Warning: This piece may contain traces of satire
Experts at the Department for Sifting Truth from Lies (DSTL) at Porkie Down in Wiltshire, have been analysing Boris Johnson’s statements made during an interview with Deutsche Welle on 20th March, to see whether they may contain any traces of truth. In answer to a question about how scientists were able to identify Russia as the source of the substance allegedly used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and whether the laboratory possesses samples, Mr Johnson replied:
“They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said there’s no doubt. We have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”
Social media users were quick to point out that his claims appear to be at odds with those subsequently made by Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive of Porton Down (not to be confused with Porkie Down), who said in an interview with Sky News that his laboratory had been unable to identify the origin of the substance.
Samples of Mr Johnson’s statement were sent for analysis, and according to initial reports coming from the Porkie Down facility, experts have been unable to discern any traces of truth, but believe that they may have found traces of a substance known as “Govichock” – the name of a secretive Government programme aimed at confusing the public by cramming their official narratives “chock” full of inconsistencies and obfuscations.
According to an anonymous source at the laboratory:
“Although we cannot be absolutely categorical about the source of the particular substance used by Mr Johnson, what we can confirm is that our tests so far have shown it to be a ‘Ministry-Grade Swerve Agent’ – so called because it is designed to swerve people away from the truth. Furthermore, we can also confirm that the substance is of the family of Swerve Agents known as Govichock, ‘of a type developed by Whitehall.’”
When asked whether Govichock could be manufactured by a non-state party, the source told us that this was unlikely, as generally speaking only Governments possess sufficient quantities of the main ingredient — known as “sheer audacity” — along with the knowledge that they can get away with using it without any repercussions, both of which are needed in the production.
However, the claims have been dismissed a Foreign Office spokesman who said that there was no doubt that the accusation Mr Johnson misled the public was absolutely categorically untrue:
“I can tell you absolutely and categorically, there is no doubt that when the Foreign Secretary said that Porton Down scientists were absolutely categorical that the substance was produced in Russia, the one thing we can say absolutely categorically is that there is no doubt that he was not saying they were absolutely categorical about it. Let me be absolutely categorical about that so that there is no doubt.”
When asked how he could be so sure, the spokesman replied:
“Mr Johnson was absolutely categorical about it. I asked the guy myself, I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said there’s no doubt. And so we have very little alternative but to take him at his word.”
Despite the spokesman’s denial, there have been allegations that the use of Govichock may be far more widespread than just Mr Johnson, and that it could potentially have infected the whole of his department. The claims were made after the Foreign Ministry deleted the following Tweet it put out on March 22nd, when it was subsequently contradicted by Mr Aitkenhead’s comments:
“Analysis by world leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade Novichock nerve agent produced in Russia.”
Again, the Foreign Ministry spokesman denied that the public had been misled, saying that there is no doubt that all such claims absolutely categorically untrue, and are simply “the results of a Russian disinformation campaign to discredit the fact that it was the Russian’s who were probably, highly likely, absolutely categorically, quite possibly behind the poisoning.”
Porkie Down experts are advising the public to stay vigilant, as the substance is known to spawn itself, so that any department infected by Govichock, unless it is thoroughly cleansed, will have a tendency to add more and more of it over time. In addition, there is currently no known antidote to the substance, and those contaminated by it usually just continue in their jobs as if nothing happened.
When we went to Mr Johnson’s house to ask him for comment as to whether he had misled the public, he was unavailable but a strange egg-shaped person sitting on the wall outside his home said in a rather scornful tone:
“When Mr Johnson uses a phrase, it means just what he chooses it to mean – neither more nor less. All else is just Russian misinformation. Absolutely and categorically.”
Here are my less satirical pieces on the Skripal Case: