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What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

by Rob Slane from The Blogmire

In an article on 3rd May, the Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, made the following rather amusing observation:

Since the Skripals were found stricken on a park bench, Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. Theresa May says it is ‘highly likely’ Moscow carried out the attack using a Soviet-made nerve agent. Only the Kremlin had the motive to kill its former officer, she argues.”

The funny part, in case you didn’t spot it, was his claim that Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. He is of course correct, but what he doesn’t tell his readers is that this one version of events has had a plethora of sub-narratives attached to it, none of which have been able to remotely support the main thesis. Sticking to one version of events is reasonable only inasmuch as that version can be supported by facts. On the other hand, if the version of events being stuck to is not supported by the facts, or if the “facts” constantly change, or if the “facts” are contradictory, then sticking to it is a measure not of reasonableness, as Mr Harding implies, but rather of absurdity, folly and irrationality.

G. K. Chesterton once cautioned us against the propensity towards indefinite scepticism:

Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

This is very true. But there is another, equally insidious, ditch which must be avoided. Let’s put it like this:

Closing your mind too quickly can be worse than nothing. The object of closing the mind, as of closing the mouth, is to make sure that when you do, you have something solid inside.”

So is the narrative that Downing Street closed on so quickly after the incident solid? Does it stand up to scrutiny? Let’s see.

The Claim

The basic claim of the UK Government is as follows:

On 4th March 2018, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent, which had been put on the handle of Mr Skripal’s front door in Christie Miller Road, Salisbury. The substance used was A-234 (a Novichok agent), which is said to be around 5-8 times more lethal than VX (just 10 milligrams of VX on the skin can be lethal). It had been placed there by a person or persons either working on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, or who had somehow managed to come into possession of the substance from stocks controlled by the Russian Government.

As Mr Harding implies, it’s all very straightforward. So let’s test it.

What would you have expected to happen?

The basic question one must ask is as follows: Given the scenario outlined in the Government claim, what would you have expected to happen? Here are four basic things one would reasonably have expected:

  • 1. Sergei and Yulia Skripal found dead in or near Mr Skripal’s house, followed by a coroner’s verdict stating that they had died from heart failure or suffocation, as a result of fluid secretions filling their lungs.
  • 2. Or – in the slim chance that they survived – a period of months in hospital with irreparable damage to their central nervous systems, and symptoms including cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, nerve damage and epilepsy.
  • 3. A massive manhunt, both in Salisbury and in the rest of the country, especially in respect of the couple who appeared on a CCTV camera in Market Walk, of whom it was originally claimed were the Skripals, but who were clearly not the Skripals.
  • 4. Mr Skripal’s house entirely closed off, with surrounding streets immediately evacuated, and the parts of Salisbury City Centre where the pair were known to have visited also evacuated.
  • What actually happened?

    So much for what we would have expected to see. Now, more than two months after the incident, we can ask the question: What actually happened?

  • 1. After they allegedly came into contact with the very lethal A-234 nerve agent, far from dying on the spot, Sergei and Yulia Skripal spent the next four hours driving into the City Centre, having a drink, and then going for a meal. They then sat on a bench, and at some point thereafter exhibited what appeared to be hallucinations, suggestive of poisoning by an opioid or non-lethal chemical weapon, rather than a nerve agent.
  • 2. Rather than being hospitalised for months and suffering irreparable damage to their central nervous systems, just over four weeks later, Yulia Skripal telephoned her cousin, Viktoria, and assured her several times that “Everything is okay”. Crucially, she stated that “Everyone’s health is fine, there are no irreparable things.
  • 3. There has been no manhunt, and the couple who appeared on the CCTV camera in Market Walk have not been identified publicly, nor have there been any appeals for information about them.
  • 4. Far from the streets around the house being evacuated, many photographs show police officers without any protective clothing standing just a few feet away from the door handle, which allegedly still had A-234 of “high purity” on it. Neither was the City Centre evacuated, but people who thought they might have come into contact with the substance were advised by Public Health England (PHE) to wash their clothing in a washing machine, and wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes.
  • What Would Holmes Have Made of it?

    If you laid all that out in front of Sherlock Holmes – the claims, the expectations, and the reality – and asked him what he made of it, he would no doubt reply along the following lines:

    On the assumption that the substance known as A-234 is several times more toxic than VX, which all credible references to it claim that it is, then given that the Skripals did not die on the spot, and having survived do not appear to have any of the lasting and irreparable side-effects of being poisoned by this substance, it can be stated with reasonable certainty that they were not poisoned by it. Furthermore, given the symptoms that they displayed on the bench, according to eye-witness testimony, in all probability, Mr Skripal and Yulia were poisoned by a substance which can cause hallucinations, such as the opioid, Fentanyl, or an incapacitating, but non-lethal, chemical such as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ). This theory is given credence by the fact that Salisbury District Hospital originally believed the incident to be a case of Fentanyl poisoning.”

    What Would Holmes do Next?

    Having used the known facts to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the Skripals were not poisoned by A-234, what would Holmes do next?

    The obvious thing would be to interview both Sergei and Yulia Skripal, since both are apparently alive and well. He would want to gather details about their movements on the morning of 4th March 2018, and whether they saw anyone acting suspiciously either near the house, or at the bench. He would want to know why Mr Skripal apparently became highly agitated in Zizzis. And he would of course want to find out from Mr Skripal about who he had dealings with in the weeks prior to the incident.

    So what, you might ask, would he make of it if he found out that nobody, including him, was allowed to see Mr Skripal or Yulia? What, you might ask, would he make of the fact that nothing has been heard of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey since his release from hospital more than six weeks ago? What, you might ask, would he make of the fact that there has been not one single police or press report looking into any of these things?

    Holmes being Holmes, he would of course want to retain an open mind for as long as possible. But in the absence of any credible explanation for these oddities, or for the huge disparity between the UK Government claims and what actually happened, no doubt his great mind would soon start closing in on the suspicion that not only were the Skripals not poisoned by A-234, but it would appear that a cover up of what really happened has taken place.


    1. Excerpt:

      “Judging by quite a few elements, the text was a translation from English and had been initially written by a native English-speaker,” the embassy said. “The handwritten letters signed by Yulia in Russian and English confirm this impression.”

      Russian diplomats must be allowed access to Yulia Skripal to know she’s not held forcibly – embassy


      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        This is the ‘Rules Based International Order’, that Western psychopaths squawk like deranged parrots. A Treaty still in force between Russia and the UK, and customary International Law, that OBLIGE consular access, DESPITE any supposed ‘reluctance’ on the part of the (in this case) kidnapped victims, are simply ignored, and their existence and force either ignored by the fakestream media presstitute scum or denied with that vicious mendacity that we are so familiar with. ‘Srikpal’, if it is she, was clearly reciting a tract learned before-hand.

    2. John Marks says

      MSM is featuring poor Julia’s written statement, read out by her in a secret location.
      It convinces no-one as a “free” statement.
      Maybe we can look forward to a similar statement by DS Bailey?
      Or even the doc who gave Skripal CPR for 30 minutes yet she was not contaminated herself?
      They would be interviews of significant scientific interest . . .

    3. This just in:

      Published on 23 May 2018

      Yulia Skripal – the woman poisoned in the UK alongside her double-agent father – gives her first media interview since the incident, saying her life’s been turned upside down, and that she wants to return to Russia.

      READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/95×2

    4. John Marks says

      It’s looking more and more like the British establishment and the CIA are in cahoots against the American president.
      And the “three wise men” facilitating it – including the Skripal affair – are William Browder, Stefan Halper and Christopher Steele.

      • And don’t forget Pablo Miller who is both linked with Christopher Steele (Orbis), as well as with Sergei Skripal either as his MI5/6 handler or as one of the secret services that got him to sell his secrets to the UK.

    5. WHERE ARE SKRIPALS!? MI5 Is Desperately Trying To Hide Its False Flag Op – London Insider Nekrassov

      Published on 22 May 2018

      Alexander Nekrassov, political scientist.

    6. Published on 17 Jul 2016

      This documentary caused an uproar in Russia when it appeared in April of 2016.

      This film was made by the main Russian government news broadcasting company, Rossiya 1.

      It alleges that Bill Browder, the legendary American hedge fund manager who from 1995 – 2005 was the largest foreign investor in Russia, controlling billions of $ and a significant share of Russia’s leading companies, was in fact a CIA front.

      At one point his funds owned 7% of Gazprom, using what the film argues were illegal schemes to acquire shares

      The film argues that Browder’s whole involvement with Russia was a CIA operation to disrupt Russia politically and economically. It alleges that in 2006, Browder was instructed by the CIA to provide financial support to the rising opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, and that the two then closely cooperated for the next 5 years.

      As evidence, the film cites hacked CIA email and skype correspondence which it claims fell into Russian hands during the government upheaval in Kiev in 2014.

      When the film appeared, Browder and Navalny charged that the evidence was faked, and Navalny sued Rossiya 1 for libel. As of the translation of this video, (July 2016), the suit has not been concluded.

      Browder was expelled from Russia in 2006, after which he led a highly successful public campaign criticizing Russia and Putin. The film argues that the campaign was financed by the CIA.

      The campaign demanded sanctions against Russia for what Browder alleged was the murder of one of his employees, Sergei Magnitsky, and theft from his companies, by corrupt Russian officials.

      His campaign resulted in the famous “Magnitsky Act” sanctions against Russia, passed by Congress in 2012.

