Sorry For the Silence 445


I am working on two big pieces: one on the Skripals and one on the Chagos Islands judgement. The Skripal piece in particular is occasioning a great deal of thought, so apologies for the delay. Nadira is away working so I am single parenting, which means very little Lagavulin, without which my brain synapses don’t connect properly. I hope however to get enough sparks flying and get the Skripal piece up today.

Sorry For the Silence


445 thoughts on “Sorry For the Silence

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    • David

      Skripals is one thing, LBC had an hour of a presenter wittering on and on about the current president of Rus Fed deliverately infecting children with measles, by trolling & supporting anti-vaxxers.

      Integrity? at it again??

      so now I have time I checked the web, Sigh – does look like a ‘nudge’, churn & repeat

      Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty 19 Feb 2019
      https://www.rferl.org/a/are-russian-trolls-saving-measles-from-extinction/29768471.html

      BBC 24 August 2018
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-us-canada-45294192

      but look who was first!

      Daily Mirror 26 November 2017
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/russian-cyber-units-spreading-false-11592627.amp

      When the otherwise sane James Edward O’Brien quotes RFE/RL at me – without mentioning that source – , churning, who can I complain to?

      back to the diversions, 24 days 4 hours to go

      • Paul Barbara

        @ David March 5, 2019 at 18:37
        Oddly enough (or perhaps not), anyone who checks stuff out will find that the Russians care far more for their citizens than the West does. Microwave ovens were banned in Russia, till ‘Glasnost’ and the capitulation to Western ‘Capitalism’ got them OK’d.
        Same with microwave communications (mobiles, WiFi etc.) where their safety limits are still way better than ours or the States.
        And their preparedness for a nuclear war, with training and serious shelters? The West doesn’t give a f*ck for it’s citizens, they are basically useless eaters and cannon fodder to them.

  • Martinned

    Well, yes. I’d imagine it takes “a great deal of thought” to come up with yet more reasons why we should believe the Russian government rather than literally everybody else in the world.

    • Clark

      Notable that as a lawyer, you promote a definite verdict on the basis of deliberately restricted evidence. From that it follows that you are advocating on this matter.

      • Martinned

        Nope, I just place very little weight on the accused’s claims of innocence, particularly when they are unsupported by any other credible evidence.

        • Clark

          The approach is wrong. The case is framed by both the accuser and the accused as a powerful assailant and an innocent victim. In fact this is merely whining from both sides, both parties being large criminal organisations and the events publicly witnessed being some covert activity of clandestine operators whose loyalty is indeterminate at the best of times.

          • Michael McNulty

            Or as somebody said some years ago, guilty until proven guilty. I think that’s what we’re moving into.

        • Republicofscotland

          Oh come on Martinned we know fine well Putin is no angel, however we also know the British government are lying, when they say one of the world’s deadliest nerve agents was used yet, the Skripal’s miraculously survived.

          • neil

            Is it possible that the victims were not exposed to enough of the agent and that’s why they survived? Or would you maintain that one molecule of this agent is enough to cause certain death?

        • Clark

          Whatever, my own interest in the matter is minimal which is why, far from using it as a means to smear Craig, I hardly ever comment on it. The concurrent UK gas crisis was far more significant and came within 24 hours of possibly costing hundreds of lives. It is notable that there has been not a single accusation made over that, let alone any charges or prosecution.

          • Stonky

            Whatever, my own interest in the matter is minimal which is why, far from using it as a means to smear Craig, I hardly ever comment on it.

            Hi Clark. I saw your apology for the issue of mistaken identity, which I wanted to acknowledge as most people on the internet aren’t big enough to do that. We may not often see eye to eye, but I respect your views and your heart is clearly in the right place.

            As far as China is concerned, i didn’t want to get into a long and detailed debate on the subject, merely to point out that large numbers of people who understand very clearly that they are being lied to by the MSM on every subject under the sum, have a complete blind spot where it comes to China, when they become capable of believing anything at all that reinforces the prejudices they have been issued with.

            I know that Craig has a bit of a downer on China, and if and when he next publishes a post on the subject I will respond in a lot more detail.

          • Clark

            Thanks for the reply Stonky.

            Retraction is at the heart of the scientific method; if it wasn’t we’d still have heated arguments for phlogiston and the spontaneous generation of insects. Retraction needs to become as important in Internet debate; that is isn’t is why we’re plagued with untenable theories that I daren’t call “conspiracy theories”.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Clark March 5, 2019 at 15:40
            ‘…that is isn’t is why we’re plagued with untenable theories that I daren’t call “conspiracy theories”…’
            Is that a promise?

          • Blunderbuss

            Warning, satire!

            No answer to my question about who should be prosecuted for the shortage of gas. I suggest that the people who should be prosecuted are those who campaigned for the closure of coal-fired power stations.

          • Clark

            Centrica Storage should be prosecuted for being in breach of their government contract to maintain “a strategic facility of the UK”, the UK’s former, and until then only, long term gas storage facility at Rough in the North Sea.

            Tony Blair should be prosecuted for abandoning long-term development of similar facilities, as recommended by the engineers and experts.

          • Republicofscotland

            Strange isn’t it, Martineed appears pro-EU, yet the US, Israel, and now the Saudi’s push the EU about. This being the latest.

            http://archive.is/etfy5

            Saudis Join With US to Kill EU Effort to Create Dirty Money Blacklist.

            Yet Martinned darent say a word against any of them, only Putin, Rouhani, and Maduro what does that say about Martinned?

          • Hamish McGlumpha

            Yes, and he’s always so quick to respond when this issue comes up. It’s almost as if he is sitting waiting (in a disused mill near Auchtermuchty???) to insert a poisonous dart.

          • Martinned

            @RoS: What would you like me to say about the US, Israel, Saudi-Arabia, etc?

            (More generally, I think online conversations typically tend towards areas where people disagree. Mine certainly do. I’m unlikely to respond to one of your comments with a lengthy explanation of how much I agree with you.)

            @Hamish McGlumpha: RSS is a wonderful thing. You should try it. (Google Reader, RIP.)

        • Mighty Drunken

          With all the claims and counter flying around it is easy to lose track of the important points.Whether they were GU or not may be suggestive but still says little on whether they did poison the Skripals. The specific evidence against the two “tourists” are they were in Salisbury on the same day and Novichok was detected in their bedsit some months afterwards.
          The second piece of evidence could be damning, however it is unlikely the test was specific to Novichok, it is more likely an assay which would detect any organophosphate material. Also the 1st test suggested minute traces and the 2nd did not find any. So we cannot independently check or do a more specific test.

          On the publicly available evidence the accusation that they were the poisoners looks very shaky to me and unlikely to convince a jury.

          • N_

            From where I am standing the question is not whether these two guys are guilty of causing injury or attempting to cause injury to the Skripals or anyone else (especially in the legal sense relating to an imagined trial which is unlikely ever to happen), but what was going on.

            We can assume the GRU were spying on Toxic Dagger. And spying on a chemical weapons exercise is likely to involve taking samples.

            The British warfare $tate got a lot of publicity out of this. In that sense the story reminded me of when Sweden (which produces a lot of weapons) hung a lot of “weapons porn” on the allegation that a Russian submarine was operating close to its coast.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ N_ March 5, 2019 at 22:54
            Now THAT makes perfect sense! And perhaps the Brit PTB new they would cover it, and arranged their ‘False Flag’ op around it. Best likely scenario I have come across. Bravo!

