UKC

/ Corbyn criticised by his own party

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Jim 1003 - on 14 Mar 2018

from the Guardian

Labour’s Yvette Cooper says that what Russia did must be met with “unequivocal condemnation”. That generates loud cheering from MPs, who take it is a dig at Corbyn.

May welcomes Cooper’s comment and says she knows that Cooper’s views are shared by many Labour MPs.

Updated at 1.35pm GMT

1h ago13:02

May criticises Corbyn for his decision not to condemn the Russian state

May is responding to Corbyn.

She says she is glad there is consensus in the Commons.

But that consensus does not extend to Corbyn, she says. She says he could have taken the opportunity to condemn the Russian state, but did not.

It is clear from the conversations I have had with allies that we have a consensus with our allies, it was clear from the remarks that were made by backbenchers across the whole of this House on Monday that there is a consensus across the backbenches of this House. 

I am only sorry that the consensus does not go as far as the right honourable gentleman who could have taken the opportunity - as the UK government has done - to condemn the culpability of the Russian state.

  • May criticises Corbyn for his decision not to condemn the Russian state.
Post edited at 14:07
26
MonkeyPuzzle - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

12.53 - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - the leader of the UK's opposition - says the UK's response to Russia must be guided by the rule of law, support for international agreements and respect for human rights.

"Our response must be decisive and proportionate and based on clear evidence," he says.

 

The man's clearly a monster.

5
Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
1
Ex Poster 666 on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Pathetic Party point scoring.

> to condemn the culpability of the Russian state.

Has it been proved beyond any doubt whatsoever it was the Ruskies yet?

5
The New NickB - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Ironically you appear to be follower of Lenin “A lie told often enough becomes the truth”.

Post edited at 14:47
2
elsewhere on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Pathetic Party point scoring.

> Has it been proved beyond any doubt whatsoever it was the Ruskies yet?

Not even a criminal conviction is beyond any doubt whatsoever. Do you mean beyond reasonable doubt?

1
Andy Hardy on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Can you point to that squirrel again, I missed it.

Thanks

;-)

1
Dax H - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> "Our response must be decisive and proportionate and based on clear evidence," he says.

> The man's clearly a monster.

Clear evidence!!!! You can't let such a trivial thing get in the way of a good knee jerk reaction and witch hunt. 

That said it probably is the ruskies but I doubt we will ever be able to prove it. 

1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

While I think that in all likelihood, it was a Russian state-sanctioned attack, it does seem awfully convenient for May to jump immediately to this conclusion. She's been able to look strong, grab some positive headlines, drive a wedge through Labour and distract from her government's disastrous track record on basically everything.

Why the ludicrous 24 hour ultimatum issued yesterday, rather than the 10 day deadline imposed by the OPCW?

Where is the evidence of who was behind it? What is the identity of the would-be assassin? The fact that the poison has been developed by Russia and that they have the motive and capability to carry out the attack is nowhere near evidence that they are guilty.

Currently, the government line seems to be that it was definitely Putin because trust us and ask no questions. Corbyn is right to question that.

Post edited at 16:40
7
Pete Dangerous - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

..plus Russian elections coming up and the UK were quite vocal about the dodgy scenario in which Russia and Qatar won the World Cups.

1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Corbyn:

> We have a duty to speak out against the abuse of human rights by the Putin government and their supporters, both at home and abroad, and I join many others in this house in paying tribute to the many campaigners in Russia for human rights, justice and democracy in that country.

> Has the prime minister taken the necessary steps under the chemical weapons convention to make a formal request for evidence from the Russian government under article IX(2)? How has she responded to the Russian government’s request for a sample of the agent used in the Salisbury attack to run their own tests? Has high-resolution trace analysis been run on a sample of the nerve agent, and has that revealed any evidence as to the location of its production or the identity of its perpetrators?

 

Post edited at 16:42
1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-03-14/debates/071C37BB-DF8F-4836-88CA-66AB74369BC1/SalisburyIncidentFurtherUpdate

It's all here for everyone to read. I struggle to see which part of Corbyn's statement was in any way unreasonable, although I'm open to people pointing out which aspects they take offence at.

2
Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

Thanks for the Hansard link. Having read all of JC's bit I agree with your assessment.

1
MonkeyPuzzle - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Dax H:

Unfortunately, as much as his response wasn't incorrect, he should know by now not to gift wrap ready-made attacks for his critics by being so bloody Corbyn-y. If he could squeeze in a disingenuous grandstanding soundbite and *then* do his boring, nuancey bit he'd save himself and his party a lot of grief.

2
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

It's his unwillingness to confront Russia that is the problem.  Any political response has to be quick and decisive or we are basically playing their game of sowing doubt and division and allowing this sort of act to be normalised.

3
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
ripper - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Seems to me May's just trying to wrap herself in the flag to distract the public from other problems. Almost like she sees this as her Falklands War moment.

7
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to ripper:

> Seems to me May's just trying to wrap herself in the flag to distract the public from other problems. Almost like she sees this as her Falklands War moment.

Or perhaps Corbyn isn't sure which flag he wants to be draped in. It's taken him a couple of years to just about pin his brexit/remainer colours to the mast. Might be another decade before he can decide if he is for or against Putin's methods of maintaining a firm grip on his country. 

Post edited at 17:29
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Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Or perhaps Corbyn isn't sure which flag he wants to be draped in. It's taken him a couple of years to just about pin his brexit/remainer colours to the mast. Might be another decade before he can decide if he is for or against Putin's methods of maintaining a firm grip on his country. 

Corbyn:

> "We have a duty to speak out against the abuse of human rights by the Putin government and their supporters, both at home and abroad, and I join many others in this house in paying tribute to the many campaigners in Russia for human rights, justice and democracy in that country."

(Posted previously in this thread)

2
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

So as the aspirant UK prime minister, why doesn't he grow some now? I bet the voters of Salisbury would love to hear his views right now.

That quote above was probably to do with people be locked up in Russia and isn't in any way connected with his reaction to nerve agent being used in UK now.  

Post edited at 17:36
10
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

So you would prefer him to wave his fist and point the finger at Putin before waiting for the presentation of evidence directly linking the attack to the Russian state?

1
Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

Go and read Hansard then come back with an actual in context quote that backs up your point.

2
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> So you would prefer him to wave his fist and point the finger at Putin before waiting for the presentation of evidence directly linking the attack to the Russian state?

Evidence. I will make the presumption that the government is being fed a lot more information than goes public. Corbyn as leader of the opposition and on privy council will have greater access than a normal mp.

Do you really think any governent would issue threats to Russia without knowing more than it is letting on publically? 

7
Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Do you really think any goverment would issue threats to Russia without knowing more than it is letting on publically? 

Yes, this one certainly would, especially to try and bury the fact that they have received £3 million from Russian sources since 2010.

 

12
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Go and read Hansard then come back with an actual in context quote that backs up your point.

He dodges as usual, he condemns the action, but not the perpetrators. 

6
Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

As you point out he is a Privy Councillor so would have knowledge of definitive proof of Russian Govt involvement. The PM has not said they have proof.

Knee jerk reaction to show she is strong and stable.

I would be 99.9% certain that someone high up in Putin's govt ordered the attack but go through the proper channels instead of populist bluster - which is exactly what JC says according to Hansard.

3
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

The thing is Putin will clearly have arranged things so there will never be definitive proof. What do you do? Nothing? Or accept the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, not just here but in previous cases?

2
Ex Poster 666 on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Evidence. I will make the presumption that the government is being fed a lot more information than goes public. Corbyn as leader of the opposition and on privy council will have greater access than a normal mp.

> Do you really think any governent would issue threats to Russia without knowing more than it is letting on publically? 

Evidence? What, like the 'facts' about Iraqi WMDs and 45 minute warnings to get under our kitchen tables or under the stairs before we get nuked to oblivion?

That kind of evidence?

 

And what an utter shitfest that turned out to be.  Dangerous games, dangerous games.

Post edited at 18:26
Trangia on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Dax H:

 

> That said it probably is the ruskies but I doubt we will ever be able to prove it. 

Depends on what you consider to be "proof"

Sometimes circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming that there can be no other explanation unless you believe in fairies (or should that be hob goblins?)

Weapons grade nerve agent, manufactured in the Cold War by the Russians, and now internationally banned. TM gave two possibilities to the House yesterday a) Deliberate act of aggression on British soil authorised by the Kremlin (clearly unacceptable), or b) The Kremlin has lost control of the agent and allowed it fall into a third party's hands (clearly unacceptable).

What other possibilities do you think there could be?

 

Graeme Alderson on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

I agree with you that it will never be traced back to Putin. What do you do? No idea, I organise climbing stuff for a living. I would prefer to leave international diplomacy to those who are meant to understand such things, I don't think that Johnson or May do understand. I am sure that there will be some tit for tat expulsions but then little more meaningful will happen - bluster from May. She will never push for Magnitsky type sanctions as that would cut off Tory funds

1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Evidence. I will make the presumption that the government is being fed a lot more information than goes public. Corbyn as leader of the opposition and on privy council will have greater access than a normal mp.

True on your first point, and I'm not arguing that we, the public should see all the evidence.

> Do you really think any governent would issue threats to Russia without knowing more than it is letting on publically? 

Yes.

For one, I don't trust this government. They're already pursuing a reckless and dangerous change of our constitution and relationship with our closest neighbours in spite of all available evidence. Making unequivocal accusations has played very well for the PM today, and could be an attempt to deflect from incompetence in pursuing the aforementioned policy.

Second, they could be banking on Russophobia in the international community and assuming that hard evidence does turn up pending further inquiry.

Finally, I've read the Hansard minutes and what she says isn't actually very unequivocal at all. The word "evidence" is used only once, and not in relation to this incident. We do get the phrase "highly likely" though. But what is May's reasoning for rejecting the possibility that the Russian government lost control of the agent? The Russian response to her own arbitrary 24 hour ultimatum to them - arbitrary, that is, unless she had anything to gain by issuing such demands.

So she asserts that there is "no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable". I accept that Putin (or his associates) doubtless have the capability and the motive to carry out this attack. That's not evidence and certainly not proof. It seems to me that there could be numerous other entities with the motivation and the capability, and therefore until evidence is presented, alternative conclusions do indeed exist.

6
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The thing is Putin will clearly have arranged things so there will never be definitive proof. What do you do? Nothing? Or accept the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, not just here but in previous cases?

I agree there will never be definitive proof. However, it doesn't seem like the circumstantial evidence is exactly overwhelming. There's been no suggestion that the would-be assassin has been identified, or that we know for certain where the nerve agent was produced.

3
Eric9Points - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

Neither you nor I have the faintest idea what the police and MI5 have told the government and we won't find out for some time to come.

Criminal evidence is kept secret in case a prosecution comes out of the enquiry. Intelligence stays secret for obvious reasons.

Regarding the conspiracy theories going around. Does anyone seriously, for one minute, think that the Prime Minister could or would secretly organize the murder of an ex spy so they could manufacture a fight with Russia just so she could deflect attention away from .. ummm, errr, well other stuff? Wouldn't it be less risky to privatize something or invite Donald Trump for a game of golf or something?

 

Stuart en Écosse - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The thing is Putin will clearly have arranged things so there will never be definitive proof. What do you do? Nothing? Or accept the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, not just here but in previous cases?

The stakes are too high for circumstantial evidence, and I don't consider it overwhelming, on the basis that there is general Westminster and media hysteria about it; generally an indicator of an agenda.

Not sure if this has been linked to elsewhere:
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-indeed-another-iraqi-wmd-scam/

1
Ciro - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> However, it doesn't seem like the circumstantial evidence is exactly overwhelming. There's been no suggestion that the would-be assassin has been identified, or that we know for certain where the nerve agent was produced.

Ach, never mind that, let's just ignore international law and start a diplomatic war with a nuclear superpower anyway... what could possibly go wrong?

 

3
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Neither you nor I have the faintest idea what the police and MI5 have told the government and we won't find out for some time to come.

> Criminal evidence is kept secret in case a prosecution comes out of the enquiry. Intelligence stays secret for obvious reasons.

I already said before that I don't think the government should release all information to the public. I'm instead pointing out that May's statement doesn't fill me with any confidence that they have strong evidence to point the finger of blame.

> Regarding the conspiracy theories going around. Does anyone seriously, for one minute, think that the Prime Minister could or would secretly organize the murder of an ex spy so they could manufacture a fight with Russia just so she could deflect attention away from .. ummm, errr, well other stuff? Wouldn't it be less risky to privatize something or invite Donald Trump for a game of golf or something?
 
No, and I didn't suggest or even imagine this as a possibility. I just said that there are alternative conclusions. I already said higher up in the thread that I believe it's linked to Putin at least indirectly, if not as a direct order.
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:

So do nothing?

Regarding evidence, it's not sensible to look at this is isolation, I think

MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Ciro:

It strikes me we have been measured so far. Expelling diplomats is a small response, really.

Post edited at 19:29
Trangia on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:

> The stakes are too high for circumstantial evidence,

 

The stakes are far too high for us to go on giving in to increasing Russian arrogance and disregard to the sovereignty of other nations. Russia is an ever increasing threat to world peace, and when dealing with the Kremlin never has the saying "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile" been so true.

As I've said in another thread appeasement doesn't work with bullies. 

 

summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

>  the public should see all the evidence.

Why? Do you have a cunning plan?

> For one, I don't trust this government. 

Do trust Labour more? Remember wmd and 30mins....  ?

7
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> , or that we know for certain where the nerve agent was produced.

There were people on an r4 science programme days ago saying that if you have a sample, you can work out exactly where and who made it. The production of the chemical isn't so precise or clean, you get traces of other compounds in it, a kind of residue of the production process. Depending on the lab and the process, these compounds vary and are unavoidable. 

summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Evidence? What, like the 'facts' about Iraqi WMDs and 45 minute warnings to get under our kitchen tables or under the stairs before we get nuked to oblivion?

The security services never said that though. It was doctored by politicians to suit an agenda, you really think TM has an agenda with Russia?

 

1
captain paranoia - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> The production of the chemical isn't so precise or clean, you get traces of other compounds in it, a kind of residue of the production process. Depending on the lab and the process, these compounds vary and are unavoidable.

If you have prior access to samples of material from those production facilities...

If you have no such samples, you have no means of identifying any such chemical fingerprints.

Do we think it is likely that Porton Down have access to real samples? Or do we simply know the intended chemical composition from the leaked information by the defected chemist who developed it?

1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> There were people on an r4 science programme days ago saying that if you have a sample, you can work out exactly where and who made it. The production of the chemical isn't so precise or clean, you get traces of other compounds in it, a kind of residue of the production process. Depending on the lab and the process, these compounds vary and are unavoidable. 

Then why haven't the government said that we know beyond reasonable doubt the agent was produced in Russia?

1
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> The security services never said that though. It was doctored by politicians to suit an agenda, you really think TM has an agenda with Russia?

There's a very simple agenda - poisoning of a Russian defector on British soil, which clearly looks like a Russian state action. A desperately weak PM of an increasingly isolated nation needing to assert herself domestically and internationally. An opportunity to put 2 and 2 together presents itself...

11
Trevers - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Do trust Labour more? Remember wmd and 30mins....  ?

So Labour's false pretences for war 15 years ago should convince me that the Tories are trustworthy today? What?

1
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

You are well into tin hat territory.

2
Ian W - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> So Labour's false pretences for war 15 years ago should convince me that the Tories are trustworthy today? What?


Also dont forget that the Iraq invasion was fully supported by the tories at the time. It wasnt Labours evidence, it was the USA's evidence presented to the UK.

1
pec on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

This is possibly the most serious attack on British soil since the end of WWII, the use of a banned WMD and a serious breach of international law. It is also almost inconceivable that it was done without the backing of Russia.

None of this has come about as a result of any particular failure of Tory party policy, it is part of Putin's wider strategy of Russian resurgence. It is essentially a non party political issue, it could have happened on anyone's watch.

At times such as these, when the Prime Minister is required to make a statement to the house, he or she needs to put on a sober and statesmanlike performance and whatever her failings, Theresa May rose to the occasion.

We also need to show solidarity in the face of such aggression and to that end we have have received support from around the world as a display of unity against a serious war criminal with a track record of flouting international law and conventions.

MPs from across all parties understand this, except unfortunately Corbyn and his close associates. All he can do is use it as an opportunity to score a few cheap political points that serve no purpose other than to embolden Putin whom he cannot bring himself to criticise despite this being only the latest in a long line of atrocities and other crimes at home and abroad.

Now Russian money in London and party political funding are certainly genuine issues to be addressed but there is a time and a place to discuss them but it is most definitely not in response to the PM's statement to the house.

Not for the first time Corbyn was so staggeringly wide of the mark of what is required it is hard to believe how a man who has spent so long in politics seems that he is still trapped in a sixth form politician time warp.

Whatever his appeal, at times he can be an embarrassment and a liability both to his party and country and it is to their credit that so many on his own side have spoken up to condemn his response and distance themselves from him.

From this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-russia-spy-poisoning-response-mps-furious-sailsbury-sergei-skripal-a8255731.html

A number of Labour MPs also made thinly-disguised attacks on their party leader.

Pat McFadden said: “Responding with strength and resolve when your country is under threat is an essential component of political leadership.

“There is a Labour tradition that understands that and it has been understood by prime ministers of all parties who have stood at that dispatch box."

John Woodcock, a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn, said of the Prime Minister’s statement: “A clear majority of Labour MPs, along with the leaders of every other party, support the firm stance she is taking.”

In a thinly-veiled swipe at her party leader, Yvette Cooper, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said Russia’s actions "must be met with unequivocal condemnation".

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, gave their full backing to the Prime Minister.

 

Post edited at 21:23
4
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

I'm not sure if I should be shocked, amazed or baffled at the conspiracies you are trying to imagine, to explain away the likely actions of an ex kgb agent, now insitu dictator of a former communist state, by suggesting that an elected mp is ordering people in the UK to be killed by nerve agent, in public, to shore up her weak position. 

 

1
summo on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

Would agree, the fact that all mps are standing united is terrible. They aren't discussing some internal UK domestic policy. 

pec on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> There's a very simple agenda - poisoning of a Russian defector on British soil, which clearly looks like a Russian state action. A desperately weak PM of an increasingly isolated nation needing to assert herself domestically and internationally. An opportunity to put 2 and 2 together presents itself...

If you actually believe that crap you are deluded to the point of insanity. You have long since established yourself to be a zealot incapable of seeing beyond your narrow blinkered view of politics but that conspiricy is orders of magnitude higher.

1
Mr Lopez - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

> If you actually believe that crap you are deluded to the point of insanity. You have long since established yourself to be a zealot incapable of seeing beyond your narrow blinkered view of politics but that conspiricy is orders of magnitude higher.

 

Says the guy who started his long winded post with "This is possibly the most serious attack on British soil since the end of WWII," Ha, ha

9
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> Says the guy who started his long winded post with "This is possibly the most serious attack on British soil since the end of WWII," Ha, ha

If we are talking other states what, out of interest, tops it do you think?

1
MonkeyPuzzle - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

I dunno, is this worse or less bad than the Falklands?

1
pec on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> Says the guy who started his long winded post with "This is possibly the most serious attack on British soil since the end of WWII," Ha, ha


Sorry, what point are you trying to make? You are making no sense.

Jim 1003 - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

> This is possibly the most serious attack on British soil since the end of WWII, the use of a banned WMD and a serious breach of international law. It is also almost inconceivable that it was done without the backing of Russia.

> None of this has come about as a result of any particular failure of Tory party policy, it is part of Putin's wider strategy of Russian resurgence. It is essentially a non party political issue, it could have happened on anyone's watch.

> At times such as these, when the Prime Minister is required to make a statement to the house, he or she needs to put on a sober and statesmanlike performance and whatever her failings, Theresa May rose to the occasion.

> We also need to show solidarity in the face of such aggression and to that end we have have received support from around the world as a display of unity against a serious war criminal with a track record of flouting international law and conventions.

> MPs from across all parties understand this, except unfortunately Corbyn and his close associates. All he can do is use it as an opportunity to score a few cheap political points that serve no purpose other than to embolden Putin whom he cannot bring himself to criticise despite this being only the latest in a long line of atrocities and other crimes at home and abroad.

> Now Russian money in London and party political funding are certainly genuine issues to be addressed but there is a time and a place to discuss them but it is most definitely not in response to the PM's statement to the house.

> Not for the first time Corbyn was so staggeringly wide of the mark of what is required it is hard to believe how a man who has spent so long in politics seems that he is still trapped in a sixth form politician time warp.

> Whatever his appeal, at times he can be an embarrassment and a liability both to his party and country and it is to their credit that so many on his own side have spoken up to condemn his response and distance themselves from him.

> From this:

> A number of Labour MPs also made thinly-disguised attacks on their party leader.

> Pat McFadden said: “Responding with strength and resolve when your country is under threat is an essential component of political leadership.

> “There is a Labour tradition that understands that and it has been understood by prime ministers of all parties who have stood at that dispatch box."

> John Woodcock, a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn, said of the Prime Minister’s statement: “A clear majority of Labour MPs, along with the leaders of every other party, support the firm stance she is taking.”

> In a thinly-veiled swipe at her party leader, Yvette Cooper, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said Russia’s actions "must be met with unequivocal condemnation".

> Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, gave their full backing to the Prime Minister.

Excellent post, Corbyn is a disgrace and the Putin apologists here are also a disgrace. This is, at least, the second time Russia has done this here, in the last case there was a proper enquiry establishing who was responsible, Putin, and this is very similar, you can't get Novichok in Sainburys.

I don't know why Corbyn doesn't bugger off to Russia or Ireland, along with Abbot.

9
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

The Falklands aren’t in Britain!

MonkeyPuzzle - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

Well spotted. British soil though, was what pec wrote.

2
MG - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Ambiguous on the point then!

1
aln - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

>> At times such as these, when the Prime Minister is required to make a statement to the house, he or she needs to put on a sober and statesmanlike performance and whatever her failings, Theresa May rose to the occasion.

Performance lol

4
birdie num num - on 14 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

It's about time that Corbyn was criticised by his own party again, it wasn't that long ago that one of them might have liquidated him by slipping a bit of nerve agent into his mushroom stroganoff.

Nobody in the party really likes him and he's only there because of a bit of rent a mob support from the unions, and only tolerated because of a bit of popular appeal based on the perceived mass dislike of austerity. His stock in trade is fence sitting and voicing the popular domestic protest. He's not a monster, but neither is he a credible leader. He's just a bit beige, boring and backward thinking.

3
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

Sorry, perhaps I didn't phrase what I said very well. What I'm trying to say is that the PM is making political capital out of this attack by making accusations before the evidence has been fully gathered. I am not suggesting she ordered a false flag attack.

1
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Just to reiterate myself because perhaps what I wrote wasn't clear - I don't believe May ordered a false flag hit on Skripal, nor was I even trying to speculate about that. I believe Russia is behind it but I don't believe that's yet beyond reasonable doubt and I think May is making political capital of this.

2
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

But thanks for the attack on my character anyway.

1
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> Just to reiterate myself because perhaps what I wrote wasn't clear - I don't believe May ordered a false flag hit on Skripal, nor was I even trying to speculate about that. I believe Russia is behind it but I don't believe that's yet beyond reasonable doubt and I think May is making political capital of this.

And to anyone who is in any doubt about my position, read my comments in order from the start of the thread.

1
neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

No disrespect. But the fact that the incident has clearly affected people outside Skirpal is the shocking part. 

Basically whatever spin you put on it , it’s a chemical warfare incident on uk soil, with the chemical coming from Russia. 

