Wheel Out the Skripal Story Again 364

Just as the World Cup had forced the British media to grudgingly acknowledge the obvious truth that Russia is an extremely interesting country inhabited, like everywhere else, by mostly pleasant and attractive people, we have a screaming reprise of the “Salisbury incident” dominating the British media. Two people have been taken ill in Amesbury from an unknown substance, which might yet be a contaminated recreational drug, but could conceivably be from contact with the substance allegedly used on the Skripals, presumably some of which was somewhere indoors all this time as we were told it could be washed away and neutralised by water.

Amesbury is not Salisbury – it is 10 miles away. Interestingly enough Porton Down is between Amesbury and Salisbury. Just three miles away from Muggleton Road, Amesbury. The news reports are not mentioning that much.

“I am all out of ideas Inspector. What can possibly be the source of these mysterious poisonings?”

Neither Porton Down nor the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has any idea where the substance to which the Skripals were allegedly exposed was made. Boris Johnson’s great “coup” of obtaining a majority vote at the OPCW to expand its powers to place blame for chemical attacks, has proven rather otiose as the OPCW has no evidence on which to base any blame for Salisbury. In fact, four months on, May and Johnson’s shrill blaming of Russia remains entirely, 100% evidence free.

I do however wish to congratulate the neo-con warmongers of the Guardian newspaper for verbal dexterity. They have come up with a new formulation to replace the hackneyed “Of a type developed by Russia”, to point the finger for a substance that could have been made by dozens of state or non state parties. The Guardian today came up with “Russian-created novichok”. This cleverly employs a word that can encompass “developed” while also appearing to say “made”. It also again makes out that novichok is a specific substance rather than a very broad class of substances. The Guardian’s Steven Morris, by this brilliant attempt deliberately to mislead his readers, runs away with this week’s award for lying neo-con media whore of the week. His achievement is particularly good as the rest of his report is largely a simple copy and paste from the Press Association.

I most certainly hope that the couple in Salisbury hospital recover from whatever is afflicting them. The media is, by making this the lead story on all broadcast news after last night’s football, inviting us to make the connection to the Skripals. In which case I assume the couple were perfectly well for five hours after contact, able to be very active and even to eat and drink heavily, before being mysteriously instantly disabled at the same time despite different ages, sexes, weights, and metabolisms and random uncontrolled dosages.

Replicating that would be quite a feat.

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364 thoughts on “Wheel Out the Skripal Story Again

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  • Cube

    Craig, I have often found myself wondering why the OPCW has made no comment on the concentration of “novichok” it found in the blood samples taken from the Skripals. Is this not information that would be made available in the detailed report for the states parties? We were told it was “very pure” but not the concentration at which it was found, although Lavrov said it was at a lethal dose. But surely the actual dose was measured? It seems to me that this information would be in and of itself enough to debunk the official version of events, given that all affected have recovered. Thank you for all your work.

  • Goose

    On the Skripal case, like Craig, my opinion is that the whole thing looks concocted. Of course facts are thin on the ground due in part to restrictions. But known facts that support this theory:

    -The fact both and she and her father fell ill at the same moment long after the alleged contact with this supposedly lethal military grade substance. Their different ages, weights, metabolisms and contact exposure should have made this impossible. Isn’t the idea someone hit them at the scene(near park bench) with something else(?)far more plausible?
    -The fact D-notice(s) have been issued as to the company they were keeping at Zizzi’s restaurant.
    -The difficulty of application/handling for such a dangerous substance. Plus no CCTV or suspects to date..
    -The vanishing DS Bailey; no interviews, no celebrity status, nothing.
    -The head of the OPCW getting the amount involved wrong “…50-100g”- later corrected, as that much would have wiped out the entire area.
    -The fact both have fully recovered(thankfully) and the bizarre way it was announced – the day after that weird ‘stolen’ phonecall between Yulia and her relative in Russia.
    -The desire for ‘no contact’ with the person she previously contacted… issued in a written statement of careful diction of a well versed native English speaker.

    Of course we want to trust our authorities and we have to keep an open mind, but with so many unanswered questions it’s difficult to without that better proof .

  • Bob

    I was in Salisbury yesterday and visited the Skripal ex-home, the police have sited a huge Pie Wagon outside where the brave officers can get their coffee, doughnuts and pies (I am not joking).

