I was down in Westminster yesterday for a meeting where the speaker was Rupert Allason (aka Nigel West), the prolific writer on security and intelligence matters and a former Tory MP. He gave a detailed talk on events leading up to the Skripal poisoning earlier this year. He has a remarkable memory for Russian names. It became clear to me that if he knew how the history of this attempted murder took place, MI6 will have known a shed load more – and could have prevented it, not least by apprehending the culprits (whoever they were) before they reached their target. Two birds in the hand would have been quite useful. Allason made the point that Skripal’s house and movements would have been monitored by the Russians for quite some time – by around 20 agents, including (and he made a point of mentioning this) women. I assume he had knowledge to back up this claim. If this was the case, then MI6/MI5 clearly blundered. Or perhaps they deliberately let it happen for some higher purpose? There’s still no explanation as to how the two ‘culprits’ acquired their visas in record time.
Yesterday The Guardian published a story about a survey showing how it was the most trusted newspaper. Today I noticed above The Times’ banner the claim that it is “Britain’s most trusted national newspaper.” Clearly ‘trust’ is an endemic quality in the mainstream media. I can now report that I too have conducted a survey, which has shown that this is the UK’s most trusted blog (survey sample: one).