Cynicism and Warmongering 515

The BBC plumbed the depths of hypocrisy in dressing up the final episode of the Salisbury Poisonings as a homage to Dawn Sturgess while systematically lying about the facts of her death, yet again to cover up the implausibility of the official narrative.

As I noted yesterday, the BBC drama appeared to show Charlie Rowley fishing the perfume bottle out of the charity bin at least two months ahead of when this really occurred, to make it more plausible that it had been dropped in there after the alleged attack on the Skripals. The question of how it had managed to sit in a charity bin for three months, when that bin was emptied regularly, was thus dodged.

The next alteration of a timeline by the BBC is just as crucial. The BBC had the discovery of the perfume bottle containing novichok happening before Sturgess’s death, whereas in fact the perfume bottle was not “discovered” until 11 July 2018, three days after Dawn’s death. The extraordinary thing about this is that the police had been searching Rowley’s flat intensively for “novichok” for over a week before coming across a perfume bottle sitting on the kitchen counter. As they were specifically looking for a phial of liquid, you would have thought that might have caught the eye somewhat sooner.

The final episode was more open in its attempts to provoke Russophobia than previous episodes, with images of Putin, Russia, and Boshirov and Petrov appearing. It is of course the case that the military, security service and arms manufacturing complex needs Russophobia to justify sucking away so much of our national wealth. So we should not be surprised this kind of propaganda is produced. We should also realise that those in the service of the elites that benefit from the political system will do everything they can to maintain the propaganda. It is possible to understand all of that, and still be very disappointed that so very many ordinary people fall for it. The sad fact is, propaganda works, and always has.

It is worth reminding ourselves that the Skripal incident was a propaganda initiative from day 1. The role of the Integrity Initiative and its Skripal group – in which the BBC was very much included – puts this BBC propaganda piece in its proper perspective.

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. I know that the British government story makes no sense whatsoever, and I know that the Russian government has not told us the truth about the identities of Boshirov and Petrov, otherwise their true identities would have been firmly documented and reported by now. What the Russians were doing remains a mystery, with possibilities ranging from assassination through liaison to extraction. What the British government was doing is equally murky, and whether the Skripals are willingly a part of MI6’s plans is by no means clear. Sergei’s continuing work for MI6 and his relationship with Pablo Miller are evidently key, while I suspect that Sergei’s role in Christopher Steele’s baroque, fabricated dossier on Donald Trump is probably the motive for the action.

The prosecutions of Julian Assange and Alex Salmond, and subsequently of myself, have stood in the way of my declared intention to make a documentary about the Skripal case, while the money you have so kindly contributed to my legal defence fund is almost as much as I needed to raise for the film. Attempting to counter the propaganda of the state while the state employs its legal mechanisms to drain your energy and resources is not easy. That is of course the standard lot of dissidents around the globe. It will not stop us.


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515 thoughts on “Cynicism and Warmongering

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  • Terry Jones

    The reason why the Russians kept quiet about the identities of the two Russians and feign ignorance is because they don’t wish to shed light on this affair

    This is because they are aware that the attack was carried out by the “deep state” to conceal Russian infiltration. It’s quite simple, the “deep state” invent a fake Russian threat which was external to detract from that which is internal (infiltration) and which was about to be revealed.

    They did so because they were afraid that this would affect their prestige and reputation with the Americans and Europeans at a crucial juncture.

    • Piotr+Berman

      I wanted to respond, but I realized that I cannot find any sense in what you wrote, so it is hard to reply. I did not know that one can assemble premises out of thin air (or thicker moist air that is more prevalent at certain islands) to propose something that makes scant sense from the beginning to the end.

      • Terry Jones

        It makes perfect sense since I showed it to someone else and they understood it. I sense you are one of those posters whose purpose is to discredit deny and so on.

        it’s not out of “thin air”, it’s just that I haven’t included the details.

          • Terry Jones

            Well that’s funny other people understood it here and they aren’t even English. So on the balance of probabilities, you are likely to fall into the same category as the other poster.

            In any case I shall rephrase.

            The reason why the Russians kept quiet about the identities of the two Russians and continue to feign ignorance about the whole affair is because they don’t wish to shed light on it.

            This is because they are aware that the attack was carried out by the “deep state” (in other words the British intelligence services) in order to conceal Russian infiltration. It’s quite simple, they invent a fake Russian threat which was external (outside of the services) to detract from that which is internal to the services (infiltration) and which was about to be revealed by someone.

            They had to go to such extreme measures because they were afraid that any such revelation at this crucial juncture (what with the brexit negotiations and the special relationship being somewhat wobbly) would have had a deleterious effect upon the prestige and reputation and thus diminish them in the eyes of the United States and various European governments.

            This is just a summary of what happened and why it happened.

            The full account is very easy to prove although it is likely that we will get trolls from the intelligence services here doing their discredit deny schtick.

            In any case I would prefer it if the author of this site were perhaps to email if he is still as interested as he claims to be. This is why I repeated myself

          • Terry Jones

            @Squeeth Well. I have as stated given a summary and I have not included the details for reasons which I have explained.

            And if we are talking about “Occam’s razor”, the official narrative is delusional and stupid and so is anyone who believes it.

          • Bayleaf

            @Terry Jones
            There are many plausible theories about what occurred and why the Russian government do not wish to enlighten us as to what they know. Claiming that you have a unique insight that is “easy to prove”, while failing to provide a single supporting fact, doesn’t really help. In fact, all you’ve done is to raise the white noise level by a notch or two,

          • Terry Jones

            1) I would not outline the facts here at the moment because of the fact that one will have to deal with government trolls and I have better things to do right now. I include a brief summary
            2) I would prefer to speak on a one to one basis about such matters perhaps with Mr Murray if he is really interested.
            3) I have at the very least outlined why the evidence in relation to the two Russians is very obviously palpable nonsense. As such it therefore follows that other evidence that I have is credible
            4) The only people spreading noise are the government and people who come up with theories about the Trump dossier and Russian gas and so on. Sorry

          • Terry Jones

            As I say, I am believed by those to whom I have told the full story. I only touch upon things here in case Craig Murray wishes to know more.

        • Number Free22

          Terry, I do not believe the related Guardian or BBC/MSN stories so I am able to understand what you had said.
          I would add though, in the MSM story line that the Russians had apparently requested a sample of the toxin from the UK which they are still waiting for.
          Also, if there is any truth in the Skripal story at all, why should anyone actually care what happens to double agents? By default they are inherently untrustworthy spineless scum bags with no loyalty.
          Why is all the taxpayer money and resource being used on some pathetic propoganda excercise that has no benefit to UK citizens? I wonder exactly who this propaganda story actually does benefit?
          Ps, Just my statement of personal opinion obviously, so salaried trolls stand down, Im not bothering to bait you, this time 😊.

          • Terry Jones

            It benefits some nonentities in the foreign office who are concerned about their positions and status and who wouldn’t be employed in a sewage reclamation plant if they were pushed out.

            Yeah it does not benefit the people but then neither does the foreign office.

      • Mrs Pau!

        Here is another thread. Historically Skripal was an attache at the Russian embassy in Spain and had his own deals. Recently the Russian mafia have been infiltrating Spain and Skripal. Is reported to have been advising Spanish government how they operate. Maybe he was in their way and removed as a result?, its a theory.

    • Opport Knocks

      I agree that the official Russian story for these 2 is lame and also not the truth. Russia likely would have continued to monitor Sergei Skriptal and his communications after his defection.
      It is far more probable that the 2 Russians were there for one or more other reasons:
      1. On other official business
      2. To pick up other official intelligence
      3. They had learned something was about to happen with the Skriptals and they wanted eyes on the ground

      • Terry Jones

        They were taking drugs and sleeping with prostitutes. Not the sort of people who would pass vetting let alone be employed

        • Tony+Little

          Indeed. While is is POSSIBLE that these two guys were there officially, how they acted and the entire methodology they used beggars belief. Traveling together, walking casually around Salisbury (as captured, conveniently on CCTV), back tracking to create an implausible rationale. It doesn’t make sense.

          Not sure we’ll ever know the truth, but what it isn’t, is the UK Government’s “official” conspiracy theory.

          • Terry Jones

            It’s a very funny story and it’s even funnier that so many people beleive it and that the government and police repeat this nonsense.

    • Muscleguy

      That there were a couple of Russian agents in the Salisbury area while a major chemical warfare exercise was being conducted on the plain is hardly a surprise, is it?

    • Baalbek

      Many people, including yours truly, enjoy constructing hypothetical scenarios that attempt to explain a “news event”, such as the Skripal affair, that they learned about solely via the the BBC and other mostly mainstream media outlets (i.e. not first hand).

      A good number of people who engage in these type of amateur internet sleuthing exercise are fully aware that the best they can do is offer possible explanations based on the limited information available to them.

      But there is also no shortage of people who are seemingly unable to understand that their hunches and speculations are in no way synonymous with definitive knowledge or “truth” that, of course, they do not – and cannot – possess because they did not experience or witness the event first hand and are working only with very limited palette of information, often from unreliable sources.

