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More Skripal bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, June 9th, 2020 - 37 comments
Categories: China, Deep stuff, jacinda ardern, journalism, making shit up, newspapers, Russia, spin, Spying, uk politics, us politics, war, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Skripal’s relatives don’t believe it, Jacinda Ardern doesn’t believe it, Paul Buchanan doesn’t believe it, and I never believed it. But a story planted in the UK Sunday Times that the Skripals are here lets our media rerun the assassination attempt that failed, even though the most deadliest poison in the world was involved. Stuff website has a British Minister from Theresa May’s time rerunning the old lies,as does the NZ Herald. Fits in nicely with the SIS anti-Russian history.

While the US government is running an information war against the Chinese, the other main Five Eyes government in the UK is also running an information war against the Russians. And we should be absolutely certain it is a war, even if it is about information and narrative management. The British Army operates its 77th Brigade involved in media manipulation and narrative management.

The other story that has surfaced in this focus on Russia is that the Soviet Union was trying to manipulate Labour party members in the Lange government. I don’t know about that, but what I do know for certain is that the CIA was trying to influence Labour Party members and MPs. I was the Party’s Trade Union Liaison officer at the time, and the US Embassy Labour attache Greg Talcott was indefatigable in his attempts to win support for US policy among trade union affiliates.

Back to the Skripals. The story never rang true, if only for the reason that they lived after apparently being dosed with the “deadliest poison ever.” The best the British government could offer in the absence of any evidence that it was “highly likely” they were poisoned. We do not know what if anything the Russian government did at the time, but we do know that they have been held incommunicado ever since by the British government.

And evidence just revealed from the inquest on Dawn Sturgess shows that her death was most likely from a drug overdose, not a Novichok perfume bottle. Someone’s death was necessary to provide adequate space for indignation.

The UK government boasted of their diplomatic coup in getting so many countries to expel diplomats. My favourite story about the whole shoddy affair is how Abu Ghraib graduate and CIA chief Gina Haspel persuaded Trump to expel 60 Russians by showing him a photo of dead ducks at a Salisbury lagoon, supposedly as a result of being fed bread by the Skripals. Children who had been given the bread were also traumatised by police attention but not poisoned either.

Showing great good sense and unwillingness to be so influenced the New Zealand government did not expel any Soviet diplomats at the time.

Jacinda Ardern’s advice to New Zealand media also makes very good sense – don’t believe every rumour you hear.

37 comments on “More Skripal bullshit ”

  1. Are there possibly other reasons not to trust this story as well?

    Maybe Novichok is the most toxic poison in the man made world. Drop for drop in the natural world the Inland Taipan has by far the most toxic snake venom – one drop can fell 100 adult humans or 250,000 mice. But if Novichok is the most lethal poison in the world, unless administering it was too hard, how lethal is it really?

    Just a thought.

  2. greywarshark 2

    SIS – Who watches the watchers?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/the-service/418609/sis-spied-on-labour-mp-richard-northey

    A senior Labour politician was spied on by the SIS while an MP in the 1980s and 1990s – even though for part of that time he had an oversight role of the intelligence agency as chair of the justice select committee…

    The documents included correspondence between Northey and then-prime minister David Lange, then-deputy prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and also advice Northey received from the commissioner of security warrants.

    The documents, and Northey's interview, revealed that while he was chairing the committee scrutinising changes to legislation determining how the SIS obtained interception warrants and who oversaw that process, he was being surveilled by the intelligence agency itself.

  3. "And evidence just revealed from the inquest on Dawn Sturgess shows that her death was most likely from a drug overdose, not a Novichok perfume bottle. Someone’s death was necessary to provide adequate space for indignation."

    That's quite a nasty slur on the innocent victim of a crime. There is no evidence at all in the provided link to back up the claim that Dawn Sturgess contributed to her own death. A quick google shows that the bloke behind the website the post links to is entirely on his own in slagging the poor dead woman off in this way, and is, er, talking Skripal bullshit.

    • Mike Smith 3.1

      I think the slur is yours. I did not make any comment about whether Dawn Sturgess contributed to her own death. My reference was to the police evidence:

      "In fact, the Wiltshire police evidence is that the Salisbury hospital laboratory provided toxicological evidence that Sturgess and Rowley were contaminated by Class A drugs and that Sturgess’s heart failure, which had occurred before her admission to the hospital, had been caused by a combination of these toxic drugs with a prescription for anti-depressants she had taken, and possibly alcohol served in a party of friends the evening before her collapse."

      • Bullshit. Posting another fantasy quote, as you appear to have done now, only makes your attack worse, Mike. You should be ashamed of yourself. If there is any actual evidence that drug use was involved in her death, post the links.

        Or just apologise.

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1

          "Convergence moonbats." The extreme ends of both left and right publish bollocks they got from loon sites as though it were established fact. This claim about Dawn Sturgess is no different from the claim Trump re-tweeted about Martin Gugino supposedly being an Antifa activist trying to interfere with police comms equipment.

  4. joe90 4

    Slandering the dead. Nice.

    /
    Stan speaks of Dawn as a gentle hippy, who had always loved visiting nearby Stonehenge. She had worked as a flower picker in Cornwall and in a pub. The Sturgesses accept Dawn had troubles. They said she had issues with alcohol but did not take drugs.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/15/novichok-victim-dawn-sturgess-parents-tell-of-their-anger-and-hurt

  5. observer 5

    Please don't try and tie Ardern in with this, in a fairly obvious attempt to use her name to add credibility.

    What she said has nothing to do with the conspiracy theories, at all.

  6. Ad 6

    i would like Trevor Mallard tell us all which MPs the SIS have files on.

    It's the Speaker that has to be persuaded that the SIS should be enabled to have access to Parliament.

    But I'd also want the SIS to be required to disclose they have files on any candidates, and on any local government elected members as well.

    Just a list once a year would be fine thanks.

    No more crap like they did to Keith Locke.

  7. Well Mike, the thing I find most ridiculous about the whole Skripal story , is the extensive measures taken to decontaminate the spread of novichok.

    From the doorknob to the Skripals bare hands, all these things had to go , so lethal was the nerve agent.

    The Skripal door, the roof , the table at Zizzis, the bench, the paving, the soil underneath the bench and paving, 24 emergency vehicles, buried in a land fill,Nick Bailey's house, possessions, cars.All from a smear on the doorknob

    "LONDON — The British police officer who was poisoned in a nerve agent attack on a Russian former spy has said that he and his family had to abandon all their belongings because of possible contamination — not just their home and cars, but every item in them, from family mementos to their children’s toys."

    But the A&E department at Salisbury hospital, thinking this was a fentanyl contaminated drug episode for many hours, did not make special arrangements to protect from a lethal nerve agent .The hospital was unscathed

    Perhaps destroying the Salisbury hospital was a step too far

    Also unscathed the ducks fed contaminated bread, or the boys who were given the bread , or the boy who ate the bread.

    Rowley spilled the poisoned perfume on his hands, trying to get the damn packet open,Sturgess sprayed it, the no doubt contaminated packaging was left lying about.

    But the newly built flat Rowley had just moved into was deemed safe, and stayed intact .No roof replacement there.

    There are 15,000 Russians living in NZ.The thought that it would be harder for the Russians to get to the Skripals here is surely one of the least plausible stories the 77th brigade could come up with .Where is their imagination?

    To Brits, NZ is the far side of the Universe. This story seems a sop to the commoners, on the eve of the BBC drama " The Salisbury Poisonings"being aired , when as well as receiving a goodly portion of propaganda, they may be asking themselves "Whatever did happen to the Skripals. Where are they now , do you think?"

    Well now you know, just like Coronation Street , when it's convenient to dispose of characters, "Oh they up and left for NZ"

  8. By the way Mike I think this is the piece you referred to

    http://johnhelmer.net/james-haslam-sergei-skripals-and-dawn-sturgesss-doctor-admits-he-isnt-sure-novichok-was-their-poison/#more-33886

    Myself, I'm not so sure of Helmer's findings. He does dig out a lot of information and detail not found anywhere else, but his conclusions are a bit of a far reach

    • Mike Smith 8.1

      The reference I used in my link is also linked in that article. Helmer's column dated June 3 a refers to the fact that the police evidence as to the cause of Sturgess' death has only just come to light.

  9. Andrew Miller 9

    Slandering the dead, anti Western pro Putin propaganda in the name of what? ‘Anti imperialism’.
    Thankfully not everyone on the left has capitulated to such grotesquely reflexive moral relativism.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Debunking a grotesque conspiracy fantasy is "pro Putin propaganda" is it?

      Could you elaborate on this fascinating thesis, which I suspect you have not dreamed up yourself?

    • Thanks, Andrew. The Standard has a wide variety of authors, who post from a variety of perspectives. It's unusual on a left wing site to find articles in support of murderous right wing authoritarians, but Mike's well with in his rights to embarrass himself and the site if he wants to. It's just a bit sad, is all.

      • francesca 9.2.1

        Pointing out glaring inconsistencies in a story is not supporting right wing authoritarians.

        That idea is parallel to Key insisting that Mike Joy is ant-dairy because he points out the holes in the clean green NZ narrative

        • te reo putake 9.2.1.1

          Actually, Fransesca, I made no comment at all about "glaring inconsistencies". There aren't any, as far as I can see, but that's not the issue here. The issue is a very specific and vile attack on a dead woman, based on a fantasy posted by some bloke in Russia.

          • francesca 9.2.1.1.1

            But what?

            Suggestion that drugs could have been involved is a "very specific and vile attack?"

            Why ? Do you somehow think only bad people get mixed up with drugs?

            Drug addiction isn't a moral failure , its a medical condition .No wonder we have such barbaric laws in this country

      • Brigid 9.2.2

        "Mike's well with in his rights to embarrass himself and the site if he wants to"

        So gas-lighting is your go to in the absence of a well constructed counter argument.

        Couldn't you have been honest and said "I don't like what you've written Mike therefore you need to shut the fuck up"

        • observer 9.2.2.1

          What possible counter-argument is there, when evidence doesn't count?

          The response to "earth is flat" is not "I don't like what you've written".

        • te reo putake 9.2.2.2

          You should probably look up the meaning of gas lighting, Brigid. It's not what you think.

          I haven't asked anyone to shut up. I have pointed out that the claim that drugs have something to do with the death of Dawn Sturgess is an entirely evidence free speculation from just one bloke in Russia.

          However, it's worth noting that the drugs slur only works because the woman concerned is dead and can't speak for herself. It's misogynist bullshit, of the kind I recall Mike Smith used to fight against when he was in a position of influence in the Labour party.

          Why he's now in favour of abusing this poor woman I do not know, but it's shameful in the extreme.

          • Incognito 9.2.2.2.1

            Lots of emotive and highly charged language and lots of accusations flying around in some of the comments 🙁

            For example, I looked it up and misogynist is “relating to or characteristic of a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women”. I fail to see how this label applies to the OP and/or its Author.

            Maybe time to take a chill pill, yes?

            • te reo putake 9.2.2.2.1.1

              No. There is never a time to chill out on the abuse of women. And the bullshit, victim blaming claim in the post is clearly abusive of Dawn Sturgess.

              I repeat, there is no evidence she contributed to her own death. No evidence at all. The claim does not stand up.

              Most misogynists want women to be silent. Can't get much quieter than being dead.

              • Incognito

                Can you read the comments in the back-end?

                • Yep, and I appreciate your comment and your sentiments. However, the front end behaviour to be worried about is the post itself.

                  There has been an established tradition at TS that when people claim something as fact, they should back it up if asked to. Or withdraw the claim.

                  Mike's been asked to back it up. He can't back it up because there is no evidence that it is true. That's the issue.

                  Alternatively, if TS is now the kind of place where grumpy old men are allowed to slag off women without being called on it, I think we should stop claiming to be a left wing blog and have a good hard think about the future of the site.

                  • francesca

                    He has not slagged off women

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Isn't it interesting that almost the same set of people who brought into this ridiculous thinly veiled propaganda, are the same crew who buy into Russiagate, and probably also hate Assange..just saying.

                    • Incognito []

                      Very interesting indeed but how’s this addressing the content of the OP or even the comment you’re replying to, which was on topic and relevant? Sounds like you’re more interested in the ‘messengers’. Your comment could easily further derail the OP and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

              • adam

                From the guy who wrote a post which lead to death threats against a women journalist, it's a bit bloody rich to take some high ground when your that type of misogynist te reo putake.

                • Incognito

                  This is not helping, I’m afraid and it borders on flaming, IMO. Accusations of hypocrisy never are constructive.

  10. Stunned Mullet 10

    I find myself in complete agreement with the title of this post.

  11. Peter 11

    On Monday afternoon the 5.00 RNZ news carried the story. My message to them was that the 'news story' was a poor effort to sustain a non-story.

    That was based on the Prime Minister's comment earlier. She gave the pro forma comment about not commenting on specific cases. I noted her 'not believing everything you read' comment which followed was said in such a way that anyone with a comprehension level of about a 10 year old would assume the person was not here.

    In itself that was a comment of those working in the RNZ newsroom.

  12. McFlock 12

    NZ is probably the best place to assume they are not, now that the rumour has hit the papers (because if they were, they won't be now, and if they weren't they wouldn't change that).

    As for the representation of what the cops allegedly said re: cause of death… I'm not going to be buying the book he's shilling off the back of that bullshit.

  13. observer 13

    Let's cut to the chase here.

    Dawn Sturgess was poisoned. Obviously she wasn't the intended target, and also obviously, it happened.

    Lots and lots of ways to not address that fact, and instead ride whatever distracting hobby horse people want. But there are no ways to make it untrue.

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    6 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago