British workers against Trump’s, May’s Syria war


Protesters gather outside Downing Steet in London on 13 April 2018 Friday evening to oppose war in Syria

From the World Socialist Web Site in Britain:

“I feel repulsed and outraged about last night’s attack on Syria—it was completely unnecessary”

UK workers oppose drive to war

By our reporters

16 April 2018

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers and young people over the weekend on the military assault by the US, Britain and France on Syria.

At a lobby outside Prime Minister Theresa May’s official 10 Downing Street residence Friday evening, Jeff, a software engineer, said, “There’s no certainty that the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack.

“You don’t bomb another country because you disapprove of what they are doing. If you want to bomb countries because you disapprove of them, why is Yemen still going on? Why is the problem in Myanmar still going on?

“We saw what happened last time in Libya. We saw what happened before that in Iraq. We have had enough of going to war based on intelligence that we never see. The Russians’ poisoning of the Skripals—again intelligence we can’t see. Just believe us, just trust us the government says. No, not any more. Trust is gone. You’ve got to prove it.

“Going toe to toe with Russia is a brave step, even for these fools. In the case of Iraq with Saddam Hussein and in Libya with Colonel Gaddafi, it was an easy win. But it’s not an easy win if Russia says they will retaliate. That must give pause for thought. If the British government lost a frigate or a submarine, it could not do much to Russia. But America obviously could, and we don’t want to be sitting here between America and Russia having a war.

“I think it’s because the press and the television, who are cheerleaders for this nonsense, that we are in this situation. Rather than lobbying my MP I’d rather lobby the BBC, Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme or ‘Newsnight’ demanding they do a proper job holding Parliament to account. I feel betrayed by the Guardian failing to oppose military intervention. Their lead editorial today is full on pro-war.”

People discuss the military strikes in Syria at the Socialist Equality Party stall in Manchester

Artist Aheela has composed two paintings, portraying Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump as warmongers.

He explained, “According to the British Constitution, the prime minister cannot declare war without the consent of Parliament. She just shows contempt for Parliament, so I paint her as you see.

“With or without parliamentary approval, what will a war achieve? Which war has ever achieved anything, apart from destruction, misery and massacres?”

In Manchester Rusholme district, reporters spoke to Tashoor. He said, “I think this is more to do with politics against Russia than Syria or concern for the people there. They are opposing Russia on all fronts.

NATO is dominated by the US and the UK is just following on. The same thing happened with Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We don’t need any more wars. We need a peace process, but we need people to resolve things, not politicians. All that is happening now is that regimes are being taken out through invasions and others are put in and they are just as exploitative as the ones they replaced.

“All these wars since 1990 are to do with politics and economics, aren’t they? It’s about resources and how the UK can get better sanctions in place so they can make more money for companies who are manufacturing weapons.

BAE Systems is one of the biggest weapons makers in the world. How can it be beneficial to the people of Syria to give rebel groups weapons and then after that bomb areas in Syria with planes from the UK and US?

“I don’t believe all this stuff about chemical weapons attacks. It was the same with Iraq. They said they had weapons of mass destruction there. They destroyed the whole country and the country is still in ruins.”

“It was same in Afghanistan when they just installed Hamid Karzai. Karzai worked for an oil company in America.”

“The United Nations was supposedly set up to ensure we would have no major wars in the world, but the UN is just a puppet for the US.

“There should have been a referendum on whether to go to war! They are asking us to go to war with no evidence. Nothing at all. This is all governed by economics and geopolitics.”

Ruairi is a student and lived in Russia for eight months:

“It’s very corrupt there. It’s a capitalist country run by an oligarchy. But we don’t start from that when looking at these wars.

“I don’t agree with what America and the UK are doing. No good is going to come of it. How can we know what’s going on? We cannot have proof.

“There is complete disrespect and lack of interest in other people’s countries by Western governments. They say they support democracy, but support ISIS. They trained these groups in Afghanistan.”

George

George is from Teeside and spoke to reporters in Leeds on Saturday.

“When I heard the news about the bombing this morning I didn’t believe it at first. It seemed to spring out of nowhere.

“How much will it all cost? They can find the money for airstrikes, but not for the people that need it most—the homeless, the sick, the elderly, mental health services and those on low incomes.

“I get most of my news from Twitter and Reddit, which is good for news because it is quick to cross reference. I don’t trust the media. I want to look at all the sources.

“I think that somebody is benefiting from this terrible situation and it’s not ordinary people. The Tories have shares in arms companies and it makes economic sense for them that they want to build more Tridents.

“As far as the poisoning of the Skripals is concerned I am very sceptical. There is no hard evidence. They moved so quickly from the claim about the poisoning to kicking out the diplomats. My mother says it stinks. They just wanted an excuse.”

Steve works for Deliveroo. He said, “I feel repulsed and outraged about last night’s attack on Syria. It was completely unnecessary. We should know this by now. This is not the first time we have gone on these outrageous Middle Eastern adventures—not just 2003 but every bit of meddling in the Middle East.

“They are after regional control and I suspect they aim to surround Russia and Iran and there is probably a financial incentive as well.

“They should stop it right now. They acted on the flimsiest, probably nonexistent evidence, and Parliament was not consulted. It has been a complete failure of our democracy.”

Isabella

Isabella is a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition. She suggested, “It may have been a false flag operation in Douma. That is the lesson of the lies about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq. But was any of it a reason to go to war? So many deaths and so much suffering have been caused.

The UK is one of the largest exporters of arms. Their aim is to sell more weapons to make more profit. The big corporations run the world, don’t they?

“Almost everyone I know is against war—my parents, the old, the young—everybody. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to empower people. The YouGov poll found that only 22 percent supported the war, 43 percent were against and the rest didn’t know.

“Today’s demo in Leeds is about saving the National Health Service, which is in tatters. There is plenty of money for the war machine, but not for the NHS. Theresa May’s talk about humanitarianism is all crap! There is enough money to solve all the problems of society but it is in the hands of the wrong people.”

As Trump and May Claim Concern for Syrian Civilians, Critics Slam Leaders for Anti-Refugee Stance. “If the Trump administration truly cares about the fate of Syrian civilians, it can do far better in resettling Syrian refugees“, by Julia Conley.

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British people against Trump’s, May’s war


This video from London, England says about itself:

STOP THE WARDON’T BOMB SYRIA Demo, Friday 13 April 2018 LONDON UK NO 10 DOWNING STREET

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Corbyn demands MPs have final say on war

May didn’t bother to consult Parliament before joining Trump’s and Macron‘s strikes

LABOUR demanded the introduction of a “War Powers Act” today to force a parliamentary vote before military actions are launched, as the row over Theresa May’s illegal bombing of Syria continued to escalate.

The call by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn comes as thousands mobilised for nationwide protests against the attack, including an emergency demonstration in London, where MPs are returning to Parliament after their Easter break.

A poll showed only 30 per cent of people in Britain supported the attack, which was directly authorised by Prime Minister Theresa May without consulting MPs.

Mr Corbyn said: “Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump.”

He said a War Powers Act would enshrine into law the convention that Parliament should be consulted.

There was widespread condemnation of Britain’s involvement in the attack.

At a late-notice rally in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, Labour MP Paul Sweeney said: “Yet again Theresa May has shown utter contempt for democracy.

“There is no international consensus beyond an informal agreement between the governments of the US, UK and France.”

He said it was “quite ironic” that the government had used rhetoric about the British Parliament “taking back control” from Europe, only to then deny MPs a vote.

Communication Workers Union official and Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr told the Star: “This is a complicated civil war, where clearly atrocities have been committed on all sides.

Dropping bombs on civilians isn’t going to save any lives.”

A British aid worker in Syria described the “deafening explosions” that caused buildings to rattle during the Western air strikes.

Madiha Raza, who works for British-based charity Muslim Aid, painted a picture of the terror as more than 100 missiles were fired in overnight raids by the powers.

She said: “I was asleep and I woke up because of deafening explosions, which seemed as if they were right outside.

“I was just so perplexed because I did not know what was going on. I just could not believe how loud it was and the whole building rattled and the windows rattled.

“It continued for a good five minutes. As soon as I heard the first or second explosion I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window to see if I could see where it was or how far.

“It was actually a very scary situation because of just how loud and close it seemed.”

Downing Street revealed that Ms May spent part of Saturday evening touting for support for her actions from tyrants such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, King Abdullah of Jordan and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Earlier, on Saturday, Mr Corbyn told a rally of 250 Labour Party activists in West Yorkshire: “I have written to the Prime Minister questioning the legality on which British forces have been deployed — it is not an act of self-defence; it is not authorised by the United Nations.”

A Survation poll for the Mail yesterday found that 54 per cent of respondents opposed the attack, compared with 30 per cent who backed Ms May’s decision.

A Stop the War Coalition statement said: “All the opinion polls published so far show big opposition to these strikes despite almost blanket support for them in the mainstream media.

“The crucial thing is that we continue to build on and to mobilise this opinion.”

The Communist Party of Britain “unreservedly” condemned the attack and said in a statement: “International law cannot be upheld by breaching the most important articles of the United Nations Charter, which ban unprovoked military attacks by one member state upon another.

“The US, French and British air and missile strikes are gravely destabilising. They risk plunging the Middle East into a further escalation of war, with dangerous wider consequences for world peace.”

The London demonstration will take place tomorrow [=Monday 16 April] from 5.30pm to 7pm in Parliament Square.

BRITAIN’S participation in the weekend’s illegal bombing raids over Syria was dangerous and wrong. Theresa May’s desperation to show Donald Trump she is every bit as obsequious a sidekick as French President Emmanuel Macron has trumped considerations of legality, democratic accountability, evidence assessment or national security: here.

Trump has been obeyed and May thinks she looks tough on the world stage. Not really though. It’s too obvious she is frightened of parliament, which is reconvening on Monday, and and that she is taking orders from Washington. It is also clear that the US’s position in the world is weakening: here.

The argument that we can’t sit back and that we have to do something is a lie, writes LINDSEY GERMAN. Western powers have been intervening in Syria right from the beginning.

Attack on Syria, a violation of international law; from Belgian daily De Standaard.

US-British-French missile strikes on Syria heighten danger of a catastrophic war: here.

Theresa May, Trump’s Syria war poodle


United States President Donald Trump and British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Corbyn urges May not to become Trump’s poodle ‘waiting for instructions’

The Labour leader calls on the Prime Minister to step away from the hot headed hawks in Syria row

JEREMY CORBYN accused PM Theresa May today of being on standby to mimic US President Donald Trump and “waiting for instructions” on when to launch war on Syria.

And peace campaigners rallied outside Downing Street calling on the government not to attack the Middle Eastern country, where the Bashar al-Assad government has been at war with jihadist insurgents for seven years. …

Before their talk, she held an emergency meeting with her Cabinet. They agreed to take “action”, while MPs and opposition leaders urged her to recall Parliament early in order to allow a vote before plunging the country into war.

A statement released by Downing Street after the meeting made no direct reference to military action, but it is considered to be a signal that Britain would be prepared to join any US-led air strikes.

The largest US air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war is said to be heading towards Syria, according to reports in The Times, paving the way for strikes within the next three days.

Mr Corbyn said: “Further UK military intervention in Syria’s appalling multisided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.

The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed, but the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.

“Even US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control’.”

Campaigners from the Stop the War Coalition handed a letter to Downing Street today, signed by MPs, trade unionists, celebrities and academics, urging Ms May not to take military action. …

A YouGov poll for [Rupert Murdoch-owned] The Times this week showed just 22 per cent of Britons support military action against Syria, as against 43 per cent who are opposed.

The British Defense Ministry says four of its Tornado GR4 warplanes fired missiles at a military facility as part of the tripartite [USA-French-British] attack on Syria: here.

Trump’s Rush to Judgment on Syrian Chemical Attack: Illegal and Deadly. Thursday, April 12, 2018. By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout.

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the strikes against Syria carried out Friday night by US, French and British forces. The attack is a flagrant and illegal act of aggression. The administrations of American President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May are guilty of a war crime, which poses the danger of triggering a conflict with nuclear-armed Russia: here.

“Anyone who, at a meeting or through the distribution of writings, incites the crime of aggression will be punished with a custodial sentence of between three months and five years,” states paragraph 80A of Germany’s Criminal Code. The “crime of aggression”—i.e., the conducting of a war of aggression or any other act of aggression—is punishable by life imprisonment according to paragraph 13 of Germany’s International Criminal Code. These paragraphs trace their origins directly to the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazis. If they were taken seriously, numerous German politicians and newspaper editors would be behind bars. The preparation of a military strike against Syria has unleashed war fever among Germany’s political parties and newspapers: here.

British government divided, yet joining Trump’s war on Syria


This video from the USA says about itself:

Britain Votes No On Syria Intervention

1 September 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes Thursday, a stunning defeat that will almost guarantee that Britain plays no direct role in any U.S. attack on Bashar Assad’s government.

A grim-faced Cameron conceded after the vote that “the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action.”

Read more here.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 13 April 2018

Tory Cabinet in crisis over war

THE TORY Cabinet was in an emergency session yesterday evening with PM May meeting resistance from fellow Tory cabinet members over joining France and giving full support to Trump’s projected strike on Syria.

There was resistance from cabinet members to May’s plan to shut Parliament out of the decision making and for the cabinet to make the decision on its own.

Earlier, Germany stated it will not join any military strikes against the Syrian government, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying: ‘Germany will not take part in possible military action. There have not been any decisions yet, I want to stress that.

‘But we support everything that is being done to show that the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable.’ Germany, however, expects to be consulted before any Western allies conduct an attack on Syria, as partners must be united on the matter, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

German government supports possible attack on Syria (without participating itself): here.

Barely in office, Germany’s grand coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and conservative Union parties (Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union) has commenced its programme of massive rearmament as laid down in its coalition agreement. A number of defence projects and military strategic plans have been announced in the past few days. They all serve one goal: to prepare Germany once again for war despite the catastrophic defeats in two global conflicts: here.

A YouGov poll asked the British public whether they would support a military attack on Syria.

Only 22% said that they would. Earlier in the day Ken Clarke, former Tory chancellor, said parliament should be recalled this weekend if the cabinet backs military intervention in Syria.

He said: ‘In a modern parliamentary democracy, you’ve got to have parliamentary approval before it acts, if you have a planned policy decision to launch a military attack.’ Clarke said he would back targeted strikes but only after a debate in parliament.

He said: ‘If the cabinet decides it is going to take part in military action, I think we could meet on Saturday. You don’t just wave aside accountability to parliament because it is inconvenient. Saturday or Sunday you could sit.’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘Parliament must be consulted on this. Surely the lessons of Iraq, the lessons that came there from the Chilcot Report, have got to be learnt; there has to be a proper process of consultation. We elect Parliament, we elect Members of Parliament, they should have a voice in this. The cabinet on its own should not be making this decision. The dangers of bombing now could escalate the conflict beyond belief. Just imagine the scenario if an American missile shoots down a Russian plane or vice versa. Where do we go from there?’

Meanwhile, the British cabinet has agreed on “action” against Syria, bypassing Parliament.

The international chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed the UK chemical weapons lab Porton Down’s analysis of the type of nerve agent used in the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons did not name the nerve agent as Novichok.

British scientists at the Porton Down defence research laboratory insisted that they have not established that the nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made in Russia.

Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), said that the source could not be identified.

British Conservative Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lied about the conclusions of the Porton Down laboratory. By Ellie Mae O’Hagan in daily The Guardian:

Once again, Boris Johnson is a liability to Britain. Why is he still in the job?

He may have bent the truth over Porton Down and the source of novichok and baited Russia. But the foreign secretary always gets away with it.

United States: Secretary of State nominee, CIA head Mike Pompeo, left no doubt yesterday that the Putin regime in Russia is the main target behind the war crisis in the Middle East: here.

British Conservatives sabotaging fire safety


This video from England says about itself:

22 June 2017

Grenfell Tower fire: Funeral takes place for Syrian refugee

Funeral for Mohammed Alhajali, a Syrian refugee killed in London’s Grenfell Tower blaze, took place on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised for the poor initial response to last week’s blaze that killed at least 79 people.

Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego reports from London.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 30 March 2018

Tories’ refusal to implement fire safety tests puts millions at risk of another Grenfell – time to kick them out

NINE months after the fire at Grenfell Tower that caused the horrific deaths of 71 people, all the Tory pledges that never again would the lives of innocent families be put at risk, that all those who had suffered from this appalling fire would be helped, have turned out to be a pack of lies.

This week it was revealed that 100 households from blocks of flats next to Grenfell Tower which had to be evacuated are still in emergency, temporary accommodation. Not one has been given the permanent secure accommodation they were promised in the immediate aftermath of the inferno.

This comes just as it was revealed that over two thirds of the total number of people whose homes were destroyed or deemed unsafe to inhabit are still without permanent housing and the Tories are now saying that it is ‘unlikely’ that they will be by the date of the first anniversary of the tragedy on 14th June. This is despite a solemn promise made by Tory housing secretary Sajid Javid that everyone made homeless by the fire would be re-housed in decent accommodation.

This isn’t the only solemn promise made by the Tories that has been shredded and dumped.

This week, 50 MPs wrote to Javid damning his refusal to rule out using ‘desktop assessments’ of the safety of building materials like the cladding used at Grenfell which was responsible for the inferno after a government source confirmed to the press that the continuing use of desktop studies will be allowed.

These desktop assessments are used by manufacturers and construction companies as a way of by-passing stricter and more expensive methods of testing the fire risk of materials used in buildings.

Experts have warned that the results of these assessments, which are merely paper exercises based on whether or not these materials have caught fire in the past, are simply a means of cost-cutting that result in corners being cut and inadequate testing of potentially lethal materials.

The flammable cladding used on Grenfell had been declared ‘safe’ under these desktop studies only to fail real fire safety tests later. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects the safety of building materials should ‘be based on full-scale fire-testing and not use desktop studies’.

Against all the advice of experts and the damning reality that a cladding passed as safe was responsible for the catastrophic fire, the construction industry is still insisting that ‘the need for desktop assessments is clear, particularly where requirements are made more stringent. The lack of capacity for large scale fire tests also makes these desktop assessments necessary.’

In other words, it is too expensive for firms to carry out stringent fire tests, just as it was too expensive to [prevent] that fire doors fitted in the block and were supposed to be fire-resistant for 30 minutes turned out to have only held back the flames for half that time.

Just months before the Grenfell fire, Tory ministers boasted about the success of their campaign to carry out a ‘bonfire of the regulations’, and how fire regulations had been slashed, as part of their plans to completely abolish a ‘health and safety culture’ that harmed ‘money-making business’.

The deaths of 71 men women and children in the Grenfell fire has not caused any change in this drive to cut costs and ensure the profits of the construction industry at the cost of human lives. Only three tower blocks in the country out of the three hundred identified as having the same lethal cladding as Grenfell have had their cladding replaced as the Tories refuse to fund essential fire and safety work in them. In private blocks they have ruled that individual flat owners must bear the full cost of replacement.

What is clear to every worker is that their lives count for nothing to this Tory government compared to the profits of the bosses. The only way to prevent another tragedy that threatens the millions of families living in tower blocks and council estates across the UK is to demand a general strike to kick out the Tories and go forward to a workers government that places human life above all else.

British Conservatives’ Cold War hysteria to cover up their failures


This video from Britain says about itself:

Tory minister dodges questions on why Russians donate to his party

A Tory minister has dodged a question asking him why Russians donate to his party and what they expect in return.

The Conservatives have received more than £820,000 in political donations from Russian oligarchs since Theresa May became Prime Minister.

This includes a £30,000 from the wife of a former Putin crony to dine with the defence secretary. The widow of the murdered spy Alexander Litvinenko called on the Tories to return the donations telling the Prime Minister: “You need to be very careful who you are friends with.”

Transport secretary Chris Grayling was representing the government on Question Time. But he ignored the question posed by presenter David Dimbleby who asked: “The point is why do they want to give money to the Tory Party, what do they get back from giving money to the Tory Party?” Mr Grayling replied: “You can’t accept money from people who are not UK citizens or UK businesses.” Russia Today presenter Afshin Rattansi hit back saying: “The wife of the former deputy finance minister, Putin’s former deputy finance minister Lubov Chernukhin at a fundraising event for Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary of this country who protects national security in this country.”

Earlier this week Jeremy Corbyn was accused of politicising the Salisbury poison attack for criticising Russian donations to the Tory Party. He told the House of Commons: “We’re all familiar with the way huge fortunes, often acquired in the most dubious circumstances in Russia, sometimes connected with criminal elements, have ended up sheltering in London and trying to buy political influence in British party politics”, he said.

“Meddling in elections, as the prime minister put it, and there has been over £800,000 worth of donations to the Conservative Party from Russian oligarchs and their associates.”

This evening Chris Grayling had no answer as to why those oligarchs are so keen to donate to the Conservatives. Instead he parroted the line about his party following electoral law saying: “We have clear rules about political donations, we follow those rules, they are properly scrutinised.”

He was interrupted by Afshin Rattansi who said: “This is the wife of the former deputy finance minister, where do you think she got the £30,000 to give the defence secretary?” The Daily Mirror reported last month that the Tories had accepted £30,000 from the wife of a former crony of Vladimir Putin to dine with the Defence Secretary.

Though the British Conservative government gets lots of money from Russian oligarchs, their favourite way of distracting from their own disastrous policies is Russia-bashing.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn proves himself to be true statesman as the Tories ratchet up tensions

FRANCE has been knocked into shape by its Nato allies, joining Britain, the US and Germany in declaring Russia “culpable” for the nerve agent poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

President Emmanuel Macron has dropped his previous reasonable insistence that Theresa May’s government present “definitive conclusions” before any action was taken.

Media abuse of Macron has subsided now that he is on board, but there is no end to the pursuit of Jeremy Corbyn for his serious, balanced and level-headed response to May’s declaration of Moscow’s guilt.

The Labour leader didn’t say Moscow wasn’t responsible. Like the French president he thought it reasonable that allegations might be backed by a modicum of proof.

For that he was denounced by the Daily Mail as a “Kremlin stooge”, called a “Putin puppet” by the Sun and sneered at by Guardian sketch writer John Crace as someone who could be persuaded “the Skripals had deliberately managed to poison themselves purely to worsen relations between the two countries.”

Why did none of Britain’s mass media echo the scepticism of Irish Times former Moscow correspondent Seamus Martin, who documented his efforts 25 years ago to monitor possible illegal export of novichoks and other chemical and biological weapons from the wreckage of the Soviet Union?

He pointed out that double agent Skripal is in Britain as part of an official spy-swap deal with Russia and Moscow’s involvement in “such a vicious attack” would jeopardise future exchanges.

Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray also questions government statements, suggesting novichoks can be “manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench”, that the programme was based in Uzbekistan not Russia and that its legacy was inherited by the US during its alliance with President Islam Karimov.

The Morning Star cannot evaluate Murray’s assertions, but, at the very least, they should give pause for thought rather than blind acceptance of the official line.

Media abuse and sarcasm can create a spectacle, but they can’t hide the reality that our government did not offer concrete proof or send samples of the nerve agent to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or even Moscow before May and her parliamentary supporters declared Russia guilty.

That is a possibility but not the only one and Corbyn adviser Seumas Milne was surely correct to refer to “a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly.”

The Mail gasped in horror, claiming: “Spin doctor says our spies cannot be trusted”, perhaps forgetful that it also questioned the MI6 “dodgy dossier” spun to justify Britain joining the 2003 illegal US invasion of Iraq.

Milne suggested too that Corbyn “has proved to make the right call time and again over the last 15 to 20 years” on international crises when nameless others made wrong calls with “disastrous consequences”.

As if to make his case, New Labour’s walking dead, knee deep in the blood of a million Iraqis killed during the invasion they backed and subsequent conflict, offered unqualified backing to the Tories in the Commons and an early day motion.

No proof needed, the bugle has sounded, tin hats on and salute the flagpole.

This is the knee-jerk reaction on which Tory governments traditionally rely to pull their chestnuts from the fire when under the cosh politically, as this one is, for its failures to defend the NHS, promote economic investment and protect living standards.

Why are New Labourite backbenchers so determined to display their preference for May’s “back to the cold war” appeal over their own leader’s more statesmanlike stance?

Salisbury Poisoning: Johnson accuses Putin of personally ordering poisoning without presenting evidence. Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned against the drift towards a “new cold war” with Russia: here.

HUNDREDS of military personnel responsible for the detection of chemical weapons were axed by the [British Conservative] government back in 2011 and now it’s forking out £48 million for a new defence centre: here.

Desperate Establishment resorts to fear-mongering: here.

Right-wing journalists care desperate for a new ‘red scare’. Opposition to Reagan and Thatcher‘s 1980s revival of the cold war was huge, writes SOLOMON HUGHES. So why is the media pretending otherwise?

The campaign over the Skripal poisoning: An international war provocation: here.

British cartoon by Richard Cole

UK: Eight million hit by welfare cuts: here.

USA: The Trump administration Thursday announced a new set of punitive sanctions against Russia, targeting 19 individuals and five organizations: here.

New York Times chides Trump for insufficient aggression against Russia: here.