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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

[Corbyn’s] Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and his Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith both saw that briefing and agreed there was “prima facie evidence” and said the party “fully accepts that Russia is responsible”.

Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services, and suggested samples of the nerve agent be sent back to Russia because he DID trust them and Russia had asked to see the evidence.

Fleet Street Fox

The article is ‘all over the place’ regarding the USSR (to be charitable) but it does make this rather good point.

41 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    This is part of a whole series of attacks – including the murder of an opponent of Mr Putin in London by the use of Polonium (basically Mr Putin screaming “yes it is was me – and there is nothing you can do about it”) and another opponent of Mr Putin being strangled in London only the other day.

    Conservatives and libertarians who side with Mr Putin (and there are some) are in error – horrible moral error.

  • Paul Marks

    Anyone who has watched Mr Putin’s “RT” (with its constant attacks on “Big Business” and “the rich” and its support for various “Social Justice” regimes) knows that the idea that Mr Putin is a conservative is absurd.

    “Ah he is not an economic conservative – but he is a SOCIAL conservative”. No Mr Putin is not – he is conning you. Check, for example, his position on abortion.

    I think the problem is that some libertarians and conservatives seek HOPE – they look at the horrific decline of the West and our likely utter destruction, and they seek HOPE. Like a drowning man clutching at a snake – these libertarians and conservatives clutch at Mr Putin.

    Learn to live without hope – for it is better to have no hope than to have FALSE hope.

  • Learn to live without hope

    False hope is bad, but then so is undue pessimism & pointless doom-saying. To be without hope is to display not just a stunning lack of imagination but also a myopic and selective view of the world.

  • APL

    “Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services, and suggested samples of the nerve agent be sent back to Russia ”

    And open minded individuals are going to believe British scientists and the British intelligence services after the ‘Dodgy dossier’, thank you, you megalomaniac Anthony Blair and drunkard Alistair Campbell. And thanks Christopher Steele, the scion of British intelligence that brought us the ‘pee pee’ dossier. If British intelligence are incredible, it’s because they have undermined their own credibility.

    I am amazed, but on this subject it seems that Corbyn is the only sensible guy left in British politics. Whatever happened to the Libertarian principle of non aggression? No,Sergei Skripal is no more British than the Somali rape gangs that this latest Russia hysteria is intended to keep out of the News headlines. Sergei was a former Soviet traitor, that just makes him untrustworthy, not British.

  • Alisa

    Putin is a conservative, only of the Russian variety – which is very different from the Western version. But be that as it may, what his propaganda outfits are pushing in the West does not have to have anything in common with his personal views on actual issues (such as abortion, or economics, or anything else), because their sole purpose is disinformation and West-bashing.

    False hope is bad, but then so is undue pessimism & pointless doom-saying. To be without hope is to display not just a stunning lack of imagination but also a myopic and selective view of the world.

    Amen.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – it is not “undue” pessimism, and not is “pointless” to tell people that their civilisation is collapsing. As Boethius pointed out in the late 5th century and early 6th century (before his eyes were squeezed out of his head, and he was then smashed to pieces) things that are now known will soon be unknown. One must preserve what one can preserve – in the hopes that in some distant day (long after one is dead) what one has preserved will be of help in rebuilding civilisation.

    The “Consolations of Philosophy” was far from pointless – for example Alfred the Great read it, and understood that even if he, Alfred, was killed and civilisation snuffed out – it was possible to rebuild civilisation (even centuries later). Boethius could speak to Alfred – even beyond death and over centuries.

    Perhaps “without hope” is the WRONG way of putting it – “without hope for myself and my own time – not without hope for the future” would be more descriptive.

  • Alisa

    Perhaps “without hope” is the WRONG way of putting it – “without hope for myself and my own time – not without hope for the future” would be more descriptive.

    Not merely ‘more descriptive’ – that distinction is crucial, and should be constantly kept in mind.

  • Paul Marks

    We live in a society where most of the basic functions of Civil Society have been usurped by the state – that can not work, not just will not work, CAN not work.

    It is true that the by using fiat money and Credit Bubble fiancé (the “financial system” and “financial services”) the various Western governments have managed to keep their Welfare States (the control by the state of childhood, health, old age and so on) going for much longer than one would have expected – but that will make the economic and cultural (societal) collapse all the more radical in the end.

    In 1964 Barry Goldwater could question the state domination of society and still get forty per cent of the vote – such a candidate would not get four per cent today. Remember Ronald Reagan only attacked “waste” in government – NOT government taking over (financing) the basic features of human society.

    And society has largely collapsed already – witness the decline of everything from the churches to even the basic family structure. What remains is artificial – partly an afterglow, partly a Credit Bubble society (based on consumption imports “paid for” by borrowing).

    It is true that in the United States one can still legally speak in favour of traditional principles (without being sent to prison as one is in most Western countries – if one, for example, opposes Islam) – but the big employers go along with the Social Justice types, people who defend Western Civilisation tend to soon find themselves fired. And that is to be expected.

    But all this does NOT mean that there is no hope in the long term – just that there is no hope for us here-and-now (a very different thing). I apologise if I did not make that clear.

  • Jacob

    Whatever Putin’s policies (or aims) in Russia (domestic) are he seems to me far less totalitarian or authoritarian than other regimes there (say USSR). He is a dictator, sure, but not as bad as some dictators. I mean – he kills fewer people (much fewer, no gulags). That is a progress of sorts, for Russia.

    As for his relationship with foreign countries – I don’t think he has any ambitions to dominate or harm other countries (say the US, UK or EU, or China). He mostly wants to be left alone and respected.
    He had some modest claims or border disputes with the Ukraine – I don’t see why anyone in the West should be worried about it, or interfere. Let the two sort it out among themselves. I have no sympathy for Ukraine (and no obligations).

    So, while Putin is by no means a libertarian or a nice democratic leader – neither is a monster or dangerous to the West, so, the best policy, in my view, would be to leave him alone, and not pick unnecessary fights with him (over Ukraine). Most mischief he is causing in the West is, in my opinion, because of the lecturing and sanctions, and unjustified interference of the West.

  • Alisa

    And society has largely collapsed already – witness the decline of everything from the churches to even the basic family structure.

    Where, in the US? And if so, you speak from personal experience?

  • Alisa

    But all this does NOT mean that there is no hope in the long term – just that there is no hope for us here-and-now (a very different thing). I apologise if I did not make that clear.

    Thank you, Paul, that makes a world of difference.

  • I am amazed, but on this subject it seems that Corbyn is the only sensible guy left in British politics. Whatever happened to the Libertarian principle of non aggression?

    Holy. Fucking. Shit. The nerve gassing is someone in Britain is aggression, and should be met with whatever aggression is needed to discourage this and punish the aggressor. The non-aggression principle doesn’t means what you think it does.

    No,Sergei Skripal is no more British than the Somali rape gangs that this latest Russia hysteria is intended to keep out of the News headlines. Sergei was a former Soviet traitor, that just makes him untrustworthy, not British.

    So what? That is just about the most extreme example of ludicrous whataboutism I have ever read. Does that mean if an American or French tourist gets nerve gassed in Salisbury, that too is no big deal because they’re not British either?

  • on this subject it seems that Corbyn is the only sensible guy left in British politics. (March 18, 2018 at 10:59 am)

    No, Corbyn is backing an enemy against his own country, just as he has done before, will do again, and would have done in the days of Stalin had he not been just a little too young. Any coincidence that ever occurs between words coming out of Corbyn’s mouth and sense on this or a wide range of subjects will be just that – coincidence.

    Common sense tells us to regard Putin as the most likely suspect, for reasons in the public domain. One’s degree of confidence in the early findings of our forensic investigators can affect one’s degree of certainty, but not Putin’s premier placing in the suspect list.

  • Most mischief he is causing in the West is, in my opinion, because of the lecturing and sanctions, and unjustified interference of the West.

    If being lectured and sanctions is justification for killing people in the west, then clearly the west need to interfere a great deal more with this guy, not less. And the best bang-for-the-buck is probably going to come from ensuring Putin does not get what he wants in Ukraine.

  • bob sykes

    May went to Parliament and said that the botched nerve gas attack that injured so many was an act of war committed by Russia against the UK. Her Foreign Minister backed her up.

    International affairs are tit-for-tat, and the appropriate response to an act of war is another act of war. Yet, all May did was expel 23 low level Russian diplomats (probably spies). Have utterly contemptible. How laughable. What a joke she and her government are.

    If she didn’t want to attack Russia (sensible), the appropriate action would have been to invoke Article Five and demand a meeting of the NATO ministers. Right now we should be seeing them discussing how to punish Russia. But they aren’t.

    A suitable response to the “act of war” would have been total travel and trade embargoes between US/NATO/EU and Russia. Everyone would get hurt, especially Germany (always desirable), but the alleged seriousness of the attack would be matched by a serious response.

