Poison in the Air

Who said this?

Scientists are an interesting bunch. More than willing to ascribe whatever properties fit the government’s ever more implausible stories, in exchange for an MSM appearance fee, 5 minutes of fame and the fond hope of a research grant.

It could have been any of us, but it wasn’t. It was Craig Murray, British ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, and he was talking about the latest Salisbury poisonings.

(Yes, I know they were taken ill in Amesbury, but they visited the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury just before being taken ill.)

I don’t think this tells us anything new about the Skripal affair, at least not yet. Maybe two people picked up something they shouldn’t have in a park, or maybe the British government (or whoever it is that is running the country) decided that it’s absolutely necessary to rerun the story of how bad a person Putin is before he invites Theresa May to Russia for the football.

It tells us quite a bit about the media though, and Craig Murray puts us to shame when it comes to castigating the BBC and the Guardian, whose journalist Steven Morris receives his award for lying neo-con media whore of the week.

And that’s the other link with the climate change story. Once a news organisation decides to lie systematically about one big story, there’s nothing to stop them doing the same thing about any and all stories. I’ve followed closely the evolution of the Guardian’s climate reporting over the past twelve years or so, from being a reasonably sane news source with a lefty, greeny, eco-conscious bias into being a cesspool of onanism run by thugs and idiots. (There. I wasn’t going to let a mere ex-Ambassador steal my title of chief kicker-in the-Graun.) Whoever it was who used to allow Bjorn Lomborg space on the Guardian’s environment pages isn’t doing it any more. Whoever used to allow the Graun to publish critical articles about our secret services won’t be doing it while Putin continues to spray Novichok over our green and pleasant land. The Guardian’s once broad spectrum of journalists and commenters have been united by Trump, Brexit and Novichok into a braying herd of brainwashed blimps.

There’s one interesting unanswered question being occasionally raised over the increasingly insane, incredible attempts to maintain the current anti-Russian hysteria. Why is it the British who leading the effort to promote Putin as evil incarnate?

I suspect the answer lies in Brexit. There’s an evident truth which even the staunchly pro-Brexit media hesitate to announce, which is that the European Union is out to punish Britain. We know what they did to Greece, and the UK is ten times more important than Greece, and must therefore be punished ten times harder, even at the expense of the EU itself. Michel Barnier’s negotiating position can be summed up in one sentence, which translates roughly: “Call that a hard Brexit? We haven’t started yet.”

Britain has little to offer Europe in its defense, except Defense itself. The argument is that Europe needs Britain, its efficient armed services and its ridiculous nuclear deterrent, to defend it from the East. Therefore Britain needs an enemy to the East. (The USA has enemies to the East, West, North and South, so they can be forgiven for being less concentrated on the danger from Russia.) So Putin is bad, badder even than the Poles and the Estonians think he is. Hence such desperate measures as the Skripal case.

We’re protected from the danger of an Orwellian state only partly by democracy, but more efficiently (in the short term) by independent media and officials and experts who are free to say what they know. In the Skripal case, hospital authorities, police forces, eye-witnesses, some experts, and above all bloggers, have told what they know and kept the search for truth alive, (though not in the mainstream media of course.) Craig Murray, in the remark quoted above, has dared to criticise scientists, who are rarely suspected of the kind of fallibility regularly attributed to journalists or politicians. When the Skripal story unravels this could rebound on the climate story.

13 thoughts on “Poison in the Air

  1. Novichok A234 is, verifiably, extremely volatile and will degrade quickly into its by-products. The explanation for why the Skripals didn’t become ill straight away was at least plausible, i.e. the poison had supposedly been held in suspension in a gel and entered the bloodstream via absorption through the skin. The explanation for why they didn’t die from exposure to the world’s most deadliest nerve agent in military grade concentration is rather less plausible; the damp weather degraded the sample on the door handle such that, rather than receiving a minute lethal dose, they received a really, really, really minute non-lethal dose. Putin’s finest obviously forgot that it often rains in England in early March and they used a water soluble gel instead of a water resistant one. But hey, it hasn’t rained for weeks now and the sun has been blazing down, so the Novichoks those assassins left lying around after their aborted attempt to dispatch the Skripals exactly four months ago must have been fine and dandy, lurking, in sleepy Salisbury, just waiting for two ‘down and out heroin addicts’ to come across it and get hammered on some REALLY heavy stuff – two days before May’s Brexit betrayal becomes public knowledge, and when her government is literally hanging by a thread.

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  2. You may wish to focus on the announced Trump-Putin meeting, which the Permanent State is trying to undermine. There’s also a chance this is being done by the Ukrainian Chocolate King Mafia, they don’t want any sort of an agreement over the mess in Eastern Ukraine which doesn’t involve their full victory.

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  3. I’ve just finished reading Anne Applebaum’s excellent book “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine”. Even though I have alreadyread a lot about the appalling things that happened in the USSR, especially (but far from exclusively) under Stalin, I was appalled by the cold-blooded quasi-genocide and the lies and cover-ups that followed, all with the connivance of OGPU (subsequently the KGB, now the FSB). The default option with these people seems to be to lie about anything and everything, and the bigger and more blatant the lie the better it seems to be in their minds.

    That apparently being the case, then maybe the obvious explanation actually is the explanation – i.e. the FSB poisoned the Skripals, and the residue of the poison has now poisoned 2 innocent people. I’m not saying this IS the explanation (after all, none of us knows what happened) just that it’s far from improbable.

    I would even go so far as to say that with the KGB/FSB delight in taking the p*ss and lying outrageously, it’s even possible that this is a new and deliberate poisoning of 2 innocent people on the basis that they can apparently argue convincingly that they have no interest in resurrecting this story during the World Cup currently ongoing in Russia, but the UK Government does have such an interest, so it must be the UK government that’s behind it – except that in fact it’s the Russians behind it, playing a tortuous and ruthless game of deceit.

    But who knows?

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  4. Mark Hodgson, the Putin government isnt communist. I used to live in Russia, and some of my work required that i be informed about sensitive matters. The reports I saw said Putin emerged as the elite’s choice because the US under Clinton and UK under Blair felt that Russia was weak and they could proceed to encroach on its borders and put it in an untenable position. In other words, in spite of Yeltsin’s very friendly attitude, the deep state wasn’t satisfied. What really convinced the Russians to switch into a very defensive posture was the bombing of Yugoslavia in March-June 1999, this was seen as a USA betrayal they would never forget.

    This bs about use of nerve agents is most likely an Ukranian Mafia hit, or possibly the Uk and USA are involved in false flag pseudo attempts. I say pseudo because nobody has died. And if the Russians want to get to somebody they can do it without leaving an incriminating trace. So this is most likely baloney to stop Trump from meeting Putin.

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  5. Fernando, you might be correct, or you might not. Putin might not be Communist, but he is ex-KGB.

    As for “if the Russians want to get to somebody they can do it without leaving an incriminating trace,” that may or may not be the case. Have you read Luke Harding’s book “A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko “? In it he demonstrates, convincingly to me at least, that the agents sent to kill Litvinenko were borderline incompetent, taking several attempts before succeeding, and leaving a very obvious trail behind them.

    But, as I say, who among us knows? I don’t.

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  6. Mark
    The official story is that the Russians did it, thus proving what bounders they are.

    The alternative thesis is that someone else, probably the British intelligence services, did it in order to demonstrate what bounders the Russians are, thus disrupting Putin’s re-election, the World Cup, and any possible rapprochement with Trump and/or Merkel.

    Your comment raises the possibility that the Russians may indeed be behind it, betting on the result which has in fact occurred, with a significant part of the blogosphere pointing out the absurdity of the official version, thus sowing doubt and discord and thus furthering the downfall of the Euro-American hegemony.

    I admit I had considered such a possibility. After all, a corollary of the sceptic position is that the Russians are much cleverer than our own leaders, an impression confirmed every time I read an official Russian communiqué (not very often) and also by my favorite French intellectual Emmanuel Todd, who has been invited several times to dine with the Russian ambassador to Paris (must be a Trump link there somewhere. Has anyone told Mueller?) and who claims that Russian diplomats are way ahead of us in savoir faire, realpolitik, and any other foreign expression you care to mention.

    The only problem with your thesis is that once you start this game of mirrors, there’s no reason to stop anywhere, as any fule who read le Carré kno. I try to imagine the head of the FSB proposing this to Putin:

    FSB Head: Let’s murder this totally useless traitor Skripal at his luxury home in England. That’ll show the West we mean business.
    Putin: What, just before my re-election and the World Cup? While I’m involved in delicate negotiations with Trump?
    FSB: Precisely. A section of the British commentariat won’t believe a word of it and will launch a counter theory on the internet which will divide public opinion. The worse it appears for you, the more they’ll contest the official version.
    Putin: Right-o. If you say so. Just make sure the agents responsible are on a plane to Moscow within twenty four hours. And if it should prove necessary to do a follow up assassination to cover our tracks, make sure that our agents in the Amesbury Fire Brigade send seven fire engines to the site to cover our tracks.

    I’ve been reading about Stalin’s Russia too, in the memoirs of the curious anarchist Victor Serge who remained a faithful servant of the Bolshevik régime into the period of Stalin’s bloody reign. Apparently the corpses of bolshevik officials sent into the Ukraine (translation: the frontier) were found with their genitals in their mouths and their gutted stomachs stuffed with the corn which they had been sent – in vain – to reclaim for the starving inhabitants of other parts of the Bolshevik republic. What would it take for you or me to launch a policy of repression resulting in the deaths of millions?

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  7. MARK HODGSON
    My previous comment was a reply to your comment of 05 Jul 18 at 7:18 pm. On your comment at
    05 Jul 18 at 8:15 pm, see Ben Pile’s comments about Luke Harding at
    https://cliscep.com/2018/04/27/syria-and-conspiracy-theories/
    I am so often in agreement with Fernando that it’s beginning to worry me.

    Your conclusion: “who among us knows? I don’t.” is identical to that of Simon Jenkins at the Guardian, the last of the old brigade of the “once broad spectrum of journalists and commenters” I mentioned in the article. But we commenters can dare go further than Jenkins. Browse the official media, keeping dates and sources in mind. Browse the many excellent comments at Craig Murray’s, MoonofAlabama and Blogmire, and make up your mind.

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  8. Geoff,

    I have a completely open mind on this topic, and will take a look at the links you offer up. Meanwhile, on RT’s website the opening paragraph on their report of the latest novichok incident is this:

    “A new poisoning incident on UK soil has given British politicians a perfect reason for launching another McCarthian witch hunt on dissent. One MP already targeted RT and was called out for limiting free speech”.

    One MP’s noises off hardly makes for a McCarthian witch hunt, but when was truth ever allowed to get in the way in Russia?

    The article itself, by the way, is headed “Amesbury poisoning incident fuels another wave of anti-Russian hysteria”

    https://www.rt.com/uk/431847-uk-rt-propaganda-free-speech/

    By the way, I’ve visited Russia (I was there when they invaded Georgia last time round) and found the Russian people I met to be helpful, kind and thoroughly decent. Interestingly, the ones I spoke to in a bar, when Russian TV started to report on the Georgian business, didn’t seem to be very happy about what their Government was doing.

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  9. This is why telling someone, “may you live in interesting times”, is actually a curse.

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  10. Thanks for this thread Geoff. The punishment beating of the UK for daring to vote Brexit I find plausible but for me there’s a cockup aspect of May the submarine-remainer becoming Tory leader without a real fight and the spineless ineptitude that followed. (People forget Thatcher did a lot of preparation before confronting Scargill – backing down the year before. Whether the aims are right or wrong, that’s how history is changed.) It’s good to see the main options on Salisbury mark 2 being aired in comments. My ignorance is bigger than all of yours and I won’t abide any scepticism on that. The doubt about scientists from Murray is indeed suggestive. Climate as gateway drug – translating perhaps as “how much can we manipulate science now that we’ve got away with it there?” – has also been strongly with me in the debate on radical trans activism, where a disdain for objective scientific reality is never far from the surface. But of course with a new target area we (or at least I) gain new allies, so Graham Linehan, comic writer behind Father Ted, who’s a passionate user of Denier for the likes of you and me, suddenly becomes a friend, and called a transphobe, in the new arena. (He even returned my thanks in a tweet a week or two ago.) I retweeted the first of these Linehan comments today, after the surreal attack on singer Alison Moyer in the last 48 hours:

    Priorities are always hard, especially when we suspect some news items are deliberate distraction – which is the way I instinctively feel about Amesbury, rightly or wrongly. It’s surely going to be hard to keep the Putin/Russia demonisation going after the World Cup. (The history of the terror-famine in the Ukraine notwithstanding, thanks Mark.) That is for me of primary importance, as is the related matter of viable peace in Syria. I don’t think there’s much I can do on Brexit. The government has asked for feedback on self-ID for trans people (the consultation starting this Tuesday) and has clearly been backing off from its initial very radical stance. That feels like a battle which not decided. The departure of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA in the US may or may not be a big deal. Again, who knows. Trump wrote warmly of what he’s been trying to do. How much is that worth? We’ll have to see.

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  11. JAIME JESSOP
    05 Jul 18 at 12:17 pm

    Great link Jaime. Amazing how so many people are coming up with the same thoughts, simply because the government story is so full of holes.

    I love the typo at MoonofAlabama:

    “Proton Down” Are there problems at CERN now? Russians again?

    Interestingly, Macron has broken ranks and is to travel to Russia to support his team in the World Cup Semi Final, (as seen on TV, France 24)

    Like

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