The unexceptional account of a discredited inquiry
The Guardian’s Book of the Day [here today gone tomorrow?] masquerading as a “True Crime” story, is an attempt to give the Alexander Litvinenko inquiry further credence, thereby helping keep it in the Public eye. A crime it certainly is, in journalistic terms, taking the statements of the Owen inquiry [we cannot call them facts because they are all probabilities] and trying to get us to believe it all over again is like, well, trying to make money from old rope. This leads us to think, can we believe anything anymore written by Guardian hacks? The simple answer to this question regarding the Litvinenko murder inquiry and things Russian is most definitely no. But will this book or the so call findings of the Owen inquiry, to quote the Bard, “…last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there*”? Probably not, to use the overworked Owenesque ad verbal.
The review of the grandly entitled Luke Harding book, “A Very Expensive Poison” by Oliver Bullough – claims the book to be a definitive account of the Litvinenko murder. This is clearly another Guardian whitewash, dressing up more Russo-phobic rhetoric supporting the infamous Luke Harding and other politico spin winders who have their works showcased there. Why do I think that? Well the review in the Guardian is just so full of miss-information it clearly indicates the purpose of the book is pure propaganda too. It reveals nothing new or of interest from what is clearly a dead donkey of a story, whose sole purpose is to sell this latest Guardian/ Faber Publication.
Harding’s work has been criticised by veteran investigative journalists, such as John Pilger and Robert Parry, being the largely discredited former Guardian Moscow Bureau Chief. He was refused entry into Russia for problems with his visa documents and has mounted a personal paranoia campaign against Putin ever since. Why Putin had a vendetta against him and had had taken the trouble to have him expelled from Russia is never fully explained, especially when the Russian authorities offered him a renewed visa which he refused. Some think that this was a smokescreen for his own lack of competence or perhaps he smelled more “lucre” was to be made spinning anti-Russian works at home rather than in Russia itself. However, so the story goes in, not one, but two of his previous novels – sorry works of non-fiction, he was thrown out of Russia and exiled for his perceived critical reporting. His back catalogue clearly forms the basis of some kind of therapy to rid himself of all things Russian. In effect he’s the Elliot Higgins of the Journalist world, Higgins does the sofa inquiries fronting fake videos and blogs and Harding the books and “Pussy Riot” reviews for the Guardian.
So to the matter at hand, the Alexander Litvinenko inquiry, a story of former FSB agent who defected becoming a triple agent who died in unclear circumstances. He was known to have criminal as well as MI6/CIA links, killed in London almost a decade ago and is the subject of this latest piece of agitprop, lightly dressed up as investigative journalism. Probably, there I go again using that very malleable ad verb, Harding’s book will soon be destined for that category of books, like “50 Shade of Grey”, you wish you’d never bought, because you can’t even give it away.
At £7.99 instead of the £12.99 asking price, tells you all you need to know – that it’s already been completely discounted!
But hey you don’t need me to tell you see for yourself:
Spoiler alert, have a box of tissues handy for the laugh till you cry parts
* Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare.