by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Like most people, I have absolutely no idea who was behind the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. However, what this saga reveals is that a great many people are perfectly willing to believe that the UK Government is not telling the truth.

It must be said that there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to back the conspiracy theory and, when allied to the Westminster penchant for lying to UK citizens, it is perhaps no wonder that a great many people are casting doubts on the official claims.

This situation is not helped by the fact that, so far, the UK Government has refused to produce any evidence to back up its assertion that Russia was behind the attempted murder. Russia’s reputation for carrying out such acts is, if anything, even worse than the UK’s – certainly in recent times – so we cannot discount the possibility that, however unlikely it might seem that Vladimir Putin might sanction a bungling attempt to do away with someone he had already dismissed from Russia as of little current importance, he may have authorised the assassination attempt.

I never thought I’d say this but, for once, I am in agreement with Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn. We really ought to see the evidence before making accusations. Trump may well be in Putin’s pocket, but the UK Government’s unwillingness to produce any definitive proof certainly gives him the wriggle room to avoid becoming involved.

I should also say that I am rather disappointed that the SNP have given what seems unconditional backing to the official UK response without asking to see any evidence to back the claims. I think a more tempered approach would have been appropriate.

But whether the murder bid was carried out by Russia or whether it was a false flag operation to distract the British public from the constitutional crisis which is about to engulf us, Theresa May has certainly seized upon it as the ideal story to make that very distraction.

But what, in reality, is she going to do? She has expelled some diplomats and said no member of the Royal family will be going to the World Cup. I bet Vladimir Putin isn’t losing much sleep over either of those. We may see some economic sanctions but, without backing from other major states, these will be largely ineffective. And it’s worth noting that the UK has recently gone out of its way to alienate its European allies thanks to Brexit. With the USA clearly not prepared to back them, Westminster will quickly find out just how big a global player the UK is. The end result will probably be that even more UK citizens will see evidence of just how inept the UK Government is. What we will probably see is a lot of bluster, a lot of empty threats, and a promise to establish an enquiry to get to the bottom of several sudden and unexpected deaths of people living in the UK who had fallen foul of Vladimir Putin. Like all enquiries, it’s purpose will be to obfuscate and delay so that everyone eventually forgets about it. That’s the British way. See Grenfell enquiry.

The thing is that Putin has the UK exactly where he wants it. Cut off from Europe, abandoned by the USA, the UK is becoming an irrelevance. It will suit Russia for the UK to become a tax haven since it will allow them to launder even more of their money through the few remaining London banks. The Tories already receive some very healthy donations from Russian individuals; money which they have no intention of returning, so it is in their interests not to prod the Russian bear too much.

We can argue all we like about whether the Skripal murder attempt was a bungled false flag operation carried out by the British Secret Service, a bungled attempt by the Russian FSB who are so emboldened by the UK’s ineptitude that they didn’t care whether they were discovered, or whether it was some third party who wanted Mr Skripal dead for their own reasons. The main conclusions we can draw from this sorry saga is that trust in the UK Government is at an all time low, and that Russia really does not care what the UK does because it is now a toothless tiger on the world stage.