empire watch, false flags, latest, NATO, Russia, Skripal case, state-sponsored fakery, UK, USA

The Empire Strikes Backwards

by John Helmer, Moscow, April 5, 2018

Empires are just like everything else going down the toilet. Bits always stick on the porcelain which require more flushing.  Embarrassing bits.

Now in its fifth week since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on March 4, the bits that cannot be flushed away are producing an odour whose obviousness is embarrassing for  Salisbury Hospital and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The hospital is treating the Skripals for their medical welfare and is required by hospital policy and  UK law to be accountable to their next of kin. Their rights of access to and from the hospital are also required by  European Human Rights Convention.  The evidence now accumulating is that the hospital is detaining and isolating the Skripals against their will, preventing contact with their family. Requested to explain this and identify her legal authority, the response of the hospital’s chief executive, Cara Charles-Barks, is to stonewall.

The OPCW, comprising 192 states which have signed, ratified and enacted the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),  is governed by a 41-member Executive Council, and administered by a Secretary-General and a staff based in The Hague. They represent the management arm of the Convention to ensure that everyone follows its provisions.  But in acting on the Skripal case, the OPCW is voting in secret and  violating the articles of the Convention itself. The OPCW’s spokesman, an American named Deepti Choubey, refuses to reply to questions claiming the right of confidentiality according to the Convention and the OPCW’s policy. When asked to identify which provisions of the Convention apply, and what is the text of the OPCW policy on confidentiality, Choubey’s response is to stonewall. 

Yulia Skripal can hear and speak, according to the British state broadcaster BBC, but she is incommunicado.  In Moscow, her cousin Victoria Skripal has told the Russian press she has repeatedly tried to telephone her cousin on the latter’s Russian mobile telephone, but that this device has been disconnected.

That was until Thursday morning, when Yulia Skripal reportedly initiated this call from the hospital to her cousin in Moscow. She was using what she called a “temporary telephone”.

Viktoria and Yulia

Listen to the Russian tape-recording of the call here.

The BBC has broadcast an edited and excerpted version of this conversation,  with English commentary over the Russian voices. Its translation of the Russian into English can be read here.

BBC on Yulia's phone conversation

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43652574

Victoria told Yulia: “Look, if tomorrow I get a [British] visa, I’ll come to you on Monday.” Yulia replied: “Vika, no-one will give you a visa.”

Amplifying on this, Yulia said: “that’s the situation at the moment, we’ll sort it out later… Later, we’ll get it sorted later, everything’s fine, we’ll see later… Everything’s fine, but we’ll see how it goes, we’ll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone is recovering and is alive.”

On Thursday, soon after the Moscow telephone-call was broadcast, the Metropolitan Police in London issued a statement. Its veracity cannot be authenticated, and its substance is contradictory. On the one hand, the release claims to have been “issued on behalf of Yulia Skripal”. On the other hand, the statement quotes Yulia Skripal directly. Why her words could not have been given to the press and public directly is not explained.

MET statement on Yulia

Source: http://news.met.police.uk/news/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-yulia-skripal-301372

Because neither the Russian telephone recording nor the British police statement can be authenticated and verified independently, the only thing certain is that Yulia Skripal is not permitted by the hospital to speak directly in public. The implication is that she will also not be permitted to meet her cousin, and that, accordingly, it is unlikely the UK Government will allow Victoria Spripal to enter the UK.  The British state broadcaster is reporting the contrary: “the Foreign Office said its Moscow embassy was expected to give Victoria a [British] visa, possibly on Thursday, and that she would be given full [Russian] consular help in the UK.”

The Russian Embassy in London has issued several statements that it has been unlawfully denied consular access to the Skripals at Salisbury Hospital. The British law requiring their contact and communication is in the enactment in November 1968 of the UK-USSR Treaty Number 92. Article 36 is explicit on the British law applying to Russian government officials in the Skripal case.


Source: http://treaties.fco.gov.uk/docs/pdf/1968/TS0092.pdf

The preceding Article 35 of the treaty is also explicit in allowing the Russian Embassy to identify Victoria Skripal,  or a British lawyer,  or both together, to represent the Skripals in hospital, and to meet with them without obstacle or hindrance.

article 35

Source: http://treaties.fco.gov.uk/docs/pdf/1968/TS0092.pdf

To date, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko in London and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow have not attempted to exercise this entitlement. If the UK Embassy in Moscow refuses Victoria an entry visa, that action will be open for the Russians to engage a Queen’s Counsel to challenge under Article 35 in the High Court.

Another British law applies, too. Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms — incorporated in the UK Human Rights Act of 1998 — orders that “no one shall be deprived of his liberty” except for six specified circumstances. These cover arrest on suspicion of crime, conviction by a court, or “for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases.” In all of these conditions, Section 4 of the Article allows access to the court for the person detained,  or their legal representative:

Section 4

Source: https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Collection_Convention_1950_ENG.pdf

This is also the habeas corpus provision in long standing British law, explained here.

The Salisbury Hospital’s chief executive Cara Charles-Barks was asked on March 31 to clarify the circumstances of the Skripals’ condition in the hospital:

Questions for Cara

Charles-Barks replied on April 4 through a spokesman. “In answer to questions 1,2 and 4 the [Salisbury Hospital]  Trust is not commenting beyond what it has already said in public due to patient confidentiality. In response to question 3 it is the Trust’s standard procedure that patients who have capacity are asked whether they would like to receive visits and if so from whom.  No-one is permitted access to patients without their consent.  Due to patient confidentiality, the Trust is not able to enter into further correspondence about the clinical care of patients.”

This is a shutdown by the hospital of all communications regarding Yulia Skripal on the ground that she has given her consent, and that said, the hospital has the authority to safeguard her privacy.  Neither the consent nor the privacy can be independently verified. Both claims by Charles-Barks are subject to UK law and the European human rights convention so that verification can be tested by sworn evidence in court.

If on the day after Charles-Barks’ email, Yulia Skripal made her telephone-call to Victoria Skripal on a telephone not her own, she was disputing her consent, and exercising her right to speak to her next of kin.  Alternatively, as the BBC and London newspapers have intimated, the call was fabricated and she cannot communicate with her cousin because she doesn’t want to. Both possibilities lead to the same place – a test in the High Court in London of the evidence of the Skripals’ condition.

The police statement “on her behalf” implies what the hospital already claimed by putting the words in Yulia’s mouth on Metropolitan Police letterhead:  “I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.” Since Victoria Skripal is indisputably “family”,  and the telephone-call is now public, the standing of Victoria Skripal to speak on behalf her cousin and uncle, and to challenge the legality of the Skripals’ detention  is also indisputable.

The embarrassingly obvious speck on the porcelain —  Salisbury Hospital is in violation of British and international law. If this isn’t taken to court, it stinks.

There is also the odour from the OPCW headquarters at The Hague. On Thursday, at Russia’s  request, the forty-one members of the Executive Council were called into a special session to discuss the Skripal case, and to consider a Russian proposal to implement Articles  VIII and IX  of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).  Read that here.

Article VIII sets down the rules, procedures and organizations for implementing the requirements of the Convention with which everybody, Russia and the UK included, agrees to comply. Article VIII requires the Executive Council to vote on “decisions on matters of substance by a two-thirds majority of all its members.” That’s 27 votes.  Nowhere in this article is there a proviso for the Executive Council to keep its voted decisions secret.

Secrecy does not appear in the Convention at all except for agreements which members of the technical staff of the organization are required to sign covering their work and their access to classified information of member states.

Article IX sets out the requirement that when one member state suspects it has been attacked by a chemical weapon, possibly from or by another member state, it shall (that means must)  cooperate with the suspected party.

Article IX
Source: https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/CWC/CWC_en.pdf

The Russian proposal was for the Executive Council to enforce these provisions because the UK had been refusing to do so. The OPCW Secretary-General, Ahmet Üzümcü  (right with US Secretary of State John Kerry), opened the session with a statement published on the OPCW website.  Üzümcü, a Turk, was first appointed to the OPCW post in 2009. Before that, he served the Turkish Government in a variety of posts, including its embassy to NATO. Üzümcü has also been a member of the NATO staff in charge of expanding NATO military operations to the Russian frontier, as well as NATO operations in Ukraine and Syria.  For a time also, he was the Turkish consul in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

On Thursday Üzümcü said the UK had invoked Article VIII to start an OPCW investigation of the Salisbury incident. He then described the OPCW inspection of several Salisbury sites and blood sampling of the Skripals in hospital. He also explained how the evidence was “split”, so that the UK received a part, and the OPCW kept the remainder.

