Trying to take stock, finding time and again have been disappointed with the political and service responses. But they are not responsible. So …
First things first …
2. Those who used the nerve agents should be found, prosecuted and punished.
Beyond that, it’s been a bit bewildering.
In an era of CCTV everywhere, no descriptions of possible culprits.
No doubt, there’s stuff that can’t be shared and there’s a risk to involving the public more fully, but surely, you’d do more.
The nature of the warnings and actions concerning the wider contamination is also something of a concern.
4. Russia has been blamed.
Despite the lack of progress in the investigation, there is however, a clear assertion that the state of Russia is responsible for the act.
A bit surprising cos –
– a former British diplomat shouting out that it doesn’t make sense for Russia to have done it.
However, more recently, fewer have been taking the cautious line and no doubt there is stuff that can be shared with too many.
5. Diplomacy seems to be a bit under-rehearsed.
Start surely, by getting every nation to express concern; then testing Russia on what risk is posed to them. Some of this is now starting.
6. MPs have been bellicose, and at times, ridiculous.
How we all nod sagely about the tragedy and stupidity of the rapid start of World War I.
Yet listen to the language of “we must stand up to bullies” and “there’s little room for doubt”.
Examples of the ridiculous –
– stop Russia’s membership of the UN Security Council.
I’m not trained in diplomacy, but I have watched “Thirteen Days“.
7. It’s the Conservatives who are closest to modern Russia.
Now, this is starting to get off the real issues at stake.
I saw a Times columnist on BBC Politics Today on Friday say that Labour had always been soft on Russia – as if the downfall of the Communist Party had never happened.
2008: Accused Russia of rigging elections
2010: Accused Russia of human rights abuses
2013: Condemned Russia’s anti-LGBT legislation
2016: Accused Russia of War Crimes in Syria
Meanwhile, turns out Boris Johnson played a tennis match with a Russian for a £160k donation to the Conservative party.
8. The medjah aren’t great.
That the BBC have made Jezza look like a pro-Russian communist is wrong and should have been changed, even if it wasn’t intended.
And in Alistair Campbell’s day, it would have been sorted.
I once complained about a drawing the BBC used when covering Jeremy Corbyn on the news, in isolation it seemed, until one appeared of the Tory leader 2 weeks later.
That said, the outcries over the photos and condemnation of the BBC on a relatively slight matter have made the critics seem other worldly.
9. Jezza should have kept it simpler.
Jezza could have left the side points to supporters, side points like the impact of Conservative cuts to services that could have prevented or deterred such attacks, or helped us in our current situation.
Trying to re-live the Iraq war debate was not clever either.
As for arguing for judgment when more is known, I thought it was a fair argument (that needed all to unite – something Jezza in the past had not valued) given the Foreign Secretary was still qualifying the certainty of Russia’s guilt 16 days later.
Am saying let’s get this right.