Yesterday's police report of the men suspected of the Novichok poisonings of the Skripals and two bystanders was stunning in it's detail.
The question arises, Why did the Russians risk using a nerve agent in the UK against a former spy.
The answer is, they thought they wouldn't be detected, They genuinely believed that the west didn't know about Novichok, let alone how to deal with it, and they thought we wouldn't be able to finger the culprits in person.
Added to this belief was the sight of the UK arguing about Brexit. This is a shambolic state, they thought, and one incapable of any proper investigation.
To the Russians (and many in the EU) the sight of Parliament arguing fiercely and MPs arguing with those from the same party, in public, was proof of Britain's shambolic, anarchic nature.
What they fail to grasp is this is how Britain has been deliberately designed, after much thought, over a thousand years. Unlike in continental Europe, both the legal system and the political system are designed to be adversarial and competitive.
The reasoning is as follows: in Britain, people believe that no one person knows everything. That systems where everyone agrees are false and to be suspicious of - if there is consensus it is because people are silent about differences through either fear, or profit. They are covering up.
In adversarial systems by contrast, the truth comes to light by pointing out flaws in arguments, and pointing out mistakes. All egged on by a free and raucous press that is serving a public that is both interested and entertained by the rows.
It's horribly uncomfotable for the persons in the hot seat. They strive to war-game every policy. For every mistake their opponents point out, at least a dozen have been prevented before the policy saw the light of day. This is a sign the adversarial system is working by bringing pressure to bear on the participants to improve their performance.
As a result of this pressure, Britain is an unusually well-run country. The population is calm and stable because all disagreement has been channelled off the streets and into the forum that is Parliament. Tbe pressures on the government to perform mean that unemployment is at 43-year lows, the economy grows steadily. Metrics like suicide continue to fall (and have always been lower than in continental Europe).
In France, by contrast, governed by the quasi-monarch Macron who controls the French Assembly in an iron grip, anarchy resides in the streets - in strikes, in mass vandalism and burning of cars, in unrest.
And in Germany, which hasn't had a proper opposition since 2005 thanks to a series of "grand coalitions", 1500 arson attempts are made against refugees per annum, with accompanying deaths, and open nazi's roam the streets as vigilantes.
If something like that happened in the UK there would be uproar in Parliament and the press, and resignations would be demanded. In the "consensus" aka stitched up country of Germany, nobody resigns, Merkel carries on impervious.
Which brings us back to Novichok and the Russian attempts to kill a former spy. They were surprised that the UK even knew about Novichok, surprised that the NHS managed to keep the Skripals alive, surprised that the intelligence service managed to identify the culprits down to their mugshots.
They shouldn't have been.
Under pressure from it's adversarial set-up, the UK is an unusually competent state. Something those who want to oppose it from the "comfort" of dictatorship (both Russia and the EU), should think twice about.