Andrew Castle 7am - 10am
A sternish response
17 March 2018, 20:21 | Updated: 17 March 2018, 20:27
The Russian government stands accused of poisoning people in this country. This is very serious. The only people who are allowed to poison people in this country are the British government.
Just ask the 3,400 servicemen who were used as human guinea pigs for nerve agent experiments at our top secret Porton Down chemical weapons facility in Wiltshire. If you can find any of them still alive, that is.
Porton tested more human subjects with nerve gas, for the longest period of time, than any other scientific establishment on earth.
The substance that killed Kim Jong-un's half-brother in Malaysia – the ultra-deadly VX nerve agent – that was ours. We invented that.
What we don't know about deadly chemicals you could write on a CS gas canister.
So we know a poisoning when we see it and if it was a Russian victim, it stands to reason it was a Russian state perpetrator, no proof needed, case closed, off to war.
Not a real war, of course, a pretend war of stern speeches and diplomatic toing and froing.
We must show Vlad that we are very cross but not so cross that he and his oligarch chums take all of their money out of the country.
We want them to feel chastised but not so much that they stem the stream of billions of dodgy roubles that grease the wheels of the money laundering operation that the banks and the legal and accounting firms in the Square Mile specialise in. To say nothing of the high-end estate agents in the pricier parts of prime central London.
We want to give them a yellow card, not have them pick the ball up and storm off home.
To that end, Mrs May deployed Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence, also known as head of the Ministry of Defence.
That is an impressive brace of titles.
You might expect, that as the trumpets sound and the Secretary of State for Defence is announced, around the corner would hove a person of impressive stature, an individual to be reckoned with, a person that would give the collywobbles to any Johnny Foreigner that wanted to mess with us.
And it is true – Gavin Williamson, our Defence Secretary, is a very impressive figure, in that he looks quite tall.
He has the crooked mien of a man who has spent his life stooping through doorways.
As a figure of international power and capability, however, he is as imposing as our other top diplomat, that roly-poly jolly figure of fun, Bozo of the F.O., our Foreign Secretary.
On the Russian poisoning, the Defence chief squeaked that Russia should “go away and shut up”.
He looked like a 14 year old telling off his annoying sister for reading his diary.
The Russians looked at this outburst and could barely contain their laughter.
They wheeled out the Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov, who looks like he rips the heads of grizzly bears, just for the fun of it.
He said, that our Gavin was speaking like a “market wench”, which I think is an insult, and that "The rhetoric demonstrated today by the head of the British Defence Ministry Gavin Williamson is remarkable for his extreme degree of intellectual impotence”.
He was not finished – the Major-General announced that Mr Williamson is a disgrace to Britain and is acting like a pre-pubescent schoolboy.
Ouch. That must have hurt like walking into a door jam.
You may be thinking, as the Russians surely are: who is this Gavin Williamson?
Well, he was elevated to the post of the Defence Secretary in November 2017 by the Drear Leader Theresa May.
This came as something of a surprise to many as he has very little military background.
He may have once owned an Action Man, but that's about it.
On the other hand, he does have a BSc in Social Sciences from the University of Bradford and did once work for a company that makes pots, so at least he has that valuable experience.
Plus, he keeps a tarantula in his room.
And what kind of person keeps a tarantula in their room?
That’s right – a pre-pubescent schoolboy.