    I also swung by the Snap Fitness gym and Freya Church was measuring a chap’s bicep with a tape measure (I jest not again)

    I think when the rain comes we will see a bit of normality return and we can get on with bombing somewhere else in the Middle East. Stay strong!

  • Jo

    “They were exposed just 300 yards from where the Skripals ate on the day they were poisoned with novichok, and it was feared this could be leftover toxin from then.”….yeah…surely….

  • Pyotr Grozny

    This from the BBC

    Investigators are trying to work out if the Novichok could have been prepared in Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, and the Amesbury pair came into contact with its residue

    • Mary Paul

      didn’t the authorities spend months decontaminating everywhere near where they sat in Salisbury? their flat sounds a more likely bet. I hope the police have checked the door handles….

    • Dave G

      Rather than demolish all of the buildings in Salisbury and surrounding towns, an action which would cause dust and therefore put everyone in danger of being infected by an instantly lethal nerve agent which doesn’t kill anyone and doesn’t take effect for hours, they are just going to nuke the whole area.
      Can’t be too careful, except when it’s someone’s phone, when a wet wipe will do to clean the deadly nerve agent from it.

      • Pyotr Grozny

        There will surely come a point for the good people in Salisbury and Amesbury when it will be more reassuring for them NOT to believe the than to believe it.

      • Anon1

        That makes sense, Porton Down is only a stone’s throw away! That’s why this must have been an inside job, because Porton Down is close to Salisbury! Also there’s a lot of military bases in the area. Coincidence, huh?! Look it all up in Google maps and discover the troof!!

        • J

          You dismiss a point of fact as though understanding of the world comes from resolutely ignoring the accumulation of facts. And is that how crimes are best investigated? By ignoring rather than exploring the potential meanings of fact and coincidence?

  • Loony

    Who knows what happened to the latest sufferers of poison/drugs/good poisoning.

    All that we can be certain of is that they will receive appropriate care by the NHS – often referred to as the greatest heath care system in the world.

    However they will not be cared for by this particular Nurse.


    Inquiring minds may wonder if this case can offer any lessons regarding NHS suitability for employment methodologies, whether there are any negative consequences associated with the open borders policy, and why the poor white man is blamed for slavery. Fortunately state education policies have acted to ensure that there are very few inquiring minds – and those that do exist can safely be locked up.

    Of course this is probably all idle speculation as the obvious explanation is that the Nurse was a Russian agent able to gain employment in the UK because the Russians hacked the relevant IT systems.

  • ZigZag Wanderer

    Sam Hobsons’ fairly comprehensive description of his friend is interesting. As with the Sergei eyewitness account , the impression given seems to suggest these people were tripped out of their heads on some sort of hallucinogenic.
    Novichokees will pee and poo pdq as bladder and bowel control is one of the first things to go , swiftly followed by other muscle groups.

    Standing up , rocking back and forward , acting like a zombie ,making strange sounds and with pupils like pinholes is a perfect description of an early ’70s Hawkwind gig. Surely he would slump to the floor if he had been Putined.

    • N_

      Some other scaghead may have sold them some Vim or whatever, and the order was to find fodder for a front-pager to talk up the Russia threat, and they fitted the bill? I’m sceptical that that’s how it happened. It doesn’t seem that their lives were falling apart. That’s when people stop caring what they’re taking.

      From Porton Down’s point of view, local drug casualties may be viewed as a pool of “volunteers” for experiments.

      Porton Down have previous for using “volunteers” who didn’t actually volunteer for anything. So do similar CBW outfits in other countries. Anybody who thinks they’re all ethically sound nowadays, because “safeguarding policies are in place”, or because there’s been an inquiry under Lord Fuckface into what happened in the 1950s, or because we can’t “prove” otherwise, is living in cloud cuckoo land.

      Note that there have been two explanations for the trip to Boots. 1) To collect a prescription. 2) To buy red, white and blue dye so they could colour their hair to support the England football team.

      If it was 2), I’d like to know why they needed blue dye, given that England’s colours are red and white.

      Could someone have put that story out to distract from questions that may be asked about 1)? If you were a junkie with a methadone script living somewhere near Porton Down, would you be sure it was always and only methadone you were getting?

      The blanket from the charity shop may also be suspicious. Honky power has previous in that department.

      But I’d go for whatever they got at Boots not being exactly what it seemed.

