Tag Archives: chemical

Syrian boy in ‘chemical attack’ video says it was staged – the UK bombed his country because of a lie

Liar: Theresa May is not being straight with you about her reasons for ordering air strikes on Syria.

It seems clear, now, that Theresa May ordered British forces to bomb parts of Syria because of a lie, perpetrated via the social media and hearsay.

She has claimed repeatedly that the UK had to act to discourage the use of chemical weapons, after seeing shocking footage of children being treated at the hospital in Douma, allegedly for the effects of chemical weapons.

But then journalist Robert Fisk reported back from Douma, and his report was damning – of Theresa May:

https://youtu.be/JNcqBileaHU

Embarrassingly for Channel 4 News, presenter Cathy Newman tried to describe his report as “hearsay” in an interview with Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Mr Williamson was putting forward the view that Parliament should have debated the evidence available before any military action had been ordered – saying the evidence was too flimsy:

Now we have further evidence that he was right and Mrs May was wrong.

Hassan Diab – the seven-year-old boy who was seen in the original video that purported to show the effects of a chemical attack – has been interviewed by TV reporters and said it was a lie. No chemical attack took place. See for yourself:

Is he lying? Is his father? Is it propaganda for the Syrian government? These are all possibilities.

But the lack of evidence of chemical attack tells its own story. Reporters visited the sites of the UK/US/French bombings and found no evidence whatsoever of chemical weapons or their ingredients. Douma now shows no evidence of chemical attack.

Contrast that with Salisbury, where it has been claimed that it will take weeks to decontaminate the town after a highly localised (alleged) attack on just two people (with a third as collateral damage).

Put these together and it is clear that – at the very least – Mrs May’s decision to attack Syria was premature. At the worst, it was completely unnecessary.

So, what was her real reason for an unprovoked assault on another sovereign nation?


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New evidence has cast doubt on Theresa May’s Syria claims *WHILE SHE WAS MAKING THEM*

Theresa May: Protesting too much?

If Theresa May thinks we’ll swallow unquestioningly her “statement” on the air strikes she ordered last Friday, she must think we were all born yesterday.

We all know the justification by now, right? The claim is that the town of Douma, in Syria, was attacked by government forces using chemical weapons. These have been banned across the world for a century and the US, UK and France launched air strikes against facilities believed to be involved in the manufacture of chemical weapons for humanitarian reasons – to discourage any further use of such weapons. The strikes were said to be tightly targeted, focused on this single objective.

That was the substance of Mrs May’s speech. But it has been seriously undermined already.

She said: “On Saturday 7 April, up to 75 people, including young children, were killed in a horrific attack in Douma, with as many as 500 further casualties. All indications are that this was a chemical weapons attack. UK medical and scientific experts have analysed open-source reports [she means social media posts], images and video footage from the incident and concluded that the victims were exposed to a toxic chemical. That is corroborated by first-hand accounts from NGOs and aid workers, while the World Health Organisation received reports that hundreds of patients arrived at Syrian health facilities on Saturday night with ‘signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals’.”

But as she was participating in a Parliamentary debate on the air strikes, journalist Robert Fisk published a claim that the casualties in the Douma attack were treated for dust inhalation – and not for a chemical gas attack. Listen:

You can also read the Independent article.

“We needed to intervene rapidly to alleviate further indiscriminate humanitarian suffering,” said Mrs May. “It was not just morally right but legally right to take military action, together with our closest allies.

“We have published the legal basis for this action. It required three conditions to be met. First, there must be convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief. Secondly, it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved. Thirdly, the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of relief of humanitarian suffering, and must be strictly limited in time and in scope to this aim.”

We have already seen that claims of convincing evidence may have been exaggerated – and in any case, claims that action on a humanitarian basis is legal have been disputed. As the use of chemical weapons is now in doubt, the second condition is also unmet – people are still being killed in Syria. Thirdly – well, we’ll come to that.

“This was a limited, targeted and effective strike that would significantly degrade Syrian chemical weapons capabilities and deter their future use, and with clear boundaries that expressly sought to avoid escalation and did everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

“As a result, the co-ordinated actions of the US, UK and France were successfully and specifically targeted at three sites. Contrary to what the Leader of the Opposition said at the weekend, these were not “empty buildings”. The first was the Barzeh branch of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre in northern Damascus. This was a centre for the research and development of Syria’s chemical and biological programme. It was hit by 57 American TLAMs and 19 American JASSMs.”

In that case, if chemical weapons were present – or just the ingredients for them – they would have been spread out over a wide area by the explosions. There has been no report of any such contamination.

Quite the opposite, it seems. I accept that the link runs to a report by Russia Today, so perhaps you’d prefer a report by CBS News – the US media outlet. Both make it clear that reporters saw no evidence of harmful chemicals – just anti-venom for snakebites (as reported on This Site previously). We now see that Barzeh was the planned base for the OPCW inspectors, who would have taken up residence there on April 15. Well, it’s rubble now. Who benefits from that?

“The second site was the Him Shinsar chemical weapons bunkers, 15 miles west of the city of Homs, which contained both a chemical weapons equipment and storage facility and an important command post. These were successfully hit by seven French SCALP cruise missiles.

“The third site was the Him Shinsar chemical weapons storage site and former missile base, which is now a military facility. This was assessed to be a location of Syrian sarin and precursor production equipment, whose destruction would degrade Syria’s ability to deliver sarin in the future. This was hit by nine US TLAMs, five naval and two SCALP cruise missiles from France and eight Storm Shadow missiles launched by our four RAF Tornado GR4s. Very careful scientific analysis was used to determine where best to target these missiles to maximise the destruction of stockpiled chemicals and to minimise any risks to the surrounding area. The facility that we targeted is located some distance from any known population centres, reducing yet further any such risk of civilian casualties.”

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, in his response to the statement, pointed out that OPCW inspectors had given both Barzeh and the Him Shinsar facilities a clean bill of health in November 2017.

He said: “In relation to the air strikes against the Barzeh and Him Shinsar facilities, the Prime Minister will be aware that the OPCW carried out inspections on both those facilities in 2017 and concluded that ‘the inspection team did not observe any activities inconsistent with obligations’ under the chemical weapons convention.”

Mention of the OPCW brings us to further questions about the intelligence Mrs May has used:

The new questions are:

  1. If we knew where [Syrian president Bashar al] Assad was stashing his chemical weapons, why did we wait for him to use them again?
  2. If we just bombed chemical weapons factories in Syria, why was the existence of these factories never reported before – to the UN, the OPCW or the public?
  3. Why did the bombing commence before the OPCW had concluded their chemical weapons investigation?

In this context, it was bizarre to hear Mrs May saying that she supports the OPCW investigation, after having blown up the investigators’ base: “”e support strongly the work of the OPCW fact-finding mission that is currently in Damascus.”

She went on to say that she decided to act ahead of any results because the OPCW would not be able to attach blame, due to a Russian veto on a UN resolution to establish such a mechanism. She said: “Even if the OPCW team is able to visit Douma to gather information to make that assessment… it cannot attribute responsibility.

She continued: “Even if we had the OPCW’s findings and a mechanism to attribute, for as long as Russia continued to veto the UN Security Council would still not be able to act.”

So Mrs May hid evidence that Syria was developing chemical weapons from the OPCW, supported a military operation that bombed the OPCW’s planned base of operations, and would have taken part in air strikes no matter what report the OPCW investigators would have given. That doesn’t seem very supportive to me! 

Mrs May denied acting on the orders of US President Donald Trump: “It is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used, for we cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised—within Syria, on the streets of the UK or elsewhere.”

“On the streets of the UK or elsewhere”. She had to mention the alleged chemical attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal, you see. It is as though that incident was staged in order to soften up the British public to the idea of military action on the pretext of preventing the use of such weaponry. Isn’t it?

Mrs May later added: “Last Thursday’s report from the OPCW has confirmed our findings that it was indeed a Novichok in Salisbury… While of a much lower order of magnitude, the use of a nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury is part of a pattern of disregard for the global norms that prohibit the use of chemical weapons.”

The problem is, the lab that tested the Salisbury substance for the OPCW found that it was BZ – a chemical agent apparently used by the UK and the US.

And there is no evidence of chemical weapons at Barzeh, and both that facility and those at Him Shinsar were cleared by the OPCW five months ago.

Without actual evidence of chemical weapons, it is impossible for Mrs May to justify these activities. And she has no evidence.

Mrs May continued: “Why did we not recall Parliament? The speed with which we acted was essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.”

