The Novichok Anniversary: BBC Change Official Skripal Story Yet Again

The world’s least consistent story just got a bit less consistent

We’re coming up on the first anniversary of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the official story has been revised once again. According to the most recent BBC reports, fundamental details that we were told about the circumstances around the poisoning must have been wrong, because the new reports completely contradict the original ones.

Today the BBC published an article saying that the police first made the connection between Russia and the two people found unconscious in the centre of Salisbury via a google search. The state broadcaster treated this like it is news, when in reality the BBC reported the same thing months ago on their episode of Panorama dedicated to the poisonings.

Curiously, it was not Nick Bailey who told the BBC about the google search revealing that Sergei Skripal was a double agent. Instead it was Sgt Tracey Holloway, who is identified in the report as one of the first on the scene.

The issue here is that the mainstream media — based on police statements and briefings — unanimously reported that Bailey was the first on the scene and that this is how he was exposed to Novichok. In the week following the poisoning the news was full of stories about how he had courageously rushed to help the Skripals, without regard for his own safety.

The problem is not only that [you’re]Nick[ed and going to the Old] Bailey wasn’t poisoned at the scene in central Salisbury. According to his interview with Panorama he attended the scene about an hour after the Skripals were found, and did not in any way rush to their rescue in a heroic manner. This means every interview, every statement, every briefing (whether on or off the record) that the police had previously given about Bailey wasn’t true. And they knew it wasn’t true.

If they can lie about this, they can lie about anything.

The Pointless, Meaningless Appeal to Putin

The BBC’s story finishes up by quoting an open letter by Ewan Hope, the son of Dawn Sturgess who died several months later after allegedly being exposed to Novichok. The open letter to Vladimir Putin begs him to let the British police talk to the two suspects the police have identified and blamed for poisoning the Skripals.

What Mr Hope seems to have overlooked is that the pair — publicly identified as Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov — have not been charged with any crime relating to the death of Dawn Sturgess. The CPS’ statement speaks of charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder Sergei, Yulia and Nick Bailey. Sturgess’ name does not appear anywhere.

As such, Mr Hope’s open letter has been addressed to the wrong person — the Russian government has no responsibility for the death of Dawn Sturgess, and thus there is no justice for Dawn to be found in the Russian government allowing police to talk to the pair.

Disappearing, Reappearing Novichok

Another problem for those seeking to connect the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess to the poisonings of the Skripals and Bailey is the ever-changing story of how Sturgess (and Charlie Rowley) came to be poisoned in the first place.

According to Rowley they found a sealed perfume bottle in a charity donation bin during a trip to Salisbury, and were exposed to the poison later that day when they went home to Amesbury.

But according to the BBC Panorama programme they found the bottle in a large, industrial-type wheely bin the like of which you’d find behind a pub or restaurant.

Screenshot from BBC Panorama on the Novichok poisonings — this is allegedly where Sturgess and Rowley found the perfume bottle

Nonetheless, the BBC maintained the perfume bottle story, even showing a senior police officer demonstrate with a mock-up perfume bottle.

However, in a more recent report (about a Russian flag being displayed at Salisbury cathedral) the story changed again.

The report says:

In June 2018, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill when they were exposed to the nerve agent by handling a contaminated container in the city’s gardens.

No mention of a bin (charity or otherwise). No mention of a perfume bottle. No mention of them taking the bottle home, trying out the perfume and thus becoming exposed to poison. Merely that they handled a contaminated container in the city’s gardens.

Put simply, the BBC cannot keep their story straight and are resorting to emotional appeals like Mr Hope’s in the hope (pun intended) that the public won’t notice these endless, bizarre contradictions in the official story.

Put slightly more complexly, if this story was true then there wouldn’t be these sorts of categorical contradictions about basic facts of the case. Therefore, this story isn’t true. There is no other reasonable conclusion.