Any questioning of the ‘official narrative’ is swiftly shot down, after all, as former Prime Minister Theresa May retains ‘it is highly likely’, that the poisoning was at the hands of Russia. In spite of this damning condemnation from the UK, there are still a few sceptics raising questions.
One individual still brewing doubt over the hasty conclusion of the British Government, is former UK senior diplomat turned whistle-blower, Craig Murray. He has labelled the official story a ‘dead duck’, saying that the sequence of events secured as the truth ‘simply don’t add up’.
An author and human rights activist, Murray previously worked as the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. His latest pastime includes the founding of a festival in Scotland, which alongside musical masterpieces, valorises the voices of whistle-blowers and activists from the UK and beyond. In a cameo appearance at his own festival, Doune the Rabbit Hole, Craig Murray took the stage to share his take on the Skripal case. Questioning the ‘truth’ about the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury, Craig Murray highlights a few of the official events that leave an inquisitive eye wanting more information.
- Sergei and Yulia Skripal are father and daughter. It is not surprising then, that they both have different ages, genders and weights. What is surprising is that the pair was disabled by the nerve agent at the same time- rendering them unable to call for help. That’s after touching the doorknob which was contaminated with a ‘military grade’ nerve agent, and then going on to feed the ducks and enjoy a lunch at Zizzi’s. This is what Craig Murray designates an ‘extreme coincidence’.
- Boris Johnson stated in our Houses of Parliament that he had seen, and the Foreign Office had possession of a manual for the Russian security services, which teaches you how to 'paint Novichok on doorknobs’. Murray puts the question out there, where is this manual now? Has anybody other than Boris Johnson seen it? No, because it's top secret. Or as Murray states: ‘another example of a lie, in the fantasy promulgated by Boris Johnson’.
- Despite being smeared on a door handle in Salisbury for a number of days, the OPCW reports that the Novichok sample they received was of ‘high purity’, with an ‘almost complete absence of impurities’. The British Government took this as evidence that the nerve agent was military-grade. Rather than nodding along, Craig Murray paints a question mark. ‘How can a sample be completely pure after spending a few days on a doorknob, making contact with the hands of the Skripal’s, the gloves of investigators, and any passing dirt’. After all, the contaminated doorknob, supposedly was on the outside of the house - Any sample taken from there, therefore would not likely boast ‘laboratory levels of purity’.
- On the subject of complete purity- Mr Murray questions why, having touched the extremely deadly ‘military grade’ nerve agent, the Skripal’s did not die. The only death in this case, one which Murray describes as tragic, was that of Dawn Sturgess. Ms Sturgess died after spraying her wrists with a perfume found in a charity bin. Boxed and sealed- according to official reports, this perfume bottle allegedly held the remains of the remainder of the Novichok supply.
- Despite containing military-grade Novichok, Murray notes a ‘lack of urgency’ in releasing CCTV images of Boshirov and Petrov, (the Russian suspects in the case), dropping the perfume in the charity bin, (which was not emptied for 3 months)- or releasing the make or name of the perfume. How, he ponders, did the suspects manage to paint the Skripal’s doorknob with Novichok, and then seal the perfume bottle back up to retail level? This part of the story, Craig Murray says, is nonsense.
These are just a few of the questions Murray has raised in the case, though he is careful to say that though he is asking questions, he ‘does not actually have the answers’. In fact, Murray stresses that he’s not sure that many people will ever know the answers. That, he says, is not the issue. The issue is the fact that this country and the next has been fed a story, aspects of which are ‘simply ludicrous’- and there have not been enough questions asked.
Considering there were more to the case - that the official narrative is not actually the complete course events, then why would such a bizarre storyline have been spun? Why not something more simplistic? Less fantastical? Sputnik put that question to Craig Murray, who explains his theory; that it was never the intention to have to feed the public and authorities such an elaborate web.
"My suspicion is something happened in Salisbury which wasn't necessarily planned in advance by the British government, which they didn't suspect. Nobody knows what happened. No one does. I don't think either the British Government or the Russian Government expected this event to occur. I don't believe it was a deep plot by MI5 to come up with something. I think that is a possibility, but it's not definite. I think it almost certainly relates to unofficial activity, the guarding Orbis intelligence for dossier on Trump, people making money out of their security service contacts, and some disputes between crooks and criminals. That seems to be the most probable of all explanations."
Murray’s take on the events goes much deeper than this article has allowed, but the full talk is available to watch.
Wine in hand, in a tent in a field, the former British diplomat raises the questions that the crème de la crème of British politics either haven’t asked, or have failed to answer.