Skripals – The Mystery Deepens 3063

The time that “Boshirov and Petrov” were allegedly in Salisbury carrying out the attack is all entirely within the period the Skripals were universally reported to have left their home with their mobile phones switched off.

A key hole in the British government’s account of the Salisbury poisonings has been plugged – the lack of any actual suspects. And it has been plugged in a way that appears broadly convincing – these two men do appear to have traveled to Salisbury at the right time to have been involved.

But what has not been established is the men’s identity and that they are agents of the Russian state, or just what they did in Salisbury. If they are Russian agents, they are remarkably amateur assassins. Meanwhile the new evidence throws the previously reported timelines into confusion – and demolishes the theories put out by “experts” as to why the Novichok dose was not fatal.

This BBC report gives a very useful timeline summary of events.

At 09.15 on Sunday 4 March the Skripals’ car was seen on CCTV driving through three different locations in Salisbury. Both Skripals had switched off their mobile phones and they remained off for over four hours, which has baffled geo-location.

There is no CCTV footage that indicates the Skripals returning to their home. It has therefore always been assumed that they last touched the door handle around 9am.

But the Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals’ doorknob before noon at the earliest. But there has never been any indication that the Skripals returned to their home after noon on Sunday 4 March. If they did so, they and/or their car somehow avoided all CCTV cameras. Remember they were caught by three CCTV cameras on leaving, and Borishov and Petrov were caught frequently on CCTV on arriving.

The Skripals were next seen on CCTV at 13.30, driving down Devizes road. After that their movements were clearly witnessed or recorded until their admission to hospital.

So even if the Skripals made an “invisible” trip home before being seen on Devizes Road, that means the very latest they could have touched the doorknob is 13.15. The longest possible gap between the novichok being placed on the doorknob and the Skripals touching it would have been one hour and 15 minutes. Do you recall all those “experts” leaping in to tell us that the “ten times deadlier than VX” nerve agent was not fatal because it had degraded overnight on the doorknob? Well that cannot be true. The time between application and contact was between a minute and (at most) just over an hour on this new timeline.

In general it is worth observing that the Skripals, and poor Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, all managed to achieve almost complete CCTV invisibility in their widespread movements around Salisbury at the key times, while in contrast “Petrov and Boshirov” managed to be frequently caught in high quality all the time during their brief visit.

This is especially remarkable in the case of the Skripals’ location around noon on 4 March. The government can only maintain that they returned home at this time, as they insist they got the nerve agent from the doorknob. But why was their car so frequently caught on CCTV leaving, but not at all returning? It appears very much more probable that they came into contact with the nerve agent somewhere else, while they were out.

“Boshirov and Petrov” plainly are of interest in this case. But only Theresa May stated they were Russian agents: the police did not, and stated that they expected those were not their real identities. We do not know who Boshirov and Petrov were. It appears very likely their appearance was to do with the Skripals on that day. But they may have been meeting them, outside the home. The evidence points to that, rather than doorknobs. Such a meeting might explain why the Skripals had turned off their mobile phones to attempt to avoid surveillance.

It is also telling the police have pressed no charges against them in the case of Dawn Sturgess, which would be manslaughter at least if the government version is true.

If “Boshirov and Petrov” are secret agents, their incompetence is astounding. They used public transport rather than a vehicle and left the clearest possible CCTV footprint. They failed in their assassination attempt. They left traces of novichok everywhere and could well have poisoned themselves, and left the “murder weapon” lying around to be found. Their timings in Salisbury were extremely tight – and British Sunday rail service dependent.

There are other possibilities of who “Boshirov and Petrov” really are, of which Ukrainian is the obvious one. One thing I discovered when British Ambassador to Uzbekistan was that there had been a large Ukrainian ethnic group of scientists working at the Soviet chemical weapon testing facility there at Nukus. There are many other possibilities.

Yesterday’s revelations certainly add to the amount we know about the Skripal event. But they raise as many new questions as they give answers.

3,063 thoughts on “Skripals – The Mystery Deepens

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  • Alyson

    For a history of money I haven’t seen anything to beat this for explaining something very complex in a very simple way.

    ‘Warburg’s new bond issue – these bonds became known as “eurobonds”, after the example set by eurodollars – was led by Ian Fraser, a Scottish war hero turned journalist turned banker. He and his colleague Peter Spira had to find ways to defang the taxes and controls designed to prevent hot money flowing across borders, and to find ways to pick and choose different aspects of different countries’ regulations for the various elements of their creation.

    If the bonds had been issued in Britain, there would have been a 4% tax on them, so Fraser formally issued them at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. If the interest were to be paid in Britain, it would have attracted another tax, so Fraser arranged for it to be paid in Luxembourg. He managed to persuade the London Stock Exchange to list the bonds, despite their not being issued or redeemed in Britain, and talked around the central banks of France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Britain, all of which were rightly concerned about the eurobonds’ impact on currency controls. The final trick was to pretend that the borrower was Autostrade – the Italian state motorway company – when really it was IRI, a state holding company. If IRI had been the borrower, it would have had to deduct tax at source, while Autostrade did not have to.

    The cumulative effect of this game of jurisdictional Twister was that Fraser created a bond paying a good rate of interest, on which no one had to pay tax of any kind, and which could be turned back into cash anywhere. These were what are known as bearer bonds. Whoever possessed the bond owned them; there was no register of ownership or any obligation to record your holding, which was not written down anywhere.

    Fraser’s eurobonds were like magic. Before eurobonds, hidden wealth in Switzerland couldn’t really do much; but now it could buy these fantastic pieces of paper, which could be carried anywhere, redeemed anywhere and all the while paid interest to their owners, tax free. Dodge taxes and make a profit, worldwide.’

    • Alyson

      More – ‘The eurobonds set wealth free and were the first step towards creating the virtual country of the rich that I call Moneyland. Moneyland includes offshore finance, but is much broader than that, since it protects every aspect of a rich person’s life from scrutiny, not just their money. The same money-making dynamic that enticed Fraser to defang capital controls on behalf of his clients, entices his modern-day counterparts to find ways for the world’s richest people to avoid visa controls, journalistic scrutiny, legal liability and much more. Moneyland is a place where, if you are rich enough, whoever you are, wherever your money comes from, the laws do not apply to you.’

      ‘Different nations are affected by Moneyland in different ways. Wealthy citizens of the rich countries of Europe and North America own the largest total amount of cash offshore, but it is a relatively small proportion of their national wealth, thanks to the large size of their economies. The economist Gabriel Zucman estimates it to be just 4% for the US. For Russia, however, 52% of household wealth is offshore, outside the reach of the government. In the Gulf countries, it is an astonishing 57%.

      “It’s very easy for oligarchs of developing countries, non-democratic countries, to hide their wealth. That provides them with huge incentives to loot their countries, and there’s no oversight,” says Zucman.

      Come January, we will get another update of how much more of the world’s wealth these oligarchs have taken for themselves: the only surprise will be the precise volume of their new acquisition, and how little they have left for the rest of us. But we shouldn’t wait until then to grasp the urgency of the situation.

      We need to act now to shine a light on their wealth, on the dark matter whose gravitational power is bending the fabric of our societies. We may have been ignoring Moneyland, but its nomad citizens have not been ignoring us. If we wish to take back control of our economies, and our democracies, we need to act now. Every day that we wait, more money is stacked against us.’

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Alyson September 10, 2018 at 06:14
        Similar to what Nick Rockefeller explained to Aaron Russo in 2000, only the plans he explained took it further – ‘THEY’ would have a card; if pulled up for speeding or whatever, they’d just show it to the cops, and the cops would wave them on. It had KMA on it. Russo asked what KMA stood for; Rockefeller explained: ‘Kiss My A**’. He also said they planned a cashless society, everything was on a card.
        Upset the PTB, and your card was wiped – no food, no transport, no shelter, no work. And everyone would be RFID’d.

