Alexei Navalny
© REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov
FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny
The bizarre events surrounding Alexey Navalny, who lies stricken in a coma in Berlin, will bring forth more Cold War-style calls to isolate Russia, at the cost of further consolidating relations between Moscow and Beijing.

Ever since the man - always wrongly billed as "the Russian Opposition leader," when in fact he polls 2% of the vote, and the actual opposition leader is a Communist who still has mass support - took ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow, the securocratic lobby in western countries has been primed.

Today, with the statement from the German government that Navalny is yet another victim of 'Novichok'-class chemical agents, active measures are already underway.

Former British intelligence officer Philip Ingram MBE, whom I interviewed today for my Sputnik TV show, had to hurry me up because "the Germans have just spoken the word Novichok and I expect to be busy with other interviews."

Wearisome though it may be to point out the bleeding obvious, I must do so.

If the Russian state had attempted to assassinate Navalny, they would never have allowed his stricken comatose body to be flown out of the country to Germany in the first place. He would have died on the operating table in Russia, where nobody could "detect traces of Novichok" in a NATO capital.

If the Russian state was responsible for trying to kill Navalny, surely the LAST weapon in the whole world it would have chosen with which to do so would be Novichok?

A butter knife, a gun, a speeding car, a car crash - any one of a hundred methods would surely have been preferable in the post-Skripal era. And more reliable, it would appear: Navalny, for now mercifully, is the THIRD Russian in a row to be attacked by a DEADLY "military-grade nerve agent" and mysteriously fail to die.

But just like with the Skripals, we come up against the question asked in every murder mystery: Cui Bono? Who benefits?

What conceivable gain would the Kremlin stand to make in the killing by Novichok of Alexey Navalny?

And the huge contradiction, the biggest of all, is that the West wants us to believe Vladimir Putin is at one and the same time a dazzling Mephistopheles capable of arranging elections in America and Britain, fixing Brexit, and fomenting separatism from Scotland to Spain, whilst at the same time being a blithering, self-harming idiot. The cop that couldn't shoot straight. The man who brought the whole western world down on his head through not one, but two failed attempts to dispose of utterly harmless marginal critics - who, in the case of Alexey Navalny, would be incapable of winning a single seat in a provincial local authority.

I'm travelling at the moment, filming my forthcoming documentary on the strange death of Dr David Kelly - the British weapons inspector caught up in the Blair War on Iraq - who was found stone dead at the height of the publicity surrounding him. So I don't have my crystal ball to consult. But I nonetheless predict that what will now happen will be the familiar circus of diplomatic expulsions, sanctions and ostracism. Further demonisation of Russia. Tit for tat. As the world faces a deadly pandemic and economic collapse. Just what the doctor ordered...
George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway