The media, with the assistance of a few right-wing Labour MPs who like a bit of adventurism, are desperately spinning the idea that Jeremy Corbyn’s measured stance on the right UK response to Russia is not statesmanlike – while those who are rushing to blame Russia before there is any firm evidence of their involvement are showing ‘traditional cross-party strength when the UK is under threat’.
You only have to compare Corbyn’s speech yesterday to that of Theresa May and the Labour ABC (anyone-but-Corbyn) backbenchers to see that clearly enough.
But the Tories can’t help revealing their bankruptcy and lack of substance, so there have been a few interesting give-aways that show how tenuous their attribution of blame to Russia really is.
Especially the repeated theme of ‘Russian sarcasm’.
Foreign Secretary (yes, really) Boris Johnson did it this morning on Sky News. During her speech yesterday Theresa May, told MPs that her government had presented just two possible alternatives to Russia – their direct involvement or their loss of control of their weapons – and the beastly Russians had failed to accept either of them by her deadline.
But not only that, they dared to be sarcastic about it. How dare they?! They must be guilty – there’s no other explanation:
Former UK ambassador Craig Murray has pointed out that international chemical weapons experts – including Robin Black of the UK’s own Porton Down facility based only 8 miles from where the Skripal attack took place – say that the whole point of ‘Novichok’ nerve agents is that they can be made in any commercial lab from freely-available components and that the process is not very secret.
Our nearest neighbours – Ireland and France – have both refused to jump to the conclusion that Russia was involved, so clearly they think there are other alternative explanations.
May’s and Johnson’s ‘only two possible alternatives’ presented to Russia simply can’t be relied on – especially when the UK has refused to provide samples to the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for analysis and source-identification, as required by international conventions on chemical weapons attacks.
At the same time, both May and Johnson are quick to talk of the ‘rule of law’ when it comes to measures that would affect the bank accounts of rich Russians in this country – many of whom just happen to have made large donations to Tory coffers.
But ‘rule of law’ be damned when it comes to accusing a whole, nuclear-armed country – that would require evidence. Who needs that when we have sarcasm?!.
If Theresa May had solid proof of the perpetrator of the attacks, you can bet she’d be saying so – but even she daren’t go that far.
So Russia’s ‘sarcasm, contempt and defiance’ in response to Theresa May and Boris Johnson is presented to us as ‘case closed’.
Right. By that standard of ‘proof’, any one of millions of people in the UK are potentially guilty, including everyone who helps with the SKWAWKBOX.
But of course, the ‘MSM’ are trying to control the narrative, even if that means saying a very obvious black is self-evidently white – and that Russian sarcasm is proof enough of their involvement in events in Salisbury.
Thank God there’s one statesman in Westminster, at least.
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