Russia statement: Jeremy Corbyn questions why nerve agent samples haven’t been sent to Moscow
While Oor Theresa has been whipping up a storm in Moscow, a nuclear superpower, by ejecting Russian diplomats by the dozen because she thinks they might be spies – she could be right, but who knows for sure – Jeremy is standing his ground and pointing out some of the gaps in her evidence that it’s the Russian government that’s directly responsible.
Even she had previously acknowledged that she didn’t have evidence whether the Kremlin masterminded the attack, or whether it was merely careless in safeguarding the nerve agent. She didn’t clarify what her new information was to go to “economic war” with Russia, and Jeremy called her on it.
Mr Corbyn said: “If the government believes it is still a possibility that Russia negligently lost control of a military-grade nerve agent, what action is being taken through the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) with our allies?”…
“How has she responded to the Russian Government’s request for a sample of the agent used in Salisbury attack to run its own tests?
“Has high-resolution trace analysis been run on a sample of the nerve agent and has that revealed any evidence as to the location of its production or the identity of its perpetrators?
“And can the Prime Minister update the House on what conversations, if any, she has had with the Russian Government?”
Now, Russia is run by a bunch of American-style oligarchs, gangsters and hoodlums, and I wouldn’t trust a word they say either. It is not a European, Commonwealth or North American style of democracy, it’s Putin’s fiefdom.
But if we cannot abide by internationally agreed rules, make public the evidence justifying an economic war with Russia over this, are we any better? Remember Blair’s Dodgy Dossier, how the UK government has a history of misleading parliament into agreeing with ill-advised foreign adventures?
I think May is just running from the far-right in the Tory party, to show activity rather than torpor, and is not thinking clearly on this.
Yes, it could be the Kremlin that’s directing this assault. But what actual evidence does she have for that? It could also be rogue spymasters or oligarchs, with the Kremlin guilty of nothing more than customary bureaucratic stupidity and negligence, which of course they would want to conceal if it were true.
So far, I am far from impressed. Yes, the assaults were tragic, terrible and frightening. Yes, they deserve actions rather than just feeble bleating. But given the limited information, it’s legitimate to ask whether the prime minister is acting in a judicious way on accurate information, or just making it up as she goes along.
Given that she is hell-bent on driving the UK economy into ruin by Brexit, I wouldn’t trust her judgement on anything.