Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative 890


I still do not know what happened in the Skripal saga, which perhaps might more respectfully be termed the Sturgess saga. I cannot believe the Russian account of Boshirov and Petrov, because if those were their real identities, those identities would have been firmly established and displayed by now. But that does not mean they attempted to kill the Skripals, and there are many key elements to the official British account which are also simply incredible.

Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC. Anybody who believes it is simple to identify the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in this situation is a fool. When it comes to state actors and the intelligence services, frequently there are no “good guys”, as I personally witnessed from the inside over torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal invasion of Iraq. But in the face of a massive media campaign to validate the British government story about the Skripals, here are ten of the things I do not believe in the official account:

1) PURE

This was the point that led me to return to the subject of the Skripals, even though it has brought me more abuse than I had received in my 15 year career as a whistleblower.

A few months ago, I was in truth demoralised by the amount of abuse I was receiving about the collapse of the Russian identity story of Boshirov and Petrov. I had never claimed the poisoning, if any, was not carried out by Russians, only that there were many other possibilities. I understood the case against the Russian state is still far from established, whoever Boshirov and Petrov really are, and I did not (and do not) accept Bellingcat’s conjectures and dodgy evidence as conclusive identification. But I did not enjoy at all the constant online taunts, and therefore was not inclined to take the subject further.

It is in this mood that I received more information from my original FCO source, who had told me, correctly, that Porton Down could not and would not attest that the “novichok” sample was made in Russia, and explained that the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was an agreed Whitehall line to cover this up.

She wanted to explain to me that the British government was pulling a similar trick over the use of the word “pure”. The OPCW report had concluded that the sample provided to them by the British government was “of high purity” with an “almost complete absence of impurities”. This had been spun by the British government as evidence that the novichok was “military grade” and could only be produced by a state.

But actually that is not what the OPCW technical experts were attempting to signal. The sample provided to the OPCW had allegedly been swabbed from the Skripals’ door handle. It had been on that door handle for several days before it was allegedly discovered there. In that time it had been contacted allegedly by the hands of the Skripals and of DC Bailey, and the gloves of numerous investigators. It had of course been exposed to whatever film of dirt or dust was on the door handle. It had been exposed to whatever pollution was in the rain and whatever dust and pollen was blowing around. In these circumstances, it is incredible that the sample provided “had an almost complete absence of impurities”.

A sample cannot have a complete absence of impurities after being on a used doorknob, outdoors, for several days. The sample provided was, on the contrary, straight out of a laboratory.

The government’s contention that “almost complete absence of impurities” meant “military grade” was complete nonsense. There is no such thing as “military grade” novichok. It has never been issued to any military, anywhere. The novichok programme was designed to produce an organo-phosphate poison which could quickly be knocked up from readily available commercial ingredients. It was not part of an actual defence industry manufacturing programme.

There is a final problem with the “of high purity” angle. First we had the Theresa May story that the “novichok” was extremely deadly, many times more deadly than VX, in minute traces. Then, when the Skripals did not die, it was explained to us that this was because it had degraded in the rain. This was famously put forward by Dan Kaszeta, formerly of US Intelligence and the White House and self-proclaimed chemical weapons expert – which expertise has been strenuously denied by real experts.

What we did not know then, but we do know now, is that Kaszeta was secretly being paid to produce this propaganda by the British government via the Integrity Initiative.

So the first thing I cannot believe is that the British government produced a sample with an “almost complete absence of impurities” from several days on the Skripals’ doorknob. Nor can I believe that if “extremely pure” the substance therefore was not fatal to the Skripals.

2) Raising the Roof

Three days ago Sky News had an outside broadcast from the front of the Skripals’ house in Salisbury, where they explained that the roof had been removed and replaced due to contamination with “novichok”.

I cannot believe that a gel, allegedly smeared or painted onto the doorknob, migrated upwards to get into the roof of a two storey house, in such a manner that the roof had to be destroyed, but the house inbetween did not. As the MSM never questions the official narrative, there has never been an official answer as to how the gel got from the doorknob to the roof. Remember that traces of the “novichok” were allegedly found in a hotel room in Poplar, which is still in use as a hotel room and did not have to be destroyed, and an entire bottle of it was allegedly found in Charlie Rowley’s house, which has not had to be destroyed. Novichok was found in Zizzi’s restaurant, which did not have to be destroyed.

So we are talking about novichok in threatening quantities – more than the traces allegedly found in the hotel in Poplar – being in the Skripals’ roof. How could this happen?

As I said in the onset, I do not know what happened, I only know what I do not believe. There are theories that Skripal and his daughter might themselves have been involved with novichok in some way. On the face of it, its presence in their roof might support that theory.

The second thing I do not believe is that the Skripals’ roof became contaminated by gel on their doorknob so that the roof had to be destroyed, whereas no other affected properties, nor the rest of the Skripals’ house, had to be destroyed.

3) Nursing Care

The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army, who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!

The government is always trying to get good publicity for its armed forces, and you would think that the heroic role of its off-duty personnel in saving random poisoned Russian double agents they just happened to chance across, would have been proclaimed as a triumph for the British military. Yet it was kept secret for ten months. We were not told about the involvement of Colonel Alison McCourt until January of this year, when it came out by accident. Swollen with maternal pride, Col. McCourt nominated her daughter for an award from the local radio station for her role in helping give first aid to the Skripals, and young Abigail revealed her mother’s identity on local radio – and the fact her mother was there “with her” administering first aid.

Even then, the compliant MSM played along, with the Guardian and Sky News both among those running stories emphasising entirely the Enid Blyton narrative of “plucky teenager saves the Skripals”, and scarcely mentioning the Army’s Chief Nurse who was looking after the Skripals “with little Abigail”.

I want to emphasise again that Col. Alison McCourt is not the chief nurse of a particular unit or hospital, she is the Chief Nurse of the entire British Army. Her presence was kept entirely quiet by the media for ten months, when all sorts of stories were run in the MSM about who the first responders were – various doctors and police officers being mentioned.

If you believe that it is coincidence that the Chief Nurse of the British Army was the first person to discover the Skripals ill, you are a credulous fool. And why was it kept quiet?

4) Remarkable Metabolisms

This has been noted many times, but no satisfactory answer has ever been given. The official story is that the Skripals were poisoned by their door handle, but then well enough to go out to a pub, feed some ducks, and have a big lunch in Zizzi’s, before being instantly stricken and disabled, both at precisely the same time.

The Skripals were of very different ages, genders and weights. That an agent which took hours to act but then kicks in with immediate disabling effect, so they could not call for help, would affect two such entirely different metabolisms at precisely the same time, has never been satisfactorily explained. Dosage would have an effect and of course the doorknob method would give an uncontrolled dosage.

But that the two different random dosages were such that they affected each of these two very different people at just the same moment, so that neither could call for help, is an extreme coincidence. It is almost as unlikely as the person who walks by next being the Chief Nurse of the British Army.

5) 11 Days

After the poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, the Police cordoned off Charlie Rowley’s home and began a search for “Novichok”, in an attitude of extreme urgency because it was believed this poison was out amidst the public. They were specifically searching for a small phial of liquid. Yet it took 11 days of the search before they allegedly discovered the “novichok” in a perfume bottle sitting in plain sight on the kitchen counter – and only after they had discovered the clue of the perfume bottle package in the bin the day before, after ten days of search.

The bottle was out of its packaging and “novichok”, of which the tiniest amount is deadly, had been squirted out of its nozzle at least twice, by both Rowley and Sturgess, and possibly more often. The exterior of the bottle/nozzle was therefore contaminated. Yet the house, unlike the Skripals’ roof space, has not had to be destroyed.

I do not believe it took the Police eleven days to find the very thing they were looking for, in plain sight as exactly the small bottle of liquid sought, on a kitchen bench. What else was happening?

6) Mark Urban/Pablo Miller

The BBC’s “Diplomatic Editor” is a regular conduit for the security services. He fronted much of the BBC’s original coverage of the Skripal story. Yet he concealed from the viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with Skripal.

This is extraordinary behaviour. It was the biggest news story in the world, and news organisations, including the BBC, were scrambling to fill in the Skripals’ back story. Yet the journalist who had the inside info on the world’s biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, kept that knowledge to himself. Why? Urban was not only passing up a career defining opportunity, it was unethical of him to continually report on the story without revealing to the viewers his extensive contacts with Skripal.

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a D(SMA) notice banning all media mention of Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By yet another one of those extraordinary coincidences, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year.

I have sent the following questions to Mark Urban, repeatedly. There has been no response:

To: [email protected]

Dear Mark,

As you may know, I am a journalist working in alternative media, a member of the NUJ, as well as a former British Ambassador. I am researching the Skripal case.

I wish to ask you the following questions.

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig Murray

The lack of openness of Urban in refusing to answer these questions, and the role played by the BBC and the MSM in general in marching in unquestioning lockstep with the British government narrative, plus the “coincidence” of Urban’s relationship with Pablo Miller, give further reason for scepticism of the official narrative.

7 Four Months

The official narrative insists that Boshirov and Petrov brought “novichok” into the country; that minute quantities could kill; that they disposed of the novichok that did kill Dawn Sturgess. It must therefore have been of the highest priority to inform the public of the movements of the suspects and the possible locations where deadly traces of “novichok” must be lurking.

Yet there was at least a four month gap between the police searching the Poplar hotel where Boshirov and Petrov were staying, allegedly discovering traces of novichok in the hotel room, and the police informing the hotel management, let alone the public, of the discovery. That is four months in which a cleaner might have fatally stumbled across more novichok in the hotel. Four months in which another guest in the same hotel might have had something lurking in their bag which they had picked up. Four months in which there might have been a container of novichok sitting in a hedge near the hotel. Yet for four months the police did not think any of this was urgent enough to tell anybody.

The astonishing thing is that it was a full three months after the death of Dawn Sturgess before the hotel were informed, the public were informed, or the pictures of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” in Salisbury released. There could be no clearer indication that the authorities did not actually believe that any threat from residual novichok was connected to the movements of Boshirov and Petrov.

Similarly the metadata on the famous CCTV images of Boshirov and Petrov in Salisbury, published in September by the Met Police, showed that all the stills were prepared by the Met on the morning of 9 May – a full four months before they were released to the public. But this makes no sense at all. Why wait a full four months for people’s memories to fade before issuing an appeal to the public for information? This makes no sense at all from an investigation viewpoint. It makes even less sense from a public health viewpoint.

If the authorities were genuinely worried about the possible presence of deadly novichok, and wished to track it down, why one earth would you wait for four months before you published the images showing the faces and clothing and the whereabouts of the people you believe were distributing it?

The only possible conclusion from the amazing four month delays both in informing the hotel, and in revealing the Boshirov and Petrov CCTV footage to the public, is that the Metropolitan Police did not actually believe there was a public health danger that the two had left a trail of novichok. Were the official story true, this extraordinary failure to take timely action in a public health emergency may have contributed to the death of Dawn Sturgess.

The metadat shows Police processed all the Salisbury CCTV images of Boshirov and Petrov a month before Charlie Rowley picked up the perfume. The authorities claim the CCTV images show they could have been to the charity bin to dump the novichok. Which begs the question, if the Police really believed they had CCTV of the movements of the men with the novichok, why did they not subsequently exhaustively search everywhere the CCTV shows they could have been, including that charity bin?

The far more probable conclusion appears to be that the lack of urgency is explained by the fact that the link between Boshirov and Petrov and “novichok” is a narrative those involved in the investigation do not take seriously.

8 The Bungling Spies

There are elements of the accepted narrative of Boshirov and Petrov’s movements that do not make sense. As the excellent local Salisbury blog the Blogmire points out, the CCTV footage shows Boshirov and Petrov, after they had allegedly coated the door handle with novichok, returning towards the railway station but walking straight past it, into the centre of Salisbury (and missing their first getaway train in the process). They then wander around Salisbury apparently aimlessly, famously window shopping which is caught on CCTV, and according to the official narrative disposing of the used but inexplicably still cellophane-sealed perfume/novichok in a charity donation bin, having walked past numerous potential disposal sites en route including the railway embankment and the bins at the Shell garage.

But the really interesting thing, highlighted by the blogmire, is that the closest CCTV ever caught them to the Skripals’ house is fully 500 metres, at the Shell garage, walking along the opposite side of the road from the turning to the Skripals. There is a second CCTV camera at the garage which would have caught them crossing the road and turning down towards the Skripals’ house, but no such video or still image – potentially the most important of all the CCTV footage – has ever been released.

However the 500 metres is not the closest the CCTV places the agents to the Skripals. From 13.45 to 13.48, on their saunter into town, Boshirov and Petrov were caught on CCTV at Dawaulders coinshop a maximum of 200 metres away from the Skripals, who at the same time were at Avon Playground. The bin at Avon playground became, over two days in the immediate aftermath of the Skripal “attack”, the scene of extremely intensive investigation. Yet the Boshirov and Petrov excursion – during their getaway from attempted murder – into Salisbury town centre has been treated as entirely pointless and unimportant by the official story.

Finally, the behaviour of Boshirov and Petrov in the early hours before the attack makes no sense whatsoever. On the one hand we are told these are highly trained, experienced and senior GRU agents; on the other hand, we are told they were partying in their room all night, drawing attention to themselves with loud noise, smoking weed and entertaining a prostitute in the room in which they were storing, and perhaps creating, the “novichok”.

The idea that, before an extremely delicate murder operation involving handling a poison, a tiny accident with which would kill them, professionals would stay up all night and drink heavily and take drugs is a nonsense. Apart from the obvious effect on their own metabolisms, they were risking authorities being called because of the noise and a search being instituted because of the drugs.

That they did this while in possession of the novichok and hours before they made the attack, is something I simply do not believe.

9 The Skripals’ Movements

Until the narrative changed to Boshirov and Petrov arriving in Salisbury just before lunchtime and painting the doorknob, the official story had been that the Skripals left home around 9am and had not returned. They had both switched off their mobile phones, an interesting and still unexplained point. As you would expect in a city as covered in CCTV as Salisbury, their early morning journey was easily traced and the position of their car at various times was given by the police.

Yet no evidence of their return journey has ever been offered. There is now a tiny window between Boshirov and Petrov arriving, painting the doorknob apparently with the Skripals now inexplicably back inside their home, and the Skripals leaving again by car, so quickly after the doorknob painting that they catch up with Boshirov and Petrov – or certainly being no more than 200 metres from them in Salisbury City Centre. There is undoubtedly a huge amount of CCTV video of the Skripals’ movements which has never been released. For example, the parents of one of the boys who Sergei was chatting with while feeding the ducks, was shown “clear” footage by the Police of the Skripals at the pond, yet this has never been released. This however is the moment at which the evidence puts Boshirov and Petrov at the closest to them. What does the concealed CCTV of the Skripals with the ducks show?

Why has so little detail of the Skripals’ movements that day been released? What do all the withheld CCTV images of the Skripals in Salisbury show?

10 The Sealed Bottle

Only in the last couple of days have the police finally admitted there is a real problem with the fact that Charlie Rowley insists that the perfume bottle was fully sealed, and the cellophane difficult to remove, when he discovered it. Why the charity collection bin had not been emptied for three months has never been explained either. Rowley’s recollection is supported by the fact that the entire packaging was discovered by the police in his bin – why would Boshirov and Petrov have been carrying the cellophane around with them if they had opened the package? Why – and how – would they reseal it outdoors in Salisbury before dumping it?

Furthermore, there was a gap of three months between the police finding the perfume bottle, and the police releasing details of the brand and photos of it, despite the fact the police believed there could be more out there. Again the news management agenda totally belies the official narrative of the need to protect the public in a public health emergency.

This part of the narrative is plainly nonsense.

Bonus Point – The Integrity Initiative

The Integrity Initiative specifically paid Dan Kaszeta to publish articles on the Skripal case. In the weekly collections of social media postings the Integrity Initiative sent to the FCO to show its activity, over 80% were about the Skripals.

Governments do not institute secret campaigns to put out covert propaganda in order to tell the truth. The Integrity Initiative, with secret FCO and MOD sourced subsidies to MSM figures to put out the government narrative, is very plainly a disinformation exercise. More bluntly, if the Integrity Initiative is promoting it, you know it is not true.

Most sinister of all is the Skripal Group convened by the Integrity Initiative. This group includes Pablo Miller, Skripal’s MI6 handler, and senior representatives of Porton Down, the BBC, the CIA, the FCO and the MOD. Even if all the other ludicrously weak points in the government narrative did not exist, the Integrity Initiative activity in itself would lead me to understand the British government is concealing something important.

Conclusion

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. Plainly spy games were being played between Russia and the UK, quite likely linked to the Skripals and/or the NATO chemical weapons exercise then taking place on Salisbury Plain yet another one of those astonishing coincidences.

What I do know is that major planks of the UK government narrative simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

Plainly the Russian authorities have lied about the identity of Boshirov and Petrov. What is astonishing is the alacrity with which the MSM and the political elite have rallied around the childish logical fallacy that because the Russian Government has lied, therefore the British Government must be telling the truth. It is abundantly plain to me that both governments are lying, and the spy games being played out that day were very much more complicated than a pointless revenge attack on the Skripals.

I do not believe the British Government. I have given you the key points where the official narrative completely fails to stand up. These are by no means exhaustive, and I much look forward to reading your own views.

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890 thoughts on “Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative

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  • Anon1

    Amber Rudd has apologised and says she is mortified at herself. But it’s NOT ENOUGH. Evidently it will require a public flogging or perhaps even a self-immolation before we can even begin to let this outrage pass.

    • N_

      That’s just what the Tory troll army’s Alf Garnett Propaganda Battalion are saying. You ain’t half with it!

    • Goose

      I’d agree with you on it being a relatively trivial slip or indiscretion. I’ll always defend anyone’s free speech and even the right to be offensive. Far too much censorship and virtue signalling about.

      But, look at this in context: the way the Tories and their press have weaponised and grossly exaggerated the antisemitism issue within the labour party.

      Glass houses and all that.

    • Some Random Passer-by

      The thing is, giving Tories grief is about as easy as setting up an LK Bennett online account

    • S

      Am I a cynic, or is this all orchestrated? It doesn’t really seem to hurt the conservatives to come out as the party for islamophobics.

      • Tom

        I agree it feels orchestrated. I think Rudd’s slip was deliberate – to divert attention from May’s Brexit debacle, most likely. Look at the coverage of Bradley’s gaffe too (25 minutes on the World at One!), which seemed way out of proportion to what she actually said (which I thought was more or less the stance of successive British governments?).

    • Dungroanin

      It’s her application ad-lib to join the funny tingers!

      Given that there is a almost zero chance of her retaining her seat at the next election

  • Georgie

    Craig, you don’t mention a letter published in a newspaper from a Dr that worked in the hospital where the policeman and Skripals were treated. He said that no one had been treated for nerve agent poisoning.

    Interesting that military exercises were going on. Real coincidence that these exercises seem to be happening when the brown stuff hits the spinning thing. Other than 911, are there any other remarkable coincidences?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Georgie March 7, 2019 at 23:35
      That is a common thread in False Flag ops or hoaxes – there is almost always a ‘drill’ of some sort taking place just before, or during, the event.

    • anatta

      The Times published a letter from Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust) on16th March: “Sir, further to your report (‘Poison Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment’), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.”

    • Dungroanin

      Also the deleted tweet from Swindon Fire brigade that their soecialist decontamination unit was not needed at Sturgesses house because it wasn’t a deadly substance.

    • wonky

      Terror/catastrophe response exercises also in Berlin on the day of the christmas market attack 2016.

  • Darren

    Of course Russia was involved. The 2 Russians were simply a decoy. Why? They were so incredibly easy to find. Wandering around where CCTV is and entering and leaving the UK from RUSSIA! so soon around the time of the poisoning. They came in on Russian passports etc They were meant to be found. They were interviewed incredibly quickly and their performance was that of folk that couldn’t convincingly explain why they were there. And this was all on purpose. We are meant to doubt their story and the Bellincat information is a complete diversion.

    There was a seperate team that have been in the UK for ages that did it and are they will not have left in a hurry

    Whether there was collusion between the UK and Russia is hard to know. The UK wants to seem as if it knows what is going on and that can lead to them following the available evidence. (the virtually planted easy evidence that is all over CCTV) and that leads them to try to force the jigsaw pieces together. Remember Jill Dando and Barry George – The police were under incredible pressure to find someone/anyone.

    Point 2. These kind of coincidences happen. Are you saying that the UK designed it for them to nearly die but be saved? The first aid a very senior nurse could give would be no better than a trained member of the public. From what I read, Julia was fitting and vomiting and was put in the recovery position. Nerve agent was only suspected the following day.

    • Deb O'Nair

      So what your saying is that the Russians sent decoy Russians to pretend to poison the Russians so that we wouldn’t know that it was other Russians that poisoned the Russians, and not the decoy Russians that the Russians sent?

  • N_

    So Britgov is trying to raise the stakes in relation to SIS asset Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian citizen who got caught spying for Britain in Iran…adding to the xenophobic atmosphere they are feeding in the run-up to Brexit.

    It won’t surprise me if the result of the poshboys’ Bloody Sunday inquiry is a great big public school raspberry in the general direction of Dublin. Then the Tory media can call Jeremy Corbyn an IRA supporter when he objects. And they can blame Ireland for border problems.

    Meanwhile, does the CFOI want British sanctions against Iran, or does the CFOI want British sanctions against Iran?

    They could get an Elgin marbles story up and running too…

    And something to do with Gibraltar should be easy to arrange…

    Because if a brief Brexit extension is requested, to end before the EU elections, the answer is going to be “no”. Don’t underestimate just how moronic many people in Britain are. I have heard the view expressed that “the EU won’t let us leave”. And many believe that “No deal” means staying in.

    The IOPS boys at the Foreign Office will be working overtime!

    Meanwhile on the home front it’s one gruesome stabbing story every day, interspersed with stories such as the recent one about Slovak immigrants throwing sulphuric acid in a little boy’s face…

    Oh dear, has the food run out? Bloody foreigners!

    Hermann Goring: “(T)he people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ March 7, 2019 at 23:55
      But we’ve gone a step further; a ‘False Flag’ attack/hoax has more power than just telling them (though the Nazis knew that as well, with the Reichstag Fire and Gleiwitz).

    • Charles Bostock

      “So Britgov is trying to raise the stakes in relation to SIS asset Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian citizen who got caught spying for Britain in Iran”

      Apart from automatically taking Iran’s side on this issue and pouring a bucket of shit over the woman, have you any evidence to back up your claim that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an “SIS asset” and was “spying” for Britain?

      • Andyoldlabour

        Charles Bostock

        I know that it doesn’t often happen, but I agree with you Charles. The Iranian authorities are very quick to pounce on anyone who works for certain UK/US companies, particularly if they have been working in the media as Ms Ratcliffe had – BBC and Reuters. I feel sorry for Ms Ratcliffe, but I think that she would have known that teaching Iranian bloggers and journalists would not have been regarded kindly by the authorities in Tehran.

        • Charles Bostock

          I’m always glad when you agree with me, AnyOldLabour.

          Neil’s tactic of libelling people (it is not the first time he’s done it on here) is pretty disgusting. The woman is in enough trouble already without the Neils of this world adding their halfpennyworth.

          I find it interesting that no one else has reacted. There is of course Sharp Ears, who devotes a dozen lines to the woman’s BBC involvement without at any stage suggesting that it is curious behaviour of any government to bang up, on espionage charges; foreigners giving courses in jourbalism and blogging. Just imagine the fuss that would be made if the UK authorities tried the same trick on a foreigner.

          • Ken Kenn

            There is one significant example.

            His names Julian Assange.

            Is he free to do that?

            No because the Yanks give the orders and the UK obeys them.

            Everytime.

      • Ingwe

        Charles, it was your fellow public school posh boy Boris who poured the bucket of shit over the woman. Remember?

        • Charles Bostock

          Did he say she was an SIS asset and had been spying for Britain? But I agree with your underlying thought that what Boris Johnson said and says is infinitely more important than N_’s outpourings.

      • Deb O'Nair

        What is never mentioned in the press (except obliquely when Johnson made a gaff about her training journalists) is that she was caught with a USB stick containing encryption keys for accessing a Reuters secure website to enable dissident journalists, with whom she was meeting, to upload anti-regime stories which were to form part of a concerted effort by the US/UK to foment civil unrest. While the sentence appears harsh, if you think that she was merely a British mother visiting relatives in Iran, as far as the Iranians are concerned she is an Iranian citizen working for an enemy state.

    • Sharp Ears

      You are so right N. That weedy and useless Hunt will do their bidding. Trust he doesn’t make too many more foul ups in the process.

      • Sharp Ears

        There was involvement by the BBC. I knew about Reuters.

        ‘The exact reason for her arrest was initially unclear, though according to Amnesty International it is believed related to the 2014 imprisonment of several Iranian technology news website employees. Zaghari-Ratcliffe used to work for the international charity the BBC World Service Trust (now called BBC Media Action), which provided training courses to Iranian citizen journalists and bloggers, some of whom were convicted in 2014 and sentenced to up to 11 years in jail for participating in the foreign training course.

        The head of Kerman province’s justice department, Ali Tavakoli, said they had participated in projects run by the BBC and received funds from London.’

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazanin_Zaghari-Ratcliffe

        • Robyn

          The UK Column News audience will be familiar with BBC Media Action’s proudly self-proclaimed actions in training journalists to ‘enlighten’ populations of countries TPTB don’t control to stand up for their rights. The fact that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had professional links to Media Action, confirmed by Boris’s unfortunate remark, may shed some light on why she is now in an Iranian prison. Toward the end of this broadcast https://www.ukcolumn.org/ukcolumn-news/uk-column-news-11th-january-2019 and on other non-MSM internet sites.

    • Hove Actually

      Goering was about 6 years too late,

      An extract from Harold Nicolson’s ‘Why Britain is at War’, published in 1939.

      Adolf Hitler exploited his job as a means of self-advancement. He began by winning the confidence, support and affection of Ernst Röhm; an affection which he retained until the day when Röhm was murdered by his orders on June 30th, 1934. He persuaded Röhm that it was possible to wean many of the workers and ex-soldiers from their communist allegiance, and to create a “national socialist” movement which would secretly further the aims and purposes of the army chiefs. Already, in addressing these tavern meetings, he had discovered in himself mysterious powers of platform oratory. He had learnt moreover that uneducated people are always much impressed if you inform them that they possess a grievance of which they had hitherto been unaware.

  • mark golding

    Craig explains Governments play dark games… The British establishment has it’s own dark game… these are the TEN fundamental tenets:
    1. Use fear and the power of the state to keep the commoners in line
    2. Engineer election results
    3. Manufacture consent
    4.Attack the solidarity of the people
    5. Redesign the economy
    6. Marginalize the population
    7. Shape ideology
    8. Let special interests run the regulators
    9. Reduce democracy
    10. Shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes

    • Charles Bostock

      There speaks a middle class tribune of the people – point 10 is the give-away.

      Don’t worry, the middle classes are doing just fine for the moment.

      • Yr Hen Gof

        So Mark Golding doesn’t know what burden the poor and middle classes carry but somehow you know the middle classes carry none?
        If people see your name and scroll past ignoring your posts, it’s hardly surprising.

        • Charles Bostock

          Well, not everyone will scroll past without reading. That’s good enough for me, I’m not one of those blokes who insists everyone else should bow down before my altar.

      • wonky

        “Don’t worry, the middle classes are doing just fine…”
        You sound like you’re enjoying a Cohiba in your leather armchair while musing on the present conditions of the classes below..
        “…for the moment.”
        Please do tell more.. what’s in store for those poor buggers in the near future?

        • Charles Bostock

          I would with pleasure, Wonkers, but don’t you agree it would be better to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak? There are, after all, middle-class baby boomers reading and commenting on this blog. Some of them have already given an indication, eg the person who was complaining about the local fire service having deteriorated and being afraid that her house might burn down. Now if that commenter wants standards restored, that commenter is going to have to be prepared to cough up some extra by way of Council tax (which will be complained about bitterly of course). I’m sure that they will be happy to give you other examples of where they will have to put their money where their mouth is, and I’m pretty sure that those examples will prove that I’m right when I say the middle classes are still doing fine but the times they are a’changing! And not before time from my point of view.

    • Tom

      Absolutely, Mark. Rigging media forums and opinion polls are other tactics to confuse.

  • Joiningupthedots

    Can someone (anyone) compile a comprehensive minute by minute timeline of the entire saga…as in like a picture story board and publish?

    Tie in times, locations, faces and names.

    Thats what real detectives do.

    Its all about CUI BONO people…….CUI BONO!

    • BrianFujisan

      Joiningupthedots

      Earlier Jo was talking about The Blogmire.. I added the Latest Link.. But as I said on the
      ‘ UK Rejects International Court of Justice Opinion on the Chagos Islands ‘ page.
      I think the Blogmire’s Piece on 9th January 2018 was a more in depth Article. For Timelines

    • Duncan

      Follow Rob Slane’s Blogmire.
      He has been all over this for a year.
      His latest missive is an excellent summary.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Can someone (anyone) compile a comprehensive minute by minute timeline of the entire saga…as in like a picture story board…?”

      In a word, no. They can’t. Because there are so many contradictions and inconsistencies in the official story that it’s quite impossible evn to make a start.

      Like… did the Skripals go to the pub first, or Zizzi’s? You’d think there would be general agreement on that, wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong.

    • Dungroanin

      I expect a simple request to the Chinese for a few thousand electrical engineers would brle swiftly answered..

  • N_

    Rumour notice: a dastardly plot is said to be afoot to remove Jeremy Corbyn from office in about a fortnight’s time, around a week before Brexit day on 29 March.

    Where did the Corbyn-Hodge meeting take place that Hodge recorded without asking permission? Did Shai make sure she had the right app?

    • Charles Bostock

      I’ve been meaning to say a word about this wholly artificial fuss about Mrs Hodge allegedly secretly tape-recording her conversation with Mr Corbyn.

      It is artificial because it is an attempt to distract attention from the issue of substance. Mr Corbyn has (again) been caught on the hop and his minders don’t like it one little bit. The usual rescue operation is attempted.

      And if Mrs Hodge did (secretly) record the conversation, then good for her. Mr Corbyn could only object having his thoughts and words recorded for posterity if he said something which he would wish to hide – or deny subsequently. Something he might feel the public would judge him harshly for?

      As for the recirding being taken secretly, well, tht’s understandable, the old twister and turner would porbably never have agreed to hold the conversation – or to speak honestly during it – had he beej told his words were being recorded. In a sense, Mrs Hodge is a whistle-blower with a hidden mike.

        • Sorry Business

          @07.31 Either:
          “Could I suggest a trial of Spell Check?”
          or:
          “Could I suggest using Spell Check?”

          Of those two, I think the second reads better, but the first adds extra information. Notice, in both cases, a question mark is required, even if your question was “rhetorical”.

          It always seems to me a wise idea, when making rebarbative and troll-like comments pulling up another contributor’s spelling, syntax or grammar, that you double-check your pithy quip for similar errors or shortcomings.

          It also seems to me to be a good idea not to comment at all, unless you have something relevant and original to say.

          I am well aware this comment is certainly not relevant to the OP, and I doubt from the unpleasant, argumentative tone that permanently lurks in the wings on this blog, that it is in any way original.

          • Charles Bostock

            @ Sorry Business

            If you’ve been following this blog for long enough you’ll realise that her preoccupation with typos is fairly recent. The reason is that she realises her hallowed tactic (or perhaps it’s just inability) of never answering or recanting is not really cutting the mustard any more. Hence to give the illusion that she’s debating and discussing she picks up on typos. It requires about the same level of intelligent imput as her incessant cutting-and-pasting.

      • N_

        @Charles – You are giving your game away, typing

        * that Hodge was “allegedly” “taping” the conversation (she hasn’t denied it, and I doubt tape was used)

        * that the story distracts attention (that will be from the campaign of lies and harassment being run against the left by fascists)

        * words of congratulation to those who recorded the audio (would you say the same if someone bugged the Community Security Trust or the Z__nazi embassy?)

        • Charles Bostock

          Re your 3rd asterisk, Neil, I woukd point out that no one – and certainly not you – seemed to have any problem with some journalist taping (oh, sorry, recording) a conversation with Mr Masot. Complaints came there none from the hard-left congerie.

          Nor does one hear any complaints about others who secretly record and film for TV programmes, eg about how animals are treated in slaughterhouses. Quite rightly so, by the way.

          • Ken Kenn

            Try meeting the Board of Deputies in that manner and all hell would break loose.

            Particularly if it was George Galloway pretending to be woman.

            It would be like the Stoning scene from Life of Brian.

            Jehovah!!

          • N_

            I woukd point out that no one (…) seemed to have any problem with some journalist taping (oh, sorry, recording) a conversation with Mr Masot.

            Recording Masot exposed treason. Recording by Hodge was treason.

      • N_

        And another thing regarding your follow-up to my comment…

        I am still interested in where the recording is supposed to have taken place. Did Margaret Hodge record it in her own office? Did she in effect get wired up before she went into Jeremy Corbyn’s office? (I realise that nowadays that doesn’t require literally getting wired up and can be done by clicking “Yes” on the Shai Masot-Lobby app for loyal CFOI and LFOI MPs, but still.) Did she record it in a third location? Or did she access a record made by some other party?

        • Charles Bostock

          Well, Neil, you are obviously upset enough to answer me…not once but twice. I find that rather interesting for several reasons.

        • Goose

          Suggests does it not , that there is a lack of evidence thus the need for desperate measures like clandestine recordings.

          And how did top official party emails ‘leak’ to the Times newspaper? They should bring in people with forensic ‘network’ knowledge to find who had access.

          As for the secret recording – was the aim of the recording to ‘trigger’ Corbyn somehow? By being abusive then selectively leaking that clip of his angry response out of context?

          It’s essential Labour adopt some form of mandatory reselection process for candidates (or open selection) even if it risks a row. Corbyn is his own worst enemy for not leveraging that membership support he has.

          • Charles Bostock

            “Suggests does it not , that there is a lack of evidence thus the need for desperate measures like clandestine recordings.”

            Not necessarily. But it might suggest that Mrs Hodge believed that Mr Corbyn might try to deny something after the event, which would lead us to a “he said she said” impasse, wouldn’t it. What is the exact objection to hard evidence as represented by an electronic recording?

      • N_

        @Charles – Also helping a foreign power to bug the Palace of Westminster, or bugging it in cooperation with a foreign power, would be treason – yes, even if the foreign power is one with which the poshboy kingdom has agreed a treaty of alliance that contrary to international law they kept secret and didn’t submit to the UN for publication.

        And you wouldn’t want to condone treason, would you, Charles?

    • Sharp Ears

      Transcript of a speech given by Graham Bash, Jackie Walker’s partner.

      ‘The attack on Williamson – the start of another coup?

      Graham Bash in a talk to Canterbury Momentum opens up a much needed debate as to where the Corbyn project is heading.

      He argues that we are at a tipping point, in the middle of an attempted coup against Jeremy Crobyn, “a coup … about re-establishing the primacy of the PLP against the members – and it is a coup supported by sections of the left itself, including the leadership of Momentum.”

      “Have no doubt,” he concludes, “the left is on the back foot, but it is not too late to reverse that tide. Our task is to be both supportive and independent of our leaders – free from their pressures, speaking truth to power.” ‘

      https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/blog/the-attack-on-williamson-the-start-of-another-coup/

      The UK at the moment is rotten to the core.

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        “The UK at the moment is rotten to the core.”

        – It ALWAYS has been; it’s just that now the formerly well polished gloss is detiorating rather rapidly.

        .

        • Yr Hen Gof

          Agreed, every office and function of state, comprehensively corrupted, with no exceptions.
          From the humble Parish Council to the House of Lords, the monarchy and all services and NGO’s in between.
          We’ve been basically governed by gangsters since at least 1066.

          • Charles Bostock

            You are right, which is of course why I continue to live in the UK.

            Having said that, perhaps no other country would want me? (=

      • Goose

        It’s because Chris Williamson favours open selection – a process whereby local parties get to decide who they want to be the official candidate at general elections.

        Thinking about that…. It would mean that a right-wing leader could never foist on membership and CLPs again, people of questionable Labour(left-wing) credentials.

        The only hope the right has of dominating Labour again is by resisting party democracy, Labour’s right-wingers detest democracy .

      • Goose

        This post is in no way antisemitic, it deals with factual information.

        According to the Spectator Jewish support for Labour was…

        13% under Miliband, in the 2015 GE.

        12% under Corbyn, in the 2017 GE.

        Given in the UK there are 66 million people and 46 million on electoral register (69%)

        Number of people who identify as Jewish 270,000

        69% of 270, 000 = 186,000. Then taking into account turnout (2017’s figure) 68% of 186,000 = 126, 000

        Then 12% of 126,000 = 15,000

        So 12% of Jewish voters = roughly 15,000 Labour votes for the whole UK.

        • Dungroanin

          Lovely stats you laid there Goose, i’ll point to the golden egg that you hide in open sight for these not logically inclined if I may?

          So – 88% of Jewish voters = roughly 111,000 must have voted TORY or other. (Lib/SNP/PC…ukip)

          Tad ah! – the AS allegations are not aimed at Jewish Labour voters, there are not that many, they are aimed at Labour non-jewish voters, to support the Tory vote!

  • Huw Manoid

    As Clark has mentioned earlier in this thread, the fact that the secret services are involved means that we will not be allowed to see the real information, so by definition people will try to fill in the gaps and conspiricy theories grow (the more the better if you are the one trying to stifle investigative scrutiny, more theories, easier to hide the truth)

    This got me thinking about the secret services and the black arts they practise, and all the main players on the world stage are extremely good at what they do and are well practised. The CIA have kidnapped, killed and then vanished, Mossad are the likeliest to have assassinated Gerald Bull in a hotel because he was building a super gun for Saddam and vanished, MI5/6 SAS tracked and eliminated an IRA cell at Gibralter and vanished, The French, Germans, everyone,- even the Soviet Union had highly skilled operative who were able to prnrtrate deep into the government and established order of both the US and GB and are not unknown when it comes to “disappearing” perceived enemies – who is a major power has highly proficient “spy” services.

    So what has happened to Russia? If you beleive the official line and this is a state sponsored assasination attempt and that Putin is behind it, How is it such a keystone cops meets Man from UNCLE operation? what happened to the expertise and proven profficiency of the Soviet/Russian secret services.

    I have a hard time beleiving that Russia, under the leadership of an ex KGB agent, a man we are told has enough power to influence American elections and British referendum, and portrayed as a Fu Man Chu at the centre of all that’s wrong, would allow such an amature operation to go ahead. Operatives being caught on cameras all over the place, operating in broad daylight, traceable weapon, haphazard disposal and a trail a mile wide to follow. Putin has proven himself to be a very shrewd operator, not surprisingly, and I don’t think he would have santioned such a risk filled operation.

    If Putin and by extension Russia wanted Skripal dead, why not a car accident at night? plenty of country roads around the area with no cameras. All sorts of ways to go about it. What if, for whatever reason, Putin wanted it known that Skripals death was no accident, why not a gunshot behind the ear? firearms are easy to come by in this country if you know who to ask and suspect spies would know who ask. Again any number of ways to make it obvious that the death is no accident. Let’s assume, for the sake of the official story, that all other options have been explored but Putin has decided it has to be nerve agent poisoning, why use an agent that has a connection to your country (even if it is just inventing the stuff) when any number of toxins could be used and have no connection to you. Secondly, why use operatives to transport the weapon across borders and run the risk of being caught? wouldn’t it make more sense for Putin,- who has shown caution when pushed and not one to take un needed risk if he can avoid it,- to transport the weapon via diplomatic channels to the embassy and hand it off to an operative once in country.

    I have no idea what went on in Salisbury, and I don’t think we ever will because of the security services involvement, but I also cannot beleive that a professional spy and shrewd politician such as Putin would allow this comedy of errors to go ahead. If Putin wanted Skripal dead he would be.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      If Putin had wanted Skripal dead, I guess he’d have fallen downstairs during his four year prison sentence in Russia or suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on his release.
      From TV documentaries I’d estimate life in a Russian prison to be considerably harsher than what Lord Archer suffered here.

  • Hal Harold

    I think I’ve figured it out (pardon if others earlier wrote the same):

    These Russians are smugglers who stole and transported, to Porton Down agents, samples of poison Russia has made and has stored against OPCW regulations (commitments). So these guys took the stuff to Salisbury, and they toured the town after they dropped off the sample(s) at either a set location, maybe even the charity box, with the arrangement being that the MI6 agents would be there to collect it immediately. Since the Russia thieves didn’t know it was ultimately to be used by MI6 on Sergei Skripal, they meandered. The Chief Nurse may well have been there to oversee the administration of doses of these newly stolen chemicals on Skripal (likely through delivery agents to their door or roof or ?), with his daughter an unfortunate secondary victim. Since it didn’t even kill the Skripals, the MI6 ultimately needed to use a second test on unsuspecting victims, Rowley and Sturgess. It killed her, so I guess they know the lethality of what they stole from Russia. If my theory is correct, it doesn’t look good for ole Vlad, but it also reflects poorly on the UK. But I’m afraid it makes too much sense.

    • Hal Harold

      Furthermore, it makes sense that these 2 Russian guys were maybe even known by the Russian government and were delivering, (though not sanctioned by Putin), samples to British agents to accomplish two things for Putin, first: to catch the internal Russian agent(s) who stole the chemical weapons and set up to sell them to Britain using these 2 amateur smugglers for delivery, and second (and more sinister, or spy-gamey): to let Britain know that, yes, they do have these weapons made and ready to use if the UK/US want to start war, and, maybe, are even pre-packaged in perfume bottles to dump on unsuspecting victims in a war setting (on civilians or more likely specific targets during a time a war). If that is true, it would imply a highest level of communication to the war-readiness of Russia in event of deep escalation; and something that the government would want kept quiet at all costs, hence, the total blackout of truth with the clear willingness of the MSM to abide by the script.

      I just got my tinfoil hat back from cleaning from my haberdasher, and she is shiny and comfy as ever!

  • Loftwork

    I think that sums it up very well. In addition to the primary fallacies there are a vast and ever-increasing collection of secondary fibs. Recently I noticed Vil Mirzayanov claiming that the mysterious non-lethality of the never-specified Novichok was due to Boshirov’s failure to shake the bottle. Since shaking a gel doesn’t actually mix anything this tells us only that he’s keen to help the UK patch a conspicuous credibility problem.

  • Bert.

    I am slightly bothered that you should be concerned by the abuse you receive. The more abuse they heap upon you the more they are bothered by what you say… and that means you must be getting very warm.

    As Socrates put it: ‘When the argument is lost slander is the tool of the loser.” Or as Moore (1903) put it: ‘The motive for a statement does not bear on the truth or falsity of the statement.’ Or, quite simply, ad hominem argument is meaningless.

    Bert.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    Very good summary. I would like to know what really happened to the cat and the guinea pig in the Skripal house. I would have thought a proper investigation of the animals would have helped in the investigation of the so called poison. It was said the animals were euthanized and cremated – were they really? The novichok story is a figment of the British Government’s imagination – someone made it up, probably watches too much American TV. It seems something was going on in Salisbury, certainly a lot of play acting but we probably won’t ever learn what was really going on. Maybe Dawn Sturgess found out and she was killed, but not by novichok. What really surprises me is that anyone believes the rubbish Theresa May etc were spouting about this event, the explanation was too ludicrous.

  • Alex

    So it is a proven and verifiable fact that Skripals were poisoned with “novichok” and that their conditions were not the result of the subsequent “treatment”? Just asking, as I do not trust the British authorities involved even that far – they are quite capable of fabricating the entire story from the start to the end.
    BTW the name is Boshirov [Боширов] , sort of Tatar, not “Borishov”.

    [ Thanks – amended. The spelling was correct in some instances, but wasn’t consistent. ]

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Alex March 8, 2019 at 05:15
      No, nothing is proven. But our government and MSM wouldn’t lie to us, surely??

  • Sean Lamb

    As far as the two Russians there are a number of possibilities:

    1) The British intelligence organisations chose the moment to strike when sources had told them a pair of Russians were going to visit. All you would have to do would be monitor google searches for Stonehenge coming out of Russia, identify the associated webmail accounts and then hack their webmail to find suitable candidates. A weekend trip to London/Salisbury isn’t on every Russian’s agenda but it is going to happen from time to time, so provided MI6 had a bit of flexibility on when they struck over a month or so, possible candidates ought to turn up

    2) The British intelligence organisations lured the two individuals there on false pretenses and perhaps for something they don’t wish to admit. For example discussing a lucrative money laundering opportunity or drugs trafficking.

    The fact that they turned up to Salisbury twice does suggest that seeing Stonehenge was at least part of their motivation, ie it is unlikely a preconceived plan would exactly mirrored the behaviour of tourists turned away because Stonehenge was snowed in.

    3) It isn’t actually the two Russians in the video and the Russian government is just pretending it is because they think it is the best way to manage a panicking UK government. Lets not forget the US airforce killed 200 mercenaries working for Yevgeny Prigozhin just a fiew days before Robert Mueller released the indictment against him and recently orphanages supplied by Prigozhin’s catering company have been hit by cases of poisoning of the children there. Likewise, immediately after the Skripal case there was a massive fire in childcare centre in Siberia where a number of children were locked in and unable to escape.

    The Russian government might have just decided they need to temper their opposition to stop MI6 and their Russian mafia allies from killing more children. The fact that the British narrative includes the claim that the Russians hacked the UK Foreign Office visa system rather than apply for visas through the Moscow embassy suggests to me strongly the two Russians in question were never actually in Salisbury.

    Putin might just think there is no point in saying they weren’t in Salisbury as the British press would go into hysterics and MI6 would just murder more Russian children.

  • Sean Lamb

    As far as who manufactured the novichok I have three possibilities. First I think we should exclude Porton Down, it may be wishful thinking but I get the impression not everyone there is too impressed with events and if they had manufactured it, someone would know. Of course, they certainly have the ability to manufacture it. I tend to think Ukraine is too chaotic to be trusted with anything this sensitive.

    1) Saudi Arabia (or less likely Qatar) since the Saudis seem to be behind the sarin use in Syria. Which is the underlying motive for the disappearance of Khashoggi – to make Mohamed bin Salman the fall guy if everything goes pear-shaped, cf https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/30/macron-saudi-arabia-mbs-conversation-g20-summit-caught-on-mic

    2.) Libya – I wonder if the chemical weapons facilities in Libya are still intact. The manufacture of Novichok is very similar to Sarin, you just change the starting precursors. My guess is the sarin used in Syria is all derived from Libyan stocks – there is a strange hole in the Libya OPCW declarations – they declared and destroyed 100 tonnes of isopropanol and 20 tonnes of pinacolyl. The only reason you would have such large stockpiles is if you wish to combine it with methylphosphonyl difluoride to make sarin and GB respectively. But there is no declaration of any methylphosphonyl difluoride. Maybe they just stockpiled the precursors and manufactured methylphosphonyl difluoride on demand.

    3. The Chemring Chemicals factory in Salisbury which had a large file shortly after the Skripal attack.
    The reason you might want to burn down the site of manufacture is the MS-MS testing is so sensitive that detectable traces of precursors and novichoks might linger for years. If you literally burn the lab down, you also destroy any possibility of detection at a future date. I believe one person was also killed …..well, that might have its uses also. My understanding is it mostly manufactures chemicals for use in flares and I am not sure there would necessarily be a lab in that factory that would capable of safely producing an experimental quantity of novichoks.

  • fonso

    James Dyson just happens to knock on the door the moment the vacuum cleaner breaks down .. love it! Haven’t read through all these comments, but has anybody attempted an explanation for the Chief Nurse of the Army being the first person on the scene? Would love to see that one explained away.

    • Sharp Ears

      Perhaps she was planning a visit to Zizzi with her child! 😉

      Zizzi on Salisbury has reopened after refurbishment and ‘decomtamination’. It was given a great big advertorial on the BBC on their South Today programme the other evening.

    • Anon1

      You’ve clearly never been anywhere near Salisbury. It is surrounded by army bases and garrisons. The town is full of military personnel. Almost any other town and I would say this coincidence is odd, but not Salisbury.

      • fonso

        Ah silly me. So why the hush up then rather than celebrating the unbelievable good fortune the Chief Nurse just happened to be passing. How should we understand the “coincidence” of her presence being suppressed?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ fonso March 8, 2019 at 09:03
          All of these points have been covered in previous comments, though if you haven’t been keeping up to speed it is a pain going through pages of comments.

  • writeon

    It’s possible and normal to find fault with parts and details in Craig’s account, but this misses the point entirely. The point is, that the government’s version of the events in Salisbury doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and is in so many instances… unblievable and ridiculous. That’s even before we remove ourselves from the apparent ‘facts’ and examine the way the Skripal Affair has been used in an ongoing propaganda war aimed at undermining the West’s relations with Russia in preparation for armed conflict with them at some future date.

  • writeon

    What I keep coming back to is that this work, this scrutiny, this analysis, shouldn’t be left to private individuals like Craig Murray with his limited resources. Where is the rest of our media? There are thousands of journalists and the corporations and the BBC have substantial resources and sophisticated technology, which should and could be used to examine the events in Salisbury soberly and without prejudice.

    When I was reading Craig’s piece, I kept thinking and remembering the Granada Television current affairs series called ‘World in Action’ and how well they could have presented Craig’s text visually and raised the same long list of awkward questions. The Skripal Affair would have been perfect for World in Action and their wonderful team. Only that was then and this is now. Today there’s nothing like World in Action on our screens. The team was broken up and the programme is now but a fading memory of what television and real journalism used to look like.

    Now, Craig’s style of dissent and questioning, has been totally marginalised and banished to the edges of our controlled and centralised media spectrum. It’s like people have been exiled to a form of Siberia by a state apparatus that no longer tollerates opposition, dissent or criticism. There’s really been a shift or lurch towards totalitarianism in the UK media, which is now, mostly, a toxic mix of the ‘entertaining’ and the disgraceful.

    • fonso

      I agree. The profession of journalism is dead, at least in mainstream state and corporate owned media. Craig’s piece here is another stark reminder of that.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Where is the rest of our media?”

        Where they are paid to be – that is, diligently transcribing every word uttered by the UK and US governments, carefully ignoring all news that have not been passed as fit for publication, and at all times avoiding the many “third rails” that lie in wait for the unwarily honest.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ marvellousMRchops March 8, 2019 at 10:10
        ‘..We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years……It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries…’
        David Rockefeller
        https://www.azquotes.com/author/12501-David_Rockefeller
        Though the quote is disputed, as the only record is a simulation audio of a supposedly leaked speech from Bohemian Grove by Rockefeller, fact is it fits what has occurred, and we already know of the CIA’s control of most of the MSM through Operation Mockingbird and other methods.
        It does of course make perfect sense for the PTB and their ‘Security Services’ to control the media, preferably out of sight and from behind the curtain, but one way or another to control it.
        That is what we are faced with today, and better it ain’t gonna get.

    • Mary Pau!

      Matt Frei made a creditable attempt at a news summary of the Skripal affair on Channel 4 early on but has not followed it up since then.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    This is a convincing refutation of the multinational deep state narrative. I don’t see how anybody not totally captive to the official propaganda can believe any of this. I also wonder if the Skripals have been “liquidated” by the British spy apparatus. I also think that the two Russians could have been random Russians discovered subsequently by the British spy-police combine, who may have had nothing to do with Skripal, or they were simply there to communicate with him.

  • SA

    OT but we are on page 4 so I hope this is allowed. Britain uses the ploy of granting Nazarine Zaghari Ratcliffe diplomatic status to secure her release. Whilst this is to be applauded, and I think she should be freed, I wonder whether there is a certain irony here that Britain has denied the same procedure to Assange when Ecuador tried the same procedure. Two scenarios spring to mind ‘All animals are equal except…..’ and Goose and Gander. There is no equivalence in international relationships.
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-british-woman-jailed-in-iran-given-diplomatic-protection-by-uk/ar-BBUvlGw?ocid=spartanntp

    • Dungroanin

      Lol – reading the reports of the current bufoon at the FCO – I just replacef all mentions of our Iranian agent and the UK with JA and Iran!

      Imagine the uproar!

      Mind you Julian may love living in the cradle of civilisation, great food, weather and culture, maybe it’s a clever ruse by the spooks to stop him ever testifying in a US court and spilling the beans – including the Skripal Affair.

  • John Wilson

    The UK government ask us to believe that the Skripals do not wish to communicate with their family and close friends nor do they wish to speak to people from the Russian embassy nor do they want to talk, unscripted, to the media. Have they even been allowed to meet the Red Cross?

    This is not credible. Unless they are permitted to speak to a trustworthy third party it must be assumed that the government knows that, given the chance, the Skripals would say things which would embarrass them – or even completely discredit their narrative.

    Given how much the government have staked on their accusations against the Russian state such revelations could force even May to resign.

  • Jayne

    There is a health difference between the Skripals, as well as age, gender and weight, in that Sergei Skripal is known to have been a diabetic. This information was published about him long before the Salisbury Poisoning incident. I take with a pinch of salt anything that was published after it.

    Charlie Rowley is known to be addicted to drugs. The first thing that disappears when someone is a drug addict is moral scruples and they are popularly said to be willing to “sell their own grandmother to get a fix”. They lie and steal (including from their families) to get access to drugs. Rowley’s brother had not been on speaking terms with him due to Charlie Rowley’s having stolen a large sum of money from him in the past. Yet Charlie Rowley’s narrative was never questioned by either the police or the media.

    It appears that the first contact with the emergency services after Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were poisoned was with the fire brigade. Not normally the first service you would contact if someone gets taken ill. Sturgess was lying in the bath. The usual reason someone would get in a bath and the fire brigade attend would be if there was a fire/that person had burns. The post mortem showed that Sturgess had “damage” to her face and hands.

    The Coroner’s Court investigation was opened (I think in July) but then deferred until early 2019. I believe it has now taken place but can find no information about their findings.

    I noted that you were not publishing anything about the Skripals. I found the whole business extremely disturbing. I lost all faith in the media because of the Skripal affair so would check blogs and on-line websites such as your one, to try and discover the truth. Do you think perhaps that there was a government campaign carried out against you to put you off reporting on the matter?

    Extreme efforts are currently being undertaken to extend the life of the Conservative Government whilst working to destroy the Labour Opposition. I suspect that the Skripal Affair, if and when it gets out, will blow the current government out of the water, therefore public questioning about the Skripal affair by high profile individuals such as yourself will inevitably attract attacks by whoever is working to keep the current government in power.

  • writeon

    In the Independent, Mary Dejevsky has raised some of Craig’s points as well and adopted a sceptical stance and asks a few questions of her own too.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/skripal-poisoning-salisbury-attack-yulia-russia-novichok-putin-a8807191.html

    That so few journalists bother to do this, kind of illustrates what’s happening. It’s like a image, an outline, is there, but is hard to see properly, unless one looks at what’s not there and the space, the contours around the central image. It’s the obvious questions that aren’t being asked within the strict confines of our media, that are the really important ones and point to the real story.

  • Jayne

    There is a health difference between the Skripals, as well as age, gender and weight, in that Sergei Skripal is known to have been a diabetic. This information was published about him long before the Salisbury Poisoning incident. I take with a pinch of salt anything that was published after it.

    Charlie Rowley is known to be addicted to drugs. When in the grip of addiction drug addicts will lie and steal to get a fix. Rowley’s brother had not been on speaking terms with him due to Charlie Rowley’s having stolen a large sum of money from him in the past. Yet Charlie Rowley’s narrative was never questioned by either the police or the media.

    It appears that the first contact with the emergency services after Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were poisoned was with the fire brigade. Not normally the first service you would contact if someone gets taken ill. Sturgess was lying in the bath. The usual reason someone would get in a bath and the fire brigade attend would be if there was a fire/that person had burns. The post mortem showed that Sturgess had “damage” to her face and hands.

    The Coroner’s Court investigation was opened (I think in July) but then deferred until early 2019. I believe it has now taken place but can find no information about their findings.

    I noted that you were not publishing anything about the Skripals. I found the whole business extremely disturbing. I lost all faith in the media because of the Skripal affair so would check blogs and on-line websites such as your one, to try and discover the truth. Do you think perhaps that there was a government campaign carried out against you to put you off reporting on the matter?

    Extreme efforts are currently being undertaken to extend the life of the Conservative Government whilst working to destroy the Labour Opposition. I suspect that the Skripal Affair, if and when it gets out, will blow the current government out of the water, therefore public questioning about the Skripal affair by high profile individuals such as yourself will inevitably attract attacks by whoever is working to keep the current government in power.

    • Dungroanin

      Did you forget the deleted tweet by the Fire Brigade who attended Sturgess?

      The one that said that their decontamination role wasn’t needed.

    • Peter

      @ Jayne, thanks for this.

      “Extreme efforts are currently being undertaken to extend the life of the Conservative Government whilst working to destroy the Labour Opposition.”

      Of course we hear endlessly from the MSM about Corbyn, Labour and antisemitism but only occasional, incidental comments about the major problems/divisions within the Tory Party which may present them with even greater existential conflicts than those faced by Labour.

      I presume that if I followed C/conservative websites I would have a better knowledge of this but time is limited and therefore priorities don’t allow.

      Can you point to any websites/citations regarding these matters?

  • michael norton

    O the second of March On Radio 4 they were discussing U.K./Russian relations and if they might improve after Brexit has happened, also keeping in mind the anniversary of the Novichok attack on the family Skripal.
    One of the guests was Hamish de Bretton Gordon, who clearly stated that Yulia Skripal is imprisoned in the U.K.
    and she might be flown to the U.S.A. for her safe keeping away from the Russians.

    It is the first time I have heard it said that Yulia is imprisoned.

    He only said it once and the interviewer did not question HDBG on that point or mention that word.

    It is time for someone to apply to the Home Secretary via a lawyer using habeas corpus

    • writeon

      I seem to remember that the Russian embassy have, unsucessfully, tried to do this in the courts; demand access to the Skripals using habeus corpus. Supposedly, according to the Russian embassy, they’ve contacted the UK authorities more thatn forty times, in writing, officially, with requests and questions about the Skripals and have received virtually nothing in reply, except.. ‘no.’ Now, this is the Russian version of events. But isn’t it odd that the Skripals have made no contact with their friends and family in Russia at all? Is this how normal free people act in these circumstances? The Skripals seem more like prisoners in detention or even hostages, than free agents in charge of their own lives. How likely, at this stage, is it that the Russians would attempt ‘another’ assassination of the Skripals, with all the world watching? So the idea that they are at risk of their lives appears fanciful in the extreme.

      • Igor P.P.

        If UK goverment is blocking Russia’s contact with Yulia because of concerns about her safety, then there is Skype or phone. The fact that no Russian or independent party has been able to speak to her to confirm that her freedom is not being illegally limited, cannot be explained by safety concerns.

  • Jeremn

    Door handles, door handles.
    Ah, yes, Georgia.

    Before 2008 the Georgian government of Sakashvili wanted to bump off the Georgian exile Patarkatsishvili and hoped to turn one of his security team to allow assassins to poison food with the help of a chef or bartender; or with the help of cleaners to “smear a deadly poison on the door handle,” which if the billionaire touched he would “die immediately.”

    That was first reported in October 2018.

    Georgia has been the scene of bio war development, and such stuff probably exists. It is just that it was not used in Salisbury.

  • kashmiri

    OK, glad to see that you finally accepted this was a spy operation. Earlier, you fiercely defended the Russian narrative, just because it countered the UK narrative that you distrust by default (for instance you claimed the pair’s old photos in a Russian military school were doctored, even though they weren’t). Now I can fully agree with your conclusion that these were nothing but spy games (even if the two Russians intentionally behaved like typical Russian tourists upon arrival). Moreover, I admit I am absolutely impressed with the research you have done above. The connection with the chemical warfare games as well as the presence of the Army’s chief nurse are extremely interesting. I very much hope you will be able to dig even deeper into this. Although I am afraid it looks as if the Skripal case has been put to bed, so more knowledge of it might not necessarily help us to explain other ongoing stuff.

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