        • Ken Kenn

          Have you ( or any one else ) got any pictures/videos of the assailed couple swanning ( sorry ducking ) around in Salisbury on the day?

          Plenty of cameras around yet not even a happy snap prior to their demise.

          A Jury as a matter of course would want definite proof that the victims were there to be victims.

          Of course if you know something I don’t know please tell or show.

          The trouble with the whole case is that no evidence has been shown by the accusers.

          Just Yulia’s hair colour on the day would do me but we don’t know and that may be a reason why they daren’t show the videos.

          No special Crimewatch at the time neither.

          Have you got an explanation why that was not done in an appeal for witnesses?

          p.s. Dawn Sturgesses Inquest was adjourned until January 16th this year.

          Any news on that from your trusted media friends?

          Also has Charlies flat been cleaned like the Skripal house?

          Apparently he has metaphorically been left for dead.

          You talk about facts – give me and others on here some facts.

          • King of Welsh Noir

            The CCTV footage almost certainly exists, so presumably we are not allowed to see it because it contains imagery that would contradict the official narrative. Footage, for example, of the Skripals having a rendezvous at the duck pond with the two Russians.

          • Reg

            Broad daylight, with the Skripols switching off their phones suggests a meeting rather than an assassination attempt.
            With smartphones you can track them even without GPS even when switched off due to the back up battery that you can triangulate from the phone masts. That they say they cannot track them throughout the day suggests either the police knew exactly where they were all day and they are being misleading (again) as these movements would undermine their narrative, or the Skripols really did not want to be tracked and had removed the back up battery or left their phones at home, neither of which was mentioned in the official narrative.

            Mary Dejensky (Indy) has also suggested the possibility of a meeting with a view of Sergi wanting to return to Russia facilitated by Yulia frustrated by the UK state. This would explain why Yulia was targeted, if it was just Sergi why when both governments would know when she was travelling due to the visas wait till Yulia is in the UK. Sergi after all was after all arrested in 2004, why wait 14 yrs to try and fail to kill him? More likely this was the UK teaching Sergi a lesson by incapacitating them and waiting 2 weeks to call in the OPCW to ensure they could tamper with the evidence, it would be far easier to use a different substance as an incapacitant, then a carefully administered trace while they were in ‘custody’ for the OPCW to test for.

            Its all a bit like the Prisoner, where a secret agent seeks to leave, but knows too much to be allowed to.
            Maybe they were supposed to sit up in bed like Litvinenko and denounce Russia and as they didn’t believe the UK narrative despite been kept incommunicado so they were kept illegally detained. This would explain Yulias statement to camera where she expressed a wish to return to Russia, and has at no time implicated Russia. This statement to camera was probably the result of a long negotiation between the Skripols and the UK services as the UKs narrative was unravelling and they had given up hope on getting the Skripols to denounce the Russians..

            I would also add Russia would probably want something in return to trade, As Seymour Hearch has suggested that Sergi was working with the UK services on Russian organised crime, he would then have information on UK services that he could trade for his return to Russia. Its possible the two could of been low level couriers who make no attempt to hide their identities, to facilitate an exchange this would explain travelling in broad daylight using Russian passports and using the train on a Sunday as a non standard getaway from an attempted murder, using a train for an exchange would make more sense. If the absurd narrative of poisoning a doorknob, why not do it at night much less likelihood of being identified, and be well gone possibly on the plane by the time the Skripols leave the hours in the morning. Why not steal a car or hire one under a false ID, if you are going to use fake ids, why Russian?

            Why take months to identify two Russian suspects on CCTV, they would have visas of all Russian in the Country, and would look at those arriving or departing the UK nearest the event first? It should of taken weeks not months depending on resources dedicated to going through CCTV, given the resources I would of expected it done in a week.

            Why were photo identities of all those in the vicinity not released to eliminate them from enquires, as is normally the case, this would of identified any Russians in the vicinity far faster? This would suggest the UK services did not want to identify them too quickly as their narrative could be undermined by fresh witness memories.

          • N_

            @Reg

            With smartphones you can track them even without GPS even when switched off due to the back up battery that you can triangulate from the phone masts. That they say they cannot track them throughout the day suggests either the police knew exactly where they were all day and they are being misleading (again) as these movements would undermine their narrative, or the Skripols really did not want to be tracked and had removed the back up battery or left their phones at home, neither of which was mentioned in the official narrative.

            This is correct and would be old hat to the Skripals.

            Carry a phone – you get tracked. If you don’t want to get tracked, don’t carry a phone.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ King of Welsh Noir March 5, 2019 at 16:30
            We never get real useful video – like in the London Tube Bombings, not ONE video of any of the ‘accused’ on the Undergorund Staions or trains, despite the constant PA announcements that the trains and stations are thoroughly covered with CCTV, ‘for our protection’ (yeh, before some twat says one of the accused was shown exiting a Chemist at Kings Cross, that was the mainline station, not the Underground).
            And in the Nice ‘attack’, Paris demanding Nice police ‘wipe’ CCTV footage?
            And in 9/11, NOT ONE CCTV clip of any of the ‘alleged’ hijackers lining up to check in, or getting on the planes?
            (Again, one clip was shown of some of the alleged hijackers getting on a ‘connecting’ flight, but if they can come up with that, why not coverage of the four ‘planes of importance’?
            Please forgive me for bringing these questions up (which, admittedly, won’t be answered by the authorities), but I’m one of those critters widely disparaged as ‘conspiracy theorists’.
            Such a thing! I probably should have been drowned at birth!

          • King of Welsh Noir

            @ Paul Barbara

            Yes, Paul you rotten conspiracy theorist, more epic CCTV fails for your scrapbook:

            Jena Charles de Menezes
            Pentagon 9/11
            Pont de l’Alma tunnel…

          • Reg

            N
            Exactly, so the Skripols did not want to get tracked on the day, which suggests a meeting they did not want the UK to know about, that a 3rd party such as the UK might want to prevent.

          • Clark

            Paul Barbara, March 6, 01:35:

            “I’m one of those critters widely disparaged as ‘conspiracy theorists’. Such a thing! I probably should have been drowned at birth!”

            No. You should simply learn to treat fellow humans with respect. That involves respecting what they have to say, accepting that you are merely their equal, that you haven’t been favoured with “secret knowledge”, and that there are alternatives which are better than trying to defeat them.

            King of Welsh Noir, March 6, 08:50:

            I object that you encourage the likes of Paul Barbara to promote public misunderstanding of science, and to undermine rationality and critical thinking.

            I also object that your conspiracy theories somehow so often blame Jews, such as blaming Mossad for the Sandy Hook shooting, and Stanley Kubrick for “laughing at us” by supposedly faking the Moon landings.
            – – – – – – –
            These are the genuine criticisms which serve as the fulcrum of the lever of the anti-Semitism smears against the Labour Party. That neither of you will even attempt to understand my point, but will merely dismiss it as the behaviour of a “troll”, your sheer intransigence, and the arrogance with which you jeer, collaborate and boost each other’s egos; you rob me of hope.

        • Some Random Passer-by

          What’s your experience of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare? Had any training? Know how hard it is to urinate or eat a biscuit in a contaminated environment?

          The simple fact is, if the Russians had used a military grade chemical weapons, half of Salisbury would have been dead. And that includes the birds, bees, cats, dogs and just about anything else with a pulse.

          The smoking gun is the Army’s chief nurse being there (like Dyson knocking your door as your vacuum cleaner dies). She’ll have forgotten more than I’ll ever know, yet she let her daughter touch the Skripals with their bare hands (which would be a death sentence (and is why Syrian chemical weapons attacks are false too)).

          One pin head sized drop of Sarin or VX on your skin is death. Far less than that as aerosol is also death.

          And where exactly are the Skripals now? Why are they denied consular access?

          • King of Welsh Noir

            @ Some Random Passer-by

            Your point about the Army’s top nurse allowing her daughter to touch the Skripals with her bare hands is one of the best single sentence points I’ve read on this subject.

      • N_

        If you’re a lawyer, Martinmed, you ought to be able to come up with better rhetoric than your cheap reference to “why we should believe the Russian government rather than literally everybody else in the world” which in any serious court would earn you a sharp rap across the knuckles from even a half-competent judge.

    • George K

      What if the two officers were lured with some “business proposal”, to make sure there were Russians in the vicinity and around the right time? Well, not quite the right time, but good enough for nearly everybody to swallow the story. If you accept that possibility, everything fits very neatly.

      • Eric the Half Bee

        It would have been open to them to claim this was what happened. But they preferred to spin a yarn about seeing the cathedral spire and clock. Why do you think they might have done that?

        • Ralph

          Because they were up to some no good, but NOT related to the Skripals? There is NO way a fair jury could find them guilty of ‘Novichok’ – or rather, whatever it was – poisoning, and the accusing British Government has such a shocking record of LYING that they have NO credibility whatsoever.

          • Eric the Half Bee

            What “up to no good”, unrelated to the Skripals, could that possibly have been? Presumably the Russian authorities would have known what it was, or would have forced it out of them. Why did Mishkin and Chepiga not explain, if it would have helped clear them of accusations of attempted murder?

            I agree that a fair jury might lack hard evidence to convict them of the Novichok poisoning, though we have no idea what the police are holding in reserve. But frankly it is by far the most rational explanation for their presence in Salisbury, and covers all the known facts much better than any other explanation that has been put forward. Only the dotty continue to believe that Mishkin and Chepiga did not play a crucial role in the attack.

          • Borncynical

            Eric the Half Bee (14.56)

            “Only the dotty continue to believe that Mishkin and Chepiga did not play a crucial role in the attack”

            Evidence please as to why it is so likely they played a role. Clearly you are being swayed by the implausible and evidence-free narrative put out by the UK Government and media. @George K and @Ralph have both come up with more reasonable explanations for their presence in Salisbury. Regarding @George K’s comments, I have long suspected that they might have been set up by security services to be there as pawns in the charade. Alternatively there is also the possibility that they were working with the Skripals in some endeavour, not against them. I don’t suppose that has crossed your mind. I obviously do not know what happened and who was involved in what with whom. But to blindly go along with the official narrative at the expense of other explanations strikes me as extremely foolish.

          • Mary Paul

            I myself take the view that they were couriers, delivering some documents to be signed by a fugitive oligarch and then taken back to Russia. Their regular movements around Europe would support this role. Whether this involved direct or indirect contact with Sergei Sikripal in Salisbury, we do not know. I would be very interested to hear where he was on Saturday morning as I could envisage a scenario where he acted as middle man in such a transaction, but we are not being given enough information to reach any conclusions.

            I wonder why the ducks in the park incident has been omitted from all official accounts, and why the timeline in which the Skripals visited the Mill and Zizzis has been manipulated. Most specifically I do not believe that a second perfume bottle was discarded on the day and then remained, untampered, in mint condition in a Salisbury charity bin for three months.

          • N_

            @Eric – “Only the dotty continue to believe that Mishkin and Chepiga did not play a crucial role in the attack.

            Nothing like slipping in some premises, huh?

            The only person I would confidently state was deliberately attacked around the time of the events in Salisbury is Nikolai Glushkov in New Malden, who wasn’t merely attacked either but murdered.

          • Reg

            N.
            The other problem is that why didn’t the Skripols implicate the Russians, and Yulia indicated she wished to return to Russia. Litvinyenco was interviewed in Bed, why not the Skripols? The only credible reason to keep the Skripols away from the media that the UK services believe they will disappear off script so only allowed a pre arranged statement, without questions to an approved news organisation long after the event when the official narrative had collapsed, when the UK services had long given up trying to indoctrinate the Skripols into believing it was the Russians.

        • jrkrideau

          Because that was why they were there?

          Seems weird but tourists make strange decisions. I went to Salisbury to see the Cathedral and the copy of Magna Carta, The clock was a pleasant surprise. Like those two somewhat clueless Russians, I knew and know almost nothing about the city overall. It does have a nice library.

          • Eric the Half Bee

            Ah, but did you fly two thousand miles just to see the spire and the clock, which is what the happy couple claim to have done? And did it take you two day trips to Salisbury, because the streets were slightly slushy on your first visit?

          • Muscleguy

            We have never been properly to Salisbury by my memory but we were very near going to Old Sarum for various military re-enactments when the spawn were small. The most memorable one included a charge by about 6 cavalry re-enacters, the ground trembled as they advanced on us giving me some idea of the cojones required to withstand that charge even when in square. They were only dragoons as well, not cuirassiers on bigger, heavier horses.

            We might have driven down into Salisbury but my memory tells us parking was scarce and expensive which is why I have no memory of the cathedral except that it does rather dominate the view sticking up as intended originally despite the surrounding hills and tucked down in the valley Salisbury is very picturesque.

            That was looking at it with eyes which grew up in New Zealand. Growing up here you may well not appreciate how such things can be viewed by others.

          • Reg

            Eric half Bee
            Still more believable that smearing nerve agent on a door knob in broad daylight and making their getaway on a train on a Sunday in Salisbury hoping not to contaminate themselves with one of the most deadly nerve agents in the world. After travelling on fake Russian passports, as the GRU are unable to fake any other nationality.

        • Stonky

          It would have been open to them to claim this was what happened. But they preferred to spin a yarn about seeing the cathedral spire and clock. Why do you think they might have done that?

          If you can provide me with a remotely plausible explanation why Yulia Skripal – according to the ‘official version’ the completely innocent victim of a barbaric assassination plot hatched up by Putin and the GRU – has been held incommunicado by the British authorities for almost a year now, I will join you in obediently swallowing the official version of events and dutifully regurgitating it on forums like these.

          Please note – I’m not asking you to give me the actual reason. Just any reason that isn’t completely stupid. I keep posing this challenge to people like you, and you keep failing to rise to it.

          • Ort

            It’s obvious enough to me that this “knowing” ridicule of Mishkin and Chepiga’s “yarn” about wishing to visit Salisbury for its very real and well-promoted tourist attractions is simply dismissive self-confirming groupthink.

            Unlike many, I don’t pretend to know the presumptively dark, sinister truths about who this pair really is, and what they were really up to. But any plausible assertion can be made to seem utterly, even insultingly, mendacious if enough people decide that it’s “smart” to claim to see through this supposed subterfuge.

            Complacent, under-informed conformists look around and see people in the crowd disdainfully rolling their eyes, and by joining in the eye-rolling obtain a gratifying frisson of group solidarity.

            I say “Now pull the other one!” often enough myself. But in the Skripal case, the UK authorities pulled everything that could possibly be pulled long before this pair surfaced with their unsatisfactory but plausible account.

