So there we have it, we finally know what it’ll take for Labour back-benchers to move on Corbyn. They’ve drawn a line in the sand and now they’ll brace for the inevitable consequences of breaking hive rules. Corbyn’s historic affiliations with the IRA didn’t spark sufficient outrage amongst modern born-in-the-90’s Labour supporters, but an attack here and now, on British soil from an unscrupulous superpower has united not just the government, but the British public.

Corbyn and select loyalists on his front bench stand alone in defending Putin, and maybe, just maybe; this time he’s gone too far.

It’s uncommon for parties to split so acutely on foreign policy, and there could be a case to argue that this is just Corbyn being Corbyn—rightly or wrongly a man of principles but one whom undoubtedly lacks the political savvy of some of his predecessors when it comes to on-the-spot rebuttal. Corbyn is known to ‘lose it’. In ruptures of frustration, Corbyn repeatedly forgets to ask a question during PMQ’s, and his long-held beliefs on foreign policy have long been cause for concern amongst Labour moderates. His ability to make friends with all the wrong people have time and again put an unhealthy spotlight on the party.

So when the Labour leader, a man whom not too long ago found himself accused of being a soviet informer, points the finger at the Conservatives for being too close to Russia— the room turned firmly against him. Corbyn sparked further fury when he pointedly refused to lay the blame for the attack with Moscow. Did the absolute boy somehow stray from the script?

33 Labour MP’s singed the Early Day Motion saying they unequivocally accept Russia is responsible for the attack. Just recently, a Labour MP expressed to me how she liked working with Corbyn because he was refreshingly open to new suggestions and ideas, but on Friday the Huffington Post reported comments from Corbyn ally Chris Williamson threatening MP’s who didn’t back Corbyn with de-selection. Labour operates behind an emerald curtain and a well-timed breeze just parted the drapes long enough for us to steal a glimpse.

Are we certain that Russia was behind the Salisbury poisoning? Well, yes— as much as we could ever be without the Kremlin signing an official confession.

Novichok nerve agents were secretly developed by the former Soviet Union back in the 1970s. The chemical makeup of the nerve agent is much like a fingerprint; Novichok was specifically created by Russia to be unknown (and known) in the West and as such it has been one of their most tightly guarded secrets. No one else knows how to make it and it was always intended to be self-incriminating— the formula is a calling card from Russia. To our knowledge it’s never been used in active warfare but a Russian Scientist developing the agent died after being exposed to a small amount that had leaked from a rubber tube.

On Thursday, Corbyn took a half-step back conceding that all the evidence points towards either the Russian state or a “rogue element” being behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. He told ITV News that he is “disappointed” some Labour MPs have “decided to misinterpret” his stance on Russia and that this was either a crime authored by the Russian state or that state has allowed these deadly toxins to step out of control. There were no further threats of de-selection and Corbyn appears to be back on script.

The grassroots movement Momentum have had their tenterhooks in Labour since the 2015 elections, now in the midst of a party-takeover; their propaganda warfare is changing the face of British politics, maybe forever. Their MO is a winning combination of fake news and intimidation to implement submission or de-selection.  Labour or Conservative, online of offline, Momentum are producing tidal wave headlines pertaining to accusations of bullying and sexism. They’ve even been rumoured to sit in the Public Galleries of parliament and watch; a sinister question begs, why?

Like the Hyrda of Lerna, if you cut of its head, two more will grow back; the next Labour leaders are waiting in the wings as a split through the green benches thrusts Labour down in the polls and weakens Corbyn’s leadership position; Momentum will replace him as they will continue to thrive and advocate a left-wing agenda within the Labour. The takeover continues at the longest serving Mayor Sir Robin Wales has been replaced in May’s local elections by Rokhsana Fiaz. I’d confidently assume that it’s too late for the Labour moderates to regain control of their party linearly. Radical reform is needed across Britain as the public would need to reject communism in all its forms.

Corbyn confessed last week that his spin doctors had banned him from wearing his tracksuits out in public— and after this week I can imagine they’ve added a few more things to the banned list.

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  1. Anything that helps to destroy the Absolute Turd is good. Agent COB will destroy this nation if he gets the chance and his new buddies in the EU will let him –so that they can point to the wreckage and claim it is what happens if you fail to kiss the EU’s arse.

    COB himself would side with Satan against the UK never mind Russia. It is a reflex with Grandpa Death to side with our enemies.

    That said it is lucky that the truth in this matter, like some many others ( JFK, Jack the Ripper etc) is not likely to emerge anywhere other than before the Throne of God. Because the antics of the FFC leading the charge with a load of cockrot as dodgy as any ever seen are all that could be expected of so silly a cow.

    It would be a tragi-comedy indeed if hard evidence emerged proving the Russia bollocks as bollocks and then the worst leftist shite in UK history would be left–entirely by undeserved default–looking like the only one not having hysterics.

    As ever the FFC is Grandpa Death’s greatest asset.

  2. They will fall into line. They can smell power – and the nice offices, grace and favour housing and cars that come with it.

    And in the end, for the entire Left, the Soviets were the good guys during the Cold War. Or at least the West were the bad guys.

    In the meantime Moscow has broken any number of conventions by using a chemical weapon in a foreign state. This is something NATO needs to respond to.

      • In spoken American, “whom” anywhere except right after a preposition sounds pompous. When writing, if you can do it right, why not? Author did not; but it says she’s not a Yank in the first place.

        • When writing, if you can do it right, why not?

          Because it sounds pompous.

          I can use words like millenarianism, eschatology and chiliasm, but to do so when talking about the end of the world is ridiculously pompous. That I may use them correctly is zero excuse.

          • There’s a difference, surely, between writing grammatical sentences and using obscure vocabulary when more strightforward terms would convey one’s meaning perfectly well.

            Your discussions may take you in different directions depending on whom you are talking to and there may well occasions when ‘eschatology’ is the only appropriate word and others where you might justifiably be met with a scatological response.

  3. Charlotte, this is a cool, insightful article that will keep me busy googling for a while. It would have been even cooler if you’d added some links to save an old man like me the trouble.

    A few years ago at timworstall dot com I ventured the opinion that Jeremy would survive because he is a rock star. Barry, Justin and the Pope are rock stars. Hillary, Don and Theresa are not. When you’re a rock star you don’t have to have good policies and execute them well. You can come close to killing yourself in a drug orgy with hookers and your fans will still adore you.

    Westminster-Watching is a fun sport. We like watching Blondin wobbling on the tightrope and wondering if he’s going to fall, though we’re sure he will not. Thanks for an interesting article.

  4. Questions to which the answer is “no”.

    Russian conspiracy theories and self-pleasuring over Theresa May’s “courageous” impotent threats might fly in the Westminster-Media bubble, but actual voters outside Sodom-on-the-Thames don’t give a monkey’s about Vladimir Putin.

    Furthermore, Corbyn is doing his stopped clock trick. He was right about the Iraq war and he’s right not to jump on board the latest Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Twat outrage train.

    Best case for May is that the whole thing is forgotten by the next election. Worst case – barring WW3 – she drags us into another Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya style disaster and make Jeremy look like a farsighted statesman for the low, low cost of not automatically agreeing with the government’s futile sabre-rattling.

    • “…but actual voters outside Sodom-on-the-Thames don’t give a monkey’s about Vladimir Putin.”

      Actual voters from outside that location that I’ve spoken to do care about Putin (or rather, his activities re this country). It seems to be only the Momentum crew and that small subset of the right still fixated about Tony Bliar and Iraq that imagine bizarre conspiracies in order to avoid considering the obvious one.

    • The voters may not care but they should. Because either Britain is a sovereign country or it is not. If it allows Russian death squads to roam the land, killing at will, it is not. Either the British state makes an effort to retain the monopoly of violence and enforce the laws or our real masters are in Moscow.

      As for conspiracy theories, the only logical explanation is that this was done by a Russian with strong links to the Russian government. No one else would have the access, training or motivation. All the conspiracy theories – mainly that it was the CIA in an effort to cover for Hillary from what I have seen – are on the other side and are frankly insane.

