UK's 'Spying Industry' Is Main Beneficiary of Skripal Incident - Analyst

© REUTERS / Peter NichollsOfficials in protective suits check their equipment before repositioning the forensic tent, covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found, in the centre of Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018
Officials in protective suits check their equipment before repositioning the forensic tent, covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found, in the centre of Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018 - Sputnik International
Theresa May is exceedingly assertive with her groundless claims and allegations that ex-spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned by Moscow. Sputnik spoke to Craig John Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, for insight into the issue overall and who might benefit from the toxic tragedy.

Sputnik: What are your opinions on Theresa May and the British Authorities handling of the Skripal case?

Craig John Murray: Well it’s a fascinating response in many ways. If Theresa May genuinely believes that Skripal was the victim of attempted assassination by the Russian state, then it’s an extremely week and inadequate response, if she actually believes that.

Because expelling 23 diplomats doesn’t hurt anyone very much. Diplomats aren’t the most necessary members of society in many ways, so it’s extraordinary; she’s talking extraordinarily tough and making all sorts of assumptions and at the same time, acting rather feebly.

Sputnik: Is it surprising that the British Authorities are acting in this way?

Craig John Murray: Well I think the British authorities have made it absolutely plain from the start that they were going to blame Russia whatever the evidence, which at the moment we have no idea what the evidence is.

They’ve produced no convincing evidence. The novichok nerve agent is fascinating because while a former Soviet disciplined scientist claimed in the 1990’s, when he defected to be part of the programme to produce them, up until now the Western Governments have been sceptical that novichok were ever produced.

Just two years ago, the Head of Defence research at Porton Down published a scientific article that there had been no evidence that novichok had been physically and successfully synthesised and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has never outlawed novichok, precisely on the grounds that they had no evidence that novichok had ever physically existed as opposed to being a theoretical concept. So we now have the British Government claiming that it’s discovered a poisoning by this compound which two years ago they agreed with the rest of the world community that it did not exist.

Sputnik: How will this verdict from Theresa May affect relations with Russia?

Craig John Murray: There has been campaign to whip up Russo-Phobia going on particularly with the allegations of Russian interference in the American elections campaign for example. There has been this Russo-Phobia campaign in full swing for a couple of years now and you have to look at who benefits from that: the armaments industry, the spying industry.

And spying and security are big industries now. Tens and thousands of spies are employed in GCHQ, MI6 and MI5, you’ve pretty much got 100,000 people between those organisations and they are financial interests. Porton Down is having an £85million increase to its budget already as a result of these accusations and we’ve had Conservative MP’s calling for big increases in UK armament spending so you have to look at who benefits and this is all a desire to whip up Russo-Phobia for the benefits of arms manufacturers, security consultants and spies.

Of course, they hope the jingoism will politically benefit the Tory party and of course the Tories and Labour party are looking to use it as another attempt to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn, so you have to look at motivation and the truth is that these people are in power in the UK and their attitude to Russia was already appalling, so it’s not really going to make matters an awful lot worse, it’s just more of the same.

The views and opinions expressed by Craig John Murray are those of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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