      The film alleges that this cynically misrepresents the facts. It alleges that Magnitsky ended up in jail for carrying out major fraud for Browder, and that he was on the verge of testifying against Browder when he died. It cites the hacked CIA mail as evidence that the CIA managed to orchestrate Magnitsky’s death in prison.

      The film argues that the only people with a motive for Magnitsky’s death were Browder and the CIA, because his testimony about the tax fraud would have been devastating.

      The film includes embarrassing details of tax avoidance schemes used by Browder and Magnitsky, including hiring barely literate invalids in remote corners of Russia as fake executives in order to receive tax breaks amounting to 100s of millions of $.

      The film then alleges, again citing the hacked CIA correspondence, that in 2010 Browder paid Navalny $300,000 to conduct a PR campaign in Russia in support of the Magnitsky Act.

      This documentary was never aired separately, rather appeared as a segment within the April 13, 2016 episode of the popular Russian political talk show “Spetsialnii Korrespondent” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAktn0Bhnfhkk6P-j9fP95g

      The episode consisted of an emotional 1.5 hour discussion of the film, with several people who appeared in the film present https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37GZ3Rpk4Qk (only in Russian)

      Of the 10-plus guests, all but one, an American journalist, argued heatedly that Browder had clearly committed gross financial crimes and agreed with the film.

      The comment leading into the beginning of the film is typical of the tone of the talk show, where the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliament compares Browder to an “intestinal tapeworm”.

      At the conclusion of the film, the talk show guests discussed the film for a further 1.5 hours. About half of the guests were also featured in the film, and they were able to go into much more detail about their knowledge of the Browder case.

      The discussion became very emotional, with some guests shouting about what they alleged are Browder’s crimes.

      • Maybe not – I am not able to find the actual documentary online.

        Here is an article by the late Robert Parry:

        A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War

        Special Report: As Congress still swoons over the anti-Kremlin Magnitsky narrative, Western political and media leaders refuse to let their people view a documentary that debunks the fable, reports Robert Parry.

        By Robert Parry (Updated Aug. 4 with more on Magnitsky not a lawyer.)


      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Browder is infamous, not ‘legendary’.

    7. Published on 21 May 2018

      With the media being focused on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, the story that Sergei Skripal was released from hospital was somehow lost in amongst the stories of the bride and groom. Former army officer and Scotland Yard detective Charles Shoebridge talks about the release with George Galloway.

      • John Marks says

        With guys like George Galloway and Charles Shoebridge, there is hope for us yet.
        This story is bigger in the UK than Watergate for the US.
        It’s just that, nowadays, the press is ‘owned’.

    8. MichaelK says

      It’s still… odd, actually disturbing, even given all ones misgivings about the state-corporate media in the UK; that there’s so little interest from journalists in doing a bit of investigating about this strange affair in Salisbury. What about that copper that appeared out of the blue, became a hero, and then suddenly vanished seemingly without trace? Who was he really and where is he now? This could also apply to the Skripals themselves of course. How does one get so many journalists, in what’s nominally a free and democratic state, to agree not to follow a story like this and accept, without question, the state’s version of events? Is this because our media has accepted that we’re already involved in an information war with the Russians and the stage is being prepared for the next phase, real war with Russia?

      • John Marks says

        It’s McCarthyism II.
        Any journalist who questions the narrative is dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. In fact, in McCarthyism II, “conspiracy theorist” is the new “Red”.
        As Einstein wrote of McCarthyism I: “Unless the intellectuals of this country are prepared to unite and risk their livelihoods in non-cooperation with this tyranny, they deserve nothing better than the slavery intended for them.”

    9. MICHAEL LEIGH says

      But I do think as I am sure the late Mr S Holmes would have and considered the USA connection, for the ” British spy the Col Serge Skripal ” was chosen by the USA as a prisoner exchange with the Russian Government, in exchange for the alleged Russian spies in the USA ?

      And the failure for anyone to explain the how and why, of Mr S Skripal receiving UK citizenship rather than USA hospitality as originally envisaged by the USA when requesting his exchange to the USA?

      So I think the CIA are behind this whole mystery, as I sure we learn when someone blows the whistle !

      • John Marks says

        And, as a pensioner, Skripal seems to have afforded a new BMW and a nice suburban house on his presumably meagre pension.
        Oh and he could afford to eat out well.
        Browder’s revenge was to direct the Clinton Mob to Orbis.

        • Paul X says

          But he would have been very well paid by the British government for revea,I got lists of spies and undercover agents. You get a head bonus for prime treachery. Presumably banked in the UK.

    10. Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
      Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
      Epigram by John Harrington

      And prosper they have. The real “nerve” agents in the Skripal affair are Steele and Miller. Novichok is just a ruse. Steele and Miller those we are not allowed to talk about. And Orbis the profiteering intelligence business for pensioned off spooks and treasonous double agents, intent on earning a crust in the only way they know how -bribery, blackmail and corruption. With a contract or two thrown in when things have to be cleaned up.

      What we have observed, by accident, is the tip of a very corrupt iceberg that appears to reach the highest levels of government.

    11. Harry Law says

      “Scientists Revise understanding of Novichok after it fails to produce expected lethal effects.”
      However, after studying the movements of the Skripals after being poisoned, we have now revised our understanding, and we now believe that one of its primary effects is to generate in its victims a strong desire to go out for a beer followed by a pizza…” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/scientists-revise-understanding-novichok-after-it-fails-produce-expected-lethal

      • Harry Law says

        One other effect novichok is causing the most excitement is the revelation that it can apparently render its victims invisible: “To be frank, this has created a huge buzz,” said the source.

        “I mean, the Skripals apparently came into contact with Novichok over two months ago, as did Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. And yet since then nothing has been seen of any of them. It’s almost as if they’ve vanished into thin air, a bit like Bilbo Baggins at his 111th birthday party when he slips the Ring of Power on.”

        And it’s not just the scientific community that is excited about the potential this might have. The Magic Circle has also a expressed an interest in knowing more about the substance, since its ability to make those who come into contact with it disappear without trace could potentially be a huge addition to the illusionist’s toolkit.

        However, any excitement that this might bring comes with considerable caution. According to a spokeswoman for the Magic Circle:

        “Of course we’re bound to be interested in the existence of a substance that can make a person disappear. However, whilst making someone disappear is great, what we’d really like to see is their reappearance at some point. Otherwise, I think it unlikely that it will ever catch on amongst our members.” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/scientists-revise-understanding-novichok-after-it-fails-produce-expected-lethal

        edited by admin to correct coding

    12. John Marks says

      First on the scene was a female doctor, apparently a registrar, who gave Skripal CPR for 30 mins. and yet was not contaminated!
      It shouldn’t be difficult to look up the list of junior medical staff at Salisbury and to establish her identity and request an interview.
      We might find yet another person vanished into the British gulag.
      Also, has no-one heard of, nor traced nor found DS Bailey? Nor his family? Nor his neighbours where he lived? Nor his work colleagues?
      Or has the population of the Outer Hebrides suddenly risen?

    13. Kathy says

      As bench marks go its another state land mark. How many people are going to continue to dig for truth. The majority have become so down trodden by austerity. They can barely keep their own narratives. The fact that any of this story could have happened and two people considered to be there but not there like Schrodingers cat is incredible really. As Sherlock said. There is nothing more deceptive as the obvious facts.
      He also stated this.
      “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”
      ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

      Certain crimes instinctively do not ring true. like the Hilda Murrell Gareth Williams, and Dr Kelly for starters. They just seem to stay in the back of the mind. The truth is the state get away with things all the time and the people seem caught unable to untangle the web of deceit.

    14. Edwige says

      I’d guess that as a masonic creation, Holmes might notice the supposed ages of the Skripals as 33 and 66 and raise an eyebrow.

        • MICHAEL LEIGH says

          I assume during his trial for espionage against Russia, the Russian Court judgment would have described his adjudicated actions ” on behalf of the ” UK and the five eyes ” as that of a ” traitor or worse ” !

          Although his six years imprisonment out of a ten year prison sentence, assumes his mitigation plea, may well have included a mitigation plea of sentence for latter services rendered to the Russian Federation State?

    15. Tony M says

      I’m playing Holmes/Watson cliche bingo with this thread, so far no-one has a full-house or come even close.

      • Harry Law says

        Nanny brings in the tea, Holmes, “Is it poison Nanny?” No it is a nerve agent called Novichok. You can send my prize to the Off Guardian appreciation society.

        • Harry Law says

          “Poisoned” Robert Downey Jr ‘Sherlock Holmes’ 2009. Not a patch on Basil Rathbone.

      • John Marks says

        Christopher Steele’s ‘dodgy dossier’, bought by the Clinton Mob, was to be used by Mueller and the CIA to control Trump.
        The dossier was leaked and published on 10/1/2017.
        Why do you think Sir Robert Hannigan, head of MI6 and at the height of his career, resigned with just six hours’ notice on 23/1/2017?

    16. reinertorheit says

      I fear Sherlock is simply the wrong detective for the case.

      In the final scene of my perfect version, we see Boris Johnson being led away by the police, saying:

      “Yes, and I’ve have gotten away with it, too – if it hadn’t been for these damn kids and their dog!”


      • Jen says

        Even Enid Blyton’s primary school-aged kids the Secret Seven and their dog could have been more appropriate detectives.

    17. Alan says

      This is more a case for Mystery Inc, I’m inclined to think old man Wickles is connected somehow.

    18. Howard MARKS says

      Bottom line when actual Military Grade Nerve Agents were used at Halabja by Saddam’s Chemical Ali substances supplied by Porton Down and US lab in Maryland the victims were unable to go out to an Italian restaurant, prior to dying.

      Another comment page with NO f-ing edit mode…come on !!

    19. The singularly remarkable episode of Sergey Skripal and his visiting daughter. In the strange case of the Door nob, the car ventilation or the porridge?

      Can it be Skripal that you survived the fish dish at Zizzi’s?

      That Zizzi’s [whodunit] Menu in full…

      [Now under new surveillance and management]

      Roast Beef ala BSE with British HP Sauce
      Maltings cocktail with MI6 fortune cookie
      Original BREXIT “Busted Bangers”, with a [non-Russian] Boris Sauce
      Little Englander “Empire” Trifle, finished off with custard on face
      Teresa’s Mayday, Mayday “It’s only Boris!” Etonian Mess
      Putin’s “Cool as Ice” Pavlova
      Porton Down Novi “Novichok” Mousse made to an old [decommissioned] Uzbek recipe
      Original Afternoon Polonium Tea, served [with a storm] in an English teacup [with or without an inquiry]

      N.B. All just desserts served cold
      Reservations by 36 hour ultimatum only
      All tables and chairs will be thoughtfully incinerated after every sitting

      • Jen says

        Patrons who bring their pets will be advised that restaurant policy is to deprive the animals of water while tied up.

    20. Please find the petition on Change to “Let Yulia Skripal Speak” then do with it what you seem fitting. Thanks.

      • Stuart Blair says

        Signed and Shared.



      • John Marks says

        Much more efficient, more powerful and unstoppable is to issue a writ of habeas corpus.

    21. Fair dinkum says

      Pretty sure the Skripals were sitting in one of the rear pews at THE Wedding.
      As befits those who can rise from the dead.

      • Robbobbobin says

        I suspect you are right. I stumbled on The Royal Wedding by unfortunate accident – on Al Jazeera, of all places, where it was flagged as a “Live Event” – and during the 30 or 40 seconds I stayed with it there is no doubt that Harry, at or near the altar, looked like he’d seen a ghost (I mean that seriously, not jokingly – distraught and cornered with coal holes where his eyes should have been would about cover it). Maybe it was sighting the Skripals or maybe it was just clapping his empty sockets on a surreptitious glimpse of the Ghost of Royal Weddings Past coming up the aisle towards him on the arm of the Ghost of Failed Marriages Future – I didn’t stick around long enough to get the context, I was too anxious to find some baby wipes for the phone. But it did make me wonder if the proposed strike of Al Jazeera’s London staff against their management’s long-delayed promise of pay rise negotiations was in progress, necessitating a feed of anything else, anything else at all, from the cheapest (“Are you sure that’s the cheapest?”) available downlink.

    22. I doubt whether Holmes would have wasted any tobacco over this obvious misuse of State power (the Secret Police kidnapping private citizens, and D-notices served on the public) in a clumsy attempt to cover up the May regime’s botched False Flag in England preparatory to the this supremely incompetent regime’s participation in an equally botched False Flag by FUKZUSA in Syria. A no-pipe case.

    23. USAma Bin Laden says

      The entire Skripal affair is a combination of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, with a strong element of Monty Python and Benny Hill.

      Either that, or it’s an episode from a hackneyed Anglo-American spy drama titled Strike Back, characterized by improbable scripts and stilted acting (ahem, Theresa May).

      These days, it’s hard to tell what is more ludicrous–the plots of TV shows or the propaganda offered by our “democratically-elected representatives.”

      • monostrovich says

        it’s hard to tell what is more ludicrous — the plots of TV shows or the propaganda

        They’re equally ludicrous, because they emanate from the same source.

        The function of the overtly fictional TV plots is to prepare the cultural environment for the later acceptance of the covertly, but still obviously, fictional propaganda. Many people can’t even tell the difference, so thoroughly has their perceived reality been constructed by decades of mass-media brainwashing.

    24. Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I saw the Russian Ambassador to the UK trying calmly to explain to some presstitute thug that Russian access to the Skripals was legally obligatory under a UK-Russian treaty and customary International Law. That MI6 says that the Skripals don’t want to see any Russians is irrelevant. I think it was four times he told the thug, who just kept screeching that they didn’t want to see any Russians. Every day, every few minutes, one sees over and over again just what psychopathic thugs it is who run the Western mad-house. I see that the Fraudian sewer and its Zionist allies have returned to their work of destroying Labour, and the Corbynites are groveling in fear, yet again.

      • MM: you must have considered it as a mass psychological ploy? There seems to be a cult of personality growing around him. Or is it limited to my peer group who won’t here a bad word about him?

        • monostrovich says

          If you can get the leader of the personality cult to grovel in fear, then the obvious response for the followers is that they should do the same. If the Glorious Leader can’t stand up against the Masters of the Universe, then what chance do mere peons have?

        • As he sticks to the facts and pulls no punches in his defence of objective reality he will be applauded and respected. Personality cult is unfair, he too is a victim of circumstance and never for a moment planned or wanted to find himself in this situation.

          • Facts? Of the Skripal surreality; of Navalny’s oppression; of the state repression of gays and the LGBT (sic) in Russia; of the beatings of students in Russia; of fundraising for the White Helmets; of antisemitism? What objective facts?

            Forgive me, Candide, but there are at least two different versions of the same person… and defender of objective reality ain’t one of them.

            • Tony M says

              Homosexual relations between consenting adults in Russia is neither illegal nor subject to persecution by the state. Homophobia and misunderstanding, misrepresentation and in some places persecution is however rampant the world over. Russia implements something similar to the ban on the teaching of its equivalence with heterosexual relationships or its encouragement in schools, similar to the legislation here in the UK until the late 1990s, not something I agree with fully but I do feel young minds are not quite mature enough to appreciate the issue, or indeed to know their own minds until well past school age and it is wise to assume that heterosexuality is the default, but it’s their choice, in their democracy, but not something if the subject should come up in the course of learning about the world, should be treated derogatively or dishonestly, in a bigoted manner or swept under the carpet. Homosexuality along with disparity between a persons physical body configuration, sexual organs and the thoughts and emotions, the configuration of their brain and their interpersonal relations, their attraction to other people is a fact of life and universal, the world over. Not something to be used as a political tool to bash another nations different pace or method in dealing with this reality, as the motivation is not greater equality but deriding and demonising entire nations, a different agenda entirely, more likely to worsen conditions for gay, bi and trans-sexual minorities. African and Carribean nations for example are far more regressive and deserving of condemnation in this matter than Russia is, by far.

              • Tony M says

                But I do think sexual attraction is a binary affair – one or the other – if not infact the case then true bi-sexuality must be very and extremely rare, far rarer than the number who identify as bi-sexual, many of whom might wish to both have their cake and eat it, suggest.

                • Paul X says

                  There is nothing wrong about people wanting their cake and eating it. It’s why they baked it.

              • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                Do you remember how the stinking hypocrites of the West used Cuban homophobia to attack the country? Unfortunately, the Cubans followed the logic of their revolution and put Latin machismo behind them, and ceased their intolerant ways. The use of accusations of homophobia is a typically dirty and hypocritical tactic used by Western regimes, that only a generation or so ago harassed, or worse, their own gay citizens, to spread social hatred and tension in target states. As ever much lying, hypocrisy and all-round foulness accompanies the efforts.

              • The 15 yr old daughter of a friend has just announced she is no longer a girl, and not a boy either. And as she now wants to be known as Billy I presume she is now self identifying as a goat. Her mother is entirely ‘supportive’.
                I have no issue at all with any two consenting people forming any kind of relationship they want together. However this engineered craze of self obsessed nonsense being fed to kids is simply damaging to the psychological health of nascent minds. It is most attractive to those individuals who have a rebelious nature and I feel is deliberately fostered to hijack that imperative in a generation and prevent them standing up for the rights of truly disenfranchised minorities. As such it has to be not just resisted but ridiculed.

                • I’m a father of two girls, one 20, the other 16. I’m very aware of how susceptible both are to the confusing swirl of information out there about identity, and how consumerised the whole affair is. Everything, including identity itself, has become a throw-away item of conspicuous consumption. Absent the liminal period so important to the formation of a robust sense of self, absent a community that includes different environments for semi-dangerous play with peers of widely different ages (though still young), children and teenagers are now confronted with a less-than-paper-thin reality that cannot mean anything at all except rapidly changing confusion. Blink, and it’s all changed again.

                  So I agree with you, candideschmyles, this gender fluidity stuff is to be carefully resisted. I would suggest, however, that ridicule is an unnecessarily dangerous ingredient for that resistance.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          That’s how he is proving so useful in his groveling to the Zionazi lynch-mob, and his treachery to old allies like Wadsworth et al. It shews the Zionists to be insuperable, able to pick, choose and destroy ANYONE that Yahweh tells them to. And when, as I expect, first Livingstone is butchered, then Corbyn goes full Sabbat Goy and denounces BDS, Hamas and the Palestinians as ‘obstacles to peace’ and, naturally, ‘antisemites’, the Zionists will be triumphant. I always try to imagine the most morally repugnant outcome, and, blow me down, it usually comes to pass.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          BB, I regard ‘reality’ as a mass psychological ploy.

    25. markrussell20085017 says

      “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

      Sherlock Holmes

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        But what if ‘twisting facts’ is what you are well-paid to do?

        • Ask Alistair Campbell & Tony Blair..
          Learn to ‘Curveball’, it suckers hookers 😉

    26. Estaugh says

      It is well worth communicating the methods used by the medics to cure the Skripals of there ‘intoxication’

    27. Francis Lee says

      ”What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?”

      Elementary my Dear Watson: Second-rate, ham-fisted, bullshit from start to finish!

    28. Big B says

      Facts are not sacred: they are malleable and avoidable – subject to the selectivity and ‘not-seeing’ of ideological identity formation. I’m not talking about the media or government propaganda: I’m talking about the liberal and progressive left who have created their own alternative factual response to the utter transparency of the completely synthetic nature of the Skripal saga. The Labour party were utterly complicit in endorsing the absurd unreality of this assault on perception. In fact, they used it to create their own political capital to push their Russian sanctions propaganda, and push for the re-investigation of 14 other ‘similar’ murders in the home counties “killing fields”. The facts of my statement are empirical, verifiable, and subject to objective scrutiny …of which even Sherlock would approve. The ‘anti-facts’ of the “Russian hit”, as Nia Griffith put it, are not. Neither are the anti-facts of the Magnitsky case; the 14 other ‘hits’; and the Litvinenko murder on which Labour manufactured its political capital. These are epistemically false.

      Whether this is epistemically provable beyond reasonable doubt depends on subjective ideology, not objective reality. There is a psychic protective cultism growing around Jeremy Corbyn I find disturbing. Not least in that it requires significant mental gymnastics and the art of ‘not-seeing’ and perceptual distortion to maintain. Confronted with the undeniable reality that Corbyn corroborated the equally undeniable simulated ‘non-poisoning’; the ‘hit’ that was not …and used his platform to consistently call for sanctions against the “Putin regime”; based on the equally undeniable unreality of the Magnitsky myth …the response is that this did not happen. An alternative factual subjectively ideological simulation has occurred. Well, it’s false: he really did push for sanctions at every opportunity. And he really did invoke Alexei Navalny’s advice.

      If we have to manipulate our reality to suit the support of the distortions that maintain hierarchical power: we will forever be the oppressed subjects of such a distorted reality. We have to endorse, or choose to ignore, the Lab/Con anti-meaning version of events to do that. If we do, the control of our own perception will never be our own. If we cannot clearly perceive our own reality, we will forever be imprisoned in a simulation …not one that is imposed by the implicit threat of force: or the inculcation of the propaganda of false ideologies …but one that we ‘freely’ choose for ourselves. For all the righteous bitching and moaning about being oppressed: we are only imprisoned for as long as we consent to be.

      • Francis Lee says

        British governments – Labour or Conservative – have been complicit in politically motivated murders quite close to home and in the not too distant past, the most notorious of which was the Pat Finucane affair which took place during ‘The Troubles” in northern Ireland which began in 1969.

        Patrick Finucane (21 March 1949 – 12 February 1989) commonly known as Pat Finucane, worked with the nationalist community who in the capacity of an Irish human rights lawyer. He was assassinated by loyalist paramilitaries acting in collusion with the British government intelligence service MI5, being shot fourteen times as he sat eating a meal at his Belfast home with his three children and his wife, who was also wounded during the attack. In 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron met with Pat Finucane’s family and admitted the collusion, although no member of the British security services has yet been prosecuted.

        In fact British collusion with loyalist paramilitaries was commonplace during the whole period. This was Britain’s ‘dirty war’ the scale of which came to light in May 28 2015 when allegations that British security forces colluding with loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland on a vast scale lead directly to the deaths of hundreds of people according to Amnesty International.

        And yet the British establishment, including, the Labour party, has the temerity to accuse foreign states of assassinating political opponents on the flimsiest of evidence. You have to hand it to the Brits for sheer chutzpah.

        • I blame Thatcher for the death of Pat Finucane, and Hilda Murrel, I always will …despite the absence of evidence. That was an attrocity that stood out even when attrocity was being normalised by the state (if it can ever be ‘normal’ to maim and murder? Well, it’s normal for states).

          In the Skripal surreality – no one died. Yet we witnessed a Theatre of State Absurdity as the political class ALL pretended they did. There were no exceptions, despite the mythos that has prevailed. You have to question the perceptive sanity of those who participated …but you also have to question the perception of the so called progressive left who chose not-seeing as a response. If we choose objectivity over ideological subjectivity, the power of the state ceases to be. It has been a bad day for objectivity and sanity, what with the bread and circus spectacle at Windsor and Wembley. The state murders in front of children, leaves old women in fields, synthesises a retrograde Cold War redux …all behind the pomp and circumstance of an arranged marriage, a spell spun as a triumph of racial equality. And people drape themselves in cultural icons and beg for another hundred years of the same. Bizarre!

          • Perverse .. !

            jimmy saville O.B.E.

            GARY HOY > UNSUNG HERO > (never heard !? )

            MI5/6 Pimps & politicians’ handlers .. Secret Services ? !
            Pathetic Immature Malevolant Prostituted Sadistic Scum.

            You really have to be the lowest of the LOWEST scum on Earth to work for British Military (P.I.M.P.S.iFive) intelligence services and exceedingly ignorant & dumb to boot ..
            Void of Principle & any Morals.

            A right Royal sad sickening bunch.
            Evil Incarnate !

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Corbyn, I believe it is now plain, is one or other of two things. Either a long-term fraud, a sort of Bernie Sanders whose job it is to destroy resistance to elite rule by leading it into the desert, where he abandons his flock to the tender mercies of resurgent Blairism, hopefully utterly demoralising a generation of UK versions of the Hopey Dopeys cynically and calculatingly betrayed by Obama. Obama’s treachery led to massive abstentions that helped create Trump, and in the UK they would deliver a decade of May-hem. Or he is just a coward, frightened to resist the Evil UK elite, even as their maniacal provocations threaten annihilation in a war imposed on Russia, and cause the genocides in the Middle East, and plainly terrified by the deranged thugs of the Zionist lynch-mobs, creatures so crazed that they exult in the murder of unarmed Gazans and declare the Israelis the real victims??!! Either way he is an utter DISASTER for decency and justice in the UK. It would have been better if the Blairites had rolled him long ago, and made hatred of the Palestinians mandatory in the UK Labour Party, with free trips to Israel to sit with Rightwing Israelis cheering on the IDF snipers at work in Gaza.

        • I disagree: I think he is being prepared for titular power… where power replaces the empty place of power. It is a quaint notion that we elect a bunch of inbreds and ingrates to run the country? We’re ceding defence sovereignty to an EU we are not leaving, so we ceded democratic sovereignty as well. The military answer to NATO and the Anglo-French command: so we do not have sovereignty even if we do leave. The BoE colludes with the other G7 central banks to set interest rates: so we ceded financial sovereignty. The blood money capital flows in and out of the City are supra-sovereign and undeclared. We don’t have food sovereignty, or energy sovereignty, or manufacturing sovereignty …we leach off the world through financial sub-imperialism, then distribute the stolen wealth, that which does not go straight offshore, among ourselves in a basket case economy which has sovereignty over us. Who voted for this? And personal sovereignty, one person, one vote …to ammend all the unelected, unaccountable layers of supra-sovereignty …and one man who can’t even control his party is going to change it all!

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            I’ve just been watching two of the local ABC presstitutes GROVELING to a Zionist liar re. the latest Gaza massacre. The lies, the hypocrisy, the arrogance were as foetid as ever, but the fakestream scum dared not raise a single objection. Then they moved on to ‘Russian collusion’, proven of course, then a tour de farce of sycophancy kissing the knobbly backside of that flower of New York society, Masha Gessen. My God, we are so deserving of what is coming.

            • Mulga Mumblebrain says

              PS, The fatter of the two presstitutes just spoke of torturer Gina Haspel’s ‘storied career’ in the CIA. ‘Our moral values’ at their finest.

        • Tony M says

          Surely free trips to Stolen-Land for the LFI/CFI dis-honourable members constitute bribery, whether they may or may not declare these all expenses-paid full-board luxury binges or not? This practice should be stamped-out, stamped on, they’re certainly not ‘furthering understanding’ of anything but making themselves a fair target for detestation. Corbyn and the Labour membership have to ditch the lot of them, this degree of infiltration and penetration is the greatest threat he faces, and if he emerges victorious then the Tories will be east meat in comparision, these particular friends of rather fiends are not the type to keep close, but the treacherous sort to keep at the greatest possible distance, preferably an ocean away.

          I’ve seen a photo or two of a younger Corbyn being huckled, under arrest at some protest or other and the whole thing looked staged, burnishing his anti-establishment credentials, however I’m prepared still to give him the benefit of the doubt, principles and protest almost guarantee collision with the blunt instruments state sooner rather than later, in the meantime though he had better note his jacket is on a shaky nail and up his game, his performance on this Skripal affair woeful. He should dust off his most Soviet-style hat and head off to Moscow for his hols, give the state-run BBC and right-wing press apoplexy and really put the cat amongst the pigeons. He’s at heart a British Nationalist however, with centralising tendencies, uncomprehending of the affront to democracy this bastard child composite state UK/Britain really is which is a worrying failing, putting the prospect of a greater Labour majority over Scotland’s fundamental right to self-determination, he seems unable to comprehend that Labour electing single digit or a sinlge MP from Scotland is a permanent change, those votes and seats will never return to Labour. Party over and above principles and right in this instance. Sure he’s the English non-Tory electorate’s best hope, only hope, but that is a problem with their twisted and broken democracy and not Scotland’s concern.

          Mandatory re-selection of parliamentary candidates, which the SNP already implement, not necessarily preceding elections but annually perhaps, possibly weighted against incumbents, so they would have to exceptionally good or have extenuating circumstances to survive the rigours of real democracy, whether in government or opposition. They need keeping on their toes and connected with the world outside the Westmidden bubble incase it bursts for them and they have to meet the real world again with a satisfyingly bruising bump. Those deselected would of course continue as lame-duck MPs until an election arises, being free to reveal where their true loyalties lie, this would take us some way towards the Levellers/Putney Debates annual parliaments ideal as it is possible to get, but it needs broader local branch participation and membership outside the realm of politics obsessed anoraks, to avoid the rule of cliques and factions, which is improbable as it is more than most people can stand to see and hear from would-be politicians at times of elections never mind between them too. I’d prefer we evolve towards direct-democracy with just a small elected body, each member serving a short term, charged with instructing a small, elected civil-service executive to implement the public will without prevarication or quibble, as expressed through frequent referenda as and when required

          I care not for UK politics, being pro-independence for Scotland I already view the goings on down south as the affairs of a foreign country of little and still decreasing relevance other than for the entertainment value of the malicious blood-soaked clown-show it has become, and Westminster a place where no SNP MP should ever again set foot and, the very idea of an SNP MP itself an unfortunate short-lived anachronism of this transitional period.

          • As a Scot myself, one who has cast a single ballot in a lifetime supporting our succession, I too have always seen the SNP as a vehicle not a destination. A vehicle to a destined nation perhaps. However that dream, if we view the overwhelming grassroots support as real as it was, has been forgotten and is only used in the political discourse to maintain the larger charade of the UK Brexit without an exit. You and I, like all Scots were fed a deception. And if alleged voting anomalies, backed up by statistical improbabilities in final figures, are to be believed we were not just decieved but robbed too.
            The purpose of the referendum, from the moment the snake Salmond returned to lead the SNP was only ever a prelude to Brexit. Not, as some might think, to prevent a Brexit vote but the contrary, to assure it. Brexit, like the referendum is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Military and legal integration within the European framework has been accelerated and will be completed by the time Brexit is enacted, something that would have taken decades to achieve had the electorate been honestly appraised of the legislation and abdication of sovereignty.
            As for Corbyn and the Labour party I am as confused, doubt ridden and cynical as anyone. Corbyn if he is the real thing, a champion of social and humanitarian justice, must change his sponge like defence, trying to stay passive and absorb, and go on the attack. If he thinks he can wait for the unlikely electoral mandate to put him in no.10 and then start changing things he is a fool. Not only will he find that structurally impossible within the constraints of Whitehall but he will have failed before the fact to get the electoral mandate essential to affect change. Time is fast running out for him. He has to get the millions, like me, who have serious and justified reservations about him onside and supporting him. If he does not grow a pair, start a counter attack on the foriegn agents within and outwith the Labour party and stand unswaying behind his stated principles he is doomed.

            • Tony M says

              Sorry if this is the wrong page/topic for this but Mulga Mumblebrain started it, his/her comment on Corbyn should really have been on the more appropriate LFI thread.

              I don’t think you’re a genuine supporter of independence, your sorry attack on Salmond the acid-test, his whole heart and soul was in indepndence and he is a broken-hearted and broken man that it was thwarted by UK government and UK unionist party treachery and came so close despite these factors and the vileness of the entire media campaign which lied and lied and thoroughly and lastingly discredited itself, dispersed all illusions of a fair and free democracy. It’s not clear what you’re about from the rest of your disordered thinking and comment.

              No party supports my position which is an independent Scotland outside the EU outside NATO and with a debt-free national currency, neither the UK pound or Euro being acceptable. I’ll still never vote for Labour again (not since the 1990s) even if Corbyn (or whoever) routs the Blairites. I voted for Independence and for Brexit, I’ll always continue to vote for Indy, compromise on acceptance of continued EU membership might be possible, if the matter is put to Scotland in a referendum after independence, without scaremongering and deceit, but for the SNP independence has become secondary to maintaining not a future Scotland in the EU, but the disingenous position of trying to thwart UK EU exit i.e. Brexit.

              I abhor the current SNP position of linking independence to EU membership, they should have declared independence (UDI) immediately after the 2015 UK GE when they had an unassailable mandate from the Scottish people to end the 1707 bi-lateral union with England-Wales and the mood of the people was that they simply get on with it, without delay, before RUK had their referendum on the EU, they’re either feart of England blockading trade with the continent putting us right back in the 1690-1707 conditions or worse unleasing the dogs of war, or they’re playing games and do not actually want what they publicly advocate, are infact a controlled-opposition, inheritors of Labours position in Scotland. After UDI in 2015 we would have been in the EU and have ridden out RUK EU exit if it came, and I hope leave the EU ourselves into some less monolithic Europe-wide trading bloc, either by a Scotland-only referendum on the EU issue or when, as is inevitable the EU itself unravels, as it most asuredly must and will.

            • Tony M says

              Oh I don’t see or think likely the SNP will fade away too rapidly after independence, but will no longer quite obviously be present at Westminster, which is de facto and after independence the de jure English parliament, in truth it has never been at any time anything other than that. There are no such things as Scottish Labour, Tory or LibDem Parties, these are English-domiciled organisations, corporations, unwelcome, unwanted in Scotland –but that the SNP will split the bulk becoming socialist/redistributive autarkists for the majority and forming a majority and a pro-corporate and wealthy few favouring minority party but having undue unwarranted influence for the snobs that see themselves as better than their the rest and who will want to exploit them and steal from the commonwealth in which we all share. There will be a tussle over the name, but a new politics will be born.

              • I have no wish to debate you on this here as it is both way off topic and you appear to have no idea what the EU actually is.

                • Tony M says

                  “you appear to have no idea what the EU actually is.”

                  Do tell oh wise one. I’m genuinely keen to know, we all have our imaginary EU quite at odds with whatever the reality might be. In the Scottish context, it was purely a means to recognition of our distinct national identity. Is it the happy-clappy all in it together myth, a benign social movement and trading bloc we all hoped it would be, or a power-grab by corporatists, protectionist of industrial combines and a one-stop shop for corporate lobbyists, a supranational monster out of its cage, operating well beyond its remit, the social and economic partner of NATO in waging economic as opposed to bloody war.

                  Keep it short and sweet if you like, but don’t leave the matter hanging like this, please!

          • Robbobbobin says

            “[Corbyn]’s at heart a British Nationalist however, with centralising tendencies…”

            I don’t think he’s ever denied being a committed trades unionist. Quite the contrary, in fact. Maybe you weren’t listening?

            • Tony M says

              I never mentioned unions at all, trade unions that is, so don’t get your point at all or you’re being deliberately obtuse.

              By British Nationalist I do mean though Unionist with a capital U. The sort of Unionist found in DUP for example.

              But as unions have inexplicably come up, it’s as well to say I have the lowest possible opinion of them, scum many of them are, from bottom shop-steward-level to however high they can go, but not the idea of workers’ rights which I hold dear, but which are quite alien to most trades unions and their hierarchy. I’ve seen unions work in cahoots with bosses and through mutual masonic lodge membership to cover up quite intolerable workplace conditions, in which unions like the T&G were fully complicit knowing co-conspirators, gruesome scandals that lead to employees simply quitting as unions would do nothing to alleviate daily torture and victimisation spanning years, forced ‘voluntary’ redundancy, company doctors injecting employees with drugs then having them sign papers while delirious, deaths, suicides and cover-ups leading all the way to the bosses of BAE and the House of Lords. Trades Unions are part of the problem in this country, full of rotten apples. Corbyn and Labour are lost if they don’t distance themselves from them.

            • Tony M says

              No, I still don’t get how you went from British Nationalist, to ‘committed trades unionist’, or it’s went completely over my head. Care to explain Robbobbobin you’re not making any sense or reading things which simply aren’t there, or words in your world have quite different meanings from that which is generally understood.

        • monostrovich says

          the deranged thugs of the Zionist lynch-mobs

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            The Zionists have murdered scores of Palestinian, Lebanese and other Arab leaders, often with their families and neighbours, over the decades, from Arafat down. It’s a mitzvah.

      • I think you’ve nailed the crux of the matter here, BigB: how are we responsible for our perception of reality? To what degree should we be held liable for NOT treating all purveyors of truth with intelligent but open-minded scepticism?

        My own position differs somewhat from that suggested by the Chesterton quote above; namely, we should (in my view) only be certain about very little, because regardless of the facts that should rightly be established and held sacred from case to case, there is always the art of how to respond to them. And that’s where politics enters, with all the artfulness it engenders. For politics to work both democratically and justly, we need an informed and mature folk, one that feels responsible for the accuracy and validity of its perceptions of reality, one capable of truly celebrating diversity. We are, I fear, a long way from that, which is how the powers that be like it.

        Like all animals, we are always confronted with the dilemma of what and whom to trust. In a bogglingly complex social system of millions of highly specialised souls, how do we get good at that? How do we create the time needed for such an undertaking? If we don’t, our focus is easily directed to wherever required, such that needed radical change to an obviously sick system goes unnoticed, and when noticed unattended, and when attended to, in such small numbers as to be easily dismissed as the actions of shrill crazies.

        Do we trust Great Leaders working within the sick system? Do we trust Great Parties of Noble Traditions to lead the way? Mighty corporations practiced at ensuring the health of the bottom line? I think not. But as the saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall. So if we don’t know how to establish broad-based and durable trust, how do we unite? Around what vision? Like I said, we are face to face with an age-old dilemma, only now more pressingly than ever.

        The suggestion I prefer is to work on self towards maturity via the development of authentically love-based reactions to people and situations. It seems to be that all other approaches are divisive and so collapse into bickering and trench warfare. Sadly, however, not only is it slow and hard to do this love thing effectively, the results cannot be measured in spreadsheets or double-entry-bookkeeping ledgers. It takes patience and perseverance. We have no time for either anymore, which is one of the main problems in a system spiralling out of control.

        There are no prescriptions I know of that have a chance of uniting the numbers needed, or at least of bridging yawning ideological divides, which is what really counts. Not any of the bewildering forms of capitalism, nor of socialism, nor of any other ism out there. What I hope for, is that we learn how to appraise every viable idea and action in a scientific spirit, one cultivated to have the best chance of encouraging everyone to participate, to test things out, to discuss, dissect, act, assess, and start again. This means proceeding without the need for parties or gurus, but also without the need to repress their formation. It means an umbrella interest in what works for all, rather than choosing sides among competing vested interests in what works for me and mine.

        In other words, we will be endlessly lost debating the details – even when those details are established facts – while we remain unpracticed in uniting opposites. While we remain easy to divide by virtue of our immaturity – or better, by virtue of the fact that we have not yet developed sufficient awareness of how we perceive reality – all the best facts in the world cannot help. The real leaps forward will start happening, I feel, when sufficient numbers know well how to talk to others across any and every divide. And that takes love.

        • Big B says

          Toby: we need to wise up before we rise up! Otherwise we will start the oppressive and repressive cycle all over again. Understanding the psycho-spiritual nature of perception is not a field of study the West has undertaken. What we are really talking about is ‘apperception’ – how we categorise and contextualise experience. Western science and philosophy have no way of understanding apperception because we have a closed cognitive semiotic with no external, or transcendental referent. If you like, Western thought has gone as far as it can go, and is on a closed-loop recursion back into itself. We are lost in our signs and meaning and literally can’t see our way out of it.

          Barthes, Derrida, and Baudrillard all realised the need for an external referent or a master-signifier: Barthes even suggested ‘ku’ and ‘satori’ from japanese culture. But none of them came across Yogacaran epistemics. I’m going to make a bold claim: therein lies the future of humanity …literally learning to see again. And when we can see, we can learn to read Nature as a semiosis of true self.

          If you are not familiar with Yogacara: this site has a good basic primer:
          The basic vijnana process is what I am getting at: unlearning how to see, and hear, etc.

          • I see it the same way (and thanks for the link!). I think (know, actually) the nature of reality is consciousness, which means it is fundamentally subjective. The objective flavour or experience ‘part’ of reality is embedded in the subjective and has to do with consensus. But I’m not going to go into huge detail here except to suggest you might well find Tom Campbell’s work fascinating. He has a ton of videos on YouTube and just started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a set of new double-slit experiments designed to demonstrate that reality is Yogacara. The other thinker you might find interesting is Donald Hoffman (if you haven’t checked him out already).

            • I hadn’t, but I will. The nascent cross-fertilisation of ‘new’ science, structuralism, post-structuralism, constructivism, semiotics, etc is a huge area of interest for me. I’d like to translate Buddhism, Yogacara, and Abhidharma into a politics and praxis of evolution and liberation ecology. Personally, I can’t believe it’s not the dominant culture, but that is the power of the cultural hegemony of misperception!

              • In my MA dissertation in translation theory, the focal point was meaning generation and context/subjectivity, so I guess we have a shared interest there!

                I think We, The People are haltingly and shapelessly conducting the translation you say you want to undertake, so you are doing so already. Surely it’s how you live? Your efforts here feel that way to me, anyway. It’s a challenging, exciting and vital undertaking but cannot control its outcomes. I don’t think there’s such a thing as an end goal, so it’s all about staying true, flexibly, to process as sustained by a tiny number of core principles. But by golly that path doesn’t seem to excite many people! And that’s the main challenge imo: lending this stuff a charisma and clarity that broadens its appeal far beyond a small clique of geeks. I note veganism has been doing very well in this regard…

                • I say “I” because there is no referent that means “not I”! Language structure, “logocentrism”, and heirarchical binaries are the “text” of oppression. The Buddhist path is marga that contains “right action”, “right livelihood” …so I try to be the change I want: but I don’t live in a cave are I have tons of room for improvement… to which I commit the “right intention.” Yogacara posits two basic epistomologies: one of involution and one of evolution …you don’t have to be Sherlock to see which we need to follow!

                  • Each teaching uses different metaphors, but all tend to reflect the Golden Rule, it seems to me. I see right intention and right livelihood as twinned praxis-based concepts that emerge from “As you do unto Other, so you do unto Self”.

                    Each of us stumbles upon one set of metaphors or another, and stays with the one that resonates most deeply. But the path is the path. For example, Tom Campbell’s metaphors are drawn from physics: i.e., fear is the equivalent of entropic states of consciousness, love of negatively entropic states of consciousness, the “veil of illusion” becomes “virtual reality”. The more I am exposed to the various metaphors, the more I see in common among them all.

                    Another ingredient that is a requirement for properly walking the path is authenticity: it can’t be an act. Or at least, it can’t stay an act. And that’s one of the reasons I’m so open here at Off Guardian: I don’t want to pretend any more. I used to keep my deeper convictions concealed, but that just makes me feel manipulative. In other words, I too have plenty to work on, but it is transparency and openness that expose that ‘flawed’ material most effectively. Then the feedback (should you be lucky enough to get any) becomes the teacher, which is at it should be.

    29. Tony M says

      My speculations on this matter on Craig Murray’s blog (that might have contributed to my being moderated thereafter and/or banned) ran along the lines of making enquiries if possible into the daughters return travel arrangements, that far from her bringing something into this country she might have been taking something out, a courier, the ‘something’ coming from Porton-Down, returning to Russia perhaps via Jordan or Turkey, or another ‘country’ in the area neighbouring Syria, and may have been temporarily put out of action to prevent this happening. It was followed of course by the rather poor rushed and botched attempted false-flag at Douma, which lacked an essential component, any trace any alleged chemical-weapons found anywhere in the area, and was the dismal deserved swansong of the Shite-Helmet terrorist cum acting troupe.

      Still reading this, and really want to know more about Doyle’s specific activities during ww1 when of course Holmes was for the duration laid to rest.


      “It was little more than a free lunch for the well-fed. Distinguished writers like Arthur Conan Doyle, G K Chesterton, Sir Edward Cook and Hilaire Belloc were amongst the literati who penned articles, tales and stories specifically aimed at spreading British propaganda, especially in America. Naval Intelligence, for the two were often kept apart, called on the additional services of Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad and Alfred Noyes. [3] The master-craftsman of this literary propaganda was none other than Alfred Milner’s private secretary from the Kindergarten years in South Africa, John Buchan. His career in propaganda and military intelligence blossomed magnificently from 1916 onwards when, as Milner’s trusted appointee, John Buchan a member of the Secret Elite [4] linked them to the heart of the British intelligence community. […]”

      Given that Holmes’ creator Doyle, sometime quack-doctor, later certifiably-insane spiritualist fraud joined in the tide of propaganda sewage that engulfed Britain, and contributed to the stench of virtuous and holy war that emanated from literature, from the press and pulpit from the beginning and throughout the first world war, abandoned all principles of truth, inviolable fact, evidence, logic, and reason absorbed by the author during his medical training in Edinburgh under the tutelage of Dr Joseph Bell that came to characterise the methods of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, and played his part in secret in encouraging this slaughter based on monstrous falsehoods for ‘The Group’, this exercise is rather pointless.

    30. Harry Law says

      Enforced Disappearances which is what has happened to the Skripals and incommunicado are usually the preserve of some former South American dictatorships, here is the definition of enforced disappearance as defined by the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance [UN Doc E/CN.4/2005/WG.22/WP.1/Rev.4[23 September 2005 Article 2.
      “…the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty committed by agents of the state or by persons or groups acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law”.
      The UN Human Rights Committee has found that incommunicado detention of fifteen days constitutes a violation of human rights law, though shorter time periods may also be prohibited.
      Clearly the Skripals have been denied their human rights notably as detailed in the Human Rights Act 1998, section 5. inter alia “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person” and Article 8. “The right to respect for private and family life” i.e. they have the right to uninterrupted and uncensored communication with others. No one has seen or officially heard from the Skripals in over 10 weeks. How is it that the police can hold them for so long incommunicado and without judicial supervision or even legal counsel, refusing to let them contact in any way, family and friends, the Russian consulate [required by law because of the UK/Russia bi lateral consular agreement 1968] Independent lawyers or the media, nor can any of the above contact them, including cousin Victoria who has been refused a visa twice [she also has power of attorney from Sergei’s Mother], what kind of animal would do such a thing to Sergei’s mother, I know an animal called Boris. The Government cannot let the Skripals speak, they must be disappeared. It is up to the Russian Embassy to kick up a real stink, first job apply for a writ of habeas corpus, although this has been much diminished with the passing of the Justice and Security Bill and Closed Material Procedures (or “CMPs”) mean that one party is not able to take part in either part or the whole of a trial. This party will almost always be a civilian who is bringing a claim against a government agency. It could be a civilian who is the defendant in a case. The government and its lawyers are present during the CMP. The civilian and their lawyer

      cannot be present,
      cannot see the evidence the government is relying upon (and which is said to be national security sensitive information),
      cannot know the government’s case on this evidence,
      cannot challenge this evidence or the government’s case and
      cannot know the reasons for the judge’s decision on that evidence and therefore (at least a part of) their case.

