefits?
    I have to agree that it is depressing that none of the MSM have even question some of the inconstancies in the government’s account but in such cases other media try to address it and you have to admit this has got the makings of a cracking film plot; a cross between Le Carrie and a Carry On; Carry On Spying 2 anybody.

    • giyane

      Artie

      HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Salman came to London to see Mrs May with a serious complaint from his father who suspected the UK and Russia were colluding with eachother to herd together and assassinate their terrorist thugs in Syria.

      Ever quick on his political feet, Blonde Superman, now retired , rushed to the rescue of this appalling slur on Britain’s integrity. When the EU complied with the charade and expelled diplomats, Mecca was appeased.
      Unfortunately they do appease easily, and they were even tempted to put their hands in their pockets again to help the old girl out, after they’d been granted an audience with the Queen.

      If you shut your eyes tightly, hold your breath and grimace terribly, you too could believe the pack of lies Prince Abdullah was told. Talking of which, some kind of resignation when the resignee wants to meet the POTUS behind the scenes. Cake and eat it. Nod nod wink wink. You can fool some of the Muslim some of the time but you can’t fool all of them all of the time. Unless you give them an audience with the Queen, and then you have them eating biscuits like corgies out of your hands.

  • bj

    Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were contaminated because police didn’t cordon off, search and clean Queen Elisabeth Gardens, it seems now.

    Those in authority appear to have been hush-hush about that location.

    Anyone that wonders why can come up with at least one plausible answer.

    Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

    Because it was more important t be hush-hush about QEG and not rock the boat than to save lives “on British soil”.

    • Igor P.P.

      Why would the public make much of a QEG search or clean-up following the fist incidents? I don’t think it would.

  • JonathanN

    Hi,

    As much as I enjoy reading your views, I believe you’ve missed something in your article.

    Clearly there is no solid evidence that Russia was involved, and lots of things don’t make sense; but to question why an attack took place when Yulia Skripal was in the UK, when they could just have killed an ‘old bloke’, rather ignores the fact that an attack on a family member is a massive deterrent against an individual who may be duplicitous, or making a stand, against a home state.

    If you know that an attack might take place on you and your family, years after your actions/political double plays, then it’s likely to deter you, and anyone in the future.

    There is a motive or incentive for Russia to have taken this action. It acts as a very strong deterrent against any similar actor in the future. Even if nothing is proven against Russia, even if Russia is totally innocent, I’m certain this will deter many dissenters in the future.

    Regards

    Jon

    • Herbie

      You’d have thought the old spookie wookie doo should have vanished after the fall of the USSR.

      We’re all consumers now. Free trade and all that. Same system. Simple competition to produce the better solution. The better argument, and all that.

      Peace and harmony.

      But no.

      Someone thinks it’s a good idea to have the Middle East warring within itself.

      Why.

      And what now when that seems not to have worked to plan.

      The East wants free and open trade with the West.

      The West can’t compete.

      Now, it’s trade wars.

      These are often a prelude to kinetic warfare.

      The UK, under May, is leading the anti-Putin narrative, with colleagues in the US Dem community, but the US, under Trump, is much more concerned with the rise of China, its increasing economic power and the Thucydides Trap.

      London has a deal in place with China to manage its currency transition to global financial markets. This would be Big Bang all over again, but bigger.

      But, if the Don has his way, these global financial markets may find themselves a tad more territorially controlled than they expected.

      Everyone has to pay.

      For protection.

      And some aren’t paying enough.

      I mean, the US has gone bust protecting all you hedonistic European wastrels.

    • Igor P.P.

      Why not kill her in Moscow then? Nothing would ever be proven, no international scandal and guranteed results. Almost every defector in the history of USSR and Russia left their family behind, but nothing of the sort ever happened to them.

    • Andrew Wilson

      Nope, I don’t buy that.
      Here’s why.
      We know that the backstop that professional intelligence agents have is that if caught they can hope, or expect, to get back home by way of some form of exchange. That process relies upon a deal of trust on the part of all significant stakeholders including otherwise adversarial intelligence services.

      When governments or their agencies take to topping old spies that trust breaks down and agents can no longer imagine that there might be a way out if things go tits-up. The effect of that upon individuals would be to make them more risk averse and thus less willing to undertake risky assignments or retain confidences.

  • SF

    It would have been possible for them both to have been in contact with the doorknob if they either exited the house separately, or the person who did not shut the door initially then went back into the house for some reason.

    But it seems to me there is another* objection to the doorknob theory. Where were the Skripals when the doorknob was contaminated? Either they were inside the house, and did not notice a person or persons unknown, dressed in protective gear, in their driveway, or they were not in the house. If they were elsewhere, how did they get into the house without being contaminated then? Did they always use a back door, except on the one occasion when the front door had been rendered “lethal”? How did the “assassin(s)” know they would not be caught red-handed by the returning Skripals? And so on.

    *One of many.

  • barkbat

    I don’t understand why more people weren’t harmed in the Zizi restuarant if Skripal’s both had hands contaminated with Novichok.

    They must have held menus, cutlery, glasses etc? They must have opened and closed a door to get in? They must have paid using a cash card, looked at the bill etc. Presumably other diners would have entered after them? Presumably staff would have cleared their table on them leaving? So why do we not have a dozen or so secondary victims when we are dealing with such a lethal nerve agent?

    Surely the lack of contamination means either the poison is wrong, and/or the time of its use is wrong.

    • Blue Nun

      Novichok isn’t so toxic that vastly sub-milligram doses are dangerous to human health.

      And remember its not like the situation we had with Litvinenko and the polonium. In that case we had the luxury of tracking the trail because it decays into particles that can be detected by a Geiger counter. To detect Novichok you need to analyse for its presence on swabs and that requires trillions of trillions of molecules to have been successfully transferred.

      • joeblogs

        Blue: “Novichok isn’t so toxic that vastly sub-milligram doses are dangerous to human health.”
        Really?
        I dare you.. no, I double dare you to try some.. as tiny a dose as you like, while you are so well informed of the ‘safe’ levels. Just be like catching a cold, really? Oh now I remember, those ad’s for’vacancies’ in the 70’s for ‘cold-catchers.’
        Did you apply?

    • Igor P.P.

      Not that I belive the doorknob theory, but they could have simply have washed their hands before eating, or straight on arrival.

      • Robyn

        ‘ … they could have simply have washed their hands before eating, or straight on arrival.’

        For that to work, someone would have had to at least opened the restaurant door for them, opened the male and female toilet doors for each of them, turned on the taps for them, and operated the soap dispensers for them. All this successful only if they don’t touch anything in the restaurant on the way to the loo.

  • giyane

    In 1979 I moved to Wiltshire because my new wife had some cousins connected to Hoare’s Bank. I didn’t like English bankers then any more than I like them now , nor do they like me. But the point is that Wiltshire to London is a much quicker journey than Birmingham to London. Wiltshire is inhabited and owned entirely by London dwellers. You know those limestone cottages with pale oat or pale green paintwork, reeking of London money, and the brand new vehicles that have no luggage in them because the country house is as well stocked as the London house with every commodity and clothes a rich family could possible need.

    People keep talking about Salisbury as if it was on the edge of civilisation. It is a suburb of London and everything in Wiltshire society is like a town and gown, feudal relationship. There are no secrets in this community. Every tiny indiscretion of the city folk is witnessed by the country folk, and it’s good business if you can keep your mouth shut. This is a community which is trained to keep secrets and be servile to wealth and property.

    Do you guys who live normal lives in the UK think you can easily break down the medieval opaqueness of a Victorian relic of feudal authority? We’re not talking corporate power here, nor business, nor trade, nor church , nor local enterprise. We are talking about the power of the Capital over the local community because it is close enough to London to commute daily by car if necessary.

    It’s a total waste of time for you outsiders to try to understand how London power could be exercised effortlessly over village communities. The locals understand the devious ways of the Londoners sufficiently to anticipate the devious requirements of the Londoners before being told what to do. I saw the same in Turkey, where every tiny hamlet is controlled by landlords connected to government power. What has happened in Salisbury and Amesbury is comparable to Erdogan stealing Kurdish oil through ISIS, things happening in villages that are directed from London or Ankara.

    Thank God I escaped from that terrible, tied-up place. No wonder Dawn Sturgess sought refuge from that appalling Masonic control in the saner wold of drop-outs and junkies. No wonder also that whatever story is put out officially will be expected to be accepted and not contradicted by the local community.

    • bj

      Thanks for the enlightening impression. You could be a novelist.

      Somewhere in that painting you created is a man walking his dog, knowing every single blade of grass (the man, that is), listening to the name of Anon1 (the man, that is).

    • mikh

      Kurdish oil? There are no such things as “Kurdish oil”. Kurds are a nomadic tribe from the “kordistan” province in Iran. They wandered into Syria and Iraq in the 30’s and onwards. They have no more “rights” to the land or recourses of their host countries than Gypsies or Bedouins do here and elsewhere.

      • giyane

        mikh

        Kurds have inhabited the same cities in Iraq for 4000 years . You’ve been reading too much Captain Pugwash, i.e. Erdogan whose son shipped the Kurdish oil to Assad in Syria and Israel.

  • jack sprat

    Your assessment is closer to the truth than the Russian fiction being peddled. You have thought this through carefully and I would like to hear your ideas about what may have really happened.

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