      • N_

        Also “Charlie Rowley”, or “C Rowley” could be a reference that would be immediately understood by many junkies.

    • Andyoldlabour

      How about, if you could cut their “recreational” drugs of choice with nerve agents, which you could manufacture at a nearby plant (Porton Down), and then supply it to these less than useful members of society?
      However, that does not explain why the Russian state would be interested in Knocking off a pair of lowlifes like this.

  • barkbat

    Has anyone noticed how the newly poisoned couple closely fit the look of the ‘blonde woman’ with red bag and ‘bald man’ seen walking on CCTV shortly before Skripal collapsed?


    These were possibly the people who Skirpal was meant to meet.

    Is this like the bit where Harvey Lee Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby, I wonder?

  • Radar O’Reilly

    BBC One tv news claims that the ‘met police “confirms they are poisoned by novichok” – the same kind of nerve agent that Skripaled the MI6 agent and his daughter. Wha’ ?

    Which way do the Porton fume-cupboard exhaust vents point?

    I think the fish in the fishing program on Beeb2 have more intellect than the ‘now-we-need-more-budget’ MIC meddlers

    • Dave G

      Let’s hope it has the same lethality as the last lot of immediately deadly nerve agent which takes hours to take effect and then doesn’t actually kill anyone. Hopefully the newest victims have also been BZedded.

    • Sharp Ears

      Statement from ACSO Neil Basu re: Amesbury incident
      News • Jul 04, 2018 21:57 BST

      Statement from ACSO Neil Basu at circa 21:45hrs on Wednesday, 4 July:

      I am here to update you on the major incident in Amesbury, following which a man and woman are critically ill in hospital.

      Earlier today, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, from Wiltshire Police gave an update on the situation. However, I can confirm tonight that there has been a significant development and that the Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation into this incident.

      This evening we have received test results from Porton Down that show the two people have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

      At approximately 10:15hrs on Saturday, 30 June, the South West Ambulance Service was called to a residential address in Amesbury, where a 44-year-old woman had collapsed. She was subsequently taken to hospital.


      Statement from ACSO Neil Basu re: Amesbury incident – Metropolitan Police

  • Dave Lawton

    Seems like desperate measures to me.How do we stop Trump meeting Putin.Bring on the Novichok.They really must believe people are stupid.

    “Fears grow over prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin
    Britain fears that President Trump will undermine Nato by striking a “peace deal” with President Putin when the pair meet next month.
    Cabinet ministers are worried that Mr Trump may be persuaded to downgrade US military commitments in Europe, compromising Nato countries’ defence against Russian aggression.
    Officials are also concerned that he could hand Mr Putin a propaganda victory by cancelling or changing the alliance’s planned military exercises.”

    • mark golding

      Pretty much Dave Thank-you. What makes my blood boil is the way the Wiltshire local commanders are told to ‘shut up and do as you’re told’ by higher echelons in the counter-terrorist police (spook grade). Let me be clear here; from a good source the plain brown wrappers are an establishment backstop in this case dished out by a thoroughly opprobious secret service. Bastards!

    • Jo 1

      They’re definitely peed off.
      I mean there’s all those English people who’ve defied orders and gone to bloody Russia and they’re even going on telly and radio saying what a lovely time they’re having, the dirty traitors! And how friendly Russians are, how welcome they’ve been made…how beautiful the country is. But to cap it all fecking England are playing well too, even winning on penalties! I mean wtf is that about? Our people are out there and they’re happy! This is not good! We need to DO something!

  • Ort

    Oh, goody!

    Now we can have another round of UK authorities spewing ominous ambiguities, full of Russia-blaming sound and fury, in the Gorgon PM and her rotten Tory government’s ongoing desperate struggle to keep its depraved nose above water.

    I can’t wait for UK Village Idiot Laureate Boris Johnson to provide another definitive briefing.

    Meanwhile, hmm… I suspect one of those lost, stolen, strayed, or liquidated Skripal pets might be the perpetrator here.

    I certainly agree that this story is worth reporting as farce. At this stage, though, I hope people will resist that catnip-like intoxication of sifting through the allegations and factoids to speculate on what it’s “really” all about.

    I wish this latest afflicted pair well, though. And just to flout my own suggestion and engage in hypotheticals– who knows, maybe next thing we know the UK government will pay handsomely to purchase the crime-scene flat!

