The poisoning of the Skripals

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The poisoning of the Skripals

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2018-04-06 13:03.

The Skripal poisoning case in the UK becomes more confused by the hour as new 'facts' emerge and old 'facts' fade away. Major and minor actors stride onto the stage with various props, do their bit of 'business' and slither off again. The plot is now simply incomprehensible. Suspension of disbelief is no longer possible for the audience.

We on this website have no specialist knowledge but we are happy that others are doing the detail work. We can only express our irritation at the stupidity of the official line (see last month's Scrapbook passim).

One of the few clear facts of the affair is the general uselessness of the MSM in investigating such stories: once again, it is independent websites who are leading the way in dismantling the idiotic official narrative.

Strategic vision

For us the Skripal case is another symptom of the total lack of strategic vision of the UK government (see for example our pieces UK sovereignty. Then what?, Strategic goals for the UK post Brexit and Dim and Dhimmi).

The great Foreign Secretaries of the past would have glanced at the Skripal dossier and felt only the mildest consternation that the Russians might be assassinating their own (somewhat shadowy) citizens on British territory.

A stiff note would have been written: the first paragraph would be a polite demand that the Russian Federation assures the UK Government that it has no involvement in this crime; the second would be an invitation to carry out some consular care of their own citizens, the Skripals; the third would suggest that both the UK and Russia invoke the help of the OPCW to investigate the putative nerve agent used on the pair – if Russia didn't use whatever it is, then it is in everyone's interest to find out who did.

The ten minutes taken to deal with that matter would have brought the Foreign Secretary nicely to the moment when the coffee and biscuits arrived to fill the gap left by breakfast – now only a receding memory.

The true statesman will have a mental list of the great strategic issues facing the country: Brexit, the USA, China and so on. The Skripal affair would not even make the last place on this list. It is merely one of those little local difficulties with which the art of diplomacy, polished over many centuries, is designed to deal.

The true statesman will also remember that the UK is currently still a vassal state of the EU and has outsourced much of its diplomacy to its master. We note that it was the EU which, with its eastern expansion and hegemonic claims, goaded Russia to action in Ukraine and the Crimea. For the EU, a little more pot-stirring will not come amiss.

In the end, the hysterical outrage of the strategic pygmies of the current UK government over the fate of two Russian citizens is just embarrassing. 'Why?', we ask, 'why this manic uproar over such trivia?'.

Time there was, now gone

Readers interested in history may recall the moment known as the 'Don Pacifico Affair', when, around 1849, Lord Palmerston had a rush of blood to the head over the fate of a British subject born in Gibraltar. The case is a mirror image of that of the Skripals, who are Russian citizens, in the interests of whom the UK has no obligation to despatch gunboats.

Palmerston carried the day eventually with his magnificent Civis romanus sum speech, but what was really on display was the powerful role of both houses in Parliament in debating and moderating foreign policy and the strategic principles that underpin it. In comparison, the UK parliament of our day is a joke. A joke, a house of know-nothings combined with a house of timeservers. Palmerston was a great, if not flawless, Foreign Secretary. The present incumbent is a buffoon who gyrates around the stage, quite fittingly under a stage name.