Paths Of Glory
I expect there will have been an extra flurry of activity in Scarborough’s spying community in the wake of the most recent Russian ‘poisoned spy’ scandal. Scarborough, after all is home to GCHQ’s Irton Moor listening station, one of the largest in the UK. There’ll be no loose talk in local pubs though. My theory, shared in the Guardian by Shaun Walker this morning is that in all likelihood the poisoning, if that is what it was, was a Russian initiated assassination attempt designed as a deterrent to serving FSB officers – ‘look, this is what happens to traitors.’ There’s nothing exceptional about this. During the Second World War, Red Army soldiers’ fighting spirit came partly from the threat of being shot if they didn’t face the enemy. The only thing that’s different here is that the threat may have been carried out in a quiet English town. This will give Boris Johnson an opportunity to bull up his reputation (self-imagined) as a latter day Churchill. ‘We will fight them in the suburbs. We will fight them in the shopping malls. We will fight them after afternoon tea.’
Not a million miles away, Theresa will be eyeing her place in history, desperately worried that she doesn’t end up in the same boat as Neville Chamberlain, what with her ‘This is my third speech in our time.’
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