Lets not beat about the bush on this. 

Jim 1003 - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to birdie num num:

Quite right, and the fact Russia is keeping/producing  these nerve agents is extremely worrying, and that in itself deserves the severest of criticism.

mypyrex - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> No disrespect. But the fact that the incident has clearly affected people outside Skirpal is the shocking part. 

> Basically whatever spin you put on it , it’s a chemical warfare incident on uk soil, with the chemical coming from Russia. 

> Lets not beat about the bush on this. 


Indeed.

I cannot help but think that, perhaps ironically, the current tensions between nations makes the world a far more dangerous place than it was during the Cold War.

Britain's severely depleted defence resources along with the attitude of appeasement adopted by Corbyn projects this country as some sort of weak link and suggests to Putin that he can do what he likes with impunity.

summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Interesting times. Communism is shrivelling, China is half capitalist, Cuba is changing, the Olympics and sanctions has changed something in NK... Putin's allies are weakening and changing. The beginning of the end of communism.?

elsewhere on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Appeasers , traitors, betrayal, remoaners, dumb brixiteers - all in accordance with the Putin song sheet to sow division.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/russia-trolls-senate-intelligence-committee-hearing-2017-11

 

Post edited at 09:18
1
elsewhere on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> China is half capitalist, 

The party's grip on China Is unchanged.

> Cuba is changing, 

hopefully

> the Olympics and sanctions has changed something in NK...

You're joking?

> Putin's allies are weakening and changing.

Where? I'm pessimistic, he's getting stronger. Europe and US are more divided - his opponents are weakening. 

>The beginning of the end of communism.?

Where? That was at least 40 years ago in Europe. No later than 1980 & era of Lech Walesa for a beginning, 1989 for an effective completion  in most of Europe.

 

Post edited at 09:53
1
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> Weapons grade nerve agent, manufactured in the Cold War by the Russians, and now internationally banned. TM gave two possibilities to the House yesterday a) Deliberate act of aggression on British soil authorised by the Kremlin (clearly unacceptable), or b) The Kremlin has lost control of the agent and allowed it fall into a third party's hands (clearly unacceptable).

> What other possibilities do you think there could be?

One further obvious if unlikely seeming possibility is that given we're claiming to have definitively identified a top secret material and it's source, material that has apparently never been seen or used in the wild we have to assume we're doing so on the basis of information stolen from the Soviet development program at some point since. If we managed to do that we could assume others did too, we weren't the only nation trying to infiltrate the Soviet Union. If you can understand how it was made with suitable equipment you can make it. Claims of 'sophistication' are in this case unconvincing, a state capable of stealing the 'recipe' likely has access to that equipment and expertise. Who benefits from heightened tension between Russia and the UK or from the fallout of those tensions, and are they above playing these games?

There's certainly an easy 'Putin done it' narrative available but I'm not sure Occam's razor is an especially useful tool in the espionage/counter-espionage world. That's not to exclude the simplest solution, it's just to acknowledge we're looking at an unfamiliar a world where things are not always what they seem.

As leader of the opposition taking the first steps to backing a beleaguered incompetent government on a road that can if mishandled ultimately lead to nuclear war: I'd want to be very well convinced I wasn't being deliberately or unwittingly played by actors at any level in the conspiracy down to and including myself. I doubt that level of certainty is ever a luxury realistically available in situations like this but a degree of circumspection and a demand for due process is appropriate and easily mislabelled naive or unpatriotic.

jk

Post edited at 09:58
3
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> The party's grip on China Is unchanged.

But it's outlook is very different. It is likely Chinese pressure brought NK nearer talks etc.. 

If a modern non state sponsored candidate was allowed to run in Russia, Putin would be out of a job in a instant. I think he is all that stands between Russia and it's next stage out of communism, he knows it too.

2
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

>  the public should see all the evidence.

> Why? Do you have a cunning plan?

That is a proper dick move: snipping 'I am not arguing' from the sentence to diametrically change its meaning before attacking Trevers for it. Shame.

jk

Post edited at 09:59
2
Jim 1003 - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> One further obvious if unlikely seeming possibility is that given we're claiming to have definitively identified a top secret material and it's source, material that has apparently never been seen or used in the wild we have to assume we're doing so on the basis of information stolen from the Soviet development program at some point since. If we managed to do that we could assume others did too, we weren't the only nation trying to infiltrate the Soviet Union.

> jk

Just dream that one up did you? It's been analysed at Porton Down, and the result is it's a Russian nerve agent, a chemical weapon. You do post tripe....have you forgotten about Litvenenko already? There was a proper judicial enquiry into that one. Anyway, the thread is about Jeremy being unable to condemn our enemies once again...I see you have the same difficulty.

Post edited at 10:09
5
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

"As leader of the opposition taking the first steps to backing a beleaguered incompetent government on a road that can if mishandled ultimately lead to nuclear war: I'd want to be very well convinced I wasn't being deliberately or unwittingly played by actors at any level in the conspiracy down to and including myself."

Firstly, I think you give Corbyn way to much credit here. If anyone is susceptible to being played by actors against the British State, my money would be on Corbyn . 

Secondly, what has "beleaguered incompetent government" got to do with this situation other than to show your own disdain for the current lot? Are you saying that it's ok in your mind to distance yourself from the govt on this nerve agent poisoning because they are making a dogs dinner on austerity and Brexit? If not, why say it?

2
krikoman - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> It's his unwillingness to confront Russia that is the problem.  Any political response has to be quick and decisive or we are basically playing their game of sowing doubt and division and allowing this sort of act to be normalised.


And what about some evidence, or God forbid, following UN protocols!!

We've seen all this quick and decisive, in Iraq and Libya, both shining examples of what can really be achieved if we put our mind to it.

1
neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Of course the Russians could have reacted in a different way. They could just as easily have said- this is not good- it does not look good for Russia- and played a more serious game. A few years ago before Crimea/ Ukraine - this is what they would have done.

This is what is so frustrating on the part of Western countries.

Also a dawning realisation that we have run down our Russian resources in the west , and the goal posts have substantially moved.

I speak from experience. Until Ukraine/ Crimea I found Russia incredibly open to deal with( 30% of my business was there). The sea of change is unbelievable and I am incredibly wary of doing anything there now.

The naievity on the part of the West is unreal.

Oh and when Russian I know say to me make sure you keep your nuclear weapons to keep Putin at bay-- I get the message.

 

 

 

Post edited at 10:13
MargieB - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Yes, there is a tendency for Corbyn to sit on the fence which seems inappropriate in this case. It qualifies too much his other good aspects like his recommendation to hit the Oligarchs in the UK and his statement that the PM will as PM be privy to information an opposition leader is not privy too. The count alone of state sponsored deaths is high enough to suggest a pattern of behavior.

Post edited at 10:15
1
neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

....... the nerve agent has been found and identified  in Salisbury......

Different ball games to WMD in Iraq where it was all intelligence led etc etc

MG - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> And what about some evidence, or God forbid, following UN protocols!!

We expel diplomats as we wish.  

When would you act?  Would you go on doing nothing? There is never going to be a direct evidence.  It will always be circumstantial.   Given the previous assassinations, I would say overwhelming in this case.

> We've seen all this quick and decisive, in Iraq and Libya, both shining examples of what can really be achieved if we put our mind to it.

I don't see any parallels with those (I agree disastrous) events.  They weren't done quickly, or decisively.  They weren't a response to an attack.  Our response here isn't violent.  It could, if somehow this is all a mistake, be reversed.

 

Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> >  the public should see all the evidence.

> That is a proper dick move: snipping 'I am not arguing' from the sentence to diametrically change its meaning before attacking Trevers for it. Shame.

> jk

Thanks for the support I feel a feel people on this thread owe me something of an apology.

Post edited at 10:26
2
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Firstly, I think you give Corbyn way to much credit here. If anyone is susceptible to being played by actors against the British State, my money would be on Corbyn . 

An opinion you're entitled to.

> Secondly, what has "beleaguered incompetent government" got to do with this situation other than to show your own disdain for the current lot? Are you saying that it's ok in your mind to distance yourself from the govt on this nerve agent poisoning because they are making a dogs dinner on austerity and Brexit? If not, why say it?

Beleaguered: I'm implying in their fragile state they have motive to make populist rather than nuanced/measured policy choices. Electorates rally behind even unpopular governments when they feel there is a serious external threat.

Incompetent: I'm implying based on the evidence of their their mismanagement and division to date mistakes could spiral out of control. With reservations I have some respect for May but below her we're really not being lead by the brightest and best of their generation, it's a government cobbled together to keep the brexit clown car on the road, it's barely fit for that.

jk

3
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> ....... the nerve agent has been found and identified  in Salisbury......

> Different ball games to WMD in Iraq where it was all intelligence led etc etc

Except at the moment the identification appears to be on the strength of information gathered through intelligence so not that radically different.

Don't get me wrong, with the limited information and intellect I have available I am inclined toward the simplest explanation but despite the protestations of some on here others do exist and I expect those ultimately responsible for making decisions potentially with extremely serious repercussions to be thorough and impartial. I have concerns this government is not entirely motivated to be. The opposition's job is to keep the government honest, to hold them to account and that isn't always going to be popular.

jk

2
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

"Beleaguered: I'm implying in their fragile state they have motive to make populist rather than nuanced/measured policy choices. Electorates rally behind even unpopular governments when they feel there is a serious external threat."

So you think the govt's response has been populist? An opinion you are entitled to ;-) Also odd that Corbyn hasn't realised that electorates rally behind politicians when they feel there is a serious external threat. An own goal? clearly he can do no wrong to some on this thread, but it seems plenty in the house think he's made an error on this. 

 

jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> So you think the govt's response has been populist? An opinion you are entitled to ;-)

I don't think the response is complete, I think there will be significant escalation before this situation hopefully stabilises.

> Also odd that Corbyn hasn't realised that electorates rally behind politicians when they feel there is a serious external threat. An own goal?

Governments, I said electorates rally behind governments in the face of external threat.

> ...clearly he can do no wrong to some on this thread, but it seems plenty in the house think he's made an error on this. 

If you think I'm someone who believes Corbyn infallible you're labouring under a misapprehension.

jk

2
FactorXXX - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Don't get me wrong, with the limited information and intellect I have available I am inclined toward the simplest explanation but despite the protestations of some on here others do exist and I expect those ultimately responsible for making decisions potentially with extremely serious repercussions to be thorough and impartial. I have concerns this government is not entirely motivated to be. The opposition's job is to keep the government honest, to hold them to account and that isn't always going to be popular.

There's always the possibility that Corbyn is using this for his own political aims/ideology too.
Whoops, silly me, he wouldn't do such a thing because he's a nice honest guy and a different sort of politician that would never use such tactics...

 

Trangia on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

 

> The naievity on the part of the West is unreal.

> Oh and when Russian I know say to me make sure you keep your nuclear weapons to keep Putin at bay-- I get the message.

Spot on, and lets not forget that Corbyn is hell bent on trying to remove the only thing that we have which Russia fears and respects, because it goes towards redressing the unequal military balance between us and them.  Trident.

We would never win a war with Russia, but we still have the ability hurt them so hard that they would not want to risk war with us.

 

1
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> I don't think the response is complete, I think there will be significant escalation before this situation hopefully stabilises.

I'm just waiting for Fancy Bears to release some files on David Kelly for the coup de grace

> Governments, I said electorates rally behind governments in the face of external threat.

semantics

> If you think I'm someone who believes Corbyn infallible you're labouring under a misapprehension.

Don't blow your cover ;-)

> jk

 

Post edited at 10:55
2
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

Of course but if doing his job properly proves beneficial, or as is much more likely opens him up to another 'TRAITOR!' broadside from the press then so be it.

jk

1
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> semantics

Fundamentally different arguments.

jk

1
MargieB - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

Yes, I think Iraq and Russia are not analogous.

1
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> >  the public should see all the evidence.> That is a proper dick move: snipping 'I am not arguing' from the sentence to diametrically change its meaning before attacking Trevers for it. Shame.

Hardly. He said evidence should be public, I asked Why? The cunning plan was in reference to blackadder, perhaps too young an audience here. 

If anyone should be shamed it is them for suggesting any UK mp or pm  would carry out the attack to gain popularity and distract the population from other issues. Deluded. 

 

1
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Hardly. He said evidence should be public, I asked Why? The cunning plan was in reference to blackadder, perhaps too young an audience here. 

Summo:

> Evidence. I will make the presumption that the government is being fed a lot more information than goes public. Corbyn as leader of the opposition and on privy council will have greater access than a normal mp.

Me:

> True on your first point, and I'm not arguing that we, the public should see all the evidence.

1
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> If anyone should be shamed it is them for suggesting any UK mp or pm  would carry out the attack to gain popularity and distract the population from other issues. Deluded. 

I never suggested this. You're ignoring everything I've actually said.

4
MG - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> I never suggested this. You're ignoring everything I've actually said.

 

Edit: OK, see you didn't that literally.

So what did you mean by: "There's a very simple agenda - poisoning of a Russian defector on British soil, which clearly looks like a Russian state action. A desperately weak PM of an increasingly isolated nation needing to assert herself domestically and internationally. An opportunity to put 2 and 2 together presents itself..."

Post edited at 11:17
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> Summo:> Me:

Apologies I now see I missed a 'not' in there. I didn't really follow jkarrans point, but now see the whole thing together I see what you meant.

I guess you have no cunning plan either.

But I won't let you off on your suggestion UK mps did this attack as a distraction. 

3
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Hardly. He said evidence should be public, I asked Why? The cunning plan was in reference to blackadder, perhaps too young an audience here. 

He said, in full "True on your first point, and I'm not arguing that we, the public should see all the evidence.".

You contracted that to "the public should see all the evidence".

I'm familiar with Blackadder but I don't get the joke, you're mocking Trevers as the dimwit Baldrick character? Second thoughts, don't bother explaining, I've never had much of a sense of humour, I'm sure others enjoyed the quip.

> If anyone should be shamed it is them for suggesting any UK mp or pm  would carry out the attack to gain popularity and distract the population from other issues. Deluded. 

Are you struggling with comprehension today or have I missed a post where someone has claimed that?

jk

Post edited at 11:23
3
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> So what did you mean by: "There's a very simple agenda - poisoning of a Russian defector on British soil, which clearly looks like a Russian state action. A desperately weak PM of an increasingly isolated nation needing to assert herself domestically and internationally. An opportunity to put 2 and 2 together presents itself..."

In the post I was replying to, summo was asking about possible agendas for a PM willing to mislead Parliament about the veracity of the accrued evidence, with reference to Blair and Iraq, not about an agenda to commit murder. I was continuing that by supplying an agenda. Read the two posts in order and it makes sense.

EDIT - If you just read my post in isolation, I can see why you might have thought I was suggesting something else.

Post edited at 11:20
2
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers and jkarrsn:

>  A desperately weak PM of an increasingly isolated nation needing to assert herself domestically and internationally. An opportunity to put 2 and 2 together presents itself...

??? 

1
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> In the post I was replying to, summo was asking about possible agendas for a PM willing to mislead Parliament about the veracity of the accrued evidence, with reference to Blair and Iraq, not about an agenda to commit murder. I was continuing that by supplying an agenda. Read the two posts in order and it makes sense.

So why would a weak PM pick a fight with an enemy more powerful, clearly cleverer and far more cunning. It would be worst move possible, unless that enemy was the actual guilty party in this attack?

2
Dave Garnett - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Except at the moment the identification appears to be on the strength of information gathered through intelligence so not that radically different.

Except that in the case of Iraq Porton Down (most famously David Kelly) were always sceptical. In this case it seems they are pretty sure of their analysis (and it's much more a matter of fact, rather than judgement).

 

Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> So why would a weak PM pick a fight with an enemy more powerful, clearly cleverer and far more cunning. It would be worst move possible, unless that enemy was the actual guilty party in this attack?

That wasn't much of an apology for your earlier insinuation.

3
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Except that in the case of Iraq Porton Down (most famously David Kelly) were always sceptical. In this case it seems they are pretty sure of their analysis (and it's much more a matter of fact, rather than judgement).

The UN test teams on the ground never backed that Iraq claim either.

summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> That wasn't much of an apology for your earlier insinuation.

Scroll up to 1115. It's Ok, we all make mistakes and miss things occasionally.

MG - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> EDIT - If you just read my post in isolation, I can see why you might have thought I was suggesting something else.

Yes - as above a misunderstanding - sorry.

Graeme Alderson on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Show me where anyone has stuck up for Putin on this thread. Show me, from Hansard, where JC has supported Putin. Your OP is merely "she said, he said".

3
jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Dave Garnett:

But their assessment does appear to be built on information gathered through intelligence operations which was the point I was making. Also the disquiet over Iraqi WMD did take some time to surface so I'm not sure an absence of outspoken scientists or spies at this stage indicates much either way, they've hardly been given the forum Dr Kelly had to publicly express a more nuanced position if one is held.

I'll say it again, with the very limited information and intellect available to me I personally think the simplest explanation is the most likely but I accept it may not be and will not criticise those who share those reservations and are justifiably wary of being misled.

jk

1
neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

It is by technical analysis of the nerve agent, in other words a hard piece of info.

Big difference to intelligence.

Even the likes of the Guardian have pointed this out.....

Have you not read ... they know where this stuff is made. It is identifiable

Post edited at 11:45
Bob Kemp - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

This is just JC's campism coming out again. No surprise. But you're just looking for a handy stick to beat him with.

jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> It is by technical analysis of the nerve agent, in other words a hard piece of info.

I understand broadly how an organic sample is analysed, my point is that to determine an origin and indeed a name for that sample there must be a reference library to compare it against. A Soviet weapons program that didn't officially exist certainly didn't provide material (or details thereof) they didn't officially produce via official channels so we're either working on what's available in the public domain (unconvincing of anything) or information, 'fingerprints' if you will illicitly gathered at some point in the past from the alleged source of the material.

> Big difference to intelligence.

The definition of intelligence (in this context).

> Have you not read ... they know where this stuff is made. It is identifiable

I can believe it is identifiable. I'm just cautious about the strength of the chain of evidence given the process by which it was likely obtained.

jk

Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Even the likes of the Guardian have pointed this out.....

> Have you not read ... they know where this stuff is made. It is identifiable

Could you link please to where this has been explicitly stated? I'd be much more ready to accept that the evidence is unequivocal if I had seen this statement somewhere. The line currently being touted, at least to the public, amounts to "well who else could it have been?"

elsewhere on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> It is by technical analysis of the nerve agent, in other words a hard piece of info.

> Big difference to intelligence.

Not really. The technical analysis says it is Novichok. It's intelligence and an article published in a Russian magazine in 1992 saying that the Soviets/Russians developed the Novichok class of nerve agents.

> Have you not read ... they know where this stuff is made. It is identifiable

They have intelligence where the stuff is made in Russia. That doesn't mean it's only made in Russia.

According to wiki Novichok it was disclosed in magazine article in 1992. Therefore it's reasonable to assume that every country power with a chemical defence research capacity has had 25 years to produce experimental quantities of Novichok. 

It's inconceivable that Porton Down and others did not to look into something claimed to be undetectable to NATO chemical detection that defeated NATO chemical protective gear.

I don't think it's a false flag but it is still definitely reliant on intelligence that politicians tell us about so a bit of dodgy dossier cynicism is necessary. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent#Design_objectives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent#Disclosure

Post edited at 12:38
neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

This is not some breaking bad lab stuff knocked up in a garage in the middle of nowhere. This is a sophisticated nerve agent.

neilh - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

That depends on what you read.

MG - on 15 Mar 2018

Corbyn and the Russians Vs the world

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43415271

Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> That depends on what you read.

Theresa May's statement yesterday via Hansard, and Johnson's comments this morning. I find the suggestion that the insolence of Russia's response is tantamount to an admission of guilt rather unconvincing. Suppose for the sake of argument that the Russian state is entirely innocent of this matter - would their response have been significantly different?

 

jkarran - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> This is not some breaking bad lab stuff knocked up in a garage in the middle of nowhere. This is a sophisticated nerve agent.

What does sophisticated mean in this context? Sophisticated in as much as it's simple to manufacture from non-controlled, relatively stable precursors? Sophisticated in as much as deadly doses decompose rapidly into byproducts at concentrations one might expect to find in the environment it was designed to be deployed into? Sophisticated in as much as it attacks the body on multiple fronts or is so simple it may diffuse freely through the barriers in protective equipment of its era? Sophisticated in as much as the synthesis and isolation requires a multi-stage industrial process? Sophisticated in as much as it was designed computationally to attack a specific structure?

Sophisticated means something, it's a word that's been chosen and repeated but it's not clear it means this stuff is hard to make though the non-lethal outcome may suggest it is hard to make well.

jk

Post edited at 14:22
1
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

It says something when other countries like France or Germany are more supportive than some elected UK mps. 

 

1
elsewhere on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> This is not some breaking bad lab stuff knocked up in a garage in the middle of nowhere. This is a sophisticated nerve agent.

It's a sophisticated nerve agent but it's also fundamentally just another organophosphorus nerve agent. For all I know the the manufacture may be no more sophisticated than the Sarin manufactured for the 1995 Tokyo subway attack. 

I also think that Porton Down and equivalents in other countries have manufactured experimental quantities. That seems more likely than neglecting since 1992 their primary role of developing defences against existing and emerging threats.

I tend to think it is not a false flag because it's so nicely timed to help Putin's election campaign.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

It seems Corbyn was just saying an abridged version of what Seanus Milne told him to say.

1
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> It says something when other countries like France or Germany are more supportive than some elected UK mps. 

That wasn't France's stance yesterday.

1
MargieB - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

It is more than just one target. His whole family including son have gone down. That is not only in the UK. Pattern of behaviour. Also it belongs to the old Stalinesque regime mentality of no family member remaining around - all hit. They got the whole family. Nevalny's brother was also targeted in the same vein- cultural mores add into the conclusion. Its typically old style cold war Russian. Apart from the WMD being rare. Maybe Corbyn should have said that the only analogy he can make with Iraq is that it is about WMD. But the only lesson to learn was that they were looking in the wrong place- instead of the deserts of Arabia they should have been looking in the Tea Rooms of Salisbury as the blue rinse brigade took tea and scones.

Post edited at 14:56
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to MargieB:

> It is more than just one target. His whole family including son have gone down. That is not only in the UK. Pattern of behaviour. Also it belongs to the old Stalinesque regime mentality of no family member remaining around - all hit. They got the whole family. Nevalny's brother was also targeted in the same vein- cultural mores add into the conclusion. Its typically old style cold war Russian. Apart from the WMD being rare. Maybe Corbyn should have said that the only analogy he can make with Iraq is that it is about WMD. But the only lesson to learn was that they were looking in the wrong place- instead of the deserts of Arabia they should have been looking in the Tea Rooms of Salisbury as the blue rinse brigade took tea and scones.

Indeed - Corbyn in fact broached this question in his statement yesterday:

> "While the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal are confronting us today, what efforts are being made by the Government to reassess the death of Mr Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, who died in 2012, and the deaths of his elder brother and son in the past two years?"

1
summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> That wasn't France's stance yesterday.

No. Perhaps the UK government has shared intelligence. 

summo on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> It seems Corbyn was just saying an abridged version of what Seanus Milne told him to say.

But whose fault is that? Who is the leader of the opposition? Who takes the extra pay for that post? He is also on the privy council. Corbyn for once in his life needs to step and take some responsibility, nail his colours to the mast and make a stance. 