  • Sharp Ears

    Reality becomes fiction and vice versa on the BBC.

    La Kuenessberg had a part in last night’s episode of Bodyguard’ on BBC 1 when she was shown reporting on the bomb explosion.

    Next time you see and hear her spouting off from Westminster, remember she’s an actor saying the words from the script!

      • Mochyn69

        Absolutely not. I had exactly the same thoughts about that drama deliberately blurring the boundary between fact and fiction.

        Now what would be the reason they might do that?


    • N_

      @Sharp Ears –
      Reality becomes fiction and vice versa on the BBC.
      La Kuenessberg had a part in last night’s episode of Bodyguard’ on BBC 1 (…)

      Yep – this is the name of the game for our epoch, cf. Trump with “You’re Fired” and the wrestling, and Brexit and “Deal or No Deal”.

      Straight outta chapter 1 of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.

  • Sharp Ears

    Bolt- On will speak today:-

    ‘ICC is dead to us’: US to use ‘any means’ to shield citizens & allies from war-crime probes
    10 Sep 2018

    The US will fight back using any means necessary if the International Criminal Court ever dares to probe an American or Israeli, and will punish those who cooperates with war-crime investigations, John Bolton is set to announce.

    “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, is expected to say, according to a draft speech seen by Reuters. “We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

    READ MORE: Afghanistan war crimes probe a sham and cover-up for US

    The vigorous speech, titled ‘Protecting American Constitutionalism and Sovereignty from International Threats,’ according to the Washington Post, will be delivered to a conservative group in Washington on Monday.


    It’s just like Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney/Blair/Brown/Straw all over again.

    • Monster

      British military watchers say about 200 British troops are trapped in Idlib. They are allegedly training terrorists to use advanced weapons in the upcoming Syrian Army assault. So I hope Bolton remembers that when he appears before the ICC.

      • Antonyl

        Has Bolton converted to becoming a UK bureaucrat? He certainly came from the same production line.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Maybe they are the same 200 Gavin Williamson wants to deploy in Germany after 2020 to deter the Russians !

      • Yeah, Right

        “British military watchers say about 200 British troops are trapped in Idlib”

        Nah, I’ll believe that when I see it. That nonsense has been “reported” every time the Syrian Arab Army launch an offensive against an jihadist enclave, and yet we never, ever see any “Western troops” being frog-marched through Damascus after the enclave has been reduced.

        • Paul Greenwood

          You never will “see” any just as you never saw how many people were snatched by CIA/MI6 and disappeared into “black site” prisons during extraordinary rendition, nor how many US/UK soldiers vanished into Soviet Gulags during Korean War.

          There are very naive people who think everything happens in the world for them to watch on TV

        • Borncynical

          There were a number of British ‘special service’ operatives purportedly identified when Douma was liberated and people were coming out from the city and being checked by Syrian and Russian officials. The army were being relatively easy going (presumably part of the conditional surrender of the terrorists) and only taking aside individuals for further questioning or if they had good reason to believe they had been up to no good so to speak. As I recall there was some mention of the British ‘specials’ being transferred to Jordan for onward passage back to the UK but I heard nothing more after that. The word was that these British people had been giving the terrorists technical advice on how to use their rocket launchers to best effect in targeting public buildings (including schools) and residential areas in Damascus.

          • Borncynical

            Further to my comment at 21.44 I asked myself at the time why the Russians and Syrians made relatively little fuss about these British operatives. But it struck me that from information coming from the Russian spokespeople at the time you could infer that they had ‘inside’ information (you know, the usual vague “reliable sources have told us…”) and I wondered if there was a ‘mole’ among the Brits – it would be a case of either keep them all captive or let them all go in order to preserve the identity of a useful informant and there may have been an agreement to such an informant that they wouldn’t be held captive should that be a possible outcome. Maybe I’ve been watching too many films?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      America has no Constitutionalism to defend any more, it believes solely in kill or be killed, steal or be stolen from, enslave or be enslaved.

      What is clear is that John Bolton should be excluded from entry into every country in the world bar Israel from this day forth.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Bolton like Clinton like Cheney like Trump like Bush Jr. like Lieberman

          “On the Vietnam issue, I have a friend who says he’s a chickenhawk.
          He wants us to fight on to victory, but to do it without him.”

        • Paul Greenwood

          Bolton is now threatening ICC in The Hague and any government assisting them to look at war Crimes by US military.

    • Clive p

      According to the Guardian the US will also close the PLO office in Washington because they argue Is…l should be charged at the ICC. In addition the US will sanction and prosecute the judges on the ICC. Not the “exceptional nation” but an outlaw state.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Clive p September 10, 2018 at 10:25
        It’s really been that since it’s inception, like I^rael stealing other people’s land. As soon as it was strong enough, it started expanding it’s borders into Mexico, then Cuba, Hawaii, Philippines and other islands.
        If Henry Wallace hadn’t been stitched up and had won the Presidency after Truman, or better still after FDR, things would likely have turned out much better. He wanted a peaceful contest with the Soviet Union, to prove which could supply a better standard of life to it’s citizens, rather than an arms buildup and Cold War.
        But no, the Bankster/Corporations/Warmongers got their puppets into office, and apart from a couple of hiccups (JFK and Jimmy Carter – and they certainly weren’t ‘squeaky clean’) it’s been downhill all the way, and the momentum is growing.
        The ‘Great Satan’ is indeed an excellent moniker for what the US has become.

    • Yeah, Right

      “The US will fight back using any means necessary if the International Criminal Court ever dares to probe an American or Israeli,”

      Those whacky Americans, doing everything in their power to increase the sale of Russian S-300 air-defence missiles.

      Note to the Dutch: also have a look at the Pantsir-S1, it would prove very valuable if/when the USAF launches a volley of Tomahawk missiles at the ICC building in The Hague.

    • Yeah, Right

      I have to say I laughed out loud when I read that the title of this draft speech is “Protecting American Constitutionalism and Sovereignty from International Threats”

      Constitutionalism? Regarding war crimes committed by US citizens whilst in the Middle East???
      Sovereignty? Again, regarding war crimes committed by US citizens whilst in the Middle East???

      The US Constitution does not extend one inch beyond the borders of the United States of America.
      The Sovereignty of the United States of America ends precisely at the borders of those United States.

      Bomber Bolton might want to refer to a good dictionary. No, not the neocon lexicon. Make use of a GOOD dictionary.

      But, honestly, why the need such a long-winded (and legally-inaccurate) title?

      Bomber should just be honest with his audience – and himself – by entitling it: “US Exceptionalism Rules, Bitchez”

      • Tom Welsh

        “Protecting American Constitutionalism and Sovereignty from International Threats”

        You need to understand the specialised terminology in use here.

        “American Constitutionalism” means the freedom of American politicians and judges to interpret the Constitution to say whatever they like.

        “American Sovereignty” means the freedom of the US government to do absolutely everything it likes, because only American sovereignty counts. No one else is entitled to any sovereignty.

        Clearer now?

        It’s not for nothing the USA has far more crooked lawyers per thousand citizens than anywhere else.

        • Yeah, Right

          You mean that the title of this draft should really be: “US Exceptionalism Rules, Bitchez” ?

          “Clearer now?”

          I’m pretty sure I had a good idea what Bolton is on about before your helpful explanation, but thanks anyway.

    • Michael McNulty

      If the US starts war against Russia and loses Russia should tell the US regime there will be war crimes trials for all of them, and they won’t need to ratify it, they’re already on it.

      • Yeah, Right

        I believe that the Russian Federation hasn’t ratified the Rome Convention either so, no, they aren’t “already on it”

      • Paul Greenwood

        The only reason for the Nuremberg Trials was US need for a fig-leaf. Stalin and Churchill had already agreed to execute summarily the entire German Officer Corps of 50,000 but Truman needed judicial cover. Soviet Prosecutor was Andrei Vyshinsky who conducted Stalin’s Show Trials in 1930s……..