    • Jo

      Also this is just a few days after Foreign Minister Lavrov gave his usual masterful interview to very amateur I have got a russophobic interviewer Cathy on Channel4…..so strange this has happened like it is done just to prove a point……..

  • Jo

    “They were exposed just 300 yards from where the Skripals ate on the day they were poisoned with novichok, and it was feared this could be leftover toxin from then.”….yeah…surely….”Couple fighting for their lives WERE expose to same novichok nerve agent as ex-Russian spy: Police make dramatic revelation as footage emerges of man found ‘foaming at the mouth’ being put in ambulance”

    DM headline….actially tjete are other developments in rhe article too eg Jiliya wants to.gp home….not speak to Viktoria etc etc apparently…

    • N_

      They were exposed just 300 yards from where the Skripals ate on the day they were poisoned with novichok, and it was feared this could be leftover toxin from then.

      If they’re supposed to have got contaminated with the substance at that location, the British army must have totally crap CW defences.

      It seems much more likely that they got handed the nasty stuff by a pharmacist at Boots in Salisbury. That’s probably the standard experience for a fair few of Porton Down’s “volunteers”.

      Questions include

      * what “agency” connections does John Baker House in Salisbury have?
      * how did Charlie Rowley get that flat?
      * who owns the flat?

      By the way, I’ve found a Grace Annie Rowley born in Amesbury in 1894 and a Victor G Rowley born in Amesbury in 1932, so “Rowley” is probably the surname that Charlie Rowley was born with and not a junkie deed-poll reference to the famous occultist.

  • The Mad Cyclist

    I hate to post from The Sun but this is interesting. The couple became ill ‘after touching an item in Queen Elizabeth Gardens..’

    Presumably this item then ended up in this bin (near Sturgess’s room in a homeless hostel in the centre of Salisbury)

    What is this item? Did they find it by chance? How long had it been there?

    For those of you who dont know the Gardens they are a very popular spot on the edge of the city centre and next too/across the river from the cathedral. In fact they are the way out to the water meadows where you get ‘the view’ of the cathedral. So not really somewhere that something is going to have been kept hidden since March. Unless you went looking for it.

    Also if the authorities thought they were dealing with a drugs overdose (as they said they were for 4 days) why on earth was a decontamination unit from Swindon sent out? That’s at least an hour away?

    Have these people found something they are not supposed to find? And have stories changed once it has realised they have found it?

    • Patrick Mahony

      When it started wasn’t it said the bench area was frequented by druggies? Hard to believe a baggie, spike or crackpipe could be around there for four months and they found it and took a hit before binning it. It would also have to be something the Skripals used.

    • N_

      The “item” could have been the blanket they bought in the charity shop. They can’t have been the only ones who touched it since it was donated, but a blanket is quite a big thing.

    • N_

      Yes, but the idiot journalists who reported on the special suits worn by the paramedics (or whoever they are) didn’t!

  • Abulhaq

    According to recent BBC totally unbiased reportage Scotland is the drug abuse capital of the universe. Surely some dots might be joined up linking Scottish nationalists, Russia and other mortal enemies of the British state with this random chemical attack on innocent citizens of Wiltshire. Who’ll be next? The England football team?

    • N_

      What are the Torygraph up to? Damned lucky for Sajid Javid that he only took office recently. He’ll have a big day tomorrow. He’ll get his face and voice imprinted on many minds. That could be useful if the cabinet splinters on Friday. Which is not to say I think a guy of Pakistani origin has a hope of becoming leader of the Tory party, even if he is an admirer of scumbag Ayn Rand.

  • laguerre

    N_ @ 19.38

    “According to this article, Ms Sturgess has a room at John Baker House, Rolleston Street, Salisbury. That’s a housing scheme for homeless people.”

    If Sturgess lived in a hostel for homeless people, it is quite likely that she went in for what the Americans call ‘dumpster-diving’ – picking things out of waste bins. A lot of people do that in my road, picking through what’s put out for the binmen. She obviously picked up something like the empty bottle of novichok thrown away by the person seeding the door-handle, or similar. And then transferred it to the guy later.

    Mind you, it’s bizarre that she was friends with a guy who could afford a flat in a brand-new development, but that’s as it is. Was she selling him something she found?

    • N_

      I’d like to know about the flat too. There might be an arrangement where a housing association has a lease on some of the units, which they could have bought from the freeholder if the units were proving difficult to sell. It seems unlikely that Mr Rowley owns the flat outright. If we knew the exact address we could check at the Land Registry. How’s Pablo Miller?

  • Agent Green

    Starting to look like there is some lunatic serial attacker poisoning people now.

    This substance could have been made anywhere, by people with relatively limited skill.

  • Mary Paul

    well I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures – maybe it is aimed to get Theresa May to pull England Team out of World Cup!

    • Andyoldlabour

      Excatly, but she does not have a cliue about the nation seeing their team reaching the quarter finals.
      This is one of the best World Cups ever, so I wouldn’t mind betting that the Yanks had a hand in this.

  • BB

    My observation is not about England, U.S, European countries, or other places; it is about what is taking place, by the “Intelligence” communities all over the world to advance “The New World Order” .
    It is not enough to spread the lie of the Skripal incident all over the media and in the U.N. Council and accuse and condemn , without a shred of evidence, the Russian side, but when the lie has been expunged, ridiculed , exposed,,, then it is time to follow it with a bigger lie. That is the way not only to defeat common sense, human intelegance, but also the way to defeat rational, logic, and our basic understanding of justice.
    The American people are supposed to believe that the Passports of the hijackers of the planes on 9/11 where discovered “miraculously” on the grounds next to the World trade center by mayor Juliani and his Passy, and you are not going to believe what is given to you by the government on the Skripal case, fine , we will make it easier. Deal with it, no body is listening .

    Sincerely forgive my english

  • Goose

    Mark Urban, speaking on Newsnight, claimed UK security services had concerns for Sergei Skripal’s safety last year.

    If so, it surely begs the question, why was he living openly under his real name and why wasn’t the house equipped with CCTV?

    • Agent Green

      He also went round openly telling people he was a Russian spy as well. So neither he nor the British intelligence could have been that concerned.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      I read the article on the BBC website and according to this it is not clear that the British authorities were aware of the surveillance.

      > Questions remain though about whether any of the surveillance of her and her father was detected before the attempt, and should have prompted an increased level of protection. <

    • Adam Ash

      Given Mr Skripal’s involvement in the discredited Russia Dossier, and the proximity of his minder to the case as well, it is understandable that the powers that be were concerned for his safety. But the threat would be from the heads of the Democratic National Convention and others who funded the preparation of the dossier by an old Russian who wrote in KGB-speak, not from Russia who, I am sure, could not give a pinch of cheap snuff for Mr Skripal or his daughter.

      It will be interesting to see the connections these two people have which has led to their undoing. Is it simply that they (she?) were ,ore efficient dumpster-divers than all of the Met combined? Odd that such a dumpster has remained un-emptied all this time… Pathetic, really.

  • LenkaPenka

    Lets be realistic.

    This was no accident, that we can say, whatever the cause of these series of “poisonings”. Somebody, somewhere has an agenda, interestingly the Government here (UK) is so weak it might collapse, all sorts of players may wish to take advantage of this, including the government itself!

    It does make them look foolish though, very foolish. I’m awaiting another Boris mouth shoot-off.

  • John2o2o

    If indeed these people actually even exist … the state stenographers of the British media have lost all credibility in my eyes.


    Hospitals treat symptoms.

    A few years ago I drank from a bottle purporting to be fizzy orange that I had just bought from a supermarket. It tasted like water. (It probably was water). I was taking no chances and (naively) telephoned NHS direct for advice. They told me to visit the local out-patients. I brought the bottle with me to hospital and they took my blood pressure.

    I was surprised to find that they had no interest in testing the bottle for poison and said that they would only treat symptoms. I never developed any so that was the end of the story.

    So when I read that the Skripals were first of all suspected of being poisoned by opiates that is a signal that the symptoms they were exhibiting were consistent with opiate poisoning. Certainly not nerve gas poisoning for which the symptoms are quite different. (Rigor mortis being the main symptom, of course).

    If these people have been poisoned and their symptoms are like the Skripals then it is probably opiate poisoning.

    I suppose the corrupt officials of MI5 consider this to be a convenient distance from Salisbury to have another go at pushing the Skripal narrative. If they persist, the script goes, then the sheeple will start to believe it.

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