Trangia on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> One further obvious if unlikely seeming possibility is that given we're claiming to have definitively identified a top secret material and it's source, material that has apparently never been seen or used in the wild we have to assume we're doing so on the basis of information stolen from the Soviet development program at some point since. If we managed to do that we could assume others did too, we weren't the only nation trying to infiltrate the Soviet Union. If you can understand how it was made with suitable equipment you can make it.

Interesting scenario, but why would another power want to "take out" a former Russian double agent and his daughter? If they had really wanted to do it then a bullet each in the back of the head in some quiet spot would have been the obvious method because they wouldn't be wanting to send a very loud message to other "traitors" (as in the Russian's eyes) 

But as you say we may be looking at an unfamiliar world where things may not always be as they seem.

Having said that I am still convinced that, in this case, Russia is the culprit, and our Government, with the support of most of the Opposition is entirely right in reacting in the way that it has.

Post edited at 17:55
Postmanpat on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> It seems Corbyn was just saying an abridged version of what Seanus Milne told him to say.


They don't call him "The thin controller" for nothing.....

2
Trevers - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> Interesting scenario, but why would another power want to "take out" a former Russian double agent and his daughter? If they had really wanted to do it then a bullet each in the back of the head in some quiet spot would have been the obvious method because they wouldn't be wanting to send a very loud message to other "traitors" (as in the Russian's eyes) 

Depends on their motive I suppose... If it was to fuel anti-Russian sentiment, then they'd plan an attack that appeared to have all the hallmarks of one carried out by the Russian state. If you're assuming it's some sort of mob hit then it would make less sense.

I agree that Russia in the highly likely culprit, but it doesn't appear to me that the government is being honest that the evidence is incontrovertible at this stage.

Toby_W on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

sorry joined this late, what are we outraged about, Corbyn, Europe, Putin or all of the above have taken  away free school meals for children.

oh spies, sorry.  

outrageous.

Toby

 

Bob Kemp - on 15 Mar 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> They don't call him "The thin controller" for nothing.....

You've been reading the New Statesman again haven't you? Closet leftie?

krikoman - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

I believe it was Portan Down in an effort to display how vital they are to the UK security and to secure vital funding needed to carry on their work. They we hoping to be involved in a government enquiry after Litvinenko, and then to be involved in the other 15 or so cases they'd "manufactured" in the past but that never happened.

With Putin's re-election coming up and May's tenuous hold of reality they decided this was their chance.

Low £48m, donation for their good work.

Job done.

5
krikoman - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

^^ Is was joking before the rabid right jump down my throat

 

krikoman - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> I don't see any parallels with those (I agree disastrous) events.  They weren't done quickly, or decisively. 

I'll give you the quickly bit, but decisively?  412 for and 149 against in parliament. That's a bit more derisive than Brexit

> They weren't a response to an attack.

What about 9/11, are you sure this wasn't reprisal for that?

> Our response here isn't violent. 

Good point, it doesn't mean people won't suffer though does it? and once again, it probably won't be the perpetrators who end up paying the price.

>It could, if somehow this is all a mistake, be reversed.

Yes, it could but we'd all look a bit f*cking stupid, and how would we ever be able to blame Russia, or anyone else for that matter, of anything else?

What is the issue with waiting? Why the rush to act? Surely the diplomats would still be here in a months time, Russia isn't going to disappear in the next few weeks is it?

We're already f*cked either way, Europe is beholden to Russia for their gas supplies, Germany get 40% of their gas from Russia!! So how far can we really go, not that this isn't an excuse for acting, but really what would we do in a future cold war, if Russia said, "f*ck you then, find your own gas, and turn the taps off".

That really would be a cold war, and I know who'd be freezing.

 

2
Postmanpat on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You've been reading the New Statesman again haven't you? Closet leftie?


Know your enemy......

MG - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

 

> What is the issue with waiting? 

The longer we wait the less impact it has, the less support there will be from elsewhere. etc.

> We're already f*cked either way,

I suspect you are on to something there.

jkarran - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Trangia:

> Interesting scenario, but why would another power want to "take out" a former Russian double agent and his daughter? If they had really wanted to do it then a bullet each in the back of the head in some quiet spot would have been the obvious method because they wouldn't be wanting to send a very loud message to other "traitors" (as in the Russian's eyes) 

Again it's a huge if but if something like that were the explanation the obvious reason to make it look convincingly and 'undeniably' like a Russian assassination would be to prompt both the public and political outrage reaction we're seeing, to smack the wedges in further and to tie the government's hands should they wish to moderate or hold back from strong action. Who benefits? A nation or an organisation that wishes to see either Britain isolated from Russian capital and weakened further as we leave the EU perhaps or perhaps one which wishes to weaponise Britain's response against elements within Russia or some other possible scenario someone sees as being of use to them. It's not as neat as 'Putin did it because strongman' but far far stranger schemes have been dreamed up and played out by various intelligence services around the world over the years. As I said I doubt Occam's razor is automatically the right tool to pick to understand an event like this but that doesn't rule out the simplest explanation being the correct one.

> Having said that I am still convinced that, in this case, Russia is the culprit, and our Government, with the support of most of the Opposition is entirely right in reacting in the way that it has.

It seems likely but the evidence is not widely available to scrutinise, the language used about that evidence by those with access is somewhat equivocal and the stakes are very high, I can understand why people with responsibility demand better than likely or at least to be convinced of likely before they act.

That said, Labour seem to be getting themselves into a logical mess over this, Corbyn has taken a deeply unpopular but defensible position yet has failed to explain it well even apparently to those who are being sent out to explain it on his behalf.

jk

Bob Kemp - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

In reply to Bob Kemp:

 

You've been reading the New Statesman again haven't you? Closet leftie?

> Know your enemy......

Rage Against the Machine fan too? It's all coming out...

Post edited at 10:01
Trevers - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The longer we wait the less impact it has, the less support there will be from elsewhere. etc.

This is true in part, but surely this is exacerbated by the fact that we've been making a big scene about it internationally in a scramble to generate some support?

FactorXXX - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> This is true in part, but surely this is exacerbated by the fact that we've been making a big scene about it internationally in a scramble to generate some support?

You make it sound as if the UK is making a fuss about nothing...

Trevers - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> You make it sound as if the UK is making a fuss about nothing...

Not at all, it's a deeply serious issue. But if we hadn't been so quick to point the finger and whip around for international support then there wouldn't be such an apparent need for haste. We will now look weak and indecisive if we take the heat off Russia, but only because we applied it so enthusiastically in the first instance.

Does that make sense?

FactorXXX - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> Not at all, it's a deeply serious issue. But if we hadn't been so quick to point the finger and whip around for international support then there wouldn't be such an apparent need for haste. We will now look weak and indecisive if we take the heat off Russia, but only because we applied it so enthusiastically in the first instance.> Does that make sense?

To be honest, it looks more like you feel the need to criticise the current Government no matter what they do.
On the flip side, there are people who do the same with Corbyn, Abbott and Labour in general.

 

Trevers - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> To be honest, it looks more like you feel the need to criticise the current Government no matter what they do.

> On the flip side, there are people who do the same with Corbyn, Abbott and Labour in general.

Not true - I'm not a fan of the current government and I'm not ashamed of that, but I'll give credit where credit is due. It's not my fault that this government rarely gives me cause to credit them. Theresa May's words and actions would be the right ones if the evidence was more concrete than it apparently is.

Neither am I an uncritical Corbyn supporter. But what I have no time for at all is the desire to beat Corbyn with whatever stick available which was pervasive in Parliament and broad swathes of the media up until the general election last year, and now again over this issue.

neilh - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

The Russia economy is also beholden to Europe in respect of paying it's bills, basically its economy relies on selling commodities like gas. Without that it also collapses...... so it is an element of a draw.

The issue with waiting is what happened last time, that dragged on for 10 years with Levinko( hope spelt it correctly). Part of the issue there was - we were nice- and let the police go over to Russia and investigate. The Russians just dragged things out....its what the Russian do and do very well.

So its fine to wait, but we will be waiting a long long long time.

Lessons have been learnt-- do not play with the Russian in respect of an investigation on what will be their terms.

I think France's position says it all- slow- quite rightly - to say anything - but now the position has changed.

Graeme Alderson on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

Interesting that the Tories blocked attempts to introduce Magnitsky clauses and yet Corbyn is the Kremlin stooge.

https://twitter.com/AnnelieseDodds/status/968520435431346176

And this is an interesting read

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Post edited at 16:40
Bob Kemp - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> And this is an interesting read

So is this Twitter thread: 

https://mobile.twitter.com/deadlyvices/status/974171484787822592

krikoman - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> The Russia economy is also beholden to Europe in respect of paying it's bills, basically its economy relies on selling commodities like gas. Without that it also collapses...... so it is an element of a draw.

You don't think there'd be another market, for Russian gas! Or how long do you think Europe would last without up to 40% of it's gas supply for more than a few days.

> The issue with waiting is what happened last time, that dragged on for 10 years with Levinko( hope spelt it correctly). Part of the issue there was - we were nice- and let the police go over to Russia and investigate. The Russians just dragged things out....its what the Russian do and do very well.

Let not forget who was responsible for a massive delay in the  Litvinenko inquiry or to act on the outcome of the eventual enquiry.

> So its fine to wait, but we will be waiting a long long long time.

> Lessons have been learnt-- do not play with the Russian in respect of an investigation on what will be their terms.

We don't have to wait for the Russians though do we? There's the OPCW for a start.

Like most things, I'd rather a little delay, than going off half cocked, and looking a bit stupid.

 

2
MargieB - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Trangia:

A skewed version of the Russian Code of Honour but a far cry from the code of honour of the Russian past that included notions of compassion and respect for women and which is rather similar to the unspoken sense of decency that the British culture espouses . 

Mr Lopez - on 16 Mar 2018
FactorXXX - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

It seems to me that Craig Murray is doing everything possible to deny the possibility of Russian involvement. 
What does he want? A 'Made by Putin' label on a handily discarded container perhaps?

summo on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> It seems to me that Craig Murray is doing everything possible to deny the possibility of Russian involvement. 

He is a conspiracy theorist, that's his thing. The USA changing the weather causing natural disasters, earthquakes etc for it's enemies.. secret space lasers on its satellites.. this story is mild for him. 

 

Mr Lopez - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

It seems to me he's simply looking at the facts without kneejerking. A crazy attitude to have in this day and age I guess

4
Siward on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Look into Murray's outpourings over the years. Is he really one in whom to place your trust?

1
Mr Lopez - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Siward:

Hardly a matter of 'placing trust' when anyone with an IQ over 15 can make the same conclusion. The argument of that chemist is:

 

- I'm a chemist and I tell you it was the Russians. We can analyse the compound and see that it matches with the expected composition of an agent without having previously analyzed that agent.

 

- Cool beanz, but can you ascertain the origins of the chemical and that it was made by the Russians by doing that?

 

- No we can't.

 

- So how do you know it was the Russians then?

 

- Uh... Commies... Putin... Bad man... Eerrr...Corbyn.,. More commies... That movie with Tom Cruise... Or was it Bruce Willis...?... Commies... Errr... Oh shut up, you traitor. Go away... 

 

Post edited at 17:15
6
Eric9Points - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

 

Murray is generally regarded as a bit of a tool but that doesn't mean he's wrong, it just means that in this case it's just the sort of thing you'd expect him to say. Further, even if he's right it doesn't get the Russians off the hook.

However there seems to be a generally held assumption that the reason the Government is blaming the Russians is because they can trace the chemical back to Russia. They might be able to. Russian trolls have been screaming that the chemical was manufactured in Uzbekistan but was detroyed by the Americans during the programme to destroy stocks of chemical and biological weapons. That assertion of course provides the answer to the question, "how could we know what the impurities in this chemical were if we'd never seen it before?". Of course the answer would be that the US would have taken a sample of the stuff when they were destroying it so it does sound possible in my mind that this link has been established.

