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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  • Rhys Jaggar

    When your trial is over and you are once again having more time on your hands, Mr Murray, feel free to ‘crowdfund’ on here for a fund to produce that movie on the Skripals. I would certainly give you £50 toward the total. All I ask in return is that, in the unlikely event that we bumped into each other on an Edinburgh street near your home that you invited me in to share a snort of Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Highland Park?

    When you have cases like this one, I tend to remember the ‘Dear Bill’ letter at the time of Clive Pontings trial: ‘What the hell is war about if not torpedoing a boatload of Argies before they do the same to our boys?’

    Mr Skripal may well have been carrying out acts against the interest of the Russian State and as a result, you can hardly express outrage if Russians decide to do something about it. What they were actually doing is unclear, but what is clear is that Novichok was not being used and that the UK propaganda industry was laughably incompetent and useless in trying to write a story claiming that it was.

    If I were making a film about this, I would be documenting brutally the glaring incompatibility of certain statements by media and political actors and the evidence released for public consumption. I would ask questions like: ‘Is Mark Urban as thick as a post or is he up to his neck in oily, arguably illegal shenanigans?’ The same for Boris Johnson, the same for Andrew Marr, the same for numerous BBC script readers who call themselves newsreaders.

    I would not worry about anyone’s dignity too much. When events like this occur, it is because people do not give a monkey’s about proper behaviour, decorum or human empathy. The same happened over the de Menezes shooting, the rubbish about going to war in Iraq, the murder of David Kelly, the fitting up of Clive Ponting, the fitting up of Irishmen over pub bombings.

    ‘Do unto others as they have done themselves’ is the best mantra I have for film makers about political scandals.

    If they were up to their neck in cow manure, it is usually entirely apposite to pour about 20 tonnes right over their heads….

    • stumac

      Looking at the comments section of the Guardian ( a supposedly left wing paper – or not right wing) it’s obvious the propaganda doesn’t have to be competent or convincing for a lot of people to believe it. Controlling or having strong influence over the majority of the MSM, means they can sell their narrative knowing that too many people believe stuff because it is repeated often enough or they are naive enough to believe we really have a completely free press/media.

      • Glasshopper


        Guardianistas have ants in their pants about The Evil Putin Monster because, idiotically, they see him as a key player who prevented their love for Brussels and Hilary Clinton coming to fruition. Also, he is the head of a socially conservative country that doesn’t tick any “woke” boxes.
        As far as The Guardian being a left wing newspaper is concerned, it’s only one if you consider cranky identity politics as supportive of working class interests. Which clearly they are not. The Guardian is a middle class tribune for people who feel more at home in Tuscany than Tunbridge Wells.

        Good piece Mr Murray!

      • J

        True, but soon enough, if not already, Guardian comments will exclusively consist of automatic pre-scripted responses arguing with each other. Little morality plays for the few humans who can be bothered. Any audience will consider themselves alone and unrepresentative and give up. At that point, job done.

    • Wally Jumblatt

      BBC script-readers claim to be news readers?
      Nay, they pop up on their hind legs and claim to be Journalists!!

    • Ingwe

      Rhys-“Is Mark Urban as thick as a post or is he up to his neck in oily, arguably illegal shenanigans?’ The same for Boris Johnson, the same for Andrew Marr, the same for numerous BBC script readers who call themselves newsreaders.”

      Surely these are not mutually exclusive?

  • 6033624

    Thank God you watch this pish so I don’t have to. The propaganda has become yet easier as none of our media in television or print will stand up to the government and actually ask awkward questions – or in fact even fact check anything any more!

    Whenever I see the media reporting on China, Russia or elsewhere in the world regarding dissidents and their attempts to interview them I always think how THIS country looks to outsiders. We have our political prisoners – Assange for example, we have dissidents such as yourself who they have tried repeatedly to smear and now the threat of imprisonment is held over you in a kangaroo court where one man will decide your fate, no jury, no publicity either – unless it’s negative. And all because you reported truthfully. It isn’t China, yet, but we have nothing to be proud of..

  • John Goss

    I fear for the Skripals, especially Yulia, who has never worked as a spy as far as I can ascertain. Not only have the deep state prevented any of Yulia’s family coming to see her, they have prevented her from contacting her family by telephone since she apologised to her cousin, Viktoria, for earlier accusations and that now she knew everything. Her cousin thinks she’s in Porton Down. I am not sure she is alive. How can you be?

    • Tatyana

      John, I think Britain now has Schrödinger Skripals (we are not sure are they live or dead), but Russia has a counter-jocker in this game. Julia’s mysterious fiancée. That’s what makes me believe the Skripals are alive.

      • Ruth

        I’m sure Skripal is imprisoned or dead for trying to escape back to Russia with the approval of the Russian state if he publicly outlined his role in the Steele dossier. I don’t know what they’ve done with Julia. It may be that they’ve agreed with Russia to return her but if she exposes anything her father would get the chop. This though is probably too generous for any action by MI6/deep state

      • John Goss

        Mysterious fiancée? There was her boyfriend before she left Russia (for good) and some speculation that one of our spooks had got her pregnant. Do we know more about this mysterious fiancée, Tatyana?

        • Tatyana

          That same mysterious Russian boyfrien, to whom Julia was to marry, whom she tried to call up when she woke up from a “coma”. But she could not, and was very worried about this.
          The latest news about this man was that he visited the appartment to pay off the lady worker, whom Julia had hired to repair the apartment before leaving for Britain.
          Journalists tried to interview him, waiting near his place of work. But apparently he avoided communication, he arrived and left his workplace through an underground parking lot.
          I recall I visited Julia’s VK page before it was closed. Now I’m so sorry I didn’t guess to screenshot it. There were photos of Julia but no photos of the boyfriend. By the way, that’s why I know she preferred t-shirts and jeans, no sign of a feminine silk dress above knee length could be her choice.

          • John Goss

            Yes, I remember that page on VK. There was also a photograph of her showing a tattoo that would make it unlikely that her identity could be stolen. As well as the jeans there were shots of her on holiday in a bikini.

            The fiancée, if it is the one I’m thinking about, has been linked to Russian intelligence.

          • Tatyana

            eeemmm, no, not to russian intelligence 🙂 follow me:
            His name is Stepan Vikeev, his mother is Tatiana Vikeeva. She ran a very strange company INSTITUTE OF MODERN SECURITY PROBLEMS (IoMSP). The company is registered August 21, 2014 and liquidated July 30, 2019, according to

            The founder of the IoMSP company is Norilsk Mining Plant Zavenyagin (NMPZ)

            100% of the NMPZ is owned by …. ba da bum tsss! … Norilsk Nickel

            Norilsk Nickel owner is a very well-known person, it’s our ex-Soviet oligarch Roman Abramovich, friend of Berezovsky, citizen of Britain and Israel, you may remember he is football fan, owns Chelsea club etc.etc.

            By the way, pay attention to para 6 in my latest link. Do you see Limassol, Cyprus? I wonder why I always meet Limasol every time I meet an anti-russian narrative and try to figure out the place of a company?

          • John Goss

            Thanks for those links Tatyana. If Russian Intelligence is anything like British and US Intelligence they set up companies, not always apparently connected with surveillance and security and use such companies so that nothing can be traced back directly to intelligence.

          • Tatyana

            Dear John, Roman Abramovich is in the Top10 the richest citizens of Russia and of Britain, he follows the Chabad religion, he lives in London and keeps his money in off-shore companies, he used criminal schemes together with Berezovsky and Co. to withdraw enourmos money from russian budget into their private pockets – I’m far from the thought that that man would suddenly decide to establish a company for russian intelligence. I think he tries to be as far from any intelligence as possible.

          • Minority Of One

            I thought that Roman Abramovich and Putin were close?

            “Chris Hutchins, a biographer of Putin, describes the relationship between the Russian president and Abramovich as
            like that between a father and a favorite son.”

            Is Abramovich at last paying the price for being too close to Putin?

