On March 22, 2018, the Foreign Office led by Boris Johnson U.K. Foreign Secretary was adamant that Russia was to blame for an attack in Salisbury involving a former double agent and his daughter. A police officer also sustained injuries.
In a rollercoaster few weeks the British Tory government acted fast and many would say too fast.
Labour Party leader, and therefore leader of the British government’s official opposition at this time, Jeremy Corbyn, was criticised when the story broke for offering a more cautious approach.
Act in haste repent at leisure, so the saying goes.
Wednesday after experts at Porton Down said they had found no link between Russia and the nerve agent used in the attack the Foreign Office or Boris Johnson or both made sure the tweet below was quickly deleted.
As pressure mounts for P.M. Theresa May to sack Boris Johnson the Guardian reports:
“Putin says he hopes common sense will prevail in Salisbury row
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said today that he hoped “common sense” would prevail in the dispute with the UK over the Salisbury attack. Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, in Turkey, he said:
We wait for the moment when, finally, common sense comes out victorious, and international relations stop receiving the damage that we are witnessing right now.
Yesterday’s Porton Down statement represents a vindication of sorts for Craig Murray, the former ambassador to Uzbekistan (his book about his time there, Murder in Samarkand, is very good) who left the Foreign Office after becoming increasingly outspoken on the subject of human rights and who now blogs and campaigns, largely from an ultra alternative and anti-establishment viewpoint.
His suggestion that Israel is just as likely to have been to blame for the Salisbury attack as Russia would probably be seen by many people as borderline delusional.
But his Porton Down blog from three weeks ago has stood the test of time. “
Jeremy Corbyn was criticised by some of his own M.Ps for his thoughtful approach.
Will they now post a public apology?
The tabloids and the BBC are at it again.
Not content with the egging they received over fake claims that Jeremy Corbyn was passing secrets to a Czechoslovakian spy, they are now trying their hardest to discredit him using the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yuliya, who were hospitalised after encountering the nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury two-weeks ago.
The theme in the main stream media this time, is that Corbyn, by wanting to err on the side of caution until we have proof that the Russian government administered Novichok to Mr Skripal and his daughter, must mean that he is trying to protect the Russians for some nefarious reason of his own.
Most right-thinking people would undoubtedly agree that before our Government went ahead and escalated a cold war with Russia, it might not be a bad idea to check a few facts first, especially as the scientist working on the samples of the poison that were sent to Porton Down, have refused to state categorically that the Novichok was made in Russia.
‘Labour MPs round on Corbyn after he says he does not TRUST security services' evidence that Russia is to blame for spy nerve agent attack’ Screamed the Daily Mail.
Of course it mattered not to the Mail that it was totally untrue.
What Mr Corbyn said was he fully condemned the attack, and those who had committed such an atrocity on British soil must be found and punished. He simply wanted to wait for the report from the experts at Porton Down to identify the source of the poison before blame was apportioned anywhere.
Trial by media did not stop with the gutter press however.
On BBC Newsnight March 15, a photo of Jeremy Corbyn was selected to make him look as much like Lenin as possible.
His picture was set against a backdrop of Russia’s Red Square. It was obvious to Labour supporters and others that Mr Corbyn was set up to look like a Russian stooge.
Accusations of photoshopping Mr Corbyn’s hat were denied by the BBC, but it cannot be doubted that the colouring and the shadows in the photo of the Labour leader and his hat were altered to sit more comfortably with the backdrop.
The subliminal message from the BBC was look at Corbyn at home with his Russian mates.
There has been indecent haste to brand the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the U.K. a Russian sympathiser and a traitor to the country in which he was born and has served loyally for 35 years as a Labour MP and it’s not difficult to see why the right-wing hacks are behaving like this.
After Ben Bradley was forced to apologise for calling Jeremy Corbyn a traitor on social media, the oligarchs who control democracy in the U.K. must have felt a little flutter of alarm.
Jeremy Corbyn is a strong and principled man who has promised to sort out the jackals in the press when Labour take office.
They only have themselves to blame, however, but, any chance they get to go a little bit James Bond between now and the next election will not be missed.
By Monday March 19 a standard email was being sent out to those who had complained to the BBC. A copy follows:
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