Of course there are all sorts of other ways that the Government might know who poisoned these people. They could have intercepted some communication of some sort, there may be forensic evidence that links the poisoning to the FSB in some way, no one has stated exactly how these people were poisoned although contamination of the victims' car and the truck that towed it away suggests that is where it happened.

Mr Lopez - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

Sure. There are countless possible scenarios by which they could know 100% it was Putin himself giving the orders, as there are countless other possible scenarios on who it could be responsible. 

So far we don't have any evidence either way though, so even if i don't expect them to justify anything to us proles, i wont be joining the queue at the army recruitment centre any time soon based on the word of May/Johnson/Trump/chemist-man.

Post edited at 19:51
3
MG - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> So far we don't have any evidence either way though, so even if i don't expect them to justify anything to us proles, i wont be joining the queue at the army recruitment centre any time soon based on the word of May/Johnson/Trump/chemist-man.

That’s simply not true. The circumstantial evidence from this and other cases is overwhelming. How long will you go on believing all Putins enemies coincidentally die in horrible ways?

 

krikoman - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> You make it sound as if the UK is making a fuss about nothing...

How about we start here!!

https://twitter.com/imajsaclaimant/status/974069326776020993?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecanary.co%2Fuk%2F2018%2F03%2F15%2Fwatch-theresa-may-refuse-to-answer-whether-the-uk-will-stop-supplying-nuclear-substances-to-russia%2F

Yes it's the Canary, but did she answer the question?

Post edited at 21:04
1
MG - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Why would we not export “nuclear substances “, whatever that means?

FactorXXX - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> How about we start here!!

> Yes it's the Canary, but did she answer the question?


What exactly is the relevance of that in relation to whether or not Russia was responsible for using chemical agents on UK soil?
Maybe that's why May answered in the way that she did?
It's quite possible that the question is a valid one, but maybe ask it at a more appropriate time instead of trying to hijack a debate which is of much more current importance. 

krikoman - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> What exactly is the relevance of that in relation to whether or not Russia was responsible for using chemical agents on UK soil?

I thought the thread was about JC being criticised by his own party (and others of course)

Maybe you should re-read the title, or start another thread

If we're chucking people out, wouldn't the first thing you did be, to  not supplying them with nuclear weapons materials.

What damage can 23 people do compared to nuclear weapons, it simply shows the hypocrisy of the whole situation.

Add to that the reluctance, at least until recently of the Tories to accept Labour's Magnitsky amendments, and it shows who's really cosying up to Russia, or at least has been up 'til now. Six years after the US seemed to manage it.

Post edited at 21:32
2
Eric9Points - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

"Nuclear substances" could include isotopes used for medical purposes. Has anyone been more explicit about what the UK is sending to Russia? If so I'd be very interested to know. If not, it just reads like mud slinging.

This sort of whataboutery is really what pisses off a lot of people.

When Jeremy asked his questions in Parliament those relevant to the crime were perfectly reasonable questions to ask and the sort of thing a leader of the opposition should ask. Unfortunately the tone in which he asked the questions made him sound like he was calling the Government a bunch of liars. Then going on to bring up vague accusations about the tories connections with rich Russians just sounds like a tactic. Like deflecting the discussion away from an awkward topic you'd rather not discuss on to something you can score a few cheap points from and end up looking clever, at least in the eyes of your supporters. To those who are not his supporters this sort of behaviour makes him look like he cares more about money and scoring political points than three people who are lying in hospital, two of them fighting for their lives.

krikoman - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> "Nuclear substances" could include isotopes used for medical purposes. Has anyone been more explicit about what the UK is sending to Russia? If so I'd be very interested to know. If not, it just reads like mud slinging.

Did you purposely miss, the two preceding words "weapons grade" from the clip?

This sort of selective hearing really pisses off a lot of people.

2
Dr.S at work - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Did you purposely miss, the two preceding words "weapons grade" from the clip?

> This sort of selective hearing really pisses off a lot of people.

 

DU is pretty small beer in this context though.

 

krikoman - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> DU is pretty small beer in this context though.


It might well be, but should we really still be supplying, what is now effectively the enemy?

It just seems a bit weird to me.

Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> "Nuclear substances" could include isotopes used for medical purposes. Has anyone been more explicit about what the UK is sending to Russia? If so I'd be very interested to know. If not, it just reads like mud slinging.

As far as I know what the UK does export to Russia is depleted uranium. By describing this as 'weapons grade' it sounds like we're sending them something that can be used to make nuclear warheads, but it's not. Still pretty horrible stuff though - used in tank-buster shells and the like, and still radioactive and highly toxic.  

Mr Lopez - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> So far we don't have any evidence either way though

> That’s simply not true. The circumstantial evidence from this and other cases is overwhelming. How long will you go on believing all Putins enemies coincidentally die in horrible ways

 

Ha, ha. Excellent.

 

"Your Honour, we have overwhelming evidence that the defendant is guilty of murdering the victim".

 

"Lets hear it, prosecutor"

 

"Other enemies of the defendant have died previously in horrible ways"

 

"Ok, please do go on"

 

"Err... That's it"

 

"Really?"

 

"Errr... Well... Uh... Commies... Putin... Bad man... Eerrr...Corbyn.,. More commies... That movie with Tom Cruise... Or was it Bruce Willis...?... Commies... Errr... Oh shut up, you traitor. Go away..

6
FactorXXX - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> It might well be, but should we really still be supplying, what is now effectively the enemy?

Things change.
Up to this incident the UK would have had a policy as to what they supply to Russia.
After this incident, they'll have a different policy.
I'm guessing that's what will happen...

 

Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

See my post above - using the term ‘weapons-grade’ is imprecise. Depleted uranium is not a nuclear weapon as normally understood. 

Post edited at 07:00
Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> It just seems a bit weird to me.

It is a bit weird, but given the British state’s and this government’s ambiguous relationship with Russia not entirely surprising. ‘Londongrad’ is a significant factor here. 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/global-opinions/why-does-putin-treat-britain-with-disdain-he-thinks-hes-bought-it/2018/03/16/9f66a720-2951-11e8-874b-d517e912f125_story.html

MG - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

I see your confusion. This isn't a criminal trial but a political response.

1
Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Political discourse is not subject to the same standards of proof as the criminal justice system. That might seem a pity in some respects but if it was the affairs of the world would grind to a halt. The central problem is timeliness, as faced by all efforts at evidence-based policy-making. Politicians need to think and move quickly (cue massive outbreak of cynicism) and often can’t wait for the wheels of justice to grind away. 

krikoman - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Things change.

> Up to this incident the UK would have had a policy as to what they supply to Russia.

> After this incident, they'll have a different policy.

> I'm guessing that's what will happen...


But considering we're against Russia actions in Syria and the Ukraine and imposed sanctions because of this, is arms / weapons grade nuclear material still legitimate goods?

It seems to me we let them get away with a lot of shit, yet still keep supplying dangerous materials. Maybe we've been too weak in the past, and they're just taking the piss.

1
krikoman - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

>  Politicians need to think and move quickly (cue massive outbreak of cynicism) and often can’t wait for the wheels of justice to grind away. 

It doesn't have to be the wheels of justice though, wheels of evidence might be nice, it's not that long ago we invaded Iraq on false information, surely we can take some time to make sure, and allow others to come to the same conclusion.

Politicians sometimes back themselves into a corner by jumping in with both feet, it's then difficult for them to reverse what they said, in which case a lot of people can die, so they don't lose face. Meanwhile, they move on and set up their own Charities, Institutes and Consultancies, unhindered by the decisions they made.

 

1
MG - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> But considering we're against Russia actions in Syria and the Ukraine and imposed sanctions because of this, is arms / weapons grade nuclear material still legitimate goods?

what are you actually objecting to here, specifically? What are we exporting that you think should stop?

krikoman - on 18 Mar 2018
1
MG - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

No, what specifically? I think we can be pretty sure we aren’t exporting nuclear bombs to Russia.. in fact I’d be surprised if we were exporting anything with solely military applications . What are you actually talking about? Or do you not know but have made assumptions from one question in Parliament?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-of-nuclear-equipment-material-and-technology-trigger-list-requirements

Ridge - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> But considering we're against Russia actions in Syria and the Ukraine and imposed sanctions because of this, is arms / weapons grade nuclear material still legitimate goods?

In the clip you posted the MP was being, (either accidentally or deliberately), disingenuous. As pointed out up thread, “weapons grade” refers to fissile material with very specific isotopic mixes. If she was referring to something that could possibly have a military function then we'd have 'weapons grade' wires, tyres, batteries, steel, lead etc.

Depleted uranium tends to be used as ballast weights due to it's mass. It's not particularly radioactive or radiotoxic, it is, like lead, a toxic heavy metal though. Quite why Russia needs to source DU from the UK I don't know, they must have thousands of tonnes kicking around. It's probably not been turned into munitions due to the cost of importing it, they'll probably use cheaper, more contaminated material from their own reprocessing plants for that.

> It seems to me we let them get away with a lot of shit, yet still keep supplying dangerous materials. Maybe we've been too weak in the past, and they're just taking the piss.

Sadly I think we're probably desperate for cash from anybody, regardless of morality.

MG - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

We have had a string of unexplained deaths, or deaths with strong circumstantial evidence pointing to Russiaof Russia dissidents and former spies etc. Is you position that we just go on ignoring them politically because we don’t have a criminal level of proof?

Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> >  Politicians need to think and move quickly (cue massive outbreak of cynicism) and often can’t wait for the wheels of justice to grind away. 

> It doesn't have to be the wheels of justice though, wheels of evidence might be nice, it's not that long ago we invaded Iraq on false information, surely we can take some time to make sure, and allow others to come to the same conclusion.

Basing political policy on evidence is not quite as easy as you think. Some policy decisions are better capable of being informed by evidence than others. Before you even start you have to make decisions about which evidence is the right evidence to use. You can see that operating in this discussion. Choices about which evidence is acceptable are already political choices. There's also the problem of availability of evidence: the evidence may just not be available but decisions still have to be made. And don't let's get started on methodological issues and bias...

Trevers - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Basing political policy on evidence is not quite as easy as you think. Some policy decisions are better capable of being informed by evidence than others. Before you even start you have to make decisions about which evidence is the right evidence to use. You can see that operating in this discussion. Choices about which evidence is acceptable are already political choices. There's also the problem of availability of evidence: the evidence may just not be available but decisions still have to be made. And don't let's get started on methodological issues and bias...

I agree that this sort of thing is very different from your standard murder enquiry (and let's hope it doesn't become one).

However, the problem for me is that the evidence presented to the public does not appear to be even remotely overwhelming. I've not been convinced that only Russia had the means to produce this stuff. That the nerve agent was developed by Russia can only be circumstantial evidence, since any other entity hoping to spread anti-Russian sentiment would leave a Russian calling card.

The loudest alarm bell for me is the suggestion that Russia's insolent response is the conclusive evidence. Currently, there's been no suggestion that we even know which individual carried out the attack. If the government knew this with a high degree of likelihood, would it be too sensitive to say so, even if they declined to publicly name them?

Somebody, somewhere, is wetting themselves laughing at us over this. In all likelihood it's Putin.

Eric9Points - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

I spent a while this afternoon trying to find out a bit more about about this exporting of nuclear materials. All I could find was a report that the UK exports depleted Uranium to Russia but that this DU I actually nuclear waste. No suggestion it was being turned into projectiles.

Bob Kemp - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

There’s very little about it. I wondered where the MP who originally raised this got her evidence. I did see somewhere that it was £1.3m worth. Stopping that will have Vlad sweating. 

krikoman - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> Is you position that we just go on ignoring them politically because we don’t have a criminal level of proof?

No, my position is we should re-open their cases and investigate properly this time, in fact, my position all along would have been to do this. Had we investigated properly previous deaths, rather than try and block them, we might not be where we are today.

That doesn't mean we should go off half cocked, because previous cases have involved Russians, after all the conclusions up to now has been the Russian's weren't involved in most of them. Including the bloke who committed suicide with two different knives.

