Tag Archives: poison

Will Russia give us its working Covid-19 vaccine if we’re condemning Navalny poisoning?

This is awkward.

It seems Russia has developed a Covid-19 vaccine that works – it creates an immune response with no ill effects:

Sputnik V, which the Kremlin announced in August would enter mass production this month despite serious international concern, caused no major adverse effects and induced antibodies in all participants in two small rounds of early testing. The results were published in medical journal The Lancet on Friday.

If this is true, then it could end the crisis worldwide – if distributed beyond Russia.

There’s just one problem.

The Establishment here in the UK spends most of its time condemning Russia. At the moment the UK is treating that country with disdain over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny – and for interfering in UK democracy.

So there’s very little incentive for the Russians to help us.

In fact, the Russians would do well to withhold the vaccine. That country could then resume business as usual while the rest of us remain under restrictions until we come up with a vaccine of our own – or steal theirs via spies (gosh).

The UK has already fallen well behind the rest of the world because of Boris Johnson’s pathetic response to the pandemic. Make no mistake; the nation has suffered unduly because of his dithering.

Brexit could push us even further back, if Johnson fails to get a decent trade deal. That’s what we understand he wants, too.

Being forced to try to compete while still under Covid-19 restrictions could finish off the UK economy altogether.

Source: Coronavirus: Russia’s vaccine induces immune response and is safe, early trial results suggest | The Independent | Independent

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Supine Sunak set to axe ‘Facebook tax’ because he’s scared of big, nasty Donald Trump

Rishi Sunak: ‘Please don’t force us to eat your diseased chicken, Mr Trump! Look – we’ll cancel our tax on your tech companies! They can take as much money as they like from operating in our country and we won’t ask for a penny! Will that persuade you, Mr Trump? Mr Trump? Are you there..?’

Could there be a more blatant display of the UK’s newfound powerLESSness in the world?

The UK imposed a tax on tech companies like Facebook last year, expecting to bring in £500 million per year from firms that make more than £25 million each and would otherwise pay very little indeed.

But now Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to axe it, in the hope that doing so will encourage Donald Trump not to insist on sending chlorinated chicken to the UK.

Sunak doesn’t even have the bargaining power to say he’ll do it on condition that Trump relents on his determination to foist food poisoning on the United Kingdom.

The justification to the rest of us? “Oh, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

I don’t know about that. £500 million is a lot of money to most of us.

The whole situation is pathetic.

The Johnson government, in the footsteps of Theresa May and David Cameron, has reduced Britain from Greatness to a state that can only be described as Little.

Source: Rishi Sunak to axe ‘Facebook tax’ on US tech giants deciding it is ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ | Daily Mail Online

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Covid class war: Tories are forcing food poverty through the roof as poor people face risk of poisoning

Tory legacy: attendance at food banks has doubled due to the Conservatives’ handling of Covid-19.

How is Fat Boris Johnson going to justify his silly campaign to make people eat more healthily when so many of us are getting money from food banks, or buying the cheapest (and therefore least healthy) available because we can’t afford anything else?

A new report by the Food Standards Agency has revealed that the Covid-19 crisis – and the Conservative government’s decisions relating to it – have caused a huge increase in referrals to food banks.

Because the Tories couldn’t be bothered to ensure the financial security of the population at large, one-tenth of the UK’s poorest people are now using foodbanks, with huge numbers of people skipping meals.

Malnutrition and obesity are rife as people have been forced to cut out healthy foods in favour of “basic sustenance” diets.

People actually voted to inflict this on their fellow UK citizens and their children.

The FSA’s research tells us that the number of people in food insecurity in the UK – experiencing hunger, unable to secure food of sufficient quality and quantity to enable good health and social participation, and cutting down on food because of a lack of money – has doubled due to the Covid crisis. And it was high in the first place.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, around 16 per cent of adults experienced it – around 7.8 million people.

The government that the people elected last December has used the Covid crisis to double this figure. Now, around 15.6 million adults are in food insecurity.

So when the FSA says 10 per cent of respondents visited a food bank in June, this represents more than 1.5 million people.

And we know food banks have been struggling to find stock in the face of this demand, at a time when everybody has lost money apart from the super-rich (most of whom couldn’t care less about you).

The survey found that 23 per cent of people aged 16-24 had been forced to access food through a charity or food bank – but no figures were provided to show how many people that figure represents.

The only other group experiencing as much food insecurity was households with a child.

So the Tories have ensured that poor children are starving – even after having been knocked back in their plan to deny free school meals to poor kids during the holidays by footballer Marcus Rashford’s high-profile shaming.

If you are still in doubt that these findings are evidence of a Tory war against the poor, consider this, from the Guardian article about the FSA findings:

For the better off, Covid-19 has for many provided nutritional benefits, the FSA noted, with its tracker survey showing more people cooking at home from scratch using healthy ingredients rather than having takeaways or buying processed meals, as well as enjoying more family meals together.

These benefits were largely denied to people in food insecurity, whose diet narrowed sharply and was biased towards cheap carbohydrates like rice and pasta. One man, the FSA study found, “ate mostly tinned peas on toast; another woman mostly bread.” Many showed “early signs” of malnutrition. Others put on weight.

Many people … reported regularly eating food beyond its use-by date … Over a quarter said they drank milk that was past its use-by date. “Stretching out” food in this way put them at risk of food poisoning.

So the rich have become healthier while the poor are in danger of being poisoned.

This is due to decisions made by your Conservative government, which they say were necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

And they are inflicting it on people they persuaded into voting for them.

Source: UK’s poorest ‘skip meals and go hungry’ during coronavirus crisis | UK news | The Guardian

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Chlorinated chicken is back on the Tory menu – they have lied AGAIN

Remember when Theresa Villiers made this promise, back in January?

Boris Johnson has just turned her into a liar:

According to the Telegraph:

Britain is prepared to permit imports of chlorinated chicken from the US but will slap high tariffs on cheaply-produced food in order to minimise the impact on British farmers.

The latest Government proposal for a trade deal with the US is for a “dual tariff” regime that imposes different levels of duty on imported foods, depending on whether they comply with UK animal welfare standards.

Hormone-fed beef, chlorinated chicken and other foods that use techniques banned in Britain will be allowed across the Atlantic, but ministers want to use tariffs to make it uneconomical for US producers to export them to the UK.

It’s a classic Tory tactic.

Faced with public opposition to a plan, they say they absolutely will not allow it – not now, not ever, our laws forbid it.

Then they wait a while, before saying: “Oh, we’re going to allow it but with severe restrictions.”

Then when the change comes into effect, they quietly ensure that no restrictions are imposed.

Bear in mind that 14.7 per cent of US citizens suffer from a food-borne illness each year, compared with just 1.5 per cent of UK citizens. Watch the UK percentage skyrocket after this change is imposed.

Today’s announcement means you will be asked to eat chicken and beef that does not meet UK food standards – effectively poisoning yourself so fat Tory businesspeople can have a cosy trade deal with the United States that the majority of people in the UK don’t want. And they won’t be chomping on chlorinated crap!

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Where is the POLITICAL will to stop us all ‘Drowning in Plastic’?

The BBC broadcast a horrifying documentary yesterday on October 1, showing the extent to which waste plastic is clogging up our rivers and seas and the appalling harm being done to both plant and animal life as a result.

It represents a shocking dereliction of duty on the part of the organisations around the world that are charged with handling this material responsibly – and are ignoring that responsibility on a global scale.

I wrote a few words on Facebook and they seem to have enjoyed some popularity so I am reproducing them here:

I’m watching ‘Drowning in Plastic’, the BBC documentary about waste plastic killing wildlife in the world’s rivers and oceans. I think it’s supposed to be making me feel guilty but actually I’m angry.

We don’t get much choice about our use of plastic, or the other stuff that gets thrown into the water and forgotten. We have it foisted upon us in the packaging of the things we buy and, as a rule, we handle it in the manner that (we’re told) is responsible.