      It’s a very strange condition since these people do not usually come across as completely thick or “stupid”. What they typically do is write up their hunch or guess using the brisk, confident language and phrasing of one who is convinced he has uncovered the absolute and incontrovertible truth behind the event in question.

      An example: “The reason why the Gremlins kept quiet about the identities of the Elohim is because they wanted to keep their hand a secret.” Stated as a simple fact, no ambiguity, no hint that it’s just a speculation and, unsurprisingly, no evidence.

      The blurb might go on to say something like “It’s quite simple, a “deep state” agent planted a USB stick with fake documents pointing to a non-existent Gremlin threat at the badminton club frequented by a group of Elohim intelligence operatives, one of whom “found” the flash drive, as intended, and dutifully delivered the phoney documents to his handler.” Again, it reads like the writer knows exactly what, where and how “it” happened even though this is impossible given the constraints of material reality and the laws of physics.

      Go to any online forum where current event are discussed and you will find many posters who clearly conflate conjecture and guesswork with established facts and incontestable truths that they cannot possible know.

      You might be thinking to yourself good grief, it’s just the internet, welcome to 1999. What disturbs me about this trend, though, is that it suggests a non-trivial number of alternative media and blogosphere perusing folk who, while aware of the fraud perpetuated by establishment media outlets, are nonetheless quite delusional about their own reasoning capabilities (or lack thereof) and unable to differentiate between fact, truth and opinion.

      I don’t have any ‘smoking gun’ evidence or proof to present but I don’t remember this very post-modern affliction being common in the early days of the internet and Usenet discussion groups. Several years after the iPhone debuted in 2007 and the bait and switch scam of “social” media killed the free and open internet by herding people onto a handful of addictive and tightly controlled corporate psyop platforms, I began to notice more and more people passionately believing all kinds of nonsense and rejecting reason and logic as the most effective guides and tools humans have for making sense of the world.

      In other words..the overwhelming abundance of online information combined with the effects of living life on very weird and psychologically unhealthy “social” media platforms, plus the media’s schizophrenic new role as, on one hand, an intrusive and overbearing ‘lifestyle advice coach’ and, on the other hand, a purveyor of sinister Orwellian/Huxleyan propaganda mixed with ‘covert’ attempts at social engineering…in other words, this brave new post-modern, post-truth world of fetishized hyper-narcissistic neoliberalism has gone and broken people’s brains.

      If this is indeed the case, and there is research out there that suggests it might be, the implications for society are grim, horrifying even. The way people relate to each other has changed noticeably since the 2016 US general election and the ramp up of the media’s always on ‘perception management’ psyop.

      Times are very strange but it’s extremely disconcerting that so few people notice just how weird things have become. And, of course, the whole ‘end-of-reason, goodbye enlightenment’ thing on top of that, which is what this post was originally about.

      Last but not least thank you, Terry Jones, for providing the spark of inspiration that became this post. It couldn’t have happened without you, mate 😉

      • Terry Jones

        Or they were personally involved which is a scenario which if you discount it suggests a closed mind

        BTW I don’t particular care what people on the internet think but I comment on a news article in case the author who I appreciate is busy with a court case wishes to get in touch in order to know more.

  • Anthony

    Alarming how easy it was to chill journalists and opposition MPs into not questioning the absurdities of the official narrative. Very similar to 2010 when nobody challenged the phoney narrative justifying austerity. The forces responsible for holding government in check do not seem to care about truth, only staying in the good esteem of the UK establishment hive mind.

    • Terry Jones

      It’s also very alarming that I know the truth about what happened and as might be expected I either get ignored ( 🙂 ) or perhaps it will be the case that I will get some government troll.

      • Mrs Pau!

        There are lots of possible scenarios. I have historically proposed several and can do so now – for example the Russians were couriers who flew to the UK, travelled to Salisbury with some special transaction, mayber for a Russian oligarch in the Home Counties. They dropped it off for Skripal to pick up at an agreed secret location and then arrange delivery. The Russians returned to London where they diverted themselves overnight. Returned to Salisbury next day to collect reply via location agreed with Skripal and couriered it back to Russia. This is all complete speculation on my part of course. I thi k it is quite neat. It fits the known facts. BUt I do not convince myself that I know the truth as a result. Just one more theory.

        • Terry Jones

          They were two dope smokers who got laid with a prostitute and who drew attention to themselves.

          It is therefore to anyone with half a braincell a ludicrous scenario to suggest that they were involved because Russia would not have chosen them for such an operation

          I know the truth because I was personally involved.

          You were not.

          That is the crucial difference

          I don’t have to prove this to you. I just do so to highlight things in case Craig Murray is interested in knowing more about this story

    • Goose

      Many have long forgotten they are delegated the responsibility to act in the interests of the people who elected them, not defend the status quo and shield the security establishment from scrutiny. Even the very pro-establishment Telegraph newspaper ran a story last year : MI5 engaged in ‘extraordinary and persistent illegality’ whilst handling personal data.. Were any of our ‘representatives’ in parliament upset on our behalf or demanding changes?

      The refusal of the govt to hold a judicial inquiry into torture, currently being challenged in the High court by a few good men.. David Davis and Dan Jarvis; Davis once a SAS reservist and Jarvis ex special forces. Shows how difficult it is to get any semblance accountability or honesty from Westminster.

    • Goose


      Our (FPTP) electoral system and the safe seat for life, explains why so few MPs want to rock the boat on any issue; least of all, upset the security establishment. It’s a similar situation in the US.

      Chris Williamson tried to shake things up, campaigning for Open Selection(allowing local members to select their Labour Party parliamentary candidates by open democratic selection) invoking the fury of his fellow Labour MPs’, and look what happened to him.

      • Anthony

        Yes, a highly unlikely opportunity presented itself to transform Labour but it has been and gone. The establishment-approved MPs are back to being untouchable and being led by one of their own kind.

        • Wobblyjack

          Good points. Sad to say the party is over for the party. A once serious, forensic collection of debaters has turned into a bunch of jackanapes, braying and stuttering in the vain hope of personal reward and ennoblement. Out, vile jellies. ☮️

    • Piotr+Berman

      Once again someone denies the most obvious facts like
      immaculate conception of our Lord and Savior
      immaculate conception of Israel
      and now, the absolute necessity of austerity that entails

      ▢ lowering budget deficit
      ▢ not raising taxes
      ▢ maintaining military project including much beloved Trident
      ▢ increasing the cost of national health service by various “privatization” improvement
      ▢ assorted other necessities

      After excluding the impossible (as we know from HMG), it was necessary to place some folks on the receiving end of the spending cuts. New, improved version of Marie Antoinette: let them rummage in charity bins.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes as you say what were the Russians really up to, whatever it was, it certainly gave a green light to the British security services to concot this unrealistic charade, and pass it off as to what the Russians were up to.

    Just where are the Skripals now,? Are they dead? Is that the mostly likely outcome, for if they willingly played along with the British security services to blacken Russia, (both of them succumbing to the poison at exactly the same time on the bench, and the Chief Army nurse conviently on site as well, leads me to believe that they were both in on the deception forced or otherwise) then you would expect Putin to pull out all the stops to acquire both of them for rigourous questioning at the first opportunity.

    • Terry Jones

      At the risk of repeating myself, the reason why the Russians kept quiet about the identities of the two Russians and feign ignorance is because they don’t wish to shed light on this affair

      This is because they are aware that the attack was carried out by the “deep state” to conceal Russian infiltration. It’s quite simple, the “deep state” invent a fake Russian threat which was external to detract from that which is internal (infiltration) and which was about to be revealed.

      They did so because they were afraid that the revelation would affect their prestige and reputation with the American and European intelligence services at a crucial juncture.

  • Clark

    Best wishes to you Craig.

    “I suspect that Sergei’s role in Christopher Steele’s baroque, fabricated dossier on Donald Trump is probably the motive for the action.”

    Remember also that this all happened during the under-publicised UK gas crisis, induced by crony capitalism, in which the UK came within a whisker of our lights and heating being switched off during some of the fiercest cold weather Europe had seen in many years:

    European gas supply involves Russian foreign policy weapon Gazprom, of course.

    • Terry Jones

      It has nothing to do with the dossier whatsoever nor indeed gas (although there is a lot of hot air)

      It is to do with infiltration.

      And the sooner the BBC is shut down the better. It’s a shameful organisation

    • Republicofscotland

      On the gas point Clark, which is probably another reason why the demonisation of Russia has stepped up a gear, Trump is livid, and therefore his obedient minion in Downing will be as well, that Germany looks set or already is purchasing Russian gas. It’s all a propaganda war to damage or enrich each others economies, though the average person on the street receives very little benefit from any of it.

        • Republicofscotland


          On the gas thingy, are you saying that the denouncing of Russia hasn’t stepped up a gear by the US and its favourite minion the UK, due to the real possibility that EU countries might buy Russian gas?

        • Giyane

          Terry Jones

          If the MSM tells us 2 Russian agents did something and Mrs Thatcher’s waxwork tells a Lord Mayor’s banquet Russia is a malign influence, one has to ask why they are commenting instead of covering it up.

          To my mind this is plain disinformation.
          Liars always want us to forget their crimes, so even if they want to hide something , they will never draw attention to what they want to hide. Our deep state never discusses stuff with us.

          This is why your thesis is unconvincing because all of this Skripal tripe was given such a high profile. The way to grapple with BS is to assume that every word is calculated to put the hounds off the scent.

          Any body who says they have the scent is deluded. We are not party to any of the tripe of government. For example in Kurdistan the criminals in power send billions of dollars of oil revrnue to Western banks. So they produced a film of themselves womanising , drinking and gambling, to throw people off the scent.

          These people only want money
          There are no quasi- moral factors like being embarrassed by infiltration.
          They have no shame, but they know we have shame , so they spin their webs in terms of moral maze, to lead us away from their utter greed . We need to protect our minds from following every drop of false scent, and to stay on our guard, until they slip up , or somebody leaks. Imho.

          • Terry Jones

            1) The media narrative is influenced and the truth is suppressed by the foreign office and other bodies.
            2) The argument that anyone is has the scent is deluded is itself deluded. It is perfectly possible for someone to know the truth.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    It is quite possible the two Russians had nothing to do with the Skripal goings on at all. They may not have been in Salisbury for touristic reasons, but they they might well have been there for entirely unrelated (but not above board) reasons.

    • Goose

      Their mannerisms and almost nonchalant behaviour didn’t fit any M.O. of an assassination. How could they have known Sergei wasn’t home walking up that street in broad daylight at midday like that? Mark Urban stated MI5 had been fully aware in the months prior of the raised threat to Sergei’s life, presumably from those 2017 ‘interviews’ he’d conducted. If so, how is the lack of house of street CCTV explained or the fact he was living there under his real name.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        Why would they travel on Russian travel documents (that require a visa) without much of a cover story? Agents at that level would always be prepared with plausible deniability in case they are suspected and questioned. If not for themselves, to protect their agency. I’m sure the GRU is able to obtain EU travel documents with a fake identity (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Cyprus, etc.).

        • Piotr+Berman

          This is not simple with biometric passports (perhaps possible for sophisticated actors?). Murders that worked relied on hiring “local talent”. You need to provide photo and address to a gangster with insufficient funds. For example, a “sleeper agent” — not used for any visible work — could penetrate a cigarette smuggling network or anything of that sort, and from there access to local hitmen.

    • Tatyana

      Petrov said he works as the head of the department in a pharmaceutical company Microgen in Tomsk, also they both confirmed they have mutual business, they also said their business deals with sport nutrition and similar goods.

      • Goose

        Who knows?

        But him having one role doesn’t preclude him having another.

        Many reporters have dual roles. Roles that involve frequent travel are seen as ideal cover.

        • Tatyana

          Well, maybe, I don’t know. I just wondered if it’s possible that they got invitation from someone to visit Salisbury on the pretext of getting samples of some “doping” or “sport nutrition” developed by that pharma company near Porton Down.

          • Terry Jones

            They had nothing to do with it as they were not exactly compis mentis at the time. The accusation that they were involved is one which I found laughable.

          • Goose

            I tend to think their identification and supporting evidence via the BBC and Bellingcat, is one thing that you can put money on being correct in this whole affair.

            Even if you hold the belief this Skripal ‘novichok’ story is in part or wholly fabricated, the part about their identities will be accurate; because intel agencies involved will have seen that as central to showing “means, motive, and opportunity”… normally necessary to prove one’s guilt in a criminal trial, but equally important in convincing the public. Plus, Russia would’ve been very quick to produce other supporting evidence were they just ordinary tourists.

            In the TV interview they did with Russian RT, they looked extremely nervous, as if facing an uncertain fate.

          • Terry Jones

            Ignore Goose. Bellingcat has links with the Atlantic council.

            The reason why they were nervous is because they had a dirty weekend, took drugs and were not expecting to be on the television.

          • Goose

            @Terry Jones

            I didn’t post in support of Bellingcat and I agree they probably are fed a lot of their stuff by western agencies. But that’s why in this case it’s likely accurate – because it suits all for their identities to be out there. The BBC led its news all day with ‘proof’ of their identities. The BBC with its well known intel links dating way back, doesn’t go out on a limb on a story like that without being leaned on to do so.

          • Terry Jones

            @Goose They are a couple of dope smokers (who look as much) who cavorted with prostititutes and who drew attention to themselves by making a racket at the hotel.

            Sorry to repeat myself but they really are not the sort of people the GRU or SVR would employ and to be frank the prospect is highly amusing.

            The media were leant upon to support the fiction that Russia carried out the attack and the BBC amongst other pointed to these two people.

    • James

      OnlyHalfALooney – I suspect that MI6 enticed these two Russians to Salisbury. I don’t know how they did this. Then (of course) they could use their presence and pictures on the CCTV cameras to prove that it woz the Russians wot dunnit ……

      I still haven’t worked out why MI6 done in Dawn Sturgess. Did she see something that she shouldn’t have seen, perhaps?

        • James

          Goose – I think it’s pretty clear that that was no accident. I don’t believe that Sergei and Yulia were experimenting with wacky hippie drugs and it all went horribly wrong. I’m not an expert in these things – if fentanyl is one of these things that makes you feel real good, then I’ll take your word for it.

          But I always had the impression that people who were into hippie drugs were usually in their early 20’s, had long hair and were generally unwashed. I don’t think this applies to the Skripals.

          More likely that the MI6 screws got the fentanyl into them – and had the nurse and her daughter strategically placed to do the needful.

          • Piotr+Berman

            Perhaps people of all ages can do it, but here we have a daughter visiting father after very long time, they visit family grave, restaurant, pub …. and drugs? Dotting daughter brings favorite foods from their native country and Dad waits with … fentanyl? As an editor in a publishing house, I would request the author to write something plausible instead.

          • Goose

            No,not the Skripals, those are the views held by many locals on what happened to Dawn Sturgess.

            And I don’t think MI6 ‘done anyone in’ as you put it.

            Middle aged people die of drug overdoses and/or drink all the time and you don’t hear much about it.

          • Piotr+Berman

            That actually makes sense. TPTB could wait for an overdose death to remake it into Novichock incident, using the reliably confused Mr. Romley.

          • Wobblyjack

            If you think that drug users look like unkempt, twenty something’s then I would advise you to spend a Friday evening in some City pubs. Land of coke and money. They have dealers on speed dial. ☮️

        • William Bowles

          The first reports alluded to the fact that both Skripals seemed to be suffering from a Fentanyl overdose, not Novichok (if it ever existed in the first place). The Fentanyl attribution quickly vanished from reports.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        I think it was perhaps just at random. Put this attractive looking sealed perfume bottle in a bin in a place likely to be scrounged and see what happens. But I’m just guessing.

        But it is a bit strange. If the person who ends up being poisoned is sleeping on the streets or a serious drug addict, perhaps the poisoning won’t be noticed at all. All the police will find is a dead body and they won’t pay it much attention.

        Was the idea to give an anonymous tip to the police that they should search all bins? Was the perfume bottle scrounged before this could happen?

        Obviously, if it was intentional, the motive was to provide some kind of smoking gun.

        The whole thing is just bizarre.

        • James

          Well – as you say – all the theories look bizarre.

          But I’m convinced that Dawn Sturgess must have seen something (e.g. the people who applied the fentanyl to the Skripals) and therefore had to be got rid of.

          This doesn’t make sense – I agree – but the alternatives make even less sense.

        • Mishko

          These anomalous instances and obvious pieces of evidence
          have also been called “pissed on breadcrumbs”.
          These serve to mislead and distract within the constraints
          of the leading narrative.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Perhaps this BBC propaganda will stimulate a Streisand effect. Remember, at the time even the comments section of the Daily Mail on-line were full of ordinary folk bristling against this State narrative, purple pish.
    The notion that ” … propaganda works, and always has.” is true up to point. The current, frantic program of censorship on Twitter, Facebook et al, shows the Deep State to be worried about unfiltered thought on the net (this site, MoA, WoS, the Saker … ).
    If THE MAN can’t shut down the individual sites, he can disrupt dissemination of the message. Peoples we need a new Twitter.

    • Clark

      “The current, frantic program of censorship on Twitter, Facebook et al, shows the Deep State to be worried about unfiltered thought on the net”

      I’m worried about unfiltered “thought” on the net! It’s a massive rumour mill and a large proportion of people seem highly susceptible to it, and to amplifying and exaggerating it. It helped get Trump elected.

      The tabloids have long used sensationalism to sell papers – to sell audience numbers to advertisers actually – simultaneously distracting from the vital nuance of important issues. Then Google, Facebook etc. took up the same business model on the ‘net, promoting click-bait sensationalised conspiracy theories over the genuine but more complex underlying issues, and even tailoring it to individual tastes, making it more addictive. Then Cambridge Analytica etc. were unmasked, and frantic back-pedalling into traditional censorship began.

      With freedom comes responsibility. Our new peer-to-peer publishing needs peer-to-peer critical analysis, and less tolerance of nonsense.

      • William Bowles

        How come you don’t accuse the corporate/state media of being a “massive rumour mill”? As ever, the key to sorting the wheat from the chaff is critical thinking, something that is in seriously short supply these days. Banning the ‘crazy stuff’ but not the acceptable ‘crazy stuff’ seems irrational. I wonder, is the Flat Earth Society banned on FB or Twitter?

