After the original was such an unmitigated flop, with its ridiculous, unbelievable plot line and cartoon villains that left audiences bemused and incredulous, one would have imagined we would have been spared any further instalments of this saga. But Boris and Theresa and their British Propaganda Production Company who first brought us this farce, instead of running off with their tails between their legs disavowing any responsibility of the original, are back with a brand new episode. Rather than bothering to create a new storyline they have simply rehashed the original but changed the locations and character names. The ending too is identical which is no real surprise given the production team’s insane hatred of certain countries. I am sure, therefore, that I won’t be spoiling anything by revealing that the Russians did it again!
If you thought the original plot line was unbelievable (which, unless you have the intellectual capacity akin to plankton, you would have done) then your credulity glands are going to strangle your own brain in an attempt to escape this nonsense.
In the first instalment we had the evil Russians attempting to assassinate a former spy for no reason whatsoever. Despite no clues being evident to the audience throughout e.g. no CCTV, no fingerprints, no DNA, no fibre samples, and above all, no motive, Boris and Theresa still somehow tried convince the viewers, completely unsuccessfully of course, that the Russians were guilty.
In this latest venture we have two members of the public, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, with no Russian links whatsoever, as far as we are aware, supposedly falling victim to novichok, the same substance allegedly used to poison the Skripals. Originally we were misled into believing the incident happened in Salisbury in an obvious attempt to tie the two plots together. However, as we have since learned, it actually occurred in Amesbury, 10 miles away, thus creating another enormous fissure in the narrative into which the entire story is rapidly vanishing.
In this fantastical saga, belief must now be suspended so much it defies gravity. We are now supposed to believe that a highly trained Russian assassin not only failed in his attempt to murder a Russian spy by putting the most deadly poison known to man on his door handle, his car, his food or drink or perhaps maybe sprinkling it around the entire town of Salisbury but he then decided he would go ten miles up the road and spread novichok around random sites in Amesbury on the off chance the Skripals would visit there at some point. As in the original production, the location of where the two new victims were poisoned and the method of how they were poisoned have changed numerous times. It may have been in the park. It may have been in the town centre. Theories proposed include the possibility they touched a contaminated bag. No explanation of what type of bag or why they would handle it has been forthcoming. We have the theory they picked up a contaminated cigarette butt and smoked it. Where this idea comes from is anyone’s guess as, although there are a multitude of suggested ways in which the Skripals were poisoned, none of them involved smoking novichok. Then we have the contaminated syringe theory but, yet again, the Skripals were not injected with novichok so why would it be in a syringe in a park 10 miles away? There would even appear to be some concern that a litter bin may have been involved somehow as it was cordoned off and was being protected by a policeman.
Theories of how these two people were poisoned abound, all of them preposterous if we are to believe the narrative put forward in the first instalment of the saga. How much novichok did this mysterious Russian assassin have for goodness sake and why on earth travel up to Amesbury to dispose of it? Also, If novichok is so deadly, has apparently such a long life span and people can become seriously ill by merely touching any trace of it why have thousands of people not been contaminated? Why, when the people in Salisbury have been told to simply wipe down items such as mobile phones with baby wipes, implying that this will remove all traces of novichok, is the poison still in ten environment and active many months later? Would the rain not have dispersed it by now? But whilst the Russians, cigarette ends, doorknobs and syringes hog the limelight, no light at all is being shone on the more plausible scenarios. Usually there is only one elephant in the room but in this sorry tale, there are two.
The first pachyderm is the drug connection. In the Skripal case it was initially reported in the local press that Sergei and Yulia were thought to be suffering from ingesting fentanyl, a drug many times more powerful than heroin. This is what they were initially treated for. In the case of Mr Rowley and Miss Sturgess it was believed they too had taken some form of drugs based on the fact that one, or both of them, are allegedly addicted to heroin. It has now been stated that the symptoms of novichok poisoning and a drug overdose are the same. The question must therefore be, have these people really been poisoned by novichok at all, particularly since the nerve agent is supposed to take effect almost immediately whereas hours passed in these incidents before any adverse effect was noted at all? Moreover, why, in either case was a nerve agent even suspected when the drug overdose theory fitted all the symptoms, particularly in the most recent case? Why, when two people allegedly addicted to drugs display symptoms of a drug overdose do the police and medical profession suddenly think it must be novichok. Have they never heard of Occam and his razor? It makes no sense.
What makes even less sense is the British media blatantly ignoring the second, even more obvious elephant. This one is even larger than the other one and isn’t just in the room but is banging on the walls and trumpeting loud enough to smash the windows but the media remain strangely elephant blind. This beast is Porton Down.
Porton Down, manufacturer of biological and chemical weapons, has a dark history of human experimentation. They poisoned British military personal with mustard gas and nerve agents for decades and now, they are the very facility that has supposedly identified novichok as the agent used in both the Skripal case and in the most recent one. How can these people, who have poisoned British citizens in the past, be trusted? Surely they must be number one suspect? After all, they could not possibly have indentified novichok as the substance responsible without already having novichok in their possession with which to compare it. Moreover, they were also in the vicinity of both crimes, being only a few miles away from both Salisbury and Amesbury. So, in the tale so far, Porton Down are the only suspects that definitely possessed the weapon allegedly used in these crimes and wherein the area at the time. Enough to bring them in for questioning surely?
However, there may be a reason why the old villains of The Skripal Affair 1 are top of the suspect list again. It comes from an impeccable source. A radio news program, when reporting the case, said that when one of the neighbours was asked what was going on she replied. “We don’t know, but we heard it was the Russians.” So there you go, positive proof from such a reliable source as ‘The Neighbour’ cannot be dismissed lightly.
On a final note, as with all bad sequels there is also problem with continuity errors. In the original, it took the OPWC over two weeks to allegedly identify the agent used as novichok even though they were told in advance that is what they were looking for. In the sequel, it took Porton Down only a few days. Strange don’t you think? Anyway, let’s just hope this is the last in the series and they don’t turn it into a Star Wars type franchise. Admittedly it is unlikely as Star Wars is way more realistic.
*Please be advised- according to the production notes from British Propaganda Productions they have the right to change the ending of The Skripal Affair 2, or in fact the entire story if they manufacture, find other evidence, particularly if it comes from gossip, rumour, tittle-tattle, old wives tales, British Intelligence or other equally reliable sources.
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