When the Australian Cricket Team was discovered to have cheated by scrubbing its balls with sandpaper, it resulted in a major sporting scandal, tearful press conferences and sackings. Although reprehensible, the worst consequence might be that a game could be lost or won unfairly.
Compare that to what has happened in the alleged nerve agent attack on the Skripals in Salisbury on the 4th March, blamed on the Russians on the back of the flimsiest evidence. It is no exaggeration to say that any cheating here, risks not a game of cricket, but the destruction of human civilisation!
I have made a modest assessment of some of the problems with this case in previous articles. With time and disclosures they appear to be getting much worse not better as is expertly summarised in the article below by James O'Neil. Many of the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary's assertions have been flatly contradicted.
- The consultant at the Salisbury Hospital has stated "
- The Scientists and CEO of Porton Down are prepared to state only that the agent was of a "Novichok-type" and have no idea where it came from, other than a denial that it came from Porton Down itself.
- Further it refuses to reveal whether it holds samples of the material but we must assume that it does as identification requires a certain degree of comparison.
- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and in failing to provide Consular access by Russia to the Skripals which it is obligated to do. (Britain claims the Skripals did not want to see them)
- Now we learn that Yulia made a phone call to her cousin Viktoria on the 4th April, when clearly she was lucid and recovering, and had been awake for over a week. She even added that "Daddy is fine" according to the Daily Mail. (As late as 22 Mar 2018 the government had claimed both Mr and Ms Skripal were unconscious in hospital in Salisbury and therefore unable to give their consent to blood samples being taken or tested).
- This and all the other circumstantial evidence of onset, time- line, sources of contamination and lack of illness to others provides doubt a nerve agent of this toxicity was even involved.
In view of all this, Mrs May's assertions increasingly appear to be premature, inaccurate and bellicose. In fact the suspicion of a serious case of 'ball tampering' grows and grows, where the ashes that are at stake are real and devastating. It now just remains to be seen whether Mrs May and Mr Johnson will be forced to apologise with tears in their eyes?
See: earlier articles on this blog and,