        • Charles Bostock

          Well, if that was their intention it certainly wasn’t an intention that was ever carried out, was it.

          I would advise you to do some research into the Nuremberg trials and the various less-publicised war crimes trials which succeeded Nuremberg in the later 1940s.

          Once you have done so, please come back and tell us how many German officers (whether Reichswehr, SS, SD, Gestapo, etc) were actually sentenced to death and had the death sentence carried out.

          I’m afraid your figleaf is just a fig-tion.

    • Jo

      And presumably to protect themselves from any future and up and comi g war crimes they might allegedly commit…….means they have plans up and running to my thinking.

    • Paul Greenwood

      So Bolton will force UK to record its treaty obligations ?

      “Four signatory states—Israel, Sudan, the United States and Russia[28]—have informed the UN Secretary General that they no longer intend to become states parties and, as such, have no legal obligations arising from their signature of the Statute.” Wikipedia

  • Clive p

    The first piece of White Helmets propaganda was on Sky news last night and the man in the flat in Coventry is keeping us up to date with events thousands of miles away.

        • Dungroanin

          The UK Military Intelligence players of the game?
          ‘The EmpireExposed tweets note the parallels between the Paul Tilley / InCoStrat operation and the James Le Mesurier / White Helmets operation: “Both men attended Sandhurst, received Royal ‘honours’ and formed offshoot companies in late 2014 (InCoStrat & Mayday Rescue).” To this we can add the Hamish de Bretton-Gordon / Secure Bio operation…
          Kevin Stratford-Wright was a Lt-Colonel in the British Army till 2012, where his last position was as Head of Information Operations for the regional HQ in Afghanistan. His next job was in the Ministry of Defence as a civilian.’
          All this and more … where is the investigative journalism de nous jours?
          The Guardian did a story 5 years ago – any chance of a follow up?
          Not on your Nelly.

      • Herbie

        The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (also known as SOHR; Arabic: المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان‎), founded in May 2006, is a UK-based information office whose stated aim is to document human rights abuses in Syria; it has focused since 2011 on the Syrian Civil War.
        Location:Coventry, UK
        Founded:May 2006
        Owner:Rami Abdulrahman (aka Osama Suleiman

          • Moocho

            Someone who I respect told me the White helmets were, “born in Brighton”. Anyone know anything about this?

          • Borncynical


            Maybe James Le Mesurier, their British founder, was born there? Or could be a tenuous joke – sitcom ‘Dad’s Army’ was set in a fictional south coast town and starred John Le Mesurier (no relation, as far as I am aware).

            But for more extensive and comprehensive info on the White Helmets including their origins you might like to look at this link:

          • Borncynical

            Yep, earlier this year to the tune of £196K for photographic and recording equipment – to a man who hasn’t set foot in Syria for at least 10 (?) years, give or take, and from researching his name is most likely to be of Libyan, Egyptian or Saudi origin. On a list of countries where that surname is found, Syria comes in at number 41 with 1 person recorded as living there in 2014. I imagine he could buy up majority shares in Jessops with that money. He’s probably supplied the White Helmets in Idlib with even more sophisticated equipment to help their cause. I intend writing to my MP requesting confirmation from central Government on what that money has been spent on being that the man doesn’t appear to leave the shores of this country.

  • Charles Bostock

    “New post PLEASE Craig. The yards of speculation and surmising on here is exhausting.” (previous page)

    Patience, dear, patience. Craig’s not our hired hand, you know.

  • Sharp Ears

    For all those who have been away celebrating Rosh Hashanah which began yesterday.

    Mr Danon joined you.
    Danon leads United Nations in ‘tashlikh’ ceremony on East River
    Danon stated that this tashlikh is a chance “for the UN to look inwards and soul search, to cast off the sins of the old year and start the year with a blank page.”

    (Tashlikh (Hebrew: תשליך‬‎ “cast off”) is a customary Jewish atonement ritual performed during the High Holy Days)

    Trump sends greetings for a ‘sweet new year’

    as he cuts off aid to hospitals for the Palestinians in spite of the many with terrible injuries caused by the use of ‘dum dum’ bullets, euphemistically named ‘butterfly’ bullets by the Israelis.

    • Resident Dissident

      Another one to remember the next time we are lectured about conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.

    • Herbie

      That’s old school. War today, between major powers, is more like this:

      “Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign electoral intervention.”

      Any of that sound familiar.

        • Herbie


          Importantly, you’ve added in financial warfare, which my piece copied from Wikipedia neglected to mention.

      • Yeah, Right

        “Any of that sound familiar.”

        Well, sure, it does.

        It sounds like the USA expects to win a war with Russian by bringing a knife to a gunfight.
        They may end up shocked to find out that in war some things never change.

          • Yeah, Right

            Unless you have more and better guns than your opponent.

            Then it becomes a gunfight, and the dude in the white pajamas becomes a puddle on blood on the floor.

    • remember kronstadt

      May i humbly suggest that ‘war’ is over, replaced by states being destabilised and kept there. Same formula for south america, middle east, sanctions against russia/iran et al and lately increased financial weaponisation of the dollar in the far east.

      • Tom Welsh

        No, that’s subversion, not war. War is still possible today, even between “major states”.

        But war between major states would not be “hybrid”, whatever that means. It would closely resemble a one-way trip to the heart of the sun.

        All those thermonuclear warheads are not purely decorative.

        And human nature dictates that, once escalation begins, it will not stop.

        • Herbie

          It’s because of nukes that hybrid and proxies are used.

          The West doesn’t want a nuclear war. It just wants a different relationship than Putin would prefer.

          All they have to do is encourage those in his circle who’d be happy with the relationship the West is offering.

    • truthwillout

      News feature on BBC TV peak time news on the heroic white helmets rescuing children from the wicked Syrian government and their Russian allies. Balanced?

  • MaryPaul

    It is becoming quite difficult to follow a thread about the Skripals here because of all the posts from people who want to talk about Syria.

    Can I suggest everyone who wants to discuss the Skripals and what happened in Salisbury prefaces their post with the word SKRIPAL:. Then those of us who just want to follow that story in its narrow sense can read down the posts and focus on those posts.

    • Doodlebug

      @Mary Paul

      Never mind. As and when Craig should write another piece on the Middle East we can always enter the discussion with reference to Salisbury.

    • laguerre

      People commenting here never did stick to the topic forever. It’s the same on most blogs I read. Too much to expect when the blog owner doesn’t post every day.

      • Herbie


        Yes, the convention here used to be that you could go off-topic after page 1 of comments.

        But, as I explained, it’s hybrid war, so Skripal, Syria, Sanctions etc are all related.

        You can’t really understand the one without understanding how they all relate..

        Why would so and so do this or that etc in terms of the Skripal thing can only be answered within the whole.

        Compartmentalised thinking is therefore instrumentally directed to error.

      • Mary Paul

        I have no problem with people discussing other topics but I am focussed on the Skripal case and would just like to be able to read through those threads consecutively

    • Dungroanin

      Well the MSM are struggling to maintain their Skripal narrative – why should we help them? And iignore the imminent end of the proxy war in Syria? By our state actors.

      • MaryPaul

        I did not suggest stopping discussion ofvevents in Syria, merely proposed a way for those of us who want to discuss the Skripal affair, which is the subject of Craig’s lead in article, to be able to identify relevant posts.

    • Herbie

      The BBC is an Banker-supported troll.

      Maybe, Banker-supported bot, is better.

      More like crap AI these days, than anything recognisably human.

      • joeblogs

        ‘Banker supported.’
        I’ve been funding the yard dogs at the BBC for years via the undemocratic telly-tax.
        Bankers paid f-all.