      • Either the British state makes an effort to retain the monopoly of violence and enforce the laws or our real masters are in Moscow.

        Yeah, Moscow probably guessed that ship sailed some time ago and Britain was a free-for-all. The mistake Putin made is not saying the assassin was an oppressed Chechen and Skripal had sent Islamaphobic tweets recently.

        • It seems to have worked with Boris Nemtsov. Literally that seems to be what Putin is saying. Although I like that he also tried to blame the girl friend because allegedly he forced her to have an abortion.

  5. PJF – Doubt it. Nota bene, by “care” in this context, we mean something quite a bit more than “willing to parrot whatever bullshit they last saw on the news”.

    I would put money on The Putin Question not swinging so much as a single constituency at the next election.

    • And I’m wise enough to not take that bet. But not swinging a constituency is not the same thing as being of no concern.

      I’m guessing Jeremy’s stance is polling badly, as even his front benchers are rushing to voice agreement with the government and belief in the “twats”.

  6. PJF – Dunno. It might be polling badly. It could equally be spineless jellyfish-like pols doing what they usually do, which is flop along with whatever narrative the papers are running with today. It’s not as if Jez is famous for his inspiring leadership.

    And saying we have always been at war with Eurasia is easy, cheap, and (for now) consequence-free.

    As one of them tinfoil hatted conspiracy theorists who remembers the last times we were lied into hostilities against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia, I wonder what the end game is meant to be. Assuming the government has even thought that far ahead.

  7. I’d love Jezza to take the Labour Party full-on Communist and destroy it, but for the sake of democratic pluralism we need an alternative to whoever is in government, and with my party turning itself into a one-trick mirror-UKIP, I’m at a loss.

  8. @Southerner

    Re: Charlotte
    “…Novichok nerve agents were secretly developed by the former Soviet Union back in the 1970s. The chemical makeup of the nerve agent is much like a fingerprint; Novichok was specifically created by Russia to be unknown (and known) in the West and as such it has been one of their most tightly guarded secrets. No one else knows how to make it…”

    Unless they have read “State Secrets: An Insider´s Chronicle of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program.”

  9. Cosma Shalizi’s superb essay “In Soviet Union Optimisation Problem Solves You” he makes a very good case that we need about another 100 years; worth of Moore’s Law as yet.

    Tyler Cowen goes on to point out that it will never happen. An economy containing AIs is more complicated, requiring yet more computing power to plan……

  10. Are we certain that Russia was behind the Salisbury poisoning? Well, yes— as much as we could ever be without the Kremlin signing an official confession.


    Novichok was specifically created by Russia […] No one else knows how to make it

    Eh. How do you know nobody else knows how to make it?

    Actually it’s likely that a number of states know how to make it. Craig Murray says the Iranians did so in 2016 – and reported their work to international authorities. If Iran can do it, so can Britain, the United States, and God knows how many other countries.

    According to Murray, Iran synthesised Novichok from “commercially available ingredients”. If that’s true, it’s also feasible that non-state actors could pull off the same feat.

    So, no, we’re not at all certain that “Russia” committed the Salisbury poisoning. Even the official statements fall a long way short of saying the Novichok agent used at Salisbury was made in Russia. They use the phrase “of a type developed by Russia”, which is true, but meaningless. The 911 terrorists used aeroplanes “of a type developed by Boeing”. The Nice atrocity was perpetrated with a lorry “of a type developed by Scania”.

    The police apparently have no suspects and no leads, and we generally believe those sorts of things are important in helping us arrive anywhere near certainty when investigating a crime.

    Assuming Salisbury is a Russian plot, we still have more questions than answers. Namely:

    * Which Russians? Was this the evil masterplan of Vladimir Putin? The mafia? Burned FSB agents out for revenge? Chekov from Star Trek? Russia is a sprawling, ramshackle, low-trust society with massive crime and corruption problems. It’s not unlikely that someone sufficiently wealthy and/or connected could bribe or steal some of their chemical weapons.

    * What’s the motive? It’s been suggested that Putin thinks poisoning spies is an election winning platform. But he was already expected to win about 70% of the vote. So… why? It seems unlikely Putin wants further sanctions and international enmity, but we’re being asked to believe that he either does want those things, or wanted one exiled traitor killed so badly that he was prepared to accept those things as a cost of doing business. Even though he had the means and opportunity to kill Skripal when he was in a Russian jail.

    * Why was the attack bungled? Skripal is still alive. Are we expected to believe that Putin is sufficiently nefarious to order the murder of an ex-FSB man he freely traded to Britain in 2010, but also had bumbling incompetents oversee the plan’s execution?

    Given that British government officials, the EU, the press, and many high-ranking American politicians have also accused Putin of being the shadowy architect behind everything from Brexit, to the 2016 US presidential election, to the recent Italian election results, why should we believe this particular Russian conspiracy theory?

    • We do not know the Iranians know how to make it. We know that some of their scientists claimed to have studied it. No more.

      It does not follow that because a State, even Iran, can do this any non-state actor can. The problem is quality and purity. Iran can make a nuclear weapons but I am pretty sure the Woman’s Institute cannot. The level of facilities a state has is qualitatively different from those of any non-state actor.

      We are not sure who committed the Salisbury attacks but Russia is the best bet. If not Russians, who? They have mean and motive. Anyone else implies a massive conspiracy theory even less likely than the obvious one and Ockham does not like that.

      The fact that the police have no suspects and no leads suggests Russia. If not them, who? The Iranians? There would be some paper trail indicating a problem that needed killing to solve. The only one so far points to Russia.

      Which Russians? There can hardly be many suspects. A criminal gang would shoot them. Cheaper and quicker. They would not engage in the highly dubious enterprise of acquiring some lethal poison, transporting it across Europe, with the threat of Putin’s thugs torturing them if they got caught. Again Ockham suggests one suspect – Putin.

      As for motive, Russians kill defectors. They have since 1917. It is not a surprise if they do so again. Yet again the choice is Putin or some bizarre conspiracy. If not Putin who? The Mafia? The Jewish Land Agency? The Rotary Club?

      As for the bungling, their training may not be up to what it was. They may have over-estimated their nerve agent. But their planning and escape was impeccable.

      • Another motive would be to probe resolve. Perform an outrageous attack (essentially an act of war) and see what the response is.

        If Her Majesty’s government truly believe it was the Russian government, then the minimum starting response should be to withdraw all our diplomats and staff, expel all of theirs, and break off diplomatic relations.

        We have shown great weakness, as have our allies. I expect further Russian provocations soon, on other fronts.

          • Georgia was worth Russia’s while. They can only fight with second ranked powers these days.

          • A military confrontation with Russia would require force projection over distance. Uk mil doesn’t have that capability. Although Russia could come calling. It does

  11. Steve – motive- yes its true that’s a poser. One that’s been proposed is that he was not retired after he was exchanged. He was active and something he did with the British or tried to set up of his own back lead to a problem or a threat to current Russian interests. Now if he was capable of that then someone mucked up when they decided to trade him but even then it provides more of a reason to neutralise than not. The other postulate is that its pour encourager les autres, i.e. the Russians have a current mole problem and they decided to commission some advertising for their disincentive retirement scheme. The problem is we’re not going to find out about either of these two things for an awful long time unless some very longstanding conventions are set aside.

  12. PJF – Testing resolve. Could be, but again… why? The British Empire is long gone. We don’t have any obvious conflicts over territory or resources with Russia.

    HB – Yes, those things are believable. If that happened, the government should say so. Or tell us what it suspects.

    The problem I have is that – yet again -we’re being asked to shut up and believe a story that makes little sense by the Boy Who Cried WMD.

    • Steve, the UK isn’t some independent power; it’s part of various alliances. This could be to test those alliances, and to show them up as faulty. Technically, Russia is weak against our alliances, so this kind of asymmetric conflict makes sense for them. Walk in and shit on our living room carpet, then point and laugh as we and our friends and neighbours bluster and do nothing. If the core alliance will do nothing for its own, what will it do for peripheral members? This is as much a message for the likes of eastern Europe as it is for us.