            Unfortunately the above links are to two of the sources of info I trust the least, wikipedia and the Gaurdian, but Googling Abramovich/Putin seems to suggest they have a close relationship.

          • Stevie Boy

            Cyprus Facts:
            GCHQ listening post(s);
            UK Military/Air Force bases used against Syria, SAS training ground;
            Bailed out by the Russians (sold off) following the last financial crisis;
            Oil Fields being jointly exploited with Israel;
            UN ‘peacekeeping’ forces on the island with heavy Israeli involvement;
            Reluctance by Cypriot Government to prosecute Israeli rapist gangs.
            Go figure … Cyprus is a spy base for several nations … maybe the Skripals are held on Cyprus !!

        • John Goss

          A very good book on this subject, Tatyana, is Paul Klebnikov’s “Godfather of the Kremlin Boris Berezovsky and the Looting of Russia”, Harcourt, (2000). Klebnikov (I assume Хлебников when the family emigrated) was assassinated in 2004 when he was the editor for Russian Forbes Magazine. It is a fearless book and probably contributed to his death. He interviews a lot of the Russian mafia, including Berezovsky with quite a lot about Abramovich (hard to get to interview) and Nikolai Glushkov.

          • Tatyana

            Thank you, Mary! I studied a bit of French and it went good untill we came up to French word for “sugar”. That was the point I realised I didn’t like their pronunciation 🙂

      • Jo+Dominich

        Tatyana, For me, there is no doubt that the Skripals are dead. I love your reference to Scrodinger though! Taken to it’s conclusion, since we cannot open the box and see them we must assume that they are dead unless it can be proven otherwise er, by opening the box. That is, the CIA/MI6/Mossad whoever has them should show them to us. It was recently reported here that they were safe and sound in New Zealand. The New Zealand Government has emphatically denied this. Another lie by the State/MSM. So, I’m with the they are dead option as I cannot see any evidence to the contrary.

      • John Goss

        That being so Jo+Dominich I have a lot more sympathy for Yulia than her father since his thirst for wealth and high-living has become the undoing of the family.

  • Francesca

    I’ve been watching the Salisbury Poisoning from the link provided by “Dances with Bears”, as we in NZ will have to wait for a screening.
    A bare 5 minutes in to the first episode, the policewoman has handed Skripal’s wallet to Nick Davies .Policewoman should have been contaminated at this point.She’s rummaging round in Skripals pockets, where his contaminated hands have also been, and his wallet will have had a fair old handling , hauling it out to pay for food and drinks by the time the Skripals get to the bench
    Neither Davies or the policewoman are wearing gloves
    Oh but this is a docu drama
    I detest this merging of fact and fiction, where we are never told which is fact and which is fiction , though I can quite understand why this butt covering has been employed
    Pure propaganda
    I’d like the makers of this drama to be interviewed and account for their “artistic ” decisions

    • Shatnersrug

      Francesca, different subject but I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough, if you want to see corruption span over 33 years listen to Peter Juke’s and Alistair Morgan’s ‘Untold’ it’s the most incredible story I’ve ever heard – and absolutely terrifying

      • Jo+Dominich

        Shatnersrug, Have you watched the first episode of ‘Murder in the Car Park’ on Channel 4. I did and made copious notes so I am interested in this podcast. It is quite clear who the murderers are in the programme, there can be no doubt at all. The 2nd episode is on next week.

        • shatnersrug

          No, I haven’t, I just find it very hard to believe anything i see on TV – there is always an agenda

          the podcast is very good and doesnt make accusations – I believe, having listened to it that the murder was committed to the plans of Rees and Fillery, possibly one of the Vians did the actual job.

          But that still isnt clear.
          Alistair Morgan has said that the TV show appears to be delibrately confusing matters

          • Shatnersrug

            Joe, I’ve now watched Murder in the Carpark and by and large I thought it was excellent. I wanted to write it off early but the reveals kept coming, especially from Glenn Vian’s nephew!

            Glenn Vian passed away from cancer last week, so in a way he got away with it. I hope the light shone recently will be Rees and Fillery get another looking at, but it seems unlikely

  • Yeah, Right

    The moment I first heard about a “Russian spy” (actually, a British spy) being poisoned by the Russians in Salisbury I thought: hello, this is going to be related to the Trump Dossier. Nothing since then has altered that opinion.

    One thing I want to point out again, because as far as I know no-one has noticed this, is the CCTV footage of Boshirov and Petrov stopping suddenly to examine some trinket in a Coin Shop window.

    Go watch it again on YouTube.

    I will bet any amount of money that those two pulled up suddenly to spook (and I use that word carefully) that third guy you see in that footage.

    You know, the big guy who looks like he could snap them in two, and who becomes quite agitated when they suddenly stop next to him. Note how the two Russians start to invade his personal space, note how he then walks away, and note how one of the Russians glares at him as he walks off.

    If that guy wasn’t a Lamp-Lighter then I haven’t read any John LeCarre novels.

    Boshirov and Petrov were already under observation when they arrived in Salisbury. A quick “Hang on, look at that pretty coin!” confirmed that, at which point they abandoned whatever mission they were on (I suspect their mission was to make contact with Skripal, not to kill him) and just walked a merry walk around Salisbury before heading to the train station.

    How anyone can look at that footage and NOT be struck by that third guy is beyond me, because he is clearly the reason they pulled up in front of that shop.

      • Yeah, Right

        Honestly, some people…

        Go to youtube.
        Search for these words: Boshirov Petrov shop window

        Should take you all of five minutes, max.

        • Jo+Dominich

          Yeah Right, what’s wrong with stopping to admire a trinket in a shop window. Thousands of members of the pubic do it every day.

          • Yeah, Right

            Professional assassins too, by the look of it.

            You smear a deadly nerve agent on your victim’s doorknob, start making your getaw….. oh, look, a squirrel!

            Petrov even moved to see if the shop was open because – obviously – the first thing a trained assassin does during an attempted hit is to make a credit card transaction. Standard spy-craft, apparently.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Yeah, Right
          Thanks for assistance – as it happens, I did find it before I just found your reply:
          EXCLUSIVE: Chilling CCTV footage shows the novichok assassins calmly strolling through Salisbury and window-shopping for vintage COINS just moments after nerve agent attack

          The clip doesn’t actually show the guy walking off, just moving out of the ‘invasion of personal space’ you spoke of. And one of the Russians immediately encroaching again deliberately into tall guy’s new space, and indicating for his mate to move too. Clearly letting the ‘Watcher’ know they had twigged him.
          I didn’t see the ‘glare’ as he walked off, because he was still in front of the window when the clip repeated itself.
          But yes, it definitely does seem to be his presence which affects the two Russian ‘tourists’.
          Note, the Mail makes no bones about it – not ‘suspected’ or ‘alleged’ but ‘..the novichok assassins..’
          Wouldn’t blame them for suing the Mail – wonder if it could be done remotely via a UK solicitor?
          That kind of slur could damage their job prospects.

      • John Goss

        It’s your observation Yeah Right. Why don’t you provide the link so people can decide if they want to watch it or not. Look at it this way if sixty visitors here spent five minutes searching for it that’s 5 hours of wasted time that with a little courtesy you could have saved.

        • Patrick+Haseldine

          You’re right, John, I spent about five minutes locating the YouTube video, and here it is:

          “This is the astonishing moment the two Russian novichok assassins casually window-shopped in Salisbury just minutes after they tried to murder former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The first footage seen of the killers, obtained exclusively by MailOnline, shows the two men looking relaxed and good-humoured as they sauntered down the street towards Salisbury station to make their getaway. Dressed in winter clothing, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are seen walking past the Dauwalders rare stamp shop before becoming distracted by the window display.”

          • Tatyana

            Patrick+Haseldine, thank you! I enjoy the comments section, have you seen it?

            Agent Alexander ‘Highly’ Petrov and agent Ruslan ‘Likely’ Boshirov.
            Yes, we Russians always go shopping after we kill someone.

          • Yeah, Right

            Thank you for the reference to wikispooks.

            It is obvious that Boshirov and Petrov stopped by that shop window to see how that big guy reacted – notice how one of them gives him the eyeball when he goes walk away – which means that they suspected that they were under observation.

            The implication is quite profound: the entire establishment narrative has to be thrown out the window if Boshirov and Petrov were being followed by British counter-intelligence while they were in Salisbury.

  • Mark Golding

    The incompetence and ineptness of MI6 is striking in the management and control of operations in the Skripal theatre. The lack of attention to detail is humiliating for the bright, first-class graduates who attend the initial intelligent services interview where they are expected to act out a scenario intended to reveal their quick-thinking and sharp wits. It would be wrong to reveal the exact details of this ‘test’ suffice to say I have been told these details by a good friend applicant.

    Sadly the manslaughter of Dawn Kelly Sturgess was exploited and it is this malfeasance that undermines the very integrity of Britain’s SIS; shame on you…

    • John Goss

      Unfortunately Mark British intelligence couldn’t give two hoots for victims of their games. They are too busy making money with their surveillance businesses. Inept, incompetent they might be, but they are not without a bob or two. And of course they are above the law.

  • Herbie

    All this stuff about the Rhodes statue fronting Oriel.

    Was just thinking that the material legacy of such as Rhodes live on, and that removing the statue doesn’t address that legacy.

    Seems to an old Boomer like me that we’re looking at a rather superficial radicalism.

    Supported by elite institutions across the country.

    “Tilting at windmills”, is probably the more revolutionary act.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      “Was just thinking that the material legacy of such as Rhodes live on, and that removing the statue doesn’t address that legacy.”
      Let me hear you on this:-
      Adolph Hitler and Germany
      1. Under Hitler the autobahn ( federal motorway) was built and a magnificent structure of full practical usefulness in Germany to this day.
      2. Would any German village, town or city today pay homage to a statue of Adolph Hitler – or – even let it be erected – with regard to the attitudes of the majority of the German people reflecting on their true history of horrors?
      Rhodes et. al. and Britain
      1. Indeed the British Empire from African slavery onwards was a ‘magnificent structure’ with tremendous usefulness and benefit for Britain.
      2. Why would any decent Britain not raise a question or two about the methods employed by the Empire’s greatest – yet the Germans have found some decency to question their own ‘great’?

      • Kempe

        Idea for the Autobahn system was developed in the mid 20s and the first opened in 1932 so Adolf doesn’t even have that to his credit really. He was responsible for VW though so maybe we should be chucking Golfs into rivers.

        • andyoldlabour


          Absolutely correct about VW. I also think some folks should read up on Henry Ford, the Dearborn Independent newspaper and the links to Anti Semitism and Hitler.

          • Peter


            Moreover, American assistance to Nazi war efforts extended into other areas.17 The two
            largest tank producers in Hitler’s Germany were Opel, a wholly owned subsidiary of
            General Motors (controlled by the J.P. Morgan firm), and the Ford A. G. subsidiary of the
            Ford Motor Company of Detroit. The Nazis granted tax-exempt status to Opel in 1936, to
            enable General Motors to expand its production facilities. General Motors obligingly
            reinvested the resulting profits into German industry. Henry Ford was decorated by the
            Nazis for his services to Naziism. (See p. 93.) Alcoa and Dow Chemical worked closely
            with Nazi industry with numerous transfers of their domestic U.S. technology. Bendix

            Aviation, in which the J.P. Morgan-controlled General Motors firm had a major stock
            interest, supplied Siemens & Halske A. G. in Germany with data on automatic pilots and
            aircraft instruments. As late as 1940, in the “unofficial war,” Bendix Aviation supplied
            complete technical data to Robert Bosch for aircraft and diesel engine starters and received
            royalty payments in return.

      • Herbie

        What I’m saying, Courtenay, is that removal of the symbols of something is not the same as removal of the thing itself.

        And anyway.

        I notice a few racist statues are more protected than others.

        The Cromwell one has been mentioned, as slated for being taken down,

        Maybe, but somehow I doubt it, He’s the front guy for the foundation of the Western oligarchy.

        And a big hero for Republicans and Liberals.

        Anyway, i wouldn’t want it taken down other than in a Truth Commission kinda way, like they had in South Africa.

        You don’t just throw the old bad symbols under the carpet.

        To be forgotten.

        That’s a childish response.

        • Courtenay Barnett


          There is and will forever be ‘victor’ and ‘vanquished’ histories. The responses at present are from the voices of the vanquished who are expressing a different narrative. One man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist sort of thing.

          To the extent that both sides of the narrative can be intelligently, factually and logically considered then I do not believe that such a re- examination is a bad thing in itself.

          Finally, there is a difference between honouring a historical figure in a public place versus recalling the deeds which were done. So, the deeds, in the eyes of some/ the vocal many – think that the time has come to say – undeserving of such honour.

          Put ’em in a statue museum I say – and ask the people to pay a quid and a half – just to see ’em.Then invest that money in paying for the broader upgraded and more honest history curriculum.

          And life goes on.

  • Paul Barbara

    Very early on after this Salisbury affair came out, there was speculation that the Skripals could have been incapacitated by a small drone spraying them with something. Part of the reason was they were both apparently waving in the air, trying to indicate just such a scenario.
    That possibility seems to have inexplicably dropped from any recent speculations, despite it’s credibility.
    I have from the outset believed the whole thing was set up to demonise Russia, ahead of further Syrian False Flag CW attacks, and ‘responsive’ NATO attacks on Assad.
    Saying to the British public: ‘See, Putin is so blatant using CW, he even uses it in the heart of England.’
    Thus they’ll completely understand when Britain joins in the proposed attacks on Assad.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      “I have from the outset believed the whole thing was set up to demonise Russia, ahead of further Syrian False Flag CW attacks, and ‘responsive’ NATO attacks on Assad.
      Saying to the British public: ‘See, Putin is so blatant using CW, he even uses it in the heart of England.’ ”


    • Jo+Dominich

      Paul Barbara, I’m with you there. Not only that the false flag for Syria but also to deflect from a disastrous Brexit.

    • IMcK

      Paul Barbara,
      Yes an attack shortly before they were found incapacitated would of course be the most plausible. This would also be consistent with Nick Bailey being the first responder and attempting resuscitation (as was originally credited I believe). An obvious line of enquiry at this stage would be to get the Skripals input but this was not possible as they were reported to be at death’s door. Thus claiming an enemy attack shortly before the Skripals were found would have been a plausible official line and consistent with the reported scenario.
      However such a claim would be problematic after Julia popped up on Facebook (Russian version) since it would raise the obvious line of enquiry – lets ask Julia what happened. I believe it was at this stage that the plan fell apart – the Nick Bailey story changed and the ridiculous door knob claim was perpetrated.

      • Mightydrunken

        When someone logged into Yulia’s Facebook, it could be any number of people. The most likely being Yulia, her boyfriend or an intelligence agency. If someone uses the browser on the PC I am using they are already logged into my Facebook. If someone used Yulia’s phone the same is also true.

        The problem with drones is they are not silent There would also need a mode of delivery which did not injure others nearby. like the first responders or bystanders.

        • IMcK

          The point in regard to Yulia popping up on Facebook is her imminent demise was revealed to be greatly exaggerated – even if it wasn’t her on Facebook it would make it more difficult for the official line to remain that she is unavailable for comment. Hence it would explain a change of an intended storyline.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Mightydrunken
          Small drones don’t make much noise, and can (and often are) fitted with a camera, so the operator would be able to choose a time the pair are alone to close in and spray whatever.
          The drone operator would also likely be assisted by other agents in on the plot.

    • Francesca

      15,000 Russians live in NZ
      There’s an embassy here , with no doubt their own in house intelligence agents
      No way in hell anyone can hide here , particularly if you have a medical condition diabetes, don’t speak
      English that well, or with a thick Russian accent.
      NZ would not be harder for the Russians to get to the Skripals, it’d be a damn sight easier
      More bullshit to paste over holes in a story getting dafter

      • JJ

        Ah….so if anything else does happen to the Skripals…it must definitely be due to the Russians…is a trap being set ?

      • Allesklar

        It completely makes sense to secretly send the Skripals to NZ with new identities, then issue a press release saying the Skripals were sent to NZ with new identities.

        • Roger Gough

          When I first noticed the female New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern, I wondered about her history. She worked in London with Tony Blair as a senior policy advisor in an 80 strong policy group. Wikipedia makes it plain she never actually met Blair. She later moved back to NZ and eventually became the Labour Party PM. She presumably travelled to London to be received by the Queen after her appointment. It’s probably just me but I can find no photo of her with any UK Labour politician – at any time. Why ever not?

    • Mrs Pau!

      I read an interview with the authors of the TV series, who emphasised they had spoken at length to some of the key players and said they wanted to tell the “human.”story of events in Salisbury. Maybe there are some nuggets of truth in the TV show.. But taking at face value for a moment the official account of the poisoning of the Skripals, I still remain l completely baffled by the involvement in the affair, three months later, of local addicts Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

      The involvement of Rowley and Sturgess just does not fit into the narrative or arc, as they call it in fictional events, of the Skripals incident. It is clearly absurd to suggest the original poison bottle, or even a duplicate, was discarded in a charity bin in Salisbury shortly after being used on the Skripals and then remained there for 3 months, unnoticed, until.found by Charlie (WHO SEARCHED THAT BIN REGULARLY) and gave it to Dawn with fatal results. This is so glaring an anomaly that that they had to create a fake date of much earlier when it was found, for the TV series. Taking the original date to be the correct one, the only possible explanation I can think is that a bottle containing the nerve agent was discarded much later by person or persons unknown. For reasons unknown.

      Incidentally I see that a rumour is being circulated that the Skripals were resettled a year later in New Zealand.

      • Enquirer

        I did wonder at the time, about the coincidence of the sad poisoning of Dawn Sturgess happening at the time the FIFA World Cup was taking place in Russia, and people were finding that Russians weren’t all two-headed monsters. Who knows?

        • andyoldlabour

          I wondered the same thing. The initial poisoning to try to get the World Cup stopped (The US had already managed to get Russian athletes banned from international competitions). Then, when the World Cup was underway and obviously well run, with the Russians emerging as fine hosts, the Amesbury poisonings were at the halfway point of the competition.

          Timeline of events:

          2018 World Cup Russia – 14th June to 15th July
          Salisbury Skripal incident – 15th March
          Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley poisoning – 30th June

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        “Incidentally I see that a rumour is being circulated that the Skripals were resettled a year later in New Zealand.”

        This probably means they are anywhere but there. Why start the rumour? It wouldn’t surprise me if the Skripals are actually dead.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Or, there never was a bottle of Novichock and Dawn Sturgess died of something else altogether and was then retrofitted as a Novichock death.

  • Mrs Pau!

    I see it was announced last week (around 10 June) that the flat where Charlie Rowley was living when he found the Novichok agent, is to be demolished.

  • Mrs Pau!

    Meanwhile I see the official record is being further modified. At the time Charlie Rowley described quite clearly where the charity bin was where he found the perfume, and described it as a “honeypot”, journalists went down to Salisbury and prowled round the bins and the charity bins in the street concerned where removed by the authorities. Now the Daily Mirror writes that Charlie cannot remember where he found the perfume bottle, only that it was in a litter bin and not in the park were the Skripals were found.

  • Nickle101

    How propaganda works…

    Yesterday my wife told me, her elderly parents who do not live in Britain and are not even British, really enjoyed the BBC show which was very well made and clearly showed the Russians were responsible. When i tried to talk her about what I think didn’t happen, she got enraged because I hadn’t ‘even seen the show’ and would dare have a strong opinion contrary to her parents who are well capable of dealing with propaganda… Mission accomplished…

    I can imagine similar conversations all over the world…

    • Tatyana

      Familiar situation.
      For many years I’m frequent visitor to the post-office, so I chat a lot with girls – postal workers. They are not at all interested in the details of the Skripal case. The news on pop star weddings is of more interest to them.
      I don’t want to insult people or look arrogant, but really, the level of curiosity and erudition of these ordinary people does not go further than the level of, for example, a lady who cleans halls and stairs in our building. I chatted with her about the virus, and she fervently insisted that America launched a fake about the virus to vaccinate and control all of us, she’s sure the virus does not exist.

      People absorb propaganda as well as any crazy ideas, when their lives are too boring and they want emotions, adventures, or at least a reason for gossip.

      • John Goss

        Tatyana, you should not dismiss out of hand what the cleaner lady said just because you disagree with it. Aaron Russo, who Nathan Rockefeller told what was going to happen with 9/11 before it did, died of bladder cancer in 2007. In an interview with Alex Jones he warned what was going to happen and yet people are soaking it up like a mop. To me it does look “arrogant” when cleaners are belittled for expressing a view with which you do not agree. This is a warning to one and all. Ignore what is happening at your peril.

        This is why they are keeping us apart.

          • John Goss

            The problem, fonso, is those who are not convinced. And they appear to be very, very vocal about the mainstream narrative.

          • fonso

            It was a tongue in cheek comment. There is no evidence provided in that video to convince anyone of anything, let alone for somebody to base their worldview upon.

          • glenn_uk

            John – you seem to be having having problems understanding basic sentiments here.

            Tatyana was not belittling a cleaning lady. Fonso was saying there’s nothing convincing whatsoever about the video you referenced. Both seemed clear enough, but you totally misunderstood them.

            Just a few days ago, I tried to explain how the “depopulation” angle is utter bunk, and you dismissed the entire paragraph as something incomprehensible to you.

            But now you say you’ve been watching Alex Jones, and I’m seriously starting to get concerned about your welfare. Are you feeling OK?

          • John Goss

            I really worry about you glenn_uk and wonder if it is the same person I used to agree with over many issues. Has somebody stolen your identity?

            Recently you do nothing but insult people in an ad hominem manner. Because Alex Jones did the interview with Aaron Russo does not mean what Russo says should be dismissed. Discuss what he says. Don’t dismiss him. Don’t dismiss Alex Jones. Don’t dismiss me. The excerpt is only two minutes long. The full interview is even more disturbing. But tell me if world banking conglomeration control is healthy for anyone but the rich. Then I will know that you have listened to another point of view other than your immovable opinion. Attack the argument not the person making it.

          • glenn_uk

            The John Goss I used to read here would never have been a loyal foot-soldier for the far right, and spend his time propagating their lies and misinformation on behalf of big business.

          • John Goss

            There you go again with the far right slurs. Because you support the same view on certain issues as Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, and yes, Xi Jinping, I don’t have the utter disgrace to say you are one of them and their supporters. Look up the meaning of ad hominem and I think you will recognise just how often you resort to this excuse for argument.

          • Ian

            that video is so wack, it made me laugh. The good old ‘world government’ conspiracy and total control of us all via ‘chips’. It makes Tatiana’s cleaner look like Einstein in comparison. Extra points for scary music.

          • glenn_uk

            Indeed, Ian.

            It’s a shame people like John are so gullible and lazy that they accept BS, such as that video, with the wide-eyed credulity a Scientologist would be pushed to manage.

            I would like to hear one of them attempt to get to the bottom of this accusation that Gates is trying to get everyone RFID-chipped with his vaccines, instead of just endlessly repeating the nonsense.

          • glenn_uk

            JG: “Because you support the same view on certain issues as Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, and yes, Xi Jinping, I don’t have the utter disgrace to say you are one of them and their supporters.

            It would be very silly if you did, because every single country in the world has a leader who fully recognises the danger of Covid-19. Not just Johnson, Macron and Xi. So you would have to accuse me of supporting every leader in the world bar two, which would be a meaningless accusation.

            But you have the same denialist approach of Trump and Bolsonaro. Two far-right crazy people.

            See the difference?

        • Tatyana

          John, I made a special reservation about arrogance, now I see I have to give a more detailed explanation.
          I have nothing against cleaners and I consider any job worthy and respected. But in this case, that woman is so obviously dissatisfied with her job, she doesn’t like to do it, she is dissatisfied with her life, but she does nothing to change it.
          The same applies to post office girls. They always complain of a low salary, extra unpaid working hours, but honestly, I have known some of them since 2009, and they still work there.
          My words don’t refer to the occupation, but to this quality in people – unwillingness to develop, change something, live a life that they would be happy with.

          • John Goss

            I have a friend who composes music for my lyrics. We have written some 30 songs together. He has a Masters in music yet chooses to work as a cleaner. He went to public school. To me it seems a waste of his education. But it is his life, and his choice.

          • Mrs Pau!

            Litvinov was informing on the Russian mafia to Western intelligence at the time he was killed. Skripal is, reported to have been doing the same, based on his time at as an. Attache at the Russian Embassy in Madrid. The presence of the Russian Mafia is reported to have greatly increased in Spain in recent years. Maybe that is a connection that needs further investigation

          • Tatyana

            You lost my point, John. I tell about people who are unhappy with their life and do nothing to change it. I assure you, that cleaning lady doesn’t compose music, actually she has no hobby, no other occupation in her life, and she is unhappy with her job. I hope you see the difference with your friend.

            I know people are complicated, “they are like onions (c) Shrek”, so I find it arrogant to look down on a person if I disapprove a couple of his/her features. I disrespect passiveness, but I understand that besides that special passive feature, that cleaning lady may have many other quite admirable qualities.

            My point is – people who complain about their fate but at the same time are unwilling to change it, those people are all the more reluctant to find out details about some poisoned traitor, and it is useless to refer to scientific data about the virus. They hardly are interested to make an effort, yet they enjoy spending time in some other way.

          • Tatyana

            Mrs Paul, re. Madrid
            btw, Stepan Vikeev, Julia’s boyfriend, speeks Spanish. In 2006, he completed an internship at the University of the Islas Baleares.
            Sergey Skripal went to Madrid in 1993, where he was recruited by Britain, and later his wife traveled to Alicante and Malaga, passing on secrets from Sergey to his curator.

          • John Goss

            Tatyana, I accept that you don’t look down on people and you did make a reservation about arrogance. I know from your comments that you don’t look down on people. Nevertheless that cleaner has a right to her opinion whether she is a cleaning lady or Catherine the Great. 🙂

            The gist of your original comment was that she believed that the US had created a hoax around the virus to get us all vaccinated and, presumably, implanted with the microchips to control us and our money. That might seem seem a ludicrous idea and it is why I linked to the late Aaron Russo interview. To my mind sensible people are walking obliviously up the gangway like so many sheep to the slaughter. Because what use are any of us to those who control us if we do not conform and they have total control?

          • Tatyana

            I do not deny her right to her opinion, John. She is entitled to her opinion, and as long as she does not apply her ideas in reality, there is no problem. I would not want her to act in accordance with her ideas, affecting the interests of other people. Because there are about 250 apartments in our house, and this lady is responsible for the disinfection of common areas and key boards on entrance door and elevators.

            I generally recognize the right of any people to have any opinions, until they respect the borders of other people. Unfortunately, some start demanding that others share these ideas, discriminate against those who disagree, or otherwise harm those who disagree.
            I believe that a consensus or a compromise may always be achieved without moving from debate to action. Unfortunately, I notice that the less intelligent people are, the more they are inclined to choose the path of action, because it is difficult, if possible at all, for them to convince a smarter person of their ideas.

            There is no shame to be uneducated, as we say in Russia, it’s shame if you don’t want to learn. I’ve got no problems communicating with any people, regardless of their education or intellect, I only cannot do with a person who is both stupid and evil – Злой Дурак.

        • Mark Golding

          Sadly a warning John is often interpreted as exaggerated self-opinion. Those wiser understand the difference between self-love and love for those mortals confused, frightened, worried and traumatized. Keep up the good work John.

          • John Goss

            You’re right, of course, Mark. I think it is love for my fellow beings which raises my frustration with them, and makes me come across as authoritarian and self-opinionated. I’ll try to change. But don’t bank on seeing an improvement overnight.

          • glenn_uk

            MG: “Keep up the good work”

            Mark, you think spreading around dangerous disinformation from a bunch of white supremacists and far-right liars – during the middle of a pandemic – is “good work” ?

            Do you think telling people to take no precautions concerning a courageous disease, and slandering decent medics as liars and killers is “good work”?

            Is denying the existence of a disease which primarily attacks and kills minorities and the lowest paid workers, and will cause death and poverty in a vast scale in the third world “good work”?

            If so, Mark, I fear we have very different definitions of the term.

          • glenn_uk

            As ever, John, you fail to answer a single point, and just complain about the question.

          • wonky

            Your framing attempts are ludicrous and tiresome.
            Hypothesizing is the daily bread of any criminal or journalistic investigator. It is certainly not per definition a “far-right” or even “white supremacist” activity.
            So please spare us the upside down logic of misled identity warrioresses and return to adult arguments.

          • glenn_uk

            You need to become more familiar with what is going on, Wonky, before daring to condescend.

            The “Get back to work!” message is one that comes from the far-right, particularly when combined with the precise conspiracy theories that John Goss is promoting here.

            JG is not hypothesising in any case – he boasts of going around offering handshakes to embarrass people (at best), urges people to go out and hug one another, and bases his views on a far-right racist and crank called Ron Paul.

      • andyoldlabour


        Well said, the ordinary person is not interested in anything outside their own bubble of friends and social media. They tend to believe everything they see on the BBC, they believe our politicians and anything they say.

        • Mrs Pau!

          My sister is an Intelligent educated person who likes to keep. Herself informed. Yet she believes the official Narrative about the Skripals. When I point out discrepancies in the official Version like the order of events and omissions she says you may be right but the main story seems correct and I do not have time to go into detail, it is not my main priority. I suspect this is a view taken by many intelligent people. I always say I am taking a detailed interest on her behalf..

      • Jo+Dominich

        For what it’s worth Tatyana, I don’t believe for one minute the virus exists. I’m with your cleaning lady on this one. Why do you think they are pushing ID2020 and a vaccine for nothing more than a strong flu?

        Can I suggest you go onto the Offguardian website where there is a very lively and interesting variety of discussions on this.

          • Lev Ke

            How many autonomous governments with two cents of interest for their people do you know that are not labelled dictatorships and being regime-changed?

            The extreme wealthy are having a ball with this lockdown and getting only richer, PLUS having extreme freedom restrictions imposed on a global scale.

            Cui bono? The same gang that is at the helm since decades.

        • ET

          “I don’t believe for one minute the virus exists”

          And herein lies the problem. Despite an abundance of evidence that it indeed exists, its genome sequenced and published for all to see, its effects in front of your eyes you “believe” it doesn’t exist. Argue all you wish about how it was handled, its infection rate/fatality rate etc etc but to argue that the virus itself doesn’t exist is absurd. And in the same sentence say it’s nothing more than a strong flu, the flu itself being a virus. Geeze!

          • glenn_uk

            It is astonishing, is it not? No evidence will convince people like this. Their minds are absolutely closed. Anyone who claims a death is lying, anything they see in the media is fake. Apart – of course! – from whacked out, evidence free claims on a few dubious websites, and from publicity hungry cranks not to mention the stooges of corrupt politicians pretending there is no problem.

            As a very wise hillbilly once told me – you cannot reason a person out of a position, when they did not reason themselves into that position in the first place.

          • andyoldlabour

            glenn_uk and ET,

            It is not worth arguing with people like this, it is like playing chess against a pigeon.

        • Clark

          The following is a classic example of conspiracy theory. I describe it here to aid recognition of the genre:

          “I don’t believe for one minute the virus exists. […] Why do you think they are pushing ID2020 and a vaccine for nothing more than a strong flu?”

          It consists of: (1) an extremely contrarian proposition – that SARS-CoV-2 does not exist; (2) a vague or unidentified conspiracy – here referred to only as “they”; (3) the conspiracy’s (sinister) motive, – “pushing ID2020 and a vaccine”.

          The proposition is loosely relevant to the motive (“virus / vaccine”), but note the complete omission of any mention of evidence relevant to the proposition, as if such evidence is simply irrelevant – the alleged conspiracy and its alleged motive are sufficient that the Truth of the proposition may be assumed.

          This conspiracy theory implies that the entire scientific fields of virology, epidemiology, immunology and genetics are a hoax by or on behalf of the alleged unidentified conspiracy.
          – – – – – – – –

          It is interesting to compare this with the Novichok propaganda. In this, the conspiracy is purported to be “the Russian government and its security services”, but this allegation is made by an almost identical entity, the UK government and its security services. The motive is also the proposition, and is non-contrarian; “the Russian government punished a traitor”, but the public evidence for this is so thin and contradictory that it’s virtually irrelevant – the conspiracy and its motive are deemed sufficient for the motive / proposition to be assumed.

          European governments claim to have seen additional non-public evidence, and a small IPCC delegation purportedly collected and delivered samples to the IPCC. But this has high potential to be a hoax by the UK government.

      • Lev Ke

        When did the propaganda outlets start screaming that the virus doesn’t exist? The complete opposite is happening, and any decent analysis of the covid situation is vehemently banned and denounced as conspiracy rubbish by all MSM.

        So I wonder which “propaganda” your cleaning lady so unthinkingly swallowed. The same that denounces the US as an evil empire?

  • Paul Barbara

    We are told (but we don’t have to believe) that the Skripals both turned off their phones, then later turned them on again. Both of them were likely being monitored in real time, given Yulia’s visit.
    The Security Services can still monitor turned-off phones, though I doubt they can if the batteries are removed. It is highly likely Sergei at least understood what capacities the Security Services have re mobile phones.
    The question is, if the phones were simply switched off, would they still connect to the system and their positions be logged?
    And if they were being monitored real time, as soon as they ‘turned off’ their phones it would have been a ‘Red Alert’ something was going on (unless of course they were already aware of whatever was going on and were party to it) and would take measure to find them and discover what they were up to, or what was happening to them.
    Then another point – wouldn’t MI5 have installed a tracking device to Sergei’s car (as well as a listening system)? Did most of Salisbury’s CCTV’s go on the blink because of the cold weather?
    And where did Sergei pick up the bread to feed the ducks with? Quite a novel twist, not the normal ‘Morning Star’ under the arm.

    • Ken Kenn

      Strange thing to do that particularly Mr Skripal as his friends and his spook handlers/followers would know that he’d gone off mobile grid so to speak and possibly just doing that would spook alarms go off?

      Yet again the wonderful Surveillance cameras that spotted the Russians has been shown aplenty but the only one shot for the victims we have had the pleasure of is of the Skripal(s) ? where someone was driving Mr Skripals car.

      Nothing from the bench – nothing from the Duck pond and so on.

      I think this though:

      If the many CCTV cameras captured the Skripals then other people would have been captured too.

      Possibly people who do not want to be identified.

      Had there been an attack by the Russian pair and it was captured on film I’ll bet a pound to a penny it would have been shown endlessly on the BBC – despite the media trying to protect the dignity of the victims.

      The Russians didn’t attack anyone so we are not seeing it.

      Personally – I think the higher ups know who attacked the Skripals and they were attacked close to the bench but not on it.

      If that was a blonde haired Yulia on the bench – if the pretty young woman had blonde hair then it was not Yulia in my opinion.

      Whatever was used (and it wasn’t Novichok in my view )was quick acting and the Skripals staggered to the bench moments after the assault

      I suspect that it is all on the videos and happened quick.

      Can’t be proven but I repeat if the Russians were captured doing the deed the video would now be legendary of Facebook and Youtube.

      The CCTV from Salisbury is being hidden and used selectively.

      A Special Crimewatch could have been carried out ( similar to Jill Dando) for witnesses.

      It wasn’t – which indicates a lot I think.

  • Johny Conspiranoid

    “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. ”
    How do we now what the Russian Gov. has said? Do you (Craig) directly receive official Russian announcements or are you relying on the press to report them. They may have nothing to say about Boshirov and Petrov because there is nothing to say about them because they are just two random Russians.

  • Christopher Barclay

    “What the Russians were doing remains a mystery, with possibilities ranging from assassination through liaison to extraction.” All three of which are credible explanations for their presence in the UK. It also means that the Russians would choose not to disprove British claims because admitting to the truth would be diplomatically unacceptable. The British were then able to create their own narrative, however flimsy, and pin the blame on the Russians,

    • John Goss

      There is much speculation that Petrov and Boshirov are “closet” gays who were over here for a “dirty weekend” as they used to call it. That does not stop them from belonging to the intelligence services. The Russians though appear to be more competent at murder and, I suspect, showed their hand a week after the Russians were accused of being responsible for the Skripal nonsense when Nikolai Glushkov, Berezovsky’s former partner, was murdered. Our intelligence services seem to have no information on this murder. Yet from the very start of the Skripal affair knew unequivocally that Russia, indeed Putin, was to blame.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Or there was no “truth” to admit. How could the Russians disprove British claims? “No we didn’t have Novichok, honest!” If the UK had hard evidence, surely it would have been presented.

      The story is just so bizarre and full of outright fantasy, who knows what is based on fact and what is pure fiction. Is there any actual evidence to connect the two Russians with anything related to the Skripal pantomime? Whatever they were or weren’t doing, they seem to have had a very low budget.

      • John Goss

        “If the UK had hard evidence, surely it would have been presented.”

        Oh that that were true. The US claimed to have concrete satellite evidence in the downing of MH17 that the BUK missile was fired from the Donbass region. They have never presented this evidence not even to the JIT and that event was in 2014.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ John Goss June 18, 2020 at 10:25
          Britain and America are, of course, ‘exceptional’ and don’t need to do ‘proofs’.

  • Jeremn

    “The identities of Boshirov and Petrov”

    Let’s say they were GRU. How is it then that they were let in? Someone messed up?
    How is it that their identities as GRU were only exposed by Bellingcat? Official incompetence?

    Is it not more economical to rely on Bellingcat, which does not take (much) taxpayer money, for our secret investigations? Aren’t the security services a little bit ashamed that the government is outsourcing its investigation to amateur sleuths? Budgets are being squeezed, so perhaps some cuts in military intelligence are needed?

  • Mrs Pau!

    Litvinov was informing on the Russian mafia to Western intelligence at the time he was killed. Skripal is, reported to have been doing the same, based on his time at as an. Attache at the Russian Embassy in Madrid. The presence of the Russian Mafia is reported to have greatly increased in Spain in recent years. Maybe that is a connection that needs further investigation

  • dkws

    Like so many, I’ve followed this story since the day it broke in March’18; something just didn’t smell right. God knows how many hours I’ve spent reading such well-informed articles upon it, as well as so many intelligent sleuth-like comments on various sites. It’s a delicious story, and more power to all those who keep up the challenge to the narrative. One day, one day – we can only dream of Theresa May being proved to have lied in Parliament!
    The drama was poor. Even the lead actors didn’t really have to extend themselves too much. It’s added further layers of farce to the official tale. I would only say though, that it did reflect the disruption – entirely unnecessary of course – caused to the people of Salisbury; also, the Sturgess family’s confusion. Between them, they must harbour doubts about the narrative they’ve been spun; family comments I’ve read do seem circumspect, and there’s hope in that. Should that inquest ever take place, I believe the seemingly astute Michael Mansfield (a bit of a celebrity QC!) has taken up their case. His line surely is to call the bluff on the narrative: we’re told officially that it was ‘Novichok’, and officially that it was in this perfume bottle, and – officially? – that said bottle wasn’t ‘discovered’ for some time, despite extensive searches. There is a mixture of untruths and negligence there for any QC to work upon; and will the apparent (subsequently withdrawn/hidden) evidence of a more plausible reason for Dawn’s death, be brought to light?
    I believe the inquest is at least scheduled, so I’ll still be checking out Craig’s, John Helmer’s and Rob Slane’s, and all contributors’ comments for a while yet. For now, unless the drama was a pre-cursor to some other dastardly lie inviting us to mistrust those Russians, the whole episode will once again shuffle back out of the public eye, with the false narrative further strengthened I feel, in the minds of many.

    • Roger Gough

      The female Chief Health Officer for Wiltshire and her psychologist husband never kissed each other, never embraced each other, never bade each other farewell, never said “I love you”. No wonder their son, who seemed to fend for himself, appeared rather surly.
      5 days after the incident this Chief Health Officer returned home to tell hubby she would be working late – again. “Why do you need to work late?” he asks of the County’s Chief Health Officer. “I can’t tell you”.

  • Den lille abe

    Why do you not rebel, and hang these nincompoops, we had done that a long time ago in Scandinavia.
    We are by all means not perfect, bust are the lesser evil, we do have a history of hanging (or worse) people we do not like.
    Hitler made it simple: them or us.

  • Goose

    Never felt more depressed for the UK, when stuff like this can pass through unchallenged by our so-called ‘free press’. The right-wing was always likely to be infiltrated, but what has happened to the guardian in the years since Snowden ?
    Luke Harding revealed in documents as linked to Orbis – still employed at the guardian as if nothing is changed, Guardian columnist and leader writer, Natalie Nougayrède revealed in the leaked Integrity Initiative documents as a Nato /Deep State propagandist, not that this wasn’t already obvious from her writing. James Ball another revealed in the leaks wrote this grovelling explanation :

    In the 1970s- 1990s, when newspapers had more er.. integrity, these revelations would have ended their journalistic careers in an instant at any major newspaper or publication that does investigative reporting; not at the guardian though, not with Kath Viner as editor in chief.

  • Monster

    If the Skripals are dead it won’t be long before a British couple with intelligence connections are found dead in a hotel room in Cyprus, probably while performing some extreme sex procedure. There is some etiquette in the spook business, which is being demonstrated in the Paul Whelan affair in Moscow. A spy swap has been discussed for some time, and now with his heavy sentence the negotiations have begun in earnest. MI6 is a disjointed menagerie of tenured buffoons who organise the most preposterous scenarios, such as incontinent women in Trump’s hotel room and a fake poison gas attack in Damascus. In conclusion it seems that because they have lost several agents in Syria, Russians are being targeted to compensate.

    • John Goss

      Monster, the Russians have been targeted since the Soviet Union was established. They did such a good job painting Russians in a bad light they couldn’t suddenly say hey these people are all right. As to Paul Whelan it would surprise me if he is a British, American, Irish or Canadian spy, but you never know, How many nationalities does he have? He’s certainly incompetent enough to be on our Spook payroll.

      • Goose

        Not true John, remember Obama’s much-ballyhooed “Reset” with Russia, launched in 2009 . Or him leaning across in Seoul to then Russian President Dmitri Medvedev back in 2012, telling him he’d “have more flexibility to work with Russia after the election”. In that election Obama chastised Mitt Romney his Republican challenger for claiming Russia was a threat must watch :

        “The 1980s are asking for their foreign policy back , you know, because the Cold War has been over for 20 years”. – Obama

        So what happened next..?

        2013 – Syria, the truly heinous August 21st ‘Ghouta CW attack’ set the stage for a regime change war on Syria. Russia was certain it wasn’t carried out by Assad’s forces and dug in their heels at all levels including UN. This infuriated the US and UK. A few months earlier, the story had broke and Snowden was now in Moscow.

        2014 – Late 2013 into February 2014 Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine – a response by western intelligence to Russia’s Syrian intervention? Who knows? Russia responds by annexing Crimea.

        Relations dirt ever since.

          • Goose

            It’s the Syrian conflict that really soured relations though, certainly in recent times.

            Back in 2013, from the start of the year, our then Foreign Secretary William Hague, kept repeating in the HoC that use of chemical weapons is our red line for action, as a Obama did. Then lo and behold in August just as the chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Damascus, an appalling attack, one that was nonsensical militarily. William Hague met senior diplomats from Qatar in London the next morning at the FCO in a meeting that was prearranged, that meeting drew many comments in the guardian – comment was ‘more free’ back then, in 2013.

          • John Goss

            I agree. Did you ever read Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s novel “Don’t Die Before You’re Dead”. I had difficulty reading it when he signed it for me back in 1996 and put it down. But recently I went back to it knowing more about some of the poets he refers to, like Georgy Adamovich, Georgy Ivanov, Ivanov’s rival in emigration Vladislav Khodasevich and Nina Berberova. Anyway the background to the novel is the attempted coup and overthrow of Soviet Russia. It is part autobiographical and he regretted some of what he wrote in retrospect including his closeness to Yeltsin.

            The US should not have interfered in the collapse or overthrow of a large number of countries.

          • Mark Golding

            On April 28, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his address to the American nation: “These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks, and guns – than all the other United Nations put together”. Winston Churchill in his message to Joseph Stalin of September 27, 1944, wrote “that it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine…”.

            Regardless of vitiating the intentions of Israel, Putin agreed to support Syria in the struggle against terrorism and a proxy war permeated by propaganda and proselytism that threatened to undermine Russia as a permanent member of the Security Council. Clearly a brave and abjuring decision.

          • David

            @JG 23:57

            I just have to comment John, as I’m working my way thru Nina Berbarova’s correspondance – (1968-1992), how skilful and artistic she is. A lot of her letters were to her “special friend” Ida, who lived in the USA, all delivered outwith of the censorship of those times, there’s poetry in her letters.

          • Mary

            Goose Have you ever checked out Robert Stuart’s blog ‘Saving Syria’s Children’? He exposed the MSM lies.

            This is his pinned tweet dated last August.

            Robert Stuart
            Six years ago this evening as parliament voted on bombing Damascus,
            @BBCNews aired this footage of victims of a napalm attack being treated at an Aleppo hospital. Is it real?

            There have been others acting on behalf of Western governments such as the photographer who worked with Marie Colvin. They and others acted as reporters and journalists. The anti Assad campaign continues to this day. You often see the word ‘regime’ used in conjunction with his name. We in the West do not have ‘regimes’ of course.

          • Goose



            We seem to have twin foreign policies : one open(public) in which we’re reacting, one secret(elites) proactive and often involving regime change. And the people exposing this(investigative journos)or saying this are being intimidated, silenced or jailed. There is very little hope in this world when the MSM collude in this. This is the real collusion of our time.

          • John Goss

            June 19, 2020 at 06:56

            I have not read her letters but I have read her autobiography “The Italics Are Mine”. In that she reproduces some of the letters, has an almost scathingly fond condemnation of Georgy Ivanov (a special interest of mine, especially his Распад Атома) and reproduces some (perhaps all) of his letters in that exposure of life in the emigre community mostly centred in Paris. Her own contribution to literature was both worthy and voluminous. She knew so many of the emigrants including Bunin, Kerensky, not to mention Gorky and others who returned. If you come across any letters from or to Georgy Ivanov before 1950 I would be interested to learn of them.

  • Wikikettle

    Waiting for the Kelly film from George Galloway and as someone already posted, John Pilger would be the man to go to.

  • Giyane

    I’m intrigued by the concept of the GRU. British society is not homogenised, but like Jersey milk has a distinct layer of about 15% of the population who work indirectly or directly forvtge government. This would range from spooks like Bojo, down to criminals released on licence whose elbows are twisted to do illegal things like spying on the community. And loads in between the two.

    Of course, like cream , they regard themselves as the top of society, but we all know they are cause of heart disease and oppression. So the question is:
    What proportion of international flyers , globetrotters, finance their peripatetic lifestyle from serving the spy state in countries like the UK or Russia or China or anywhere else too?

    Naturally we don’t count our own back-scratching prostitutes as imperial dogma-driven scum, do we? What else is a chap or chapess to do? Be a plumber or electrician and fix things under the sink?
    Oh, the delightful hypocrisy of British society!
    Three new episodes of Midsomer Murders I don’t have to watch. Yawn. Where’s my spanner?
    Give me something useful ( and very lower class ) to do.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “Wisner’s Wurlitzer” did not only seek to control media narratives in the US. This CIA operation also extended to European media.

      Almost at the push of a button, or so Mr. Wisner liked to think, the “Wurlitzer” became the means for orchestrating, in almost any language anywhere in the world, whatever tune the C.I.A.; was in a mood to hear.

      The Wurlitzer might have played more softly for a while in the 80s and 90s. But I have no doubt an operation of this nature came back into full swing following 9/11.

      While there is, doubtless, real manipulation. Some of the continuous bias may be due to a sort of tribalism. Colonial white societies knew very well what not to question and look away from. No laws or thought police were necessary. People believed their prosperity and safety depended on the continuing dominance of their group (or tribe).

    • Goose

      @Vivian O’Blivion

      Really dangerous. Can fully understand intel agencies (MI5 , MI6 .FVEY) wanting to accrue more and more power and responsibilities, that’s in their nature. And it’s understandable that our current low quality Anglo politicians, elected under unrepresentative (FPTP – all except NZ) would acquiesce to those demands, in secret. But then the media becomes the public’s only defence against abuse of power and overreach. Controlling the media is the final step towards totalitarianism. Things are going truly awry and you can only hope there’s enough conscientious people like Snowden, Katharine Gun and Annie Machon, to pose questions and ask the heads of these agencies to think whether seeking to control the media, is really desirable or wise?

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        Why do you think this is new?

        For example, MI5 ran a smear campaign against Harold Wilson known as “Clockwork Orange”.

        See also: Systematic ‘fake news’ Planted By Britain’s Intelligence Services

        Perhaps this is why the “Putin did it” suggestion is repeated again and again in the Anglo press and media about the Skripal pantomime. And why, in the same press, Julian Assange has been painted as a “rapist” and why they all keep schtum about his outrageous and inhumane treatment even though it is a threat to the “press freedom” they claim to cherish so much.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Goose June 19, 2020 at 12:31
        ‘…really desirable or wise?’ Poppycock – it’s effective! They have it all down to a fine art, and aren’t going to unilaterally give up such power.
        Udo’s book ‘Presstitutes’ is available on Amazon – give it a read, see how ‘they’ work.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Vivian O’Blivion June 19, 2020 at 10:43
      West Germany after the war was under the jackboots of the CIA, as were the new German Security Services, and so was totally US-centred.
      I was involved in getting the book printed in English, after another US firm had ‘privished’ it (in fact there is doubt they even bothered to translate it. Although ads for the book were up on the internet for large sums, all attempts to buy it that I am aware of failed. Eventually Progressive Press in the States published it as ‘Presstitutes’.
      I got Craig a review copy, but he has been up to his neck with Julian Assange and then Alex Salmond, and now is himself under fire.

  • Spencer Eagle

    The idea that Charlie Rowley fished the perfume out of a charity bin is fiction. In fact Rowley could not remember where he had found the deadly bottle, telling ITV News that it wasn’t in Salisbury’s Queen Elizabeth Gardens where the Skripals had fallen ill and was sealed off to the public for weeks. “It’s very frustrating… I’d like to be able to say exactly where I got it from but I can’t…. I’d love to be able to help as much as I can but it’s not helping if I make it up,” he said at the time.
    So, here’s a counter narrative to the official one…. Did the Skripal’s bring the perfume bottle containing the nerve agent into the UK, to sell, to trade or to repay a debt? During the flight, the bottle wept some of it’s contents as result of cabin pressurization, sufficient to breach the cellophane wrapped packaging. On that morning of March 4th the Skripal’s congratulated themselves whilst retrieving the perfume from Yulia’s luggage, having both just handled the perfume, traces of the leaked agent passed to the door handle of the house as they left. They were heading for a meal, but first they would conceal the perfume box at a drop point somewhere in Salisbury, a drop point that Rowley would accidentally discover some weeks later. After the celebratory meal Sergei intended to contact his customer with the location of the drop to complete the deal, he was of course unable to make that call.
    ‘Petrov & Boshirov’ ..were they the Skripal’s customers or more likely intermediaries for the real customer – it’s not uncommon for low paid spooks to do some moonlighting for oligarchs. They were in Salisbury the day before to familiarize themselves with the general area of where the drop would be made, returning a day later to make the pickup once Sergei had contacted them with the precise location. They of course wandered aimlessly. Salisbury waiting for a call that was never going to come.
    Unofficially the Skirpal’s have been imprisoned indefinitely for their part in importing the nerve agent for terrorist purposes, officially it was Russia to blame, case solved.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Spencer Eagle June 19, 2020 at 11:07
      ‘…case solved.’
      Err, not quite. That does not account for the very delayed action of the ‘highly deadly’ (Black Tarantula?) nerve agent, or the fact that it hit the two very dissimilar people at precisely the same time.
      Wouldn’t British customs find it odd that Yulia was bringing in a gift of ‘perfume’ to her father, a swapped traitor?
      Why didn’t she bring him a handbag and some fish net stockings as well?
      Trifle risky, to say the least.
      I go along with the idea that they are being held incommunicado by Britain (or maybe the US).

      • Spencer Eagle

        Nope, nerve agents don’t behave like alcohol, male or female, large or small, if the subjects are exposed at the same time, to the same level, they will pretty much succumb at the same time. Studies have revealed it’s possible, following low level exposure of nerve agents, for the effects to be delayed anything up to 18 hours. The three hour window in which the Skripal’s could have accidentally contaminated themselves fits well within what is possible. As for travelling with perfume, what is unusual about entering the UK with a small sealed gift of perfume in either hand or checked luggage, both methods are permitted (100ml max for hand luggage). My guess is Yulia would not have been on anyone’s radar and why on earth would anyone at customs think the perfume was for a man?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Spencer Eagle June 20, 2020 at 12:58
          I cannot dispute your information re nerve agents acting in a delayed-action fashion, but I still find it rather strange such a ‘super deadly’ nerve agent as Novichok – if that’s what it was – would behave in that fashion, as I believe do most people.
          I agree that under normal circs a bottle of perfume would not be suspicious coming through customs.
          But these were not normal circs, and whatever faults the UK Security Services have, they are not Dumbos: ‘…My guess is Yulia would not have been on anyone’s radar and why on earth would anyone at customs think the perfume was for a man?’.
          Our spooks are a wee bit sharper than that. So they would indeed have known she was visiting her exchanged traitor spy father, and they would have known if he was ‘gay’ or not (I haven’t seen anything pointing in that direction myself).

          • Spencer Eagle

            Paul, you have to remember Sergei Skripal had been welcomed with open arms into the UK, 2010. He was doubtless rewarded for his work as a double agent, he’d bought a house and was quite possibly receiving an annual income provided by the tax payer. A visit by his daughter, whilst noted, would not have raised any special interest to Border Force, why would it? He was one of ours. On the contrary, Yulia was probably saluted as she waltzed through customs safe in the knowledge her little package wouldn’t face any scrutiny. Like I said above, they have likely been secretly tried and incarcerated, meanwhile the whole event has been hijacked by HMG to damage Russia on the world stage.

    • Mrs Pau!

      Charlie Rowley has recently changed his story about the perfume bottle. At the time he remembered very well where he found it, even showed reporters. But then of course it did not turn up in his kitchen until after several days after Dawn’s death. Maybe the package was constructed by UK secret services.? But why?

      Also. It is worth noting that we were not meant to see the video footage of the Russians looking in the coin shop window. It was sent direct to the Daily Mail at the time by the shop owner. I remember reading that the secret services were quite annoyed as they were controlling video footage released. Similarly with feeding the ducks footage which was acquired by the Daily Mirror but soon suppressed.

      The more astute journalists’ accojnts, seem to fade from view and the Met Police constructed an absurd and fictitious timeline. And I still have no Idea why Dawn Sturgess was targeted.

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