Mole, The

Mole, The

The Mole

3 May 2007Comment

A friend of The Mole's who is even more down under than The Mole -- in Australia in fact -- has been doing some sums which could provide surprising ammunition to support the US president's current troop “surge” in Iraq.
Up to March, during a period with a monthly average of 160,000 US troops in Iraq, nearly 2900 of those troops were killed, giving a firearm death rate of around 60 per 100,000. During the same period, the firearm death rate for the inhabitants of Washington DC was…

3 April 2007Comment

The Home Office's spin doctors must be feeling pleased with themselves, given the way so much of the media fell for a lot of absolute nonsense just recently.

The government announced how many fraudulent passport applications had been found last year, and went on to say how many more-allegedly 10,000-hadn't been spotted. But there's no way at all for anyone to know how many false applications got through: by definition, they are unknown.

So what's going on? Well, this “…

3 March 2007Comment

It's taken some time to come to this conclusion, but The Mole is now totally convinced that there's a conspiracy to be uncovered about the story of the collapse of the two World Trade Centre towers in New York in September 2001.

There's a film going the rounds called Loose Change, explaining how the towers were brought down by previously placed explosives, not by the impact of the planes which people think hit them. In a Guardian article recently, Tim Sparke - the producer of that…

3 December 2006Comment

Tom Lehrer, the US scientist turned satirical singer-songwriter, gets “rediscovered” from time to time, delighting a new generation of admirers. But they have to discover his old material, rather than anything new, since he famously gave up writing satire in despair the day that Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. (Historical note: Kissinger was a warmongering US Secretary of State responsible for much of US policy in the Vietnam War era, winning the prize after the war stopped.)…

3 June 2006Comment

Governmental attempts to soften up public opinion for an announcement of more nuclear power stations have their parallel in the nuclear industry itself.

The British Nuclear Group - they're the people who oversee the radioactive waste mountains at Windscale/Sellafield - are advertising for “environmental specialists” at salaries of up to #43,000 pa. Amongst the work needing doing is coming up with strategies for contaminated land. Dealing with contamination sounds worthy; but you…

3 May 2006Comment

The Mole is fascinated by some of the strange cults found above ground. You might have noticed one which has been particularly prominent in recent weeks, which seems to be very into S&M imagery (that's S&M as in sado-masochism, not as in the abbreviation for what's left of Yugoslavia).

For what else is the innocent observer to make of models and pictures of a grisly 2000-year-old method of execution being flaunted everywhere? [“Jesus died for his own sins - not mine!” -Ed.]…

3 April 2006Comment

A few months ago, The Mole was musing about the idea of a peace movement “Bacon Number, where we see how many links - of some defined sort! - it takes to build a connection between different peaceniks.

Well, a related thought was inspired by the recent death of John Profumo. (Recap for younger readers who haven't been following the news: he was the War Minister - yes, the government used more honest terminology in those days - who resigned, in 1963, after a famous scandal involving…

3 March 2006Comment

This column feels honoured that Harry Mister - whose death (and life) are, rightly, marked at greater length elsewhere in this PN - was provoked into making his final contribution to the paper by something here to which he took exception. What was published was sent as part of a chatty, personal, longer letter, full of his usual mixture of warmth, exasperation, and bits of 5 Cally Road business.

He would have been amused that the issue he addressed - religiously-based and…

3 February 2006Comment

Back in December, The Mole surfaced at London's City Hall - the glass monstrosity near Tower Bridge, home of ex-red Ken Livingstone. It was a “peace reception”, and guest of honour was US “peace mom” Cindy Sheehan - who's become a peace campaigner since her son was killed whilst taking part in the US military occupation of Iraq.

Her sincerity is not in doubt. But The Mole couldn't forget the strictures of Jeff Cloves in his column in the final issue of Nonviolent Action a…

3 December 2005Comment

One of the most disturbing features of the recent commemoration for the people who were killed in the London bombings on 7 July was that the event was specifically a religious service.

It's bad enough that public events of that sort are so frequently sectarian in this way, hence excluding so many people - including many of those affected, whom the event is allegedly for. But in this case, it was even more inappropriate: here was an example of mass murder, with the perpetrators…

3 November 2005Comment

The Mole spotted something strange on the NATO website recently. Under “What's New?” were several childishly ill-drawn, but quite recognisable, versions of the famous Nuclear Disarmament symbol.

No, there hasn't been a revolution in Brussels which no-one noticed (can you name any famous Belgian revolutionaries?). It's just NATO up to its normal Orwellian tricks - celebrating this year's UN International Day of Peace. It ran a design-a-greeting-card competition at its international…

3 October 2005Comment

A recent example of those unexpectedly fascinating 15-minute speech slots tucked away on Radio 4 set the Mole thinking about a new game for peaceniks.

Many people know how the actor Kevin Bacon has, on account of having been in such a range of films, given birth to the Bacon Number. This measures the degree of separation of different actors, in terms of who has appeared in a film with someone who's appeared in a film with someone who's ... etc. The reference point for these measurements is how many links it takes to connect an actor with Kevin Bacon.

What is less well-known is the Erdo"s number. The late Paul Erdo"s - unfortunately…

3 September 2005Comment

Robin Cook's death has brought forth many tales, and the peace movement has some to tell about him too. For instance, he first entered parliament at the time the Campaign Against Arms Trade was founded in 1974, and showed that he was clearly starting out with a properly disrespectful attitude to the place. When the then CAAT staffer tried to contact likely MPs to generate some interest in the new campaign, the first response was Robin Cook's - maybe the CAAT archives still have the…

3 July 2005Comment

There was a Parisian campaign to say “non” to the Olympics - which, surprisingly, got no coverage over here - as well as the (slightly reported) campaign by sensible people in London who oppose this corporate-promoting festival of nationalism and trib

3 June 2005Comment

The Mole has another tale to tell of the exploits of indefatigable peace campaigner Gwyn Gwyntopher.

If you've forgotten the last time Gwyn's name featured in this column, just think back: army tanks at Heathrow Airport in an officially convenient “security scare”; buckets of wallpaper paste hastily transported on the Piccadilly Line tube. Remember now?

The latest tale relates to a group called East London Against the Arms Fair, of which Gwyn is a key member. The…