“These samples,” Üzümcü claimed, “were sealed and brought to the OPCW laboratory on 23 March 2018. Samples were split in the presence of an expert from the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom was provided with one split of each sample. The environmental samples were then delivered to two designated laboratories, and the biomedical samples were delivered to another two designated laboratories. The collection, splitting, and transportation of the samples were carried out in-line with the relevant procedures of the Secretariat. The chain-of-custody was fully maintained.”

Üzümcü’s use of the legal term “chain-of-custody” is odd because OPCW is not a judicial body; he is a Turkish national under Turkish law, and the unidentified OPCW personnel responsible for the “splitting” were supervised by the British.  No independent verification of the chain of custody or protection against tampering was arranged or published. London lawyers say such evidence would be inadmissible in a British court. Üzümcü’s chain-of-custody claim, comments one, “has no legal merit but it does tell you which side he’s on.”

Although Russia has been officially accused by the British Government of the chemical attack in Salisbury, Üzümcü didn’t mention it. He also did not say that any of the evidence the OPCW has gathered and is analysing will be made available to the Russian Government.

“The results of the sample analyses are expected to be received by early next week,” Üzümcü told the Council. “Once the results of the analyses of the samples are received [by the Director-General], the Secretariat will produce a report on the basis of these results and will transmit a copy of this report to the United Kingdom. The report will reflect the findings of the designated laboratories. Access of other States Parties to the report will be subject to the agreement of the United Kingdom pursuant to the Confidentiality Annex of the Convention, the OPCW Policy on Confidentiality, and the consistent practice in relation to other technical assistance visits.”

It is now public information that the head of the UK Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory,  Gary Aitkenhead,   refuses to identify a Russian source from the samples of the poison which the Porton Down institution received from government agents gathering them from the Skripals and the Salisbury police officer who was contaminated at the Skripal home; the Skripals’ BMW car; and from sites around the city where the Skripals stopped before their medical collapse. “We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent,” Aitkenhead said.  “We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to the government who have then used a number of other sources.”


Source: https://news.sky.com/story/porton-down-experts-unable-to-identify-precise-source-of-novichok-that-poisoned-spy-11315387

“It is our job,” Aitklenhead added, “to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured.”

A study by British academics of this class of nerve agents reported on April 1 that  identifying a state origin from the samples examined by Porton Down, or by the OPCW, will be impossible because a large number of states have bench samples in their laboratories or  are known to have synthesized them; and because the molecular structure of the agents breaks down swiftly in the blood and in the environment. “Blood tests for nerve agent detect only what is left of the molecule after it has bound to the receptor. The ‘leaving group’ (the rest of the molecule) cannot be identified. For sarin (and presumably for A-234 [Novichok]) the leaving group is a fluorine atom, and for VX the leaving group is a thiol.”

Üzümcü’s statement at yesterday’s session of the OPCW rules out the possibility that the OPCW report will publicly identify the molecular traces in the sampling which has been conducted, and that no source of manufacture will be identifiable.

Since Üzümcü told the Executive Council he was following the UK request to keep the OPCW evidence and its reported conclusion from public release or from Russian examination, the Russians, joined by Iran and China, called for a vote of the Council to require the UK to comply with the Article IX “cooperation” rule. Ahead of the vote, the OPCW published official member statements from several countries.

Fourteen of the members, including Russia (China did not join), declared: “We consider it necessary to ensure that this problem is solved exclusively within the international legal framework using the full potential of the CWC. The stake holders among States Parties of the OPCW should, in close cooperation with each other through constructive dialogue, find a solution for the current dangerous situation and prevent its further escalation.”

A separate Iranian statement explicitly invoked Article IX:

Iranian statement Скриншот-04-04-2018-102015-1-768x263

A statement from the European Union expressed “full confidence in the UK investigation and… UK’s collaboration with the OPCW Technical Secretariat, in full compliance with the Convention.”

The US statement avoided the issue tabled for the vote,  announcing instead the US conclusion of the investigation:

US statement Скриншот-04-04-2018-102440-1-768x323.png

Source: https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-57/en/ecm57nat01_e___1_.pdf

The outcome of the session has not been officially reported by the OPCW.  Press reports indicate that of the 41 members of the council, 3 were absent; 15 voted against the Russian proposal; 6 voted in favour; 17 abstained. According to the Russian representative, Alexander Shulgin, “unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get the qualitied majority of two-thirds of the votes, which would mean adoption of our resolution.  The Britons, Americans and – following their example – EU and NATO member-states and some the Asian allies of the US voted against it. It’s noteworthy, however, that 23 countries refused to associate themselves with that viewpoint. They either voted for our proposal or refrained from voting. And this is a half of all the members of the Executive Council.”

The Foreign Office in London issued this tweet:

Foreign Office tweet Скриншот-28-03-2018-101709

Source: https://twitter.com/foreignoffice

To clarify what had transpired at the OPCW council session, Üzümcü’s spokesman was asked to identify the member states which had absented themselves from Thursday’s session; and to name the countries voting against the resolution; for the resolution; and those abstaining.  She was also asked to clarify the claim by Üzümcü, reported to the Council,    that denial of access of state members of OPCW to the Skripal investigation report is founded on the Confidentiality Annex of the Convention. To which specific section or sub-section of the Annex was the Director-General referring? the spokesman was asked.

The spokesman of the OPCW is Deepti Choubey, an American who has worked for a series of the US funded and US directed think-tanks, according to this resume.  Her media credits, she reports, include “CNN, MSNBC, Russia Today TV, Voice of America, numerous foreign outlets, National Public Radio, BBC, ABC Radio and CBS Radio…the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News and World Report.”  The British Government was one of the principal financiers of the think-tank on chemical and nuclear warfare where Choubey worked between 2010 and 2012. For more on Choubey’s background, read this. For her paymasters, click.

Deepti Choubey

Choubey issued a tweet to report Thursday’s session;  this republished the official statements already posted on the OPCW website:

Chouby Скриншот-29-03-2018-175754-768x137

Source: https://twitter.com/realdeeptic?lang=en

She refused to respond to a telephone call or to emails setting out the questions. Instead, an unsigned email was despatched to say:

OPCW Скриншот-29-03-2018-180604.png

Choubey refuses to clarify what provision of the Chemical Weapons Convention makes the secrecy of Council votes lawful. The Confidentiality Annex of the Convention also fails to provide for the secrecy of Council votes.  The annex covers mostly the technical and investigative work of the OPCW.  It is silent regarding cases where one OPCW member states accuses another member state of a chemical weapons attack on its territory and citizens, as the UK, the US and the European Union are  charging Russia.

Read the Confidentiality Annex carefully here.
Confidentiality Annex.png

In short, the UK can order Director-General Üzümcü, a NATO ally, to accept its “designation” for information it wants to keep secret from Russia, including the names of the member states which refused to agree with the UK in the vote to implement Article IX of the Convention, and make the OPCW investigation of the British allegations open, transparent, accountable to the Convention itself.

This is what Üzümcü did. When he told the Council in his published statement “the United Kingdom has expressed its wish to be as transparent as possible”, he was faking. By telling Choubey to stonewall, he turned the Convention into a deadletter.

As bits on the porcelain go, this one is too big to flush away.


    • Hugh O'Neill says

      But who is the guy we can see in the mirror taking the photo?

      • It could simply be some customer in the pub to whom they asked to take a picture of them.

        • estaugh says

          Yes, but exactly which customer? This is a case where treason lurks, We must ‘fear for our lives’. You would think this detail would be chased up by an official investigation. He might have spoken with them, ‘tra,la,la, can I take your photo please’? It is a very distinct image. Why has he not presented himself to the authorities, that would seem a normal thing to do. ‘Specially as PTB is waving an invitation for WWIII.

          • Which customer? Most likely one who was sitting or standing closest to them.

            That photo could have been taken during a previous visite by Yulia to her father, or even when she was still living with him in London some years ago.

            I have lost count of how many times over the years total strangers have asked me if I could take a picture of them, handing me their camera.

            • Sorry about “visite”, as I speak as good a French than I speak English and live in a part of my country which is French-speaking, occasionally my French intrudes on my English.

