Theresa and Boris are really ratcheting up the anti-Russian rhetoric. This must mean – mustn’t it? – that they have solider proof of Putin’s responsibility for the Salisbury attack than they are letting on. Otherwise surely they’d hold their horses.
Boris’s comparing Putin with Hitler (albeit circuitously) ups the ante quite a bit. Usually this kind of debating trick – called ‘Godwin’s Law’ (see https://bernardjporter.com/2016/05/15/the-hitler-card/) – indicates a certain weakness in the argument. And May’s and Johnson’s use of it today does bear all the hallmarks of a desperate attempt to distract attention from their much deeper political problems.
But they surely wouldn’t do this if they weren’t morally certain that the international chemical warfare inspectors now in Britain were going to support their version of events, would they? If they don’t confirm it, the egg on Theresa’s face will be enough to make several omelettes; and prove Corbyn’s caution triumphantly right. But I can’t imagine that May is so stupid as to run this risk. Which is one – devious – reason for giving some credence to the ‘Putin did it’ thing.
This (below) is a pre- or early World War I poster I picked up at the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra. If I knew how to ‘photoshop’, I’d stick May’s face on it, and replace the sinking ship (the Lusitania, I presume) by an image of Sergei Skripal swimming for his life. It seems to illustrate the Tory mood. (As well as being a rather fine painting of its kind.)