On Friday, Boris Johnson made the incendiary claim that it was “overwhelmingly likely” Mr Putin personally ordered the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal using a Soviet-era nerve agent, an attack which left both him and his daughter Yulia in a critical condition in hospital.
And Johnson’s evidence for this is… up his ass? His modus operandi is open mouth, insert foot. Johnson the classic British ass is just firing up the Tory rabble in an effort to beat the dreadful Rees-Mogg as successor to the hapless and incompetent May. None of them are competent to run a government!
This is not to claim that Putin, or some underling, or some Russian agency or oligarch isn’t responsible for the despicable attack. No-one appears to be disputing the poison came from Russia. And lots of Russians have died mysteriously in Britain under suspicious circumstances in the last few years, most recently Nikolai Glushkov, a critic of Putin strangled with a dog lead. No poison, mark you. What isn’t obvious is why or who, if anyone, is orchestrating this.
It’s perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of the Russian government – no-one in their right minds would trust Putin and the gang of mobsters running the country. But since when is suspicion proof? Not since McCarthyism, as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out. If we demand proof of allegations against people we support, we should be consistent and demand proof of allegations against those we oppose.
And all the Tories have provided is noise, hand-waving, braggadocio, wild and unsubstantiated allegations, and condemnations of anyone who doesn’t want to wage war on Russia.
If May’s misgovernment has evidence of the allegations resulting in British sanctions, they should produce it. If they don’t have evidence, they should temper their attacks until they do, because otherwise they will lose what little credibility they had.