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Re: Independence Day

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:12 pm
by Richard
Hello cbe,

I must admit that I was dismayed/shocked by items of what you said and additionally cannot work out exactly who else you thought might be responsible for the Novichok attack.
We released a Russian spy in exchange for Mr. Skripal so for Russian agents to then go on to poison him seems strange, were they just holding Skripal in a Russian prison in order to arrange a Russian spy to be released from UK jails?
If that were the case then no wonder we are 'up in arms' about the suspected subsequent Russian State poisoning.
Who else but Russia would have the motive for doing this? Historic cases of poisoning on our streets, be it from organic poisons such as Ricin to radioactive ones like Polonium, always point back to Russia.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:25 pm
by cbe
Two things are all I can say now - 'Who else might have done it? Just about anyone! Yes it might have been Russia, but it MIGHT have been any one one of a dozen of other countries/entities. As regards all the other attacks 'which always point back to Russia' don't States involved in such attacks tend to carry them out successfully?

Enough from me on this

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:28 pm
by cbe
Seahermit - sheer luck indeed. There is probably a Russian would-be assassin languishing in a Moscow cell as we speak. At some future date, in some as yet unspecified country he will be bumped off.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:15 am
by seahermit
It MIGHT indeed have been any one of a dozen countries which was involved in the Novichok poisoning - but the actual possibility is remote, it is nonsense to suggest that numerous other countries across the world have the technical expertise and the motives to deliver an attack of that kind. All the evidence so far makes Russia, on the balance of probabilities, overwhelmingly likely to be the culprit.

You seem to be suggesting that, because the attack was unsuccessful, it cannot have been perpetrated by Russia. Is that supposed to be a logical statement?!

During the Cold War, it was quite usual for Russian spies, posing as diplomats and trade officials, to make elementary blunders and get themselves into trouble - often because of a laughably naive understanding of how Western society functioned. Sometimes they got lucky e.g. the Markhov case (umbrella poisoning) which however was carried out by a Bulgarian agent. Or the infiltration of moles (Philby etc.).. But the KGB was never known as a highly efficient and feared secret service abroad in the way that, say, the Israeli Mossad was.

One of my bosses in a government office was an ex-spy. He was one of the team which caught Vassal (homosexual who was being blackmailed by the Russians and passing secrets). He was arrested after only a year or two. Very few Russian agents ever managed to stay hidden and operating for any great length of time.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:30 pm
by Richard
I am not sure how email messages can be decoded in these days of secure encryption and what level of proof can be determined and that is perhaps one 'grey area' re- this form of proof of the Russian connection/culpability.
However it is unlikely that this channel can be entirely ignored especially given the prowess of UK security intelligence for very many years.
If we say we decoded messages emanating from Russian operators, that connect them to poisoning attempts, then I am prepared to trust them.
Anyone accused, yet given to question our expertise in this field on a world stage, will have to produce some pretty strong evidence to the contrary.
However, innocent until proven guilty rules the day and in the meant time the Russians (or anyone else) can get away with murder.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:54 pm
by northants1066
hey you three, how did your reasonable fairly intelligent debate regarding Brexit descend into insulting each other over the Salisbury incident. As a staunch Leaver I was really enjoying your Brexit debate, which was on the whole even handed.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:11 pm
by seahermit
No insulting taking place - I don't see any examples of gratuitous rudeness/abuse.

Strong opinions come out in a debate, issues have to be hammered out. What's wrong with that? It's called free speech.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:01 am
by Richard
As for Brexit:
Negotiations with the EU have not been going well, and the hodgepodge strategy agreed by May and her cabinet, which led to massive unrest within her Conservative Party, has made everyone skeptical that parliament will eventually ratify the treaty after (hopefully) agreeing a withdrawal strategy at October’s EU leaders summit, which concludes on October 19 and which is supposed to tie up all the outstanding differences and loose ends including, hopefully, an agreement about Britain’s two-year transition period and an outline of the future trading relationship.

It is thought likely that agreement will falter and that we will end up with a 'no deal hard Brexit'.
The Conservative Party has its annual conference at the end of September. And the deadline for Britain leaving the EU on March 29, 2019, will of course be on the horizon.

The right-wing fringe of May's Party clearly cannot even attempt to dislodge her until Parliament resumes on September 4th and Boris's chances of leadership have been damaged slightly over his comments on Moslem women in certain headgear looking like 'letterboxes' or 'bank robbers'.
If there is a 'Hard Brexit' it is unlikely that May can survive a challenge, (assuming she can hold onto power) the show goes on and nobody knows what twists and turns may yet unfold...

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:11 am
by seahermit
It has been a very unsettling time for all and it is hard to see how it will turn out. I initially went along with Theresa May's rather compromising package but, in the light of all the furious criticism it aroused from hard line Brexiteers, I now find myself feeling that the proposed "agreement" was very much a fudge, gave too much away and lacked many real concessions from the other side i.e. the EU leadership.

There does not seem much point in pretending that we are leaving the EU if we also remain committed to various trading agreements - but without the ability to influence or change the terms of those agreements in the future.

I can't help feeling that Margaret Thatcher would have approached the whole thing in a very different and much more defiant way - would have talked tough to the EU, put them on the spot and rung a proper deal out of them instead of (as I now rather feel) just giving in to the intransigent pressure from the EU leadership.

Maybe it would indeed be best to exit without a deal in place - grit our teeth, go for the rough ride and weather it out. We probably could do a lot worse, after all nobody REALLY knows how it will all work out in the long run. All the predictions of financial meltdown etc. resulting from Brexit, which were made before the referendum, were pure scare tactics, didn't happen and have been confounded by the fairly healthy state of our economy at the present time.

Re: Independence Day

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:26 pm
by Richard
That is very much in line with my thinking seahermit.

The world revolves around trading and who does business with whom and on what terms.
Business will always do what it must in order to trade more profitable and we can only have more lucrative business deals with the U.S. if we are outside the EU.
The citizens are merely the pawns in the chess game which (in the EU) have to be given free unlimited movement (which we oppose) and the European Parliament/Council of Ministers, in Brussels also enforce new rules, some of which affect our sovereignty/law making powers, signed up after various Treaties: Lisbon, Nice, Amsterdam, Maastricht etcetera.
The UK did not sign up to The Schengen Treaty of 1985, creating a borderless zone across most of the member states and yet we were told haughtily that we have to accept free movement or 'no deal' on trade.
In 2015 a huge 'Migrant Crisis' began: refugees and migrants travelled into the EU via the Mediterranean, or through south-east Europe, seeking asylum. Many were fleeing armed conflict in the Middle East, assisted by criminals who were paid huge sums by families desperate to risk their lives, often on unseaworthy boats over-laden with migrants.
The German lady, Merkel, was politically crippled for allowing vast numbers into Germany.

Will Theresa May get away with her latest plans?
Whilst her recent ideas on trade deals/border rules are outside the spirit of Brexit, to be fair to her it's the only compromise to avoid a 'no deal Brexit', otherwise we will most likely see Boris or one of the others riding back into town, I am sure it is going to be a bumpy ride if that happens...