            All that said, unlike the eye-rollers I know a few people who have the “wanderlust” urge. I don’t have it myself, but those who do will indeed spend good “discretionary” money to travel to distant locations just to take in tourist sights. And, once at their destination, these seasoned travelers will also make whimsical and impulsive decisions to go here and there as their fancy strikes them, even though such spontaneous detours seem foolish or suspicious when viewed in hindsight with critical and incipiently hostile scrutiny.

            When one’s eyes are rolling like a putted golf ball, it accordingly distorts that hindsight.

      • neil

        If I wad wobbly accused of attempted murder, I’d probably get friends, family, work colleagues, etc to testify as to my not being a spy. I’d provide copious evidence of what I’d been doing all my life that showed my employment as a non military person. Strange these two fitness instructors or whatever they are don’t want to clear their names and prove the world a liar.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Neil;
          Perhaps they have already done that but you haven’t heard about it in the UK media.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ George K March 5, 2019 at 12:14
        That was what I thought likely, till N_’s theory above, which also makes a lot of sense.

    • Ralph

      If you are a lawyer, just based on this ‘why we should believe the Russian government rather than literally everybody else in the world’ I would never ever ask you to do legal work for me.

      • Ingwe

        @Ralph at 13:36-quite agree with you. Lawyers are supposed to use language with precision. As a lawyer in practice for over 30 years, I know this to be the case. Keep well away!

    • John A

      I would suspect, without exaggeration, that ‘literally 99% of the people in the world have never heard of the Skripal case, let alone formed an opinion’.
      I’ve not met a single person who believes the British narrative on the Skripals. Literally.

    • Ingwe

      @Martinned- you really should learn when to use ‘literally’ Sub GCSE level. Stops you looking like a tit.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “…rather than literally everybody else in the world.”

      What is this strange world you live in where everybody in the world believes a story that is full of contradictions, has lies of omission, makes no logical sense, that has changed repeatedly and is based on the mutterings and pronouncements of a proven bunch of liars without a shred of evidence which would stand up in a court of law?

    • Harry

      Literally everyone else in the world means the UK authorities in this case. No one else in the world has an insight. And the reason I dont believe the UK authorities is that they ask me to believe utter absurdities. They give an absurd motive, method, explanation, time-line, evidence and follow it up with hiding the victims and failing to pursue the truth.

      Why Novichuk? How did the sealed package end up in a charity shop donation bin? Why did the GRU paint the novichuk on door in the middle of he day? Why no pictures near the house? Wasnt it under surveillance? Why was Pablo Miller’s connection to Skripal and Steele D noticed? Why wait for his daughter to go to the UK when she lived in Russia?

      You dont think Skripal might have been planning to skip back to the Mother Russia with the goods on who made up those lies about Mr.Trump?

    • J

      “…yet more reasons why we should believe the Russian government rather than literally everybody else in the world.”

      Not sure ‘literally’ means what you think it means.

      In any case, is this government and media ‘consensus’ like that on WMD, Sarin, Gaddadfi’s impending massacres, Venezuelan tyranny or Labour anti-Semitism, without supporting evidence? It’s almost as though your brain has been reset every time the subject is raised, unable to remember the mass of inconsistencies and total lack of any evidence for the UK’s case or how comprehensively that case has been demolished here and elsewhere.

    • Baalbek

      Interesting how you refer to the UK’s intelligence services and their media mouthpieces as “literally everybody else in the world”. Are you literally sure about that?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Martinned March 5, 2019 at 11:16
      I for one believe the Russians before I believe the lying toe-rag Yanks or Brits.
      But please don’t tell CIA, MI5/6, or Mossad, and I will remember you in my will.

  • nevermind

    ‘ Literally everybody else in the world’ must be living in that same cotton wool’ed brain mashing state which abdicates grey brain cells from logical decision making. Just as with the resolve to global warming, head down, don’t look, consume and carry on living unsustainable, as long as you don’t questions the power structures and their brain fart sticky plastering, you’ll be alright.

    sorry, Martinned, some of us yhave more questions than you, as a lawyer limited by books rules and regulations, some of which don’t apply to those who wield that power, could possibly answer.

    Thanks for the explanation, not that too many would want you to become an instant reactive commentator. I for one know what it means to look after children, its very hard to multitask, unless you have them interested in something they love to do at that time. Best is to enjoy them and go with the flow.

        • kbbucks

          just ignore him, you can see from all his posts he’s only looking for a reaction so don’t bother engaging with him – he feeds on it, ignore him & he’ll waste away 🙂

        • D_Majestic

          Charles-you have it! Mindlessky. Ah-doubtless the ‘Third Man’ wanted for his part in the Skripal case. To be arrested in Vienna near to a giant Ferris Wheel, no doubt.

          • Charles Bostock

            If the perps were arrested in Vienna they would no doubt be extradited to the UK to face justice. But since they’re safely back in Russia they’re no doubt as untouchable as a ….Lugovoi 🙂

          • Deb O'Nair

            “extradited to the UK to face justice”

            To face justice on what charge, attempted murder? With what evidence, the rantings of some washed-up overgrown schoolboy Tory, who’s so bent he can’t even tell a straight lie?

          • Sharp Ears

            I made a joke of the typo asking if it was Russian. My comment was deleted but the trolling remains. Isn’t that interesting.

        • Charles Bostock

          Very flattering that you should think I’m gluing up the pages! Blog paralysis beckons. Since I have such infience and effect I shall have to put in for a pay rise I think.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock March 5, 2019 at 15:53
          ‘Mindlessky ‘, already? Surely your not a Russki bot?

  • Sharp Ears

    Thanks Craig. Keep going.

    There I was thinking Lagavulin was some sort of pharmaceutical! Just looked it up.

  • Jimmeh

    Ah – I might have guessed that you favoured Islay malts. I like the Balvenie; but unfortunately whisky doesn’t agree with me.I can’t drink much, and I can’t drink and work.

    • nevermind

      I’m halfway through a Balvenie, its smashing, literally, but nice.
      Looking forward tp the days when wiski receipts are kept within an Independent Scotland.

      • Charles Bostock

        I should have thought some crude potato schnapps would be more your line, you Banause.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    You ficus too much on past horrors about which we can do nothing rather than current ones.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Had a quick swatch at the bill for Doune the rabbit hole, this year. Lee Scratch Perry and John Cooper Clarke will have a combined age of 153. Jings, those dodgy “pharmaceuticals” must have a rejuvenating effect.

  • Mighty Drunken

    I totally understand. I love a tipple myself, but the little tykes take precedence. I am beginning to appreciate how quickly they grow up, so it is best to savour the moments while you can, as as you would a good whisky.

    The Skirpal story is so peculiar in so many ways it is to hard to grapple with it. I am looking forward to your piece on it.

  • John Goss

    I too am working on another piece about the Skripals. Mine will not be finished for a good few weeks. While we are waiting for Craig’s two pieces I am sharing this prima facie evidence (legal term for Martinned) as to why anyone who thinks there is any substance in what our government has been telling us regarding Novichok and the Skripals is wrong. Anything subsequent to these events which does not agree with them is a lie.

    https://johnplatinumgoss.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/fentanyl-poisoned-the-skripals-back-to-basics/

    • Charles Bostock

      Goss

      Are you working on your new piece together with “Tatyana” ? I’m sure “she” could make some excellent suggestions which would surely find favour with yoiu.

      • Ken Kenn

        Yuri at TASS has told me to tell you that you are talking Balalaikas as usual.

        He also accuses you of being a ‘ Tartan Tory’

        True or false?

        Over and out.

  • David Otness

    I’m glad to hear of the Skripal piece after being bombed with one year anniversary pieces on the various worldwide government radio channes. Good to know all is well enough for you and yours.

  • Republicofscotland

    The self appointed world police the US warns Turkey not to buy Russian missiles, or else.

    “The US has threatened Turkey with “grave consequences” unless it cancels the purchase of S-400 systems from Russia, with a Pentagon spokesman advising Ankara to seek “better solutions” and warning of “broader implications.”

    https://www.rt.com/news/453033-s400-turkey-grave-consequences/

  • Peter

    Thanks Craig, no apologies necessary.

    I tracked down a bottle of Glenlivet Nadurra, First Fill Selection, Batch Number FF0714 (as recommended by er … Jim Murray?) over Christmas – sensational, but at cask strength perhaps not conducive to a high work-rate.

    I understand from your post you must be very busy but is it possible that you could find the time to give us your understanding/definition of what exactly is “the establishment”?

    In these sharply polarised times it’s difficult not to see there hand at work all over the place, but who/what are they and how do they work?

    I imagine your view on this would be pretty enlightening and most useful.

    Whatever, thanks again.

    • Stonky

      …give us your understanding/definition of what exactly is “the establishment”?

      Nowadays there isn’t “an establshment”. There is a series of distinct groupings.

      1. There is the aristocratic establishment that used to be the establishment. They own all the land. They engage in marrying each other, inbreeding, and foxhunting, and are now largely irrelevant to the rest of us.

      2. There is an economic establishment. They own all the money. They are greed-maddened sociopaths who engage in making more and more money than they could ever possibly need if they lived to be a billion years old, and they become deranged whenever they are faced with the remotest prospect that they might have less money than they had a minute ago.

      3. There is a political establishment.They have almost all the political titles. They engage in grovelling to group (1), and working diligently on behalf of group (2). They hope one day to become part of groups (1) or (2) or ideally both.

      4. There is a social establishment. They run things like the media, education, social welfare, (increasingly the justice system), and quangos. They work for the BBC and the Guardina and the relevant government bodies. They are achingly politically correct faux-progressive hypocrites who are all in favour of radical change as long as it never happens, or at least if it does as long as it has no effect on their comfortable metropolitan lifestyle and the value of their properties in London.

      They are all distinct groups, but if you produced a Venn diagram you would see that there is very considerable overlap in terms of the individual members.

      Hope that helps until Craig gives his reply.

      • Charles Bostock

        I’m afraid it doesn’t help in the slightest, Stonkers old boy. That is because “the establishment” is a concept of a vaguely conspiratorial nature dreamt up in the 1950s and 1960s by characters like Hugh Thomas and Anthony Sampson. It was silly enough then and was abandoned by serious commentators a long time ago because meaningless. It’s used nowadays by intellectually lazy people as a synonym for “kinds of people/professions/politicians/…. I have a grudge against”.

          • Charles Bostock

            Yes – in the 1950s. Part of my point, thank you for the corroboration.

        • Herbie

          Could refer to the Rhodes crew, Milner’s kindergarten and latterly the Cliveden set.

          Or, the Deep State, which is a more modern version of the above.

        • John Goss

          Pablo Miller wrote a letter to the Spectator advising everybody to go out and vote before the (I think it was Cameron) election. But the truth is for the spooks it hardly matters who gets in to the Houses of Parliament. The spooks are above that level though they let the prime minister, home secretary (MI5) foreign secretary (MI6) think he or she has some kind of say in things. They easily bring rogue prime ministers into line with threats (real or imagined) on their lives and what they need to do to avoid being assassinated. You can imagine it KoWN with your gift for fiction.

        • Herbie

          Their function is to ensure control of narrative, and to gameplay narratives and incidents.

      • Peter

        @ Stonky

        Thanks a lot, it’s a start to a complicated picture. The monarchy and the church are in there somewhere.

        I just found this elsewhere on this site:

        “The secret thread of power running through Government departments may well have behind it the judicial blessing of a small cloister of obfuscating priests of the art of obscurantism but it is a THIN thread.
        IMHO the estates occupied by the nobility and their extended families have not changed much over the centuries, despite a ruin here and a bankruptcy there, and they account for a sizeable influence on the business of UK PLC and the administration of its treasury indirectly as Landlords thereof. The lines of power maybe imperceptible, untraceable to any source, but like a spider’s web every thread is connected forming a fabric of Common Purpose wholly and passionately dedicated to preserving its hold on the purse strings of State.”

        Here: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/#comment-380360

        Back to you Craig – if you can find the time.

        • Herbie

          Dunno.

          The minor aristos took quite a kicking in WWI, through death taxes in the postwar period and the massive reduction in their access to the legislature.

          Whoever is running the show, it sure ain’t them.

  • Stonky

    In order to believe the ‘official version’ of the Skripal story, I have to believe so many things that are so mindbogglingly stupid and self-evidently contradictory that they would test the gullibility of the most gullible person on the planet.

    In order to believe the ‘conspiracy theories’ I only have to believe two things:

    1. That the British authorities and their security services are malevolent enough to orchestrate the whole incident as a means of furthering their plans for geopolitical conflict.
    2. That they are callous enough to sacrifice a couple of no-account British citizens in the process.

    In the case of (1) I have the example of Iraq and the lies about weapons of mass destruction to help my thinking processes along, and in the case of (2) I have the hounding to death of David Kelly for daring to tell the truth.

    So for me it’s a no-brainer.

    • Xavi

      It’s also an era where the media and political class are more completely on-board with official narratives even than during the run-up to Iraq. In fact, the ‘sceptical’ liberal media are now the McCarthyite witchfinders in chiefs

    • Clark

      Stonky, believing those two things is only necessary for a small subset of the “conspiracy theories”.

      The Salisbury poisonings affair is not in the domain of conspiracy theories proper, since it revolves around spies and officially restricted information. By design, it is not possible for any sector of the general population to work out what happened, so there can never be an ever-increasing population in the know, deceiving everyone else.

      About the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that great incompetence has been demonstrated in the construction of the official cover story.

      • Mary Paul

        Someone once said, before you construct your lies, first define your truth.

        Clearly not done in the case of the Skripals, which is more a case of making it up as you go along.

        • Jo1

          Yes, someone should have warned Boris before the head honcho at Porton Down had to come out and contradict his lies to the media about Porton Down’s findings.

        • Reg

          Mary Paul
          Yes it was not a good cover story by the UK who changed their story hr by hr and had been caught lying on a number of occasions This would suggest the UK authorities were reacting to events. This would possibly be explained like you say by the UK frustrating a meeting by the Skripols, then illegally detaining them to prevent leaving the country and telling tales, such as on the operation of UK security services that the Russians might want in exchange for allowing Sergi back into Russia. In this instance the cover up would be on the hoof and rushed, which would explain the incompetence of the UK cover story.

  • Harry

    https://michaelantonyblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/the-alternative-skripal-narrative/

    I found this quite a plausible scenario . Perhaps that just tells you about my mindset. But it would explain a number of important questions.

    Why such unprofessional behaviour from 2 GRU “assassins”. Why such a small team. Why the third team member didnt fly as scheduled. Why the on the cuff theory of the case from the UK authorities. Why the rush to judgement. Why the confusion regarding fentanyl and novichok. Why the fantastical door handle theory. How the sealed packaged ended up killing Dawn Sturgess. etc

    • Olaf S

      hm yes..

      As Craig has mentioned earlier, the Russian (on government level) have said much less that one could expect, in particular concerning ”Boshirov and Petrov”. The only plausible explanation seems to be that they actually were on duty during the trip, and the theory you mention that they were trying to bring a passport to Skripal (to some secret pick-up point, say), a fake passport he would need to take the seat on the plane back to Russia, that was left open by the 3rd Russian (who did not turn up for the flight), seems rather smashing to me, at least by first glance:
      The MI6 just managed to incapacitate Skripal before his escape. It must have been a tense mood on both sides in Salisbury that day (showing on the old spy during the restaurant visit right befor the attack, as we know).
      Only the two guys who had quietly delivered the document could relax and do some window-shopping on their way back. Some excess, nervous activity in the Russian embassy on that day would not surprise the least, on the other hand…

      • Harry

        Quite!

        I was pondering this. Naturally none of us know what happened but we are all familiar with William of Occam’s criterion. Someone delivered a pack of Novichok to a charity shop bin. If the Russians did it, it was astonishingly unprofessional and utterly reckless. But if it was done by Skripal it would totally explain why we are not allowed to see more CCTV footage.

        If the Russians wanted Julia dead they picked the point of maximum difficulty. If they wanted Sergei dead there were less baroque methods. But if the UK authorities wanted her dead, then this method would provide an automatic alibi, and point the finger rather elegantly at Russia. Its almost like they got the idea from Polonium.

        That would explain why the Skripal’s house needed to be turned over very carefully by men in hazmat suits. They were looking for a package they had misplaced.

        I do hope there was only the one that went missing.

        • Mary Paul

          Still not buying the notion that an unopened contaminated perfume box was deposited by the Russian visitors or by Skripal himself in a charity bin in the town centre where it remained in mint condition in a charity bin, for 3 months, during a cold and wet English winter and early spring, until it was found by Charlie Rowley and given as a present to Dawn Sturgess. Pull the other one. Also the appearance of a second bottle rather shoots a hole in the theory it was all a Secret Service conspiracy. What would be the point of the second bottle so long after the original event?

          • ciarán

            The significance of the World cup, It would have been due to start in a few weeks, and the Skripal’s were fading from public attention or the original naritive was so full of holes as to have lost any impact. Kill a British citizen/s and smear Russia at the same time, and at the most important time, perhaps. I get what you point out at the begining of your comment. How often do the council empty the bins in Salisbury? This should give you an indication as to how long since Nina Ricci was planted. Why on earth would the Russians come back to do this. Dawn Summers was murdered! She may not have been singled out, but someone had to die to satisfy these twisted f^&ks

    • ciarán

      Interesting read. I am not familiar with Southern England. If Sergei was to be the missing passenger on that plane what would have been the latest time he would have had to have left Salisbury to be at Heathrow. I guess you would need to know the departure time and mode of transport and congestion amongst other things would factor in. I suppose what I am asking is this, if on the morning of the 4th when Sergei and Yulia’s movements could not be traced because their phones were switched of, they met the GRU agents or went to collect something at a drop of point, how much time would MI5/6, have to thwart any plans Sergei had to flee. Supposing that the first attempt to stop this would arise in Salisbury. As michaelantony blog points out this would be a lucrative time to become a double-double agent, triple agent, whatever the correct term is?

  • giyane

    Craig , your silence is different from May’s silence. Her silence is a fabric of utter lies which our allies have felt compelled to support while holding their noses with thumbscrews.

    They hope and pray our disgusting pong will finally be removed on brexit or in the case of the U.S. will be safely ignored when we have isolated ourselves from the rest.

    The skripal accusations are false accusations arrogantly made by a few overpaid toffs in London who have utterly failed to comprehend our loss of global statu because of David Cameron’s decision to openly use proxy terrorists in Libya and Syria.

    The disgusting way that the Telegraph gloated over the large presence of British troops in Libya days after the desecration of its leader shocked the British people even if it didn’t shock the rest of the world.

    Our reputation is completely finished . May’s response , fabricating lies against Russia, is like the pathetic excuses of a guilty criminal .

    The waft of bullshit has become overpowering .
    Mostly because Tory lies have disgraced the entire neocon Zionist project of which arsele May is a main component.

    We need Corbyn as PM and flush this Tory stink out of power as soon as possible.
    There are no words dirty enough to describe this Tory arrogance.

    • michael norton

      Fully agree, pretzelattack, very much looking forward, excited, actually.
      Since I have been reading Craig’s blog, two stories have gripped me, Skripal poisoning and al-Hilli shootings.
      Either of which would make the most fantastical film.

  • Jack

    Macron have currently faced 15 weeks of protests against him, now he start a propaganda campaign, warning about alleged threats against Europe, hailing the same policies the have turned regular french’ against him.
    https://on.rt.com/9pkh

    • BrianFujisan

      Disgusting that nearly all of the Cowards in her own Democrats Party are are also against Ilhan

      • BrianFujisan

        The largest Muslim advocacy group in the country, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR, is calling on the FBI to seriously investigate the death threats and attacks leveled against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her decision to speak out against uncritical support for Israel.

        And For telling the Truth about Israeli influence in U.S politics.

  • Sharp Ears

    Is your Council Tax bill rising? Mine is. We hear today that the county council element of it is rising by 4.5% and there will be a rise for the local councils.

    Yet on the same day, we are told that the night time fire cover is being reduced. I would suggest that fires are more dangerous for life and property at night as they are probably not noticed until the fire has taken hold.

    Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
    Seven fire engines set to be removed from overnight Surrey cover under proposals to save £3m
    https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/seven-fire-engines-set-removed-15917438
    Three fire stations could close at night under the new plans

    Having seen a neighbouring house destroyed by fire I have a particular fear of it. Surrey’s population figure is approaching 1.25 million.

    • Charles Bostock

      The middle classes always whinge about fewer public services and so on. But they refuse to pay more income tax to pay for those services (remember what happened to the LibDems when they suggested raising the stahdard rqte by a mere 1p? And they also complain about paying more non-income taxes (aka stealth taxes).Many of them are utter hypocrites.

      • Charles Bostock

        The greater part of local govt spending is paid for out of general taxation and not Council Tax. Anyway, the middle classes whine away when Council Tax is increased as well.

        • Sharp Ears

          That statement is incorrect. I looked at the figures yesterday as to who funds what.

          • Charles Bostock

            Can you please supply us with those figures. I am reluctant to take it just on your say- so.

    • Sharp Ears

      This is how tax is being evaded.

      ‘A drug company that has been in dispute with the NHS for two years over the high price it wants for a cystic fibrosis medicine has paid virtually no UK corporation tax, the Guardian can reveal.

      Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Europe), based in London and Oxford, had a turnover of £5.3bn in the five years to the end of 2017, largely from sales of its cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Kalydeco.

      The company declared an operating loss in 2017 after paying its profitable US parent company to manufacture the drugs. It received £7m in tax credits from the UK government for investing in research and development.’

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/06/firm-in-nhs-row-over-costly-cystic-fibrosis-drug-paid-no-uk-tax

      Read on to see the amount of profit and that the parent company is registered in the Cayman Islands. Massive losses to UK’ s revenue.

  • Ort

    Nadira is away working so I am single parenting, which means very little Lagavulin
    _____________________________________________

    I ought not to profess my ignorance, perhaps.

    But as a US resident whose preferred intoxicants do not include alcoholic beverages, I naturally assumed that “very little Lagavulin” was Craig’s child. I almost complimented him on the unusual name! 😉

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Craig
    ‘…which means very little Lagavulin…’ Try a joint instead.

  • David

    According the Daily Excess, the UK Government anti-Skripal law, to allow us to punish all of those irksome foreign spies, is going to be delayed until at least 2020 as our government has lost the plot. They were going to debate this important new law soon, but something entirely unexpected came up at the last moment, June 2016, and now everyone is panicking about it, a bit or just lying.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1095648/Brexit-news-Salisbury-Novichok-attack-Russia-UK-Vladimir-Putin-Kremlin-Leave-eu

    “The bill is intended to replicate the US’s Foreign Agents Registration Act which forces any agent to disclose their activities on arrival in the country”

    WOW! a first for media & government in the UK, the UK (will eventually) bring in a law aimed at Shai Masot

    https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/shai-masot
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-the-real-scandal-behind-al-jazeeras-senior-israeli-diplomat-1.5483303
    https://www.irishtimes.com/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Shai+Masot

    or is it a law aimed at protecting us brits from Stefan Halper?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/22/4-surprising-facts-about-stefan-halper-the-professor-and-top-secret-informant-on-russia/
    https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/

    feel free to add some names to our “Foreign Agents Registration Treaty” (UK FART as it will be known, surely)

    • Charles Bostock

      On a point of information, David.

      ” “The bill is intended to replicate the US’s Foreign Agents Registration Act which forces any agent to disclose their activities on arrival in the country”

      WOW! a first for media & government in the UK, the UK (will eventually) bring in a law aimed at Shai Masot”

      Firstly, the US Act does not cover foreign diplomats in the country. (Obviously – think about it),

      Secondly, If any UK Act replicates the US Act it won’t apply to foreign diplomats in the UK either.

      Thirdly, Mr Masot is a foreign diplomat.

      Fourthly, the Act wouldn’t cover him.

      Therefore it is nonsensical to say that any UK Act woukd be “aimed at Shai Masit”.

    • Dungroanin

      But surely it would cover british nationals need to register if they were acting for foreign agents or diplomats?

  • Mary Paul

    Quick question in case someone here knows the answer. I am trying to find out the location of my local mobile phone masts. It seems this is classified information? Really? Why?

    • Deb O'Nair

      The mobile phone infrastructure is one of the great tools of the surveillance state. You’ll probably be getting an entry on your unbelievably massive security service file for even asking.

      • Ken Kenn

        True.

        But do you get a discount for criticising the US and the UK?

        It might half my bill and lead to a reduction in my energy bills as I have a crack at the French from time to time.

        Of course everyone forgets Fylingdales in Yorkshire.

        Don’t.

      • Mary Paul

        If they are monitoring my mobile phone communications, good luck with that. These days I own what is probably the world’s oldest mobile phone, which I only ever use for the most limited text messages, stuff along the lines of “Can you bring in a pint of milk/loaf of bread as we have run out”, “The cambelt has been replaced and your car is ready for collection”, “Your Amazon package will arrive in the next hour.” Of course these could all be coded messages………………

        • Ingwe

          @Mary Paul-do you not get text messages to “bring home a pint of milk and a bottle of Lagavulin.”?

    • BrianFujisan

      It might Be Very Recently Classified Mary Paul..

      There is a lot going on in Secrecy – like this –

      Foxhound armoured, bombproof personnel carrier and machine gun carrier.

      A lot of these are arriving in Fort George in the Highlands, in a shroud of secrecy. They hold armed troops for deployment in battles…WTF

    • Blunderbuss

      @Mary Paul

      I think the locations used to be published by some mobile phone companies but not others. I will try to find out more.

    • Mighty Drunken

      You could also try the http://www.opencellid.org database. Though when you search it only displays a small area of masts so you may need to do a lot of searches, OpenSIgnal have an app you can download which displays the mobile phone masts near you and which one your phone is connected to. Both of these are volunteer led so will not be complete.

      • pete

        Re Mary Paul “I tried to sign on…”

        I’ve have that problem too with some sites, it may be because of your browser. Different browsers have different ways of dealing with the way web pages are set up.

        I use the Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera and Chromium browsers, sites that work with one will not load correctly with others, sometimes the add ons that you may use can also create problems. However the other web places commentators have cited may be sufficient for your purposes.

        Given that cell towers/ phone masts generate signals there is probably equipment you could buy that will tell you the direction these signals come from by indicating the signal strength and, obviously, phone towers are usually easy to see because of their size, no doubt you have seen them also on the tops of tall buildings.

        • David

          I’ve successfully made an IMSI Catcher (when asked to do so by my work for research) and that didn’t cost very much and certainly gave lots and lots of information about which cells were advertising their presence nearby.

          I would guess that the UK Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 doesn’t allow people to do this level of research in private.

          there is however some 2G/3G debug data available by entering special codes on your phone handset,

          I certainly used this on one of my iPhones dial *3001#12345#* and then press the call button

          Yes, still works on LTE even (4G) using iOS12.1.4

          (exit by quitting the app)

          • Mary Pau!

            I had some involvement with radio masts in a previous career and my attention was recently by a discussion on the roll out of G5 with very little research to any possible effects. This is linked to another headline which caught my eye, a massive and unexplained increase in brain cancer cases in the UK since 1995. This at a time when all other forms of cancer are on the decrease.

            One of the things researchers have been studying, without finding any significant correlation, is the use of mobile phones. However it is clear we will need a lot more masts to roll out G5 which will make them closer to everyone, and very little if any research has been done into any possible implications of this increased exposure to microwaves.

            There was a fuss locally when a local church wanted to rent out space on its spire for a mobile phone mast and at the time I just thought it was an overreaction. But the increase in brain cancer is real enough and no one has any explanation. Maybe all those domesday preppers wearing tin foil hats have a point after all………

          • Clark

            I think the roll-out of 5G should be halted, until research into health effects is entirely in the public domain.

            This is part of a larger problem of research conducted behind closed doors by the private sector, with researchers gagged under NDAs – Non Disclosure Agreements. Such contract clauses prohibit even the existence of the clauses – researchers are prevented by law from revealing the fact that they are gagged.

            Regarding the FOI Act: – private companies are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requirements.

            These problems, and data thus obscured, are covered extensively in Ben Goldacre’s books Bad Science and Bad Pharma. Though Goldacre mostly covers the pharmaceuticals sector, the same problems will apply across the entire private sector. This may also be why we’re seeing widespread subcontracting of ‘intelligence’ services into the private sector – “Orbis Business Intelligence”, for instance.

          • Mary Pau!

            Sorry should have made it clear, it is not all brain tumours which have increased, just the most virulent type, the glioblastomas.

          • Clark

            I think 5G operates at 70 gigahertz. This is more than an order of magnitude above previous systems. This also increases absorption, shortening the range – base stations will be needed every few hundred metre.

            Increasing the frequency increases the energy of each photon. 70 gigahertz is still non-ionising, but other effects may be significant. The companies have done research, but keep it restricted from wider scientific scrutiny. It is a travesty that the law supports this under the cloak of “commercial confidentiality”.

          • Clark

            “Science” conducted in secrecy is a contradiction in terms; experiments cannot be replicated unless they are published, so claimed results cannot be checked and verified. It is actually more correct to call such research occult activity – ‘occult’ carries connotations, obviously, but its actual meaning is simply “hidden”.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Mary Pau!

            This might be of interest:

            “The 5G Appeal was prepared in 2017 by scientist and doctors who are urgently calling for the EU to halt the roll out of 5G due to serious potential health effects from this new technology.”

            http://www.5gappeal.eu/about/

          • David

            i’ll personally skip 5G as the Trump has promised 6G.

            Do you think that his 6G is a ‘safe-mesh’ where all Huawei towers can be removed, improving safety? Similar to the Tetra/Airwave direct mode. it took me a long time to get my Tetra handsets to study.

            certainly interesting times ahead.

          • Cesca

            5G operates at 24-90 mhz Mary and Clark, when you consider 4g is 1-4 mhz that makes seriously scary reading.

            It’s proven that 4g is linked to excessive brain tumours, falling fertility, other cancers where the mobi is in frequent contact with the body etc. Now look at those 5g stats again.

  • Jon

    Finally, I have gotten around to subscribing. Thanks Craig – and all non-grumpy commenters – for their writing.

  • N_

    I still think a deal with EU27 (or a semi-deal, because this is not a Noel Edmonds game show and there is a continuum between deal and no deal) may well pass in the Commons next week, but what if things run as follows?

    * (12 March) Commons rejects tabled deal

    * (13 March) Commons says “ooh no, we don’t want no deal” (a typically British mealymouthed way of saying they want a deal)

    * (14 March) Commons votes to tell the government to request an extension

    * (some time later) The government requests as bidden

    * (perhaps at the EU Council meeting on 21-22 March) EU27 replies that it will permit a 21-month extension only, which would require that EU elections are held in Britain in late May

    * Cue further fun in the Commons, because when it told the government to request an extension we can presume it did not have a crystal ball in which it was able to scry the EU27’s response. (If the argument is not over the length of the extension, it can be over something else to do with the extension.)

    * Tick tock, tick tock. Brexit week begins… Friday’s the day when if there’s no deal then it’s a crashout with no transition period. Certain items disappear from supermarket shelves.

    * Tick tock tick tock.

    * Commons decides definitively that yes, it wants a referendum, and if Britain is to hold one then can it, pretty please, have a six month extension. That will be the minimum time, we could be told, that a bunch of public school f*ckwits and their bureaucratic “expert” helpers will need if they are to agree a font size to be used on the ballot papers and whether or not the question will refer to “the European Union”, “the lovely European Union”, or (a late suggestion by the DUP) “the foul bloc of Antichrist-worshipping Papists across the water” – decisions which require 73 committee meetings addressed by Beafeaters and lengthy deliberations and can’t possibly be taken in 10 days because Britain isn’t half as competent as like Greece.

    * Meanwhile, a committee of male parliamentary officials who MUST make sure the seams in their tights are very straight indeed (call it “the constitution”) need to consider whether “queen’s consent” and “prince’s consent” should be granted to a new referendum bill, because that is always a question before any government bill is introduced which may impact the finances of the monarch or her retarded elder son.

    * The Scum and the Heil boil it down to “we aint lettin no forriners tell us what to do, seen it on Twitter innit. They toled us we cant have curly bananas now their sayin we cant use what font we want.” Posters appear in windows across the country showing Michel Barnier wearing a short moustache.

    * Frankfurt bankers make some phone calls – and I don’t just mean to New York and Moscow…

    * EU27 replies

    a) “Yes, 6 months is OK so long as you print the ballots on paper manufactured in Luxembourg and the options are ‘The United Kingdom [sic] should remain in the European Union’ and ‘The United Kingdom [sic] should leave the European Union on 27 September 2019’ – and by the way, you must hold the EU election in late May”, or

    b) with an Arkell v Pressdram response, “F*** off – it has to be 21 months”, or

    c) “We’d love to grant an extension, but we are afraid that that would have to be a unanimous decision, and we’re dreadfully sorry but [delete as applicable] Spain wants Gibraltar back | Greece wants the Elgin Marbles back | Malta says no”

    At that point, can we assume that the Labour leadership will NOT support the deal? Can we assume that sufficiently many pro-Remain MPs regardless of party affiliation will continue to support a second referendum on terms that are framed throughout the gutter press as tantamount to giving into Hitler?

      • N_

        The reason De Gaulle gave for saying “no” was that Britain only applied to join the EEC so that it could function as a Trojan Horse for the US. One can appreciate the general’s point.

        Had the proposal in 1956 that Britain and France should unite as one country been realised, the Treaty of Rome that created the EEC wouldn’t have been agreed the following year. Even after Suez the Tory elite preferred to bum-sniff the US.

        • Blunderbuss

          “The reason De Gaulle gave for saying “no” was that Britain only applied to join the EEC so that it could function as a Trojan Horse for the US. One can appreciate the general’s point.”

          I certainly can appreciate the general’s point but why is the EU now desperately trying to hang on to us?

          • ciarán

            Domino effect, it’s not that they especially love old blighty, they don’t. It’s oh shit who’s next and will it stop.

          • Dungroanin

            Why???
            Because the EU has evolved and so has the UK.
            The UKs spoiling vetos are neutralized.
            Our handbag snatchery rebate is coming to an end.
            Having the 6th largest world economy as part of the gang – makes the gang stronger.
            They like us.
            The marriage is worth saving – for the sake of the kids! And who gets the pet dog?
            Etc.

          • Iain Stewart

            “I certainly can appreciate the general’s point but why is the EU now desperately trying to hang on to us?”

            Eh?

    • Dungroanin

      At that point the only option allowable to us, the peoples, under our pseudo democracy – it is a zany thing A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY legally – is a general election.

      If we are allowed.

      If we are likely to return the wrong type of parliament – that threatens the keepers of the Constitutional Monarchy – than they will find a way to right ROYALLY screw us, whether the actual figurehead royals agree or not… they too are subject to the dark arts (how the heck did old Charley end up splashed on the frint page accepting baubbles from some charlatans?)

      Lets us not delude ourselves that the kid gloves will not be removed as they are when they kill and steal with impunity across the world in the name of ‘our interests’.

      They are not my interests, nor of the majority, they are not even in the interests of the family and friends of the mindless soldiers and lackeys who take the henchman roles to these entitled ancient toffs and money barons.

      Not in my name. Not again.

      • Charles Bostock

        NeverDunMoaning

        Why tell us, why preach to the converted?

        If you feel that strongly, you should be proclaiming it in supermarket car parks and other public places. You should be demonstrating, perhaps with some like-minded people (I’m sure you could find some). Perhaps you should even try acts of civil disobediance, as the CND-ers, Greenham Common women did.

        Not just peevishly pecking away at a keyboard to an inchanging, already committed audience of about 8000.

        • Dungroanin

          Come on Mods – Bossie started the sweet talking first… i just want him him/her/it to know Understand his/her/its pain – and it has me in tears!

        • Cesca

          Read a truly lovely article in OffG, which suggested a gorgeous way of grabbing people’s attention in parks by posters etc, hopefully leading to discussions and forming groups. I would post a link but can’t remember the title of the article.

          Anyway, my flatmate Sam *another dudette* and i don’t have a park near us, so decided to try our own adaptation of it. There’s a massive green area opposite our flat, so the Sat arvo when the weather was really warm, we put up some posters and just sat down. A lot of curious ppl came over to chat with us about what we were doing and we’ve already got a group of 18 up and running, to share important info and pass it on to others.

          We’ll go for more outside ventures in other areas when it warms up properly.

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