It's quite telling that TM is now using cases she didn't care about to prove the point it was the Russians all along and that they are very bad people.

As I've said all along, all I need is some proof, why aren't we submitting samples to the OPCW?

Simply saying it was the Russians because it was a Russian who died, isn't enough for me.

It's the same cack as telling us Corbyn is a Russian spy.

What level of proof would you have needed to invade Iraq?

 

It might well be that we don't send any nuclear material to Russia, but why did she dodge the question? If she didn't know why not say so? Why not say, "I look into that and get back to you"?

 

Post edited at 21:25
MG - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Do you take the same view with raptor persecution - no knock-down evidence, therefore best do tootle around "investigating" for ever more? (see the map in the link)

https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/

MargieB - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to Bo

35% of European gas comes from Russia and 44% of that European Gas comes to the UK. Do we really need their gas atall in the UK?? This economic dependency on an authoritarian power with very different values to  our own  is where it all lies. 

Post edited at 09:38
krikoman - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

There's slightly more in number than the 14 we suspect, for starters!

There are other lab / institutions who can either corroborate or not the facts as Porton Down see them, and as part of protocol we should be supplying samples to third parties and the accused.

As I said earlier, maybe if we hadn't done such a shit job of investigating the previous suspect deaths, we wouldn't be where we are now.

No one suggested we tootle around for ever, but there are protocols for this type of occurrence, which we seem to have disregarded so far. If it turns out to be someone other than the Russian state we're going to look stunningly stupid, with little or no credibility for any future occurrences.

We've already proved how easily we're lead by false accusations in Iraq, so it's not like we're infallible, is it?

 

krikoman - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

Not sure how true this is, or if this bloke has any credence at all but it bring up some interesting points.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/of-a-type-developed-by-liars/

 

Typed on my computer of a type developed by the US

Bob Kemp - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

>Simply saying it was the Russians because it was a Russian who died, isn't enough for me.

Agreed, but I don’t think many people are saying that. Much of the evidence is circumstantial, but as discussed earlier you can’t always expect or get legal standards of evidence. 

The Iraq case is very different.

 

krikoman - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> >Simply saying it was the Russians because it was a Russian who died, isn't enough for me.

> Agreed, but I don’t think many people are saying that. Much of the evidence is circumstantial, but as discussed earlier you can’t always expect or get legal standards of evidence. 

> The Iraq case is very different.


But the government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. Up until now it's all been implied, not that's stopped the media.

What if we're being lead up the garden path, and why the delay in supplying samples to the OPCW or indeed tot eh people we're accusing?

I'm not sure Iraq is that much different, we have some information and we've concocted a story to fit, without vital evidence, or a second opinion.

The other issue I have, if it is the Russian state, it's very messy and it's failed so far, and hopefully never, to kill the targets. It could of course be some elaborate double bluff.

Bob Kemp - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Not sure how true this is, or if this bloke has any credence at all but it bring up some interesting points.

> Typed on my computer of a type developed by the US

Discussed earlier. Not reliable. 

You might find this interesting too - people on the so-called left spreading conspiracy theories to muddy the waters further:

https://www.theredroar.com/2018/03/spreading-conspiracy-theories-blaming-israel-for-the-salisbury-attack-the-alt-left-media-are-doing-vladimir-putins-work-for-him/

 

Bob Kemp - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> But the government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. Up until now it's all been implied, not that's stopped the media.

> What if we're being lead up the garden path, and why the delay in supplying samples to the OPCW or indeed tot eh people we're accusing?

> I'm not sure Iraq is that much different, we have some information and we've concocted a story to fit, without vital evidence, or a second opinion.

How do you know what evidence there is? By being so quick to accuse the government of faking a story you're being just as premature as you say they are.

> The other issue I have, if it is the Russian state, it's very messy and it's failed so far, and hopefully never, to kill the targets. It could of course be some elaborate double bluff.

Putin just got re-elected with a massive majority, so is it a failure? This is all grist to the Russian mill - disinformation, undermining of truth. The danger is that political actors become paralysed or prone to even more irrational responses.  

 

Eric9Points - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to MargieB:

 

> In reply to Bo

> 35% of European gas comes from Russia and 44% of that European Gas comes to the UK. Do we really need their gas atall in the UK?? This economic dependency on an authoritarian power with very different values to  our own  is where it all lies. 

No, we could get it by fracking in the UK and save £8 billion a year in imports, mainly from Russia and the UAE.

1
Ex Poster 666 on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to MargieB:

> In reply to Bo

> 35% of European gas comes from Russia and 44% of that European Gas comes to the UK. Do we really need their gas atall in the UK?? This economic dependency on an authoritarian power with very different values to  our own  is where it all lies. 


And 23% of Europe's gas comes from Norway.
If Russia closed the valve, could Norway take up the slack and make a killing?

BnB - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to MargieB:

> In reply to Bo

> 35% of European gas comes from Russia and 44% of that European Gas comes to the UK. Do we really need their gas atall in the UK?? This economic dependency on an authoritarian power with very different values to  our own  is where it all lies. 

Apparently much lower reliance on Russian gas than you suggest:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-43421431

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> How do you know what evidence there is? By being so quick to accuse the government of faking a story you're being just as premature as you say they are.

I'm not suggesting they are faking a story or promoting any conspiracy theory (please don't put words in my mouth), all through this thread I've simply wanting to wait for some evidence and / or verification, which we plainly didn't do (at least the media didn't). There's also the protocols we should be following, i.e. supplying samples to the OPCW and to the Russians themselves.

Imagine being accused of rape an the basis of DNA sample (which are better evidence than we have for the nerve agent) but not being allowed to have it checked yourself or to have an independent test done on it.

> Putin just got re-elected with a massive majority, so is it a failure? This is all grist to the Russian mill - disinformation, undermining of truth. The danger is that political actors become paralysed or prone to even more irrational responses.  

He wasn't likely to lose was he, I don't think he won because he took revenge on an ex-spy, it's not  like things were in the balance for him is it?

> The danger is that political actors become paralysed or prone to even more irrational responses.

Or things escalate out of control with tit for tat reprisals, or worse still this turns out to be not connected to Russia at all, then we have lost all credibility, not just for this case, but any future occurrences.

 

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> Apparently much lower reliance on Russian gas than you suggest:

But that's only for the UK, considering Germany import 40% of their gas from Russia, should Europe back us, which is what we're trying to achieve and if Russia get the hump and turn the taps off, where will they get their gas from?

How much will the Dutch and Belgium, have to supply us then? Since the Dutch and the Belgian's both take gas from Russia, what would happen to the bit they sell us?

I dare say Russia wouldn't really care if the only boycott / sanctions come from the UK. Isn't the idea everyone supports us and implements sanctions against Russia. That being the case how do we (and I mean Europe) stop them holding us to ransom?

 

Post edited at 10:41
MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Imagine being accused of rape an the basis of DNA sample (which are better evidence than we have for the nerve agent) but not being allowed to have it checked yourself or to have an independent test done on it.

This is a political, not criminal, process.  There will never be proof of who did what and who ordered it.

jkarran - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> That being the case how do we (and I mean Europe) stop them holding us to ransom?

We can't completely, that's one of the weaknesses and of course the strengths of deeply interconnected economies, while it works and the rules are vaguely being obeyed there is little motivation for too much aggression, everyone gets poorer. Of course that does work both ways when the relationship starts to break down. Look at it from the Russian perspective they've been (justifiably) suffering under quite tough sanctions for a while now, I doubt from Russia armchairs we're seen as the passive victim.

Energy security is a different issue and one Britain should be leading the world on if we had any sense at all. We're ideally located and have the technical capacity to develop a robust, diverse and largely renewable energy supply. If we get another half century that's the technology we already know we and the rest of the world will be needing, the choice is whether we're buying or selling it.

jk

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

The Russians care so much about supplying gas to Europe they are heavily involved in Syria supporting Assad to stop a pipe line from Qatar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar%E2%80%93Turkey_pipeline

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> This is a political, not criminal, process.  There will never be proof of who did what and who ordered it.

And we should be following prescribed protocols either? At the moment it's our word against theirs, "yes you did", "No we didn't". Of course we can do and say whatever we like, we've done that before. What I'm suggesting is maybe we shouldn't go off half cocked, which we seem to be minded to do.

there also appears to be mounting evidence that novichoks are not just the preserve of Russia.

They we produced by the Soviet Union between 1971 and 1993, when the USSR fell apart all sorts of dangerous items and knowledge were disseminated to other powers, who's to say this isn't on of those. It probably isn't but lets follow the procedure, before we start flinging accusations. Why wouldn't you want to do that?

We've done next to f*ck all anyhow, and no one else is doing anything, so our hands are tied either way, but please let's get thing right first.

" Iran succeeded in synthesising a number of novichoks. Iran did this in full cooperation with the OPCW and immediately reported the results to the OPCW so they could be added to the chemical weapons database." I can't verify this but if it's true then they don't just belong to Russia do they?

1
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

I have to say when I read stories like this

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/20/corbyn-i-would-still-do-business-with-putin-despite-skripal-attack

the cynic in me thinks Corbyn is sucking up to Putin and hoping they meddle in our elections to give himself a better chance of success.

Sir Chasm - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

If you can't verify it why post it? Surely you should have waited until it was proved one way or the other?

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Energy security is a different issue and one Britain should be leading the world on if we had any sense at all. We're ideally located and have the technical capacity to develop a robust, diverse and largely renewable energy supply. If we get another half century that's the technology we already know we and the rest of the world will be needing, the choice is whether we're buying or selling it.

> jk

Totally agree, we don't seem to be trying too hard though, especially with Hinkley, being almost all foreign built and owned and probably obsolete by the time it's finished.

1
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> If you can't verify it why post it? Surely you should have waited until it was proved one way or the other?


I don't have the time or the back up team, I have provided a sample though, for anyone to follow up and test.

1
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I have to say when I read stories like this

> the cynic in me thinks Corbyn is sucking up to Putin and hoping they meddle in our elections to give himself a better chance of success.

Really!! TM is still doing business with Russia now!

It's not like we've cut all ties is it? We've kicked out some spies, they've kicked out some diplomats, Europe and the US have said "naughty Russia", you only need to look at Israel to see that makes no difference in reality.

We're still doing business with all sorts of unsavory characters and countries, Saudi Arabia for starters.

It's all a game FFS! Why not be honest about it?

1
MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

>  Why wouldn't you want to do that?

Because, as above, this is a political process.  Waiting six months until other labs come to the same conclusions (its almost certainly Russia, but we can't absolutely prove it) means any actions will be less effective because the world will have moved on and forgotten what it's all about.  You are right we have limited power here even now, but we will have less in future.  It is just possible, if unlikely, that the widespread verbal support the UK has received from other countries will make Russia tone things down a bit in the future.  Waiting six months before doing anything would have removed even this possibility.

Post edited at 11:48
MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> It's all a game FFS! Why not be honest about it?

I think mostly people are honest about that - it is a political and diplomatic game (with rather high stakes).  Your approach seems to be to view it as a legal and criminal process instead.  If  an individual suspect emerges, that is when the legal response becomes appropriate.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Of course we are still doing biz with Russia. My point is that every time Corbyn opens his mouth on the issue, the <u>cynic</u> in me thinks he is sucking up to Putin, hoping for a leg up at the next election. That is all.

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Of course we are still doing biz with Russia. My point is that every time Corbyn opens his mouth on the issue, the cynic in me thinks he is sucking up to Putin, hoping for a leg up at the next election. That is all.


He could of course simply be stating the facts as they will have to be. It like to see us having as little to do with Putin as possible, but it simply isn't going to be possible.

As Jeremy has always said, dialogue, is better than war.

1
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> >  Why wouldn't you want to do that?

> Because, as above, this is a political process.  Waiting six months until other labs come to the same conclusions (its almost certainly Russia, but we can't absolutely prove it) means any actions will be less effective because the world will have moved on and forgotten what it's all about.  You are right we have limited power here even now, but we will have less in future.  It is just possible, if unlikely, that the widespread verbal support the UK has received from other countries will make Russia tone things down a bit in the future.  Waiting six months before doing anything would have removed even this possibility.

 

Why will it take six months? Surley you're making stuff up to support your dislike of waiting. We seem to have managed to identify the agent within a week or so, are you suggesting the OPCW as a bit shit at this sort of thing?

I still don't understand what you think Russia have gained from this, or hoped to gain. According to our police and investigations Russia have never killed a swapped spy before. Litvinenko fled Russia, so they never had chance to punish him, Skripal had already been in jail for six years and had done half his sentence.

1
Eric9Points - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

How would you stop the Russian state murdering it's opponents on UK soil?

MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Why will it take six months? Surley you're making stuff up to support your dislike of waiting. 

Well whatever time-frame you have in mind.  If the UK had done nothing until this point, any effect would already have been lost.

> I still don't understand what you think Russia have gained from this, or hoped to gain. 

Of come on!  Demonstrating the consequences to traitors Russia, showing Putin to be a hard-man just before an election, splitting opinion within the UK, and between the UK and elsewhere etc. etc.

 

Sir Chasm - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Can you see how this "According to our police and investigations Russia have never killed a swapped spy before. Litvinenko fled Russia, so they never had chance to punish him, Skripal had already been in jail for six years and had done half his sentence." might, to some, seem a strange distinction? As in you think it's fine for Russia to spray polonium around in the UK as long as they only kill people who haven't previously been punished, but clearly they wouldn't use novichok against someone who they had previously locked up?

 
 
Bob Kemp - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> I'm not suggesting they are faking a story or promoting any conspiracy theory (please don't put words in my mouth),

"we have some information and we've concocted a story to fit, without vital evidence, or a second opinion"

Okay faked, concocting. I suppose in literal terms I didn't use the word you used, but your intention was clear.

> Imagine being accused of rape an the basis of DNA sample (which are better evidence than we have for the nerve agent) but not being allowed to have it checked yourself or to have an independent test done on it.

As discussed before, this is not a legal situation. There may never be evidence that satisfies a court. Just what categorically unchallengeable evidence do you think there might be? Calling for that kind of evidence means doing absolutely nothing. Is that the best option?

> He wasn't likely to lose was he, I don't think he won because he took revenge on an ex-spy, it's not  like things were in the balance for him is it?

There were plenty of other benefits for him. I think MG has outlined some of them above. 

 

 

 

Post edited at 13:15
Trevers - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I think krikoman is trying to say that the two cases aren't directly equivalent and there's less of a clear motive for the Russian state in going after Skripal than Litvinenko.

2
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> How would you stop the Russian state murdering it's opponents on UK soil?

Well first of all I would be blocking inquests in killings / previous cases, May did all she could to stop the Litvenyenko case going to public enquiry when she was home secretary. I think this sent a very bad message to anyone trying to hurt people on British soil.

Again, though as yet we still don't know it was the Russians, and if it was some Russians, was it state sponsored?

I'd say you investigate every case thoroughly, even the one where the bloke committed suicide with two different knives, and the prosecute wherever possible to the fullest extent.

I don't see that you can do any different, we have laws and everyone should be held to account, but there's also a process, we don't just go lynching people do we.

2
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> Of come on!  Demonstrating the consequences to traitors Russia, showing Putin to be a hard-man just before an election, splitting opinion within the UK, and between the UK and elsewhere etc. etc.

Like he needed to do this to win the election, jesus!! There was never any doubt he was going to win. I don't think he's split opinion in the UK, almost everyone has blamed Putin, but it doesn't matter anyway, he doesn't care. In the exact same way the UN resolutions against Israel have no effect, because most governments don't care, life goes on just as normal. Saudi bombing in Yemen, possible the worst humanitarian crisis which could be stopped immediately, isn't and we're selling more arm to the Saudi's.

On top of all that, most people aren't split, they just want evidence, why is that so hard? They aren't blaming anyone else simply waiting for more than the UK, pointing fingers!

You making some fictitious figure of six months to confirm, doesn't help, it only needs a bit of logic to conclude if we can analyse the substance then the OPCW might be able to do it in the same time or shorter.

3
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Can you see how this "According to our police and investigations Russia have never killed a swapped spy before. Litvinenko fled Russia, so they never had chance to punish him, Skripal had already been in jail for six years and had done half his sentence." might, to some, seem a strange distinction? As in you think it's fine for Russia to spray polonium around in the UK as long as they only kill people who haven't previously been punished, but clearly they wouldn't use novichok against someone who they had previously locked up?

Please don't put words in my mouth, I never said I thought it was fine, so don't do it.

The obvious difference is, the Russian's already had Skripal, they could have done anything they wanted to him, and we'd have known nothing about it.

There has been no case where Russia has been held responsible for the murder of an ex-spy they've swapped, so why start now?

The thirteen or so other cases that are being mentioned were investigated and it was decided the Russians had nothing to do with them. So you have to ask yourself, what different about this case? What's so special about Skripal? If what he knew was so dangerous that the Russians had to kill him, why let him go in the first place?

 

Post edited at 15:50
4
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Trevers:

> I think krikoman is trying to say that the two cases aren't directly equivalent and there's less of a clear motive for the Russian state in going after Skripal than Litvinenko.


Correct, and the fact they already had Skripal they could have killed him in Russia and no one but his family would have known.

Of course we have the theory Putin wanted everyone to know spies get the just deserts, but it doesn't make sense. Especially if you believe previous "fishy" cases were investigated and found to be suicides / accidents, but nothing linking them to Russia. I'd be more interested in having these previous cases re-investigated. They sound like they were easily dismissed, again the question is why? If they were dodgy then maybe not doing a proper job has got us to where we are now!

2
Sir Chasm - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Please don't put words in my mouth, I never said I thought it was fine, so don't do it.

But you accept they've done it at least once.

> The obvious difference is, the Russian's already had Skripal, they could have done anything they wanted to him, and we'd have known nothing about it.

Hardly any deterrent then.

> There has been no case where Russia has been held responsible for the murder of an ex-spy, so why start now?

Are you really saying that Litvinenko doesn't count?

> The thirteen or so other cases that are being mentioned were investigated and it was decided the Russians had nothing to do with them. So you have to ask yourself, what different about this case? What's so special about Skripal? If what he knew was so dangerous that the Russians had to kill him, why let him go in the first place?

Who says they had to? Perhaps they merely wanted to.

krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> But you accept they've done it at least once.

You said I thought it was fine FFS!

> Hardly any deterrent then.

You think other spies in Russian wouldn't have known?

> Are you really saying that Litvinenko doesn't count?

How many times? Of course I'm not saying he doesn't count, if you read my original post, they've never been implicated in killing a swapped ex-spy (which is what Skripal is) they are two different beasts.  Neither of them deserved to die as far as I can tell.

> Who says they had to? Perhaps they merely wanted to.

Again, why him and not others? With the World cup coming up, and him wanting to show everyone how great Russia is, it doesn't add up.

 

2
Sir Chasm - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> You said I thought it was fine FFS!

Actually I put that as a question, i even used one of these ?

> You think other spies in Russian wouldn't have known?

It's pretty clear to them now  (if it was Russia, i accept it might not be).

> How many times? Of course I'm not saying he doesn't count, if you read my original post, they've never been implicated in killing a swapped ex-spy (which is what Skripal is) they are two different beasts.  Neither of them deserved to die as far as I can tell.

Perhaps they're different to you but not different to Russia?

> Again, why him and not others? With the World cup coming up, and him wanting to show everyone how great Russia is, it doesn't add up.

If you're going to make examples you've got to start somewhere. 

 

MarkJH - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

 

> Again, why him and not others? With the World cup coming up, and him wanting to show everyone how great Russia is, it doesn't add up.

It fits with almost everything we know about him.  As you say; he wants to show how great Russia is; not how nice.  As you also said, the result of the election was not in doubt but the big concern in the Kremlin was turnout.  A foreign power falsely accusing your leader of using chemical weapons is a big motivator, and easy to arrange using the standard scatter gun media technique.  Even in western countries with a free press, the campaign has been surprisingly effective (that is a bonus).

Secondly, on a counterespionage level, it is useful if you can signal to your traitors that they will never be safe whilst denying your opponents the same claim.

Finally, on a wider strategic level, Putin's recognises Russia's economic and military weakness and is constantly attempting to isolate and erode international alliances; most importantly for him NATO.  An assassination with a chemical weapons agent is a good level of escalation for him; almost no risk of a military response but enough overtones of a military operation to start sowing the seeds of doubt.  He is definitely a poker player in his approach to international relations, so it will be 'interesting' to see what the next level is.  I suspect there will come a point where he will make the judgement that an article 5 violation is a risk that he is prepared to take.

MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> You making some fictitious figure of six months to confirm, doesn't help, it only needs a bit of logic to conclude if we can analyse the substance then the OPCW might be able to do it in the same time or shorter.

What figure do you want?  Let's say a fortnight.  Happy?  The OPCW say "yes it was a nerve agent, we agree".  Then what?  Russia still says it's not them and the moment when it is everyone's minds has passed.  

2
MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> I don't think he's split opinion in the UK, almost everyone has blamed Putin, but it doesn't matter anyway, he doesn't care.

You are simply wrong here. Rather than everyone accepting the blatantly obvious conclusion, you have half the country from Corbyn down shying away from it.  It all adds to the general sense of mistrust in any fact, or authority, or institution, which is exactly Russia's game against the US, UK, EU, NATO and any other body it regards as a threat: confuse, contradict, deny, lie and spread all this via social media, media, official and unofficial channels.  We've seen it again and again from shooting down planes, to invading Crimea, to the US election to this.

1
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> What figure do you want?  Let's say a fortnight.  Happy?  The OPCW say "yes it was a nerve agent, we agree".  Then what?  Russia still says it's not them and the moment when it is everyone's minds has passed.  

 

A fortnight is reasonable, certainly better than six months. The OPCW might say something a bit more than that, considering they are the experts and they oversaw the destruction of the USSR schemical weapons, perhaps they might even have something to compare it against, who know. Either way we've followed the protocol we've signed up to, if nothing else. I don't see why simply confirming what we're dealing with needs to be done immediately surely some planning and forethought is better than rushing to blame and getting it wrong.

Just suppose this turns out to be someone else, as a thought experiment if you like, what then? Where's our credibility and where is there ever going to be anyone that could accuse Russia of anything in the future? Your falling into the trap they've set for you, to come up with egg all over yourself.

 

2
krikoman - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> You are simply wrong here. Rather than everyone accepting the blatantly obvious conclusion, you have half the country from Corbyn down shying away from it.  It all adds to the general sense of mistrust in any fact, or authority, or institution, which is exactly Russia's game against the US, UK, EU, NATO and any other body it regards as a threat: confuse, contradict, deny, lie and spread all this via social media, media, official and unofficial channels.  We've seen it again and again from shooting down planes, to invading Crimea, to the US election to this.


Again, no one is shying away from it, it's about being certain and not looking like a dick!

1
MG - on 20 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

>  Your falling into the trap they've set for you, to come up with egg all over yourself.

Boggle!!  Russia set the trap but it's not them!?!?

 

 

krikoman - on 21 Mar 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

> It fits with almost everything we know about him.  As you say; he wants to show how great Russia is; not how nice.  As you also said, the result of the election was not in doubt but the big concern in the Kremlin was turnout. 

I don't think they needed to kill any one to ensure a good turn out either!!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/they-could-be-twins-photos-appear-to-show-russians-voting-twice-in-putin-election

Putin wins by a landslide, with 90% of the vote and a turn out of 120%

 

1
summo on 21 Mar 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Putin wins by a landslide, with 90% of the vote and a turn out of 120%

Diane Abbot was an official observer? 

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