    • A.C.Doyle

      It is a direct consequence of information censorship in the official media, that people look to non-state sources for their information. I would also much prefer it was like the good old days when investigative journalism still existed, and such events like the Skripal case would be thoroughly scrutinised. Not any more, and certainly not by the BBC. Official media is just one more casualty in this whole sordid affair.

    • Blunderbuss

      Oh how super, I’m a Russian-supported troll. When will the money be paid into my numbered Swiss bank account?

  • remember kronstadt

    war in pictures
    the times they are a’changing

    this used to work

    then the rot set in

    and because the “snowflakes” couldn’t handle the tele-violence – hooray it’s a rescue mission!

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland September 10, 2018 at 11:02
      But bet your life the White Helmets manage to get their fiction out.

    • JohninMK

      At least two of the Twitter commentators of Syria that I have been following for a couple of years have gone silent. The accounts are still there but nothing posted for a couple of weeks. In addition two more have been closed. These were reliable posters and one of each, as far as I could tell, was actually in Syria.

      Looks like some forward planning is going on.

  • Jones

    after years of imposing austerity on all but the wealthy by this tory government which has resulted in many ex-armed forces personnel becoming homeless, sleeping on the streets, begging for food and money to survive, dying sleeping rough on the streets, selling medals to survive after becoming homeless, the war drums beat again and our armed forces may be be ordered to put their life on the line for a government that discards them afterwards, perhaps only those who have benefited from this government should be made to fight for it.

  • SA

    So it seems to be an official policy now that any new nations wishing to join the EU has to join NATO. A non binding referendum in Macedonia links a proposed name change to North Macedonia to please the Greeks as a condition for joining the EU and NATO.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ SA September 10, 2018 at 11:22
      Which helps to underline just what the EU is mainly about. Great to get out (if we’re ever allowed to), though we will have problems that a good Socialist government under Jeremy will begin to sort out, not least of which will be a truthful, working people’s newspaper with international content and regular educational articles explaining what they have previously been lied to about, like Russia, Syria and False Flag casus bellis. The MSM can pi** off to the States, and take the Tories with them.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Alex Westlake September 10, 2018 at 15:23
          No, not ‘censor’, just set up a newspaper for the people that tells it like it is.

          • Alex Westlake

            “The MSM can pi** off to the States” – that clearly means that you don’t think publications you disapprove of should be published here. Anyway, there is a newspaper you probably agree with – the Morning Star – although the fact that it only has a circulation of 10,000 should give you a pretty good clue of how much demand there is.

          • Borncynical

            Alex (16.36)

            There is a profound difference between having different opinions and distorting, manipulating or lying about ‘the truth.’ The MSM should not be allowed to get away with distorting, manipulating and lying about the truth which is clearly their m.o. these days. An objective reader/observer viewing the position as an outsider would regard our current MSM as satirical broadcasters. Unfortunately, as we know, that is far from the case. The same applies to HMG, which is presumably why they are more than happy to let the MSM continue with it’s subversive activities. Who is pulling whose strings is the all-important question but suffice it to say they are working hand in glove.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Alex Westlake September 10, 2018 at 16:36
            But note I didn’t say should be removed, but ‘they can pi** off to the States’. Can, not ‘must’. Faced with a decent truth-telling affordable ‘Peoples Paper’, only a small fraction of the ‘people’ would opt for the lies of the current MSM, so emigration to more ‘fertile’ fields of sheeple would seem one of their few options.
            And no, I have never thought of the Morning Star as a viable ‘newspaper’; it too is, of course, ‘infiltrated’.
            Once in a blue moon it publishes something decent. I very rarely read it, and don’t remember ever buying it.

    • Tom Welsh

      Is the converse true? Do nations that leave the EU – a far more popular trend – also have to leave NATO?

      Now that would be a great piece of good news.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tom Welsh September 10, 2018 at 16:52
        The answer is obviously no, otherwise Colombia would not be an ‘Associate’ member (or “global partner”), and the Tories would never have allowed any chance of a Brexit.
        NATO is a global cancer.

  • Dennis Revell


    American ABC “news” broadcasts that the Washington Post reports that Bashar al Assad has approved the use of chlorine in Idlib.

    – My, my, talk about the Western fascists pre-empting this repeat of their utterly bullshit propaganda used before.

    They’re getting it in early this time. Tears in anticipation for those kidnapped children the Terrorist White Helmets and their cohorts are seemingly getting ready to murder in a most horrible fashion.

    Oh, the humanity. How can people be such cunts.

    It seems likely that this remarkable pre-emption of the Assad using chemical weapons bullshit – not seen before other such recent and not so recent scenarios – portends a final Western effort to unseat Bashar al Assad family – and probably kill him and his whole family – and the poor Syrian people will know first hand what Iraq and Libya have become under Western backed terrorists.


    • Sharp Ears

      Craig also spoke at the Beautiful Days Festival in Devon. Here Vanessa Beeley and Alison Banville take Peter Tatchell on.

      Vanessa Beeley & Alison Banville Destroy Regime Change Promoter
      Syriana Analysis
      Published on Aug 23, 2018
      At the Beautiful Days Festival 2018 in Devon, Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria 2003 – 2006 debated Peter Tatchell regime-chanage promoter who claims that he supports only the Syrian left-wing democratic opposition to Assad.
      However, Vanessa Beeley and Alison Banville put Tatchell in his place.

      Tatchell’s Intervention vs Vanessa Beeley, Peter Ford, Piers Robinson, Patrick Henningsen
      Sep 7, 2018
      At the Beautiful Days Festival in Devon, 2018 – in the Rebel Tent organised by Glenn Jenkins and amazing team – serial regime change promoter, Peter Tatchell decided to try and redirect the narrative on Syria after listening to talks from Peter Ford (Ex UK Ambassador to Syria 2003 – 2006) Vanessa Beeley, Patrick Henningsen and Prof. Piers Robinson.
      Did he succeed?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sharp Ears September 10, 2018 at 12:21
        I tried to discuss Syria with the Tatchell bonehead at a Julian Assange demo….useless. I then sent him some info by email; he answered he gets his own information or words to that effect – no possibility of open discussion.
        Now I’ll check out your link – Vanessa (I don’t know the other one) must have made mincemeat out of him!

        • Paul Barbara

          As it ‘appens, I have a copy of the email I sent Tatchell after he declined to check the links in my first one:
          ‘Hi Peter,
          I’m sorry you did not have the grace to check out my links: they would have at least demolished your ‘pre-conclusions’.
          Take, for instance: ‘…The 2011 Syria democracy movement had nothing to do with any western plot….’

          How can you be so sure, when you don’t appear to have even looked at the very short video of ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas’s statements?
          It appears you are immune from checking out any information which might contradict your ‘Idee fixe’.
          Not the kind of reaction I would expect from a genuine ‘Human Rights’ defender, or of someone who claims to be trying to stop war.
          Again, I respectfully ask that you actually check out my links, if only so as to point out the errors.
          I have been a Human Rights campaigner since the early ’70’s. At least look at the alternative ‘narratives’, or you cannot claim the ‘high ground’.
          As God is my judge, I believe we are ruled by Luciferian a**holes, and I have come to that conclusion by dint of a long and convoluted path.
          You must at least know that the last Iraq war was based on known lies; if such a huge catastrophe was based on lies, can you not at least accept that the same PTB would lie about Syria? And Libya? And Venezuela (highest known oil reserves in the world)?
          cc open ‘

          • Dennis Revell


            I wonder if Craig’s blog providers can add a bit more flexibility to it, like in other blogs – such as ‘Like’, ‘Unlike’ buttons; and may be the ability to post-edit posts – so big bloopers might be corrected; even bad typos – the occurrence of which have caused useless back-biting “mini”-threads within threads here (“boarders” vs. “borders”).


      • Dennis Revell

        Sharp Ears:


        Pity how folks ‘like’ Tatchell seem to have backtracked on what seemed a previously pretty good record, based on more or less moral stances, and logic.

        The worst by far of these of course is Peter Hain, who has transitioned from the UK’s hero by far of the anti-apartheid movement to very high level War-Criminal in Blair’s coterie of murderers; and who is now only really fit to be hung by the neck until in a far more satisfactory condition – Nuremberg style.


    • JohninMK

      Chlorine, as a widely available industrial and domestic chemical, is not regarded in law or by the OPCW as a weapon.

    • Borncynical

      “…getting ready to murder…” Unfortunately, if my suspicions are anything to go by, the deed has probably already been done and photographs are being selected as we speak.

  • Sharp Ears

    Tory self interest over the national interest.

    Worried ministers to delay vote on boundary changes
    September 10 2018
    David Lidington had sought to reassure colleagues that their seats would not be at risk
    Ministers will delay an attempt today to redraw the political map of Britain amid fears that it would fuel Tory divisions over Brexit.
    The government is due to publish a report by the Boundary Commission under which the number of parliamentary seats will be cut from 650 to 600 and constituencies across the country redrawn.
    Ministers, however, will stop short of tabling a vote on the changes over concerns that it could become a lightning rod for Brexiteer anger over Chequers.

    The Times is still carrying the Boris Johnson stuff on their front page. The woman he is/was involved with, Carrie Symonds, also worked for Zac Goldsmith and Sajid Javid. Ooh er Missus! Not Zav and Sajid too?

    • Sharp Ears

      That should be Zac, son of the notorious Sir James Goldsmith (the Goldsmiths were previously known as Goldschmidt.) .

      Not ‘like father like son’ in this instance we trust.

      Kate’s mother, Carole, was a Goldsmith too. ‘She is the older sister of Gary Goldsmith, the IT recruitment multi-millionaire’.* Wikipedia

      • Alex Westlake

        And what could possibly be the significance of the fact that the surname was originally Goldschmidt? This isn’t the first time you’ve displayed your antisemitism.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Alex Westlake September 10, 2018 at 15:29
          Quick! Add it to the ‘Examples’. But the significance of ‘Ali’ or ‘Rusikov’ doesn’t need any ‘Examples’. That’s the beauty of ‘exceptionalism’. Oh, just for your info, my info is that not ‘most of the countries of the world’ signed up to the IHRI and all it’s ‘Examples’, but just SEVEN. May have increased by now, but what a load of BS.
          If anyone thinks they are going to shut up British activists for Palestine, they’ve got another think coming.
          Remember the Liberty!

          • Alex Westlake

            Strange, I saw no mention of Israel in that post about the Goldsmiths. Or perhaps you’re just admitting that “anti Zionism” is basically the same thing as antisemitism.

          • Blunderbuss

            Just seven countries but the BBC continues to call the IHRA defecation “Internationally Recognized”

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Alex Westlake September 10, 2018 at 16:47
            How disingenuous of you. I was commenting on your reply to Sharp Ears, in which your accusation of antisemitism came up. It is quite the flavour of the year, and is intrinsically bound up with Israel.
            To refresh your memory, think Shai Masot (Is^aeli Embassy), and also Shulamit Aloni, ex Israeli Minister:
            ‘..Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Is^ael, then we bring up the Ho^ocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Is^ael, then they are anti-Sem^tic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Is^ael and the American Je^ish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is OK. They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is “Is^ael, my country right or wrong”, identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it’s very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Is^aeli government as anti-Sem^tic, and to bring up the Ho^ocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians…’
            As I’m sure you can figure, I’ve used ^ to save the post from getting held back due to filters, not because I am that bad at spelling.

        • Sharp Ears

          Just stating a few facts including one about the future queen’s provenance.

          . Back to Golders Green with you if I’m right and you work for the JC.

  • Tom holt

    The government are trying to throw a blanket over Brexit to take Mays incompetence in the negotiations with the eu. Unfortunately for her we can see through this lie

    • John A

      The NYT piece simply regurgitates the British propaganda while adding some ‘colour’ and innuendo about Putin and his background.

      I read a piece in Svenska Dagbladet this morning, suggesting that Putin was funding the SwedenDemocrats and all the other nationalistic movements in Europe. No mention of popular opposition in Sweden to mass immigration, the dismantling of the welfare state in favour of privatisation and deregulation, the rapidly rising inequality. Like the British media in their Westminster bubble, the Swedish media have their inner Stockholm bubble. Easiest to blame Putin rather than looking at what has happened in the country in the new millennium.

    • SA

      Nicely embellished fictionalised story based on some facts. What Putin said about spies has been (mis)quoted at the very beginning as evidence that he did it. The big problem about this is that it makes Skripal, a traitor to his country for the sake of money, into a hero whilst demonising a man who pulled Russia from decay, a falling life expectancy and ruin, into a fully functional country capable of defending itself and its friends. That is the underlying story that the West does not like.

      • MaryPaul

        It all sounds very cosy in Russia these days. I have some useful skills – not least a qualification in teaching English as a foreign language. Do you think they consider applications for emigration from the UK?

        • SA

          Mary Paul
          Whether you wish to go in Russia is your personal choice, as much as if you wish to go and live in say Iraq because it has been liberated by our brave country. However for Russians who have no choice, things are looking better and I would like to show you one graph from Wikipedia to illustrate how life expectancy has improved under Putin.

          • Mary Paul

            According to Russia’s own statistics agency, in 2000 there were 68,100 schools, now there are 41,100; when Putin came to power there were 10,700 hospitals now there are 5,400. Meanwhile the number of bureaucrats has doubled since 2000 from 1.2m to 2.2m. And, despite an age of high oil prices, unlike the USA and China, Russia’s GDP is now smaller than it was in 1990. Russia is in fact very dependent on oil prices and has not made a major discovery on the Russian mainland since 1973. World Oil prices have been low for the last 4 years, basically since the Saudis turned on the taps to counteract fracking development in North America and this has impacted Russia. Earlier this year however the USA launched sanctions against Venezuela for vote rigging.The result was an oil supply squeeze that set oil prices soaring. And in the nick of time Russia was bailed out by the resulting windfall profits. So there was an element of luck for Russia this time round but eventually luck runs out.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Read the papers released from Clinton Library and see how pliable Yeltsin was for Clinton – a supplicant – selling Russia out. That is what motivates Putin and the Siloviki and the MIC and the release of these papers will certainly increase the MIC pressure on Putin to start imposing lethal penalties on Trump/Bolton/Netanyahu.

  • Republicofscotland

    I had a wry smile on my face today, as Westminster and the Kremlin’s goal of attacking the EU appeared similar, but for very different reasons.

    First up RT news appeared to attack the EU through the recent Swedish elections. Then BBC2’s Politics shows had a panel on which also mostly attacked the EU.

    What is it they say about the enemy of my enemy again…hmmm well maybe not in this case.

    • Borncynical

      I see what you did there!!
      In answer to your question, over the weekend the SAA have been targeting rebel positions (it has even been reported in MSM as such with few murmurs other than mention of damage to one of the ubiquitous temporary hospitals, “with no resulting injuries”) seemingly as a prelude to their pending primary assault which is of course when the false flag event is likely to occur.

      • MJ

        Thanks for that. Syria and Russia might be well-advised to have swarms of drones with hi-res cameras keeping an eye on things. It’s quite a large area though.

        • Borncynical


          In theory, yes, but probably difficult in practical terms with the terrorists probably armed with quite sophisticated missiles etc. and Idlib being a very large area as you say. Unfortunately – as I have suggested elsewhere – the enactment of the worst parts of the false flag allegations (i.e. the professional White Helmets production) has most likely already happened with little song and dance. Children, women – and probably one or two men for good measure – have probably already been sacrificed by the terrorists, and photographs ready to be published on social media and to be sent to MSM contacts as soon as the accusations begin. Because nobody can get into Idlib other than terrorists and their sympathisers there will be no means for any ‘ expert outsiders’ to examine bodies and determine the timing and circumstances of their deaths. Douma was different because the terrorists surrendered immediately after the false flag deed had been completed. Even then, you may recall the photos of (genuinely) dead bodies, victims of the supposed ‘regime’ attack. Well, as far as I am aware those bodies were never found – the OPCW didn’t refer to any bodies in their subsequent report.

          Obviously on the day chosen for the false flag allegations to be made there will be a lot of running around and screaming, use of pre-damaged buildings, thespian contributions outside and in ‘hospitals’ etc from White Helmets and stooges which, of course, will confirm the hand of the murderous ‘regime’.

          Just as an incidental comment, when there was the supposed ‘regime’ chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun last year, the OPCW report on that one even had inconsistencies that the West and MSM never thought strange enough to query. For one, the main report referred to the ‘attack’ occurring at 7.00 a.m. (or thereabouts) whilst an Annex (presumably giving a detailed timeline account) to that same report states that people affected by the chemicals were turning up at hospital at 6.00 a.m! Same sort of inconsistency as we are seeing in the Skripals being contaminated long before the ‘assassins’ even arrived in Salisbury. But let’s studiously regard such inconsistencies as all part of ridiculous conspiracy theories!

    • JohninMK

      Depends on your definition of ‘started’. Whilst no large scale ground attacks by the SyAA seem to have taken place, there has been considerable activity by the SyAF and RuAF presumably hitting strategic and fixed targets like ammo/fuel dumps, command locations, barracks etc. There is a view that ground attacks may start around the 16th.

      What seems to be ongoing is Turkish/Russian negotiations aimed at minimizing the risk of mass civilian casualties appearing in the World’s media, whilst maximizing the slaughter of the terrorists that they and the Syrians are determined to achieve and minimizing the number that flee into Turkey. Whilst on the other hand the terrorists are determined to have civilian casualties, mainly by not allowing any surrender or evacuation as happened in other parts of Syria, to maximize the chance of external support arriving.

      • Dungroanin

        After they surrender and disarm Syria is happy to keep Syrians in Idlib but it wants the rest of the foreign mercenary jihadists out, the same way as they came in, mainly through Turkey.

        Anyone think that is not ok?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Mary, to respond to your posting at 18:48. I doubt there is much we can infer from your statistics because Russia went through Crisis under Yeltsin with 60% drop in GDP.

        If we look at UK where NHS beds went from 1,000,000 in 1965 to 300,000 in 1987 to 142,000 now as population demographic aged and population expanded it is hard to see why British Voters chose parties who reduced beds per Thousand of Population to 2.6 in UK whereas Russia has 8.5 and Germany 8.1 and Japan with a rapidly ageing society has 13.2

        So using statistics gets us no further than questioning priorities. Uk has consolidated hospitals – Germany has far too many and cannot pay for nurses or doctors yet has huge expenditure on keeping 3000 clinics afloat – mostly in deficit.

        Oh, and I do recall UK local authorities demolishing schools in late 1990s as baby boom evaporated

  • Charles Bostock

    If President Putin is indeed against the EU, do readers have any thoughts on why that should be?

    • Herbie

      Who said Putin was against the EU.

      He wasn’t. Not at all.

      Like Kissinger, his view was that it’s much easier when you’ve only one person to call.

      However, given that the EU seems to be disintegrating, he’s now having to deal with them one by one.

      Or Merkel.

      • laguerre

        So you think the EU is disintegrating, just because the Sweden Democrats managed to ratchet up a few more points in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis? The issue is a dying one, as the number of refugees has collapsed.

        • Charles Bostock

          Happy to agree with Laguerre here.

          These prophecies of the EU “collapsing” are just the triumph of wishful thinking over common sense and observable reality.

          A bit like all these frenzied prophecies of WW3 breaking out (that one’s been around on here almost since the blog began).

          • Paul Greenwood

            Well wait until October as 200,000 diesel car owners around Frankfurt et to vote in Hessen and take revenge for having politics ignore EU Clean Air Rules for 10 years and the Entry Ban for anything but the Diesel Cars registered post 01.09.2018……..just the start……13 million diesel car owners in Germany face being taken off the road without compensation.

            VW faces EUR 10 Billion in lawsuits opening in Braunschweig today. The complete disaster of the BreXit “negotiations” shows an inability to flex and when Italy pops it is all over. – Italy and Spain have banks that parked their debt at ECB and issued loans to Turkey…as citizens withdraw funds and move them to Germany…… Italian and Spanish banks pop.

            EU is on skids because it is run by people with cerebral sclerosis

          • Herbie

            What observations would you need to make to conclude that the EU was breaking apart.

            What observations would you need to make to conclude that WWIII was breaking out.

        • Herbie

          “So you think the EU is disintegrating, just because the Sweden Democrats managed to ratchet up a few more points in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis?”

          Wasn’t even thinking of Sweden. Was looking at more important developments further east.

          • laguerre

            Not knowing what you’re referring to precisely, I would say that it is obvious that the EU is in everyone’s cross-hairs. A new major power, such as the EU is, is bound to attract dislike from the competition, particularly from the US, but also from Russia, but even more so from the Brexit media, who are constantly harping, for 30 years now, on the imminent collapse of the EU. I should think it’ll survive, because it’s something that Europeans need, and want. It’s integrated in their lives. And even the Brexiters are having real trouble pretending they don’t need it.

          • Herbie

            “Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay was NATO’s first Secretary General, a position he was initially reluctant to accept. By the end of his tenure however, Ismay had become the biggest advocate for the organisation he famously said was created to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.””


            That’s NATO. But the EU itself has become the political and economic expression of that sentiment. And that’s where the tensions now lie.

          • laguerre

            NATO and the EU are far from having the same views, even if we limit ourselves to Europe. And Trump is going to split them even further apart, by his foolish attack on the EU.

          • Herbie

            “The EU keeps the Germans down?”

            Yes. It has been doing so. Till now.

            It’s more to do with sovereignty and external relations with Russia than internal EU relations.

          • Herbie

            “NATO and the EU are far from having the same views, even if we limit ourselves to Europe.”

            The difference in views were irrelevant if facts in the Intermarium were delivering the effect NATO wanted.

            “And Trump is going to split them even further apart, by his foolish attack on the EU.”

            It’s not foolish from his point of view.

            He’s simply attempting to replicate the original policy by other means.

            That’s an indication that what was is breaking down.

      • Charles Bostock

        “Who said Putin was against the EU.”

        Well, RepScot for one (slightly higher up on this page).

      • John A

        Putin has always said that every country should be able to go their own way and decide for themselves what road to take. Therefore he is neither for nor against the EU as long as the EU decides for itself. Unfortunately, the EU politicians are pretty much all vassals of the US, acting in the interests of the US and not the EU. Case in point sanctions against Russia that has resulted in far more harm to EU farmers that no longer export food to Russia.

      • Borncynical

        CB’s question serves as a means to get people to appear to say things they didn’t. Note he begins with “IF…”. Someone then innocently responds with hypothetical reasons which at some time later get repeated back (not necessarily by CB I must add – he may be genuinely interested to know people’s views) as “Oh you said that Putin’s reasons for being against the EU are (a)..(b.. and (c)..” which develops into the Chinese whispers syndrome and Putin is officially classified as being against the EU. That’s the story of Putin’s reputation, I’m afraid. Classic MSM behaviour. Best not to even respond to hypothetical questions which have no basis in fact.

        • Charles Bostock

          I admit my question was to some extent hypothetical but would disagree that it wasn’t based on fact. I say that becuise the question was based on something RepScot wrote, and we know, don’t we, that everything RepScot writes is based on fact and that he never exaggerates, misleads or lies.

          • Republicofscotland

            “RepScot wrote, and we know, don’t we, that everything RepScot writes is based on fact and that he never exaggerates, misleads or lies.”

            Why thank you Charles for the character validation, unfortunately I cannot at this moment in time return the favour.


            You really took it in the neck over Putin and the EU. ?

    • JohninMK

      Why would Putin be against the EU, it is by far Russia’s biggest customer? They are working hard to ensure that that continues with all the work on NordStream 2 and Turkstream.

      • laguerre

        Putin isn’t really against the EU. It’s just the Russophobes who are looking for Cold War II, who like to make it out. Russia has better things to spend its time on than that.

      • information-is-warfare

        I don’t think it is a matter of “for” or “against” but prefering to deal with small powerless entities instead of a huge block able to negotiate prices.
        RT has a certain glee expecting the Swedish social democrat model to fail.
        Reality is “the West” has tried to carve up and split the Eastern Bloc and former Soviet Union in so many ways, that it is payback time.
        But yes, Russian information war concentrates on attacking the credibility of main stream media, promoting populism, nationalism and fear of refugees. Translated into elections this weakens the transatlantic partnership (at least on continental Europe) and redraws borders.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It is a major trade partner of Russia. I doubt Russia cares about EU except when it uses its Energy Policy to insist on EU control of gas pipelines owned by Gazprom. I doubt the EU you see is the one faced by other states as a counterpart……the EU is NOT a “Commonwealth” out is an “Empire” and seeks to subjugate third countries.

      UK will learn yet

  • Republicofscotland

    The Tories mingling with birds of a feather from Europe.

    “The Conservatives have entered an alliance with a far-right anti-immigration party from Sweden, prompting accusations they are “worryingly comfortable in the company of right-wing extremists”.

    “Following meetings on Tuesday night, the Sweden Democrats party, which has its roots in fascism and white supremacy, was admitted to the Tory-led European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, set up by David Cameron in 2009.”

    “The Tories should really consider if legitimising these kinds of parties is in the interests of the United Kingdom.”

    “Other controversial parties in the ECR group include Poland’s populist Law and Justice Party, Finland’s right wing Finns Party, and the far-right Danish People’s Party.”

    “The Tories were criticised last week for backing Hungary’s authoritarian Fidesz government in a vote in the European Parliament, recommending against the use of sanctions under Article 7 – to protect the EU’s core values – in contrast to most other mainstream groups.”

    • Republicofscotland

      And whilst we’re on the subject of the Tories, a party full of people, over flowing with the milk of human kindness.

      “A Conservative-run Council who voted through savings of around £44,000 from doubling bus fares for disabled people, has sparked fury after choosing to spend the vast majority of the projected savings on buying mobile phones for all 84 Councillors, with top of the range iPhones among the choices on offer.”

      “With both measures approved, Councillors will now be given the opportunity of handpicking a device for their own individual use, with a top-of-the-range iPhone7, costing £455 each, being among the choices.”

    • Charles Bostock

      “Tory-led European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, set up by David Cameron in 2009.”

      As you know “fine well”, RepScot, that group is only “led” by the British Conservatives in the sense that the British Conservatives are the biggest sub-group in it.

      Furthermore, as you also know “fine well”, RepScot, that group was set up – and includes the various elements you correctly mention – because none of the sub-groups had enough MEPs by itself to qualify as a “EP group” in the sense of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. As you furthermore know “fine well”, an recognised “EP group” enjoys various financial and speaking time privileges not available to MEPs not in an “EP group”.

      To suggest any political or ideological affinity between the British Conservatives and the other sub-groups – apart from a certain Euro-scepticism – is to attempt to mislead the uninformed reader.

    • Herbie

      Are the Tories in with white supremacist, fascist and Nazi parties.

      Seems reasonable enough.

      That’s their natural home.

  • Charles Bostock

    Back on topic, I’ve been surprised that we have seen zero comments from commenter “Tatyana” on this and the previous couple of threads. It’s surprising because some while ago “she” was quite vocal on anything to do with Russia/Ukraine/Skripal affair. The only reasons I can think of are (1) she’s on (a long) holiday or (2) she’s busy growing her jewellery business or (3) she feels she’s provided sufficient insights to readers or (4) perhaps she’s followed my recommendation and is ploughing through Vasily Grossman’s “Life and Fate” or (5) perhaps she’s simply been rotated. Readers here like a good mystery, so any thoughts?

      • MJ

        SKRIPAL: my understanding is that she’s recovering in hospital, having miraculously survived an assassination attempt by two MI6 operatives who smeared her door-knob with a piece of deadly, military-grade pork pie (of a type developed in Melton Mowbray)..

      • Charles Bostock

        I should hesitate to call any territory under the control of Mr Putin “free and liberated”.

        Although I’ll admit that the Soviet Union claimed it was liberating Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia when it invaded them in 1940.

        Not quite clear from what, but never mind.

        When looking at the big picture, it’s important to know your history

        If you don’t, you’re just one of the peeps.

        Now look to the south is the game.

        That’s where it’s all happening.

        Or not, as the case may be.

        • Herbie

          “I should hesitate to call any territory under the control of Mr Putin “free and liberated”.”

          You think the Crimeans would prefer to have remained with the anti-Russian Fascists and Nazis?

  • A.C.Doyle

    Returning to the Skripal case for a moment, one thing that has always appeared odd is the “door knob” theory and its remarkable tenacity in the face otherwise of common sense.

    Now, I agree with someone who posted earlier that, to an extent, there is no point in building elaborate theories on the basis of released “evidence”, the very basis of which is being challenged. But there are some things which appear solid enough because faking them would require a disproportionate amount of resources or a deep conspiracy across multiple agencies. One such example is the elaborate decontamination of the Skripal house which is ongoing and well enough reported. Another example is the “discovery” in the hotel where the 2 “Russians” stayed, of Novichok there but deemed benign enough that no action was taken to protect future guests, and presumably lots of visitors have used those rooms since. Note for this, it is not necessary to assume that Novichok was actually found at the hotel.

    Something does not add up here. Logic would then dictate that a few baby wipes applied to the door handle of the Skripal house, and the matter would be finished. But it seems to go much further.

    At least few possibilities occur which mean the “door knob” theory took hold:
    1. BJ did make a statement about an alleged Russian assassination manual and poisoned door knobs.
    2. It nicely explained why the police officer appears also to have been contaminated.
    3. The theory was proposed before any security camera data was available and a new tale cannot be easily weaved.
    4. At that time in the investigation, someone was available (if necessary) to introduce doctored samples into investigation to support the contaminated door knob theory.

    But there may be another reasons why such an effort is being made in the decontamination of the house, other than its pure propaganda value, and why it is useful to hang on to the “door knob” theory. And it could be that Sergia Skripal was indeed known to have had Novichok in the house. In other words, he may have been, in some way, involved deep in the plot.

    • JohninMK

      Perhaps someone here knows if the police were going in and out of the front door until the door knob theory arose or was that at the start? In the photos of the police standing guard outside the house there appears to be no special measures to protect them from the door knob, unless the door had been swapped out.

      • Blunderbuss


        My theory is: (1) The Skripals were poisoned in the park at about 4pm on Sunday. (2) The policeman became contaminated as a result of helping the Skripals. (3) The policeman went to the house and he accidentally contaminated the door handle and any objects he touched inside the house. (4) Possibly the policeman went to the house to get some medical device. Does either of the Skripals have a condition such as diabetes or asthma?

        • Blunderbuss


          About the Novichok in the hotel room. My guess is that it’s a false positive. They are looking for tiny traces of chemicals. Can the tests they are using distinguish between Novichok (which may or may not exist) and common household or garden pesticides?

    • bj

      BJ did make a statement about an alleged Russian assassination manual and poisoned door knobs

      I deny doing such a thing. 😉

    • Lily Steinmetz

      I remember when the news of the Skripals’ disappearance first came in, all those long months and interesting threads ago, we had the impression that May and Johnson had been caught on the hop and were very unprepared when they had to read their lines.

      At the time, it is possible that there was some doubt even with our intelligence folk as to what had happened. That’s what I think, anyway.

      But in any event, a speedy decision was made to tie the event in with the Russia = Chemical Weapons propaganda campaign. Maybe some unfortunate journalist, made redundant by the NoW and since held for such a purpose in Century House, was instructed to write up a screenplay and do it fast. For whatever reason, in his scenario, Skripal was not allowed to meet his assassins. How then to infect the Skripals with the deadly substance? Ah – the doorknob! But forgive the poor chap – he was a red-top journalist, and probably not a very good one at that.

      His scenario, once having been published, has since tied the hands of the authors of the further development of the plot in a most inconvenient way, as clearly the NovichokTM is unlike any other substance known to mankind.

      Possibly new scriptwriters were been brought in last week (their colleague being on holiday). But maybe they did not have time to read the original plot-line – so had to insert an “off-the-shelf” general purpose, sinister bearded Russian assassins-come-to-a-sleepy-English-town screenplay which doesn’t fit in at all well with Act 1.

      But I rather prefer the idea that whoever is writing this new drivel actually has a lively sense of humour, and is laughing so hard at the worldwide indignant reaction he has provoked that he is making himself sick. I suspect one or two posters here such as Yeah Right have also long since come to this conclusion.

    • Olaf S

      Very good thinking! It had to be revealed sooner or later: Skripal was Novichok dealer (a little like Litvinenko who traded with forbidden substances like polonium, as we know). Novichok – taken in very small doses and mixed with garlic extract – makes you pleasantly ”high” and irresponsible, and there are no secondary effects. (apart from doing strange things with your hair in some cases). Boris J was one of his regular customers. Without his daily dose this politician would appear a bore and lose every thinkable popular support. The elimination of the Skripal business was organized by Tory members who wanted to put a stop to the political career of BJ. In addition they knew that he would go through a period of horrible abstinence which would coincide nicely with the expected down-bringing of Toxic Theresa (as they used to call her). The two Russian coin-collectors were paid to appear in the town on the day of the attack (as decoys). Some complication got in the way, and the poisoning was delayed to the next day, but this did not cause major problems. The two guys just had to make another trip to Salisbury.

    • Alex Westlake

      About time the Bundeswehr pulled its weight. They’ll need to get their aircraft and their tanks to work though.

      • Blunderbuss

        Yes, that Australian chap has been rather sniffy about German engineering lately. He thinks Japanese is better. I could not possibly comment.

        • JohninMK

          The Germans had 6 photo recce Tornados in Turkey then Jordan for quite a while flying over Syria. I think they took them home earlier in the summer due to lack of work.

          It looks as if this time they want to replicate the RAF’s activities.

        • Alex Westlake

          The Bundeswehr is the name for Germany’s armed forces. The Heer, Marine, and Luftwaffe are all branches of it

    • Republicofscotland


      Hopefully when the US/Saudi/Israeli/UK backed proxy fightets deploy the chemicals, in an attempt to blame Assad, that the Bundestag, will still vote, to not deploy German forces in Syria.

      • Jack

        Yes there are already western propaganda spreading that Assad has struck Idlib with poison, its so blatant but still the obviously warloving psychos at western media centers love this development for death and destruction.

        Remember this was the first stage,

        Syria conflict: White Helmets evacuated by Israel

        • Borncynical

          Hmm – wonder whatever happened to those White Helmets. Seeing as some were supposedly on their way to the UK it’s all gone very quiet. Presumably they’re all travelling to safety via Idlib.

          • Jack


            I assume they are awaiting orders to relase videos of alleged chemical attacks. Someone should infiltrate this group and expose it for what it is.

          • Borncynical


            If only. To be honest some of the material they have released themselves on social media is sufficient
            evidence of what they really are. No one can tell me that the ‘Powers That Be’ (PTB) don’t know it but they (the PTB), the MSM and gullible public figures keep up the pretence that they are an honourable, virtuous, self-sacrificing humanitarian organisation for the reasons we’re only too aware of..

  • Baff Barker

    Well I renewed a love affair with Croatia this summer. I hadn’t been down there in six years, preferring France. Been all over the former Yugo – Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, even a day trip in Albania. I drive three times a year out of Germany to these places, either south to Italy, west to Switzerland then France/Spain, or over the Brenner to Croatia. I can tell you that the borders are all tighter now than before. The delays between each border are pretty long and unpleasant. To me, it seems the EU is over de facto and not de jure.

    • Charles Bostock

      That may be because the four specific countries you mention first are all not in the EU and Schengen Area.

      Any slow down between Slovenia and Croatia would be due to Croatia not being in the Schengen Area.

      BTW, how do you get from Spain to the former Yugoslav republics? Ferry?

      • Baff Barker

        Ah I neglected to mention I live in southern Germany. From here it’s west to France then Spain through the Pyrenees. But even on the Austria/Bayern border they check now when they never used to. Also Swiss/French border.

        Also I forgot to mention another delay – the Tauerntunnel and the Karawankentunnel – nightmares!

    • bj

      Well, if you declare ‘habeas corpus’ dead, you shouldn’t be surprised to see habeas corpse to be alive and well.

      Anyway, ‘could be dead’ is the apex of saying nothing, or too much, if you will.
      So could Sergei Skripal, so could Pablo Miller, so could Christopher Steele.
      So could I.

      If they’re dead, from natural causes? By the hand of MI5? By May?
      When did MI5 learn the were dead?
      Before releasing the photos?
      Because of releasing the photos?
      The photos released because they’re dead?
      They’re dead so the photos could be released?

    • MJ


      The article reports that:

      “If ‘Petrov’ and ‘Bashirov’ don’t appear in the coming days, it means they are already dead”.

      Absolutely. Couldn’t mean anything else.

    • A.C.Doyle

      Their chances are certainly not good.
      1. If these were Russian state sponsored assassins, their performance was clearly not up to the high standards expected of them and this would be made known to them in some subtle way: Not killing the victim, getting seen, allowing the murder weapon to be found etc. etc.
      2. If, however, they were patsies, employed as part of a private enterprise and sent to be seen around Salisbury, on the right day, with the objective of incriminating Russia, they could have been later sent on another (this time one way) errand to prevent them talking about their work.

      This post here predates the Mirror article:
      It’s long, but see the playbook.

      • Agent Green

        Given the levels of skill involved, if these two individuals were anything to do with it I wouldn’t be surprised if they killed themselves while boiling a kettle or climbing the stairs.

    • Doodlebug

      SKRIPAL: ‘Leading Putin critic’, eh? Yet another motormouth forcing the assumption that B & P were Russian agents, for which there is no evidence whatsoever. If one takes the opposite stance (that they had nothing to do with the non-assassination) then no-one in Moscow would waste time with the story, much less seek to rub out a couple of Russian citizens (if such they be) on account of the UK’s posturing.

      There seems to be a pervasive attitude of mind that the authorities in Russia are fundamentally stupid to a man (or woman) and that their only recourse when called to account is to eliminate people. It is the UK which has conspicuously contrived avoidance of the truth in this affair. Rather than the Kremlin’s mounting a ‘search and destroy’ mission aimed at a couple of tourists, I suspect they’re more likely to be enjoying after-dinner jokes on the subject at the UK’s expense.

      • Borncynical

        Well said. Presumably nobody in Russia gets the sack…they just ‘disappear’ or die in mysterious circumstances. Well that’s the Russian psyche for you. In the same way that no Russian can legitimately die of natural or accidental causes. It made me laugh when the MSM had dramatic headlines declaring that “Sergei Skripal’s brother died following car accident”, implying the obvious. Turned out he died a good few months, if not years, after the accident and judging from photos of him taken before and after his illness (well we know what that means, don’t we?) he probably died from cancer.

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