If you have a gas supply tomorrow, then Vladimir Putin will officially have joined the long list of people who regarded Theresa May as completely ridiculous, if they had ever heard of her. If she mattered, then the man who controlled our gas supply would have cut it off after yesterday's impertinence. 24 hours from now, either she does not matter, or our gas companies are treasonably trading with the enemy in time of war.
War? I ask you! So far, the killer threat has been that some Junior Minister or other might not be sent to the World Cup. So much for NATO. So much for Trident. So much for anything. Even had May the inclination to deploy anything beyond a boycott of the spectating of a football tournament, then she would in any case have nothing else to deploy.
But then, look at it from her point of view. Someone has to fund her party. Someone has to fund her country. After 40 years of the policies that that party has preferred during that period, Russian oligarchs and Gulf Arab princes have become practically the only people in Britain with any money to spend. Labour still has the unions, and now has an enormous membership as well, but the Conservative Party, mostly while May was Home Secretary, has had to hand out British citizenship like sweeties to Russian and Arab moneybags in order to make them eligible to join its extremely small pool of donors.
The secret to successful political corruption is to be so brazen that people refuse to believe what they are witnessing, and instead assume that they must have missed something. Back in the day, the union-hating Tony Blair got away with the criminal sale of peerages as he sought to fund a personal party within his official one. More recently, there was the larceny of the Royal Mail by, most notably, George Osborne's best man; it is now largely owned by the Emir of Kuwait. I have spent most of my life around, and part of it in, the Labour Party in County Durham, so I really do understand how corruption works.
As they do in Russia, although the sheer predictability of the forthcoming Presidential Election there does not invalidate it. The British General Elections of 1955, 1959, 1966, 1983, 1987, 1997, 2001 and 2005 were all utterly predictable. No one doubts that Putin really does command between 60 and 70 per cent support, if not slightly more.
If Putin himself had been behind the attack on Sergei Skripal, then Skripal would be dead. By the way, Skripal is neither "innocent" nor a "civilian". Nor does he appear to be a British citizen, which is at least something. Yulia Skripal does not even live in this country. Nick Bailey just seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. His ongoing recovery, the fact that the Skripals are still alive nine days on, and the absence of any apparent effect on anyone else, all serve to call gravely into question the official version of events.
Ignore the torturer David Miliband, the BBC's chronic campaign for whose Prime Ministerial ambitions has flared up on this, the day that another torturer has been made Director of the CIA. Ignore another man afflicted with such ambitions, Tom Tugendhat. Behind his unmistakable MI6 accent, Tugendhat is to lies what Ken Dodd was to jokes.
In reality, this attack has been carried out using a weapon that was made 50 or 60 years ago, and which can now be found, if one knows where to look, anywhere in the former Soviet Union, as well as among those who were employed to match and to mimic Soviet capability. For example, at Porton Down. The Americans prefer firearms, but we are more eclectic in our tastes. The failure to kill anyone in this instance is consistent with the fact that nerve agents degrade over time.
Any danger to the people of Britain in general, and any danger to the people of Salisbury in particular, has been caused by whoever chose to import Sergei Skripal, and with him his enemies from back home. The same was true in relation to Boris Berezovsky. And the same was true in relation to Alexander Litvinenko. No more.