Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, September 14th, 2018 - 125 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, human rights, International, Media, Politics, Propaganda, Russia, uk politics - Tags: bullshit, ordinary lives, paranoia
The UK government just couldn’t help itself, could it? Faced with the possibility of scoring some points against Russia, well….grab that there opportunity with both hands and to hell with everything else, right?
I said a while back, and I’ll reiterate. The likely courier of the “Salisbury toxin” is Julia Skripal. Everything about her movements fit. And of course, that’s just speculation on my part. As to why she was carrying a toxin, or who she was carrying it for, or who might have been the intended target? I’ll pass.
Now, to cut the UK government some slack, she was comatose when they picked her up from a park bench, and so it might have seemed reasonable, to them anyway, to immediately jump to conclusions about some dastardly Russian government plot to knock off an ex-British spy they’d previously released from jail as part of some spy swap.
Having done that, and having unleashed a pile of shit off the back of their conviction, they effectively dug a hole for themselves.
I’m not going to run through how the UK government and mainstream media heaped speculation on top of baseless assertion on top of speculation as though that might finally amount to proof of some dastardly Russian stuff. If you’re happy to buy into the UK government’s line and run with it, then fine. I don’t care.
What I care about is if, as seems to be the case, two ordinary people have been thrown under some political juggernaut by a UK government trying to dig itself out of a hole it’s dug for itself. After six months or so, and with nothing to show for all the investigating we were told they were engaged in, they had to come up with something that might draw a line under things. The naming of the two Russians, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov was meant to be that line. Of course, being GRU officers, they’d never be heard from again – they’d simply be spirited away into the vast “nowhereness” of Russia as it were.
Except it seems that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are real people. And sure, The Guardian is waving it’s arms (no doubt other media is too) that when they were interviewed by RT, the two men who look like the two men in CCTV stills released by UK authorities, didn’t produce the false passports that would verify they really are who they say they are, although in Teresa May’s world, everyone knows they’re not who they say they are, and that their passports would prove that point beyond all doubt. Or something.
Watch and/or read and come to your own conclusions.
And no – before the usual pom pom brigade flounce in with their usual tired routine, I’m not interested in defending some notion of the Russian government as a great and wonderful institution or set of institutions. In fact, I’ve as much interest in doing that as I have of defending the UK (or US, NZ or wherever else) governments as great and wonderful institutions – ie, none. Two ordinary citizens have had their lives fucked over by the latest in a long line of shenanigans between despicable and paranoid state actors. I care for none of them.
And whereas I have precisely zero power to hold the Russian Federation and its bullshit to account, I can at least kick back against some of the bullshit we’re subjected to via media by dint of the New Zealand government’s cultural and historical ties to other western governments. Neither you nor I can directly influence the policies of western governments beyond New Zealand’s shores. But we could stop mindlessly buying into their nonsense, and make it that bit more difficult for them to peddle bullshit.
We deserve better of ourselves on that front.
And so do Alexander Petrov, Ruslan Boshirov and the millions of anonymous and ordinary people who, just like us, are impacted when governments and media are given a free uncritical pass to say as they will and to do as they like.