It is the people we have to trust to get rid of it responsibly who are letting everybody (and I mean everybody) down.

There needs to be some accountability here. From what I’m seeing, I’m unwillingly complicit in a crime of such enormity that my mind flinches away from considering it. And that is not acceptable.

I want to know who is responsible for this – and I notice that this information is missing from the film. I want to know what can be done to hold them to account – and if there’s no accountability at the moment, I want to know what can be done to BRING them to account. And I want to know how people like myself can participate in determining what the remedial action should be.

I bet nobody’s going to put it right in anything like a timely way unless people like us roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.

And I don’t mean by fishing this crap out of the water ourselves.

You’ll have spotted that I asked some questions that I considered pertinent: Who is responsible? What can be done to hold them to account? What can be done to bring them to account if there is no legal recourse now? And how can ordinary people participate in bringing justice to this matter?

A few people made suggestions on Facebook but I’m keen to see more. I spotted an infographic on Twitter that suggested ways we can make our opposition known – you can see it at the top of this article – but I don’t think it goes anything like far enough. I don’t think enough people will take the kind of mass, sustained action that would be necessary to make the uncaring corporates change their minds.

As one respondent stated: “Let’s all pretend it’s our personal responsibility while big corporations are raping the planet. Keep focussed on individuals that way people don’t look where the real problem lies. The idea that we can save the planet by not using plastic washing up brushes etc is naïve in the extreme.”

Another respondent voiced his suspicion: “I feel that a lot of the plastic waste floating around in the world’s oceans has come from unscrupulous shipping companies who have been contracted to transport our waste to other countries for processing and then just dump their cargo at sea, pretty much a bigger version of what some commercial vehicle owners do when offering to remove your rubbish for a fee.”

Another supported it: “Do the shipments arrive at their destinations?
Who checks they’ve got there?
With the “flagging out” of marine transportation who checks the shipping arrangements?
What if a large percentage of shipped recycling is actually just jettisoned en route and the ships then proceed somewhere else to pick up more?
How does anyone manage to find out anything more about this?”

They are good questions, especially as: “Inspectors for various things were one of the losses in the Tory’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’ that they managed to persuade everyone to applaud. We need a rebuilding of the quangos (but with a less tainted name).”

Many of you may consider this a useful solution: “I’ve started to send all my excess plastic packaging back to the customer services department of whichever supermarket it came from. Most of them have a freepost address, so you just package up all the surplus plastic and mail it to them at their expense.” But what will those corporations do with the waste?

One suggestion as a solution was, “We need a Plastics Act rather than just randomly targeting individual items.” I would agree, but I think it would need to be international rather than just operating in a single country.

Here’s another: “We need much more strict regulations from the top down, and this indeed means governments being accountable for their decisions on an environmental basis across the board. Including economic modelling to properly respect environmental concerns, the same for businesses, and right through society to farmers and consumers. In short creating a ‘fairer’ society to accommodate these interventions. The governments should be accountable to the UN and subject to harsh penalties (not piffling fines) in case of infringement. I think we should all engage with the clean up at this stage as far as possible, not because it’s the peoples’ fault per se but because it has gotten that bad. But ultimately the world’s governments need to be held to serious account for their treatment of the environment on so many levels.”

But who will impose such regulations and how will they be enforced? Should there perhaps be an independent, international organisation?

Perhaps it would be an easier argument to make if an alternative material were available? “Hemp is a really versatile material, clothes, paper, rope, soap, oil – what’s needed is a decision (and funding) taken nationally, so that manufacturers set up to make things in plastic are given compensation for refitting their factories. Major university departments study materials science, with government funding initiatives they could invent something surely.”

What about this issue? “Corporate courts are probably preventing us doing much towards polluters paying for remedial costs.”

We do recycle many plastics – or we think we do. Consider this: “All the recycling efforts we make – then strangely, recycling centres all over Britain keep going up in flames. At the end of August, from about 2 hours of google searching, I found 15 centres had caught on fire since April. That’s a lot of carcinogenic dioxins being released, – but what a convenient way of getting rid of it all, convenient for the contracters that is.” What is the story here? 