We have established that it wasn’t. Blowing up facilities that have nothing to do with chemical weapons will not alleviate humanitarian suffering (actually, what does that even mean? She was trying to say she was acting on humanitarian principles but mangled the English language instead).

“This was a limited, targeted strike on a legal basis that has been used before.”

And falsely used in this instance.

“And it was a decision that required the evaluation of intelligence and information, much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with Parliament.”

But it could have been shared with other members of the Privy Council, like Mr Corbyn. Clearly it was not, which casts it into doubt.

The best that can be said of Mrs May’s statement is that it is unconvincing.

We have an eyewitness account that the alleged victims of a chemical attack in Douma were in fact under treatment for dust inhalation, there is no evidence that chemical weapons were manufactured or stored at the sites the UK, US and France bombed last weekend (and claims that a Russian chemical weapon was used on the Skripals have been contradicted), so there was no justification for the military action.

On the other hand, Mrs May’s keenness to ascribe the Salisbury poisoning to Russia without evidence, her support for a military adventure that stymied OPCW inspectors, her withholding of evidence – or inability to supply it – from the same organisation – all these elements seem very suspicious indeed.

As this situation is ongoing, further information is likely to become available and I stand ready to be corrected if Mrs May is vindicated.

At the moment, she seems a weak leader, desperately trying to manufacture some popularity – and failing.


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Is there a covert motive behind the Skripal poisonings and the Syria air strike? Here’s the evidence

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman meets Boris Johnson: What did they discuss?

Craig Murray makes a couple of very interesting points here.

Why was a Saudi prince visiting London, Washington and Paris just as the row over the Skripal poisoning was kicking off, and before the air strikes on Syria were called?

How did Russia know that a chemical attack would take place in Syria – fake or real – and that it would be used as the reason for an air strike?

And why would the Syrian government attack Douma with chemical weapons, the day before it was due to be handed over to the Syrian government?

What do you think?

March 4 2018 Sergei and Yulia Skripal are attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury

March 6 2018 Boris Johnson blames Russia and calls Russia “a malign force”

March 7 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in London for an official visit

March 13 2018 Valeri Gerasimov, Russian Chief of General Staff, states that Russia has intelligence a fake chemical attack is planned against civilians in Syria as a pretext for US bombing of Damascus, and that Russia will respond militarily.

March 19 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Washington for an official visit

April 8 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Paris for an official visit

April 8 2018 Saudi funded jihadist groups Jaysh al Islam and Tahrir al-Sham and UK funded jihadist “rescue group” The White Helmets claim a chemical weapons attack occurred in their enclave of Douma the previous day – just before its agreed handover to the Syrian army – and blame the Syrian government.

April 11 2018 Saudi Arabia pledges support for attack on Syria

April 14 2018 US/UK/French attack on Syria begins.

This attack on Syria is, beyond doubt, a huge success for the machinations of Mohammed Bin Salman. Please do read my post of 8 March which sets out the background to his agenda, and I believe is essential to why we find our nations in military action again today. Despite the fact the vast majority of the people do not want this.

Source: Just Who’s Pulling the Strings? – Craig Murray


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POLL: Theresa May has taken us to war. What should she do now?

Warmonger: Theresa May.

The opprobrium is all over the Internet – not least from Russia.

Here’s what President Putin has to say about the premature air strikes ordered by Donald Trump and enacted by the US military and his lackeys Theresa May in the UK and Emmanuel Macron in France:

“On April 14, the United States, supported by its allies, launched an airstrike against military and civilian targets in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Already you’re probably thinking, “Civilian targets?” Well…

https://twitter.com/arturaskerelis/status/984968539604955137

“Just as one year ago, when the Shayrat Airbase in Syria came under attack, the US used as a pretext a staged chemical attack against civilians, this time in Douma, a Damascus suburb. Having visited the site of the would-be chemical attack, Russian military experts did not find any traces of chlorine or any other toxic agent. Not a single local resident was able to confirm that a chemical attack had actually taken place.

“The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons dispatched its experts to Syria in order to investigate all the circumstances. However, in a sign of cynical disdain, a group of Western countries decided to take military action without waiting for the results of the investigation.”

This is accurate, it grieves me to report:

Ah,  but there was! It was vitally important for Mrs May to bypass democracy:

Why the desperation for airstrikes, in any case? A former head of the UK armed forces was interviewed by Sky News – but isn’t it convenient that he was cut off when he started straying from the officially-approved story?

“Through its actions, the US makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians. In fact, the US panders to the terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years, leading to a wave of refugees fleeing this country and the region.”

Yes – half a million dead and 10 million displaced. Many have become refugees, but Theresa May didn’t want them in the UK!

“Russia will convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the aggressive actions by the US and its allies.”

That is an astonishingly restrained response.

It is possible that Mr Putin expects public opinion to bear against the Western leaders who ordered the air strikes and – apparently – killed more innocent people. There’s certainly no shortage of disapproval! Here’s a representative sample:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/985014372895481856

UK Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has rightly savaged Mrs May’s “legally questionable” decision in which she “trailed after Donald Trump”.

He said: “Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace,” adding that the strikes risked further escalation of the conflict in Syria and – crucially – “makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.

“Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.

“The Government should do whatever possible to push Russia and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.”

He said: “Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump.”

We are left with one burning question:


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It’s war: Trump drags the UK into air strikes on Syrian ‘chemical weapons’ targets

Syria: At the time of writing (2.43am, April 14), explosions have apparently taken place outside Damascus, where chemical weapons facilities are believed to be located.

Here it is, then:

You heard him – Donald Trump has dragged France and the United Kingdom into pointless air strikes against targets in Syria that are believed to manufacture chemical weapons.

There was no vote in the US Congress, just as there has been no vote in the UK’s Parliament. These strikes have no democratic legitimacy at all.

And the British public don’t want them:

Public opinion on the social media is – well, see for yourself:

Jeremy Corbyn has been the voice of reason in this – as with so many other issues lately. He demanded that Parliament should have a chance to debate any proposed military action – especially as it risks a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East:

But Theresa May was determined – absolutely adamant – that this was a chance to show her utter weakness.

I know she thinks it will be a display of strength, but Mr Corbyn had it right when he said she was sitting by the phone, “waiting for instructions” to do whatever Donald Trump told her.

Here’s her statement. She is trying to look like a statesperson – speaking slowly and seriously:

But she just looks like she’s patronising us – talking down, treating us all like children.

Mrs May’s Cabinet backed her plan to support action in Syria on Friday (April 13). And look at this:

So the plan has been to link Russia into the Syrian chemical attack, using the dubious connection of a chemical attack here in the UK, to which Russia has not been successfully linked?

That is miserably weak.

It comes after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad invited UN chemical weapons inspectors – the now-ubiquitous Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – to investigate the attack that triggered the current hostilities, in Douma. They were due to arrive today (April 14).

Russia has warned that western military strikes would risk triggering a much larger war.

Is this what Trump, May and possibly even Macron want?

Interestingly, the French president spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin only yesterday. Both agreed to aid the OPCW inspectors in Syria wherever possible, and to ensure their foreign and defence ministers stayed in close contact, to prevent the situation from escalating.

France’s contribution to the air strikes must seem a betrayal. How will that affect the wider international situation?

UPDATE 3.10am: According to the US military, all planned airstrikes have been carried out and no further action is currently being contemplated.

The bad news is that the United States did not notify Russia of its attacks.


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UN chemical weapons inspectors have confirmed UK claims on Skripal nerve agent – but not on its origin

Contaminated: Investigators examine the park bench in Salisbury where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found after they were poisoned.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has not accepted the UK’s claim that Russia was behind the alleged nerve agent attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last month.

The UN inspectors’ report stated, “The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirms the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.”

It doesn’t actually name the chemical, although the UK has firmly stated that it was a Novichok nerve agent. The classified (non-public) version of the OPCW report gives its chemical composition – a “complex” formula, according to The Guardian.

This is odd, as Cornell University professor David Collum has stated, “The compounds are simple as hell to make. Doing so without killing yourself would be more challenging but within the capabilities of many laboratories.”

So we now know that the chemical used against the Skripals was both simple and complicated. That’s helpful!

And what of the claim that it could only have been created by the Russian government? Boris Johnson has leapt in to claim (again) that the OPCW report confirms this: “There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible – only has the means, motive and record.”

There’s only one problem: The OPCW report actually corroborates what chemical experts at Porton Down said – neither report even attempts to identify the origin of the nerve agent.

So we now know that the chemical used against the Skripals could have been manufactured by the Russian government or in many other laboratories. That’s helpful too!

Or rather, it isn’t.

And what makes it worse is the jabbering of a warmongering racist like Boris Johnson, pumping up international tensions with Russia on the basis of nothing but his own hot air.

There is no evidence to prove that the Russian government created the nerve agent that attacked Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

And now we know, based on the evidence of Porton Down and the OPCW, there never will be.

There certainly is not enough information to take us into conflict with that country.

This Writer would still like to know how the Skripals were treated and whether this treatment corresponds with known remedies for nerve agent attack. Let’s say I want to know for my own peace of mind.

The only other possible way of finding out the origin of the nerve agent is if investigators track down the people responsible for the alleged attack.

My concern about that is the fact that the UK’s Tory government leapt to the conclusion that Russia was responsible so quickly that all other options were ignored – and this may have prejudiced investigations beyond repair.

What is the current situation with regard to this part of the story?

Does anybody know?


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May wants to bypass Parliament to go to war with Syria. Democracy is dying

Liar: There’s no reason Theresa May could not recall Parliament for a representative vote on military action in Syria. Time is not of the essence.

Theresa May has said she is prepared to go to war against Syria without asking Parliament, over the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma.

Apparently this is because time is short. Really?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that Parliament be given a vote. Both houses are still in Easter recess but there’s no reason they cannot be recalled – so Mrs May is talking tommyrot as usual.

Public opinion is wildly against it:

https://twitter.com/SJT78508478/status/984166460045037569

Paul Mason, writing in New Statesman, has said that bombing Syria is futile:

“To defeat Assad, and prevent the further collapse of the global order, long-range missiles are no good. Knowing this, Donald Trump and his national security adviser John Bolton will probably fire a lot of them. No. To defeat Assad you would have to engage in the kind of warfare America did in Iraq, going from house to house in the dark, killing suspected supporters of al-Qaeda, dragging their children and elderly into the dark by flashlight.

“You would have to bomb what’s left of Syria until it looked like what’s left of Gaza. And you would have to do it knowing that into the chaos you create, would move exactly the kind of jihadi groups we are trying to rid the world of.

“That’s why I am against Britain joining a military strike on Assad’s Syria.”

This is valuable advice from Peter Hitchens – who is increasingly proving to be a voice of reason:

And there’s one more important point to make:

This is the dark heart of the matter:

Theresa May would rather spend your money ensuring that innocent people in a foreign country die, than ensuring that innocent people in the UK can live.


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May’s hypocrisy: Use of UK-sold chemical weapons in Syria gives her an opportunity for mass murder

This is classic ‘cycle of hate’ behaviour.

The UK sold several chemical weapons ingredients to Syria, back in 2012/13 – with explicit approval from then-prime minister David Cameron.

It followed the sale of huge amounts of other ingredients in the 1980s.

It seems those ingredients have been turned into weapons and used on the people of Douma, in Syria.

Now the UK government, in an act of enormous hypocrisy, wants to join Donald Trump’s USA in a reprisal bombing against that country.

Mrs May said the international community needed to uphold the worldwide ban on chemical weapons – which is outrageous, considering our government’s effort to undermine it.

As UK citizens, we can only be nauseated by Mrs May’s behaviour.

This Site warned that we would be in exactly this situation five years ago.

I wrote: “In January 2012, 10 months after violence erupted in Syria, [then-business secretary] Vince Cable licensed the exporting of potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride to the Syrian government – both chemicals being ingredients of nerve gas.

“The chemicals were sold under licences that specified they should be used for making aluminium structures like window frames – but the government has refused to identify the licence holders. Dodgy!

“This means that, in the same way as the United States with Iraq, it is entirely possible that the [Conservative/Liberal Democrat] Coalition government wanted British troops to attack Syria in response to a situation that the Coalition government created!”

The fly in current UK prime minister Theresa May’s ointment at the moment is Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has blocked US-led calls for an investigation into the chemical attack. Russia’s own proposal did not gain enough votes.

The US proposal would have launched an independent investigation that would have assigned blame to a perpetrator. The Russians wanted a UN-led investigation, but with the results reviewed by Russia for “acceptance” before being publicised.

Both proposals were flawed. Russia’s demand for the ability to censor the results of an investigation is unacceptable – but then, why should the US (and the UK) be permitted to assign blame solely to Syria for an attack in which they chemical weapons were used that were made from our products?