    The fact that no one is even considering a NATO ministers meeting, let alone a travel/trade embargo, seriously undercuts any claims that the botched attack was carried out by a Russia agent acting under orders from Putin. The rule of Cui Bono? applies here, too. How does Putin/Russia possibly benefit from such an attack. The universal opprobium it is now getting would have been completely predictable. The US’ Deep State and its neocon allies have clearly benefited, as has the UK’s Deep State and, for that matter, May herself.

    May, despite treaty obligations, has refused to provide Russia with any samples. Many countries, including UK and US have and have made Novichuk, and the samples might show the poison’s provenance. How about revanchist Poland?

    In the US, neocons keep up a continual drum beat for war with Russia (and Iran and China and North Korea and even Turkey). There is constant vilification of Putin (and Erdogan and Xi and Rouhani and Kim). All this noise merely serves to discredit all their claims, and leaves us in the dark as to what happened in London.

  • Mr Ed

    Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services, and suggested samples of the nerve agent be sent back to Russia ”

    If that was said, it includes a concession that the nerve agent came from Russia in the first place. So why would there be a need to send it back?

  • Mr Ed

    The fact that no one is even considering a NATO ministers meeting, let alone a travel/trade embargo, seriously undercuts any claims that the botched attack was carried out by a Russia agent acting under orders from Putin.

    That is not a necessary inference, whilst it might be permissible. There is also the possibility that Mrs May and/or the rest of NATO are too scared, weak or stupid to escalate the matter, and/or those not scared, weak or stupid know the remainder are so.

    Perhaps Mr Putin now has a revised price list for assassinations.

    And if we knew that these Russian diplomats were spies anyway, they ought to have been expelled as soon as their function was known or reasonably presumed, not when things got sticky. What benefit do we gain from leaving them in place? I don’t recall many trials of traitors handing them information, so what is a reason to let them remain in situ? Diplomats could use Skype or Facetime and save on air fares and real estate.

  • Paul et al, may I again quote the wisdom of Sir Winston Churchill:

    For myself I am an optimist – there does not seem much point in being anything else.

    The man who said that lived through the month of May 1940.

    If that is not sufficiently uplifting, consider this, in an opposite sense from George Washington’s letters (to John Jay and Henry Lee) in 1786.

    “What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious!” … “a melancholy proof of what our transatlantic foe has predicted … that mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government. … To be more exposed in the eyes of the world, and more contemptible than we already are, is hardly possible. …”

    Out of the crisis so severely described by Washington came the constitution. The particular system the US had in 1786 deserved what Washington said of it; the better system that crisis gave birth to is not yet dead. Similarly, out of the war with Hitler came very considerable achievements. We will see what comes from this.

  • Daniel Boone

    “Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services,….”

    Agree with Corbyn on that one. With rare exceptions British “scientists” working in climatology fields both in bureaucracies and universities have lied and covered up all the facts due their adherence to the global warming religion. There are no grants of millions for coming clean on the global warming B.S. When governments claim CO2 is a pollutant when in fact it is plant food and the basis for organic chemistry you know you are being lied to by fools. Climate data have been doctored data all over the world by removing evidence of past warmer periods by “scientists”. British scientists working for private enterprise probably can be trusted a lot more.

    The police and the intelligence services are corrupted just like the CIA, FBI and NSA in the US. They figure out the outcome first and then fit the facts to it. Once you realize the bureaucratic state is permanent and corrupted the rest is easy. Of course, Russia is worse making Corbyn look like a fool.

  • James Strong

    Fail to understand why anyone would leave the subject pronoun out before a verb in English.
    Consider it more difficult to understand.
    Read a verb on its own, without a subject, and think of an imperative . i.e. an instruction or command.

    And if anyone truly thinks they have an important point to make they don’t take the risk of being misunderstood by deliberately being unclear in their use of language.

  • APL

    Perry de Haviland: “The nerve gassing is someone in Britain is aggression, ”

    So here’s a scenario, the Ukrainians with some of the Soviet Union’s former biological weapons facilities, may have either produced or might have stockpiles of this agent. It would be exactly the same fingerprint as anything produced by Russia – since under the Soviet Union, Ukraine was the Soviet Union.

    What benefit would Ukraine get? It’s more likely that Ukraine will get British arms sales, in fact, some blood thirsty individual on this very blog has been advocating exactly that.

    But we also have this where the international organisation with oversight of the destruction of Russian chemical weapons, confirms that the destruction of Russian chemical weapons have been completed.

    Perry de Haviland: “So what? That is just about the most extreme example of ludicrous whataboutism ..”

    You neocons need to stop with the projection, already.

    Perry de Haviland: “Does that mean if an American or French tourist gets nerve gassed in Salisbury,”

    No. Sergei Skripal was not a Russian tourist. Go on, put forward another couple of logical fallacies to support your bloodthirsty sabre rattling.

  • Mr Ed

    Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services,….”

    Agree with Corbyn on that one.

    Yes, the last Labour government did terrible harm to the UK public sector, even by its lamentable standards, Mr Corbyn does not propose to reverse that harm should he lead the next Labour government.

  • APL: the Ukrainian government could not organise a piss up in a brewery, let alone this. Try spending some time there 😆

    Sergei Skripal was not a Russian tourist.

    So what? He was legally in this country so…

    Go on, put forward another couple of logical fallacies to support your bloodthirsty sabre rattling.

    …therefore is not a logical fallacy. He & his daughter have as much right to be here as any tourist. It seems your understanding of what constitutes a logical fallacy is as good as your understanding of the non-aggression principle when someone aggresses against you. It all boils down to the fact you are perfectly ok with a foreign government trying to assassinate someone legally in the UK with nerve gas, so hardly surprising you are on Corbyn’s side.

  • Further to cheer Paul up (and in this case maybe Perry too), I will add to my Orwell quotes in the other thread this one (from the Lion and the Unicorn, written at the end of 1940):

    The left-wingers who wail that “this is a capitalist war and British Imperialism is fighting for loot” have their heads screwed on backwards.

    Some may feel (I certainly do 🙂 ) that the threads on this subject are attracting some poor reasoning, some of it wilful, (as well as other comments that I am happy to read and ponder) but the quote above may help you feel Britons have heard worse before and are not (yet) near peak absurdity now.

    Enjoy 🙂

    (There is of course a certain amount of Orwell’s own folly in the Lion and the Unicorn. He quotes the extreme idiocy of others – and perpetrates some howlers himself.)

  • APL

    Perry de Haviland: ” the Ukrainian government could not organise a piss up in a brewery, let alone this”

    Maybe so, but the CIA could.

    Perry de Haviland: “So what”

    To propose an equivalence between Sergei Skripal and French or American tourists is to extend argument ad absurdum to well, an absurd degree.

    Perry de Haviland: “He & his daughter have as much right to be here as any tourist.”

    Sure. But they are not tourists.

    The British seem to have only one string to their agit-prop bow.

    Iraq – Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Sarin tipped war heads can reach London in fifteen minutes – an absurd assertion at the time. Put aside they had to kill Dr David Kelly to sustain the fabrication.

    Syria – just about every single assertion that Assad had used chemicals in Syria has been discredited.

    What does British ‘intelligence’ ( aka CIA ) do? Concoct a chemical weapons attack on British territory where they can control the narrative.

    Frankly, I don’t care weather it is Ukraine or CIA or even Russia, we don’t know who did it at this stage.

    If it was Russia, the question: Why not use a Glock 9mm for the job, remains unanswered.

  • […] does not trust the UK’s forensics and wants the nerve gas sent to Russia for their analysis. Mr Ed may be right that Corbyn’s reported statement – that “the nerve agent be sent back to […]

  • Mr Ed

    If it was Russia, the question: Why not use a Glock 9mm for the job, remains unanswered

    If one MO of the remote-triggered canister is correct, it’s simple. You’d miss if firing from the safety of Russian territory. Also, carrying a gun around the UK is not a good idea if the police find you. Carrying a mobile phone or other radio transmitter is so much easier to get away with.

    No,Sergei Skripal is no more British than the Somali rape gangs that this latest Russia hysteria is intended to keep out of the News headlines. Sergei was a former Soviet traitor, that just makes him untrustworthy, not British.

    Straw man argument there, and he was under the Queen’s Peace. It appears to be your case that this was contrived to keep what you call ‘Somali rape gangs’ out of the headlines. I can’t quite see that as a plausible scenario, and I’m not aware of such gangs. And Mr Skripal‘s trustworthiness, or lack of it, has nothing to do with anything. Here’s a tip mate, if you are ever sued, settle, as if you get on the witness stand, you’ll most likely look a complete fool with thinking like that running around your head.

  • APL

    Mr Ed: “I can’t quite see that as a plausible scenario, and I’m not aware of such gangs.”

    Mr Ed: “and he was under the Queen’s Peace.”

    True, so lets have a calm investigation, put forward suspects who may have been implicated and request extradition from the country that is currently harbouring them. Should that country refuse, that would be the time to escalate the situation. What we’re seeing now is just demagoguery.

    Instead, we have hysterical reaction by May ( who was foreign secretary and thus directly responsible for these ‘fictional’ rape gangs ), both situations she has held ( currently PM), implicate her in the chronic failure of the British government to secure its borders and scrutinise who enters and leaves the UK. Sure she’d like the Islamic rape gangs off the front pages.

    She’d also prefer we not remind her that she was snoozing on the job when the Italian authorities warned the UK authorities that Youssef Zaghba was travelling to the UK with the intent of committing a terrorist offence.

    So yea, May’s reputation is pretty much trashed and yea, she’d like a convenient diversion.

    Mr Ed: “Also, carrying a gun around the UK is not a good idea ..”

    FFS. There are more gun crimes in the UK these days than you can shake a stick at!

  • APL

    Mr Ed: “Also, carrying a gun around the UK is not a good idea ..”

    Which of course doesn’t mean bad folk don’t do it.

    This was an increase of 23% on the 5,182 offences recorded during the year ending 31 March 2016.

  • Mr Ed

    APL,

    If a Russian agent, let’s call him Sergei Meerkat, is caught with a gun, through sheer chance, he’d risk a 5-year minimum jail sentence never mind the fallout (as it were) for Russia if there were to be a link. Whereas (and I speculate) that a nerve agent could be detonated by a text message from a mobile phone, that is very easy to conceal and would not arouse suspicion.

    And thanks for letting me know, AFAIK, most ‘rape gangs’ I’ve seen reported were predominantly from or of descent from a country a bit further north and east, certainly east of Pershore.

  • APL

    Mr Ed: “Whereas (and I speculate) that a nerve agent could be detonated by a text message from a mobile phone, that is very easy to conceal and would not arouse suspicion.”

    No, I think it’s you that’s reaching with that scenario. That it is absolutely technically feasible is not disputed.

    Did they post the device to Sergei Skripal, if so, how did they know when to trigger it by phone? And why was it not picked up when scanned in the international mail?

    Did an agent hand deliver it to Sergei Skripal, if so, why not just assassinate him in the conventional manner there and then?

    The fictional agent, Sergei Meerkat is afraid to walk around the UK with a gun, because he may cop a 5 year sentence. So Sergei isn’t a criminal until the real crime, the assassination, has been committed. Should he be apprehended while in possession of a Glock, Sergei simply says; ‘Sorry comrade, I forgot, force of habit’, and claims diplomatic immunity, then walks.

    After the assassination:
    scenario (a)
    he leaves the untraceable weapon at the scene of the crime. And walks away unarmed.
    scenario (b)
    he leaves the traceable weapon at the scene of the crime, but it implicates some gormless bod that sold it on the QT in the backroom of a pub.

    The disincentive of 5 years at Her Majesties pleasure, isn’t.

    The problem with the British these days, you’ve all been watching too much 24

  • Mr Ed

    APL,

    I doubt that the Russians would use staff under diplomatic cover to carry out killings with something as blatant as a firearm as it would rather call into question the whole Vienna Convention. Mind you, Lord Denning opined (in a personal capacity in retirement) after the Libyan Embassy Siege in 1984 that using an Embassy for an act of war, like murdering someone on the streets of London, put an end to Diplomatic Immunity, but even then Mrs Thatcher did effectively nothing. The Royal Navy could have sunk a Libyan ship or something as an official reprisal but she lacked the guts, as far as we know.

    I would expect that any acts of murder on foreign soil are ‘risk-assessed’ in some way, and obvious risks are avoided. I may be wildly off target, but it seems more likely to me that Mr Putin knows that he can get anyone in the UK killed with impunity if he can find them, and the risks (46 air tickets and some removal expenses) are worth it.

    I don’t have a TV and I don’t know what you mean by ’24’, sorry.

  • APL

    Mr Ed: “I doubt that the Russians would use staff under diplomatic cover to carry out killings with something as blatant as a firearm ”

    But apparently, they are stupid enough to send an apparently traceable device to a British agent living in Salisbury.

    They are also so stupid they’d use an chemical agent that was only ever manufactured by the Soviet Union, Notwithstanding the international body tasked with destroying such agents, having confirmed the stock of such Russian agents has been destroyed – last year.

    Is it really beyond the imagination of Russia, if they wanted to ‘off’ Sergi Skripal, to use a deadly agent with a French fingerprint on it? You know, that agent that only the French know how to chemically synthesize.

    Apparently, chemical synthesis is too difficult for the CIA or MI6 or come to that, and we have the resident authority to vouch this, the FISU who can barely manage to open a bottle of Vodka.

    Da svidania Tovarishch. (Whoops!)

  • They are also so stupid they’d use an chemical agent that was only ever manufactured by the Soviet Union

    You have this strange notion this was a covert hit. Russian assassinations are not covert. Polonium? Nerve Gas? Ricin? Hardly the marks of organised crime (at least not private sector organised crime). These are assassination that make it clear “this person was killed by us. We will of course deny it & all manner of useful idiots in the west will back us up, but you know who did it, and we know you know.”

    A covert hit is a hit-and-run ‘accident’. It is someone drowning. It is someone falling from an upper story window. It is a random ‘street mugging gone wrong’.

    But what is the point of that? If you want people to think “Even if I defect, I will never be safe, so I better stay loyal”… then you want people to know who did the killing, even though it is officially denied. Not rocket science really. But no doubt you think Litvinenko was also not assassinated under Putin’s orders as after all, why would be be so obvious, right?

  • APL

    Perry de Haviland: Russian assassinations are not covert.

    Correct. But neither is the audience the British public, it’s the rank and file of the Russian espionage estate. But in this instance, what with the furore in the British Press, whipped up by the British government, the publicity is not aimed at Russian spies.

    Perry de Haviland: “Polonium? Nerve Gas? Ricin?”

    Ah! Yes, Ricin. Another ripping yarn from the British intelligence service’. Thanks for reminding me of that porker. The problem for ‘British intelligence’ ( a term that should forever have air quotes around it ) is that they have destroyed their own credibility. Somewhere in GCHQ, somebody is cribbing plot lines from Rin tin tin cartoons.

    Perry de Haviland: “It is a random ‘street mugging gone wrong’” Like Seth Rich?. It’s odd how that random street mugging the authorities can’t manage to figure out who may have murdered the guy.

    Gentlemen, thank you. It’s been an absolute blast, and a great insight into neocon thinking.

  • Ah! Yes, Ricin. Another ripping yarn from the British intelligence service’.

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Yes, ricin, that is how Georgi Markov was assassinated. In London. Truly you are a classic “useful idiot”.

  • Sam Duncan

    “You have no idea what you are talking about. Yes, ricin, that is how Georgi Markov was assassinated.”

    You know, I’m not convinced there aren’t some shenanigans going on with the Skirpal case, or at least that it’s not as clear-cut as the government would like us to think.

    But… we now have a series of mysterious attacks on Russians who’ve fallen foul of Putin on our hands, and his only defender here wants to cast doubt on a 40-year-old case for which there is considerable documentary evidence from both Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. Not to mention the failed attempt on the life of another Bulgarian defector in Paris ten days earlier using an identical method.

    So well done, APL. I’m actually more sympathetic to HMG’s line now than I was before you showed up. Thanks for the help.

  • APL

    Sam Duncan: “we now have a series of mysterious attacks on Russians who’ve fallen foul of Putin on our hands, and his only defender here wants to cast doubt on a 40-year-old case for which there is considerable documentary evidence from both Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. ”

    Too busy this morning to faff around here, other than to say you are incorrect. I have nothing to say, nor have I mentioned that 40 year old case.

    Perry de Havilland: “Truly you are a classic “useful idiot””

    Stand away from the mirror.

    Ciao.

  • Bulldog Drumond

    It takes a special kind of self-delusion to try and see this any way other than the blindingly obvious way. But that’s the whole point of the Troll Army in St.Petersburg & a history of misinformation coming out of Russia trying to muddy the waters going back decades. The Soviets/Russians always push until then encounter serious pushback, always have, always will.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I am sure that once Putin sees the evidence, he will confess that some nasty russian must have done it! Corbyn reminds me of Doc Evatt, an Australian character from 70 years back, who, at the height of the Petrov affair, asked the Russians if they spied in Australia, and believed them when they wrote back and said they didn’t!

  • APL

    PdH march 18 2018 @ 1:36: “Holy ducking shit. The nerve gassing is[sic] someone on British soil, is aggression …”

    I’m not one for ‘ I told you so ‘, but… According to the OPCW, which retained the Spitz Lab in Switzerland to analyse the samples provided by the British government. The agent used on the Skripal’s was NOT Novochock, but more likely BZ, an agent produced in the West by NATO. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather, I was so surprised: