Luke Harding’s: A Very Heavily Discounted Book


The unexceptional account of a discredited inquiry

The Guardian’s Book of the Day [here today gone tomorrow?] masquerading as a “True Crime” story, is an attempt to give the Alexander Litvinenko inquiry further credence, thereby helping keep it in the Public eye. A crime it certainly is, in journalistic terms, taking the statements of the Owen inquiry [we cannot call them facts because they are all probabilities] and trying to get us to believe it all over again is like, well, trying to make money from old rope. This leads us to think, can we believe anything anymore written by Guardian hacks? The simple answer to this question regarding the Litvinenko murder inquiry and things Russian is most definitely no. But will this book or the so call findings of the Owen inquiry, to quote the Bard, “…last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there*”? Probably not, to use the overworked Owenesque ad verbal.
The review of the grandly entitled Luke Harding book, “A Very Expensive Poison” by Oliver Bullough – claims the book to be a definitive account of the Litvinenko murder. This is clearly another Guardian whitewash, dressing up more Russo-phobic rhetoric supporting the infamous Luke Harding and other politico spin winders who have their works showcased there. Why do I think that? Well the review in the Guardian is just so full of miss-information it clearly indicates the purpose of the book is pure propaganda too. It reveals nothing new or of interest from what is clearly a dead donkey of a story, whose sole purpose is to sell this latest Guardian/ Faber Publication.
Harding’s work has been criticised by veteran investigative journalists, such as John Pilger and Robert Parry, being the largely discredited former Guardian Moscow Bureau Chief. He was refused entry into Russia for problems with his visa documents and has mounted a personal paranoia campaign against Putin ever since. Why Putin had a vendetta against him and had had taken the trouble to have him expelled from Russia is never fully explained, especially when the Russian authorities offered him a renewed visa which he refused.
Some think that this was a smokescreen for his own lack of competence or perhaps he smelled more “lucre” was to be made spinning anti-Russian works at home rather than in Russia itself. However, so the story goes in, not one, but two of his previous novels – sorry works of non-fiction, he was thrown out of Russia and exiled for his perceived critical reporting. His back catalogue clearly forms the basis of some kind of therapy to rid himself of all things Russian. In effect he’s the Elliot Higgins of the Journalist world, Higgins does the sofa inquiries fronting fake videos and blogs and Harding the books and “Pussy Riot” reviews for the Guardian.
So to the matter at hand, the Alexander Litvinenko inquiry, a story of former FSB agent who defected becoming a triple agent who died in unclear circumstances. He was known to have criminal as well as working for MI6/CIA, killed in London almost a decade ago and is the subject of this latest piece of agitprop, lightly dressed up as investigative journalism. Probably, there I go again using that very malleable ad verb, Harding’s book will soon be destined for that category of books, like “50 Shade of Grey”, you wish you’d never bought, because you can’t even give it away.
At £7.99 instead of the £12.99 asking price, tells you all you need to know – that it’s already been completely discounted!
But hey you don’t need me to tell you see for yourself:
Spoiler alert, have a box of tissues handy for the laugh till you cry parts of this piece of hyperbole.

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In the simplistic world of the Guardian and the Litvinenko Inquiry, it’s perfectly safe to carry polonium around in some sort of vial as long as you’re not actually pouring it down your throat.
But polonium doesn’t work like that, as the Russian scientist in charge of polonium manufacture explained. Due to its properties, it escapes from containers, it gets all over you and it gets in your mouth.
In the lab where it’s prepared for export it has to be handled under multiple layers of containment by workers wearing full protective suits.

William Dunkerley

Please see my Guardian article “Six reasons you can’t take the Litvinenko report seriously,” bit.ly/1PYEJn4.


Already did. The Russian population were always very good at spotting propaganda – hence all the soviet jokes about “deficits” etc, but sadly, in the west, a lot of people don’t realise that they are being manipulated.


Interestingly enough there has been a severe crackdown on pro Russian commenters on CiF in the last week or so such that I have now given up trying to comment on anything. The last straw was an LGBT Maidan article which tried to blame the Ukrainian far right anti-LGBT movement and actions on the Russians! Such blatant rewriting of propaganda as “facts”! It seems that the only real option is for off-Guardian to somehow window in on offending articles and keep a “linked” offCif here where freedom of expression is tolerated.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Good suggestion. The Graun has the comboxes turned off for many articles nowadays.


That’s a great idea


Luke Harding is a joke. This is a guy who was made German correspondant by the guardian and his first article was all about how he couldn’t understand a word of german. Are journalistic standards at the Guardian so pathetic that they couldn’t even find a journalist that speaks german? Its not as if no one speaks the language for gods sake.
I remember reading an article about his visit to Russia and all the strange things that happened to him. it was like some pathetic attempt to rehash some cold war thriller with all the usual cliches alluded to.
He is another reason why the Guardian has lost all traction with discerning left leaning readers these days.


I swear he was foisted upon them by mi5


The thought had occurred to me in the past. Tintin wouldn’t have been the only one foisted on The Guardian by MI5 either.

Anthony Hall

lugavoi and kovtun, litvinenko`s killers left a Snail Trail of Deadly Radioactivity all over London and 2 Planes without suffering any Polonium 210 Poisoning themselves. were they wearing Lead Long Johns?


Horse Manure !
Google “Operation Beluga” to see that MI6/CIA killed Litvenenko & later Berezovsky to defame Putin & Russia – Exposed by Barril former French intelligence top man & he has all the documentary evidence.


Today I wake up to Phillips Hammond comments that Russia vagrantly going against International law with regards to Syria. Orwellian times we r living. They must think all human beings r taking the same drugs that these cabalist r on. How morally and intellectually bankrupt the west has become in the 21st century.


Will be forever known as Gangster Harding


Bullough is a fellow spook of Harding’s. He peddles the same basic lines and is an inveterate liar about anything Russian.
A ‘journalist’ with neither dignity nor conscience.

Lucas white
Lucas white

I dunno about the “destabilise Russia” theory. I get the distinct impression that the average European or American would rather have Putin than any current western leader.
The anti Russian rhetoric is so woefully pitiful and transparent that you really would have to be an MKultra subject to fall for it.
I have stated before on CIF that the anti Putin stuff is so badly constructed, in the guardian and the BBC etc, that I am leaning towards the theory that Putin may even be in on it…because the net result is he has gained massively in support.
If you look at the media and it’s supposed hatered of Donald trump you see a very clear parallel to the media supposed hatered of Putin and we see massive public reaction in both cases has only leaned towards supporting both men.
At this point I am sceptical that this isn’t some larger Psyop because I cannot believe the people behind the mainstream propaghanda are not able to analyse the metrics which correspond to their ineffective hit pieces in the media.
If the people pulling the strings are really this stupid, which they may well be, then I am quite shocked.
I understand Wikileaks, marketed to the western world and world in general as being anti American and supposedly full of damaging evidence and leakes (all conveniently brought to us via the guardian first and foremost) that would destroy the US political system blah blah, but it was actually devised to spew hit pieces on Arab leaders in the Arab press, of corse it was able to do this with great effect due to it acting as anti American, much like the guardian acts as liberal or leftist to spew totalitarian and other extremist propaghanda…
in order to goad the “Arab Spring” into motion wikileaks was used as a Trojan horse and whoever came up with the idea is an evil genius. It worked there along with, no doubt, agitators on message boards etc…but the same techniques are falling flat and backfiring on a media savvy western populous.
Having said that, how many people have bought the Snowden story as being legit, in my view that guy is also an obvious, working, CIA agent.
I do wonder also why Putins deal with Snowden is? As I said there is no way Snowden is not a limited hangout operation..he even supports the “USA freedom act” just for more blatant conformation of who he really is.


I don’t know about have him, but certainly it would be nice to have someone as smart as him.


What … are you saying that Putin has weaponised Komment Macht Frei?!

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

‘Komment Macht Frei’ — I love it, Jen! It really paints a picture.


Against the new propaganda show see also an article by me from November 2013: „Arafat and Litvinenko: an Interesting Turn to a Mysterious Story“, http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/arafat-and-litvinenko-an-interesting-turn-to-a-mysterious-story/
Andreas Schlüter
Berlin, Germany


Yes Arafat did have po in his system but verdict was that amounts present were from smoking and ordinary po in atsmosphere. Having said that, the verdict would have been the only one permissable unless someone could show one of his own killed him. Any hint at US assassination and more than just eyebrows would have been raised “hell” & “loose” spring to mind.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

I think the logical suspect in the case of Arafat would have been Israel.


When you say “heavily discounted” do you mean that it is cheaper than toilet paper?
“”News of this broke on Sunday, March 27 in an article by William Dunkerley titled “Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation.” In it Dunkerley said:
Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders. “”


It just calls for a spoof ebay review comparing it to other leading brands of toilet paper.


Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
News of this broke on Sunday, March 27 in an article by William Dunkerley titled “Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation.” In it Dunkerley said:
Renowned French security expert Paul Barril has let loose a bombshell: the existence of Operation Beluga, a covert Western intelligence scheme intended to undermine Russia and its leaders.