            • Estaugh says

              Pour l’eliminer de l’inquete. Sa sera dans le norms du pratique policiere

                • Hugh O’Neill says

                  What is the provenance of the photo? Is it from the Skripal camera? Is there a date time stamp? Are they drinking full strength scrumpy?

                  • Is foll-strength scrumpy available in London pubs? I thought the only place one could get it is in farms located in Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. 😀

              • Hmmmm… you should have written “Pour l’éliminer de l’enquête. Ça sera dans les normes des pratiques policières.”


                • Estaugh says

                  Oui, Moi j’habite longtemps en territoire francophone. Donc, pas autant anglo-saxon, plutot franglo-boxon. Donc, un francais rouille et ecrit avec un clavier qwerty. Mais bon! J’aime la langue, alors je ne vais pas me gener pour le practiquer, meme imparfaitment. Mercx pour m’avoir corrige

                  • Mon clavier est qwertz, et comme je vis en Suisse Romande et y ai acheté mon ordinateur portable, il a tous les accents nécessaires. 🙂

  1. jazza says

    Why did it take the OPCW nearly three weeks to obtain samples from Salisbury? Why was it not asked immediately to provide its input? How valuable now are the results of their investigation anyway?

    • You ask good questions. Certainly with regard to the delay, the UK ‘obfuscated’ (to borrow their own accusation levelled at Russia!) and did their damnedest to avoid bringing the OPCW in at all, or at least to delay their involvement. It seemed suspicious at the time, even moreso because they weren’t prepared to co-operate with Russia. Did they really think they could unilaterally get away with being judge and jury on their own prosecution case? Presumably they did. I suspect it was only pressure from allied States to recognise that the OPCW should be involved, if only for presentational purposes, that the UK relented. And this leads on to your third question. As I have expressed previously I am astounded to read in the above article that – according to the statements made by the OPCW Secretary General, Ahmet Uzumcu, in the paragraph beginning “The results of the sample analyses are expected to be received by early next week…” – the UK, as the initiator of the OPCW’s participation, is entitled to veto sharing of the final report with any third party. I think it is almost a certainty that they will do just that. If so, the results will be of no value whatsoever.

      • @jazza – Further to my comments above, maybe what convinced the UK to call in the OPCW was indeed because they were advised that by doing so they would have control of the final report, rather than risk the Russians initiating OPCW involvement. Now that would not surprise me in the slightest.

  2. Jo says

    Back to the situation…who did Boris call or speak to at PD….has Juliya tried to call her mother and vica versa….absolutely nothing about the boyfriend could he part of a pkot to convince Juliya that it must be the Russians…..surely that is the desparate focus now to contnue the mum…the victims “must” say it was the Russians nay if not Putin himself?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Michael, what else do you expect of the ‘Fraudian’? It makes the Express or Mail or even the NYT and WaPo look half decent in comparison. It shows just how tightly the ruling parasites control all information flows, that they so determinedly and completely destroyed the late ‘Guardian’ as a Leftish voice.

  3. DavidKNZ says

    It looks likely that the Skripals are being held incommunicado, possibly against their will.

    I mean, what would happen if they spoke freely and that cast doubts on the official story??

    What to do?? What to do???
    But wait.
    We have a world class chemical facility a mere 9 km from Salisbury..
    Ring fenced against prying reporters too…
    I’m sure ‘Our Chaps’ could come up with something to make the problem go away.

    “Drug could rid people of bad memories and trauma
    “Fingolimod, a drug used for treating multiple sclerosis, could be used to get rid of bad memories
    in sufferers of post-traumatic stress and anxiety”

    • mark says

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Skripals are found dead together in a field a la David Kelly in a “bizarre suicide pact.”
      Or we may learn one day soon that they have suffered a relapse and died “due to complications in their treatment.”
      They are clearly being held incommunicado, and this has been going on for over a month.
      Visits and visas denied, no contact or photographs.
      Yulia appears to have purloined a mobile phone from someone (nurse or member of staff?) and made a hurried, guarded and cryptic call to the niece while she had the chance.
      The statements that have been issued in the Skripals’ name appear very wooden and unconvincing.
      There could have been controlled access with security present.
      The UK authorities seem to have tried to keep their medical condition secret until it became clear that they are not “at death’s door,” and that a “miraculous recovery” has occurred.
      Were they ever really seriously ill in the first place?
      There will be no access to the Skripals unless they are singing from the correct hymn sheet and support the UK government narrative.
      The latest news is that the Skripals are to be given ne secret identities. If so, they may never be seen or heard from again. Perhaps a tame BBC journalist will hold a brief interview with a blacked out or hooded figure in a few weeks or months time.
      All this is surprising, given that Skripal is a MI6 pensioner controlled by and dependent upon them. The Skripals appear to be under pressure, prisoners or hostages more than anything else. Bribery should have been sufficient to ensure his compliance. If it has not, this could be because the Skripals themselves do not trust their MI6 handlers.
      This just gets more and more weird.
      The intrepid “Sergeant Nick Bailey” also seems to have vanished into thin air. Does he exist? His name itself seems generic, like Special Agent Dick Barton. I would normally expect his inspector and colleagues to put in an appearance, saying what a splendid chap he was, how he played rugby and had 3 commendations for bravery, etc. But no. Nothing. Maybe “Nick” was a propaganda construct. People probably couldn’t care very much about a clapped out, Russian ex traitor, but the intrepid Sgt. Bailey could be relied upon to generate more sympathy and resentment towards the Evil Vlad.
      This has the character of a hoax that is falling apart.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        And whatever happened to the doctor, the nurse and passers-by who tended to the Skripals as they sickened on the park bench? Where are they? Where are their interviews? Why did they NOT (apparently) die of exposure to a nerve agent ‘ ten times more powerful than VX’? If there was a body of journalists, not a sewer of presstitutes posing as such, in the UK, or the rest of the West, this farce would have been torn to shreds long ago.

  4. Meanwhile, back in the real world, what Chicken Licken and her friends are up to when they are not running around like headless chickens:
    @VanessaBeeley reported that 14,800 mortars were launched into Damascus by NATZO’s Eastern Ghouta terrorists and have claimed the lives of 11,000 civilians since 2012, 1500 children, 30,000 permanently disabled


    One day Chicken Licken went into the woods, an acorn fell on her poor little head, and she thought the sky had fallen. 

    So Chicken Licken turned back, and met Henny Penny. Chicken Licken said, “Oh, Henny Penny, don’t go into the woods, for I was going, and the sky fell upon my Poor Little Head, and I ‘m going to Warn the World.”

    So Henny Penny turned back with Chicken Licken, and they met Cocky Locky. Then Henny Penny said, “Oh, Cocky Locky, I was going and met Chicken Licken, and Chicken Licken had been at the wood, and the sky has fallen on her Poor Little Head, and we are going to Warn the World.”

    So Cocky Locky turned back, and they met Ducky Lucky. Then Cocky Locky said, “Oh, Ducky Lucky, I was going, and met Henny Penny, and Henny Penny met Chicken Licken, and Chicken Licken had been at the wood, and the sky has fallen on her Poor Little Head, and we are going to Warn the World.”

    So Ducky Lucky turned back, and they met Goosey Loosey. Then Ducky Lucky said, “Oh, Goosey-loosey, I was going, and met Ducky-lucky, and Cocky Locky, and Cocky Locky met Henny Penny, and Henny Penny met Chicken Licken, and Chicken Licken had been at the wood, and the sky has fallen on her Poor Little Head, and we are going to Warn the World.”

    So Goosey Loosey turned back, and met Turkey-lurkey. So Turkey-lurkey turned back, and walked with Goosey Loosey, Ducky Lucky, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny, and Chicken-licken. And as they were going along they met Fox Loxy.

    And Foxy Loxy, who was a Realist, Laughed like a Drain.

    • Mikalina says

      You’re not taking your indoctrination pill, are you?

      • @Mikalina. Hard to swallow indoctrination pills after being fed on Chicken Licken and similar Subversive Literature at an impressionable age. Like that child who was marked for life by a grandmother reading aloud to him, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to make a prat out of thyself”.

  6. Estaugh says

    These puppets are piling up the Common law offences quicker than I can keep up, They would do tho’, wouldn’t they? Vexatious, to say the least. Reckon they are going for the whole nine yards, with the Rope thrown in, with. Soo, aubane happenstance, ye scholars, get ye to thy Blackstones’, McCauley and Erskine Mae; ‘Have at ye Varmints’; no-one is above the Law. No one is above, ‘lexus non scripta’; the unwritten LAW. Predates England or even the notion thereof, predates the Normans, the Romans, and who knows what more. ‘Tis a LAW grown from the soil of the mothering land. growing up through the tree -roots and into the man. the desires are simple, easy to to understand, no harm, no damage, keep the peace, and Love thee this Island, Love this island, to where for shelter you came. I beseech of the People, in sanities’ name to hold forth from their quarrels, of mutual blame. Get ye to Council, for All within these shores. ‘Tis our right and duty since Ancient Times, when Troubles fell upon the Hordes. Merlin is awoken, I can say little more. ————- For your race, your colour, your creed, I don’t give a fig, Divide amongst ourselves, they will cut us to pieces, We will be food for the pigs. Got to stop; images and words over running each other. and so unlike me, to take the bother . Time is short and the temperature rises. People Unite while the PTB Devidez. Old boy that I am, I have seen the Promised Land.

  7. DavidKNZ says

    Here in ‘pure’ NZ we have toxic algal blooms, which are ingested by filter
    feeding bivalve shellfish eg mussels
    Here is the official reference:


    NSP is caused by brevetoxins or brevetoxin analogs that attack the nervous system.
    NSP is generally produced by the Karenia, Karlodinium or Gymnodinium genus.

    Symptoms typically appear within 24 hours after ingestion. Symptoms may include:
    difficulty in swallowing
    double vision
    unsteadiness and tremors
    numbness, including tingling of the mouth, lips and extremities (hands and feet)

    difficulty in distinguishing between hot and cold..

    Sound familiar??

    • I agree and wonder if this was investigated as a possibility in the Skripal case. I’m not a biochemist in any shape or form but I was just looking at a couple of academic papers about ‘Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins’ because, maybe coincidentally, Zizzi Restaurant chain offers squid (calamari) as a starter or main course. The academic papers say that if squid is eviscerated it presents LESS of a risk of transmitting toxins to the consumer but in traditional ITALIAN cookery it tends to be prepared whole. I think also that the ink, if used in dishes such as risottos, may also contain toxins from the squid’s poison sac. Another angle on this is a BBC Futures report from 2 August 2016 entitled “These toxins in our food almost certainly shouldn’t be there” and refers to researchers finding “out of date squid washed with chemicals and sold on ice as though it were fresh”.

      • Paul says

        Moon of Alabama is following up on the fish toxin angle now.
        Sqwkbx is following up on BoJo’s claim that Porton Down does have reference batch to compare the Novichoks with. OPCW has replied that no state party has as yet declared they are in possession of Novichoks, which would make UK in contravention of OPCW rules.

    • Estaugh says

      Them Algaes are eating all our sh*t, leave them be, let them get the better of it .

      • Those algaes are a symptom of humanity breaking our planetary boundaries …particularly land usage change and organo-phosphate runoff (disrupting the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles): that and warming. That’s three planetary boundaries we’ve crossed combining. Benthic blooms are an increasing and recent phenomena that occur in “pure” water. Pretty soon we will have poisoned the whole damn place. Sorry, gone OT again.

        • @BigB – reassure yourself that going OT is a sign of an active, enquiring and informed mind!

  8. bevin says

    Brian Cloughley is good too

    It strikes me that Boris Johnson may be attempting to emulate the once famous :
    (from Wikipedia)
    “Le Pétomane (/ləˈpɛtəmeɪn/, French pronunciation: ​[ləpetɔˈman]) was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 – 1945). He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to seemingly fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, “to fart” with the -mane, “-maniac” suffix, which translates to “fartomaniac”. The profession is also referred to as “flatulist”, “farteur”, or “fartiste”.[1]

    “It is a common misconception that Joseph Pujol actually passed intestinal gas as part of his stage performance. Rather, Pujol was able to “inhale” or move air into his rectum and then control the release of that air with his anal sphincter muscles. Evidence of his ability to control those muscles was seen in the early accounts of demonstrations of his abilities to fellow soldiers…”

    Le Petomane used to reproduce music whereas Johnson, a more serious if less talented performer, clearly seeks to be able to fart Churchillianisms on the international stage.
    How’s he doing?

      • bevin says

        Of course, I saw that on this site. That must be where the idea came from.

        • Hugh O'Neill says

          I am not a great fan of toilet humour, but since that was the opening metaphor of the article, then an old Limerick may not be inappropriate:
          “There was a young man from Jakarta, Who was a terrible farter
          On the strength of one bean, He’d fart God save the Queen,
          And Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata”

          • Hugh O'Neill says

            “SKRIPAL SOLVED!” Humour is sometimes the only response to the current dystopic farce, but it also permits lateral thinking. I awoke at 4am, thinking I had solved the Skripal Case (my apologies in advance, but I may have touched the door knob on entering the bedroom…). Herewith the solution: my wife, in her 60th year, started to learn the piano. Her teacher was one Portia Down, who once taught Les Dawson. Although her progress was slow, I was somewhat surprised when she told me she had been offered a gig at an Italian restaurant in Salisbury. The weather being inclement, she was well wrapped in scarf and mitts. The audience of diners was small but she announced her piece before playing: variations on a theme by the Russian composer, Novichok. The audience reaction was immediate, and one gentlemen shouted something in Russian which sounded like “Getheroff” which later became “Getthemoff” which reminded my wife that she had forgotten to remove her mitts. On reflection, one realises that music can be a Cultural Weapon – especially in the hands of the Musical-Industrial Complex. As the great detective/chef used to say: “Its Lemon Entree, my dear Watson”.

    • flamingo says

      The counterpunch article is BS. The author cites the Guardian as if it were a reliable source document. Throughout the entire counterpunch interview it is used as means to truck out yet again all the anti Russia allegations as if they were absolute fact and only ever pertained to Russia. For an ‘economic’ story to totally ignore Nordstream 2 and world trade in gas, petroleum etc., it is a disgrace. This typical counterpunch providing cover for the official line by giving it a (poorly constructed) alternative view or stance.

      Counterpunch has NO credibility. It is a front for news spin pretending to be leftish but entirely establishment friendly when you seriously examine its content.

      • Mikalina says

        Thanks for confirming my discomfort with the article. I usually just look on Counterpunch for authors I usually respect. Sadly, they seem to all be morphing into (or dismorphing back into) the ‘basic’ model churned out by the establishment.

      • mark says

        Counterpunch and Democracy Now are just faux Left controlled opposition in the Guardian mould. DN gets its funding from Soros and has been spewing out anti Assad and pro terrorist propaganda for months.

    • kweladave says

      Michael Hudson’s article is fine – interesting points.

      The main being that there will be ‘blowback’ for UK because oligarchical financial outflows from Russia will stop – about $25b pa (half a trillion$ over 20 years) … “which the the Russian kleptocrats are now frightened and are moving their money out of England, out of the United States, out of Delaware corporate relations, out of the Cayman Islands or wherever they have it back into Russia.”

      There might be a be a huge flow of dollar/sterling back into into Russia.

      I seem to remember Putin saying, “that he had come to terms with (Yeltsin’s + the ‘Harvard Boys”) oligarchs provided they returned the profits/taxes to Russia’.

      Problems with past shady practises though but Mr Putin is clearly a pragmatic chap & not averse to making deals beneficial to all parties – & keep his word! A quality widely admired.

  9. MichaelK says

    The BBC World Service is now saying that the government have denied Vikki Skripal a visa to visit Yulia in hospital, because they fear she has become pawn in the Kremlin’s game.

  10. MichaelK says

    I’m not keen on all these toilet analogies. It’s more like we’ve stepped through the looking glass into a strange new world, with Alice. This whole thing resembles a spy-thriller written by Lewis Carrol, where everything has been turned upside down, inside out and logic has been inverted.

    International laws and conventions, now mean what we say they mean, but that ‘meaning’ our interpretation may and will change, tomorrow; if we feel like it. ‘Tell us what the rules are?’ the Russians ask. ‘The rules are what we say they are, at the moment, and they don’t apply to us.’
    ‘Sorry, we don’t understand… British humour. Could you explain what you mean?’ ‘Look, Ivan, it’s not that hard to see, even for a bear. You do what we say, or else!’

    I think we can discount a lot of the allegations of a serious assassination attempt using ‘military grade nerve agents’ as a fantasy. That the Skripals are still alive and recovering would support this view. Let’s just assume that the entire story, is nothing more than a… story with next to no basis in facts. What is real though is what happened subsequently. The extraordinary reaction of the UK government and the mass-media that launched a coordinated propaganda attack on Russia. That actually happened. It was real and it’s still going on and seemingly gathering pace even though it’s also unravelling due to the falsity and absurd nature of the original staged event. The fact of the unwillingness of the UK media to ask any critical questions and their parroting and acceptance of the Downing Street narrative, also points to the real nature of what’s happening; a coordinated provocation aimed at Russia, which also benefits the Tory Party, whilst undermining Corbyn, pulling Europe and Nato closer behind Britain and even weakens Trump’s position. And people talk about the lack of motive in this affair!

    What I find most disturbing about this transparent provocation is the uniformity of the press coverage. The credulity and ‘innocence’ displayed by almost the entire journalist ‘Church.’ Where are the dissenters? Where are the people thinking and asking questions? What’s happened to them? The mainstream media seem to have collapsed as real journalism and morphed into the Ministry of Propaganda, overnight and seemingly without a murmur of oppostion or resistance or complaint. That’s not a good sign for the future of democracy in the UK and the West at all. And those facts and far more disturbing and real and dangerous, than the ridiculous details of fantasy and fake news pagent unfolding in Salisbury.

    • Well said. And as this metamorphosis into ‘the Ministry of Propaganda’ has occurred, free speech for free thinkers is being completely eroded at a pace.

    • Mikalina says

      I agree with your comments about ‘toilet’ analogues – a common occurrence with English males of a certain class who seem to be totally unaware of the offensive nature of this as a discussion subject amongst other cultures.

      You ask: “Where are the dissenters? Where are the people thinking and asking questions? What’s happened to them?

      Well, if they are called Assange, they are locked up in solitary confinement without phone, internet or visitors in the Ecuador Embassy. Perhaps he is still locked up because we all seem to be fascinated by ‘the rabbit’ rather than looking at murdered Palestinians, organ trafficking in Syria or the illegal imprisonment of someone who does “real journalism”, let alone the fact that we are one false flag operation away from governmental ’emergency measures’ or that the trees are disappearing to make way for the 5G network.

      We need to do something about Assange.

      • DavidKNZ says

        John Helmer is usually spot on. But not always
        He’s Australian.
        ..From stock selected by the best Judges in England
        ..Which may explain his sense of Humour

      • Chris says

        Interesting how the Office of the British Prosecutor General(?) impressed on the Swedish authorities not to drop the Assange case in 2013, how the brits ignored a U.N. ruling on Assange. The illegalities of the British justice system…similar MO to the Scripal saga?

        • MICHAEL LEIGH says

          I am amazed CHRIS at the number of visitors to this website, who appear to have forgotton that from perhaps as early as King Henry V111 that the British justice system, has become the ‘ un-just system ‘ par excellence for the last 500 or so years ?

    • Jane says

      Yes that is the way it seems to me too…Behind the Looking Glass ..
      I worry that the further this story goes, and the longer it continues, the more difficult it becomes for the government and the media to step back, change tack or admit they perhaps got it wrong.
      To turn back, for them may be more frightening and humiliating than pushing on with the narrative in the hope that it turns out to be a self fulling prophesy.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      You are ‘…surprised by the uniformity of the press comment’? Where have you been the last, say, forty years? Actually, make that ten or whatever, since the Fraudian was captured by the neo-conservatives.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Michael, speaking of the West as a toilet is not an analogy. It’s an ‘analofact’.

  11. Harry Stotle says

    “The hospital is treating the Skripals for their medical welfare and is required by hospital policy and UK law to be accountable to their next of kin.” – this claim needs to be unpacked a bit, apart from anything else it can be a really complex area. For example, remember the Charlie Gard case?

    If a normally capacitated individual is unable to provide informed consent (because they are too unwell, or mentally ill) then doctors are legally entitled to act in ‘the best interest’ of patients, especially when life saving measures are required.
    It is good practice to seek the views of relatives but such discussions should never delay immediate and necessary treatment, nor do the wishes of relatives, even first degree relatives, override medical opinion (although treatment proposed by doctors can be challenged in a court of law).

    In exceptional circumstances like this it is hard to know exactly how far doctors were obliged to seek out relatives, especially when those relatives live in another country, and are not the mother/father, or brother/sister but in any event I do not see how such a discussion would have influenced the primary goal of protecting life.
    And now it sounds like Yulia, at least, has recovered sufficiently to act in her own best interest so could walk out of the hospital if she wanted to – assuming she is capacitated and not an infection risk there are no legal grounds to detain her.

    From everything I know about NHS doctors I strongly suspect the only concern of the team at Salisbury was the immediate medical welfare of Sergei and Yulia and as Stephen Davies’s letter to the Times suggests they are not automatically controlled by Britains intelligence services.

    • Harry, I agree that the doctors treating the Skripals would have more pressing issues and responsibilities than contacting relatives but I have no doubt that hospitals employ staff who have such duties. And not only that, there has been a QC acting on the Skripals’ behalf throughout to guarantee that their personal and legal interests were being respected and upheld and it appears from previous reports that he made no attempt to organise the identification and contacting of relatives in Russia.

      And with reference to your last paragraph, I think it was more a case of Stephen Davies’s letter slipping through the net. Otherwise how come we have heard nothing since about his ‘clarification’ of the situation, if only to clarify his clarification?

      • Harry Stotle says

        Hi Judy, thanks for your reply – what the Skripals legal team did or didn’t do is a slightly seperate point to the one I raised.

        Off-G are simply incorrrect to say that the medics had a legal duty to inform relatives in Russia of the mechinations of the treatment given to Yulia and Sergei – put simply their duty is to the patient and on-one else.

        As I say it can be a complex area governed by a number of potentially conflicting principles such as the need to maintain patient confidentiality, or the need to supply information to a third party in the public good.
        I’m not saying medics should have not have made efforts to identify the next of kin but this would have been secondary to the immediate task of keeping Yulia and Sergei alive.

        In any event I assume Vikki Skripal would already have been aware of admission via international media reports (given the profile of the case) but this still doesn’t tell us if Yulia or Sergei wanted details of their treatment to be disclosed to her or anyone else.
        Even when relatives are contacted by ‘phone the nature of the conversation tends to be conducted in the most general, and banal terms – ‘the patient is stable’ – ‘we are doing all we can’ – we are hopeful of a good recovery’, etc .

        As far as I know Vikki Skripal is not an expert on the treatment of organophosphate poisoning (assuming this is what has been used to harm the victims) so would have been unable to offer any constructive opinion on the nature of treatment.

        Disputes between doctors and families usually arise when there is conflict over an ethical issue such as switching off a ventilator, or continuing with treatments that are outliers in terms of evidence to support them (such as certain chemo regimes) – as far as we know neither situation arose in this instance.

        There is a great deal to embarrass the British establishment in the way this story unfolded but in my opinion one group who come out of it with their integrity intact are the NHS doctors – starting with Stephen Davies’s no-nonense letter to the Times, and the team at Salisbury who in extremely challenging circumstances appear to have delivered a very good clinical outcome for both injured parties.

        • We did not say the medics had a duty to inform, we said the law requires the UK government to inform, which it does.

          There are very clear laws governing next of kin consultation in these areas, especially in cases of incapacity, which we have quoted and sourced to in various articles. If close relatives were known of and could be contacted the stipulations are clear – they should be informed and their opinions requested. The High Court judgment shows this was avoided by falsely claiming the UK govt had little or no awareness of the existence of such relatives.

    • Jo says

      Unless Porton Down scientists were working alongside nhs staff directly on the patients and thought to protect themselves by applying to the court for permission to take blood samples….?

  12. I have a small number of (constructive) observations highlighted for me by, although not exclusively relating to, this very interesting and informative article:
    1. Russia legitimately makes use of a voting procedure under the CW Convention, seeking to get some insight into what is going on, and is outvoted. How can Johnson scurrilously make the defamatory statement that by taking this step they are “attempting to derail the proper international process”? Their right to take the step IS part of “the proper international process”.
    2. I am astounded that it appears that even after the OPCW has submitted their final report on their findings the UK and the OPCW both have the right to keep that report secret between themselves.
    3. The article refers to Aitkenhead “refusing …” to give the source of the nerve agent. On the assumption that PD genuinely cannot identify the source it would perhaps be better to say he “is unable…” to give the source.
    4. With regard to the supposed telephone conversation between Yulia and Viktoria Skripal, and of course much depends on whether it is genuine or not or how it has been interpreted in translation, the expression that has some resonance for me is “everything is solvable”. To me that isn’t something that someone who has just been the target of a ‘hitman’ would think to say. To me it comes across as something someone would say if they had pre-existing problems.

    • Paul says

      “Everything is solvable” is an interesting phrase. It suggests there has been a ‘problem’ of some sort and Julia knows what it is. Perhaps it relates to Sergei’s stash of stolen money; maybe he’s fallen out with other Russian criminals on the lam in the UK; as we know they often kill each other.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Oh, come on. Is there ANYTHING that May and Johnson and the entire UK fakestream media sewer do in regard to Russia that is NOT scurrilous?

    • mark says

      This is just a rerun of the MH17 report, where Ukraine was given a veto over the contents.
      Now the same thing is happening with the UK government being given a veto over the OPCW report.
      And OPCW behaviour over the Syrian gas allegations do not exactly inspire very much confidence in its integrity.
      Russia needs to make it clear that if the OPCW does not follow established procedures, as it as done before, and freezes Russia out of the process, Russia will not take part and give credibility to the whole tawdry process.

  13. The British Govt.(both sides of the aisle, because the Blairites and other right wingers are goose stepping to the Tory tune)are trying to set a World Record to beat America’s, on how many International Laws we can obfuscate, terminate or violate whilst trying to plumb the depths of the cesspit through which they have been wading for several decades in a bid to sink this country to the very bottom of that toilet excretia – IN OUR NAME!

  14. Nevermind Salisbury hospital: what is happening in the rest of the country? The fictionalising effects of Novichok were never containable and seem to have contaminated outward countrywide: with a seeming particular left-sided bias.

    As the ‘evidence’ of Novichok collapsed: it took less than a day for the Cargo Cult of Corbynism to carry their Great White Hope away from the scene …borne on the palimpsest of promised future creature comfort and the cushioned mirage of a false promise of insular economic well-being …borne aloft by the epistemically unchallengeable indifference of the party faithful: his “right side of history” reputation enhanced by the ideologically purblind.

    There has been a list circulating of the quislings who signed Woodcock’s EDM: calling for deselection of those who were UNANIMOUS in their support of government lies. To which a perfectly reasonable and unbiased contention would be: why is Jeremy’s name not on the list? Cue derision. In response to factual representation of the Great Man’s own words (their ink barely dry): cue worse.

    The conversations I have had (not here) over the last few days with my erstwhile Labour colleagues have led me to believe we have entered into another dimension …a twilight zone of Labour’s alternative factual complacency sphere …where Jeremy can do no wrong. I must have just imagined he too was UNANIMOUS in support of the government. Apparently he is immune and still offers a viable alternative?

    There is a collective crisis of imagination and lack of vision among the Left as to how a true alternative could be achieved without a locked Parliament …that can so quickly – and so totally – be brought to heel by transparently false intelligence or dog whistle anti-semitism. Followed by a palpable cognitive dissonance: one of our binary parties must be independent of Establisment control: there must be a choice …right? Not if the last few weeks have been the model: invoke an external enemy to our core British values and both parties march in lockstep to the authoritarian drum. The ‘alternative’ can only be sustained by a sudden collective amnesia and default reversion to the inculcation of history: that the Parliamentary route is the only route. Well I would contend from recent events that route is forever blocked. Cue defiantly obstinate cries of “Jeremy, Jeremy!”

    I can only conclude that the faux-left liberal Labour mind is much as it was In Orwell’s day: another valency for capitalist imperialism. It is not politically charged enough to make the necessary commitment to a real anti-capitalist anti-war iconoclastic ripping up of the rules: and the visionary rewriting of history toward a universal egalitarian ecology and economy …prefering instead a promisary slight return to a fake historic recollection of wealth for the comfort insularised neo-colonial UK. Indeed, those I have spoken to recently want only the return to the military Keynesianism of capitalism’s “Golden Years”. Well, if you will. But I would contend those days (of cheap hydrocarbon fueled inauthentic ‘prosperity’) are forever gone: and history will continue to march past and on without us …to the beat of an authoritarian drum …

    Unless we can imagine a post-historic socialist future: which we will have to commit to building communally and on our own: without Parliament. We do not need to settle for the liberties and freedoms imperial capitalism may or may not offer: but only on its own terms. And with its own hidden costs to humanity and the environment. And whenever so desired: the authoritarian beat can be incrementally increased: and perceived freedoms reversed. Can someone explain how this will lead to a truly equitable society for the many: not just the few? I don’t see it. And no amount of cultish chanting of “Jeremy, Jeremy” can ever change that.

    • In case you haven’t noticed BigB, the left is no longer left – it’s somewhere on another planet and it’s faithful proponents are dicking around re-writing all that socialism stands for in order to fall in line with the Washington “foreign interventionist” and “democratisation” playbook with a big F**k you to the masses. I limit my socialist reading to REAL support of the Marxist ideals such as I ever understood them to mean and stick with them only. The faux left are in a popularity contest and the only ones qualifying to take part are those who toe the neoliberal line.
      Sorry I can’t be more optimistic.

      • I did notice: about thirty years ago! What bothers me now is the depth of delusion surrounding a certain person is almost maniacal. We both thought we were involved in building a new kind of politics: democratic grassroots support for capitalist imperialism, Zionism and Cold War xenophobia as it turns out. Well, I won’t be fooled again …but that’s what I said in the Blair years! See you on the barricades, Comrade!

    • bevin says

      “It is not politically charged enough to make the necessary commitment to a real anti-capitalist anti-war iconoclastic ripping up of the rules: and the visionary rewriting of history toward a universal egalitarian ecology and economy …prefering instead a promisary slight return to a fake historic recollection of wealth for the comfort insularised neo-colonial UK. Indeed, those I have spoken to recently want only the return to the military Keynesianism of capitalism’s “Golden Years”. Well, if you will. But I would contend those days (of cheap hydrocarbon fueled inauthentic ‘prosperity’) are forever gone: and history will continue to march past and on without us …to the beat of an authoritarian drum …”
      I’m not going to get drawn into a discussion of Parliamentarism, the revolution and dialectical analysis, this is not the place for that and the subject is very complex. Suffice it to say that most of what people who call themselves Marxists say on the matter differs greatly from Marx’s own conclusions and, unlike his thoughts, bear a very distant relationship with reality.
      Read again what you have written; what does it mean? No doubt much of the incidental reference (Keynes, cheap hydrocarbons..) is recognisably true but what it means is that until people wake up and think as you do-which is to say as you feel that you do- there is no hope of them bringing about change.
      Talk of ‘faux left’ and real ‘marxism ‘ is cheap it is part and parcel of bourgeois culture, pumped out by the Academy and easily accommodated within the imperialist world view.
      The reality is that the road to revolution always leads through reform-you cannot have a revolution without a massive insistence by society that change, viewed as reform, is necessary. Inevitably much of the impulse for reform will be grounded in popular ideas that ‘things used to be better’,; even that “we want great changes but… nothing
      that is new…”.
      Nor are the masses necessarily wrong- for many people, and this is particularly true of the post peasant portions of society, the first demand made is for a restoration of rights. Trade Union rights for example. Or the cultivator’s right to land or pasture. Or the student’s right to free tuition and maintenance.
      You cannot have change without reform movements running their course, unless the change that you want involves the suppression of reformers.
      It seems to me that the position that you are taking, nicely camouflaged as impatience with the timidity and weakness of reformers, is that of someone who feels he knows better than the people what they need and yet fears that to tell the people what you feel is likely to be a waste of time.
      Here is a thought: nothing very much has been added to revolutionary or socialist
      theory in two centuries: the relations between reform and the masses and the over riding question of imperialism have changed very little. What has changed, has consumed the energies of tens of millions has been the attempts to canalise the need for change into the means of providing livelihoods for intellectuals and their cronies.
      Look at the immense effect that the International Socialist tendency has had on the ideas of several generations. Then consider what its foundations are: some moderately adept intellectual gymnastics, performed to an audience new to logic chopping, and the exercise of precisely the same sort of organisational techniques that lie behind every business and cult-the organisation of individuals to exploit each other and themselves.

      • I respect your POV: but I am not sure what you are getting at. I probably overthought my position: but here is what I mean. Read these words: “We can therefore draw no other conclusion than that Russia has a direct or indirect responsibility for this.” Are they equivocal? Are they a contradiction or confirmation of the government position taken over the Skripal affair? I would say that they unequivocally mean what they say: yet when confronted with these or other statements Corbyn made …people I know within the Labour movement can perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to say they mean something else. Rather than confront the conclusion he was also UNANIMOUS in his support for the government. Because if he was unanimous, and he was, then they would have to call for his deselection: and that does not compute.

        So supportive was he; he pushed his own partisan agenda, over and above the government response: “I am asking for a clear commitment from the Government that the Magnitsky powers will be introduced and will be supported by Conservative Members. In that spirit, I also urge the Government to look again at Labour’s proposal to target the laundering of money ​through secret tax havens and undisclosed assets, as practised by many of the London-based Russian oligarchs, on whom so much of Putin’s power depends.” Where is the calm, measured and “thoughtful” Jeremy? He does not exist: he used a transparently fictitious event to push a sanctions agenda that will damage Anglo-Russian relations for years. All I ask is people recognise that. It should not be difficult: yet seemingly it is impossible.

        Has Corbyn had a mystique created around him? Seemingly he has. I can copy and paste any amount of video or quotes showing the words he said: (it was only a few days ago ffs) …yet many will still not accept because it would challenge their aspirations too severely. “Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition party leader who was barred from standing for the Russian presidency and has faced down intimidation of him, his family and his supporters at the hands of the Russian state, has made clear that the most important thing the UK could do to curb the power and punish the actions of Vladimir Putin is to hit his billionaire allies in their pockets. I hope the Prime Minister will listen to that advice.” Navalny, fucking Navalny? He looks to Navalny for advice on how to deal with Putin? I ask you: how deluded is that? You try to school me on the dynamics of change: but what change can come from following Navalny’s advice?

        People cannot see that Corbyn is a channel for the Anglo-American Establishment agenda …because people do not want to see that he is an Establisment vehicle. That would mean the doors of Parliament are barred to the demos (they are not – but trying to whip up support for a constitutional uprising would be as futile as trying to confront people with the reality of Corbyn’s own words). There is no appetite for real change in this country: only mildly redistributive palliative care. You can theorise as much as you like about how it could be different: and I would agree …but the Establisment have Corbyn where they want him: “I opposed the abuse going on in Chechnya by Russian forces, the manipulation of elections, the oppression of LGBT rights, and the dodgy laundering of money through London by Russian oligarchs.”

        Personally, I cannot see how anyone can oppose the Cold War, or oppose the war in Syria, or other NATO imperialism by voting in those forward the Establisment agenda. I believe it is called the Copenhagen Syndrome? Turning a blind eye to the signals?


        • Agreed, Corbyn is no Attlee — but even Attlee agreed to the Great British Lunatic Bomb (afraid to go “naked to the Councils of the Great”). The tendency to “March in Lockstep” (as you call it) with our fellows is a fundamental human trait because we are herd animals together with our sheep and our cows and our dogs, and to preserve the herd is the best strategy to preserve Me along with the rest of Us. Nevertheless, not to question the present Dodgy Dossier from MI6 was a gross error of judgment by JC . As for Abbot and the others who ‘marched in lockstep’ with The Leader, one could have hoped for better but …. “Democracy is rule by the majority, hence not necessarily rule by the best” — Plato.

          Corbyn may not be a Perfect Mother, but he may be the Good Enough Mother that we need at present; certainly the best of The Six Hundred who have been galloping Britain into disaster after disaster ever since Michael Foot decided to ‘March in Lockstep’ with Maggie Snatcher over the Falklands False Flag, by not questioning why the Royal Navy had been ordered to withdraw the customary cruiser which Callaghan kept there as a warning to Argentina not to transgress British waters.

          • Actually Vex, I normally March in “lockstep “.with you, especially over Syria …but here I beg to differ. First, UK “democracy” has always been a tyranny of the minority. The silent majority are, well, silent and disengaged from politics …which is worrisome as landed autocracy only have to control a few “rotten boroughs” to maintain perpetual power. I believe it can come down to as few as 30,000 ‘swing votes’ that decide which Establisment party gets in. With CA, SCL and their analogues employed they can assured of the correct result …well, nearly always!

            Corbyn this, Corbyn that …one in six hundred is not a very good ratio. So I do wish people would stop analysing Corbyn as a singular entity. A vote for Corbyn votes in a motley crew of 300 or so warmongers, Zionists, class collaborators, quislings, and Cold War xenophobes who support capitalist imperialism. If Bashar al-Assad had hundreds of snipers, tanks and troops arrayed to put down a popular and largely peaceful “Right to Return” protest …the Labour party in toto would vote to bomb …some progress and momentum!

            • BTW: indiscretion aside, I was one of 250,000 that marched with Michael Foot and CND …I expect Jeremy did too (actually, I marched with Jeremy not that long ago). In my estimation, the “Great British Lunatic Bomb” situation is much more perilous than it was then …especially with the insane Yanks lowering their nuclear threshold : while the MI6 mouthpieces (including JC) ratchet up the tension. Where are they? Why are there not millions in Trafalgar Square? Have we all been emasculated and inveigled by authority? Or just grown old like you and I?

              [A rhetorical point: I know you are not even in the UK.]

              • Funny, only yesterday I was looking at my old slides of people on a CND march. I snapped them as they passed Kensington Gardens, near Imperial College, because I was a young engineering student newly arrived in Britain, and had been assured by the newspapers that they were weird folk in duffle coats. My slides show nice, ordinary people, the sort one would like to have as neighbours. And I attended a CND meeting where the main speaker introduced himself as a Christian Socialist and that was why he was against war, which seemed very reasonable to me. You are right, what happened to the descendents of all those nice people, and the Christian Socialists? They must still be around — surely some wicked witch can’t have changed them all into gilded holy men like Tony Blair or delinquent ‘children of the manse’ like George Brown and Theresa May?

                • Paul says

                  Back in the day the Left had support from the Guardian and Observer and a semi socialist Labour Party. Look at the pressure over Suez and then Kenya in the 50’s. These days we’d have the Guardian lauding the brave Israeli’s, French and British fighting the dictator Nasser. The torture and killing in East Africa by a virulent white ruling class would be welcomed as promoting stability. Now there isn’t a media outlet that isn’t right of centre supporting neoliberalism and neoconservatism and anything even slightly left of centre, like the current Shadow Cabinet, is scorned as Communist traitors and/or Nazis. Ironically much of the radacilism of the period came from Jewish Labour Party Members, many refugees from fascism and hard Left. Today they’ve abandoned their opinions in order to preserve Israel.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Thanks BigB. Is it Stockholm Syndrome you are thinking of? It looks very, very, much like Corbyn is just another Trojan Horse, designed to lead the gullible into the desert. Navalny? The stinking nationalistic fascist (the USA’s preferred type of stooge) who stood FIFTH in popular opinion before being outed for his corruption. Corbyn speaks highly of him? Ye Gods and little fishies!!!

          • Navalny corrupt? Look admit it, you only have the Russian High Court’s word for it and we all know they’re Putin’s puppets! Or so suggests our credible mainstream media without ever even bothering to establish what Navalny was specifically charged with and what the evidence was. Paradoxically, in the western media’s world, Navalny like everyone else convicted in Russia is innocent even when proven guilty. Anyone who believes Putin trumped up the charges to remove the threat of lunatic Navalny needs their head examined. In fact I think Putin’s ploy is to let him have a free rein to indulge in his nonsense, by which he enhances Putin’s credibility. I know that these comments may appear to be going off topic here but I am just including these observations as another example of how the West (Establishment and media) is constantly looking for ways to undermine the political and legal infrastructure of Russia (and, it must be said, of other countries who do not jump to their tune) in order to justify their own illegal and immoral activities.

      • Back pedalling on an issue is entirely your own choice, you do so from your own perceived beliefs which I, in this instance, disagree with. That does not mean that you are entirely wrong or that I am entirely right but twisting recorded facts and performing gymnastics with those facts in a way that totally diminishes the truth of what has been noted from spoken and heard words to printed resurrections of those words doesn’t change them. Corbyn can be as compromising as he chooses with regards NATO, Trident, Russophobia and this scurrilous accusation aginst Russia regarding the Skripals and he might call to the Magnitsky principle, but at the end of the day, none of these are in dispute and that is a complete contradiction of how he represented himself as a neo liberal alternative when seeking election to the Labour Party premiership. It’s very easy to manipulate meaning but the word itself then has to be given another interpretation and until my dictionary says otherwise Unanimous means just that and “we” does not include those who were not consulted or even given a heads up and “evil” can be applied equally to many including the claimant. So “We” is not going to tag along for the ride when “we” is not in agreement with stated understanding, I will decide for myself what I believe.

    • flamingo says

      Distracting and distorting nonsense BigB. Diverting the thread is a very poor tactic.

      The rights of two humans have been ‘stolen’ by the NHS and its establishment authorities. People in hospital situations do not surrender their rights except those pertaining to decisions they might make regarding offered medications and procedures. Two people are effectively isolated and interred in a UK hospital and all outside access to them is being denied. The phone call is alarming to the extent that Julia is being mighty cautious with words as I see it. She has been denied access to her personal phone. A custody court has made a blindingly obvious prejudicial decision by overtly ignoring evidence. Julia has been denied access by her embassy. These two people are prisoners in a controlled environment maintained by a ruse and in contravention of the human rights available to others.

      The attempt to bash Corbyn once again is beneath contempt.

      • Paul says

        Even more telling about the phone call is the lack of response from the Authorities (BBC). The tape isn’t authenticated and there are (unknown) reasons to doubt its authenticity. When they ask her if she called is she denying it? Trying to keep access to the phone she used. In reality you would expect the electronic surveillance to have picked up the call; maybe the phone was a regular one? If says she did call her cousin why are the Authorities so reluctant to admit it? A likely explanation for the whole fiasco is that Nobody is In Charge, they don’t have a clue as to what’s happening – or what to say!

      • Actually Flamingo: you have a very good point. I was in a rush: I didn’t really read the article, just the title and tags then pasted in my comment. But then again, reading some of the comments and scatological humour: not sure why you would single me out? If I have caused you offence, I apologise. I don’t make a habit of commenting OT.

        (BTW: everything the authorities have said in the last month is a lie. Nothing can be taken at face value. Are you absolutely sure of your position? Because other than the phone call, which is not definitive, there is no concrete evidence to substantiate what you say.)

        • flamingo says

          Then shall we permanently assemble a large party crowd in front of the hospital inviting the Skripals to come and join us to celebrate life and freedom and we will bring cake and tea stalls and maybe invite the Russian Ambassador. We could arrange a broadcast video link to all her friends and relatives that choose to get online.

          Call the establishment’s bluff and give truth to BS. Perhaps we could invite Jeremy Corbyn?

          • flamingo says

            As an afterthought may I add this. The Official Secrets Act has likely been invoked since that pesky clinical superintendent wrote the letter blowing their tissue cover and pointing out that only 3 people were affected by some poison.

            Shall someone ask the health union if its members are being threatened under the Official Secrets or any other Act?

            Shall we build momentum for freedom from these Tory fake crisis makers and stage Skripal teas in front of every hospital in addition to the one they are in demanding that mandatory incarceration at the whim of a doctor be made illegal?

            Shall we occupy the Russian embassy bringing goodwill cakes and tea to show that Englanders make peace not misery in this world?

            Shall we commence a series of occupy Skripals across the nation demanding their release from ‘fake incarceration’?

            Shall we occupy every restaurant that sells shellfish and start a shellfish for Skripal movement?

            The form of totalitarianism that is vomiting out of airstrip one is intolerable and patently dangerous and we need momentum on the streets to give voice to common sense.

            • You forgot: there was a fourth person, a female doctor, who was cross-contaminated at the scene after treating the person identified as Yulia Skripal. I’m not surprised you forgot, she was memory-holed in week two as being irreconcilable with the authoritarian narrative. Does it not bother you that the entire Establisment idiotocracy and their media bullhorns can turn a blind eye to such glaring inconsistencies? Now we make believe and carry on to vote for the least worst of two very bad alternatives? [Actually, they briefly tried to accommodate her in the narrative …which should have been a red flag to all but the inculcated authoritarian.] How about we all camp outside Parliament with tea and cake and Jam and Jerusalem: and exercise our constitutional power to get BOTH parties thrown out and take back power from the liars therein …for sanities sake? This country is not going forward until we have the moral courage of our convictions and cease to vote for the least worst Establishment kakistocracy. Now I’m up for that!

              • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                BigB, I seem to remember early reports that there were passers-by and a nurse who also tended to the stricken Skipals. Where are they?

      • MICHAEL LEIGH says

        Thank you FLAMINGO for your observation, un-commented until now as to Julia Skripal being deprived of the use of her own telephone, even the central Hospital operator-moderated bedside phone ?

        This patient is obviously a prisoner and the tragedy is that the MOP ‘ Ministry of Propaganda ‘ ensures that the Government has, and exercises this ultimate loss of liberty, without recourse to any democratic pretensions, so often a feature of MOP false proclaimations !

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Flaming go-you’re not perturbed by Corbyn leading the Russophobic Putin-bashing, and praising the Western subversive Navalny, Mr. 4% in public support in Russia, as a hero of opposition to evil Putin?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Corbyn is too busy cowering before the Zionazi, Blairite and fakestream media lynch-mob that is assailing Labour, for the crime, as one UK Jewish ‘leader’ exclaimed, in a fit of candour, of being ‘too Leftwing’, and, of course, of the Supreme Crime -‘criticising Israel’. Corbyn is attempting to satisfy the piranha pool, by throwing sacrificial victims off the boat, but the scent of blood in the water only ever encourages them. Corbyn is plainly a coward.

    • mog says

      Again BigB, I totally agree. I consider this to be the most significant consequence of the whole bizarre affair, and I hear precious few people acknowledging the fact.
      We have crossed into a ‘Post-Skripal world’.

      We are asleep,
      …on a bicycle,
      ……on a tightrope,
      …..on fire.

      • Big B says

        Thanks for the solidarity. I’m pretty sure people do not actually read what Corbyn says (or know what he does): they just have an aspirational idea of him in their head. The whole idea Labour is a populous party (they are that) with democratic grassroots support is a popular mythos (as you know better than I). Lansman got rid of Jackie Walker on trumped up anti-Semitic grounds; then pulled a coup on the orders of Corbyn’s team; de-democratising the grassroots and taking the power for himself; Corbyn just stabbed Christine Shawcroft in the back (also on trumped up anti-Semitic charges of dog whistle “Holocaust denial”); capitulated to the weaponised anti-Semitism of the BOD and JLC (the ex-chair of whom, Jeremy Newmark was Shai Masot’s Mossad puppet); and in walks the unelected Eddie Izzard to re-balance the ‘Corbyn slate’ on the NEC to the right …some fucking democracy movement that! Anyone, like Tony Greenstein himself, they want out of the way, they just conjure up a fake anti-Semitism charge from decades old Tweets stored in the Jewish Embassy, no doubt!


        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Yes-the choice now, regarding Corbyn, is between whether he was always a Trojan Horse, a sort of Sanders or geriatric Obama, or has simply surrendered to the Judeofascist lynch-mob and its Tory, fakestream media and Blairite accomplices. Either way I expect a snap election, a Tory triumph as Corbyn is a Putinbot traitor, the Blairites back in control, Momentum disbanded as ‘antisemitic’ and BDS and ALL criticism of Israel criminalised as ‘antisemitism’- by Christmas.

        • mog says

          @ Big B
          All that.

          Spoke to Momentum rep out canvassing for by-elections yesterday and raised most of those points with them.
          The response was a kind of acknowledgement and respect for a stand that held truth to be important, yet at the same time a return to the triangulation of centrist years in “the Tories/ LibDems are worse”.

          Also yesterday, catching up with old pals who also see through the charade.
          Gave me hope.

  15. Paul says

    Why don’t they ask Julia if she called her cousin? The police statement said to be on her behalf says virtually nothing except she’s been ‘disoriented’. I imagine we’ll be hearing more of that when the inconsistencies come clear.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I expect the Skripals to suffer ‘tragic’ relapses.

  16. It seems that the UK believes that if it just keeps doubling down on this lie and nonsense (and kidnapping), someone somewhere will eventually believe them.

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