Welcome to Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement. We seek to oppose all forms of violence, and to create positive change based on cooperation and responsibility. See more
"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky
From the Molehill
Conundrums, countryside and cannabis
New moral conundrums (conundra?) for peace campaigners arrive for The Mole's attention. After last month's worries about the ethical (or not) sourcing of the material for military uniforms comes a sneaky suggestion from the Countryside Alliance.
The pro-hunting lobby are apparently talking with some of their rich land-owning supporters about ways of taking revenge on the government for its ban on hunting. They reckon that they could bring military training to a halt in many parts of Britain, since a lot of the army training areas and firing ranges are mixed up with or surrounded by large estates which could choose to close off access to the armed forces.
The action could be seen as a form of traditional nonviolent noncompliance - maybe even civil disobedience. But what stance is a conscientious and animal-loving anti-militarist to take?
Birds and babies
The first time this Mole surfaced, some years ago in Nonviolent Action, was to tell of the discovery that a seemingly worthy - or at the very least innocuous - organisation had got into bed with commercial outfits which it was prepared to have sully its name in return for a few quid's sponsorship. That organisation was the British Trust for Ornithology (which, incidentally, is still letting its name be linked to champions of the environment such as quarry companies, nuclear power stations and the like).
The latest instance of this mentality on the part of charities who ought to know better is the (over-trendily-named) outfit “4Children”.
They're running a project called Make Space which lobbies for better provision for young people, and supplies funding and materials to groups setting up out of school clubs for 11- to 16-year-olds. The one slight snag is that every single thing supplied by Make Space has the logo of Nestle - notorious promoter of baby milk substitutes in the Third World - emblazoned on it. It seems that Nestle can buy an awful lot of credibility in return for sponsorship amounting to a minuscule proportion of its profits.
Nestle, whose activities have been condemned by the likes of the World Health Organisation, remains firmly on the target list of the excellent folks at Baby Milk Action, who have been monitoring Nestle's claims, and their actual behaviour, for years. Perhaps, to help salve their consciences, the Make Space campaigners could be prevailed upon to include BMA literature with every Nestle branded item they send out; but The Mole rather doubts it.
Remembering the good old days
Did anyone else notice a recent scientific report - following quite a bit of evidence that cannabis seems to help with pain relief in some situations - suggesting that its use might also go some way to counteracting the problems of memory loss in old age?
But surely there's a certain irony here. Knowing a few age hippies - as The Mole does - it would certainly seem remarkable if the positive effects of cannabis usage in old age were strong enough to overcome what already seems to have happened to their mental faculties on account of cannabis usage when they were younger.
Do you have any juicy worms for the Mole?
If so, write to firstname.lastname@example.org