      The civilian will be told whether they have won or lost, but not the full reasons why.

      The Act applies to “relevant civil proceedings”, which means any civil proceedings in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Court of Session or the Supreme Court[1]. This means that any civil case in any of these courts may be affected by this legislation if sensitive information is required to be disclosed in the course of the case. Sensitive material means material the disclosure of which would be damaging to national security. The cases affected include the writ of habeas corpus and claims for damages for torture, kidnap, assault and negligence.


    31. MichaelK says

      Harding, occupying the position he does, at the heart of ‘liberal’ opinion within our media… is a disaster. He’s little more than a journalistic facade for pr from the UK security services who feed him information to ‘sex up’ his scribblings. When the liberal left is so ‘compromised’ and manipulated and ‘dumbed down’ there’s not much hope. Harding is gonna be around for… years because he’s so useful to the state and its’ propaganda machine. He asks no relevant questions and doesn’t even have the capacity to ask them. I think, basically, he’s really rather stupid.

      The Skripal Affair is extraordinary. An absurd piece of theatre that the British excel at… like the recent royal wedding. But what’s really stunning is how the entire media has gone along with this absurd farce without examination or any form of protest. What’s happened to the media? Iraq was one thing, but this is probably worse… the lack of criticism, the lack of questioning… the chronic lack of any real journalism worth the name. That things have sunk so low is really awful.

      • Paul X says

        It does sound as if there are some very tight controls on even speculating about events in Salisbury let alone investigating or even reporting on it. Where are the nurses, doctors, hospital staff that would normally preoccupy the media in a case like this? Or the witnesses, shoppers, diners and staff at the restaurant and pub and first responders? Not a peep! It is like living in any authoritarian country where “everybody knows” but it’s not allowed to be discussed publicly. It must be a good law, whatever it’s called, because it’s 99% successful – and we aren’t even allowed to know it’s name or that it is active. HMP Pentonville awaits the unwary.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Therese May as Frances Kafka? But, what the hell-it’s the ‘Free World’, baby!!!

      • P.E. Ace says

        Journalists, commentators and politicians who play along like Harding are not stupid. They are ruthlessly pursuing their own ambitions. For a journalist like Harding, his reporting will ensure him
        -appearances on tv for which he gets paid,
        -moderating stints at security seminars sponsored by the mic or sponsored by hawkish thinktanks sponsored by the mic,
        -fellowships or fulltime jobs at hawkish thinktanks or in defense industry,
        -and workplacements and jobs for their kids.

        Unless in the Skripal case the fentanyl gets reported or in Trump’s case the Halper angle, it is likely that the endless money flowing to defense, weapon producers and intelligence agencies stays successful in silencing MSM. And in MSM it helps your career to play along with the hawks, and so it will in NATO, defense departments, thinktanks etc.

      • reinertorheit says

        I was surprised not to see Harding among the Russophobic crew in today’s Observer, who are found rubbishing Russia’s organisation and credentials for the Football world cup


        The authors of this screed of neoconservative crapola include no-one with any knowledge of football at all. There are, however, a singer from the made-up no-use pop group Pussy Riot, and neocon shitwipe supreme, Mark Galotti – who comes from a country where they don’t even play football at all.

        • Robbobbobin says

          There has been a lot of discussion in our house about an appropriate name for a new cat. In the last few weeks many, such as “Fang” and “Feral”, have come only to come unstuck. But certainty settled last night when I went into the kitchen to prepare his dinner and lost track of that urgent, much meouwed-for task, lapsing into washing some mugs and staring out of the window while he mooched around waiting for service. My left ankle now bears witness to the sealing of our definitive decision. “Suárez” it is.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          The Poxxy Rot slag could advise the Fraudianistas on the political significance of shoving a frozen chook up your privates and performing heterosexual anal sex in a museum, and other acts of ‘art’ and ‘freedom’. Desecrating churches and painting penises on bridges and other signifiers of a yearning for proper ‘Western Moral Values’ can come later, for more advanced students.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        The Fraudian returned to the fray today with a lengthy hate spew directed at Russia. They even re-cycled one of the Poxxy Rot slags to contribute some trademark faecal effluent, reminiscent of some of their more tasteful ‘art insertions’. We are witnessing an evil Western over-class descending right into the pit of Hell, deranged with hatred, inflamed by Groupthink driven by the paranoid dread that they might be judged ‘unreliable’ and their cushy lifestyle might end if they are ever assessed as less than properly rabid in their fulminations. Vicious oligarchies, or more properly kakistocracies, like this, are vastly more dangerous as they implode under the burden of their moral and spiritual rottenness, and the centuries of depravities they have committed around the world, than they were when they marched on triumphant, through rivers of blood and gore, as they rose.

    32. Paul X says

      It’s a great question – and one that’s likely to be around for some decades. I imagine Sherlock would soon be wandering the moors – and probably end up at Porton Down. A nerve agent factory 6 miles from the scene of the crime would draw his attention. “It’s a remarkable coincidence” he would tell Watson and while he knows coincidences do happen I imagine he’d want to see the Occurences log and comings and goings at the base on the day itself. He’d soon be arrested and on release publish his shortest book ever “The Case That Never was”.

    33. Skripals and The World Cup 2018

      A certain Mr Camiknickers wanted to try and ruin Russia hosting of the 2018 World Cup. His motive being spite, caused by his abject humiliation at the hands of FIFA during the England 2010 World Cup bid. He can’t get at FIFA but he can spoil things for the winners.

      The FA used Christopher Steele of Otis Business Intelligence to compile a dossier on the Russian bid accusing them of bribery, but to no avail. Apparently bribery was widespread and the England was just as guilty as other countries, though we were the only ones not covering up our activities. Perhaps Mr Camiknickers should have gone to school in Qatar instead of at Eton?

      Cometh World Cup 2018 cometh the man, and Mr Camiknickers re-hires Otis Business Intelligence and asks them to do something to piss on the Russian’s parade.

      A colleague of Steele’s, Pablo Miller, used to be the handler for Sergei Skripal , and still meets him once a month in a Salisbury restaurant. And Col Skripal had turned from an asset into a liability, visiting the Russian Embassy regularly in an effort to persuade them to allow him home.

      There is a rumour that shorty before the poisoning there was a big military exercise on Salisbury Plain, involving Porton Down (I’ve not got a link to evidence relating to that one). However the Daily Mail reported that, following the poisoning, police removed a contaminated car from outside the officers’ quarters at Larkhill.

      Following the poisoning Theresa May and Boris Johnson jumped in with both feet. Why? Did Christopher Steele thoughtfully supply them with a dodgy dossier? And is this the mysterious evidence that the government claimed was supporting their accusation that the poisoning was done by Russia?

      Theresa May then visited Salisbury, fist bumping a member of the crowd in triumph. Hardly something you would do if three people were slowly dying from a nerve agent, but quite predictable (given her social ineptitude) if she felt that a plot she was involved in was going well.

      But the Tory government can’t hide the Skripals forever. Too many loose ends. Sergei Skripal sent £150,000 to Yulia in Russia and gave her power of attorney over it, Sergei’s 90 year old mother wants to know where he is and talk to him. The Russians want to know what has happened to two of their citizens, and the rest of the world is starting to wake up to the fact that the British government has been lying to them.

      And then we got a complete media news blackout about the Skripals. Why?

      One theory is that they died and the government can’t produce them.

      However there is another possibility. That the government have not allowed MSM to see, film or speak to the Skripals in order to wet MSM appetites. That way the sudden announcement that there is going to be a news conference will have more dramatic impact. After nearly four months of silence the Skripals will speak for the first time about their terrible ordeal.

      So could it be that the whole ridiculous plot is aimed at embarrassing the Russians shortly before World Cup 2018? By getting the Skripals to attend a news conference, at which they announce to the world that they were poisoned by the Russians using Novichok?

      Which raises another question were the Skripals willing agents or victims?

      If willing agents then they did not think through the likely consequences. Neither of them would be welcome back in Russia. the Russian football loving population would loath them, their friends and relatives would disown them, and, if they ruin England’s world cup prospects, they are not going to be welcome here either.

      Send them abroad anywhere and they would not find foreign media nearly as compliant as the UK press, plus speculation on social media is widespread. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

      So if they did agree to participate they would turn into world-wide pariahs.

      If however, they were unwilling agents (and are still alive) then they are presumably being brainwashed into parroting the Tory Government’s line. Something the UK press do effortlessly it would appear, but then they are not faced with social ignominy if they do so (though they ought to be)

      I do have links to back up most of this content which I’m planning to publish, once I’ve managed to get WordPress to forget the incorrect email address I accidentally added. In the meantime its all on the internet apart from the military exercise on Salisbury Plain, which was mentioned on a video linked to Moon of Alabama; and the evidence about Camiknickers being purely circumstantial, but details about England’s World Cup bid in 2010 and the embarrassing consequences, are freely available.

        • CNN are already booked, having invested heavily in Crisis-Casting ..


          with the White House White Helmets handing out free white coats & formulas in order to self certify all in attendance & anyone watching, for FREE ..

      • I’ve also looked into this pantomime and blogged about it several times. I have also raised a petition on Change to “Let Yulia Skripal Speak”. The petition seems to be working now and has above 1,000 signatures but it has been shadowbanned (something I knew nothing about before this petition) . Please find, sign and share. The truth of this psy-op needs to be told.

        • JudyJ says

          John, good work – petition signed. I was also directed to another petition which I’ve signed as well, entitled “Prosecute Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson for lying to the British People”. Unfortunately it only has 60 signatures to date although it has been up and running for a month so all the better if we can add more support.

        • John Marks says

          Why not get a lawyer to just issue a writ of habeas corpus?

      • Sergei transfering wealth back home and his visits to Russian embassy are circumstantial yet compelling evidence he planned to return home. This is a kidnap.

        • Paul X says

          It seems to be agreed that he wanted to visit his elderly and sick mother. Early media reports suggested he’d written to Putin asking for permission to return but “hadn’t received a reply”. Maybe Julia, who also has connections to Russian Secret Services, was bringing the answer? If he had secrets he might reveal – especially about his relationship with Christopher Steele? – then there might have been anxiety within the spook community and especially in the CIA/FBI because of the possible impact on their ‘investigation’ into Trump’s ‘collusion’ with Russia. The only information we have came in the first few hours and days of the event; an interview with the woman who was first to notice them for example. Why she wasn’t effected is unexplained. Anybody recall her name or has it been wiped from the record? There were also reports that he’d complained to Julia that she’d ‘forgotten’ the buckwheat he’d asked her to bring and she’d ‘arranged’ for a ‘friend’ to bring it to London the next day. Within days the black curtain of censorship fell across the entire media who never mentioned these intriguing stories again.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Perhaps he was a triple agent.

          • Paul X says

            Or he might be persuaded to become one in return for seeing his dying mother and maybe retiring in Russia with his family. That must have been the danger for the security services. What had he been involved with in the UK?

      • There is much about the Skripal affair that boggles the mind, but I find it extremely hard to seriously entertain the possibility that the whole thing was set up due to sour grapes over a lost World Cup bid. How insane would you have to be to go to such extreme lengths? How much insider organisation and secrecy would be required, at high risk, merely over sour grapes!?

        Sorry, but I don’t get it…

        • Paul X says

          Me neither. It sounds more as if the UK Spooks are under pressure from the CIA; the authorisation Of ex Senior Officer Steele in his anti Trump campaign obviously puts them under strain. If the old spy was involved in the dossier and now wanted to return to Russia to see his dying mother, there was a potential problem. No doubt the American Spooks were aggrieved at the Brits for getting them to this place by giving their spy home in the UK, welcoming his stolen money and using him a# they had done for years. It would become necessary to somehow remove him from any public scrutiny, to hold him incommunicado. This was the best they could come up with given the crisis of his daughter arriving. No doubt some advocated a simple shooting or road accident. But it was a great opportunity to curry favour of those US Spooks by upping the anti Rusdian fever, very helpful. The ineptness and schoolboy nature of the ‘wheeze’ hit upon is staggering. Now the Brits are left holding the baby; serve them right some say.

          • It’s the ineptness that has my attention. Is it hubristic arrogance gone mad on its own stench or panic as things slip away from their accustomed control of the narrative? A mixture of both somehow?

            • The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee is banging on about Russian billionaires laundering money through London (which is set up to launder their money!) That’s the real agenda – the Magnitsky sanctions agenda! To curb flight capital, not coming in (especially when it goes into Tory coffers) …but going out of London. We’re talking $60bn!

              BTW: the Committee is cross party and contains Ian Austin. I have no proof, but I suspect him of working with or for Bill Browder. There is a Jewish link that Browder (or MI6?) are exploiting. Austin is also a leading racist and anti-Corbyn protagonist. I smell a rat, but us Yogacarins need a bit more empiricism than that!

              • Follow the money. It’s always the money, that exquisite tool of mass control, that perfect symbiosis of carrot and stick.

                Which is why it is our understanding of value/wealth and its role in guiding society’s impulses, fears and desires that so sorely needs a radical overhaul. This would generate the different money types you mentioned a few days ago, which cannot come to be prior to said overhaul. But to overhaul our understanding of value/wealth needs much more of that Yogacarin spirit of inquiry, which requires effective communication of said spirit, which requires living it demonstrably.

                In short, you get my vote!

              • John Marks says

                Has parliament been allowed to see the film “The Magnitsky Act” yet?
                So far, Browder has prevented the EU parliament from seeing it.

                • It seems that there is a global ban on that documentary – I haven’t yet found it online anywhere.

                  • This is where I think our elites are irresponsible: as admirable as Nekrasov’s film is, it’s not the only source of information on Browder. Or even Krainer’s equally admirable book.You literally would have to go out of your way not to find the alternative POV. Listening to Browder, especially when he was deposed for testimony, is enough to debunk Browder …he can’t even remember his own lies! There is a much deeper intelligence services play going on, of which Browder is the visible manifestation. God only knows why Labour are pushing his agenda. Keep an eye on Tom Tuggendhat (Con – chairman of the committee) …he seems “connected” too.

    34. Skripal said to be out today (Royal Wedding day!!!) I need proof…they might be dead, after all and Russia is certainly justified to demand to have sight of them in conditions where they can be assured of their freedom and choices.

    35. Hertog Jan says

      Truth is only one aspect of reality, and not the most important.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        In the ‘Free World’ the truth is a statistical accident, a chance aberration.

    36. And always the most important question: Cui bono?
      Did it serve Russia trying with China to push the Eurasian Cooperation? Would it have served Russia trying to get out of the snaction Regime? Would it have served Russia´s efforts to bring Nordstream 2 about? Would it have served the Russian effort to make World Championship a big Event? None of this! So the official narrative is bulllsh…!
      See also:
      Pentecost regards

    37. One is reminded of the war criminal George W. Bush at a tuxedoed event of multi-gazillionaires – while the Iraq War was ongoing – arrogantly joking about “Those weapons of mass destruction … they gotta be here somewhere … Nope, not here … Hehehe!”. And the crowd found it so, so amusing, as innocent Iraqis were being killed, maimed and made refugees.

      Given the sad state of affairs today, one wouldn’t be surprised to see Theresa May at a similar tuxedoed event of bazillionaires where she cracks psychotic jokes over the Skripal false flag: “Has anyone seen where I left the Skripals? … They gotta be here somewhere … Nope, not under here … Hehehe!” Cue the upper crust laughter and satisfaction …

      • bevin says

        “..at a tuxedoed event of multi-gazillionaires ”
        I think it was the White House Correspondents’ Annual Dinner.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Then it was the ‘multi-gazillionaires” paid liars, reality-twisters and truth-killers.

      • John Marks says

        I’d like to see a Private Eye front cover with Mrs May opening the door of No. 10 to two policemen:
        1st policeman: “We have reason to believe . . .”
        2nd policeman: “Anything you say . . .
        May be . . .

    38. Oh well, given nobody’s said it yet, lol ..

      “Elementary Watson ..”

      Let’s ask IBM’s Watson for all calculable permutations ..
      What are the ‘odds’ given the criteria, listed above !
      Pretty binary innit’ !?

    39. As Sherlock Holmes is an entirely fictional character presuming what he would make of the official government theory on what happened is eminently appropriate. Well done !

      • John Marks says

        For those aficionados of Sherlock Holmes among you, here is the latest reckoning in the Skripal case of likeliest suspect(s) according to Holmes’s classic “motive, means and opportunity”:

        The Clinton Mob wanted some dirt on Trump to ‘swing’ the American election.
        Via the CIA, they approached MI6 who referred them to Christopher Steele (ex-MI6 Russia desk) and now running Orbis, a ‘black ops’ private “security” firm.
        Steele asked an old MI6 contact, Paul Miller, for assistance.
        Miller was Sergei Skripal’s MI6 ‘minder’. He instructed Skripal to compile a “suitable” dossier for the purpose.
        Steele sold the dossier to Glenn Simpson of the Clinton Mob for a large, undisclosed sum.
        Upon hearing of Steele’s profits, Skripal demanded a slice of the action . . .

        • Paul X says

          I think it’s more likely he really did want to go home to see his mother before she died and the danger was he’d crack a deal with his old comrades and spill the Steele beans. It’s not to be forgotten the Steele dossier was an MI6/UK interference in the American election on behalf of the Democrat’s Deep State. They must be a bit nervous about that!

    40. Luke Harding is so used to repeating the establishment lies I doubt he would recognise truth and facts if they slapped him in the face. Any utterance by him is not worth the air he exhales in doing so and certainly not worthy of paper and ink.

      • reinertorheit says

        Luke is not only a repeater, but a plagiarist – he repeats the work of others under his own name. As he did while here in Moscow, when he regularly stole pieces from The eXile

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