Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury is a rather lovely park. Situated next to the river, and overlooking the Water Meadows, it is a wonderful place to take an early morning stroll, and then to walk along the town path, where you get a wonderful view of the towering 13th Century gothic cathedral from the very spot where Constable painted his famous Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows.
Yet, like the centre of the City, it is now apparently a place synonymous with poisoning. According to latest reports, it is apparently the place at which Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became poisoned on Friday 29th June. This from The Mail:
"Police are hunting for the deadly syringe or vial laced with Novichok that poisoned a couple in Salisbury as they finally evacuated homes five days after they fell catastrophically ill. Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her boyfriend Charles Rowley, 45, became critically ill within hours of visiting Salisbury on Saturday – the site of the murder attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The authorities are still searching for the container carrying the nerve agent, which could kill anyone who found it, and the homeless shelter where Dawn lived in Salisbury and Charlie's home in Amesbury have now been screened-off and residents evacuated.
A security source told the Evening Standard: 'It could have been picked up by anyone, including a child. There's no doubt it will be contaminated still', adding the poison could be deadly 'for decades' if kept dry.
Salisbury Hospital chief executive Cara Charles-Barks has revealed the victims remain in a critical condition in intensive care and are 'acutely unwell' but added that nobody else has been poisoned.
One friend of the couple, who were known to be drug users, believes they may have found a syringe believing it contained heroin rather than the deadly poison used by assassins Britain claims were sent by Russia.
'It was definitely an accident. I think they found a package and it looked like drugs', she said.
Dawn and Charlie collapsed after a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Gardens on Friday, an area not searched or decontaminated after the Skripals were poisoned in March, raising serious questions about the quality of the clear-up operation four months ago."
Okay, so this one is pretty easy to debunk, and I think I can save the media the trouble of going on about this for days on end, only to have to shift their explanation away from the vial/syringe in Queen Elizabeth Gardens to another door handle perhaps, or a car, cemetery, restaurant, bench, or even porridge.
The article points your attention to the apparent expert, who is able to assure us that the substance A-234, which prior to March 2018 was reckoned to be highly volatile, is able to survive in a syringe/vial for donkeys' years. Here's my advice: Don't pay any attention to what he's saying! Why? Because it's a complete and utter red-herring, which – either wittingly or unwittingly – turns your attention away from a rather obvious reason why this is complete nonsense. And what is that?
It is this: Queen Elizabeth Gardens is nowhere near Christie Miller Road. Even if you had accepted the Government narrative that the Skripals were poisoned by a military grade nerve agent (of a type 5-8 times more toxic than VX), which was poured (or now presumably squirted from the syringe) onto the door handle of Mr Skripal's front door, by professional assassins not wearing HazMats – all of which requires much cognitive dissonance – what are you now being asked to believe? That the professional unHazMatted Russian assassins, after leaving Chez Skripal, decided not to leg it to Heathrow or Gatwick pronto, but to drive to Elizabeth Gardens.
As I say, it's a beautiful park, and one which I would encourage people to visit, although you may find that quite tricky just at the moment. But here's the thing: