Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative 887


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

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  • Anthony

    Further confirmation for the political and media class that establishment propaganda blitzes always succeed in Britain, so long as a uniform message is maintained and dissent is squashed. The only failures in the past two decades have been Ed Miliiband’s thwarting of regime change in Syria and Corbyn’s success in replacing him. Otherwise the propaganda blitz has been an astonishingly successful tactic given the nonsense they have told the public to believe.

    • Republicofscotland

      Jeremy Corbyn was preaching to a half empty hall in Dundee today. The unionist lickspittle Duncan Hothersall, complained as to why the Assad loving, Putin admiring, communist, Brexit supporting news rag the Morning Star was left on every seat for members to read.

      Of course Corbyn’s speech also included the threat of global warming, in which he said there is no greater threat, yet his party refuses to endorse the Workplace Parking Levy, which has seen Co2 level in Nottingham drop since its implementation.

      Strangely Labour backed the WPL last year, but as soon as the Scottish government gave councils the powers to enforce it or not, Labour now vehemently oppose it.

  • Charles Bostock

    Impossible to read the comments on The Lifeboat News Boardhost.

    A temporary glitch or is Doctor Dan on strike or is the whole thing being shut down?

  • Tarla

    The question of ‘purity’ would mean that before the OPCW arrived at the Skripals house someone put it on the door handle. Or the OPCW never went to the Skripals house but were given said sample by Porton Down.

    • michael norton

      OPCW never went to Salisbury, never mind the Skripal homestead.
      P.D. sent it to them.
      At the “suggestion” of U.K. Government.

      • Igor P.P.

        The be fair, the public part of the report clearly says that OPCW did sample at least some of the Salisbury locations. Which of course proves nothing because there was no independent chain of custory over them.

        • intp1

          It said that OPCW ¨collected¨ samples but what does that really mean? They picked them up? They actually drew blood into their own sample tubes? OED Defn: 1) Bring or gather together (a number of things) 2) Call for and take away; fetch.
          Phlebotomists also say they collect blood by performing venipunctures.

          • Borncynical

            “It said that OPCW “collected” samples but what does that really mean? They picked them up?”.

            Indeed. When one actually reads the OPCW reports the wording in that respect is (intentionally?) ambiguous. I also recall hearing a commentator on TV say previously that the OPCW representatives who came over would not see it as their job to take samples. Their role is to observe and opinionate.

            I have always doubted that the chain of custody was anywhere near watertight. If they witnessed a blood sample being taken – or indeed did take samples themselves – I can just imagine someone saying to them “Oh I’ll just pop next door to stick a label on it/put it in a secure container for you. Back in a minute…”

          • Igor P.P.

            AFAIR, it talks about “biomedical” samples collected directly from the victims who were identified by OPCW representatives using photo IDs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell what kind of biomedical samples they collected. Which would make a big difference to their trusteworthiness.

          • Yeah, Right

            intp1 asked: “It said that OPCW ¨collected¨ samples but what does that really mean?”

            From the report: “The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under
            full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three individuals against official photo-ID documents.”

            Seems quite unambiguous to me.

            It was the OPCW team that took blood samples from three people, and those samples were delivered to their own laboratories under full chain of custody. Those three people were officially identified as Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal, and Nick Bailey.

            I don’t think that this part of your query is justified.

        • Yeah, Right

          There appears to be some misunderstanding in the comments about what the OPCW report says.

          Here is a summary:
          1) Yes, the OPCW did send a team to Britain.
          2) Yes, the OPCW did take their own blood samples from the Skripal’s and from DS Bailey
          3) Yes, the OPCW did take their own swabs from the doorknob
          4) Yes, the OPCW **also** requested splits of the Brits own samples for comparison with the above.

          But it is important to keep those last two points in your mind i.e. the OPCW analysed TWO sets of samples: their own samples and those samples given to them by the British authorities.

          They then compared what they had collected against what the Brits had collected before them.

          And what did they find?
          1) They found that the substance **they** had collected is the same substance that the **British** had collected.
          2) They found that this substance was, indeed, correctly identified by the British (i.e. an unnamed toxic chemical).
          3) They “note” (odd word, that) that this toxic chemical was “of high purity” due to an “almost complete absence of impurities”.

          The first two findings are unsurprising, since not even the British authorities would be so incompetent as to lace a crime scene with The Wrong Poison. But it is the third point that is (in OPCW-speak) so very noteworthy.

          As Craig pointed out the samples collected by the OPCW off that doorknob should have been impure, since sufficient time had passed for the doorknob-smeared novichok to become seriously contaminated by any number of environmental impurities.

          Seems to me that this “note” (which otherwise seems totally unnecessary) is indeed a means by which that technical assistance team were able to insinuate something that they were not allowed to say out loud i.e. they suspect that the British had laced those “possible hot-spots” just prior to the OPCW’s visit.

          After all, nothing in the OPCW’s procedures can guard against that, and all it would take is for one person from Porton Down to visit those sites the night before the OPCW arrives with their impossible-to-tamper-with bag of tricks…..

          • Igor P.P.

            Well done. This is the first convincing interpretation of the purity clauses in the OPCW report that I have seen.

        • Duncan

          That “not true” post from me was in response to Michael Norton’s claim that the OPCW did not visit Salisbury.
          They did, and well chaperoned they were too.

  • michael norton

    Economy of U.K. may fall off a cliff if Brexit is hard.

    Chinese exports saw the steepest fall in three years in February, adding to worries about growth in the world’s second largest economy.

    Official data show exports from China plunged 20.7% from a year earlier, as its trade war with the US took a toll.
    Yet surely Brexit can’t be all the reason China is faltering?

    • Some Random Passer-by

      Who honestly cares? About half the country doesn’t have a pot to pee in (Google piss poor) and the remainder doesn’t care about their plight.

      It’s about time we humans focused on people before profit. Because profit before people really isn’t panning out all that well

  • Muscleguy

    As a PhD Physiologist I can confirm Craig’s point at #4. A late middle age/elderly man and a young woman (presumably still cycling) will have very different metabolisms and body weights. Look at most injectible medicines and dose per kg is given. You then have to know the body weight of the recipient to know how much to give them of a standard dose. These days there may also be variations by sex (not sex, not gender). This is because such things really matter. Ask your friendly neighbourhood anaesthetist if you don’t believe me.

    An anaesthetist needs to know your weight and will even take into account how fat you are since many agents are fat soluble. I have been in conversation with anaesthetists before operations covering such matters. I was also taught respiratory physiology by a practising anaesthetist (RIP Ted).

    I have also in my scientific career injected a number of different substances both anaesthetic and not into experimental animals having weighed them first in many cases (in others they were all of a muchness so a standard dose was used).

    I also worked in the same department as the lab who developed a panel of mice with different human cytochrome p450 genes (which metabolise toxins and medicines) and been to their seminars so I understand this stuff better than most. Present for chemotherapy these days and your p450 genes are likely to be sequenced to find out if you are a standard, faster or slower metaboliser of the chemotherapy drug which affect the dose you get because of this research.

    It is also this research which revealed that it is safe, absolutely safe, to stack paracetamol on top of ibuprofen as they are metabolised by different P450s. I have been doing this yesterday and today due to a bad, unaccustomed headache with excellent effect. Better by far than reaching for the codeine. Normal doses still apply, careful with the paracetamol.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Muscleguy March 8, 2019 at 19:19
      As you seem to understand these things, what is your opinion of the following:
      ‘ DISTURBING reality: Only about 1% of vaccine injury cases are ever reported’:
      https://naturalnews.com/2019-02-20-only-about-1-of-vaccine-injury-cases-are-reported.html#
      ‘…Children vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidelines are exposed to 25 TIMES the amount of aluminum necessary to cause autism
      Another often-overlooked factor in the vaccine debate is the sheer amount of chemicals that children are exposed to when they receive the dozens of vaccines on the official CDC schedule within the first few years of their lives.
      A mere 25 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum for adults, and 10 mcg of aluminum for children, is considered the maximum threshold after which physical damage, and possibly even death, can occur. And yet, children vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidelines receive at least 250 mcg of aluminum in their bodies – or 25 times the “safe” level for children.
      “Injecting neurotoxins into the human body is NOT ‘safe’ or ‘effective.’ It’s just wrong,” Schmidt concludes…”
      Not a judgement on the site itself, but on the specific info.

      • Philip Ward

        The anti-vaccine scaremongers are responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths worldwide from measles and endangering those people with immune system conditions who are unable to have the MMR vaccine. It makes me really angry that this crazy campaign, initiated by a complete scientific fraud who is enriching himself and exploiting the ignorance of naive conspiracy theorists, is ultimately putting millions or tens of millions of lives at risk. Only this week, yet another study has been published, from Denmark, of 650,000 people, born between 1999 and 2010, showing no link between MMR vaccination and autism.

        https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2727726/measles-mumps-rubella-vaccination-autism-nationwide-cohort-study

        The data here on aluminium are garbage. Millions of people ingest a hundred times more aluminium from one pill. If you want to see what kinds of doses cause problems, read about Camelford. Everyone on Earth ingests thousands of “chemicals” every day.

        https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=1076&tid=34

        https://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/measles/en/

        • Clark

          “..initiated by a complete scientific fraud who is enriching himself..”

          Assuming you’re referring to Wakefield, you’re leaving out the massive influence of the corporate media, who hyped his twelve case studies to the heavens and painted the man as a hero, and failed to cover any of the reassuring evidence, for several years. Tony and Cherie Blair had a decisive influence too. Wakefield did wrong, but he couldn’t have had nearly such a huge effect without these massive amplifications.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Kempe March 9, 2019 at 08:52
          ‘…At least they’ve moved on from blaming the non-existent mercury…’
          Because of public pressure, they eventually got round to removing mercury from most vaccines, though it is still in the flu shot.
          At Simpsonwood CDC said mercury should be removed from vaccines soon as pos, but when two large vaccine manufactureres told them two of the vaccines could be immediately mass produced without mercury, CDC thanked them, but did not follow through. You really are running with the wrong end of the stick here.
          Look up ‘Simpsonwood Conference’ and read the transcript – CDC admits mercury causes not only autism but many other serious disorders.

          • Clark

            “Look up ‘Simpsonwood Conference’ and read the transcript”

            You still haven’t read it yourself, have you Paul? You just read a selective, annotated commentary by a political propagandist who supported psychological warfare against Russia.

          • Kempe

            The single shot flu vaccine contains no mercury, the multi-dose vials contain less than 0.1%.

            Mercury was removed due to public concern, not for any scientific reason. Once again there’s no evidence it causes autism. Some vaccines, those based on (attenuated) live viruses, never contained any mercury in the first place. This includes MMR.

      • Clark

        Paul, my take on it is that you’ve linked to a right-wing anti-tax argument. It goes on and on about how the government shouldn’t have to pay compensation, and the corporations should pay instead; what are such arguments doing in a supposed health article at all?

        There’s a lot of commercial interest involved here. The site itself makes money by offering “natural” products – the “alternative medicine” sector is worth around a tenth of the pharmaceutical sector, and is frequently owned by the pharmaceutical companies. There are a lot of lawyers who could make a lot of money suing individual companies, instead of the standardised procedures of the Vaccines Court. And there’s the standard Republican pressure to shrink the public sector.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Clark March 9, 2019 at 11:48
          Yes, the sites sell ‘natural remedies’, but that does not denigrate from their campaigning to get vaccines properly tested before use.
          If you’re wife had a baby, would you want it pumped with vaccines with acknowledged toxins in it (aluminium, mercury, formaldehyde are some of the ‘ordinary’ toxins, with mercury largely phased out now)?
          Would you? I know damn well I wouldn’t if I were married and it was my wife’s baby.
          As you saw from Simpsonwood, one of the top doctors there had daughter who was giving birth to her first baby, and he said he did not want her having the vaccines, because their safety was not guaranteed.
          Apart from the totally common sense attitude of not injecting poisons into babies (or adults, for that matter), the CDC and other agencies have admitted (in secret sessions) that they can and do cause irreparable harm to some to some children (5% can be adversely affected to some degree), they and their mouthpieces have sworn blind that the vaccines are safe, an obvious and deliberate lie.
          Re having to sue the government rather than the vaccine manufacturers, the special courts set up have higher bars to jump over – only 1/3 of cases get taken up, and a tiny fraction of them are successful, because the ‘Judges’ are government appointees, and the government stands to lose (although it is tax payers money, the govt. would far sooner spend it on bombs), so have every incentive to side against the victim.
          As campaigners point out, in such a situation where the risk of being sued is taken off the companies, they have no, or less, interest in making the vaccines safer.
          Same with the Montsanto GMO Frankenfoods government cover.

          • Kempe

            Of course safety is not guaranteed. There will always be an element of risk as there is with everything else in life the point is the risk of serious health problems from vaccines is much less than the risk from the diseases they prevent.

          • Clark

            ” they and their mouthpieces have sworn blind that the vaccines are safe, an obvious and deliberate lie.”

            The known dangers are listed here:

            https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

            If you’re going to campaign for better laws forcing more transparency in medical trials, I’ll be entirely with you and you’ll be joining Ben Goldacre and many others on the barricades. You can get involved, donate, and sign the petition here:

            http://www.alltrials.net/

            ..but if you’re just going to keep scaremongering about lifesaving treatments, preaching from ignorance and fighting people like me who try to help you, then I’m going to keep exposing your ignorance.

            Please explain to me why you regard “natural” diseases as preferable to “unnatural” adverse reactions? For each 5000 cases of measles notified, there will be about one death, fifty hospital admissions, fifty neurological complications, and two hundred respiratory complications. Mumps can cause meningitis, pancreatitis, and sterility, while rubella can cause foetal damage resulting in deafness, blindness, autism and mental handicap.

      • Clark

        The article also appears to be dishonest about its sources. It says:

        “only about one percent of such cases are actually reported to health authorities.

        – According to the government’s own internal assessments of vaccine adverse events, only a tiny fraction of vaccine injuries and deaths actually make it into the official datasets used as backing for official vaccine policy”

        ..the first line of which is a link. So I follow the link and get to naturalhealth365.com, which makes the same claim but does not give a source. It does, however, make the same political argument about how the government shouldn’t have to pay the compensation, and it has even more aggressively marketed “natural” products.

        • Clark

          naturalhealth365.com further links to childrenshealthdefense.org, and by scouring the links there I find the source of the claim; an actual research paper:

          https://healthit.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/docs/publication/r18hs017045-lazarus-final-report-2011.pdf

          ..and in the Results section, we find the source:

          Adverse events from drugs and vaccines are common, but underreported. Although 25% of ambulatory patients experience an adverse drug event, less than 0.3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of “problem” drugs and vaccines that endanger public health.

          But the actual purpose of the paper is specifically to help develop an automated, computerised reporting system for adverse reactions to vaccines, which completely defeats the conspiracy theory. The three year study concluded in 2010 and published in 2011, yet the three “natural health” political advocacy site articles were all published eight years later, in late 2018 / early 2019. Has the automated reporting system been implemented, and if so, how much did it help? The paper’s very purpose was to improve reporting.

          Let us also apply common sense; the vast majority of adverse reactions to vaccination are very minor, I think a short fever is quite common, but a major reaction such as mental impairment is almost certain to be noticed.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Clark March 9, 2019 at 12:05
          I agree a link should be available, but that does not mean it is a lie, which I doubt.
          But can you honestly say that if you and a partner had a baby, you would play Russian Roulette with vaccines, with what you now know about the health authorities and Big Pharma lying through their teeth?
          I know for shore I wouldn’t. I’d take the natural chances, just like that doctor at Simpsonwood.

          • Kempe

            Safer than playing Russian Roulette with the otherwise preventable diseases it could catch over it’s lifetime. Would you rather it die from whooping cough or be left blind from measles?

          • Clark

            “..but that does not mean it is a lie”

            It isn’t a lie, but it is probably out of date. I think our comments crossed; see my March 9, 12:36 comment above.

            Please acknowledged the apparent political and commercial motivations behind the anti-vax campaign, which I have highlighted for you. Both ‘sides’ have capitalist, money-making motivations; the hapless parents and children are being used as pawns in a game much larger than themselves, and the only remedy is to educate ourselves, and each other.

    • Mary Pau!

      Just as an aside, alternating paracetamol with aspirin/ibruprifen was recommended to me by my local pharmacist when I was struggling with severe pain from shingles a few years back. He explained that they are metabolised differently so it is possible to take them turn and turn about every 4 hours which gives extended pain relief over a 24 hour period.

  • Goose

    Reckon the press would be far more demanding in terms of wanting answers, and just generally far more inquisitive, were a Labour govt in power.

    Certainly the daughter’s vanishing act is bizarre. Yulia lived in Russia for years, and in no version of events, official or otherwise, has anyone suggested she was the target. She is a Russian citizen and the lack of any consular contact , even by arranged phone call, is deeply odd. Were this a UK national in Russia, I’d imagine we’d be kicking up a real fuss. Consider the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British charity worker being held in Iran.

    • michael norton

      Hamish de Bretton Gordon, said that Yulia was wholly innocent unlike her father who has had many fingers in may tills.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Goose March 8, 2019 at 19:35
      ‘Reckon the press would be far more demanding in terms of wanting answers, and just generally far more inquisitive, were a Labour govt in power….’
      Not just any Labour govt. in power, but one led by Jeremy Corbyn. There are far too many ‘troughers’ in the Labour Party who would happily run with the status quo on the Skripals and virtually everything else.
      Julian Assange could also expect to gain from a JC govt.

  • Anon1

    I discovered something truly disturbing about Jeremy Corbyn today. Worse than his support for anti-Semites. Worse, even, than his love of terrorists and terrorist organisations. Arguably more frightening than his default position of supporting every enemy of this country.

    I discovered that Jeremy Corbyn does not read books.

    This is important because books teach us about the human condition and as we know, socialists tend to understand very little of the human condition. It is also why they often fail to develop a sense of humour, another attribute lacking in Jeremy Corbyn. No matter how much of a shit your average Tory is, you should be very scared of a man like Corbyn. And even more scared of his brain, Seumas Milne (who does read books – and writes them – just not the ones normal people read).

      • Anon1

        He just reeled off something he’d heard of or did at school (where he got 2 ‘E’s at A-level). According to his ex-wife and and his biographer, he does not read books.

          • John A

            Yes and he is perfectly happy to eat generic tesco own label baked beans out of a tin cold, rather than the go to Heinz brand. And he likes camping.
            Clearly not one of us, darling?

    • Harry

      “Socialists tend to understand very little of the human condition”

      Yes, and conservatives tend to understand very little of statistical inference. And yet they remain content to use their limited sample sizes to draw sweeping, unscientific conclusions.

      Or perhaps I overgeneralized? Regardless, thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • Ken Kenn

      perhaps he doesn’t.

      One thing we have discovered is that you read.

      You read The Daily mail and worse you believe what’s in it.

      Tom Bowers is a penny a liner.

      Charles Dickens was initially but he became very good at his craft

      Bower just gets worse with age just like an ache.

      Stop reading trite nonsense and stay off Wikipedia where you can.

      • Old Mark

        Bower just gets worse with age just like an ache.

        As recently as 5 years ago Bower was very much on top of his game- his castigation of the Blair years in Broken Vows is still worth reading

        • Ken Kenn

          I’m a bit like Jeremy on that one.

          I don’t need to read books on Thatcher/Major/ Blair/Cameron no matter how wonderfully written.

          I have ( as do many UK subjects ) the scars on my back from the effects of these sage people’s policies
          and actions.

          I voted Labour ( not for Blair ) three times for my sins.

          Got the Tee- Shirt and the Charming Carriage clock of course.

          I’ll vote Labour again as I always do.

          One for Tom Watson here – even if Corbyn isn’t the leader.

          Something the TIGS and Watson could never understand in a million years.

          A bad Labour government is better than any Tory government.

          Evena Blair led one.

      • Tom Welsh

        On the rare occasions – once or twice a year – when I find a Daily Mail headline so outrageous that I glance at the piece itself, I am always highly amused to see that virtually all the readers disagree strongly with whatever it says.

    • JOML

      “pillbox head”? I’d only expect that sort of humour from a spotty youth, with stained pants.
      Whatever baby was in the photos, I hope he / she survives to see a more stable society – without bombs raining down.

    • Republicofscotland

      On the baby I was thinking the same, on Begum, I still think she’s a British asset. Once used to demonise British Muslims, her return like those other British backed proxy fighters denied access back into Britain they must never be allowed to return as they know too much.

      • Stonky

        On the baby I was thinking the same, on Begum, I still think she’s a British asset…

        Surely the much more likely explanation is that she wasn’t a British asset. If she had been a British asset she would now be back in Britain and comfortably holed up somewhere, immune from any criminal investigation, like several hundred male Isis fighters – the vast majority of whom are likely to be guilty of actions much worse than anything she was involved in.

        • Republicofscotland

          Yes Stonky, I should have made it a bit clearer. In my opinion the British security services have infiltrated the British Muslim communty, and groomed some of them to go off and do their bidding abroad, such as in Syria, in that sense Begum is a British asset albeit unknowingly.

          The beauty of this scenario for the security services is the asset is 100% deniable, and they can be used to demonise Muslims in general in Britain.

          • Charles Bostock

            “The beauty of this scenario for the security services is the asset is 100% deniable, ”

            The beauty of this scenario for the conspiraLoons is the accusation is 100% unprovable.

          • Clark

            I think Saudi ideology in mosques is more likely than the security services.

            The ‘anti-radicalisation’ initiatives are hamstrung. The radicalising ideology comes from the West’s Gulf allies. There’s a lot of money behind it, and its objectives converge with neoconservative and neoliberal objectives – securing hydrocarbon reserves under Western control, extracted by Western companies; marginalising those countries that won’t comply. And in 1945, the US agreed with the al Sauds never to oppose the spread of Wahhabism – the Quincey Agreement. Ever since, that ideology’s violent extremists have been sent against countries that aligned towards the Soviet model.

          • Clark

            The overthrow of Syria’s government is very much a foreign policy objective of the Gulf Monarchies. It also aligns with Israeli expansionist objectives; hence the cooperation that we’ve seen, which would seem unlikely at first glance.

          • Republicofscotland

            I agree Clark madrasses are breeding grounds for extremists, however I still believe, with 7/7 in mind, that the British security services groom Muslims to do their bidding.

          • Clark

            That is indeed known to have been done occasionally; the various objectives overlap. The mass surveillance programme could be very helpful in identifying specific candidates for specific missions. And yes, the media can be relied upon to generalise the demonisation of Islam.

    • BrianFujisan

      Fucking Disgusting ..ya wee Cretin..and you lot Scream after One Word.. You rule and destroy ..over One Word…Cowards.

      • Anon1

        Oh look, the same people who believe absolutely NOTHING they are told, who question EVERYTHING, who see conspiracies and ‘narratives’ EVERYWHERE, apparently believe this woman lock, stock and barrel.

        Tells you a lot, that does.

        • JOML

          I’m sure Brian was talking about you, rather than the woman, when he mentioned cretin. You responded with a rant that reflected more on your own prejudices than anything else.
          Is your capital key sticky on your keyboard? Perhaps related to the stains? 🤔

        • Borncynical

          @Anon1

          Whilst I don’t usually agree with your comments I too find myself sceptical about the whole ‘baby’ story, including the two previous babies.

        • MJ

          “people who believe absolutely NOTHING they are told”

          Bear in mind that whoever told you to parade around in a tee-shirt with “I’m a racist goofball” emblazoned across the front may have been speaking ironically.

  • Gary Littlejohn

    It seems to have been forgotten that a couple caught on CCTV have not yet been identified. They must have been walking quickly near to where the Skripals were found on the park bench, because their faces were blurred, but it was clearly a man and a blond woman, who was carrying a carrier bag. Were they the people who administered some kind of poison? They were in the vicinity just before the Skripals fell ill. That would fit with the narrative of those whose hypothesis is that Sergei Skripal was trying to defect back to Russia, and was stopped at short notice by some drastic action. For example:

    https://southfront.org/michael-antony-the-alternative-skripal-narrative/

    18 Feb 2019. Originally from The Saker website. I am not endorsing that hypothesis, but their unexplained presence could be consistent with it.
    With regard to the point about the apparent implausibility of the Head Nurse of the Army being the first responder, I would urge caution. My recollection of the report is that the daughter Abigail was said to have seen the Skripals being ill while others walked past, and phoned her mother who was in a supermarket with her husband, and rushed to the scene to continue first aid, unlike what is stated in this reconstruction by Michael Antony. This is not implausible. Salisbury must be full of military people when they are not on duty, especially after the military exercise nearby, at which the Head Nurse would presumably have been present anyway.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Were they the people who administered some kind of poison?”

      I am sure that if anyone were interested in finding out the truth, that would be one of the first questions to be asked.

      As no one in authority is interested in finding out the truth – mainly because they already know it, and it wouldn’t do for the public to hear of it – it won’t.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “It seems to have been forgotten that a couple caught on CCTV have not yet been identified.”

      The couple who physically resemble Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley you mean?

      • Sean Lamb

        That is my opinion too. Sturgess and Rowley were inconvenient witnesses who needed to be eliminated or if not eliminated then terrorized.

        Strange how the police could only find the most blurriest of CCTV images of these two and crystal clear images of the alleged Russians….

    • Ken Kenn

      Here’s the intriguing bit of your observation – read Rob Slane’s articles on the blogmire they are excellent.

      Many descriptions of the young woman on the bench describe a ‘ blonde haired – pretty woman ‘ slumped on the man’s shoulder.

      Yulia had and still has as far as we last witnessed ( Reuters video) copperish coloured hair.

      The same colour hair as she had when she went through a Russian airport heading for the uK.

      So they do hairdressing at the hospital and changed Yulia’s hair from blonde back to copper or she never changed her hair colour from leaving Russia to appearing in the Reuters video somewhere in the UK?

      Now we know why the duck feeding video in all its clarity has not been shown.

      Or any other videocome to that.

      In my view that’s the reason for not showing the Skripals in rude health in Salisbury prior to their fate.

      Whatever that was?

      p.s The blonde was carrying a red bag and the mother in the duck feeding video said Yulia had a red bag.

      One bench witness said the woman had a red bag. I don’t know whether that’s true though.

      Two red bags and a blonde and a cooper haired woman had either one of each or one between them.

      This I think is where Rob’s signalling comes in – the question is – a ‘signal ‘ to whom to do what?

      Curious stuff.

      • Joiningupthedots

        We are collectively brainstorming this and getting closer……
        Watch the video.
        https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/cctv-footage-released-woman-fighting-12134897

        Female with the red bag is IMO is definitely Dawn Sturgess.
        Male is inconclusive but could very well be the boyfriend.

        Blonde enters the side door pretending to look at her cell phone but looks up and checks the position of the couple before entering the arcade.
        Question;
        Is the blonde none other than one Freya Church?……..she was the first to “spot” the Skripals and was the first intervewee by the BBC.
        https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2018/03/05/59076944643666691/1024x576_MP4_59076944643666691.mp4

          • Joiningupthedots

            The time stamp means nothing it can be altered and looks like it has been.
            Why the mix of black and white digits on both timings.
            I make the the time difference 15 minutes and 48 seconds.

            Admittedly I cannot see the red bag in the blonde with the cell phone frame but she most definitely looks up at the couple, pauses, enters the arcade, then moves into the flow with the couple at the top left of the screen.

            If there is no red bag on the second couple then this is the hit team because the guy is wearing latex gloves IMO.

            My question is this again;
            Is the blonde with the cell phone Freya Church……Yes or No?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Gary Littlejohn March 8, 2019 at 21:08
      ‘…It seems to have been forgotten that a couple caught on CCTV have not yet been identified. They must have been walking quickly near to where the Skripals were found on the park bench, because their faces were blurred…’
      Quite likely deliberately blurred by the PTB, so they could not be identified.

  • justguessing

    My 2 cents,

    I maybe wrong….but I’ve read that Novichok is “easily dissolved in water” and also that, being a battlefield weapon (if indeed that is what it was intended for), the duration properties in the environment would have been accurately measured. And, here again, I’ve read that this duration was measured in hours and certainly not weeks and absolutely not months.

    If this is the case what were the authorities doing digging up half of Wiltshire?

    • Denise

      Maybe they were digging up half of Wiltshire so that we wouldn’t find out there was no ‘novichok’ used anywhere else but in the spiked OCPW samples?

  • Sharp Ears

    [Jeremy Newmark, sitting between disgraced Israeli embassy agent Shai Masot and Israeli ambassador Mark Regev at a private meeting during Labour’s 2016 conference. Newmark is seen in undercover Al Jazeera footage giving the ambassador “intelligence.”]
    Photo from an Al Jazeera You Tube

    The Jewish Labour Movement was revived in 2015 to battle Jeremy Corbyn, The Electronic Intifada can reveal.

    A right-wing organization with intimate ties to the Israeli embassy, the Jewish Labour Movement claims to have been affiliated to Labour for a century.

    /..
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/jewish-labour-movement-was-refounded-fight-corbyn

    It becomes sillier by the day.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Why is the post-mortum report on De. David Kelly’s death being kept secret for 70 years since tt happened?

    Did it report that he had poison, possibly, novichok, in this body?

    • JOML

      Trowbridge, we’ll all be dead in 70 years and when it’s confirmed that Kelly was assassinated, people will say, oh that’s history.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        I will certainly be dead, JOML but forcing the release of the post-mortem report, if it includes how he really died by novichok poisoning, would ruin the whole government fabrication in the Skripal affair.

  • Gary Littlejohn

    On a separate aspect, Craig Murray does not discuss the mistake by the head of MI6, in statement issued on the 13th April 2018, in claiming that the Novichok had been produced at Shikhany. The mistake was that he located Shikhany near Volgograd, when it is in another oblast’ entirely. But his claim, which came at a time of increased scepticism on the Web about the official Skripal narrative, is doubtful because it is likely that Shikhany (which was only an R&D facility, not a manufacturing one) had been run by the Americans in post-Soviet Russia, at a time when Dr. David Kelly was doing a very thorough job of identifying chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s. The Mayor of Shikhany said that the Americans had run it for some years, and then it had been demolished. This is a bit like the testing facility in Uzbekistan that Craig Murray visited. Regrettably the Mayor was not explicit about precisely when it had been closed but the one in Uzbekistan was closed in 1995. So it is unlikely that Shikhany was producing weapons in 2018, especially when the OPCW had declared Russian stockpiles to have been completely destroyed by 2017. They would presumably have kept an eye on a place like this.

    Perhaps it was then realised that this claim looked implausible, given that people could check out Shikhany on Google Earth, where there were no buildings at Shikhany-1 when viewed on 13th April 2018. [Shikhany-2 seems to be the residential accommodation.] When there was a claim that the OPCW would inspect this site, it was suddenly declared to have been demolished recently to pre-empt this official visit. This ‘recent demolition’ story appeared in the Daily Mail and Daily Express on 29th April 2018. I do not recall this British press story being corroborated by the OPCW.

  • Olaf S

    If the doorknob theory can be rejected, and the use of novichok on the Skripals can be rejected, what should be the consequences? The consequences for the accusations against Boshirov and Petrov? Against Russia? (Should the expelled diplomats be invited back?). How came the lies of Theresa May and Boris Johnsen about? Very nasty disinformation to the British Parliament and to the whole world, how serious can it get?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Olaf S March 9, 2019 at 03:49
      No sweat. Just another day in the life of Perfidious Albion. If only lying were their only crime….

  • Ian Fraser

    You state “Plainly the Russian authorities have lied about the identity of Boshirov and Petrov. ” This is not apparent to me and I have not seen believable articles which support this argument. What exactly have the Russian authorities lied about?

    You highlight British authorities have lied and clearly lay out your reasons, yet you make this statement without supporting it in any way. Perhaps I have missed articles which have allowed you to be so emphatic.

    Please point me to articles which justify your use of the term — “plainly”.

  • Paul Barbara

    Poor old Trump; he does get a bit of bad press. He may not be too bright, but he sure as heck is stupid! AND he’s got a sense of humour:
    ‘FULL PRICE PLUS 50% OR MORE: TRUMP SEEKS FINANCIAL COMPENSATIONS FROM NATIONS HOSTING U.S. TROOPS’:
    https://southfront.org/full-price-plus-50-or-more-trump-seeks-financial-compensations-from-from-nations-hosting-u-s-troops/
    Good news for the ‘Yanks Go Home’ Brigade. As they used to say (so I’ve heard) in the ’40’s, they’re ‘Overpaid, oversexed and over here’.

  • Robyn

    Interesting article by Kit Klarenberg:

    ‘Information watchdog Judicial Watch has released 339-pages of US Department of Justice records, revealing former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with ex-MI6 operative Christopher Steele after Steele’s status as a paid confidential informant was terminated by the FBI in November 2016.’ https://sputniknews.com/us/201903081073065999-steele-ohr-fbi-doj/

    Steele – Pablo Miller – Sergei Skripal – FBI – DOJ – DNC – dossier ??

  • Tatyana

    The “purity” of Novichok is remarkable by itself. Because it is the last thing one would care of, while producing military-grade poison.
    I’m sorry, but really mass-production of military poisons must be as cheap as possible and chemical refining is expensive process.
    Nobody cares if the finished product is impurities-free.
    After all, it is no diffference for dead soldiers wether they were killed with pure poison or with ‘dirty’ one.

  • bulford kiwi

    “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.”

    Even assuming this second camera pointed north (unlikely, it was probably trained eastward on the forecourt) I doubt it would have furnished the evidence you seek. Its northward view looks to be obstructed by a sizeable tree next to the garage (a tree cropped out of blogmire’s image but clearly visible in Google Street View)

  • SA

    Looking again at the TAV report of the OPCW shows very clearly that this is a political and not a scientific document. A scientific document should have clarity and no room for ambiguity. I would think that a forensic scientist would not accept this as an expert document. The reasons for my belief of the uselessness of this document are:
    1. Points 1-7 of the report describe the brief for the TAV and what samples and information received. At the start, this is what is stated about the agent causing the poisoning: “…….. in relation to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals.” Point 8 then states that: “The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical. “.
    Now this is highly problematic and really unacceptable: what is the meaning of ‘this’ in this context. At best it is ambiguous and at worse, meaningless. Not having named a specific agent and then referring to it as ‘this toxic agent” is nonsensical to put it mildly.
    2. The clinical parameters specifically named by the OPCW is the AChE levels in the victim’s blood. They do not say whether they carried out assays to demonstrate the presence of ‘this toxic agent’ or its residual products. Therefore the only conclusion that can be reached is that the victims were exposed to an AChE inhibitor which includes many organophosphorus compounds, some insecticides and herbicides as well as medicines used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions, as well as nerve agents. This is a good article summarizing AChE inhibitors.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648782/
    The OPCW report is very thin on details regarding this aspect.
    3. Item 10: “The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”
    Too many ambiguities again. Whilst confirming the findings of ‘The United Kingdom’, whatever that is (is it Boris Johnson or Porton Down?), they never spell out what this agent is, and they certainly do not mention ‘Novichok’ whatever that is.
    4. “The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.”
    This statement is clear whatever some of the commentators here have tried to say about purity. Complete lack of impurities means exactly that, it does not mean what some implied about manufacturing process. But then again it begs the question: Shouldn’t a scientific report be clear and not likely to give rise to different interpretations?
    5. No 12. “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.” Again, why the secrecy in a scientific factual report? A possibly reason is that this is a face-saving device as it then becomes up to the different states to make of the report what politics they want to.

    • Clark

      I agree; this ‘report’ is merely for public consumption. I find it very likely that political pressure was applied.

      I also agree with Craig’s FCO source, the OPCW managed to include the section “the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities”, effectively slipping it past the political censors by appealing to their desire for a “military grade” poison.

      12. “The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.”

      So that tells us that there is a “full classified report”. OK, there are sensible reasons for withholding the structure, but the OPCW here also withholds the name. Why, when “novichok” was well and truly a household name by then?

      It also doen’t tell us what else was reserved for the classified report. And the toxic chemical is only “allegedly” a nerve agent; at no point does the report confirm this.

  • Sharp Ears

    Activist who called JLM ‘Israeli Embassy proxy’ suspended from Labour
    Asa Winstanley has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.
    March 8, 2019, 11:33 am
    https://twitter.com/AsaWinstanley/status/1103788765754068992

    He contributes to the Electronic Intifada.

    First…then they came…

    Reminder. This is what he posted.
    https://twitter.com/AsaWinstanley/status/1103709474588626946

    and this is the article

    Jewish Labour Movement was refounded to fight Corbyn
    Asa Winstanley Lobby Watch
    7 March 2019
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/jewish-labour-movement-was-refounded-fight-corbyn which includes a photo of Regev, Masot and Newmark. You can read up on Newmark in the piece.

    ‘They’ do not like it up ’em. Free speech? Nah.

  • Ros Thorpe

    Ver interesting. I would suggest the roof of the Skripal house was full of spy equipment and therefore dismantled. Sergei was motivated only by money and seems to have been extremely greedy. In my opinion he had long worked for the Russians and his cover was blown so he planned a getaway which was intercepted. I believe Sergei is dead and possibly Julia too. The woman in the video does not resemble Julia and looks far too healthy to have been in a coma for months.

    • Tom Welsh

      Stepping back to get a better perspective, I always doubt any story about how “the Russians” are spying on “the British”. What does the UK have that Russia doesn’t? This is not 1948 or thereabouts when a Russian team so adeptly stole military secrets from Rolls-Royce, enabling them to build similar engines to power the MiG-15.

      In the military, naval and aerial spheres Russia leads the world, while the UK is a pathetic also-ran.

      I do not deny or minimize the enormous ability and contribution to science of British “boffins”. It’s just that, since about 1940, everything of any potential value they invented was stolen by the Americans (or given to them gratis in part payment of the debts they insisted we repay). And once in the USA, knowledge leaks insanely fast to more or less anyone who is prepared to pay for it.

  • Mary Pau!

    Whether you believe the Skripals was all a put up job by the British or the Russians, I still do not understand why the authorities have been so careful to exclude the duck feeding incident from the records. Can the Russian spies be glimpsed in the background of the CCTV coverage?

    Nor do I understand why a “2nd” poisoned perfume bottle was discarded in Salisbury several months later or the purpose of this if it was a put up job – the police now claim to be seeking witnesses to its disposal – and indeed whether Rowley and Sturgess were implicated or innocent bystanders.

    I see Theresa May was in Salisbury this week meeting Sturgess father and Charlie Rowley. I did not appreciate Dawn Sturgess had a young daughter who lives with her grandparents.

    • michael norton

      Mary Paul,
      if there were two couples, perhaps one woman had blond hair and one woman had brown/red hair but they both had identical large red bags.
      One couple feeds bread to ducks (brown/red hair woman). Leaving her red bag on the park bench.
      The second couple walk to the park ( blond hair woman) and briefly sit on the bench, red bags are swapped.
      Blonde woman pair walk off with empty bag.
      Brown/red hair pair walk off with red bag with something interesting.

  • Yuri

    I’m Russian, live in Moscow, until 1993 in lived in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
    In July 1976, I’m was charged with a crime did not commit. Six people saw me go into the room where the crime occurred, and that no one else came into the room. It was true, I confirmed it myself. Nobody could pass unnoticed through the door to the room and only I went there. The room was empty for five minutes. In these five minutes I came into the room and stayed there for about one minute. Except for the door in this room there was a hole through which they could quietly sneak a dog or a child not more than 2 years. However, the crime dog couldn’t conduct, only human, but the child at age of two years would not be enough strength and mind to make it.
    For me everything was terrible: if confess, I will get 4 years in prison, if do not confess I could get up to ten years. I was helped by a resident of Novosibirsk (a city in Siberia, where the Universiade is now taking place). It happened as follows. This man from Novosibirsk was sent on a business trip to Kishenev (Moldova), then to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and from Tashkent will return home to Novosibirsk.
    When he flew from Kishenev to Tashkent, two adults and one child (Gypsies) were sitting next to him. The child was six years old, but physique of a two-year-old and at the same time mentally developed and physically mobile. When he was at the airport of Tashkent city waiting for his plane to Novosibirsk, he was sitting next to two men, one of whom told his friend about what happened to me.
    My the Siberian Savior suggested that the crime me was accused of could have been committed using the child he saw on the plane. On his assumption, he reported to police.
    These assumptions were correct! and the real criminals were quickly caught. It turned out that when I’m entered the room this child was already there when he saw me he hid under the table so I’m didn’t notice it. It’s been almost forty-three years since then, but I still can’t believe that incredible, but for a lucky chance for me.
    Dear mr. Craig, You have to agree that my case of “rescue” is far more improbable than the appearance of a nurse Colonel and her daughter near Skripals. If You were in the main Orthodox Church of Tashkent, my case occurred near this temple.
    In the remaining paragraphs I think you’re right. (sorry, I can read English, but I can’t write and speak, I use a machine translator).
    I’m am a real person: here you can see me in the photo of 1972 (served in the Soviet Army), https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=80396&p=999503#p999503
    and here in the photo of 2008,
    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=116000&start=225
    and here is an article in the most popular Newspapers of Moscow about me (alas in Russian)
    https://www.mk.ru/economics/purse/article/2013/08/27/905686-zhilischnokriminalnoe-hozyaystvo.html.

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