boris johnson pinocchio

Boris has really done it this time hasn’t he.

In a blockbuster twist to the Skripal sage, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his British Foreign & Commonwealth Office has been caught lying to the whole world.

After almost a month of baseless claims and slurs – broadcast in media globally – about Russian involvement in the attempted murder of retired spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the British government is now backpedaling faster than a Tour de France video on rewind.

In its previous iteration, the British government’s argument hinged on the Porton Down chemical weapons facility having positively identified the alleged murder weapon, ‘Novichok’, as being Russian in origin. But now the most that the chief military scientist at Porton Down will say is that a they have identified a “military-grade nerve agent” of unknown origin.

This time it’s Russia’s turn to call an emergency UN Security Council meeting, and Britain’s turn to field awkward questions.

The latest development today is that Yulia Skripal is awake and doing ‘fine’, as is her father. Russian media have published a recording of a phone conversation she had with a relative in Russia. I won’t even ask how they got ahold of that, but more concerning is the following question this raises: how on Earth can the Skripals be doing ‘fine’ if they were exposed to a lethal nerve agent that is classed as a chemical weapon of mass destruction?

The British government says it sent its ‘bestest proof’ to fellow anglophonic countries – The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – the ‘Five Eyes’ that form the core of the Western Order, while everyone else in NATO-stan received just the ‘basic package’ of ‘believe us, this is for realz’.

Despite being on just a ‘need-to-know’ basis, all but a handful of the quislings in NATO-stan fell into line by booting at least one Russian diplomat. Of the few countries that have not yet done so, Bulgaria is apparently considering it, while the US gauleiter in ambassador to Slovenia has warned his host country that its failure to toe the part line “surprised him“, that the Slovenian government “ought to have expelled Russian diplomats,” and that “Slovenians must decide where their interests lie; with the democratic free West, or the Russian model of society.”

Freedom and democracy has never tasted so… bitter.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had this to say:

“Rest assured, we will respond. The reason is that no one would like to tolerate such obnoxiousness and we won’t either. When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington’s chief instrument in the international scene.”

Speaking of blackmail, what is the French connection in the Skripal saga? When the Russian government formally presented its British counterpart with a list of 14 basic questions about what the heck is going on, nine of them made specific reference to what we can only assume is Russian knowledge of France’s involvement in this dirty business:

3. On what grounds was France involved in technical cooperation in the investigation of the incident, in which Russian citizens were injured?

4. Did the UK notify the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France’s involvement in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?

5. What does France have to do with the incident, involving two Russian citizens in the UK?

6. What rules of UK procedural legislation allow for the involvement of a foreign state in an internal investigation?

7. What evidence was handed over to France to be studied and for the investigation to be conducted?

8. Were the French experts present during the sampling of biomaterial from Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

9. Was the study of biomaterials from Sergei and Yulia Skripal conducted by the French experts and, if so, in which specific laboratories?

10. Does the UK have the materials involved in the investigation carried out by France?

11. Have the results of the French investigation been presented to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?

Et toi, Francois?

Between this fiasco and the revelation that Cambridge Analytica is in fact a British military intelligence spin-off, centuries of meddling in everyone else’s affairs may finally be catching up with the Brits.

In the meantime, responsible, psychologically intact adults are gathered in Russia for the annual Moscow Conference on International Security, an increasingly well-attended and welcome non-Western alternative to the annual NATO love-fest that is the Munich Security Conference.

Sergei Naryshkin, director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service told the Moscow conference yesterday that the sordid Salisbury affair was a “grotesque provocation rudely staged by the British and US intelligence agencies.”

And that’s the plain truth.