I truly despair. Objectivity is dead; people only see what they want to see in news stories - the version that fits their 'team'. As a species, I think we're lost. And maybe, just maybe, this was the final master-stroke and checkmate move the right-wing in Britain and America needed.
I've never ever been intimidated and insulted by Remainers before. On the contrary, I have pages and pages of messages from them thanking me for my efforts; they're the only team I've really 100% identified with since this whole shit-storm began. And for nearly two years I've flown our flag; it's fair to say it was that disastrous referendum that tipped me into writing. I've ranted and raved against it since the day it happened. But now, because I refuse to accept that Russia and Syria are the international bogeymen, that they're guilty of every crime, because I smell a rat the size of Tower Hamlets, and because I know full well the UK and US governments in office at present are as corrupt as any? Well, I'm apparently now a traitor to the Remain cause... and am "dumb", and "naive", and I am Putin's "useful idiot".
Apparently daring to speak inconvenient details and/or arguing on behalf of a party being accused, is "playing into Putin's and the Brexiter's hands". What a pity so many Remainers are too short-sighted to recognise the right are unmoved in support of their despots, and it's actually the left/centre and Remain camps that have been split by this little bombing. They don't seem to notice they're now coincidentally championing and arguing in favour of Theresa May and Boris Johnson: the leaders who until recently were their adversaries "dragging Britain to ruin". And just before local council elections no less. How very neat.
Not only that, I've even heard Remainers - the group who proudly stood against xenophobia, glibly coming out with comments like "never trust a Russian". Substitute that with 'Muslims', Jews', 'Indians' etc, and anyone else with a clear head might call that racial prejudice.
Becoming that which you despise
In short, Remainers are now mostly being as pig-headed and as absolutist as the Brexiters ever were. We're ignoring common sense, and blindly following any corroborating tit-bit thrown at us by the news... exactly like Brexiters did. The critical analysis skills we formerly demonstrated have flown out the window, and the 'propaganda machines' we continuously called out (like the BBC) are now apparently absolute beacons of journalistic integrity - but only because they're telling us what we want to hear.
We pedantically quote theories like 'Occam's Razor' (eg: the simplest answer is usually the right one), apparently oblivious to the fact that very theory suggests a nation wouldn't do the one and only categorical thing inviting the wrath of the West, reopening a war they'd only just won. As I retorted to one such person, perhaps they need to look up the concept of 'Confirmation Bias', and the idea of 'Cui Bono' as a basis for criminal investigation.
The poisoning? Just as a cute analogy, imagine this was a gun crime, for instance. Assuming Russian guilt because of the agent used, is like assuming a perpetrator's guilt because the gun was registered in their name, but incontrovertibly ignoring the fact there are no gun residues or bullet holes in the right places at the scene of the alleged crime, and the alleged perpetrator lacked an entirely feasible reason to do it. Not smart, or prudent. The initial assumption isn't necessarily wrong, but you have a duty of care to at least consider the alternative.
Not only that, there is clearly confusion surrounding chemical reports and deliberately ambiguous phrasing by the Spiez lab, who Sergei Lavrov quoted. Again, everyone is soooo quick to assume Russia are either f**king stupid, or evil incarnate! Why the hell would Russia say to the world's media "the Spiez lab have said it's not Novachok, it's BZ", if that can be refuted in seconds, and dismissed as nonsense by both the international community and the lab itself?? (As it was, only a day later.) They look either idiots, or categorical liars! Not exactly helping their cause, is it? Yes, they may in fact be just that, but again, you absolutely HAVE to consider the possibility they're being set up to look like chumps.
Not to mention, we the British (eg: Boris Johnson) categorically lied when it suited us too. That's an incontrovertible fact. So at very best, it's one strike a piece.
Russian interference in elections? Newsflash. The UK and US didn't vote for Brexit and Trump because of Russian meddling: they did so because they're thick as mince, and fell for the crap our own right wing medias were feeding us. The same right wing medias all the liberals and leftists now demonising Russia are inadvertently supporting. (Another 'coincidence' no doubt.) They didn't need any help from Russia.
In fact, it was (and is) the Russian owned Independent newspaper in Britain that was one of the very few to include pro-Remain viewpoints and assertions, while Murdoch and Dacre etc were (and are) busy talking us off a cliff. How does that one tally up in this absurdly absolutist scenario?
Why in the name of God are people so quick to assume everything is black and white?? That there is only right and wrong, goodies and baddies... that their team alone are morally superior and righteous?? To me, it is the most simplistic and rudimentary mistake one can make when examining such situations. At what point do we acknowledge the lines sometimes become blurry?
I abhor Russia, its politics, and its treatment of dissenters and the LGBT community etc. Truly. But you don't defeat lies with lies. People who've already decided the outcome of an unfolding investigation have no moral authority over those willing to keep an open mind, and hear both sides of an argument. You don't turn your face away from evidence and inconvenient details just because it happens to suit your cause, and those you ally with. You don't switch off common sense and pursuit of truth just because it's to your benefit. You don't risk incorrectly vilifying others, because it helps you out. You don't just assume a group or person is guilty because they've committed other crimes or offences. That is prejudice. And if you do, you are just as corrupt as any you'd claim to oppose. #TruthBomb
At the same time, I just got accused of 'helping Theresa May' myself on a Labour Party forum, for refusing to accept there is ANY evidence at all implicating Russia, or that there's any possibility Russia are anything other than entirely innocent. Having dared to go out on a limb, and getting slagged off from all corners for daring to say something is wrong with this, the other team harangue me too, because I won't categorically say they're unequivocally right either.
They're all as bad as each other. Tribalism has taken over.
We really are f**ked.