        • Clark

          I didn’t say we should ban the nonsense; in fact the big Internet platforms’ need to ban certain stuff is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. I said we should stop tolerating it, by which I mean that more on-line contributors should start calling it out instead of letting it pass; deprive it of the false plausibility its supporters’ seeming consensus endows it with.

          Conspiracy theory needs to be challenged, upgrading to political and economic awareness.

          And fair doos, please WB; I did include some pretty scathing criticism of the corporate media.

          • Clark

            William Bowles, do you have a blog on-line? Post a link and I’ll come and discuss this there; it tends to get noisy here, especially on a spy story thread like this one.

          • Goose

            Yes, ‘conspiracy theories’ need to be challenged, but do you honestly think people like Craig et al wouldn’t welcome that? It’s the Mark Urban and govt’s of this world who refuse to answer basic questions. I’d wager many here would be happy to both be wrong and admit they were wrong, if answers were provided to the various inconsistencies.

            The Skripals have seemingly been gagged from speaking to the press, or even contacting relatives – why do you think that is when interviews and conversations could be conducted with professional journos perfectly safely.

            And on the subject of conspiracies, Boris Johnson jumped on the ‘bash Russia’ bandwagon, on twitter, over Arkady Babchenko’s brutal slaying that wasn’t remember. The ‘Operation Lazarus’ stunt.

          • Clark


            “do you honestly think people like Craig et al wouldn’t welcome that?”

            Craig does welcome it, but nonsense has a tendency to dominate nonetheless, even to the extent that certain topics have to be banned on this site as a consequence.

            “It’s the Mark Urban and govt’s of this world who refuse to answer basic questions.”

            I see that as the cause, and the nonsense as its consequence; propaganda creates the condition in which conspiracy theory proliferates.

            “many here would be happy to both be wrong and admit they were wrong…”

            A few do. More just go silent, or cite some dubious anomaly that seems to support their position, or cite a completely different argument that seems to support the same outcome, or make the stock accusation that “you’re just supporting the official story”. Such techniques are logically invalid, but unfortunately they convince enough readers for nonsense to consolidate and proliferate.

            “why do you think that is…”

            Power. The government narrative makes no sense, so the public are looking for answers. Either of the Skripals could turn this story in any number of directions were they free to speak.

      • Stonky

        Our new peer-to-peer publishing needs peer-to-peer critical analysis…

        They’re called comment forums Clark, and they’re all the “peer-to-peer critical analysis” I want to see on any alternative media site, because…

        …and less tolerance of nonsense.

        …you and a few hand-picked chums are quite literally the last people in the world I would want to have deciding on my behalf what is “nonsense” that “shouldn’t be tolerated”.

        For example, if I want to read about how “unfiltered thought on the net” got Trump elected, i can read all about it in the Guardian and the BBC, thank you. And it’s still idiotic drivel.

        • Clark

          “No lockdown in China” Stonky? That stuff of yours is exactly the sort of thing that needs calling out. I’m not surprised you’re objecting.

          Trump exploited multiple conspiracy theories to get himself elected. That must have had far more influence than “the Russians”. Most of them have not a shred of truth; us on the ‘net should have been shredding them from years in advance. Instead we ignored them, let them pass, and they gained enough believers to make a moron into the president of most powerful nation on Earth.

          What’s this about “a few hand-picked chums”, Stonky? Are you accusing me of being a member of a conspiracy? Some will be gullible enough to accept your insinuation, but it ain’t so.

          • Steph

            I think you may be overlooking something here Clark. The sort of thing you are advocating, i.e. people taking it upon themselves to ‘call out’ those that they deem ‘wrong’, can actually have quite the opposite effect. Those who take this task upon themselves have a very nasty habit of taking a superior moral tone (as experienced by me in the previous thread!) which is quite infuriating and induces a sort of rebellious rejection of anything and everything you are attempting to say. I have no doubt that this is how many Trump supporters, ‘Brexiteers’ and assorted others come to behave as they do. It’s a kind of ‘you think you’re so clever, well cop a load of this then’ attitude. Especially when those taking this high moral stance are quite often horribly hypocritical. You yourself repeatedly insist that you deal only in ‘facts’ but then quote as such an analysis which the authors themselves state to be a ‘best estimate which may not apply in other areas’. Similarly, you dismiss out of hand another analysis, produced by people with just as much if not more, expertise in their field, because it does not fit with your own ideas.
            It does not hurt to say ‘That is an interesting viewpoint, but have you considered this…’ I believe you mean well, but I also think that you are perhaps shooting yourself in the foot by continually painting your own view as utterly unassailable when clearly it is not..
            Sorry, I have way too much time on my hands!

          • glenn_uk

            Clark: “Trump exploited multiple conspiracy theories to get himself elected. That must have had far more influence than “the Russians”. Most of them have not a shred of truth; us on the ‘net should have been shredding them from years in advance. Instead we ignored them, let them pass[…]”

            We did a lot worse than ignore them. Many here echoed the ludicrous conspiracies the far-right were churning out, and delighted in nonsense such as H. Clinton had Parkinson’s, FEMA death-camps were springing up with millions of body-bags, that 30,000 guillotines were being propelled around the country, on and on…

            Funnily enough, the exact same people pushing that crap before the last US election are now promoting the latest right-wing conspiracy nonsense that C-19 is “a hoax”.

            What a coincidence!

          • Clark

            “Similarly, you dismiss out of hand another analysis, produced by people with just as much if not more, expertise in their field, because it does not fit with your own ideas”

            Ah, battling experts, like Jedi Knights! This is how the corporate media (the so-called MSM) present science. But we can do better than that for ourselves. For example, you pointed out I had a fact wrong, and I immediately corrected:


            But you were so busy posing opinion, and judging science by the character of the scientist…


            ..that you seem not to have noticed. I will always correct facts if I get them wrong, and I will always be glad of the correction. It is then a matter of reasoning from those facts, and if there is an error in my reasoning or something I have overlooked, I will be glad to consider that too.

            Only when we have reached the limit of facts and reasoning do we need to resort to opinion. This thread is about a spy story. It is a fact that the government account makes little sense, and so many facts have been hidden or distorted by the government that this thread will be full of opinions. That’s fine, but it’s not my sort of thing so I won’t be participating much.

            As regulars will know, I recommend Bad Science by Ben Goldacre for blowing away the fog infused into our minds by the corporate “news” media.

          • Clark

            Steph – “You yourself repeatedly insist that you deal only in ‘facts’ but then quote as such an analysis which the authors themselves state to be a ‘best estimate which may not apply in other areas’”

            I don’t think I did “quote an analysis”, but if you wish to discuss this further, please post at the end of the “Coronavirus: Only an Anecdote” thread, as it is off-topic here.

    • Piotr+Berman

      It may be that, but there is also part of VERY IMPORTANT STUFF that the government does for the benefit of the comparatively feeble minded population (geniuses being in HRG and less identifiable places in USA). A list of dogmas is periodically updated, disbelievers are heretics and witches consorting with Satan (or Putin), time to swing Hammer of Witches. In these enlightened times heretics and witches are not burned, but branded, and the public is duly warned not to open their poisonous texts, videos or whatever. A lot of effort is made and publicized, hundreds (thousands?) of otherwise unemployable expert hired across Europe and other continents to trace and analyze the flow of Russian influence (some was identified as Iranian or Chinese through the analysis of “technical and behavioral symptoms”), spectacular purges are conducted on Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook etc., citizenry can sleep well knowing that they are in good hands.

      I remember deep relief when COVID-19 was starting and I had learned that the Federal Reserve prepares a quantitative easing for the eventuality that the economy would be clobbered. That was about grand total of American preparations, but nobody can deny that something had been done. On a more familiar ground of much studied danger of poisoning hearts and mind, we can see an astonishing quantity and variety of actions.

    • Goose

      The leaked integrity initiative documents show levels of paranoia about online foreign influence in that organisation worthy of psychological counselling. It really is resurrected digital McCarthyism with a fresh lick of paint for the 21st century.

      They’ve got some sort of savior complex. But no one wanted or asked for their help and we’d prefer free speech to them trying to chill it and stifle debate. They’re almost certainly acting in breach of the ECHR too, if they are doing any of that influence stuff domestically(?) Like the guardian they claim Russian bots are trying to influence opinion on social media but can’t produce evidence. All they seem to be doing is trying to crush domestic dissent.

  • Brendan

    As I noted yesterday, the BBC drama appeared to show Charlie Rowley fishing the perfume bottle out of the charity bin at least two months ahead of when this really occurred, to make it more plausible that it had been dropped in there after the alleged attack on the Skripals. The question of how it had managed to sit in a charity bin for three months, when that bin was emptied regularly, was thus dodged.

    That was also the original version of the official narrative, as outlined by the Met’s assistant commissioner, Neil Basu on 10 July 2018:

    “He said it was possible the pair had picked up a container of novichok at the time of the Skripal attack in March but had only now opened it.”

    One of the many amazing coincidences in the Novichok story is that that after an inexplicable delay of more than a week, the perfume bottle was found within a day of Charlie regaining consciousness. It’s as if they had to check with his recollection of events to make sure they could get away with their perfume bottle story.