Make no mistake: This issue will magically go away if we don’t keep it on the public agenda – because governments and corporations can’t be bothered to deal with something that may reduce profits/harm the economy and don’t care if it kills a few animals and plants (they won’t accept the overarching threat to the ecosystem that the plastic poisoning of the planet represents).

So the question remains: What do you think should be done about it, and how do you propose to make it happen?

I await your contributions.

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Humiliation for Putin as Russian intelligence officer conclusively linked to Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings

Does anybody doubt that the man Vladimir Putin claimed was tourist “Ruslan Boshirov” is actually Russian intelligence colonel Anatoliy Chepiga? The evidence seems conclusive to me!

But it raises question after question about both the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, and the UK government’s investigations into those poisonings.

If assassins were sent to the UK to poison the Skripals, why did they fail to kill their victims? I know some people have claimed that this was a ‘signature’ attack – intended to show other traitors to Russia that they can be found and harmed by the Russian government at any time, but I’m not buying it – simply because of the substance that was used. We have been told – repeatedly – that Novichok is highly toxic. But the substance used on the Skripals, and ingested by the policeman who tried to help them – was not fatal.

If the intention was to send a ‘signature’ message to Russian traitors, why were two British people also poisoned – one of them fatally? Professional assassins (or whatever you want to call them) would not have left their tools lying around, but would have disposed of them in order to leave no evidence behind. The lack of care suggested by this would indicate that it was not a professional job.

Why was a highly-decorated colonel sent to the UK to do an operation like this? Usually, a field operative with a rank no higher than captain would have carried out such work. Even Bellingcat admitted that this was unusual, quoting a source who said it indicated that the operation had been ordered at the highest level (meaning, one concludes, by Mr Putin). But then we come back to the issue of the substance used and the fact that the wrong person was killed. It doesn’t make sense.

Why did the UK government change its story so many times and why are there so many inconsistencies in it? I really want to know the answer to this. I don’t think it’s about the story altering as evidence came to light. I wonder if there is a more sinister, cynical motive behind it. Was Theresa May trying to take advantage of a tragedy to promote her own foreign policy ambitions?

Too many aspects of this case are failing to add up and it seems the result will be not only that the Russian government has set itself up as an enemy of the UK, but that the British people must now also be highly suspicious of their own government.

Here‘s the Bellingcat investigative piece on Chepiga/Boshirov:

The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity.

This finding eliminates any remaining doubt that the two suspects in the Novichok poisonings were in fact Russian officers operating on a clandestine government mission.

While civilians in Russia can generally own more than one passport, no civilian – or even an intelligence service officer on a personal trip – can cross the state border under a fake identity. The discovery also highlights the extent of the effort – and public diplomacy risk – Russia has taken to protect the identities of the officers. President Putin publicly vouched that “Boshirov” and “Petrov” are civilians. As it is established practice that the awards Hero of the Russian Federation are handed out by the Russian president personally, it is highly likely that Vladimir Putin would have been familiar with the identity of Colonel Chepiga, given that only a handful of officers receive this award each year.

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Universal Credit IS ‘poison’ – because the Tories have poisoned it

Appropriate: Use of the word ‘poison’ to describe Universal Credit is well-justified, considering the Tory forcing it on us is Esther McVey.

David Cameron’s former speechwriter is only wrong about the timescale here – Universal Credit has been poisoned, by Tory determination to harm those who have fallen on hard times.

Tories have no sympathy for people who aren’t independently wealthy – and who therefore need help from the state from time to time.

That’s why they have made Universal Credit such a trial for claimants; they want as few people claiming it as possible.

If that means the millions – including 4.5 million children, we have recently learned – have to rely on food banks, that’s no problem to a Tory.

Clare Foges, David Cameron’s ex-speechwriter, declared “the lefties have a point” that Universal Credit leaves people in “debt, depression and anxiety about whether children can be sustained on sliced bread alone”.

And she warned further “screw-ups” could turn into “poison” and “tragedy” for the Conseratives in the next election – not to mention a tragedy for the millions of Brits struggling to claim it.

The benefit once trumped by Mr Cameron – in his speeches, no less – has replaced six payments for more than a million people and will ramp up its rollout in January.

But experts and Tory founder Iain Duncan Smith warn it does not fulfil its aim of “making work pay” after billions were slashed from its budget.

It has been blighted by delays and evidence soaring numbers of families need foodbanks, fall behind on rent and struggle to pay the gas bill.

Source: Universal Credit MUST be stopped before benefit shake-up turns to ‘poison’ warns David Cameron’s ex-speechwriter – Mirror Online

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Shredded: May’s claim that Russian secret agents committed Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings

Wouldn’t it have been nice if Theresa May had been able to provide a statement on the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings that we all could believe?

Undoubtedly many people will have swallowed the prime minister’s statement, naming suspects who allegedly work as Russian secret agents – but it seems many do not.

Personally, I think the problem is that there are too many inconsistencies in a story that has changed too many times – and people know this. I was going to write an analysis of these inconsistencies myself – but why not turn it over to the public instead?

What better way to make the point?

The following is part of Hansard’s transcript of Mrs May’s statement to the Commons yesterday, with accompanying comments by members of the public (and a couple from more well-known names) debunking it. I’m only going to cover the evidence provided to support her conclusion, not what she proposes to do, having made it. Let’s begin:

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on the investigation into the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the subsequent poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley earlier this year. This was a sickening and despicable act in which a devastatingly toxic nerve agent, known as Novichok, was used to attack our country. It left four people fighting for their lives and one innocent woman dead.

Fact – A weapons-grade nerve agent is so strong that a person dies immediately or within a few minutes. (Shaka, Twitter)

Forensic investigation has now produced sufficient evidence for the independent Director of Public Prosecutions to bring charges against two Russian nationals for the conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal; the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey; the use and possession of Novichok; and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey. This morning, the police set out how the two Russian nationals travelled under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, names the police believe to be aliases. They arrived at Gatwick airport at 3 pm on Friday 2 March, having flown from Moscow on flight SU2588.

Daniel Sandford asked a very good question at the press conference this morning. What kind of visas did the two Russian suspects travel to Britain on? The police officer said he didn’t know. But how were the men identified?’ (Neil Clark, Twitter)

[There is also the issue of the photographs that were released by the Met Police, showing the two suspects walking through the entry channel at Gatwick, being ‘doctored’. They show both men walking through the same corridor – at exactly the same time. See Craig Murray’s article for more details including his explanation of why it is unlikely they were walking through different but identical corridors at the same second.]

They travelled by train to London Victoria, then on to Waterloo before going to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, east London. They stayed there on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and traces of Novichok were found in their hotel room.

I think she blew it when she said today in PMQT that traces of Novichok were found in the hotel room that they stayed in in London! (Kristina Ramsden, Facebook)

So why don’t we have dead guests who used the room after or dead cleaners?! This stinks IMO. (Vine Hill, Facebook)

On Saturday 3 March, they visited Salisbury, arriving at approximately 2.25 pm and leaving less than two hours later, at 4.10 pm. The police are confident this was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area. On Sunday 4 March, they made the same journey, travelling by underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05 am, before continuing by train to Salisbury.

The police have today released CCTV footage of the two men

Interesting they’re here for under 3 days but wear diff shoes, hats, one has 2 jkts according to cctv. (Julia Jay, Twitter)

which clearly places them in the immediate vicinity of the Skripals’ house at 11.58 am, which the police say was moments before the attack.

If those two were poisoned at home and then went to a restaurant ate food passed money over staff would of served them and handled their cuttelry and pots and there would of been other diners and yet nothing no sickness nothing but the police man who found them on the park bench nearly died? (Janet Healy, Facebook)

This police reports implies both Skripals did get poisoned around 13:00 with their home single doorknob, and then got their first yet critical symptoms at exactly the same time 16:15 (+/- 2 min). This cannot be physiologically possible. Those are not the guys who hit Skripals. (Mat4Rou, Twitter)

They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo, arriving at approximately 4.45 pm and boarded the underground at approximately 6.30 pm to Heathrow, from where they returned to Moscow on flight SU2585, departing at 10.30 pm.

This hard evidence has enabled the independent Crown Prosecution Service to conclude it has a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men for the attack in Salisbury. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie ​Rowley, too. There is no other line of inquiry beyond this. The police have today formally linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury such that it now forms one investigation.

If they were hit men they’d have surely killed. Its thrown up more unanswered questions. (Sharon, Twitter)

Our own analysis, together with yesterday’s report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has confirmed that the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in both cases.

Well it was surpose to be a gel on the front door but it’s a perfume bottle spray for the other 2 you can’t spray gel out of a perfume bottle. (Tiddles Denise Mclean, Facebook)

How can two samples of a toxin taken a couple of months apart be 100% identified as being the one and same used in both incidents? I ask this as the Government themselves claimed at the time that whilst being a very dangerous toxin its rate of degrading would pose no threat within hours to others. Stinks of a security services cover up again to give credence to the original attack claims. (Mark Bennett, Facebook)

With such purported evidence-based certainty, it does make you wonder why Boris Johnson deemed it necessary to make inaccurate statements about Porton Down scientists’ reports which destroyed his government’s credibility in the first instance. (Samson, Twitter)

There is no evidence to suggest that Dawn and Charlie may have been deliberately targeted, but rather they were victims of the reckless disposal of this agent.

Polis combed that park at the time, then after everyone had given up roasting their bullshit a couple a patsy junkies turn up with a bottle of Novichock they happened upon in the park. Totally legit sounding! (Botty McBotface, Twitter)

Yep, we have to believe the bottle carrying the chemical lay for several months in a street bin that was never emptied. (GerryBoyce, Twitter)

The police have today released further details of the small glass counterfeit perfume bottle and box discovered in Charlie Rowley’s house which was found to contain this nerve agent.

They say they found the bottle on a kitchen table, yet Charlie told his brother the bottle splintered in his hand. (Norma Ballingall, Facebook)

[For supporting evidence, visit this story]

How can the police search the house on 10th July – and then find a bottle on a kitchen worktop on 11th July… “Well, I didn’t see that…” (Liam Hennesce, Twitter)

Particularly when what they were searching for was a small bottle of liquid. (Craig Murray, Twitter)

The manner in which the bottle was modified leaves no doubt it was a cover for smuggling the weapon into the country and for the delivery method for the attack against the Skripals’ front door.

Were they in full protective gear when the smeared the front door and if not why are they not dead? (Patrick Mahony, Facebook)

The police investigation into the poisoning of Dawn and Charlie is ongoing, and the police are today appealing for further information. But were these two suspects within our jurisdiction there would be a clear basis in law for their arrest for murder.

I can today tell the House that, based on a body of intelligence, the Government have concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.

Having read the official release stating doubt that the names used were their real names, then the belief they are linked to the GRU seems to be lacking evidence. (John Beilby, Facebook)

I did a search of their names, apart from a Russian Actor and a sportsman, nothing, that is after I scrolled past a million me too news articles, but…. I did find several links to Gay Porn actors with said names en route. (Mark Savai, Facebook)

What conclusion does the public draw? This:

Two TOP Russian operatives whose faces we know, but not their names, Failed to kill the target, contaminated their hotel room, and disposed of the bottle casually. My sources say they had a hand in planning 9/11. (SpoilPartyGames, Twitter)

Aaand these highly trained TOP “Russian agents” go about losing “novichok” everywhere, from door handles to bushes in a bottle and hotel rooms. That they’re alive at all is supposedly testimony to their expert handling. (Entelekheia, Twitter)

Now you know what other members of the public think.

Taking it all into account, what do you think?

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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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