When Prime Ministers are really in trouble, they need a war, or at least a foreign enemy to demonise. So I watch Theresa May’s war of words with Russia a little more sceptically than the British media seems inclined to do.

First, I ask the question that former British ambassador Craig Murray is asking. Why has no one mentioned the fact that the nerve agent with which Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked is not just manufactured in Russia – but also in Porton Down, just eight miles from where Skripal was attacked. And that the British security services – who are not squeamish about their methods – are just as likely to have wanted Skripkal dead as the Russian ones.
“The idea that the elaborate spy games between world intelligence agencies are a battle between right and wrong, is for the story books” says Murray. 
Second, I wonder about the glee with which the British media contemplate the shutting down of Russia Today.  They claim to care about a free media. Well, to advocate shutting down a newspaper or broadcasting station whose output you dislike doesn’t demonstrate much of a commitment to freedom and plurality of the media.
So I listened with embarrassment to John Humphries on Today this morning, waxing indignantly self-righteous about Russia Today.  They’ve had Ofcom ruling against them, haven’t they? So has the BBC. 
Humphries claimed they’d never allow anyone to call Putin a dictator on Russia Today; but they would, and they do. I’ve been on Russia Today, and I’ve said things about Russia and the Ukraine which, had they been listening, would have infuriated the Russian government, but they go out nonetheless.
No one mentioned that BBC journalism died the day they corporation apologised and fired its chairman and chief executive for offending the then Blair government about its Iraq war.  There are still good people working in BBC journalism, but that day, the day they surrendered to government bullying, free BBC journalism suffered a blow from which it has never recovered.