    That went OK for them for a few weeks until Charlie said that he definitely did not find the bottle in Queen Elisabeth Gardens in Salisbury (where it was plausible that the Skripals’ attackers could have disposed of it, and Charlie or Dawn could have picked it up any time). With that possibility ruled out, Charlie apparently concluded that he could only have found the bottle in the charity shop bin.

    Charlie seems to mostly believe the official narrative but he’s still very much aware of the questions that it raises, as he told the Sun a few days ago:

    “It’s almost like it was put there to be found again. I think it was put there on purpose. The time frame is just too wrong for that to turn up in a sealed box three months after the initial ­poisoning. But as for who or why, that’s the biggest mystery of all.”

    • Duncan

      Brendan, perhaps Charlie not dying became a Met problem.
      This whole affair could have reached a new level if it was not for the inconvenient fact that Charlie was alive.

  • Goose

    Before the whole Sturgess, Rowley incident, the story was pretty much over as far as the domestic and international press were concerned.. No one had died and the Skripals had recovered, the diplomatic fallout on Russia was easing.

    The story seems to have taken numerous twists and turns. Charlie and Matthew Rowley gave numerous interviews in which they explained the bottle “splintered or broke in his hands “. Yet the evidence in the photo of the bottle and packaging showed an intact bottle?

  • Phil Williamson

    One point that is not often made (because Communist/Marxist commentators are thin on the ground) about the arms trade and the related ideological effort expended on “creating enemies” is that the destruction of capital represented by this sector of the economy, especially since WW2, was absolutely vital in preventing massive over-production crises.

    All capitalist economic crises are, in the last instance, over-production crises. I leave it to the late, great Giovanni Arrighi ( to explain in this opening extract from an article first published in Italian in 1972:

    “The history of capitalism shows us that the periodic recurrence of crises is not a function of the working class’s strength or combativity, of ‘mistakes’ in economic management, or even of ‘parasitism’ in society. The tendency towards crisis is indissolubly linked to the existence of capitalism itself. It is a result of the contradiction between the goal of capitalist accumulation (the valorization of capital and the appropriation of surplus-value by capital) and the means by which this goal is pursued (growth in social productivity and the development of the social character of production). Social productivity is increased continuously by mechanization and the division and reorganization of labour, not in order to satisfy the needs of the producers, but in order to increase the proportion of the social product which accrues to capital instead of being passed on to the producers. This process has a contradictory effect on society’s ability to consume and produce. Whilst production (whose growth depends principally on the proportion of the social product which goes to the capitalists and is transformed into means of production) tends to increase, consumption (whose growth depends principally on the proportion of the social product which goes to the workers and which is transformed into means of consumption) tends to contract.

    Commodities produced using the means of production in which capital has been invested are thus always in danger of remaining unsold because of the restricted base of consumption under capitalism. From this spring what are called realization crises. The surplus-value which labour produces and incorporates in commodities is not realized – in other words, it does not form profit – because part of the commodities in question either remain unsold or can only be sold at such low prices that potential profit is reduced or nullified. In this case, the crisis occurs because the rate of exploitation (the relation between the portion of social product which is appropriated by capital and the portion retained by the workers) is ‘too high’ to allow the realization of surplus-value.

    If for any reason, on the other hand, the rate of exploitation does not rise and stays constant (or even falls), accumulation no longer tends to run up against over-restricted consumption, since workers’ incomes rise in step with productivity. In this case, accumulation runs up against the limits set by the fall in the rate of profit (the ratio of profit to invested capital). A constant (or diminishing) proportion of the social product is insufficient to remunerate, at a constant rate, the ever-increasing mass of capital that the capitalists have to invest per unit of product. If exploitation stays constant (or falls), the rate of profit falls with capital intensity in production.footnote1 There is hence a tendency for a reduction in accumulation to take place, because the capitalists do not get the returns they expected from their investment. In this case, the crisis is brought on because the rate of exploitation is ‘too low’ for an ‘adequate’ remuneration of capital.

    In both cases the crisis is manifested as a fall in the rate of profit and overproduction of commodities: in the first case (rate of exploitation ‘too high’) the rate of profit falls because there is overproduction of commodities and surplus-value cannot be completely transformed into profits; in the second case (rate of exploitation ‘too low’) there is overproduction because the fall in the rate of profit brings about a diminished demand for means of production. In spite of this apparent similarity, there is an important difference between the two situations. In the first case, overproduction (and the fall in the rate of profit) is greater in the sectors which produce wage-goods (goods consumed by the working class) and the means of production needed to make these goods. Capital therefore tends to migrate out of these sectors, and the social product ends up containing a lower quantity of these goods and a larger proportion of goods consumed by the bourgeoisie and unproductive social strata. In the second case, the opposite takes place. In other words, there will be a crisis both with a rate of exploitation which is ‘too high’ and with one which is ‘too low’. But the final outcome of the crisis in each case is different. In the first case, its weight will fall on the working class; in the second, it will fall on capital and on unproductive social strata.”

      • Piotr+Berman

        Can you give a link on our side of the paywalls for the benefit of poor sods who sent the last disposable penny to defend our esteemed host? E.g. the access to Sabotage in the financial system: Lessons from Veblen by Anastasia Nesvetailova and Ronen Palan in Business Horizons, Volume 56, Issue 6, November–December 2013 costs 36 USD. :=(

        • Phil Williamson

          “On the Nature and Uses of Sabotage”, originally published in The Dial ( in 1919, was republished as the first chapter of The Engineers and the Price System (1921) available at the Internet Archive (

          With respect to my original post, even with its rapidly-accelerating post-WW2 arms expenditure, the first US over-production crisis occurred in the auto industry in the early-1950s; and had a majority of the capital diverted into post-WW2 arms production in the West instead been circulated in non-arms production, there would have been no ‘golden period’ for Capitalism between 1945-1973.

      • Phil Williamson

        I had never read any Veblen until today. I have now read the article you cited, On the Nature and Uses of Sabotage. It’s crap.

          • Phil Williamson

            1. This isn’t about me…I wonder why you thought that it was?

            2. His effort is piss-poor even when compared with any one of, say, Frank Owen’s explications to his fellow workers in The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists…which are works of art of their type, so I suppose that that is actually an unfair comparison.

            3. OK, his effort is piss-poor even when compared to the Aberdeen telephone directory.

            4. Marx and Arrighi can sleep easy.

    • Piotr+Berman

      I agree that an industry manufacturing enemies exists and thrives, but Marxist-inspired analysis of profit rates in commodity industries or overproduction in general does not make contemporary sense. In the landscape of post-industrial economy that is present in the countries where this industry is most active, making weapons or extracting rents through sanctions has a minor economic role. Big money are in finance and health care. Production of goods was to a large degree moved to countries with lower labour cost and/or superior labour discipline, e.g. Bangladesh is a better place for making textiles than India because it is easier to murder or intimidate any attempts to organize labour that could lead to higher wages and lower reliability, and the real profit margins are in merchandizing, real estate extracting rents from stores etc.

      Whoever is in power, it is necessary to take care of panem et circenses, supply of goods and drama to mesmerize the masses to be awed by brave and wise actions of the leaders. They are busy doing VERY IMPORTANT STUFF. Taking care of distant enemies is the safest way to document that the leaders do serious things in a serious way. Any domestic activity, successful or not, has a bunch of unsatisfied customers. For example, some complain that austerity is not sufficiently austere (they still pay some taxes) while other complain that it is too austere (services stink, fat cats could pay more taxes). In contrast, successes in distant lands give glory, failures just tell us that we need to increase efforts and vigilance. Yea, Crimea was lost, efforts of the Light Brigade came to naught, but that just shows that Putin/Russia is even more pernicious that we believed (note: upgrade from pernicious to very pernicious), requiring more arms, more control of fake news, tighter reign on Wikipedia and so on.

    • Mrs Pau!

      I have followed this from the start. At the time Rowley remembered very clearly where he found the perfume bottle – a charity bin he described as a honeypot. He even showed the bin location to an itn journalist. It is only recently he has suffered a memory loss…….

  • nevermind

    A tip Phil. If you want people to read long tractats/ theorems please put it to us in chunks, makes for easier reading and referring to.
    thanks in advance.

    • Phil Williamson

      I hear your plea but, unless the scum at Alphabet Inc. start threatening to ‘cancel’ CM for ‘hate speech’ in the comments below his posts à la The Federalist and ZeroHedge (an act “surprisingly” not covered by the “quality” MSM as yet), there should be time for those interested to ‘take it in chunks’ if necessary. At least it’s not Althusser or Derrida!

  • Tom74

    If the government and media are this dishonest then we don’t in fact know that public believe the official narrative, do we? Polls, tweets etc suggesting they do would be part of he propaganda.
    And look how hard our media are still pushing other flawed narratives like the moon landings and 9-11 – clearly they are not so confident their propaganda has worked.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      Indeed, Churchill is on record as having said: “there is no such thing as opinion polls, only published polls.”
      Having briefly been employed in such, I can confirm that to be true, any preferred ‘opinion’ can be delivered and is done, almost daily via vox pop interviews on the streets of Britain.

  • Tatyana

    Mr. Murray, I’ve got a question. You say : “the Russian government has not told us the truth about the identities of Boshirov and Petrov, otherwise their true identities would have been firmly documented and reported by now.”

    I suppose, there must be some legal base for russian state to disclose someones private information for wide public. I suppose, normally that maybe done if a criminal case is open.
    Since UK government refused to forward an extradition request, then what do you think may the legal ground be for russian police to investigate those men and publish their documents?

    • JJ

      Since UK never responded in any way to notes verbale…requests for evidence and information and to jointly investigate this event….the embassy press presentations…refusing to hand back Russian citizens for treatment…refusing family visitirs to Skripals…etc etc….not surprising Russia will leave UK to stew in a mess.

      • Tatyana

        JJ, my thoughts are not fully reflected, but thanks anyway.
        I just thought that people in the UK probably have such an opinion about Russia that they believe, on Putin’s orders, the police could just knock on the doors to the house of Boshirov and Petrov, drag them into the police department, interrogate and publish everything they found out, well, just to satisfy an openly hostile state.
        Or, establish surveillance, dig out all the data and publish it, again to satisfy an openly hostile state.
        Or .. what?
        There are 2 Russian citizens, there’s no criminal case concerning them. What do you expect Putin to do with them? He can only ask them to answer questions, if they wish to. That was done.

  • Duncan

    I always believe, possibly incorrectly, that when one lie is discovered then the whole narrative is suspect.
    For me, it was the duck feed, the bread sharing with young Aiden Cooper and his two mates.
    In the “real” version, this happened shortly after the Skripals parked their car at Sainsbury’s around 1:30pm.
    At this time, Sergei would be dripping with Novichok, (Yulia too, although you need to be supple of limb to have two people smear their hands on the same door handle upon exit.)
    Anyway, the police waited 10 days to locate the boys, and they were only of interest as part of the fantasy to keep the door handle dosing credible.
    The Sun sent a writer and a photographer to interview the boy’s worried parents.
    The duck feed did happen.
    I noted that in the docudrama, our heroine saw the boys on a different location, swans not ducks, and two minutes before the Skripals actually parked their car.
    But it does not matter, it keeps the anti Russian level at a stage where Bojo would be desperate to deflect any attention from his current disaster.
    Bojo did say on German TV, when interviewed, “of course we have a sample”, blabbing too early before Porton Down began their deception.

    • Mishko

      It was at once comical and sad how this then became “the duckfeed incident.”
      Which allegedly was used by a pro torture CIA official to influence Trump with photo’s of said incident.

    • Piotr+Berman

      Sergei would be dripping with Novichok, (Yulia too, although you need to be supple of limb to have two people smear their hands on the same door handle upon exit.)
      I though that I have a plausible scenario. The pair enters the car, father (or daughter) starts crying, reminiscing the buried son (or brother). The other clasps his (her) hands and tells some words of consolation. The boys were hale after the encounter because, being boys playing outside, their hands were very dirty, thus with a protective layer. In turn, ducks have a habit of soaking the food in water before swallowing, they could wash the Novichok away,

  • Gary Littlejohn

    Someone asked where the Skripals are. The Canadian commentator who lives in Moscow John Helmer (Dances with Bears website) claimed some time ago that friends in England had helped him to identify where Yulia Skripal gave her (dubious) public statement to camera. He claimed it was at USAF Fairford base not that far from Salisbury. So if true I imagine that they are in the USA and will never be seen in public again.

    Exfiltration of Sergei seems a distinct possibility. But whether he was originally infiltrated is another matter. It might just have been that he wanted to return to Russia and now had information to trade about his work for UK intelligence. If so, he would have had to be stopped, probably at short notice when they realised that the two Russians were there to contact him, on a plausible deniability basis.

    Another aspect of the later official narrative is that it was the daughter of the head nurse of the British Army who administered first aid. That is not what the BBC drama showed. The daughter was given an award, with her mother claiming that this should have happened sooner, it was alleged. She allegedly phoned her mother who was shopping nearby, and the mother then rushed to the scene. That is not too implausibble given that the British Army had recently had a major exrcise nearby.

  • Antonym

    Warmongering with Russia while being overtaken by China: how bought off can you be? The only thing that counts for their paymasters the Anglo and Chinese billionaires is that the stock prices of Apple, Amazon, Walmart etc. keep going up and and up, through any crisis, even now during real Covid19. This “novichok” is but a fake fart compared to THAT.

  • Jeremn

    If the Russians had wanted to hurt Sergei, they would have stopped Yulia from ever visiting or threatened her with something in Russia.

    The idea that the Russians tried to bump Sergei off whilst Yulia was with him, complicating an already complicated attempt to get him, is insane.

    Yulia is the key to this, one way or another.

  • Piotr+Berman

    “the BBC drama appeared to show Charlie Rowley fishing the perfume bottle out of the charity bin at least two months ahead of when this really occurred”

    This is one more indication that whoever conceived the plot, he/she/they was motivated by watching “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” (Italian: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto), a 1970 Italian crime drama film directed by Elio Petri.

    The plot is that the main character (a police chief) commits a murder and drops assorted clues, and that watches his underling frantically investigating the case and making heroic effort not to conclude the obvious. Now BBC uses “poetic license” of the drama to hint that it is not plausible that the bottle dropped by Russian agents was picked by someone from charity bins months later. And “the main character” can watch further efforts not to notice the obvious.

    • Kempe

      The problem there is that Rowley can’t remember with any clarity where or when he found the bottle or how long it was in his possession before he gave it to Dawn Sturgess. That’s a problem for the scriptwriter and also for anyone wanting to use the incident to try and undermine the ‘official narrative’.

      • Stonky

        Good point Kempe. Because this crucial point is quite literally the only hole in the official narrative. The rest of it is drumskin-tight. So any chalenge to the official narrative that fails to deal with this crucial point is itself doomed to failure and deserves nothing but ridicule. Thanks for keeping us all right on this.

        • Terry Jones

          So you reallly think that a couple of dope smokers were vetted and employed by the GRU were then given an assignment whereby they came all the way to England, smoked drugs, cavorted with prostittutes, got told off for making noise and then were in a sober enough state to put some poison on the door handle (in broad daylight) of some nonentity who used to work for the GRU and who was released early?

      • Wazdo

        I did read, sorry I can’t remember where, that Dawn and Charlie went to the local Salisbury branch of Boots for their anti drug medication and that Dawn probably stole the perfume from there.

        Anyone else?

      • James

        Kempe – well, this is very much a side-issue; the official UK government story falls like a pack of cards on many other issues.

        With this one though – it looks as if the bin from which Rowley took the perfume bottle doesn’t seem to coincide with anywhere that the two Russian golden boys actually were.

      • Mrs Pau!

        I have followed this from the start. At the time Rowley remembered very clearly where he found the perfume bottle – a charity bin he described as a honeypot. He even showed the bin location to an itn journalist. It is only recently he has suffered a memory loss…….

  • William Bowles

    Can I suggest that the two Russians, Boshirov and Petrov, were in fact, Russian intelligence agents sent to find out what the hell was going on in Salisbury? It’s clear they were looking around Salisbury but involved? Why expose yourself AFTER the fact? Itdoesn’t make any sense. More likely, the Russian govt completely under-estimated the Novichok false flag.

    • Terry Jones

      GRU agents don’t tend to smoke lots of drugs, cavort with a prostitute and draw attention to themselves by making a nuisance of themselves.

      Not the sort of people the GRU would employ.

          • Terry Jones

            And I do know the sort of things the Russians definitely do not do which is employ such people to go on foreign intelligence operations

          • Tony+Little

            But this is a plausible way of behaving for mobsters/gangsters, call them what you like.

            One scenario I read (can’t recall where now, sorry) was that they were simply bag-boys for a Russian oligarch/minister who wanted them to collect something. Probably NOT from Skripal, but who knows. Their frequent trips to Switzerland is hardly ever mentioned, but consistent with salting away valuable papers etc.

            Just two inconsequential guys in the “right” place at the wrong time?

          • Terry Jones


            The Russian government wouldn’t employ mobsters or gangsters for jobs of that nature and they certainly wouldn’t carry out such a job like that.

            They just happen to be two inconsequential (Russian) people who are there at wrong time and who can be blamed.

            GCHQ just did a search on a database to see the GPS locations of people as well their associated data and chose these two plonkers.

    • Jeremn

      Or they were delivering passports (in a false name) or travel documents to bring Sergei back to Russia (didn’t the British check an Aeroflot flight to Moscow around that time, perhaps someone used those tickets after all). The two Russians look relaxed enough, implying they don’t really know what to do once their simple task has been completed. They also came the day before, perhaps an unsuccessful meeting? Speculation of course, but they look like couriers.

      The Russians then put them on TV to signal something to the British. Perhaps that Moscow knows Sergei wanted to come back?

      • Terry Jones

        They smoked drugs (they looked it), cavorted with prostitutes and were indiscreet in the hotel. They would not pass vetting, would certainly not be allowed to go on operations of this nature.

        They had nothing to do with this.

      • Tatyana

        I think it may be true, that Sergey wanted to come back.
        I’m unaware of the size of his british “retirement income”, but, regarding he earlier had prosperous wine-trading business in Malta and later prosperous business in selling his fellows to foreign state – I assume he may have decided to trade some secret to Russia for very good money and to come back. Perhaps, Steel dossier information.

        He might think he would spend the rest of his life near his daughter, who apparently was going to get married. Perhaps he wanted to be close to his future grandchildren, because he’d lost his wife and his son and was alone in Britain.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          There’s saomething very believable about it all being about money.Ok ,complicated in some way but money for sure.

        • Coldish

          Thanks, Tatyana, for reminding us of the personal aspect of the case. Sergey had a comfortable existence in Salisbury and a couple of friends there but had good reason to feel lonely and to be attracted by the possibility of returning to live in Russia. That possibility must also have been a concern for the British secret services. If they were worried that Julia was planning to help Sergey move back it would make sense for them to stop that happening while diverting blame to the long arm of the Russian state.

  • Squeeth

    Bide your time Craig, one day you’ll be able to say “all that and I’m still here” to your tormentors as they collect their P45s.

  • Cynical Bastard

    Here’s a synthesis of the most compelling “conspiracy theory”:

    Sergei Skripal, with his wife and son deceased, wants to return to Russia to be closer to his ailing mother and soon-to-be-married daughter.

    Yulia raised the possibility with authorities in Moscow and gets guarded approval, subject to certain conditions.

    Sergei has been involved in some highly sensitive spycraft while in the UK, including perhaps the Steele dossier. That dossier, meant to prove toxic to the Trump’s 2016 campaign, failed miserably and now is a massive embarrassment to the British Secret Service (and by extension the US Secret Service).

    Sergei knows he has to tread carefully and is at pains not to divulge his plans to anyone. He may even decide to spread a little pepper around (I only mention this to account for the somewhat dubious “Putin’s out to get me line” that’s recently materialised from Sergei’s friend and/or handler Cassidy).

    Since normal lines of communication cannot be trusted, Yulia arrives in Salisbury personally to tell her father that’s it’s all been arranged. (To suggest that Yulia is an innocent bystander in the poisoning is a pretty significant coincidence; e.g. if she comes to Salisbury for a week every year, it’s 52/1).

    The two of them switch their mobiles off and head out to meet Boshirov and Petrov for debriefing and possibly document exchange. Perhaps this even takes place in the London Road Cemetery. Boshirov and Petrov head for the airport. Sergei and Yulia switch their phones back on and head for Zizzi’s to celebrate.

    They don’t realise that they’ve been under surveillance. The British Secret Service (or US Secret Service, or both) is going ballistic. For Skripal to expose their role in the Steele Dossier and/or other secret operations would be unthinkable, cataclysmic.

    They rush a contingency plan into action. Inspired by the Littvinenko affair (which I’m not arguing was anything other than what it seemed), this involves poisoning a defecting Russian agent and blaming the Russians — a double whammy. They’ve already considered it when they started to have doubts about Skripal.

    Now the plan goes into frantic action. The Skripals are contaminated in the street. The Chief Nurse of the British Army is there because they want to do just enough to keep the Skripals in the country, not necessarily kill them. PC Bailey comes into contact with the transmission device and later leaves traces in the Skripal home (this would be at odds with the BBC version, which has him wearing a hazmat suit on entry).

    The lie has now become too big to fail. All propaganda apparatuses are brought into play. Putin is disinclined to tell the truth because the plan failed, the Brits were admirably ruthless, the stakes were small, and the extraction itself was a violation of protocols (he makes a comment that defectors deserve no respect, or some such thing). Commentators like Murray and Assange, meanwhile, need to be silenced/distracted at least until Trump is out of office, because full exposure of the facts would be a godsend to Trump’s re-election campaign (which would indeed be unwelcome).

    • Terry Jones

      I will repeat myself -> He was murdered to conceal infiltration. It would be possible to name names and they have recently deceased.

      The steel dossier is a complete red herring.

      And anyone who genuinely believes those two Russians had anything to do with the GRU and any such agency…well words fail me and I genuinely laugh at the thought that anyone can beleive this.

      • Bayard

        “And anyone who genuinely believes those two Russians had anything to do with the GRU and any such agency”

        It wouldn’t by a long chalk be the first time that an intelligence agency had hired a couple of bozos to do a job for them. They don’t have to be trained agents.

    • Julian

      Yes, that seems to make as much sense as anything and fits the facts well. In my guess the Skripals were sprayed with fentanyl to incapacitate them – that agrees with the doctor’s letter in the Times that nobody had nerve agent poisoning, and quite frankly, you’d be mad to be playing around with that in Salisbury town centre.

  • Dafydd

    I remember watching the film The Peacemaker staring George Clooney where he analyses film of a train crash that results in the loss of a nuclear bomb.

    He makes the point to not just look at what you see, it may be more important to look at what you don’t see.

    In the Skripal case it would include all the mobile phone footage and texts. All the cctv images except those that inadvertently slipped through the net.

    Also, what was the novichok dissolved in, was it the same solvent as in the perfume spray / why a spray?, Where was the overspray on the door and wall?

    • Terry Jones

      It was applied in the park and not the door-handle.
      It is physically impossible for the poison to have been applied there and for things to have occurred hours later in the way that they did. I cannot for the life me understand why people think this given how ludicrous this is.

      The Sergeant, as the chief constable initially said and is often not reported, went first to the scene of the crime (the park) and then went to the house,

      He then contaminated the door handle which he then touched on his way out.

        • Ian

          Terry, your theory is very interesting, and more plausible than most. If you can back it up in any way, or provide leads. I am sure Craig would interested to hear about it. He is not difficult to contact. Big button at the top.

          • Terry Jones

            I don’t wish to sound boastful but it’s certainly not a theory and I would lay money on it.

            Email is a difficult one because it is very easy to block so I unfortunately have no way of knowing whether he or indeed anyone receives the email I send him and vice versa. As such, I will include an invite link as well

            It is not possible for them to have
            1) Both used the door handle to close the door to the house (It only requires one person).
            2) Touched a deadly nerve agent known as novichok which is ten times as strong as VX and which was supposedly spread on that door handle.
            3) Received a dosage from touching that door handle which meant that they both fell ill four hours later at exactly the same time even though they had different physiognomies. It must have been a very clever and sentient door handle to have achieved a feat which no human has yet achieved.
            4) Left their house in the morning (there is no evidence for the claim that they left at noon).
            Managed to drive from their house to the town.
            5) Fed some ducks, without affecting them nor indeed a child who also ate some of the bread.
            6) Went to a restaurant, whereupon Sergei Skripal drank alcohol.
            7) Went to a pub, whereupon Sergei Skripal drank more alcohol
            8) Paid with either cash or a card without affecting those who came into contact with his chosen method of payment.
            9) Walked to the park with no apparent problem.
            10) Were not seen as in any way affected during this period. Apart that is from an apparent claim with respect to that Mr Skirpal behaving oddly. This was however to do with him getting angry at the fact that he had to wait 40 minutes for his meal. It would not be unexpected for an English person to categorize anger as odd behaviour in that the English are in large part known as not being used to open displays of emotion and are more likely to put up with bad service.
            11) Having complained at at 3:30pm and then left the restaurant were both then suddenly affected at the same by the nerve agent a few hours later after its supposed application  even though they both have different physiognomies with Sergei Skripal suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.
            12) Contaminated Sergeant Nick Bailey with the nerve agent by him coming into contact with them but did not contaminate the ducks nor the child by feeding them bread nor indeed anyone else before they were found in the park.
            14) Were not filmed on CCTV collapsing given that there is coverage throughout the Maltings shopping area. In particular, it is notable that no footage of this has been published in that the CCTV was working throughout that area and thus a choice has been made not to publish it.
            15) Were treated by a billion to one coincidence by the daughter of the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army who just happened to be in the park when they were and was the first to treat them.

            And for them to fall ill at the same time four hours later. It’s ludicrous.

          • David

            *all* communication systems, telegram, signal, protonmail, etc are ‘end-to-end’ encrypted – and ‘totally secure‘ 🙂

            @TJ so why not just write it here out in the open , as it’s as secure as anything(1)

            (I’ll have to watch all the Porton-Panto on catch-up once I leave the Côte-d’azur)

            oh, and propaganda does work, really well, until you start sowing seeds/nuggets of truth – that indicate, even to an average idiot, that ‘summat is oop’ and propaganda castles come tumbling down

            (So nice to be back at Sophia Antipolis where so many (1) were set-up)

          • Terry Jones


            Because I can’t be arsed at this stage dealing with paid government trolls and because it would come better through someone like Mr Murray who is perhaps rather busy at the moment with his court case

        • Clark

          The article appears not to have been deleted:

          “DS Bailey was hospitalised earlier this week after coming into contact with a nerve agent while treating Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

          He was one of the first at the scene when the pair were found slumped on a park bench in The Maltings on Sunday. “

          The current version of the Wikipedia article goes for the impossible door handle approach:

          “A police officer was also taken into intensive care after apparent exposure to the remnants of the toxic agent at Sergei Skripal’s residence”

          …however the BBC articles it cites for this does not support it:

          “Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who fell ill after attending the incident, was treated in hospital but discharged on 22 March”

          I’ll edit the Wikipedia article to reflect this, and see what happens 🙂

      • Piotr+Berman

        For all we know, the substance dubbed novichok was applied solely to samples sent to OPCW. It was too dangerous anywhere else. Poor victim in Wiltshire was a victim of overdose, and her significant other had some symptoms stemming from his live style. The rest is the “control of the narrative”. This is the most radical Occam razor version, novichok is dangerous, as it is actually known about some versions of it, and HMG did not expose the public to the substance, only to somewhat less toxic theatrics.

