The Miracle of Salisbury 157


It turns out that the BBC really does believe that God is an Englishman. When the simple impossibility of the official story on the Skripals finally overwhelmed the dramatists, they resorted to Divine Intervention for an explanation – as propagandists have done for millennia.

This particular piece of script from Episode 2 of The Salisbury Poisonings deserves an induction in the Propaganda Hall of Fame:

Porton Down Man: I’ve got the reports from the Bailey house
Public Health Woman: Tell me, how many hits?
Porton Down Man: It was found in almost every room of the house. Kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms. It was even on the light switches. We found it in the family car too. But his wife and children haven’t been affected. I like to think of myself as a man of science, but the only word for that is a miracle.

Well, it certainly would be a miracle that the family lived for a week in the house without touching a light switch. But miracle is not really the “only word for that”. Nonsense is a good word. Bullshit is a ruder version. Lie is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.

Because that was not the only miracle on display. We were told specifically that the Skripals had trailed novichok all over Zizzis and the Bishops Mill pub, leaving multiple deadly deposits, dozens of them in total, which miraculously nobody had touched. We were told that Detective Bailey was found to have left multiple deadly deposits of novichok on everything he touched in a busy police station, but over several days before it was closed down nobody had touched any of them, which must be an even bigger miracle than the Baileys’ home.

Perhaps even more amazingly, as the Skripals spread novichok all over the restaurant and the pub, nobody who served them had been harmed, nobody who took their payment. The man who went through Sergei’s wallet to learn his identity from his credit cards was not poisoned. The people giving first aid were not poisoned. The ducks Sergei fed were not poisoned. The little boy he fed the ducks with was not poisoned. So many miracles. If God were not an Englishman, Salisbury would have been in real trouble, evidently.

The conclusion of episode two showed Charlie Rowley fishing out the perfume bottle from the charity bin at least two months in the timeline before this really happened, thus neatly sidestepping one of the most glaring impossibilities in the entire official story. I think we can forgive the BBC that lie – there are only so many instances of divine intervention in the story the public can be expected to buy in one episode.

It is fascinating to see that the construction of this edifice of lies was a joint venture between the BBC and the security services’ house journal, the Guardian. Not only is all round pro-war propagandist “Colonel” Hamish De Bretton Gordon credited as Military Advisor, but Guardian journalists Caroline Bannock and Steven Morris are credited as Script Consultants, which I presume means they fed in the raw lies for the scriptwriters to shape into miracles.

Now here is an interesting ethical point for readers of the Guardian. The Guardian published in the last fortnight two articles by Morris and Bannock that purported to be reporting on the production of the drama and its authenticity, without revealing to the readers that these full time Guardian journalists were in fact a part of the BBC project. That is unethical and unprofessional in a number of quite startling ways. But then it is the Guardian.

[Full disclosure. I shared a flat with Caroline at university. She was an honest person in those days.]

Again, rather than pepper this article with links, I urge you to read this comprehensive article, which contains plenty of links and remains entirely unanswered.

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157 thoughts on “The Miracle of Salisbury

1 2
  • Republicofscotland

    The Bailey deposits in his house and police station and of course the sealed perfume bottle, make the official narrative totally implausible.

  • J Galt

    Thank you very much for sitting through this garbage on our behalf – I know I couldn’t have done it!

    It makes you think just how much of the present UK Covid19 narrative might be garbage also.

    • timfrom

      Yes, I avoided this pointless (other than as propaganda) drama, too. It serves no purpose other than to stoke anti-Russian sentiment.

      As for comparisons with Covid-19, well both narratives involved a certain Boris Johnson at its heart, either as Foreign Secretary or Prime Minister. Go figure!

    • Carolyn Zaremba

      No it doesn’t. Covid-19 is real and killing people every day. The Covid story is science. The “novichok” story is not.

  • Xavi

    They figure – correctly – that nobody in ruling-class MSM or Parliament will highlight the impossibilities, lies and unprofessionalism. The Guardian was once a place reputedly where Tory government propaganda would be challenged. But it is now as you say the house journal of military intelligence.

  • Minority Of One

    Craig, excellent analysis as usual. I hope that in due course you are able to make the documentary you were contemplating about this subject. We need an antidote to the BBC garbage / propaganda. Many people I am sure myself included will happily contribute to that if required.

    Meanwhile, heard on the radio this morning that the UK has 9.8 M people on furlough and 2.6 M people on a similar scheme for the self-employed. And UK benefit claimant levels now at 2.8 M. Total = 15.2 M. Just under half the pre-Covid 19 working population.

      • Minority Of One

        Sorry to hear that. A few people I know have been laid off as well, oil industry here in Aberdeen. And many on furlough very unsure of their future. Very troubling times.

  • Brian Powell

    They must hate people who know stuff.
    It does make me realise the extent of the manipulation that has been going on for years.
    The newspapers bias and corruption has been obvious for a long time and BBCScotland propaganda for at least 6 years, but this is a ‘new’ level.

    • Jon

      Oh, “they” certainly hate people who know stuff; Brian Powell.

      If you have a spare few hours, try reading ‘A Thorn In Their Side’ by Robert Green.

      A frightening account of what happens if you are innocently drawn into trying to discover the truth behind the death of a relative, when the official account just didn’t add up.

  • Peter

    So much utterly, completely and massively deadly Novichock around, a gram thereof can kill thousands, nay millions in one fell swoop, empty cities of all living things, devastate the landscape and kill the birds in the sky above…and a poor drug addict is the only person that is killed, and despite its utterly deadliness the miracle of British Medicine is able to defy the utter and complete absolute deadliness by resuscitating the original targets of this dastardly Russian deed.
    There you go GREAT BRITAIN, show it to those damn Ruskies.

  • Lorna Campbell

    Had to laugh, too, when the Public Health lady told her husband and son that she couldn’t tell them what she was doing and why she had to stay out all night at the police HQ when the Salisbury poisonings were actually on the news. The Porton Down man’s complete belief in miracles for a nerve agent that is reputed to be far more lethal than the stuff Saddam sprayed on the poor Kurds, who all died, as I recall, was quite incredible. I have to say that the acting was rather good, though, and I’m not just talking about the professional actors.

  • Kenny

    Pete Wishart saw fit to tweet this last night:

    ‘Well done (at) TheBBCtv #TheSalisburyPoisonings excellent. A particularly dark event in our recent history.’

    Not known as having his tongue in his cheek when he’s online, this was the moment I unfollowed the man.
    By his own arseholery, I am absolutely exhausted and disgusted by him. A complete, bumbling fool with a sizeable clutch of disrespect, I seriously wonder what the hell he’s playing at.

    • Goose

      What did you expect ? Wouldn’t be surprised if Sturgeon’s a big Hillary Clinton fan.

      For these people all objectivity goes out the window at the mere mention of Russia.. ‘Guilty!’ is their stock response, they can’t even be bothered to evaluate the actual evidence.
      Even people trying to ask basic questions – the stuff journos used to ask before they became mere state propagandists – are/were accused of being sponsored by the Kremlin. At the height of this pathetic Russophobic paranoia, it was seen as disloyal to question any of this fantastical nonsense.
      It stems from the fact centrists blame Putin for Trump, who they universally despise, as if no Americans voted in the election and as if $billions wren’t spent on the campaign by both campaigns. It’s easier blaming some outside force that played an insignificant role, than coming to terms with the fact Hillary was an unpopular candidate.

      • James Charles

        This is why H.R.C. ‘lost’?
        “And it’s deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly “won” the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State’s office proudly told me that they were “very aggressive” in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters.”
        http://www.gregpalast.com/trump-picks-al-capone-vote-rigging-investigate-federal-voter-fraud/

        • Goose

          The US deserved a better choice than those two candidates. Like our politics in the UK, the choice is crap because of our ‘winner take all’ two-party systems have left us with only the veneer of democracy.

          I think the Democrats have made the same error again picking the deeply uninspiring, gaffe-prone, centre-right Joe Biden. If Trump wins again, expect the same lame excuses: Russia , Bernie Bros not turning out, maybe even Chinese interference claims. In reality, all they had to do was pick a candidate who could enthuse voters.

    • J Galt

      How could anyone with an ounce of intelligence say such a thing?

      Yet again their £2 a month is hanging by thread.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    I couldn’t bear to watch. Like some other commenters I found myself wondering, Why now? And the same with the resurgence of the Madeleine McCann saga. Why now?

    • Shatnersrug

      Because we’re all stuck at home and running out of dramas to watch. It’s a perfect time for getting into peoples brains

      • JJ

        Release time to now justify the “fact” Skripals are now somewhere(but not spotted clandestine deliveries disguises altered perso alities yet) safely out of Putins future clutches….a place where the GRU cannot get to…and justify all the tens millions spent on it all…I wonder what the final -ahem accruing running budget- bill will be. Remind me….Skripal house and Bailey houses are now deemed safe for reoccupation?

    • John Goss

      “Why now?”

      The Skripal and McCann stories were the big hoaxes before the latest one, which is clearly running out of steam.

      Incidentally the cousin of Yulia Skripal, Viktoria, does not believe a word about the new identities given the Skripals in New Zealand. She thinks they are still in Porton Down. Anybody suspecting that the MSM coverage of this story has any credibility has no credibility. That not a single journalist (not that we have many now) has been allowed to interview Yulia Skripal should raise questions.

    • Reliably

      The UK establishment and security services have a heavy investment in both of those stories.

      Meanwhile, a British ambassador between postings goes out for a morning run and disappears. That was about 6 weeks ago and the BBC (and the press in general) seems very uninterested.

      • JJ

        Yup …very odd this one. Weeks of police and search and rescue teams covering 9 sq kilometres. Cadaver dogs the lot presumably. There are psychics who can find lost things.

        • nevermind

          local residents asked not to search.beyond tnheir gardens and leave it to the police? whataboutery, confusion, obfusecation.

  • ET

    I didn’t watch the show. I haven’t ascertained anyone else’s view of it as yet. I agree the whole official story is completely incredulous. What I don’t get is what was the purpose of it all. What did the whole thing achieve for the propogandist? Before the BBC show I bet most people had forgotten the whole thing. And why resurrect it all now and invite further questioning?
    I can see the propoganda value relating to the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria which is very well covered by Tim Hayward. They wanted further justification to illegally bomb Syria. I am struggling to find any value in the Skripal affair for the propogandist. A little more anti Russian feeling, Show Boris in a better light and possible Steele dossier connections. It seemes to be a huge effort for not a lot of gain. Perhaps I am underestimating the effect it had on the country or missing something. Or perhaps something yet to unfold.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The British taxpayer can hardly be expected to indefinitely cough up for Vauxhall Cross and the small army that occupies it unless there is an “ENEMY”.
      If the enemy doesn’t exist then one must be fabricated.

        • Goose

          Did you watch Chris Williamson’s Resistance TV special on this with Matt Kennard? It feat. other topics such as Starmer’s connections to MI5, and the trilateral commission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOBhUJW0qNM

          It was an interesting discussion and seems precisely the sort of thing many here would view, yet it has under 1000 views at the time of typing this ?!?
          ——————
          My own take on the GCHQ school thing, is it seems harmless enough, they are looking for potential prodigious talent; whether it be precocious coding skills(i.e., not just script kids)or potential future cryptologists. Much in the same way football talent scouts are on the lookout at school level.

      • Philip Maughan

        This; at the start of episode 2 there was a piece of text which read, ‘In 2018 the people of Salisbury were faced with an unprecedented crisis. A chemical weapons attack on a British city’ Scary stuff, which demonstrates the power of words. Changing the word ‘on’ in the quote to ‘in’ quite dramatically changes the context from an isolated incident to the suggestion of a wholesale attack on the people of Salisbury.

    • John Goss

      “And why resurrect it all now and invite further questioning?”

      They kept resurrecting the Litvinenko “murder” for years until the case, like that of Dr David Kelly’s “suicide” was taken out of the hands of coroners and handed to a law-lord in the form of an Inquiry. Thus the authorities got the result they wanted without having to resort to fact-checking. Incidentally one of the people found to be guilty in absentia, Andrei Lugovoi, had tried to help Nikolai Glushkov escape from a hospital when he was on trial for siphoning off vast amounts of money from Aeroflot. Nikolai Glushkov was murdered the week after Russia was blamed for the Skripal attempted murder. I suspect that Russia, through a hit-man, was really responsible for this murder – but we hear nothing about it.

  • N_

    It turns out that the BBC really does believe that God is an Englishman
    How they’ve changed since the days of “Lord” Reith!

  • Mary

    State stooges have immunity to Novichok. Only lesser mortals like Dawn Sturgess succumb.

    Google have all the answers to these questions:
    Who invented novichok?
    How does novichok kill you?
    How long does novichok take to work?
    How does novichok work?

    There are yards of stuff about it on Wikipedia. First authored by Richard Norton in 2007. Who he?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Novichok_agent&dir=prev&action=history

    The newest page https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Novichok_agent&oldid=959878170

    • Neil

      You’re a nice lady, Mary, but you do post total garbage sometimes:

      “First authored by Richard Norton in 2007”
      — No he didn’t. Scroll to the bottom of your first link, and you’ll see the article was created by one “Erikwithaknotac”.
      — The said Richard Norton has made a grand total of two edits, both in July 2007. Here’s the net effect of those edits:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Novichok_agent&type=revision&diff=145874565&oldid=145864126
      — The newest page is, of course, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent (similar URL to any other wiki article)
      — The link you gave for “The newest page” is in fact a permalink to the version at 01:20, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

      “Who he?”
      — Well, he was blocked in June 2018. Otherwise I don’t know, and don’t care. He’s not relevant to Novichok.

      The best way to get information about a page on Wikipedia is to click on (guess what!) “Page information” (under “Tools” in the panel on the left). There you can easily see who created a page, who the most recent editor is, and a lot of other info.

      Having said all that, I do appreciate your contributions here. I just wish you’d research your facts more carefully.

    • Kempe

      You are aware of course that The Guardian is not a member of the IPSO which lacks the power to close newspapers anyway?

      The depths of human stupidity never cease to amaze me.

      Or is Tony Parsons having a laugh?

    • joel

      Yes the Guardian was founded as the mouthpiece of cotton barons who profited off slave labour and whose own mill workers were lucky to live beyond the age of 30. However the real reasons it should be closed is the fake news it now pumps out without apology, like its front page about Manafort visiting Assange, and its new role as mouthpiece of the MoD.

  • JohnA

    One has to wonder why the Guardian tv critic only gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

    One quibble:
    The little boy he fed the ducks with was not poisoned

    perhaps should be edited to read The little boy he gave bread to feed the ducks with was not poisoned

    I know ducks will eat worms etc., but little boys is a bit of a stretch.

    • Reliably

      I thought the same about that line.

      But feeding little boys to ducks sounds like something out of a Grimms fairy tale so it really fits nicely with the rest of the story.

    • Royd

      ‘One quibble:
      The little boy he fed the ducks with was not poisoned
      perhaps should be edited to read The little boy he gave bread to feed the ducks with was not poisoned
      I know ducks will eat worms etc., but little boys is a bit of a stretch.’

      Thankyou for this post. It made me giggle.

  • Goose

    Many spooky goings on at the BBC.

    Urban keeps revisiting Salisbury district hospital for some reason. It’s a fair distance from London so going there to do his Newsnight Covid reports seems a strange decision. Dr Duncan Murray(no relation I presume) was interviewed regarding the Skripals’ treatment in his Newsnight report, he’s now his go-to man on Covid, maybe an old friend, along with Dr Christine Blanshard?

    • Jo+Dominich

      Goose interesting. I think these things are all interlinked actually. i am 100% certain that the Skripals are dead. We are being primed for something but for what, is not clear yet.

      • Vercingetorix

        A Hollywood sequel obviously.

        “It was a quiet damp Sunday afternoon in Stornoway, until the mysterious Chinese playboy resident Mr Wu Han (Pierce Brosnan) and his globetrottting daughter, Hu Wan (Olivia Colman), were found comatose opposite the Harris Tweed Authority. The main suspects were two sinister Orientals (Matt Lucas and Jason Statham) who were seen, after buying clingfilm, sausage rolls and a can of Lynx Africa in Shell Street Tesco’s, speeding off towards Tolsta Beach, where their mini Chinese submarine was parked. Luckily local top cop Hamish Macbeth (Idris Elba) was on hand to stop the PLA in their dastardly plot to stop PM BJ constructing a new Hong Kong in the Hebrides, and a bridge to Iceland, through poisoning all the local resident ex-spy’s deep fried Irn Bru and Pot Noodles. [continue ad infinitum]”

      • Goose

        Craig has raised all these points before. Urban, Miller and Skripal were all very well known to each other before Sergei Skripal was of any international interest.

        On 8 July 2018, this Freedom of Information request was submitted to the BBC:

        Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

        1: Why did BBC Newsnight correspondent Mark Urban keep secret from the licence payers that he had been having meetings with Sergei Skripal only last summer[2017].
        2: When did the BBC know this?
        3: Please provide me with copies of all correspondence between yourselves and Mark Urban on the subject of Sergei Skripal.
        Yours faithfully,
        Kirsty Eccles

        Nothing came of it, the BBC’s response :

        The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you…..

  • giyane

    I’m not asking anybody to believe this conspiracy theory but it works for me. If the ‘ West ‘ is pumping out Russophobia or now Chinaphobia, is that not a clue that it, or its employees of limited intelligence, is collaborating with those ‘ enemies ‘ rather embarassingly closely? I can understand Russia + West v. Middle East, but I can’t understand China + West v. The World. Am I missing something about corporate globalism?
    Is it simply that in a world of greater safety and opportunity, there are insufficient mechanisms for the PTB to instill fear? When cars had 180 degrees of play on the steering wheel, and films could portray actors sitting in studios against moving backdrops, wildly rotating them backwards and forwards while smoking fags, life was more dangerous.

    And then there is the universal problem of human management that is something is portrayed as dangerous, like Chinese students dating Westerners, most of them would see that as a green light to rebel.
    So maybe it was all a 4th generation promotion story for Wiltshire. You will not die of boredom on the South Coast of England watching the grass grow. Book your holiday today. But I can assure you from personal experience that you will die of boredom in Wiltshire because it is stiff with spooks and Tories and you will have to travel over 100 miles in any direction to find any life at all.

    • Gav

      It’s all food for thought, I suppose.

      Certainly something that gives the idea of cooperation with Russia more weight is the timing of the event – just a couple of weeks before the Russian Presidential election in March 2018 – and the curious lack of media focus on Russian political corruption, which would have been much more effective than the absurd Skripal story which seemed to be designed to be insulting to the intelligence of the hoi polloi of both nations. Perhaps particularly to the Russian public, nearing peak frustration with their domestic woes, whose tendency to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, may have been an invitation for manipulation.

      But then, would it not be easier just to fake the results? They’ve surely got a department for that sort of thing. I dunno. Either way, the biggest embarrassment for me was when Nicola ‘it’s not a wig’ Sturgeon just had to have her say.

      • Gav

        …and then there’s this Skripal story rearing its head again just over a week before Russia holds a constitutional referendum, the result of which could see an abnormal extension of Putin’s rule.

        See how many news reports you can find about this momentous event and its implications, particularly from the BBC. Must be biding their time.

        It’s all very silly.

        • Paul Barbara

          As I see it, the longer Putin stays in power the better. I believe he is a great leader, and I believe Russia will be very hard pressed to find anyone of his stature, intelligence and ability to eventually replace him. Compare him to the caricatures the West ‘selects’.

          • Gav

            He IS a caricature – the wily Russian strongman. Looks so credible in those topless pics. The reality is he’s a weaselly ex-kgb psycho who got a hardman makeover courtesy of the new barons Yeltsin enriched, to dangle in front of the generations who were a bit sore at their nation’s assets being sold away; don’t you fret comrades, he’s one of the old guard. What makes him great – and I agree with you that he is – is that he is so damn convincing. Nobody does it better than him, not even close. Anyone could take the role in this country (and they do).

      • Jo+Dominich

        Gav, I would like to see a programme on Government corruption in the UK especially now as we have the most corrupt Government in our Parliamentary history. Forget Russia, what about home?

        • Steve+Hayes

          The notion that the current government is the most corrupt in parliamentary history. New Labour was appalling, but if you want to see corruption you should look at eighteenth century parliament and government.

  • Sun-jay

    It was a plot to poison putin at the world cup hospitality box? with julia carrying back the potion, but an FSB mole within Porton Down meant the russki could openly scupper the plot, all along DELIBERATELY peering into CCTV cameras, thinking the devils would have enough shame/embarrassment to keep mum. But OMG they even made a FAKE movie about it now !!! But russki plays a long game the then MI6 boss and Treeza may yet have to answer for their shenanigans?

    • Blissex

      «It was a plot to poison putin at the world cup hospitality box? with julia carrying back the potion»

      My best guess is that Sergei, known to be greedy, was dealing in controlled substances to make some money on the side, and Yulia was the courier delivering to him a shipment of fentanyl brought in from Russia, which they handled poorly. This would be one reason why the Skripals are “not available”: they are effectively in some kind of “dark” prison.

      «but an FSB mole within Porton Down meant the russki could openly scupper the plot, all along DELIBERATELY peering into CCTV cameras»

      My impression is that the two russian were really two random queer tourists on a foreign date who just happened to be in the area at the time, or if (less likely) they were involved, they were part of the gang with which Yulia was working.
      They surely weren’t professional spooks on mission.

      • Jo+Dominich

        Blissex, you’ve got it in one. Skripal was a dodgy double dealer. He certainly, for a Pensioner, had an awful lot of money, owning two houses and if I remember correctly, didn’t Yulia arrive with 200,000 in her luggage?

  • Robert graham

    With so many unexplained Miracles happening in one place in England surely this a business opportunity for some enterprising fly by night dell boy , This money making opportunity on a par that would rival Lourdes is priceless think of the marketing and tourism potential , it’s a gold mine of epic proportions , Indeed a miracle.
    All presented by a trusted organisation world renowned BBC a trusted partner in this entrepreneurial wonder

    • Bayard

      Back in the middle ages, Salisbury would have become a place of pilgrimage to rival Rome, with so many miracles. There would be a huge golden reliquary holding the bones of St Nicholas of the Bailey and another for St Dawn. Candles would be lit to St Charles the Diver and the money would roll in to enrich the cathedral and the diocese.

  • Mary

    Apart from the ludicrous nature of the exercise, I wonder how many £millions of taxpayers’ money were expended on it. Compensation alone to the owners of the premises involved, claims for the vehicles taken away, claims for loss of earnings, etc must have been considerable.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mary June 16, 2020 at 14:00
      British taxpayers can afford it. And the contracts for work go to (more likely than not) ‘friends’ of the Tory Party.
      How bad is that? Money makes the world go around (as Copernicus might have said).

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Taxes in the UK don’t fund anything at all.

      After the government creates currency at a keystroke at the BoE whenever it chooses to spend, taxes are imposed at each initial and subsequent transaction in order to remove excess currency, so that the government spending cycle can continue as infinitum without creating massive inflation.

      And that’s it.

      Did you get a huge tax bill before Rishi Sunak could spend hundreds of billions of pounds into the economy to mitigate the effects of Covid-19? No, because that’s not how it works.

      Money is not a scarce resource for the UK gov; it is the monopoly creator of the currency and has infinite amounts of sterling at its disposal. Pretending that it is, and that taxes pay for public spending plays straight into the hands of Thatcherites, and should always be avoided.

      • glenn_uk

        Well… taxes are the only thing that give currency any value whatsoever. We can only pay the government our tax in the currency of that government, so if we did not pay tax, it would cease to have value. We could trade in whatever we wanted (and do to some extent), but cannot pay tax in anything else. So we have to have currency.

        If the government figuratively prints too much of it, currency would lose value. Then we would need more of it to pay taxes, and get inflation. For a surprising time now, governments have suspended the value of currency through deflation from stagnated earnings and inflation through printing money.

        One thing that puzzles me about your suggestion that money can be conjured up _infinitely_, please help me out here:

        Governments could be very popular by creating a thriving economy and great social services through heavy spending on infrastructure and welfare. Why would they not do so, if no cost were attached?

        How is it that low taxing countries like the US & UK have appalling inequality with all the ills associated with it (read The Spirit Level for an analysis), while high taxing countries in Europe are the best places to live on Earth, by virtually every social measure?

        How is this the case, if money is literally free for governments, that we decide to dive to the bottom of the societal barrel?

  • Tom74

    Another ‘miracle’ that the BBC had a hand in was Boris Johnson ‘winning’ the general election in December. Somehow, despite 10 years of Tory cuts, corruption and incompetence, he managed to take previously safe Labour seats because of Brexit but didn’t lose Remainer seats because of Brexit.
    And then, lo and behold, three months after winning the election, along comes the coronavirus, with Johnson and Cummings safely in place to push through the destruction of our hospitals, education system and small businesses for American corporations and powerbrokers. How convenient.
    No wonder the BBC, along with the rest of the media, were going all-out with Zimbabwe-style smears against Corbyn – they had to pretend he was unpopular in advance of the marginals being sewn up. This was the big one.
    It was the Christmas season, I guess.

    • Goose

      Haven’t Corbyn’s harshest, most persistent critics and BBC favourite interviewees landed on their feet…

      UK Music appointed Tom Watson as its Chair, in a move that was greeted with dismay by many in the music industry. The Times reported Watson’s appointment had “alarmed” the British Phonographic Industry, whose members account for 85% of music sales and who are among the ten music groups with directors who sit on the board of UK Music.

      Index on Censorship announces Ruth Smeeth as its new chief executive. Matt Kennard brought attention to the fact Index received $430,187 from CIA cutout National Endowment for Democracy in last 4 years.

      Ian Austin was appointed Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Israel by Theresa May.

      John Mann was made Theresa May’s independent adviser on antisemitism and given a seat in the HoL.

      The anti-democratic forces Corbyn was up against meant it was more like trying push a boulder up a hill even trying to get him and Labour elected. Just as Mike Pompeo said it would be in that leaked recording.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Goose June 16, 2020 at 18:31
        Well done for pointing out a few important facts.
        Yup, ‘Myth’ of Sisiphus’ writ large. And ex-Tory Bliar Mark II, even more blatant than the original ‘redirectional power grab’ (‘Opposition Regime Change’).
        If I was a sheeple, I’d probably sleep better, but sleeping well ain’t the reason we’re here…

      • Dom

        It has all been extremely revealing of the type of people selected to be Labour MPs over the years. Some of the least principled people in society.

    • glenn_uk

      Tom74: I’m astonished that you think a pandemic – a worldwide event – comes along ahead of time to sort out a bit of local politics for one party in one country. I mean, how insular does one have to be to think like that? Do tell!

      • Giyane

        glenn_uk

        Yes it’s insular but it’s the insularity of the Tory Party, that sees a pandemic as an opportunity to attack China, where nearly everything we buy is made. It’s the insularity of the Tories that assumes the exclusive right to occupy Libya and Syria with vicious terrorists funded by the UK. The insularity of a special advisor who thinks he’s the UK’s bouncer, and declares white supremacy from his desk in No 10, against the ongoing background of our colonial past. No man is an island, except inside the Tory herd. This is Gladio mentality : come and shelter under the shield of absolite power.
        There is a big wide world out there outside this incredibly narrow, insular view of politics.

  • Ian W Fraser

    I said at the time that I didn’t believe it and it was a small step to build connections in peoples’ minds between, Bad Russia / Bad Socialism / Terrible Terrorist Corbyn / Wonderful Nationalistic Britain / The Workingman’s Tory Party.
    In early 2018 Labour were holding there own, they were attacking organisations such as Centrica and a few truths were being reported now and again about Brexit and simple minded Ministers.
    It was probably a toss-up between fabricating the ‘evidence’ of the 2 Russian Spies; and Photoshoping an image of Corbyn visiting Moscow or breaking into Porton Down.

    • Jo+Dominich

      Ian, added to which I am not sure if you have read the interview Jeremy Corbyn gave to Middle East Eye this week but it is very interesting on many levels. When asked about the antisemitism claims within the Labour Party and the forthcoming EHCR report, he said that essentially, he was not hopeful because, for some unaccountable reason the ECHR (an organisation whose CEO is Jewish as is his Deputy – Corbyn didn’t say this I did) the ECHR had recently been brought under Government control so it was now part of the Government. Neat eh?

    • giyane

      Ian W Fraser

      ” fabricating the ‘evidence’ of the 2 Russian Spies ”

      Scarey. If the pen is mightier than the sword, the documentary loaded with suggestive music, cockney men of the world voices, plummy toves, and cctv from Gatwick which in normal life would not have been working, is News porn. Then to read in the real news that world leaders have expelled real diplomats in real time is multiple News orgasm. How blessed we are that in our boring age of Tory grey men in corporate bondage we have been touched by the mythical 007 world, Real spies have entered our personal space, where we queued coming back from our foreign holidays, pissed off with returning to the boringness of English normality.

      I am truly disgusted with myself for giving it the few seconds of my attention and excitement before dismissing it as excrement from the minds of MI6/5.

  • pasha

    HUD secretary Ben Carson’s theory of gravity: “Just the way the Earth rotates on its axis, how far away it is from the sun. These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?”
    Ann Elk’s brontosaurus theory: “All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.”
    Now we can add to this stellar list the BBC/Grauniad Novichok Theory.

  • FranzB

    CM – “The little boy he fed the ducks with was not poisoned.”

    That’ll be why the ducks didn’t perish. If they had the RSPCA would have probably prosecuted Sergei.

    Perhaps the Lord Advocate will now (pedantically) charge CM with crimes against English grammar claiming this sentence should read “The little boy with which he fed the ducks was not poisoned”.

    I’ve not seen this drama, but I’d be intrigued to know if any reason is given for removing the Skripal’s roof.

    Btw, looking at a plan of Salisbury cathedral it does look a bit like the (Russian) orthodox cross with a double transept and part of the lower crossbeam found on the orthodox cross.

    Salibury cathedral has the tallest church spire in the country, which attracts visitors from across the world.

  • John Goss

    Although I haven’t watched either episode, and therefore cannot comment on the dramatic approach, plot or acting, I am curious to know if the two or three Russians (wot did it) have appeared on the scene yet as I speculated.

  • Squeeth

    Hmmm, not so much straight to video as straight to landfill as the redoubtable Pub Landlord once said. Perhaps there’s some room next to the “buried” vehicles.

  • Royd

    I am sheepishly admitting to having watched the second episode and will watch the third. If only to rip the whole thing to shreds. My assessment so far, and for what it’s worth, can be summarised in one word and that would be ‘outrageous’. I followed up on a commenter’s link in yesterday’s post by Mr Murray to the Guardian article written by Ms Bannock who had reviewed the series. The comments – a majority demonstrating that they had totally bought into the absurd narrative spun by HMG and their MSM allies made me despair. Any comments questioning that narrative were roundly shouted down – not with any evidence mind you.

    I am retired. I have the time to read around a subject and so, am in a position of privilege. I am assuming that those commenters supporting HMG and the MSM narrative are not. It did not lessen my feeling of despair.

    • Goose

      The guardian is like that these days. Many of its readers are so consumed with rage about Trump, and they’ve bought into the collusion nonsense and unproven Russian meddling in Brexit allegations, they are prepared to believe anything sinister about Russia.

      And the people who would pose questions and/or cast doubt, have found their comments deleted by a very inconsistent, capricious moderation system, so they’ve given up trying. The guardian will tolerate anything being posted against: Trump; Johnson, Tories …etc. but state support for Assange, or the big no-no,… criticism of Israel’s actions and the post will be removed, literally in seconds. This, even if the comment is topical.

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