Boris Johnson, who is still (amazingly) clinging on to his role as the UK’s foreign secretary, has leapt in to offer his biased view:

Chemical attacks made possible by the actions of your government, Mr Johnson.

The latest information is that Donald Trump is planning to bomb Syria anyway. Russia seems unlikely to tolerate any such action.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a ceasefire and a political solution, rather than – as Susan Rees describes below, “bomb first, talk later”. He is the only leader who is making sense.

https://twitter.com/OWLowery/status/983755108013010951

And what good will more bombing achieve?

These words seem prophetic, in the light of Mr Trump’s latest bit of sabre-rattling:

So, a big win for Theresa May: Her government sold the ingredients of chemical weapons to Syria; those ingredients were used in an attack that gives us an opportunity to attack Syria; and if Jeremy Corbyn opposes such an attack, she can smear him as an unpatriotic peacenik.

And the only cost will be thousands of Syrian lives and the possibility of conflict with Russia – which is a nuclear superpower, let’s not forget!

As UK citizens, we can only be nauseated by Mrs May’s behaviour. Tory political decisions have created this situation and she is revelling in the opportunity to commit mass murder.


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‘You cannot decide in 24 hours what type of poison was used’ – first OPCW head condemns UK reaction to Skripal poisoning

Jose Bustani.

This is self-explanatory.

No doubt the UK government will try to condemn this as fake news because it is from Russia Today – but Jose Bustani’s words are reported verbatim. Watch:

What do Boris Johnson and Theresa May have to say about that?


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Explained: The EU vote that could set corporations above countries. But do you care?

150711apathy

Note: This article is aimed at people whose response to TTIP (and other serious issues) is to ignore it and hope it will go away. If you are not one of these people, please share this article with someone who is.

Details have emerged about the vote in the European Parliament on the secret EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that will affect UK citizens so harshly – but which gathered very little interest from any of you last week.

The European Parliament voted by a majority of 436 to 241, effectively to allow the deal to go ahead – ignoring repeated and widespread protest from their own constituents, according to Lee Williams in The Independent.

TTIP is about reducing and removing regulations that hamper trade – but protect the public and the environment. Once it is in place, you can expect to eat growth hormones in your beef that have been linked to cancer, your cosmetics will be filled with formerly-banned chemicals, GM foods (copyrighted by the firms that created them) will be forced onto your plate and pesticides will be filled with endocrine disruptors that can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects and other developmental disorders.

Critics have pointed out that the deal would lock privatisation into the UK’s National Health Service, meaning your treatment for any of the disorders created by these profitable enterprises would vary in effectiveness, depending on where you live. Once the deal is signed, there will be no way to ensure that we all receive a high standard of care; no UK government minister has any duty to provide it.

Are you interested now? Or is it still not worth worrying your pretty little head about it?

Fortunately for you, many other people have been working hard on your behalf. Unfortunately, your representatives in the European Union are doing all they can to silence this dissent. But that’s nothing to do with you either, one supposes.

The European Commission’s public consultation on one of the most controversial parts of TTIP – the Investor-State Dispute Settlement section that would allow corporations to sue nation states if legislation was passed that might restrict profits – received a resounding no from a staggering 97 per cent of respondents – but this was ignored.

A European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP currently stands at over 2,300,000 signatures, but has been dismissed as “illegitimate” by the unelected European Commission.

If the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system is included in the deal, there will be nothing you can do to prevent fracking or phase out nuclear power. Look at the Australian court case on limiting cigarette advertising for a current example.

Lots of you say you oppose fracking. Why aren’t you interested in this?

And commentators say the vote was rigged by some creative procedural changes from EU President Martin Schulz, meaning nobody voted on a plan to cut ISDS from the deal altogether, while a watered-down ISDS scheme won MEPs’ approval.

What happened on Wednesday was proof that democracy has no power in the European Union and big business trumps the rights of citizens.

But you’re not bothered, are you?

Tell you what – you go back to watching Coronation Street, Britain’s Got Talent, or the media anaesthetic of your choice. Enjoy a game of Criminal Case.

Leave the heavy lifting to those of us who actually care about our health, the environment and democracy. There aren’t enough of us but obviously you’re more interested in other things.

Just remember, when the deal is in place and there’s nothing you can do:

You had a chance to stop it.

But you couldn’t be bothered.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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