        Extreme Occam razor may be to radical, but when there is coordinated “narrative control”, very little can be believed.

        • Terry Jones

          There is. the same person who was in charge of the IRD (information research department) at the FCO which is in charge of IOPS (information operations) which consists of spreading stories favourable to the position of the FCO in the press via gullible or witting journalists, was on the DSMA commitee.

          So the same perosn is both responsible for spreading stories and suppressing them

          • Ian

            Terry, if the UK wished to create this massive diversion, why would they choose such a method which was bound to lead to ridiculously convoluted backstories to explain it, and risk it being blown apart by its implausibility? What would be wrong with an old fashioned bullet, for instance . And why on earth would they involve Dawn Sturgess and partner with the absurd perfume bottle story, months later?, And why include Julia in the first place?

          • Terry Jones

            1) I hate to say it because people in general terms the UK do of late not tend to think very deeply about such things and do tend to get taken in. As you say it is obviously ridiculous.
            2) Chemical weapons create a greater furore than someone being shot.
            3) What happened to dawn and to charlie formed part of an attempt to keep the story in the public eye

  • Richard

    If you are thinking of making a documentary about the Skripals then I would be happy to contribute some monies.

    Maybe John Pilger would be interested in offering his support and experience.

  • Sean_Lamb

    My approach to these things is work out some core things I think are true and then fill the details out from there.

    In this case the core thing I think is true is that originally the Skripals were to have been poisoned by the perfume bottle (perhaps smuggled into Julia’s luggage by her dodgy boyfriend – the dodgy boyfriend I expect has joined her where ever she now is in holy matrimony). The plan feel apart when Nicholas Butler – deputised to spray the tracks of the Skripals with traces of Novichok for forensics to find – got a bit glad handed and poisoned himself. As PC Butler had never been inside the house, the perfume bottle scenario had to be abandoned, to be resurrected later to bump of Dawn Sturgness who had spied something in the park that afternoon.

    That means Boshirov and Petrov had to be improvised on the fly. Whatever Boshirov and Petrov were doing, they were acting precisely like two tourists who had been blocked from seeing Stonehenge because of snow, returned the next day. I don’t find it extraordinary that a pair of Russian tourists should be visiting Stonehenge on that weekend. It gets millions of visitors each year and probably most weekends a couple of Russians visit. It would be particularly attractive for Russians is it requires no language skills to appreciate nor requires an indepth knowledge of English history or culture.

    Having said that, I don’t discount the possibility that Boshirov and Petrov have not visited Salisbury and the British and Americans may have scrapped the VK and Facebook databases for two people who bore some resemblance that two actual people in Salisbury (there are algorithms that allow you to do this). It appears, for example, that Boshirov and Petrov never acquired visas for their trip and the UK Government claims that hacked into the Home Office IT systems to grant themselves visas – an incredibly unlikely proposition.

    So why isn’t the Russian Government arguing its case more effectively? The Russian Government will pursue its national interest. It has neither the ability or the inclination to liberate the British people from the oppressive regime of the military and intelligence culture they groan beneath. Take for example the CCTV above the bench where the Skripals were found. It appears to have been turned off for half an hour at the time point the Skripals were found. Sergei Lavrov mentioned this in a speech – what was the result? Intrepid exposes by British journalists? Angry questions in Parliament by the opposition and the SNP? No, deathly silence from the British media and politicians and a loud warning from Boris Johnson that Russia needed to cease their internal interference and destabilisation campaigns. In such a situation what possibly could Russia do or say that would make any difference?

    The Russian position is they just want the whole thing to go away. It is like Vladimir Putin always says when asked if he interfered in the US election because Donald Trump wanted to have better relations with Russia. “All US presidents want to have better relations with Russia,” he replied. “But the bureaucracy won’t let them.”

    Boris Johnson wants to have better relations with Russia, but the bureaucracy won’t let him. The Russia government’s strategy, rightly or wrongly, is to try and allow Boris Johnson to have better relations with Russia and that means soft pedalling the Skripal nonsense

    • Terry Jones

      It occurred because someone who

      1) Was known to the foreign office,
      2) Went to the same college as certain important individuals in the foreign office,
      3) Returned from Russia with evidence of infiltration

      was attempting to write a dossier about this for another government. The foreign office did not like.

      Someone from their college was appointed in a senior position to stop that happening which is when the attack occurred

    • Tatyana

      Perhaps Russian government simply don’t consider this nonsense worthy of attention? Therefore, we give such a reaction.

      I mean, if BBC journalists call up our channel, the Russian journalists gives answers. If a statement appears in the press, then our Foreign Ministry (Lavrov and Zakharova) also make some statements. Journalists put questions to Putin – he answers.

      From here we see that Britain is conducting some kind of internal investigation, that the British media give out their ideas (one idea is more wonderful than the previous one). But there is no case, no papers, no requests, there is no factual base with which the Russian side could work.

      The whole Skripal performance exists in the media space, not in the space of law, jurisprudence. And I see that Britain is carefully avoiding moving into the realm of law. Russia was excluded from the investigation, Skripals did not meet with the Russian consuls, Britain did not give a request for the extradition of two men, the Dawn Sturgess family could sue Russia, but this did not happen.

      The question must be ‘why Britain doesn’t bring it to the court?” Here comes to my mind an episode from our popular comedy

      – Do you love this noblewoman?
      – I do! Madly in love!
      – Oh, this noblewoman stands out with beauty! (*admires her beauty in ancient Russian*). Then, what else do you need, dog? Marry her!”

      • Ort

        FWIW, Tatyana, as an observer in the US I share your views on the question of the Russian government’s reaction (or lack of reaction) to the open questions and loose ends surrounding this mystery– a mystery designed and manufactured by the UK government, perhaps in conjunction with its Western partners in crime.

        The Skripal affair may be compared to the famous matryoshka dolls: a riddle, enigma, and mystery containing several smaller nested riddles, etc.

        Unlike Craig, I wholly agree with your argument that the Russian government has no obligation or duty to “clear up” the “Boshirov and Petrov” enigma. It was clear from the beginning that the UK government had no intention of cooperating with Russia’s straightforward and entirely proper formal requests to participate in the investigation through accepted bilateral procedures, policies, and conventions.

        Instead, UK authorities “stiff-armed” Russia from the beginning, when they bumptiously and illegally denied Russian diplomats and embassy staff lawful access to the Skripals; the contrived and dubious excuse that it was the Skripals themselves who refused assistance from Russian officials is utterly without merit. At every stage, as you point out, the Russian government was both denied reasonable, legitimate participation and subjected to baseless insinuations, innuendo, and accusations.

        Also, as you point out, the UK government and security apparatus’s staggering exhibition of bad faith had the deliberate effect of the Skripal/Sturgess mystery being staged entirely by the (corrupt, decadent, and complicit) UK/Western mass-media. Given the UK authorities’ overwhelming bad faith and perfidy, it is obvious that the UK plotters and planners hoped to draw Russia into the media circus in hopes of forcing it to participate defensively, and entirely on the UK’s terms.

        Apparently Russian officials, not being born yesterday, wisely refused to be drawn into this trap. Prudence dictates that when a party demonstrates self-serving and heinous bad faith, it is a mistake to “volunteer” anything to ostensibly help resolve the mystery or scandal. Russia is in the position of a person arrested by police who have made it clear that they believe that the person is a guilty criminal; as we know so well from watching police programs on TV or in movies, it is certain that anything the suspect says will be somehow used against them.

        Thus, the Russian government is entirely correct to maintain the position that the UK/West created this melodramatic scandal, so it must either sort it out without Russia’s help, or belatedly reverse course and seek full and fair Russian participation by established and formerly-accepted official channels.

        That’s my independent “concurring opinion”, as lawyers say.

  • Ilya G Poimandres

    Does the MIC suck away wealth, or does it expect to gain a hundred fold when it conquers 1/8th of the planet’s landmass that holds the population density of England in the 12th century?

    WWI, the civil war with its invasion by all Western nations and Japan of Russia, Holodomor (where Britain would not trade its industrial exports for gold – only for grain), WWII, the Cold War, the Rape of Russia in the 90s, the sanctions regime now..

    How are the current events not neatly categoriesed into a ‘hundred years war on Russia’?!

    • James

      Steven – so are you trying to say that they thought that Novichok might be a cure for Covid-19 – they tried it out on Dawn Sturgess – but it all went horribly wrong?

    • bevin

      “Why wouldn’t the people fall for the Anti Russia propaganda? You fell for the Covid 19 propaganda.’
      No Steven. You did.

  • Border Bus

    “You dont do anything and you dont say anything, you understand.

    There is more to this than I thought Charlie, I am telling you, theres a lot more”

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